Farming Stories project: Mata Viva

Mata Viva

The Mata Viva® initiative in Brazil was founded in 1984, to protect water quality, conserve soil, and create areas to preserve native vegetation and wildlife. Its first major achievement was to restore 128 hectares of forest along the Paraiba do Sul River, near the company’s largest South American chemical complex at Guaratinguetá. A collaboration of BASF and Fundacao Espaco Eco, Mata Viva® has flourished across Brazil, attracting a broad range of partners from the agricultural, business and scientific communities, all united in their desire to foster biodiversity. The new Carbon Emissions Offset Program will provide resources to support forest restoration in the green reserve ‘Mata do Barreiro Rico’. Located in the city of Anhembi, this is one of the last refuges of the ‘Muriqui-do-sul’ monkey (Brachyteles arachnoides), a species classified by IUCN as critically endangered.


The region surrounding BASF’s site in Guaratinguetá, located along the Paraíba do Sul river, is part of the Atlantic Rainforest and inspired our efforts to preserve the local environment by promoting sustainable practices in Brazilian agriculture. By reclaiming degraded land, we can restore biodiversity and store carbon in the soil. As a further result of our work to foster sustainable agriculture, local farmers can market their agricultural products better abroad. As farmers' sales increase, poverty among the rural population decreases and new jobs are created in the areas of environmental sustainability and responsible agriculture.


Attracting a broad range of partners from agricultural, business and scientific communities, all united in their desire to foster biodiversity, Mata Viva® combines biodiversity research and farming practice to balance a productive agriculture and a flourishing biodiversity. Today, the Mata Viva® program in Brazil continues to reach thousands of farmers, students, agricultural businesses, universities, research centers, and private companies in an effort to recultivate the land, improve farming methods and show how sustainable agriculture contributes to business success.

Since 2013, the Mata Viva Program has been leveraging the planting of tree seedlings as a strategy for carbon offsetting. In 2020 and 2021, all revenue obtained through this effort was used to restore the Barreiro Rico green reserve. 



hectares of forest restored



seedlings planted


students have benefitted


studies on eco-efficiency, for example carbon footprint, conducted



teachers trained


Brazilian municipalities participated


SDG 4 – Quality Education

Encouraging long-term behavioral change, Mata Viva’s educational module trains future farmers in balancing environmental protection and productive agriculture, classroom formats teach children to value nature and the environment.

SDG 13 – Climate Protection Measures

By restoring degraded land and planting trees, soil health is promoted and carbon sequestered.

SDG 15 – Life on Land

Mata Viva creates protected areas for preserving native vegetation and wildlife, contributes to species enrichment and forest diversity.

SDG 17 – Partnerships for the Goals

We partner with farmers, universities, NGOs and the private sector to join forces in fostering research, promoting sustainable farming and protecting biodiversity.