A Brazilian photojournalist and his wife have worked tirelessly to replant more than two million saplings in a bid to bring […]
A Brazilian photojournalist and his wife have worked tirelessly to replant more than two million saplings in a bid to bring an entire forest back from the brink of being completely dried out.
Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado is a renowned photographer and he has won nearly every major award in photojournalism, and he has published more than half a dozen of books.
He was exhausted, physically and emotionally, after he spent time in Rwanda in the 1990s, and he returned to his hometown of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
Sebastião expected to be met with the tropical paradise he had left behind. But he soon found that had been completely destroyed with around 0.5 per cent of the land left covered in trees.
His wife, Lélia, suggested the pair replant the entire forest which, at 1,502 acres, probably sounded ludicrous.
Seemingly not one to turn down a challenge, Sebastião agreed and the pair hired over 24 employees who were later joined by a number of volunteers as the years passed.
Slowly but surely the forest began to flourish once more which is all thanks to Sebastião and Lélia’s decision to replant the area.
The family set up the Instituto Terra, a community non-profit non-governmental organisation that operates in the whole territory of the Valley of the River Doce between the states of Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo.
The project has inspired millions by giving a concrete example of positive ecological action and showing how quickly the environment can recover with the right attitudes.
Sebastião stated that climate change occurs due to coarbon dioxide and planting trees would be the solution.
“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.”