Resource Details

Ecological restoration of Xingu Basin headwaters: motivations, engagement, challenges and perspectives

Literature: Journal Articles

Durigan, G., Guerin, N., da Costa, J.N.M.N. 2013, "Ecological restoration of Xingu Basin headwaters: motivations, engagement, challenges and perspectives", Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 368: 20120165.

Contact Info

Giselda Durigan



  • Giselda Durigan - Instituto Florestal, Floresta Estadual de Assis, Assis, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Natalia Guerin Instituto Socioambiental, Programa Xingu, Canarana, Mato Grosso, Brazil
  • José Nicola Martorano Neves da Costa - Instituto Socioambiental, Programa Xingu, Canarana, Mato Grosso, Brazil




Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B

Selecting the link above redirects this page to the article on the journal website where the online material can be purshased or accessed if with subcription. For more information on access, see sidebar. 


- This paper focuses on the Brazilian Amazon, specifically on the Xingu River Basin. The content points out deforestation as a threat to the Xingu River and a driver of environmental degradation.

- The principal objective of this publication was to report the restoration initiative within the Y Ikatu Xingu campaign and discusses its strengths, weaknesses, and potential to reverse deforestation and degradation in this region. 

- The Y Ikatu Xingu campaign was launched in 2004 and was aimed at: i) contain deforestation and degradation processes; ii) restore riparian forests along water bodies of Xingu Basin; iii) disseminate sustainable land uses, and iv) mobilize society to deploy a new model of development in the region. Forest restoration, thus, emerged as the main demand on the campaign.

- The main positive forces of the campaign were: environmental Brazilian law requiring restoration, the increasing green certificate market for meat and grains, converging motivations from distinct NGOs, landscape integrity and local knowledge about the forest and its species.

- The main negative forces were: ecological obstacles, vastness of land requiring restoration, absence of infrastructure, restoration technologies and inputs, high costs of restoration, absence of governmental incentive and uncertainties about the environmental law. 

- The authors also present local technology adaptation for ecological restoration constraints, such as agroforestry techniques, use of direct seeding, machinery use for seeding muvucas (mixture of seeds from different native species), and control of aggressive exotic grasses.  

- This campaign also relied on a significant social involvement, called the Seed Network of Xingu that has produced 71 tons of native seeds from 285 regional species so far.

- Despite ongoing challenges, progress through the development of technology, knowledge about regional species, involvement of multiple stakeholders and the strengthening of institutions have improved the likelihood of increasing the restored areas at the Xingu Basin.

- The study still presents the applicability of the campaign on other sites and suggests points to be addressed, including: creation of financial incentives for restoration, intensification of forest science and experimentation, encouragement of partnerships among local stakeholders and municipal governments to incentivize independent restoration programmes, monitoring of restored ecosystems and  improvement of restoration techniques.   

Geographical Region

  • Amazon Basin
  • Ecosystems

  • Tropical Wet Forest
  • Country

  • Brazil
  • This database is a work in progress, and we need your input to keep it up to date. Feel free to contact ELTI at to provide information on your own work as well as other projects and literature currently missing from the database.


    ELTI is a joint initiative of:
    Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute