Instituto Zág

Instituto Zág is an Indigenous youth-led organization whose key activity is the reforestation and preservation of traditional knowledge around the Araucaria tree, known as Zág. The Zág tree holds sacred and symbolic value to the Xokleng Peoples, but is currently on the verge of extinction due to centuries of uncontrolled exploitation. Reclaiming the traditional territory of the Xokleng Peoples in the State of Santa Catarina, where the Zág tree thrives, is one of the most emblematic struggles for Indigenous rights in Brazil, and in the world today. With only 2% of the Zág tree’s original habitat remaining, the reforestation efforts of Instituto Zág are crucial for the survival of the Araucaria and of the continuation of ancestral wisdom. These efforts include removing invasive trees, valuing ancestral traditions, and conducting educational activities with diverse audiences to safeguard the Araucaria tree as a source of nutrition, medicine, and cultural identity. Through its actions, Instituto Zág recognizes the interdependence between the Zág tree and the Xokleng people.

Key Facts 

Equator Prize Winner: 2023

Year of establishment: 2017

Location: Doutor Pedrinho, Santa Catarina, Brazil

Ecosystem: Forests


Equator Prize 2023


Latin America and the Caribbean


Sustainable Forestry


Ecoagriculture and Food security



Contact Information

Carl Gakran


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