The Brazilian sisters bringing trees back to the rainforest

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.

Sisters Ana Paula und Flávia Balderi know the problem all too well. They founded the environmental organization Copaíba as teenagers 20 years ago. Named after an oil resin, derived from the trunk of several native South American trees, Copaíba has been trying to help restore the forest by planting trees.

The sisters are now working with the Mantiqueira Conservation Plan, a large reforesting program aimed at protecting the Atlantic Forest and its water sources. Under the scheme, farmers and businesses are encouraged to plant trees on their land or to buy CO2 certificates.

More than 400 communities, firms, universities and NGOs are part of the scheme, which is supported by Germany's International Climate Initiative (IKI).

A film by Bianca Kopsch




7,24 min


Global Ideas

The television reports and documentaries of Deutsche Welle's 'Global Ideas' media project provide people all over the world with information on model projects which implement biodiversity and climate protection. The media project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety through the International Climate Initiative.