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restoring the Atlantic Forest and supporting local farmers

Forests 4 Water

About the project

Our Forests4Water program works with the local community to restore the Atlantic Rainforest as a water source, one tree at a time.  

Iracambi Rainforest Conservation and Research Center is located in one of the world’s most critical biodiversity hotspots: Brazil’s Atlantic Forest.  

Due to centuries of deforestation, this magnificent forest has been reduced to 13% of its original extent. Previously abundant water is becoming more scarce, and, as the forests dry out, rainfall patterns across the hemisphere will be progressively more disrupted.

Our goal is to plant a total of one million trees by 2030.

Giving Tuesday 2016
trees planted
2024 planting goal
needed for 2024
$ 0


The Atlantic Forest is in crisis, grappling with biodiversity loss and climate change. These dual threats have intensified over the past decade, jeopardizing this crucial ecosystem. Smallholder farmers are at the heart of this struggle, facing rising temperatures and erratic rainfall. Springs that once reliably provided water are drying up, making traditional farming practices unsustainable.

As the forest loses its capacity to generate water vapor and rain, it can no longer function as nature’s water pump. This results in worsening water shortages, affecting flora, fauna, and human communities alike. The farmers, unable to depend on historical water sources, must adapt quickly to survive.

Immediate action is needed to restore the forest’s water-generating abilities and stabilize water supplies. By rejuvenating forest cover, we can support smallholder farmers, safeguard biodiversity, and ensure a sustainable future for all who depend on the Atlantic Forest.

Volunteers loading up baby trees


At Iracambi, we’re tackling the challenges of deforestation in the Atlantic Forest by planting trees. This effort not only revitalizes degraded lands but also restores crucial water resources. Our Forests4Water project focuses on planting trees in water catchment areas and on deforested hillsides, stabilizing soils, and protecting water supplies.

We work with local farmers to integrate forest trees with food crops in agroforestry systems, enhancing farm productivity and community well-being. By collecting seeds, propagating and caring for them in our nursery, and planting them on local farms, we aim to replenish aquifers, reduce rainwater runoff, and create wildlife habitats. So far, we’ve planted over 250,000 trees, with a goal of reaching one million by 2030.


Luiz Guzmão

Program Coordinator

Forest Restoration

monitoring and reforestation gis data


In this area of steep mountain slopes and heavy rains, the presence of trees on the mountain sides breaks up the rainfall, allowing water to infiltrate the soil and replenish the water table. Trees prevent erosion, lessen runoff, and play a vital role in evapotranspiration, in fact 70% of atmospheric moisture comes from plants!

Forests4Water is one element of our ambitious goal to restore as much of the Atlantic Rainforest as we can! Other elements include education and research, public policy – working on a scheme of payment for environmental services – GIS mapping, and forest monitoring as part of the future Iracambi Smart Forest (collecting and sharing real time data on forest restoration.) 

It’s an ambitious project involving as many different actors as possible: farm families, schoolchildren, university students, international and Brazilian volunteers, corporate partners, government agencies and funders –  everyone who understands the critical importance of restoring the forests for the benefit of all on this planet.

Make sure you understand the issues – the climate crisis demands urgent action from us all! Support local initiatives, plant trees, double the number you first thought of and then hit our donation button! We promise to look after the young forests. 

If you and your company are interested in partnering with us, please read more about our exciting corporate partnership opportunities.