One major process that has to be reserved is deforestation and the resulting feedback loops of this practice: Once a forest is fragmented to small patches, there is less rain, which in turn makes the forest more susceptible to wildfires.This process can lead to the savannization of previous tropical forests, difficulting future restoration. In other words, the more human-made deforestation, the more natural deforestation will take place, e.g. due to wildfires. The exposed soils after deforestation and occurring wildfires release an immense amount of carbon in the atmosphere, once again intensifying global climate change. With 2021 being one of the record years in deforestation (in Brazil), Woonderlands faces an especially serious challenge to tackle in 2022.
Figure 1: Feedback loop of deforestation and forest fires (Tasker & Arima, 2016)
Forests are a great carbon sink and conservation and reforestation is a key aspect of reversing climate change. The demand for offsetting carbon is big, but despite international efforts there is a lack of coordinated work to combat deforestation and reverse already severely deforested and deteriorated areas, especially in emerging markets. We see that by restoring tropical forests and incentivising agroforestry systems we have two viable, scalable and necessary solutions at hand.
How will we seed a forest on degraded tropical land and how can I help?
Woonderlands is working to reverse climate change by restoring degraded land. We are a group of young, enthusiastic, environmental entrepreneurs that believe in the positive impact created by seeding new forests and agroforestry systems! We want to restore our first 100 hectares in 2022. To do this, we first need to start with the right seeds. The quality and origin of the seeds is a key issue for us: We decided to only use native forest seeds, collected by local and indigenous people. And this is where we need your help! With just a 10€ donation you can help us to buy enough seeds to restore up to 100m2 of native forest. We can be reassured that our seeds will be socially just and sustainable by collaborating and buying our seeds from Xingu Seeds Network and their partners that follow the same principles (e.g. Rede de Sementes do Cerrado). We aim to practice reforestation with direct seeding as this practice of reforestation is more sustainable in many aspects, one of them is a lower use of plastic materials usually used for the seedlings (see figure 2). In this practice, the quality of the seeds is central, since all other variables involved in the germination (rain, wind, pests) cannot be controlled as in the case of a nursery.
Figure 2: Direct seeding – the quality of the seeds is central, since all other variables (rain, wind, pests) involved in the germination and first month’s of a tree life cannot be controlled as in the case of seedlings produced in a controlled greenhouse (Wikipedia, 2021)
The Xingu Seeds Network is internationally recognized by having created a network of collectors of local and indigenous communities in the Xingu Region in the heart of Mato Grosso, Brazil. The Network has a very holistic approach around native seeds, including training, seed quality control, storage, restoration services, etc. Their work involves 30 organisations and around 450 seed collector groups situated in 19 municipalities of the Xingu region. These groups include 6 indigenous people, 14 rural settlements, 4 indigenous lands and 11 villages. There are a total of four storage houses and one main office in the city of Canarana. Next year the organisation will be celebrating their 15th anniversary.
We want to unite our forces and ask for your help to maintain the unique work of Xingu Seeds Network. You will also contribute to start Woonderland’s journey by contributing to seeding our first 100 hectares! Check out our donation campaign here!
To get more information about who is behind the idea of Woonderlands, visit our Team page. For more info about the Xingu Seeds Network visit their website.
Tasker, K. A., & Arima, E. Y. (2016). Fire regimes in Amazonia: The relative roles of policy and precipitation. Anthropocene, 14(October), 46–57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ancene.2016.06.001
Wikipedia. (n.d.). Direct Seeding. Retrieved from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Direct_seeding.jpg
WWF. (2018). What are the biggest drivers of tropical deforestation? They may not be what you think. Retrieved from https://www.worldwildlife.org/magazine/issues/summer-2018/articles/what-are-the-biggest-drivers-of-tropical-deforestation