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Global Ideas

Brazil’s Araucaria forests under pressure

Araucaria wood was once Brazil’s leading export. But deforestation and overexploitation of the country’s coastal forests have reduced the once mighty pine species to a symbol of the dangers threatening biodiversity.

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Project goal: Establishing protected areas in the Brazilian coastal forest
Implementation: Reforestation, support for farmers and training rangers
Size: 450,000 hectares of protected area so far, a further million hectares planned
Volume: 9.6 million Euros in first project phase (since 2013), a further 14.3 million provided by the German government’s International Climate Initiative (ICI)

Brazil’s coastal Atlantic forest is among the world’s top five destinations home to much of the Earth’s species diversity. It stretches over the entire Brazilian coast and extends into the country’s interior in some places. But the unique biodiversity is shrinking. Just about eight percent of the original area remains untouched. Protecting the forests remains a challenge, both for the government and the residents. One tree, in particular, is a symbol of the coastal forests – the Araucaria, also known as Brazilian pine. In the 1950s- and 60s, the tree was Brazil's number one export. The tree is easy to cut and its soft wood can be quickly processed. Now, the Araucaria has made it to the red list of highly endangered species. Only about three percent of the tree's original population remains today.

A film by Vanessa Fischer

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