The latest news on our second GGV Project from REGUA’s Vice-President, Raquel Locke:
The much expected rain has finally arrived and the entire landscape has been relieved from a near two-month drought.
The GGV Petrobras funded project aims at restoring a further 60 hectares of degraded land with native trees over a two-year period. (The first project restored 100 hectares).
On average, 1667 trees will be planted per hectare by a team of six Rangers who are very keen to start with their work. An array of 100 native Atlantic Forest tree species will be planted in this area. Tree matrices in REGUA´s forests provide the template for our planting of species.
The young trees are grown in REGUA’s nursery. The seeds are carefully brought down from the forest by our nursery staff. Once in the nursery, seeds are either stored or sown in seed beds according to their characteristics and demands.
It is interesting to note that some tree species need shade all through their time in the nursery, whilst other species need half or full exposure to sunlight. Their pioneer, early secondary, late secondary and climax species characteristics dictate these requirements.
The rainy season heralds the start of our planting season, beginning in October and ending late March.
Staff and tree saplings will be transported to the planting sites which are on average some six kilometres from REGUA´s Conservation Centre.
The much-improved road access to Pai Velho area in Areal vicinity has just been completed which should make the task more efficient.
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 programme has just celebrated its tenth year of activity.
Designed to attract local children enrolled at schools, the programme offers a weekly afternoon visit managed by the REGUA part-time teacher Professor Carlos. The children are aged between 11 and 15 years of age and receive extra tutorials. These usually centre on subjects related to the environment but equally discussing social development.
The youngsters are really interested in the walks in the reserve and the visits to surrounding areas of interest. This year we shall take them to Serra do Órgãos National Park, Três Picos Park and as far away as Rio de Janeiro. It’s precisely on these visits that they start realising that they live in an area of outstanding natural beauty and begin to understand REGUA’s mission in the conservation of the Guapiaçu Valley.
These children grow knowing that REGUA has a non-offensive and long term objective that seeks a long term protection of the forests surrounding their homes and when they leave home and perhaps live in other areas of Brazil, they can take their experience with them, becoming multipliers of principles.