Over the past 30 years
PNI has allocated over
$1 billion to 130 projects
across 58 countries,
6.5 million people.
Pro Natura's earliest roots emerged in the 1980's during expeditions held in some of the most remote corners of the world. At that time, a visionary group of multi-disciplinary experts, led by Pro Natura's Founder, Dr. Marcelo de Andrade, encountered excessive pollution, situations of extreme poverty and rampant deforestation in regions of the highest biological diversity. During this period, there was already a robust environmental conservation movement in the world, focusing on awareness campaigns and nature preservation projects. Pro Natura was created as a contribution to solving these problems and attacking its cause - inconsequential economic development.
Over the last 30+ years, Pro Natura has operated in some of the most severely challenged environments in 50+ countries – consistently producing significant and lasting results in every territory it has engaged with. Our strategy and actions consist of systemically stimulate environmentally sound, socially just and inclusive economic development in sensitive and underprivileged regions around the world. Later, this approach would be known as Sustainability, making Pro Natura one of the pioneers of the area in the world. Along the way, we have been honored to be the recipient of the United Nations Leader in Sustainability Award, Mitchell International Award, and the World Petroleum Congress Award for Excellence in Social Responsibility, amongst many others.
Our priority is to create sustainable economies, to transfer knowledge and capabilities to local communities and, by virtue of our success, to become obsolete. Pro Natura offers support in basic elements such as health, education, empowering local communities and building a better quality of life, thus creating a more adequate and secure platform for investments in a new economic model for the region.
Initially Pro Natura focuses on creating socio-economic, climate-friendly activities based specifically on local conditions: social, environmental, natural, cultural and labor force skills. Over time, new initiatives are structured in a participatory approach with local residents increasing the scale of a project’s impact. Central to Pro Natura's thesis is the belief that true success comes only when change is methodically implemented from within - and is only achieved when the scale of the solution equals the magnitude of the problem to be solved.
AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGY PROJECTS
In 2000, Pro Natura initiated an ambitious new project: the creation of a “green” and sustainable alternative to firewood and charcoal. Two years and 5 million euros later, the result of this initiative, Biochar, won the Altran Foundation Prize for the world’s best new technology for developing nations. The process uses agricultural residues or biomass like savannah weeds, reeds, straw, stems, husk and bamboo, which would otherwise go to waste, to produce up to 5 tons per day of sustainable “green charcoal” or Biochar.
For the last decade, Pro Natura has incorporated Biochar into its climate-smart agroecology through its innovative, ecological and highly productive Super Vegetable Gardens (SVG). The result of 15 years of research, the SVG is a mode of intensive and ecological vegetable cultivation that yields up to one and a half tons of foodstuff per year on only 60 m2 of land, providing families with a nutritious diet and surplus food to sell at their local market.
The SVG production is constant throughout the year irrespective of seasons, producing a new crop of short cycle vegetables every 5 weeks. Pro Natura’s agroecological breakthroughs allow a reduction in water consumption of over 80% while reducing the labor required to about two hours per day.
PROJECT SITE COUNTRIES
PROJECT GALLERY (CLICK BELLOW FOR FURTHER INFORMATION)
Given our history, Pro Natura's expeditions aim to maintain the continuous contact with the reality of the Earth and its needs, to maintain the sustainable development of the residents its communities without harming the planet. The expeditions carried out until today are divided into two phases:
PHASE 1: Understanding Problems – Exploration / Discovery Expeditions (1980-1994)
Based on technical exploration, these expeditions contributed significantly to our understanding of the problems faced by communities on the ground and the state of local nature and regional natural resources depletion. These expeditions were a gating step in initiating exploratory surveys and mapping regions. The data collected served as the practical and theoretical basis for the development of Pro Natura´s unique business model as it still exists today.
PHASE 2: Seeking Solutions – Scientific Expeditions (1992 - Today)
This is the current phase of Pro Natura's Expeditions Program, which we operate in partnership with the best and most specialized scientific and research institutions, NGOs, private corporation and government agencies in the world. They enable us to develop solutions for sustainable economic growth in regions under present or eminent risk of degradation, or in regions of high biodiversity or natural capital value.