Restoring the rainforest Restoring the rainforest Rosário da Limeira, Brazil Iracambi Research Center
Join us in one of the world's top biodiversity hotspots: Brazil's Atlantic Forest, to gain firsthand experience in biodiversity conservation and sustainability!
Research Coordination in the Rainforest Rosário da Limeira, Brazil Iracambi Research Center
Researcher, students and volunteers from 65 countries have spent time at the Iracambi Research Center in Brazil's Atlantic Forest. Come help us coordinate the program!
Photographers and Filmmakers in the Forest Rosário da Limeira, Brazil Iracambi Research Center
Calling photographers and filmmakers to take amazing images of the Brazilian rainforest, its fauna and flora and traditional rural people!
Giving Tuesday in the Rainforest! Rosário da Limeira, Brazil Iracambi Research Center
Giving Tuesday is the day for giving back - after the craziness of Black Friday. Help our Rainforest campaign to do even better at Saving Forests and Changing Lives!
Give a voice to the rainforest! Rosário da Limeira, Brazil Iracambi Research Center
Tell the world about the Brazilian rainforest from the front line of biodiversity conservation and sustainability!

5 Project reviews of Iracambi Research Center

Project Details

Working with local and international students and volunteers to Save Forests and Change Lives in the Brazilian rainforest.

Iracambi is a community of people across the world whose vision is to see  Brazil's beautiful Atlantic Forest restored, with prosperous communities in a flourishing landscape.  Our motto is Saving Forests and Changing Lives and we invite you to join local and international students and volunteers at the Iracambi Rainforest Research Center to gain firsthand experience in reforestation, regenerative agriculture, medicinal plants, community outreach and sustainable living. We’re planting native and productive tree species to increase incomes, protect water sources and increase habitat for biodiversity. We're collecting forest seeds, preparing and caring for young seedlings, planting them out and monitoring progress. Our polyculture plots combine native trees with a variety of crops, providing green manure, healthy food, and high quality shade-grown coffee. We're cataloging medicinal plants, researching traditional uses, and experimenting with natural products incorporating plant extracts. 

That’s all about saving forests – so what about changing lives? Here’s where we work with local farmers, school kids, volunteers and visitors on outreach programs designed to raise awareness of the important issues of how to live sustainably, and how to encourage more and more people to join us exciting task of protecting one of the most important forests in the world.  

The Iracambi logo shows what we are all about. The Brazilian story goes that the forest is on fire and all the animals are fleeing to safety. All except for the humming bird who is flying towards the fire with a drop of water in her beak. “Silly little bird,” says the eagle as he looks down at her. “Don’t you realize that you’ll never put the fire out all by yourself?” “You’re right,” says the humming bird. “I know I can’t do it by myself. But I’m doing my part.”

We’ve been doing our part since 1999, and with your help we’ll be here as long as it takes. Come join us, and be part of the change!

Locations

The Atlantic Forest
One of the world’s top five biodiversity hotspots, the Atlantic Forest is a place of extraordinary beauty and a treasure house of biodiversity. Tragically, much of its immense variety of flora and fauna is severely endangered by habitat loss, and the Woolly Spíder Monkey, symbol of the forest, is the most severely threatened of all.

The Atlantic Forest lies between the states of Rio Grande do Norte and Rio Grande do Sul stretching from the coast to the inland mountains. 
Different from the better known Amazon Forest, the Atlantic Forest, although also a rainforest with an average rainfall of 2000 mm pa, is not so hot as the Amazon, with average temperatures that vary from 14 – 21 C. This contributes to the enormous variety of plants and animals that the forest shelters.

Biodiversity 
The Atlantic Forest contains an even richer variety of habitat for flora and fauna than the Amazon Forest, with the world´s largest diversity of woody plants per hectare (458 species) found in the Atlantic Forest. While in the whole of North America approximately 810 bird species have been registered, the state of Minas Gerais – with an area slightly smaller than the state of Texas – contains 750 species. In the forests around Iracambi the list, still incomplete, has already reached 260 species.
An extraordinary number of species are endemic, being found nowhere else in the world. These include
  • 80% of the primates
  • 74% of the bromeliads
  • 64% of the palm species
  • 54% of the trees
  • 40% of the mammals, butterflies, reptiles, amphibians and birds.

