November 2, 2017
An American nonprofit environmental organization is leading the way for the largest tropical reforestation project in history.
Conservation Internatonal plans to restore 73 million trees in the Brazilian Amazon by 2023. The trees will sprout up across what’s known as the “arc of deforestation,” in the Brazilian states of Amazonas, Acre, Pará, Rondônia, and throughout the Xingu watershed.
Spanning about 74,000 acres, the project is the largest tropical forest restoration in the world.
Photo credit: Katrin Olson / Conservation International
Over the past 40 years, nearly 20% of the Amazon has been destroyed, and scientists worry that another 20% of the rainforest will be lost in the next couple of decades.
“This is a breathtakingly audacious project,” said M. Sanjayan, CEO of Conservation International. “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.”
Landscape near Rio Branco. Credit: Kate Evans / CI
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.
“A new chapter is being written for the Brazilian Amazon with this initiative,” said Rodrigo Medeiros, vice president of Conservation International’s Brazil office. “Protecting the Amazon is not something we should think in the future — we have to do it now.”
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