Instituto Terra is a non-profit environmental NGO founded in April 1998 to promote the sustainable development of Southeast Brazil’s Doce River Valley. Once a former cattle ranch marked by deforestation, significant erosion, and iron ore exploitation, it now more closely resembles its natural subtropical rainforest state as the institute’s nursery raised more than 4 million seedlings of species which are native to the region, contributing to the reforestation of the Atlantic Forest. This new vegetation has also minimized the risk of extinction of several animal species in the area, and improved water flow in the area’s natural springs by stopping soil erosion.
The Institute further promoted its goal of increasing environmental awareness with the creation of the Center for Environmental Education and Restoration, which aims to bring together professors in forestry, technical, and agricultural institutions, politicians, and rural producers who can play important roles in environmental conservation. The Center of Studies in Ecosystem Restoration was also created by the NGO in order to provide training to forestry, environmental, and agricultural specialists with the goals of sustainably using natural resources and adopting alternative methods to produce and manage rural areas. In light of these efforts, Instituto Terra is now close to completing the first complete reforestation of an uninterrupted sector of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest.
Donations can be made to this organization at: http://www.institutoterra.org/eng/conteudosLinks.php?id=30&tl=SG93IHRvIHBhcnRpY2lwYXRl&sb=MjI=#.XO6q64hKg2w
Written By: Ligia Clara