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.
Equator Prize Winner: 2023
Year of establishment: 2017
Location: Doutor Pedrinho, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Equator Prize 2023
Latin America and the Caribbean
Ecoagriculture and Food security
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