REGUA was delighted to receive 35 students from Rio de Janeiro’s Federal University undertaking their first MBE field trip.
This is a renowned business post-graduate course in Environmental Management aimed at preparing students to face the world of green responsibility in industry and government.
The group was able to learn about REGUA’s reforestation programme and see all stages of planting progress. They enjoyed the day and returned to Rio with a valuable experience in the efforts needed to restore the Atlantic Rainforest.
REGUA received members of the Rio de Janeiro voluntary Forestry Brigade, a grass roots organization made up of professional people from Rio city who are committed to conservation.
The Team arrived on a lovely Saturday morning to enjoy a walk around the wetlands and discuss opportunities to support REGUA’s work. Among the issues discussed during the day were potential for help in combatting hunting and forest fires, first aid courses and community engagement through education programmes, these are all issues which could be used to support landowners across the globe. With REGUA’s successful Ranger Team, Community, Young Ranger and School education programme we were delighted to host the event and share our own experiences.
The Brigade would like to include REGUA as a place where they can stage weekend events including hiking on the forest trails on the prowl for any hunters.
Many members are retired but totally committed to forest protection and very keen to support REGUA activities.
REGUA’s Young ranger Miguel Conceição has successfully completed his guide training course with honours. The course was administrated by the State organisation, INEA and Três Picos State Park with the aim to qualify and prepare youths as professional guides in the region’s parks.
The course focuses on youngsters who like nature and Miguel was selected after showing a real aptitude for nature in our Young Ranger programme.
Everyone at REGUA is very proud of his achievement – it just shows that with determination and perseverance one can achieve great things. Our education officer Professor Carlos is thrilled with his star pupil however, he is adamant, that all of the youngsters participating in this course have the capability to achieve this type of success.
As Miguel says, “It is my dream to become a biologist”. His mother is rightly very proud and overjoyed as the course has inspired and instilled many values with the local youngsters, and says REGUA has been the best thing to happen to her family. Wow!!!
We owe it to people like Miguel who believe in what we are doing and are prepared to take up the opportunities that are offered their life. Thank you also to INEA for offering the chance to change this young man’s life.
REGUA’s Prof. Carlos held a workshop with students
ts from a Cachoeiras de Macacu Secondary School. They were here to find out about the importance of trees to the provision of reliable clean water.
After a short talk, they watched a practical demonstration by Prof. Carlos, showing how when the land is devoid of trees, often compacted, eroded and maybe built upon, the rain runs straight off into the nearby river courses. When the rain is heavy this can lead to flooding, but in any event it takes with it silt and any residual chemicals previously used on the land.
On the other side of our model valley there are trees. Their roots bind the soil, reducing erosion and allowing the surface of the land to accept the rain, filtering it and slowing down the risk of any flooding. After watching as water was poured over both sides of the valley, highlighting the differences, the students went off to see the reforested areas around the wetlands.
Rio’s State Environmental Institute (INEA) organized a summer training course called “Trail Guiding” whose target audience were participants from the local areas of Cachoeiras de Macacu and Guapimirim. Thirty people enrolled in this course including REGUA’s young ranger Miguel – just shows how inspiring REGUA can be!
The aim is to prepare local guides to help visitors at the Três Picos Park and Natural Park at Macacu. The guides love nature and need to gain experience, knowledge and confidence to show visitors all the beauty and diversity of the Atlantic Forest.
Part of the course covers Bird guiding, and as Regua’s guides have become well known for their skill and knowledge, we were happy to host the birdwatching event around our restored wetlands. Adilei de Carvalho and Cirilo Vieira, Regua’s bird guides, were in charge of the training, giving a talk on what birding is about and showed them some of the most representative lowland species in the wetlands.
Miguel Ferreira de Conceição is a young lad from the local community of Matumbo who has a passion for nature.
He comes from a humble background and is now 21 years old, but since joining the Young Ranger programme seven years ago, he found his desire for the future – wanting to work in tourism.
REGUA’s resident teacher Professor Carlos has always been supportive and encouraged him, and a month ago Miguel participated in a test that offered opportunities for a professional “Park visitor guide” course organized by the State Government Institute (INEA).
We were all thrilled that of the 50 applicants, Miguel took third place; a testimony to the value and contribution of REGUA’s Young Ranger programme.
Miguel has started the course and is rightly proud of his achievements. It is rewarding and very satisfying for us to see direct life-changing benefits that can reach deep into other people lives.
REGUA’s Young Rangers programme has been very successful this year with a huge participation by local adolescents.
REGUA’S teacher, locally known as ‘Professor Carlos’ has divided the entire group of 30 children into two age groups helping to keep them focused on the subjects he believes important.
This year marked its 11th anniversary and the results could not be more positive.
The aim of the programme is to remind the children that not only do they live in a precious environment but they are responsible for its care. The weekly visits to REGUA provide opportunities for lessons in the environment, social development punctuated with walks and visits, activities in the local community, lectures by resident researchers and excursions. The Young Rangers love it and every year increasingly more children want to join the programme.
Our Young Ranger project covers many aspects of the REGUA project and the biodiversity of the Atlantic Forest. Sara Colmenares, a Colombian lady undertaking her doctorate degree at REGUA, is studying palm diversity along the altitudinal gradient at REGUA and within the Serra dos Órgãos National Park. Sara recently gave an excellent talk to the Young Rangers about palms and we’d like to say thank you to Sara for a most interesting talk.
Continuing REGUA’s education programme, we were happy to welcome “Centro de Estudos Valladares” school from Cachoeiras de Macacu which recently held it’s annual Education seminar at REGUA’s conservation Centre. Eighty secondary school children came to REGUA to share the event accompanied by 15 teachers.
The essence of the series of activities within the Seminar is to stimulate citizenship, by creating responsibility and encouraging the school children to understand that one day they will be members of society. The classroom activities included interactive discussions on history of the municipality; Atlantic rainforest biodiversity and quality of life. The outdoor activities included walks using cameras as a means of perception. All these activities are wrapped around environmental themes, ending in a panel of photos of nature and debates.
The children loved their visit and behaved very well. The event was a success and everyone had a great time promising to return to REGUA at the end of the year. The teachers also really enjoyed it and worked on presenting to the children the history of REGUA by researching the website. The results were amazing and left us very happy to see that what the project is doing is generating an understanding of our mission and their approval.
Funchal school recently organised a Science Day in which the Black-Fronted-Piping Guan (Aburria jacutinga) was the star of the day.
The reintroduction project of this species at REGUA will soon take place and Livia Dias, the biologist in charge of monitoring them was present with her young son, Artur.
With models of the bird and information on the re-introduction process, and the part that these arboreal birds play in the overall biodiversity of the forest, the day was a great success. Both Raquel Locke and Prof. Carlos from REGUA were delighted to attend.
Meeting with local members of the community and especially education in local schools is a vital part of the re-introduction project and also fits well with REGUA’s mission to further environmental education work in the area.
Congratulations to the headmaster, teachers, pupils and staff for this wonderful event.