“Ethical Markets is proud to showcase the innovative leadership training programs of our partner, Sinal do Vale in Brazil. This type of hands on education for so many future leaders from many countries is exemplary, particularly its focus on regenerating ecosystems and providing inspiration toward sustainable development for our common future.
Hazel Henderson, Editor“
January – June 2018 Activity Newsletter
Hello friends of SINAL! This semester has flown by, and we have had very exciting activities in our forest regeneration, education, community and hospitality areas! Our regeneration network keeps expanding, strengthening our efforts towards generating financially sustainable, positive impact in the buffer zone between the Atlantic Rainforest and the urban sprawl of Rio. Here are some of the highlights of our work.
REGENERATION OF THE ATLANTIC RAINFOREST
Frutos da Floresta/IUCN Partner Site Consultant Group established and working.
Sinal do Vale has been selected as a Partner Site for the IUCN’s Incubator for Nature Conservation. 10 Initiatives from all around the world were chosen for their proposals of innovative mechanisms to finance conservation. SINAL and its group of consultants have begun work to develop SINAL’s Frutos da Floresta project to make a sustainable use of resources in the endangered Atlantic Rainforest, such as green Jackfruit. This project links our regenerative agriculture, soil health and regenerative cuisine projects together, offering a viable alternative to finance the protection of the biodiversity and water sources of this rainforest.
One of SINAL’s core functions is to connect entrepreneurs in the Baixada Fluminense with innovative solution-providers. This year, together with local entrepreneur from our community of Santo Antonio, Orlando Candido, and ZEBU, a sustainability design company from Rio, we secured funds from the Australian Embassy Direct Aid Program to cover the initial structure and machinery costs of our new Bamboo Lab, with which Orlando and ZEBU will work together to produce sustainable design solutions, such as business cards, tags and flyers, using the Bamboo that grows at SINAL. The project includes training youth to learn the skills of treating the bamboo and developing the business of providing biodegradable products.
In May, a class of San Diego State University taking an experiential learning trip visited SINAL to understand the challenges of the peripheral communities of Rio de Janeiro and the prototypes that have been proposed as solutions at Sinal do Vale. In a cyclical journey, we began by taking a look at the context and challenges of the edge between the endangered and megadiverse Atlantic Forest and the urban encroachment that Rio attracts. We presented our soil regeneration proposal which includes regenerative agriculture, a zero-waste locally sourced cuisine and an organic bioproducts production which enriches the health of our forest regeneration areas. The students visited our garden and agroforests, tried our regenerative cuisine, and as an essential part of our inner skills component, did a mindfulness exercise in our bamboo forest, pictured below.
This winter season we had three international changemakers developing projects at SINAL. We have two interns from Yale University and William & Mary College, in the United States, and a Swiss student from the Zurich University of Applied Sciences developing her thesis on Communications. The three are staying over their summer breaks dividing their time developing their individual projects and contributing to SINAL’s prototypes. This will be the second thesis written about SINAL that, together with academic papers on integral development and sustainability from the University of St Gallen in Switzerland, The University of Berlin in Germany and Canisius College in the United Sates, position SINAL as a reference of innovative solutions of regeneration practice.
Environmental Journeys with Children
This rainy season we hosted 70 kids from the Rio de Janeiro metropolitan area who came to SINAL to help us plant pioneer trees in a reforestation area, learn about the Atlantic Rainforest, its biodiversity, and how to protect it. During our environmental journeys we planted 150 Ingá trees, native to the Atlantic Forest, that grow fast and give shade to help other species grow. We also visited other regeneration areas in more advanced stages for them to see the process of natural regeneration and how they are helping biodiversity come back. To connect the health of the soil to their own, the children did a workshop of healthy desserts made with our own cacao, taro and banana, and finally a treasure hunt identifying medicinal plants, vegetables we are growing in the garden, and some of our sustainability projects like bamboo bioconstruction. This environmental workshop for children was developed by our staff as a practical journey of the natural cycle and has been given in Portuguese and English.
Monthly Regenerative Cuisine Course
Every third Saturday of the month, SINAL opens its doors to the general public for a class of our Regenerative Cuisine, a proposal that sources its ingredients from local foods that grow easily in the area – such as green Jackfruit- is zero-waste leaving only organic leftovers, and uses no chemical additives. Our naturalist chef Simone Marinho teaches using our own produce emphasizing what easily grows in the forest surrounding our local community, therefore offering a healthy, easy to prepare and cost effective alternative to cooking a nutritious meal. It has been a popular course so far with both women and men from the surrounding neighborhoods as well as Rio.
Activating Regeneration: Connecting People, Resources and Centers
From April 15-18, 2018, we hosted at SINAL our third Activating Regeneration Meeting, where leaders of organizations of the third and private sectors, foundations, journalists and educators of Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica and the United States met with the objective of deepening the dialogue and strengthening the community of people who, within their organizations, promote regeneration.
We had 33 participants with initiatives in the Americas, Europe and Asia, discussing the integration of regeneration as a guiding principle to approach education, the economy, the environment and entrepreneurship.
BMW Network Drivers
In June we hosted the CEO of the BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt with his team of program leaders at SINAL. They met to align the strategy of the foundation and its programs with the Foundation’s Network Drivers from America, Europe, Asia and the North Africa & Middle East region. The foundation gathers in its work more than two thousand responsible leaders in the four continents! SINAL is one of the Wasan Places of the BMW Foundation: places of reference and meeting for leaders that develop innovative programs of positive change for communities and the environment. As such, we host their Responsible Leaders Network retreats biannually, and will continue to receive their global team periodically to share best practices and strengthen our community.