Deforestation has destroyed around 129 million hectares of forest since 1990. These numbers come from the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization. Yes, this is the size of South Africa.
About 15 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation. A lot of animals have lost their natural habitat, and they are on the verge of extinction.
What will you do to stop this? Our planet is hurt, and we don’t even think about it. It’s time to make a change.
This couple sure has made one. Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado and his wife Lélia Deluiz Wanick Salgado started off an initiative that changed the life of so many people. They gave animals a chance for a better life. Reforestation was the only thing they could do, and they did it.
Salgado has won a lot of awards in photojournalism. His name is written on more than half-dozen books. In the 1990s, Salgado decided to put an end to a chapter.
He spent too much time covering the Rwandan genocide. He wanted to go back and enjoy the tropical rainforest near his home. but, things didn’t go the way he expected. The rainforest was gone. All the beautiful animals and trees were gone. The area was “naked.”
“The land was as sick as I was – everything was destroyed,” Salgado told The Guardian back in 2015. “Only about 0.5% 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.”
He and his wife decided to found Instituto Terra. Their tiny organization has planted 4 million saplings. Salgado, his wife and a small group of people brought the rainforest back.
“Perhaps we have a solution,” Salgado said. “There is a single being which can transform CO2 into oxygen, which is the tree. We need to start tree planting on a massive scale.
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 animal population won’t grow, and the forest will be silent.”
The plants they planted were native to the area. It was more than great to see all the animals come back home.
The couple brought 172 bird species, 33 mammal species, 293 plants, 15 reptile species and 15 amphibian species back home. their efforts rebuilt the entire ecosystem.
Hopefully, this story will encourage you to do something about our planet.
“We need to listen to the words of the people on the land,” Salgado explained. “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.”
Here’s what people had to say about the amazing reforestation initiative: