WeForest is a non-profit that develops holistic and multi-stakeholder reforestation projects that aim to regain ecological functionality and enhance human well-being in deforested, degraded or overlooked landscapes. WeForest’s work is more than growing trees; It’s about getting results for the people who live in the landscapes they are restoring by addressing the root causes of local deforestation and developing viable economic alternatives with and for local communities.
Vision – A world where communities and nature sustainably thrive together to stop global warming in our lifetime
Mission – To conserve and restore the ecological integrity of forests and landscapes, engaging communities to implement and deliver lasting solutions for climate, nature and people
In South America WeForest’s “wildlife corridors” programme focuses on one of the most threatened biomes in the world; the Atlantic Forest.
UNESCO considers it to be one of the world’s most important biodiversity hotspots, housing more than 300 amphibian species, 250 mammal species, 1000 bird species and almost 200 reptile species.
The Atlantic Forest (Mata Atlântica) stretches along the Atlantic coast and inland as far as Paraguay. The forest used to be six times the size of the UK but agricultural expansion has meant it has lost more than 80% of its original forest cover leaving many species now listed as endangered, vulnerable or near threatened by the IUCN.
WeForest has three projects in the Atlantic Forest:
Tietê (Brazil) – WeForest and AES Brasil are collaborating to restore the forest on the edges of the Tietê river in the Atlantic Biom and its tributaries with native species, protecting water bodies from soil siltation and runoff from herbicides and pesticides.
The project is also providing a testing ground for restoration approaches that aim to reduce the use of herbicides – which are usually relied on in Brazil to control invasive grasses – or eliminate them entirely.
Pontal (Brazil) – WeForest is working with IPÊ (Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas) to restore the forest and bring back wildlife whilst helping communities make a living from forest restoration and protection. Trees are planted to create ‘wildlife corridors’ to reconnect the Morro do Diabo State Park, which is the second largest protected area in the Interior Atlantic Forest, to the surrounding forest fragments. This will create more space and migration routes so that endangered species will thrive again.
Misiones (Argentina) – Working in partnership with FVS (Fundacion Vida Silvestre) WeForest will engage smallholder farmers who reside in the areas between the Yabotí Biosphere Reserve with the Piñalito and Cruce Caballero Provincial Parks to restore farmland into forest patches. By connecting these large forest fragments through agroforestry on farmlands, corridors will be created to allow the free movement of jaguars who existence is currently threatened in the area.