Wo we are?
The Ekko Brazil Institute (IEB) is an NGO with the status of OSCIP - Civil Society Organization of Public Interest, based in Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil, with the mission of coordinating and supporting projects that focus on biodiversity conservation and conservation tourism. It has found in tourism an important ally in the construction of new environmental values, to study and maintain biodiversity and the conservation of ecosystems and endangered species as a way to contribute to improving the quality of life and to provide a positive legacy for future generations.
What do we do?
The Instituto Ekko Brasil's main objective is to coordinate and/or support conservation projects that focus on conservation tourism and biodiversity conservation. Ekko Brasil also has as one of its main objectives to improve the quality of life of the communities present in the surroundings of the projects it develops, through the use of sustainable practices applied to the conservation of biodiversity and conservation tourism. The main objective is the study of the ecology of the Brazilian otter (Lontra longicaudis), in addition to the search for solutions for the conservation of the species. Environmental education and social mobilization represent a transversal theme of the project. Through the Visitation Center and the Animal Refuge, the IEB is open to the general public and educational institutions. The purpose is to raise awareness of the importance of conservation of the Brazilian ecosystems, biodiversity, and the Neotropical otter. The IEB is also licensed as a Conservation Breeding Sanctuary for the Mustelidae Family (otter and its relatives). In the sanctuary, the project keeps orphans that cannot be released to the wild anymore.
Where do we work?
Instituto Ekko Brasil is located on an attractive island in the south of Brazil, well known for its natural beauty, wonderful beaches, surfing, sailing, and scuba diving. We are just a few steps from the Lagoa do Peri, which is very important for the reproduction of otters, that live in these areas all year around and reproduce mainly during spring. The waters of the Peri Lake are rich in crustaceans and fishes and surrounded by mountains covered by Atlantic Forest. Peri Lake, which is a freshwater lake, is the main base site for the project and is located in a conservation area 30 km from the center of the town Florianópolis. It has an area of approximately 20 square kilometers, divided into three sectors: a Leisure Area which includes dunes and the lake; a Cultural Area where traditional villages can be found; and a Biological Reserve Area, which includes Atlantic Forest vegetation. The climate is humid, with an annual average precipitation of 1,406 mm and annual average temperature of 20°C. The local culture is açoriana (Brazilian Portuguese), inherited from the first Portuguese navigators and very traditional. The official language is Portuguese, though Spanish is a useful second. Most of the researchers at the project base speak English and Spanish. People living in the surroundings commonly speak, in addition to Portuguese, Spanish, German and English. Locals are very friendly and treat visitors well, displaying a lot of interest and curiosity. The area is very safe, free from diseases. With normal precautions, you can walk any time of the day or night.
Our Mission is the maintenance of biodiversity, conservation of ecosystems and endangered species, through research and social mobilization, as a way to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of communities, leaving a positive legacy for future generations.
Our Vision is to become a national and international reference in conservation tourism, biodiversity studies, conservation of ecosystems and protection of endangered species.
Our Values are based on serious, organized and independent work, based on the planning and management of available financial resources. The information generated serves to subsidize actions aimed at environmental conservation and improvement of the quality of life, with ethical responsibility and honesty. In the work environment, the actions are multi and interdisciplinary, where the differences of each are evidenced, and add up, in order to create a healthy and productive work environment.
Instituto Ekko Brasil intends to reach self-sustainable by the end of 2017, based on our own value chain. By 2018 we expect to have a program for re-introduction of orphans in the wild.
Who are we looking for?
You don’t need any special skills. You should be prepared to share the work and collaborate with the researchers. You will have plenty of time to explore the environment on your own. Safety rules, however, must be followed. The project can have students and can do partnerships with other institutions such as schools or Universities. Students can do their research work with us, making use of all the facilities. The project has a lab very well equipped for research and lots of equipment for fieldwork. University students with long-term participation may work on special projects and may also submit a project proposal to be carried out under the joint supervision of their university supervisor and project staff.
Why choose us?
Instituto Ekko Brasil completed 30 years of activity in 2016. The interaction between ecovolunteers and the project represents a collaborative action, where the exchange of experience is the greatest gratification. To date, over 1000 ecovolunteers, passed by the project, participating in the activities developed there, living the everyday life of a research team. With all these experience, the project has established itself as a national and international reference in the Neotropical otter studies. There were many years of hard work, preparation and training. Currently, for example, the organization that runs the project is an important member of the IUCN Otter Specialist Group (Group of otters experts of the International Union for Conservation of Nature) and coordinator in Latin America for Neotropical Otter sub-group in IUCN OZ Task Force (International Union for Conservation of Nature, task force group for otters in zoos and aquariums). The big difference, which has more drawn the attention of international experts is the IEB’s capacity successfully integrate the research with social mobilization aimed at public policy. The project needs to know more about otters for their preservation. So please join for anything from one week to several months for hands-on participation in this field research and conservation work.