This Brazilian photographer captures the result of a 20-year reforestation project of over 2.7 million trees.
In the late 1990s, a renowned Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado and his wife Lélia Deluiz Wanick Salgado has taken initiative named “Mammoth Project,” of planting saplings of more than 290 species of trees and see the return of many species of birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and insects.
A former cattle ranch bought from Salgado’s family near the town of Aimorés, in Brazil’s state of Minas Gerais, was environmentally destroyed. As far as Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado remembered as a child, it was a tropical paradise but instead, the trees were cut down and the wildlife living in it was all gone.
“The land was as sick as I was – everything was destroyed,” Salgado told The Guardian.
“Only about 0.5% of the land was covered in trees.”
Devastated to what they found, they decided to return the property to its natural state of subtropical rainforest by replanting the forest. They recruited partners and raise funds until they found the Instituto Terra in April 1998. Now, they planted more than 2 million trees, totally transforming the environment and the ongoing result was great.
“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.”
For the past 45 years, the award-winning Brazilian social documentary photographer and photojournalist Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado has been traveling the continents in the footsteps of ever-changing humanity. He witnessed and recorded the major events of our recent history. He traveled to over 120 countries and appeared to numerous press publications and books.
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