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The reforestation ideas started when we discussed how local subsistence farming continued and deforestation continued with it. The best idea seemed to be to just buy the land preserve what was still there and start reforestation. Others with similar ideas would surely help.

The legal form would be a permanent establishment in Brazil of the Dutch company. That is an unusual legal form in Brazil, but there were several financial reasons to do it that way. The permanent establishment was created/registered. Two years later it was stopped and deregistered. Stay away from Brazilian bureaucracy if you can, it is very time consuming. The activities continue but are now integral part in the Dutch activities.

Initial orientation with experts made it quickly clear that it was going to be challenging to create a business model without serious losses. Because:

Probably the only way to make it financially self sustaining would be to combine several things such as agro-forestry and tourism. Given the distance to Rio de Janeiro (3 hours), the beauty of the region and the activities of the neighbors, the business case is very challenging (but not necessarily completely impossible).

Buying seedlings (in sufficient numbers of sufficient quality) immediately proved to be impossible. Buying seed, of trees hardened for the lower temperatures, was equally impossible.

Brazilian bank policies regarding foreign investments are ‘special’. Not that they disallow a lot, but they are complicated. The local bank agencies were not familiar with foreign money transactions. So our first attempt to buy the initial 500 ha failed miserably.

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