Agroforestry in Brazil – Socially Responsible Reforestation
“Klimaretten Selbermachen” (eng. DIY Climate Rescue) is an initiative for reforesting the rainforest by promoting sustainable agriculture. In 2019, Polly Di and Anatol Gunkel started a crowdfunding campaign to purchase a section of the Brazilian rainforest for agroforestry development. The association Klimaretten e.V. is supporting the project from Germany.
The project aims to serve as a pioneering and demonstrative effort, aspiring to showcase the advantages of agroforestry to local farmers. The ultimate goal is to popularize sustainable agricultural practices in the area, offering an alternative to destructive methods like slash-and-burn farming, and fostering a harmonious coexistence with the rainforest.
With the Daniel Schlegel Umweltstiftung’s financial assistance of €20,000, the project planted 620 new trees, palms, and tendrils in 2023 and provided care for 1,088 annual trees and shrubs.
The seedlings were cultivated in the project’s own nursery. To promote biodiversity, various species were planted, including cocoa, açaí, cupuaçu, and pepper. Concurrently, soil regeneration was essential. Soil analysis revealed significant depletion, prompting the application of 3.5 tonnes of limestone powder, agricultural gypsum, 10 tonnes of cow manure, and 1.5 tonnes of rock flour to improve the pH balance. Planting commenced with cocoa and cupuaçu seedlings in May, followed by açaí palms in July, and pepper plants alongside glyricidia—nitrogen-fixing trees that support pepper vines—in August. Alongside planting, maintenance of the young agroforestry included regular fertilization, weed removal, and pruning to accelerate humus formation beyond natural rates.
By funding this project, the Daniel Schlegel Umweltstiftung is supporting a path towards more regenerative agriculture with various positive effects on nature.