A couple decided to replant the entire forest after realizing that it was housing 500+ endangered species and had been cut down, and vanished all the wildlife from the area.
In 1994, Sebastião Salgado, a Brazilian photographer, had visited to Minas Gerais, to see the paradise which he saw in his childhood. But he met with a horrifying sight – the land has become a barren wasteland with roughly 0.5% of the land remaining covered in trees.
According to the Guardian, Salgado had met with a group of religious leaders. He has then discussed the climate change after returning from an already traumatic event, experiencing the genocide in Rwanda first hand and that he’d come home to discover the ‘remains’ of the forest.
He told them:
“The land was as sick as I was – everything was destroyed. Only about 0.5 per cent of the land was covered in trees.
Then my wife had a fabulous idea to replant this forest. And when we began to do that, then all the insects and birds and fish returned and, thanks to this increase of the trees I, too, was reborn – this was the most important moment.”
Instituto Terra was set up by Salgado and his family. They have brought life to the forest by successfully planting more than two million trees, offering a home to the 500+ endangered species.
In December of 1999 they planted the first seed with the help of 24 workers. Over the years numerous volunteers have been joined in order to achieve even more through the project. They uprooted the invasive weeds and planted the future seedlings who would eventually go on to recreate a magnificent forest by working tirelessly day and night.
After some time, tropical trees native to the region flourished, with 100 000 more saplings being donated, giving rise to the most beautiful forest. This was ended up in increased rainfall in the area, cooler weather and a drastic desirable change in climate overall.
According what the photographer says, he has found the answer to climate change, including the bonus of creative inspiration.
“Perhaps we have a solution. There is a single being which can transform CO2 to oxygen, which is the tree. We need to replant the forest.
You need forest with native trees, and you need to gather the seeds in the same region you plant them or the serpents and the termites won’t come. And if you plant forests that don’t belong, the animals don’t come there and the forest is silent.
We need to listen to the words of the people on the land. Nature is the earth and it is other beings and if we don’t have some kind of spiritual return to our planet, I fear that we will be compromised.
With 293 species of trees now inhabiting the 1,500 acre forest, it has been rejuvenated beyond expectations and I’d say that’s hats off to Salgado and his wife, all the staff and volunteers for their efforts in this incredible project!”