Together, Sebastião and Lélia founded Instituto Terra, an organization that has planted 4 million saplings and has brought the forest back.
“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. If not, 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.”
Sebastião Salgado
After taking utmost care to ensure that everything planted is native to the land, the area has flourished remarkably in the ensuing 20 years.
In total, some 172 bird species have returned, as well as 33 species of mammals, 293 species of plants, 15 species of reptiles and 15 species of amphibians, an entire ecosystem rebuilt from scratch.

A Brazilian couple plants 2 million trees in 20 years

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