Tens of millions of new trees will be planted in the Amazon under a new project led by Conservation International, and with indigenous communities having ownership of the project.
The largest tropical reforestation project in history seeks to kickstart a revival for the world’s largest rainforest by planting 73 million trees in the Brazilian Amazon by 2023.
Spanning 30,000 hectares of land (about 74,000 acres), the project will help Brazil move towards its Paris Agreement target of reforesting 12 million hectares of land by 2030.
The Amazon rainforest is home to the richest biodiversity of any ecosystem on the planet. A recent report described some 400 new species discovered in the Amazon between 2014 and 2015 alone, yet is rapidly vanishing with increasing global demand for resources.
The economy, essentially focused on the exploitation of natural resources, minerals and agribusiness, has already led to about 20% of forest to be replaced by pastures and agricultural crops, without securing the well-being of the indigenous population.
The reforestation project is a partnership between Conservation International, the Brazilian Ministry of Environment, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the World Bank, the Brazilian Biodiversity Fund (Funbio) and Rock in Rio’s environmental arm, Amazonia Live.
Indigenous communities and small family farmers will have ownership of this project. As many as 2,000 locals will be actively working together to reforest the land – typically private farmland but also government-owned protected zones and indigenous territories.
Priority areas for the restoration effort include southern Amazonas, Rondônia, Acre, Pará and the Xingu watershed. Restoration activities will include the enrichment of existing secondary forest areas, sowing of selected native species, and, when necessary, direct planting of native species.
Conservation International say a couple million trees have already been planted.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea