Reforestation Tourism

Reforestation Tourism

On this page we will explain in more detail our reforestation tourism concept. We feel such a program has the potential to help “shift the equation” with regards to the loss of forest cover in the Amazon — towards a world where this forest is growing, back to where it was once again. This through the multiplying positive environmental benefits from such a program. First, the direct benefit from the hands-on contribution of participants, to the further benefits from more and bigger projects and programs by ACRAA (due to the revenue these participants provide), to the wider regional environmental benefits from this conservation-based economic activity, and finally to the benefit globally as these people go back home both within Brazil and throughout the world — with an understanding and desire to lobby for change.

Reforestation Tourism

There is a rapidly growing environmental consciousness in the world. This is especially true of many now with regards to thier personal, family and community carbon footprint. Air travel has been particularly demonized, and rightly so as this is the most carbon-intensive activity we do. In Sweden, for example, just before the pandemic, a new slogan was going around – “Flygskam” or “Flight Shame” – the new Swedish word to describe the guilt of air travel. And this sentiment is growing.

But there is still a very strong desire by many to go out and explore exotic new places, and coupled with this also an equal desire to contribute to the betterment of the world in some way. But doing so in a manner that can be environmentally justified, especially with respect to carbon emissions [1]? 

We will provide a way for your travels to be part of the solution.

You will travel to the Amazon and, through a Reforestation Tourism program coordinated by ACRAA, participate directly in reforestation activities and the establishment sustainable agroforestry-based farming systems. By doing so you make a hands-on contribution towards the protection and restoration of native ecosystems here, while helping to increase environmental awareness and build a more environmentally sustainable and prosperous economy. And through all this you also get a carbon-neutral vacation! [1][2]

We believe many people would be interested in such a “Reforestation Tourism” experience. And Alter do Chão, with its already existing tourism infrastructure and services, in the heart of the Amazon, is the perfect venue for such a venture [3]. 

[1] With regards to carbon emissions associated with your travels, it will be ACRAA’s job to demonstrate, with data (partnerships with universities will be important here), that our activies are resulting in considerable carbon sequestration, and considerably more trees and forest. But likely the true effect over time, and one that people will also see, will be way beyond what we can practically measure. 

[2] For an anlysis of the carbon footprint associated with air travel to the amazon, and how our program will offset this – click here.

[3] Note that Alter do Chão is a very safe and secure location as well, with thousands of visitors, and many families, coming here from all parts of Brazil, South America and the world each year. 

Here we define Reforestation Tourism. Reforestation Tourism is the provision of guided and professionally led courses, workshops and excursions focusing on topics that advance the restoration and protection of native ecosystems in the Amazon, and on topics that allow communities to live in balance and harmony with the forest. As such a wide range of activities are included; from seed collection in the forest (with indigenous guides), work in our plant nursery, and of course tree planting – to, for example, assisting with the installation of an advanced solar power system for an agroforestry-based community. All these things will be important. Participants will also be encouraged to share their own expertise in a two-way learning process, with many of the connections made destined to last a life-time.

All of this will of course be detailed in a colorful brochure available in several languages.

By participating in Reforestation Tourism, you would be able to directly off-set some of your carbon footprint and contribute to forest restoration, but also be advancing ACRAA’s goals indirectly as your financial support would help fund our programs and activities long after you have gone home. ACRAA’s role in this would be to provide the guided activities and workshops. Participants will select themselves where to stay in Alter do Chão, from the many pousadas here, most on Booking.com. And other than meals provided during our program activities, the local restaurant industry would feed these visitors. With the community seeing the direct benefit of this new tourism, a stronger alliance will be forged with those in Brazil promoting sustainable development.

Extending from the Reforestation Tourism program, we also see the potential of providing a more advanced program to college and university students, what we will call a Tropical Reforestation Field School.

Tropical Reforestation Field School

Our vision is to create a hands-on tropical forest restoration and agroforestry development learning experience for environmental students of colleges and universities in Brazil and elsewhere in the world – A Tropical Reforestation Field School.

A good field school starts with thorough preparation in the classroom in the weeks and months leading up to the program. Here ACRAA must coordinate the preparation of a curriculum that can be given to participating institutions well in advance of thier arrival in Alter do Chão. Information such as about the plant families they will encounter around Alter do Chão and their successional strategies, and soil and landscape formation. Also, an introduction to the cultures of the region, including the many indigenous groups in the Santarém and surrounding area, and of course ACRAA’s current projects and activities.  

Then upon arrival in Alter do Chão for perhaps a two-week program, each day Monday to Saturday would involve a different lecture/workshop/fieldtrip experience. Here it will be ACRAA’s job to deliver a well-organized program, so upon completion the students have some real “hands-on” experience in many different areas related to tropical ecological restoration and the development of sustainable agroforestry systems. It will be important that the students and their professors, some of whom will undoubtedly be international experts in their fields, realize they should come to ACRAA with a critical eye – and tell us where we can do better. Then we can pass this on to the next group.

Of course to develope and deliver such a program we will need the help of local educational institutions, such as the Forest School here in Alter do Chão, and of course The Federal University of Western Pará (UFOPA, A Universidade Federal do Oeste de Pará), and the The Institute of Biodiversity and Forests (IBEF, O Insituto de Biodiversidade e Florestas) – both based in the nearby Santarém.

See UFOPA here.

See IBEF here.

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