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Brazil Begins Effort to Plant 73 Million Trees in the Amazon

November 28 2017

Assuming everything goes to plan, over the next six years, the Amazon rainforest will receive 73 million new trees. The mass planting is part of a project sponsored by Conservation International, the Brazilian Ministry of Environment, and a number of other NGOs and corporations. As John Converse Townsend at “Fast “Company” reports, it is the largest tropical reforestation effort ever attempted.

According to a press release from Conservation International, the effort will span deforested pasture lands over a 74,000-acre region spanning several Brazilian states—with the greatest focus in Southern Amazonas, Rondônia, Acre, Pará and the Xingu watershed. The purpose behind this project is, in part, to revive the 20 percent of the Amazon that has been lost to deforestation due to agriculture and pasturing during the last 40 years. But the effort is also geared toward learning how to restore tropical forests.

“This is a breathtakingly audacious project,” says M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International, according to the release. “The fate of the Amazon depends on getting this right—as do the region’s 25 million residents, its countless species and the climate of our planet.”

As Townsend reports, reforestation efforts are typically very costly and time consuming—requiring people to both grow and plant thousands of saplings, many of which will not survive. In this latest effort, the restorationists are trying a new method called muvuca in which they will spread the seeds of native trees across the slash and burned land and animal pastures. The seeds come from the Xingu Seed Network, which uses a coalition of 400 collectors to gather the seeds from native trees.

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