You are here

Forest Restoration and Silvopastoral Systems in Critical Watershed Landscapes


The Cantareira system is one of the largest water supply systems on the planet. It provides water to nearly nine million people in São Paulo state, covers 230,000 hectares and captures 44,200 liters of water per second. As part of the Atlantic Forest, the Cantareira system is also home to many endangered species. Water supply, biodiversity and livelihoods are at risk around this landscape dominated by highly degraded pastures and small fragments of native forests.

IPÊ and ELTI created a field course for farmers, ranchers and extensionists of the Cantareira system focused on sustainable productive systems. Participants will study and practice principles of sustainable production with theoretical and hands-on activities. Experts will guide participants to create projects that integrate ecological pasture management, forest restoration, silvopastoral systems, rural credit opportunities and environmental legislation. Participants will leave the course with implementable project plans to improve water supply, biodiversity and livelihood conditions of the vital Cantareira system.


The course contains three thematic modules with corresponding field visits, exercises and the development of an implementable project plan.

Module 1: Forest restoration

  • Site contextualization: local environmental problems and ecosystem services
  • Brazilian forest legislation
  • Forest restoration: principles and applications (theory and practice)

Module 2: Pasture restoration

  • Sustainable productive systems
  • Ecological management of pastures: principles and applications (theory and practice)
  • Silvopastoral systems: principles and applications (theory and practice)

Module 3: Seed nursery, rural credit and Individual project

  • Establishing a seed nursery: seed collection and germination methods, costs and economic potential
  • Accessing rural credit
  • Project planning