Miracles are hard to see but we have witnessed a miracle come true and it would not have if it were not for Lélia Deluiz Wanick Salgado and the Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado. Sebastião, the Brazilian photographer was out on an assignment of the rampant genocide in Rwanda. When he returned, he was devastated to see the difference that was brought to Aimorés, his hometown that he remembered as a very green town with a variety of animals, was now a horrible place with dry patchy land with just a few trees. Both of them then decided that they will do their best to restore the beauty of the town, and then they started raising funds and found an institute called Instituto Terra in 1998, for the reforestation project whose purpose was the restoration of the place. With their labor and determinization, they have been able to plant over 2.7 million trees and we can learn just one thing from this.
We can do it!
The thought of restoration of Aimorés and the reforestation project brought the foundation of Instituto Terra.
Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado took over his family land in Minas Gerais, he found it that the trees were cut down and the animals do not exist anymore. He was very sad over this, and it was back in 1994 when he has returned from the traumatic assignment that he was assigned to in Rwanda.
“The land was sick as I was – everything was destroyed. Only about 0.5% of the land was covered in trees.” Salgado had told The Guardian.
The Brazilian photographer’s wife, Lélia Deluiz Wanick Salgado initiated the reforestation project, the replantation of the forest, and as they began to do it, the insects, birds, and fish started to come back again.
They along with their families started finding partners, raised charity money, and it was April 1998 that they founded the institute and now they have successfully planted over 2.7 million trees which have completely changed the environment.
Salgado says that he finally received the answer to climate change and creative inspiration.
“Perhaps we have a solution. There is a single being which can transform CO2 to oxygen, which is a tree. We need to replant the forest. You need forest with native trees, and you need to gather the seeds in the same region you plant them or the serpents or termites won’t come. And if you plant forests that don’t belong, the animals don’t come here and the forest is silent.”
“We need to listen to the words of the people on the land. Nature is the Earth and it is other beings and if we don’t have some kind of spiritual return to our planet, I fear that we will be compromised.”
Not just this, the reforestation project and the Instituto Terra has helped in the recovery of over 1,502 acres of rainforest and planting of about 2.7 million trees in different parts of Brazil.
The enthusiasm to create awareness to restore nature and conservation of forest land.
Both of them have taken their institute as a platform to awaken the awareness to start the restoration of forest land.
With proper implementation of topics in education and research on February 19, 2002, CERA was created, whose mission is to contribute to the restoration of forest lands with new technology and new methods.
With this process, the animal kingdom has started to restore itself at the place, including some of those who are at the verge of extinction.
The selection of the native trees was done for proper restoration of the place.
Currently, only 10% of the PNHR has to be restored and all of this restoration has been done by keeping in mind the native trees of the place being restored in order to bring back the fauna that recognizes the trees of that very region. Their techniques have been successful and the animals have returned.