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What are the “Mother Trees” that WWF and HP are planting in the Atlantic Forest?

Arboles madre

According to data, approximately 50% of forests worldwide face threats of deforestation and degradation. These threats have serious consequences for both people and non-human living beings. This is due to the negative effects they have on biodiversity, the supply of natural resources and the climate.

In summary, these factors pose a threat to the survival of living beings, including those who depend daily on the natural resources provided by the forest.

Currently, environmental groups are implementing reforestation projects to mitigate risks and strengthen climate resilience.

A notable case is the alliance between the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Hewlett-Packard (HP), who are working together on this initiative. These organizations came together to carry out the planting of the juçara palm tree in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil.

Juçara is considered the “Mother Tree” of forests, which means that it plays a key role in the long-term care and development of the ecosystem. These trees are responsible for establishing the necessary conditions for other species to grow and thrive in their environment.

Parent trees are known for their high adaptability to natural challenges, making them resistant to damage from pests and diseases. In addition, they produce large amounts of high quality seeds that give rise to plants capable of surviving in adverse conditions.

Parent trees, due to their rapid growth, height and robustness, are capable of forming a dense forest canopy. This provides protection to other living things in the ecosystem from extreme weather conditions like the intense sun and the heavy rains.

The current state of the Atlantic Forest

The Atlantic Forest is an ecosystem found along the Atlantic coast of northeastern Brazil. It also extends inland into northeastern Argentina and eastern Paraguay. It is a region rich in biodiversity and home to numerous unique species, both in terms of flora and fauna.

The biodiversity of this place is incredible due to the large number of ecosystems it houses. Here are numerous species of plants, animals, insects and microorganisms. In fact, it is considered one of the most diverse biomes in the world in terms of biological variety.

Unfortunately, due to extensive deforestation for agriculture, urban development and clear cutting, only 12% of the original forest that previously existed remains. It is interesting to note that the Atlantic Forest, before being invaded by Portuguese colonizers almost 500 years ago, was considered the second largest tropical forest in the world, second only to the Amazon.

Mother trees to care for vulnerable forests

The forest faces several threats that make it one of the most vulnerable biomes on the planet. The importance of preserving this ecosystem lies in its biological richness, as it is home to numerous endemic species, such as jaguars, toucans and sloths.

In addition, this habitat is home to more than 150 million people, which represents approximately one third of the total population of South America.

The natural resources of the Atlantic Forest are essential to sustain the lives of many people and species that inhabit the region. Among these resources are providing clean air, healthy soils and climate regulation. In this way, the forest plays a fundamental role not only for the ecological balance, but also for the human communities that depend on it.

The Amazon rainforest ecosystem is not only rich in biodiversity, but also plays a crucial role in sustaining living beings. It provides resources such as medicine, food, and water. In fact, the Paraná River, which runs through the Amazon rainforest, is a vital source of water for approximately 60% of the Brazilian population.

In addition, the river is also an extremely important hydroelectric source for Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. In fact, more than 60% of hydroelectric power generated in these countries comes from the river.

WWF and HP collaborate to save the Atlantic Forest

The partnership between WWF and HP is primarily aimed at helping HP achieve its deforestation-free paper supply goals. Together they work to advance sustainable practices in the paper supply chain and protect the world’s forests. This collaboration started at the end of 2019 and had as its main objective the restoration of 550 hectares (1,340 acres) of threatened forests in Brazil.

To achieve this goal, nature-based solutions were used by the organizations involved. China has implemented these strategies with the aim of improving the management of 220,000 acres (89,000 hectares) of forest land.

In 2021, WWF and HP collaborated to strengthen their partnership by setting new goals. In April of the same year, HP committed to combating any form of deforestation and land degradation associated with its paper products.

So, in October, organizations decided to address the environmental effects of printing using HP printers in forests. Since then, HP and WWF have been dedicated to protecting and managing nearly one million acres of forested landscape. This area covers approximately five times the size of New York City.

Due to centuries of deforestation and overexploitation of heart of palm in Brazil, juçara palms are becoming increasingly rare in the forests. WWF and HP collaborated with local partners such as REGUA on a forest landscape restoration project involving the replanting of Juçara trees.

This species is considered a Mother Tree and its reintroduction will contribute to the recovery of the ecosystem. This initiative aims to guarantee the long-term stability of the Atlantic Forest, promoting the growth and development of the biome, as well as the living organisms that inhabit it.

Restoration with parent trees

In the process of restoring the forest landscape, it is essential to establish a database that contains information about the forest’s parent trees. This tool allows you to track and evaluate the progress of trees based on their geographic locations.

Local teams are also in charge of collecting tree seeds that are used to grow seedlings. These seedlings receive extra love and care before being replanted in the restoration sites.

Between 2019 and 2022, thanks to the support of WWF and HP, local organizations in Brazil managed to plant a total of 390,735 seedlings of 220 different species, including Juçara palms. This demonstrates a joint effort by these entities to conserve the environment and promote biodiversity in the region.

High-impact nature-based strategies are currently being used in $80 million projects to combat ecosystem loss and increase climate resilience. This action sets a precedent for other companies and motivates corporations to adopt similar environmental measures.

Where is the WWF and HP partnership going?

HP and WWF are collaborating to promote biodiversity in and around the Atlantic Forest. As part of this initiative, the planting of approximately 19,700 additional acres of forest is planned, which is equivalent to approximately 8,000 hectares. This is very important as its primary objective is to improve the protection and management of approximately 128,000 acres (52,000 hectares) of protected land.

The ultimate goal is to carry out conservation projects that ensure the prosperity of the biome and its living organisms, including people, plants and animals, over generations.

The reforestation project carried out by HP and WWF in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest shows promising results. By planting parent trees such as Juçara palms, an extra boost is given to the ecosystem to thrive and recover. This happens because these plants promote the growth of other organisms.

Using natural solutions such as those mentioned in this article, climate change mitigation can be increased by 30%. Achieving the 2050 targets set by the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C would require these additional actions.

With information from www.inhabitat.com

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