Update: This appeal is now closed.
World Land Trust would like to thank all the generous supporters of the Olympic Forest Appeal. With your help, we have raised more than £48,000 to buy and protect a vital parcel of Atlantic Forest in the year of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games in Brazil. This land will form the Olympic Forest Reserve.
The Atlantic Forest is a global conservation hotspot as one of the world’s most diverse, but most threatened ecosystems, with just seven per cent of the original forest remaining.
The long term mission of World Land Trust (WLT) partner Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu (REGUA) is the conservation of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest in the upper Guapiaçu River watershed.
WLT has been working with REGUA, since 1998, funding land purchase, Keepers of the Wild (reserve rangers) and tree planting in areas where forest had been lost. Today REGUA protects over 18,000 acres (7,285 hectares).
The money raised for the Olympic Forest Reserve Appeal will purchase a 221 acre (89.5 hectare) parcel of land previously known as ‘Paloma Coelho’.
The natural rainforests in the Olympic Forest contain a wealth of trees, palms and ferns and the forest floor, which are in very good condition. The property also protects the streams that feed the Guapiaçu River, an important water supply for the surrounding community.
Evidence of hunting indicates the presence of large mammal species and it is an excellent site for birds, many of which are endemic to the region.
Recent studies show that 38 of the 69 severely endangered mammal species of Brazil are found in the Atlantic Forest, 118 of the 160 endangered bird species, 13 of the 20 endangered reptile species and all of the 16 endangered amphibian species.
Many rare bird species recorded by REGUA, such as Crowned Eagle (Harpyhaliaetus coronatus) and Brown-backed Parrotlet (Touit melanotus), both classified as endangered by IUCN.
The Atlantic Forest, is critically threatened where it survives, in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, particularly at risk from loss of habitat to make way for cattle ranching, soya and coffee plantations and illegal logging for hardwoods.
The main threat facing the Olympic Forest is illegal hunting and deforestation.
The most effective way to ensure the long-term protection of the Atlantic Forest of the upper Guapiaçu valley is to purchase as many land plots as possible to incorporate into the wider Guapiaçu Reserve.
Olympic Forest Appeal - Project Brief
(click on the image below)