Aimorés, MG - Brasil | 2020-07-06 - Good morning!  
About us - Looking back

The First Step

Having decided to create the Instituto Terra in 1998, its founders – Lélia Deluiz Wanick Salgado and Sebastião Salgado – sought recognition of the property as a Private Nature Heritage Reserve (PNHR). That same year, the Bulcão Farm received the first ever environmental license granted to a Natural Heritage Reserve of Humanity in a devastated and damaged region - an area where not a single stretch of forest could be preserved, a place where work had to start from scratch.

The Blueprint for Restoration

This was elaborated in 1998 by the renowned forestry engineer, Renato de Jesus, who at the time was responsible for the reforestation projects of the Brazilian company, VALE. The project’s initial objectives remain the Instituto Terra’s guiding principles to this day: reforestation, education and research.

The First Investor

The Brazilian Fund for Biodiversity (FUNBIO) proposed a system of joint financing: it offered to match every dollar invested by any other interested party. In other words, it pledged to cover fifty percent of the initial budget – and it started by providing $500,000 – so long as the Salgados came up with a similar amount. NATURA, a Brazilian cosmetics firm, and the regional government of Asturias in Spain donated funds to set the project in motion. Additional financing was provided by the Lannan Foundation, the Tides Foundation and other organizations and individuals in the United States.

The First Seedlings

In the first years of planting, which began in 1999, the Natural Reserve of VALE supplied the seedlings. This partnership lasted until 2002, when planting began with some of the seedlings now produced in the Institute’s own conservatory.

The First Planting

The first planting at the Bulcão Farm was carried out by pupils from the schools of Aimorés, Minas Gerais. This awakened the interest of the local inhabitants and marked the beginning of a close relationship with the community.

The First Nursery

With space to grow 80,000 seedlings per year, our first nursery was donated by “SOS Mata Atlántica” and by the Brazilian branch of Conservation International. In 2002, the Ministry for the Environment financed the extension of the nursery to give it an annual capacity of 400,000 seedlings. And in 2008, the Fund for Recuperation, Protection and Sustainable Development of the Water Basins of the State of Minas Gerais, FHIDRO, funded the further enlargement of the conservatory into one able to produce one million seedlings a year.


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