Sister-led environmental organisation Copaíba is aiming to restore Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth, to its former glory by helping to reforest the area.
Sisters Ana Paula and Flávia Balderi founded Copaíba as teenagers in 2009. Horrified by the deforestation around their area, they decided to take matters into their own hands by planting trees around their hometown. Soon they turned their passion into an association which at first they funded with jobs in delivery services and barkeeping.
The Atlantic Forest runs along the Brazilian coast down as far as Paraguay and Argentina. One of the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth, just 20% of the tropical forest remains. The rest has been cleared, largely to make way for agriculture.
The forest is important not only for the wildlife there but for supplying water and energy to millions of Brazilians, particularly those living in and around the cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Named after an oil resin derived from the trunk of several native South American trees, Copaíba is one of the 300 tree-planting projects in the umbrella organisation PACTO Mata Atlântica.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living.