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The project from Forest Trends’ Communities & Territorial Governance Initiative aims to strengthen livelihoods for indigenous communities

LINCOLN, Nebraska (November 7, 2023) – Forest Trends and the Arbor Day Foundation will expand their partnership through a new initiative, the Arboredo Project, to strengthen Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) livelihoods and plant one million additional trees in Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest.

Brazil’s leaders have committed to restoring 12 million hectares (ha) of land by 2030. Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest, a critical biodiversity hotspot that is home to 70 percent of the country’s population, offers tremendous potential to restore up to 17 million ha.

The Arbor Day Foundation and Forest Trends’ Communities and Territorial Governance Initiative will plant one million trees in the Ribeira and Paraíba Valleys of the Atlantic Rainforest in São Paulo State. They will work in direct partnership with IPLCs, family farmers, local cooperatives, and NGOs, such as CooperCentral VR, Coobio, and Akarui. The project will focus on native species of the Atlantic Rainforest to help strengthen economic opportunities and increase food security, forest carbon storage, and biodiversity in IPLC and family farmer territories. Native species slated for early plantings include, Jussara (Euterpe edulis), a type of açaí, and local fruits, such as Cambucá (Plinia edulis) and Grumixama (Eugenia brasiliensis).

Indigenous communities successfully manage 80 percent of the world’s biodiversity and almost a quarter of all carbon stored in tropical forests. Deforestation rates are also significantly lower in forests controlled by IPLCs, even compared to government-controlled reserves. However, these communities face threats from land grabbing, illegal activities and exploitation, and land conflicts, as well as challenges in directly accessing economic opportunities.

The Arboredo Project (Projeto Arboredo in original Portuguese) builds on current reforestation partnerships in the Brazilian Amazon between Forest Trends, the Arbor Day Foundation, the Zoró, Paiter Suruí, and 14 other indigenous peoples to plant agroforestry systems. The Arbor Day Foundation recently assessed global forests most in need of reforestation and identified the Atlantic Rainforest as a priority region. The Foundation utilizes its Forest Priority Index to determine where trees can have the most impact on climate change, wildlife, and indigenous communities.

“Our partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation over the past three years has proven that sustainable, forest-based value chains in partnership with indigenous and local communities are a successful strategy to improve indigenous livelihoods and governance, conserve biodiversity, and mitigate climate change,” said Beto Borges, Director of Forest Trends’ Communities and Territorial Governance Initiative. “In expanding this partnership, we can scale these benefits across additional biomes and communities in Brazil.”

“We believe that planting trees is an investment in the health of the people and wildlife around them and we’re grateful for Forest Trends’ commitment to that vision,” said Dan Lambe, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “This project in the Atlantic Rainforest will help support the growth of economic opportunities for local communities and safeguard one of the world’s most critical habitats.”

“We are deeply encouraged by the growing recognition of indigenous peoples and local communities as the best stewards of the world’s forests and as essential partners in conserving biodiversity and mitigating climate change,” said Michael Jenkins, CEO and Founding President of Forest Trends. “Our continued partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation is part of a larger effort to scale this critical restoration work across Brazil and other forest countries around the world.”

About Forest Trends

Forest Trends works to conserve forests and other ecosystems through the creation and wide adoption of a broad range of environmental finance, markets, and other payment and incentive mechanisms. Our Communities and Territorial Governance Initiative partners with indigenous and other forest communities on innovations to secure their rights, livelihoods, and cultures through a strategy built on advocacy, economic self-determination, and cultural integrity.

About the Arbor Day Foundation

Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation is the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees. Together with our partners, we have helped plant more than 500 million trees in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to lead toward a world where trees are used to solve issues critical to survival. Through our members, partners and programs, the Arbor Day Foundation inspires people across the globe to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information is available at

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