This enormous biological richness is severely threatened. Figures published in 2003 by IBAMA, the Brazilian Environmental Protection Institute, show that a very high proportion of all endangered species in the country are found in the Atlantic Forest. Of Brazil’s 69 severely endangered mammals 38 come from the Atlantic Rainforest, as do 18 of the 160 endangered birds and 13 of the 20 endangered reptile species. There are 21 species and subspecies of monkeys found in the Atlantic Forest, of which 14 are endangered, 13 are endemic and some are on the verge of extinction. 

We hear a lot about the destruction of the Amazon Forest but the  fact is that the plight of the Atlantic Forest is far more critical. 20% of the Amazon Forest has gone, but 93% of the Atlantic Forest has vanished, together with the species that used to live there. The rate of deforestation continues to be highly alarming. In 1998 the Atlantic Forest was declared a national heritage. The government prohibited further forest clearing, but land degradation continues.


The Serra do Brigadeiro mountains
The Serra do Brigadeiro State Park shelters the most important remnant of seasonal semi-deciduous Atlantic Forest in the state of Minas Gerais, it’s part of the UN Biosphere Reserve, and better still, it’s right on Iracambi’s doorstep! The park’s craggy mountains and deep ravines protect an extraordinary range of biodiversity, including the largest known population of Brachyteles hypoxanthus, the Woolly Spider or muriqui monkey.

The forests shelter a great variety of endangered animal and plant species, some of which are still unknown to science. The Park’s ecosystem is rich in plant species such as peroba, ipê,  candeias, jequitibas, canjaranas and palms. The mists that cover the peaks and Alpine pastures for much of the year provide ideal conditions for creating an ecosystem rich in orchids, ferns, bromeliads, different varieties of grass, shrubs and cactus.

Among the variety of fauna in the State Park are puma, jaguaritica, wild pig, deer, wild dog, banded anteaters, squirrels, sloths, masked titi monkeys, and marmosets. Eleven separate groups of muriqui have been found in the area. A paradise for birders, its extensive list includes the dusky legged guan, the maroon bellied parakeet, the yellow bellied toucan and the bare-throated bellbird.

History of the park
The idea of creating a park in the Serra do Brigadeiro mountain range dates back to the 1980s. In the early 1990s a proposal was made to include all the land above 1000 m, covering an area of 33,000 ha. This met with considerable resistance from family farmers living in the region, and there began a process of debate as to the best way of preserving the forest without endangering the livelihoods of the smallholders.

As a result of these discussions the park boundaries were defined as the core conservation area of 13,000 ha, later extended to 15,000 ha. The mission of the park is to protect the natural heritage of the Atlantic Rainforest in the Serra do Brigadeiro, whilst facilitating scientific research, education and ecotourism, and contributing towards the development of communities in the area.

It’s a privilege for Iracambi to be located so close to the park, and we do all we can to support park staff in their efforts to care for the environment and win hearts and minds among the local community. For many years we have played an active role in the advisory board of the park, and we are committed to protect and expand the area of protected forest in which we are lucky enough to live.





The main focus of the project is on
NPO Status
Yes, registered non-profit organization
Foundation Year
1999
Contact Person
Virgílio Dornelas
Virgílio Dornelas
Spoken Languages
Portuguese
English

Social Impact

Here at Iracambi we’ve been Saving Forests and Changing Lives for over twenty years! During that time, we’ve planted over 130, 000 native forest trees, founded the first program of environmental education in the region, set up the first web-based GIS, created thousands of acres of protected areas, hosted 2000 international students and volunteers from 65 countries, and impacted the lives of thousands of people in the Serra do Brigadeiro mountains. 

Iracambi alumni (we call them Iracambistas) can be found across the world in academia, business, the arts, government, international organizations, working as doctors, teachers, lawyers, scientists, personal coaches, writers, film makers, GIS techies, farmers and all manner of activities directed at making the world a better place. Whether you spend a week with us or six months, you will go out enriched, and you will enrich your surroundings wherever they may be.

Pursued Sustainable Development Goals

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