The Project began in 2005 based on a simple initiative launched by Ecotourism Tour Operator TERRA BRASILIS. The goal was to work with Free Carbon projects but benefiting different people, like the company and their clients, local communities and NGO involved in protecting the environment.
It was also imperative to promote a direct experience, giving visitors the opportunity to contribute in person, interacting with nature and communities: a real sustainable way to invest in Free Carbon activities.
Climate change is a reality. Global warming is an unquestionable issue. We all should be concerned about it and struggle to reduce CO2 emission. And also persuade others to act as a Free Carbon agent.
The kick-off was the information received from PACTO for the Atlantic Rain Forest. It explained how to reduce the impact of CO2 emission by planting trees. As a comparison, a flight from Paris to Rio de Janeiro throws more than 1 ton of CO2 in the atmosphere. If every passenger on this flight plants two trees it would compensate the emission.
Then it received the scientific support of 2 specialists who joined the project: Forest Engeneer Alvaro Machado and Dr Evandro Sathler (Social environmentalist lawyer, PhD).
Next step was to find an area, local partners and other supporters.
The project planted over a 1.000 Atlantic Rain Forest native trees, representing 3 to 4 tons of CO2. It means that 1.000 tourists had the experience of planting trees in the Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest. This fact can motivate other initiatives.
The Project´s goal
There are two main interests, both connected with education and the need to reduce CO2 emission.
- First one affects those who travels to Brazil on a trip designed by TERRA BRASILIS. Their local agent will motivate the process, and there is no charge for the first step (two trees), and participation is voluntary.
- Secondly, the local communities will participate as a host, providing the logistics and the area for the tree planting.
Basically, International or National visitors travelling with TERRA BRASILIS to Rio de Janeiro will be invited to plant two trees as a symbol of reducing their own emission. They will receive details and information on the project. Once they accept it they will meet with the local community and help to plant the trees in a designated area.
The baby trees are produced through a TERRA BRASILIS´ partnership with local communities located on the surroundings of protected areas, such as the Serra da Tiririca State Park or the Natural Park of Niterói.
In the future project will be open to anyone willing to contribute.
Mata Atlantica– The Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest is a terrestrial biome with 4 different eco-regions which extends along the Atlantic coast of Brazil. Its main characteristic is the high species diversity and endemism. But why Mata Atlantica… Because the Mata Atlântica has been reduced and impoverished due to the need for forest´s resources since the beginning of Portuguese colonization. Almost 88% of the original forest habitat is lost and replaced by agriculture, pasture or urbanization. Some environmental NGOo´s states that between 5% and 7% of the original forest survived.
RIO DE JANEIRO is the gateway city of Brazil and is the state with a large portion of Mata Atlântica still preserved, due to its system of protected areas.
The areas dedicated to the 1 pax = 2 trees´ project is the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan region, on cities such as Niterói, São Gonçalo and Maricá. These places need more attention because they are located close to protected areas, where some conflicts on the use of land resources are observed, involving traditional communities.
TERRA BRASILIS concentrates the project based on a Communitarian based tourism and it is true that in general traditional communities preserves their environment and cultural heritage in different and remarkable manners. So, they stand as perfect partner for the project.
The Native Atlantic Rain Forest species: One of the great interference that Atlantic Rain Forest areas have in Brazil is the invasion of exotic species, considered those brought to Brazil over the years from Africa, China, India etc.. Reason why it is important to use only native species to contribute with the local diversity.
Pau Brasil, Ypês, Tarumã, Aroeira, Cardia, Guapuruvú, Cajás and many others.
The Social partners:
The first local and social partner to join the project was ACOTEM (Associação das Comunidades Tradicionais do Engenho do Mato). It is a NGO of ex-slaves descendants who survived in groups since the end of slavery. The area ocupied by this comunity is today part of the Serra da Tiririca State Park. The main action of this NGO is the preservation of their african cultural roots. For that they built a community center located in the park´s buffer zone as a nucleus to promote their activities: music, gastronomy, Capoeira, handcraft and medicinal use of the plants.
The Quilombo do Grotão is today a reality and the One Pax = Two Trees project had influenced the leaders of this community, teaching how to use tourism to improve the local economy. It has been a great success and expanded the way to work with other communities in the Buffer zone of the Park. Today Quilombo do Grotão is an important sustainable tourist option in the tourism sector of Niterói.
We hope you can enjoy it!
Over the last 8 years of studies and operations the One Pax = Two Trees´project have received the support from INEA (Rio de Janeiro State Environmental Agency), who contributed supplying some native trees for planting, participating with lectures to visitors and even planting trees with us.
The project shows the appreciation to OLIVEN REISER (cycling Tour Operator of Norway) and the University of Kentucky (USA), who supported the project right on its beggining, specially persuading their people to participate on it.
The Project is also part of PACTO for restoration of Mata Atlantica, that so far planted 50.710 trees in Brazil.
How to reach the project:
TERRA BRASILIS organizes visit in different ways by regular or private tours, including a visit to the beautiful bay city of Niterói and its nice view of Rio de Janeiro. Lunch at the communities.
Small groups can visit on a JEEP TOUR (schools and Universities), based on day tour or cycling packages and adventure tour, such as practiced for Oliven Reiser, Miller Reisen and France á Velo. This tour includes Darwin´s Trail over the Serra da Tiririca State Park. Or bigger groups operated by buses for big incentives or company groups. This is called the Humanitarian Day, where participants pay a visit to a public schools and stop for lunch at Quilombo, planting a tree on the end.
All these options visitors and participants will have a chance of be in contact with nature (Mata Atlantica) the local community and their gastronomy.
The local work in the State Park will continue spreading the wings to other communities and another large area to replant can be open to the county of Maricá through the Darwin´ trail, old route used by Charles Darwin in 1832. Today it became a touristic route in the park.
The project is open to people who cannot visit in person, but can contribute to plant trees with the communities by sponsoring it. The next step will be “Adopt a Tree”.
How much a tree costs?
If 10% of Rio de Janeiro population plants 2 trees it will be enough to compensate more than all the emission of Co2 produced by the car fleet of Rio during a whole month.
Plant a tree can cause a great and high impact in our lives.
A sole tree in the Atlantic Forest is capable to retain an average of 190 kg of CO2.
Those who use airplanes as a transport can elevated the account to almost 13 trees per year.
Other benefits of planting tree are: enriching the ecosystem if native trees are planted; pleasant climate; avoid mudslide; regularization of the hydric courses; etc.
Calculate the CO2 emission at Iniciativa Verde:
Tips of native Brazilian trees
Use Hotels from Roteiros de Charme in Brazil, they have great ecological initiatives and free carbon project.