The Atlantic Forest in South America extends along the eastern coast of Brazil and down into northern Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. It is widely considered one of the most threatened biomes on the planet, and one of the highest priorities for conservation due to intense pressures of habitat loss and degradation combined with extraordinary biodiversity and endemic species.
To address this critical problem, in 2008, Bayer assembled a team in the heavily industrialized, east coast city of Camaçari in Bahia, Brazil. The Camaçari Industrial Complex is a production facility for agricultural products, home to Bayer and a number of other companies’ industrial facilities, including Kordsa Brasil and BASF. The team at Bayer designed a project called Projeto Florescer, meaning “Project Blossom” in Portuguese, to restore two large parts of the forest that wildlife rely on for food, shelter and resources.
The initial activities of the Bayer team included the planting a living fence of native plant, Sansão do campo, a shrub native to the Cerrado (Brazilian savanna), to keep cattle out of the restoration area. Together with community organizations and local schools, Bayer has planted 20 acres of trees using 25,000 native tree seedlings grown in an on-site greenhouse.
In order to link Projecto Florescer to a broader regional restoration initiative, the team formalized a partnership with Instituto Corredor Ecológico Costa dos Coqueiros (Coconut Coast Ecological Corridor Institute), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting reforestation along the northern coast of Bahia. Some of the seedlings grown at the Camaçari Plant are used to reforest eroding river and stream banks in neighboring communities. By increasing tree cover and restoring riparian habitat in Camaçari and other cities in Bahia, Bayer is helping to enhance the safety and sustainability of these communities, making tangible contributions to climate, biodiversity and people.
Bayer also educates community members about the Atlantic Forest ecosystem through events like employee family days, open houses and school tours, where visitors can learn about Projecto Florescer and plant tree seedlings in the restored forest.
In 2010, Bayer created an educational project that provides opportunities for approximately 40 students each year to learn about seedling production, reforestation practices, and how to plant and maintain native flora through presentations and hands-on lessons using the site’s nursery garden and other areas. In 2018, this project received the WHC Award for Awareness and Community Engagement.
WHC White Papers:
- Nature-Based Employee Engagement
- The Critical Role of the Private Sector in Species Recovery and Protection
- Corporate Citizenship and STEM Education
- Enhancing Habitat Connectivity Through Corporate Conservation
President’s Blog or Wildlife Blog posts:
- The Importance of Mainstreaming Biodiversity
- Guest Blog: Making the Case for Investing in Trees
- Habitat Design that Invites Exploration
- Back to School: Partnering with Local Schools to Strengthen Your Certification Program
- Forest Project Guidance
- Awareness and Community Engagement Guidance
- Formal Learning Project Guidance
- How to Select the Best Lessons for Your Education Projects
- The Three “E’s” to Success: Employees, Education and Engagement
- Building a Successful Conservation Program: A Toolkit