Deforestation destroyed 21 thousand hectares in the Atlantic Forest in 2021

To recover the biome in which 145 million Brazilians live, it is necessary to plant many trees. Find out what you and companies can do

Live held between iFood and SOS Mata Atlântica debates the importance of preserving the biome.

Data from the last Atlas of the Atlantic Forest, annual report produced by the NGO SOS Mata Atlântica, show that Brazil continues to lose what is left of the biome in which more than 145 million Brazilians reside. In 2021, 21 thousand hectares (equivalent to the area of 21 thousand football fields) of mature forest were lost, an increase of 66% compared to the previous year.

This worrying data was presented by Afra Balazina, director of mobilization at SOS Mata Atlântica, during the live held with Alexandre Lima, sustainability manager at iFood, this Monday (30/5).

“No matter how great the effort, the forests we help to recover are still young, without biodiversity. We are losing mature forests, which are rich, losing species that may become extinct”, said Balazina.

According to the executive of SOS Mata Atlântica, Minas Gerais is, of the 17 states that are part of the biome, the one that has deforested the most. Only two states did not record an increase in deforestation.

With the deforestation of 21 thousand football fields, Brazil released 10.3 million tons of CO2, the gas that contributes to global warming and its consequences such as water crises, electrical blackouts and floods.

“The climate change agenda is global, but people’s perception is that it does not affect their daily lives. But what has happened in Recife (91 dead and 5 thousand homeless due to heavy rains) shows that it mainly affects the poorest and most vulnerable. We have to have global concerns, but act locally”, said Lima.

What to do to recover the Atlantic Forest?

During the live, Balazina and Lima showed how individuals and legal entities have contributed to the NGO's work in the difficult mission of recovering a very degraded biome throughout more than 500 years of our history.

“The challenge is to recover, try to restore the forest and to do that we need to plant a lot of trees. We deliver the forest, build the ecosystem again. And this is complex and expensive”, says the NGO executive.

Individuals can help with donations (one-off and recurring) and volunteer work, donating time and knowledge to the NGO's actions. In Balazina's view, it is necessary to mobilize the population to create an army of digital defenders of the Atlantic Forest so that the issue is more discussed, especially in an election year.

50 thousand seedlings through iFood Regenera

From companies comes support for mobilizing people around forest restoration. Since January 2022, for example, iFood has offered its customers the possibility of donating R$16 directly from the app so that the NGO can plant a tree seedling native to the Atlantic Forest and maintain it for 5 years.

The goal is to raise R$ 1.3 million by September 30, 2022. More than R$ 558 thousand have been raised so far, including donations from customers and institutional (iFood and Heineken Group, partner in the initiative).[FS1] In total, 50 thousand trees have already been donated to recover the biome.

“iFood didn’t just form the partnership. iFood brought a lot of people to this green wave. The opportunity was given for everyone to collaborate and this multiplied”, celebrated Balazina.

The initiative is part of iFood Regenera, iFood's environmental commitment program that proposes a set of goals to become neutral in CO emissions.2, in addition to measuring, reducing and offsetting all Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions from your business, by 2025.

iFood's sustainability manager explained the three pillars for this objective: purchase of carbon credits, use of technologies to decarbonize delivery and make it cleaner, and forest regeneration.

“Without the donations from individuals and legal entities, the project would not be the size it is and can be. This application reaches 40 million people who use cell phones every day, which can be significant when considering mobilization for forest preservation and restoration in partnership with SOS Mata Atlântica”, says Lima.

To make a donation, follow these steps:

1. Open the application and click on “Profile”;

2. Click on Donations;

3. Choose “Donate to plant trees”;

4. Click on “I want to donate”, choose the amount and then on “Send Donation”

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