During the intensive course, students learned how forest restoration works by putting it into practice
In 2017, the course of the Center of Studies on Ecosystem Restoration (Nere) of the Earth Institute (Instituto Terra) received the support of the Renova Foundation and on December 16, 17 forest restoration technicians graduated. They mostly come from rural families and technical schools operating in the Doce River Basin region.
The partnership between the Renova Foundation and the Earth Institute for forest restoration of the Doce River basin has already enabled the fencing of the first 511 tributary springs and is promoting the planting of more than 300 thousand native Atlantic Forest seedlings.
During the intensive course, the students learned in practice how the restoration works, which can also guarantee the sustainability and improvement of the quality of water supply on rural properties.
For 20-year-old Luiz Magno Campos, who also graduated from Nere, the course helped opening the doors to knowledge and contributing even more to the environment. Now the course has come to an end, he hopes to work towards the recovery of degraded areas and contribute to the restoration of the regions along the Doce River Basin that need it most.
In training sessions organized by the Renova Foundation specialists, which also included the students of the Nere post-technical training course, the methodologies and measures of care were presented to be adopted in the process, such as transportation, setting up the temporary nurseries, inauguration of plant beds and fertilization. “Forest restoration is an activity where we, humans, can only help in the process but we will never be the main player,” says forest engineer Felipe Tieppo, one of the people responsible for Renova’s spring and forest restoration programs.
Felipe Tieppo believes that the training was positive. “Those who make it happen are those at the starting point. This way it is possible to show that the forest restoration that we seek to promote is not a mere environmental action. It involves people and places them in a leading role,” he reinforces.
The students also provided direct assistance to small farmers, helping to disseminate knowledge to promote the adoption of agroecological production practices, the reforestation of Permanent Protection Areas (APP) and Legal Reserves, as well as the protection of springs.
Jaqueliny Borchat, an 18-year-old Nere student, has always been passionate about the environment. In her opinion, the work of Renova also promotes awareness among the rural producers to change their habits.
Jaqueliny Borchat believes she was able to achieve her goals with the course. “My expectations have been met. I’ve learned a lot,” she says. She believes the Renova Foundation partnership improved practices and brought the transformation to the farmers who could participate in the recovery of springs and learn about the importance of this work.
Almir Jacomelli, Renova’s agroforestry operations leader, says that this partnership with the Earth Institute is extremely important for filling a shortcoming that exists in the region; a lack of skilled labor for ecosystem recovery. Renova needs qualified professionals to face this challenge and assist in the forest restoration of the Doce River Basin. Given this scenario, there is a good job outlook for the students that graduated today.
For the executive director of the Earth Institute, Isabella Salton, the partnership with Renova means a “new hope” for the Doce River. “There is no activity here that is too small. All are important to recover this extremely degraded area.”