As per the report of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, nearly the frosted area of 129 million hectares, which is almost equal to that of the size of South Africa, has been lost from the Earth in its entirety forever since 1990. The cause of this forest disappearance is deforestation. In addition to this forever lost forested area, a forested area equivalent of the Panama City has also been disappearing each year from Earth.
The 15 percent of the Greenhouse effect’s gas emission is all caused due to this deforestation resulting in the loss of many species of both flora and fauna due to the loss of their natural habitat. These figures are really disturbing and also devastating to the health of the planet. Such habitat destruction on such a massive scale cannot be left ignored for long now.
But what can an ordinary person do as they can feel helpless in front of this much destruction. Can anything we do now make a significant impact on the devastating situation of the planet?
Well, as it happens to be, no small act is small until you do it. This has been proven by a couple including a photographer named Sebastião Salgado and his wife named Deluiz Wanick Salgado, who decided to show the world what even a small group of passion driven people can achieve. Even if it’s a giant problem such as deforestation, it can still be tackled with only dedication and love of the planet. They started their own reforestation project a while ago.
Salgado is a renowned man in the world of photography as he has won many awards for his photojournalism as well as his publishing of a little over dozen books. After covering the barbaric genocide of Rwanda, Salgado was left exhausted both emotionally as well as physically.
He decided to return back to his hometown in Brazil where once a tropical rainforest in all its glory was. When he came there, he was shocked and then heartbroken to see that the once beautiful area blessed by Mother Nature had transformed into a barren land. All the tress and wildlife in the area had disappeared from the roots. At that moment, Salgado’s wife assured him that all of that can be resorted in its glory once more.
Salgado said back in an interview to media in 2015, “The land was as sick as I was. Only 0.25 percent of the previously frosted area was covered with trees and then my wife came up with the plan of reforestation. We immediately started up on that project and now after 2 decades all the fish, birds, insects have returned to this area all thanks to the trees.”
After that Sebastião and Lélia founded their NGO by the name Instituto Terra that had been working to plant 4 million of the tree saplings to bring back the forest from its doom. Salgado said, ‘there is only one living being that can covert CO2 into oxygen and that are trees. We need them to be planted on a massive scale. You need to plant the tress of a native area and if you are going to plant the trees that do to belong in that area, then the wildlife population is not growing to grown much and the forest will only be a silent one.”
Taking all of this into account, the reforestation was started 2 decades ago and now the area has been reforested and filled with this wildlife once more in its full glory.
All in all, nearly 172 of the bird species have made their rerun to this area along with 33 species of the mammals, 15 reptilian species, and 15 amphibian species. This has allowed for the entire ecosystem to be rebuilt from the scratch.
This project is the inspiration to millions around the world that what can some positive action do for the ecological system of the earth and how quick can the nature recover itself with only the right attitudes of the species living on it.