Apremavi receives 28th Expressão de Ecologia Award
The 12th “Onda Verde” (Green Wave) trophy awarded to Apremvai is a recognition for the “Heidelberger Walchen” (Heildelberg’s forests) project results, promoting native trees planting in the Atlantic Rain Forest and connecting the communities to the forest. The project receives the 28th Expressão de Ecologia Award in the category nominated Global partnership for climatic security.
The project began through a partnership between Apremavi and a German NGO called BUND (Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland), that already had exchange programs and mutual support in actions developed for the socio-environmental cause. The initiative to plant trees took shape in 1998, when the first forests were planted in the heart of Santa Catarina.
Apremavi is responsible for producing native Atlantic Rain Forest seedlings and planting them in public or private areas that are identified as degraded landscapes or others that have the characteristics needed for a forest to grow. While in Germany BUND promotes, alongside students from local schools, fundraisers to enable the planting in Brazilian soil. The events organized by the schools normally gather resources through food selling, such as pancakes and cakes, in the fairs.
The majority of funds are raised during the holiday season, near Christmas, when students are stimulated to substitute the traditional Christmas presents with the “acquisition” of a native seedling to restore the Atlantic Rain Forest and get a certificate of the deed. It is possible to identify a characteristic that expands the meaning of the project, and perhaps can explain its success: the involvement of local communities to implement and give depth to the project, which creates opportunities for environmental education, citizenship and cultural exchanges.
Before and After of an area restored in 1999 through the Heidelberg’s Forests Project. The forest is part of the Kruger Haus, a private property in Trombudo Central, at Alto Vale do Itajaí (SC). Photos: Apremavi’s Arquive.
In addition to the tree planting, since 2008, the action “Der Regenwald kommt in die Klassenzimmer” (The Atlantic Rain Forest goes to the classroom) has been held every two years, where Apremavi’s representatives hold a week of lectures in all the schools that are part of the project. Lectures are given in German for students aged 9 to 17 (elementary and high school), involving around 600 students each year. The lecture mainly addresses topics such as the Atlantic Rain Forest in Brazil, its riches and natural beauties, as well as the problems and threats that affect its biodiversity.
One of the first forests from the project can be seen at the back of a small school, in the countryside of Atalanta (SC). Today the Municipal Elementary School Ribeirão Matilde has the shade of imposing trees for the students to play before classes or during the break. Twenty years after planting, the school organized the publication of a coloring book created in collaboration with the students.
Video created to celebrate 20 years of the Heidelberg’s Forests Project, in 2019.
Project’s main results
Planting: in more than 20 years of existence, “Heidelberger Walchen” has already promoted the planting of 161,448 trees that were planted and donated in environmental education campaigns in the states of Santa Catarina, Paraná and São Paulo, benefiting 123 public and private properties and more than 1,800 people.
Exchange of knowledge: “Der Regenwald kommt in die Klassenzimmer” (The Atlantic Rain Forest goes to the classroom) was carried out seven times, with lectures being held in 09 schools in the city of Heidelberg, contacting 3,610 students since 2008.
New forests: more than 120 hectares have already been restored, 15 of which are planted in schools in the Alto Vale do Itajaí region, in Santa Catarina.
Recognition: the forest at the Municipal Elementary School Ribeirão Matilde in Atalanta, received the 1st Environmental Education Award from the Instituto de Meio Ambiente de Santa Catarina, in 2019.
Expressão de Ecologia Award
The Expressão de Ecologia Award was created in 1993 by Editora Expressão, one year after the World Environment Conference in Rio de Janeiro – Eco 92, the first UN event in Brazil that discussed environmental issues. The purpose of the Expressão de Ecologia Award is to publicize the main sustainability actions and encourage the replicability of these initiatives.
In twenty-eight years, the Expressão de Ecologia Award registered 3,118 cases, from main companies, NGOs, municipalities and entities in the South and, in the last year, the state of São Paulo as well. Contrary to the initial prediction, the Award collects hundreds of entries each year and its award events have become a point of reference for the environmental community.
This is the 12th “Onda Verde” Trophy, the materialization of the Expressão de Ecologia Award, that Apremavi won. In the last edition, the NGO was awarded for the Restaura Alto Vale project and the Viveiro Jardim das Florestas.
Author: Vitor Lauro Zanelatto
Review: Carolina Schäffer
Layer photo: Apremavi’s arquive