Project Description

This page showcases the overview of the entry of a 2015 Peer Awards for Excellence finalist, which was judged at conference.
Winner of the overall 2015 Peer Award for Excellence.
Also winner for the Inspiration criteria overall, of the Educating the Community category and the Voluntary sector.

Interested in this year’s Peer Awards?
FINALIST: Iracambi Research Center
Entry Title: Learning from the Forest, Teaching the World
Talk Title: The Power of Cross-Cultural Learning
Category: Educating the Community (Corporate Responsibility)
Sector:  Voluntary Sector
The Iracambi Research Centre is located in one of the world’s most important and threatened ecosystems: Brazil’s Atlantic Rainforest.

Here we welcome students, researchers and volunteers of all ages and backgrounds – from Brazil and beyond – to help us tackle some of today’s thorniest issues: climate change, biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.

Our diverse community of change-makers generates an exhilarating cross-fertilisation of ideas not easily achieved in tradtional silo-ed forms of learning. Together we reflect, exchange knowledge and experience, develop and test solutions, and persevere until we’ve figured out what works. And then we share it with the world.

Today only 8% of the Atlantic Rainforest remains. The result of this is catastrophic. Cities run out of water, farmland degrades, and rural areas are plunged into poverty.

Fifteen years ago, our neighbour Adão had cut most of his forest.

His spring ran dry.

His coffee failed.

With our support he reforested, and today his spring flows, his coffee thrives and he has become a committed conservationist.

Working together with the local community, Iracambi sees forests restored and farmlands flourishing. People discover the confidence and skills to create their own practical, replicable and sustainable solutions. Everyone benefits.

At Iracambi we study forests, plant trees, listen to local communities and leverage socio-economic change. But we also create unlikely yet fruitful partnerships, whose alchemy and serendepity yields extraordinary results. Political scientists join forces with farm families and IT technicians work with botanists. We are constantly conceiving,developing and testing ideas together, and learning by doing.

We meet in the rainforest and we meet in cyberspace, where biologists from Britain bounce off our resident scientists, and disruptive thinkers from America trade practical tips with Brazilian agro-ecologists. And the outcome? Great people, stimulating ideas and innovative solutions that turbo-charge transformative change.

At Iracambi we seek holistic solutions that bring social good and sound economics into the equation of caring for the planet.

We’ve discovered that great learning takes place when people from different backgrounds collaborate over a shared passion, get dirt under their fingernails, try, fail, and try again. We understand that no one model of education or development works for everyone, everywhere, but when people leave their comfort zone and dare to make mistakes, amazing things happen.

We’re making a big impact on a small budget, and today our global diaspora spans the world, saving forests and changing lives.