Preservation of watersheds, rivers and forests

In times of climate change, to take care of the sources of fresh water is a mandatory mission.  The lack of water is no longer a prediction for the future, it is our present reality, and deforestation is directly linked to the problem.  CASA funds groups that work in the protection of watersheds, rivers and forests.  Learn about some of the initiatives that received support to turn their projects into reality, and that create positive impacts in water preservation work:

The Forest Planters – Pro-Terra Institute

To plant a forest is a serious thing.  You don’t just plant the seedling and leave never to return.  Pro-Terra Institute exists since 1997.  It unites friends, educators, technicians and researchers with a mission — to contribute to socio-environmental solutions, to cultural revival, and the awareness recue of how humans belong to the landscape.  It develops projects in partnership with universities, public and private sectors, and civil society in the technical, scientific, educational, socio-cultural-environmental conservation, promotion of quality of life, social inclusion and socio-economic alternatives.

With CASA’s support in 2009, the organization developed a capacity building program to prepare ex-sugar cane workers, now jobless, to regenerate degraded forest areas, such as riparian forests, legal reserves, protected areas and so on. They developed technical teaching materials that came out of this experience and created a permanent training program of great success — “The Forest Planters”.

A project that plants and does well in Serra da Bodoquena

The Bonito municipality has great biodiversity and high environmental value, but suffers from unsustainable practices that have provoked many damages to nature since the occupation of that area. Deforestation to open new pastures is a factor that puts a lot of pressure on the area. Despite irresponsible practices such as these, it is fortunate that many civil society members are more and more willing to act to reverse this situation.

The Serra da Bodoquena Waters Institute (IASB) works to preserve the largest area of conserved forests in Mato Grosso do Sul state, the Serra da Bodoquena. It develops environmental education, in addition to recovering degraded forest areas by planting native trees through the “Programa Plante Bonito” (Robust Planting Program), a project the CASA Fund supported in 2012.

IASB always listens to and involves the community where it works. While doing its conservation work, the Institute mobilizes and sensitizes direct and indirect beneficiaries to protect their rights and to become aware of their responsibilities. That is how the institution has managed to successfully develop its actions and promote its mission.

Read more on IASB at


Awareness-raising to improve a lifeless river

The Tietê River will not go back overnight to what it used to be before it was drastically polluted. However, some initiatives are changing the way people view the likelihood of seeing this river cleaned up. Through project RENOVE – Depolluting the Tietê River through collecting cooking oil – Bio-Brás sensitized the population about the damages of pouring oil directly into the river, significantly reducing this practice. In addition, it established oil collection posts that gathered 22,000 liters of oil in 2008. The Tietê River originates in Serra do Mar, an area in the Atlantic Forest, and crosses São Paulo state, supplying water to thousands of homes. One of the greatest challenges for the population and government alike is to clean up the river. The awareness and participation of all involved could well be the only way forward.

See article on RENOVE on G1

Uniting to defend the São Francisco River

APEDEMA-BA was the first NGO collective to tackle the problem of the São Francisco River transposition. The organization sought support from CASA Fund to initiate a series of campaigns informing society about the frailty of the river and its tributaries. It participated in the creation of the Permanent Forum to Defend the São Francisco River, which flows through five states and over 500 Brazilian municipalities, many of them among our country’s poorest.

Over the years, the construction of dams, diversions, and pollution killed fishing, dislocating many people who lived off the river. This has also affected the quality of life of many others.

This organization, and many others the CASA Fund supports, have tried to reduce over the years the social and environmental damages caused by the neglect of this region and bad uses of water resources – a society’s common good – on behalf of agribusiness. Such misuse of water resources has not benefited the local population.


Quality water, environmental education, and income generation: the right formula to live in peace

The Comunidade Morada da Paz/CoMPaz (Peace Loving Community) is a civil society organization founded in 2003 in the Vendinha District, a municipality of Triunfo in Rio Grande do Sul state. It aims to promote environmental sustainability as a path to a better quality of life.

This organization already received CASA support in the past, and in 2015 got funding for a new project to improve water resources use in the community, and to maximize the inhabitants’ income. The project includes several environmental education activities focused on water conservation.

Read more on CoMPaz at