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  • Writer's pictureZoe Cawthorn

Saving the World 30,000 Trees at a Time: Reforestation Success in the Amazon

Tree-planting NGO, 8 Billion Trees, has successfully completed another stage of its 8 billion tree-planting mission, by reforesting illegally cut areas of the Amazon. Their special projects team has just returned from Brazil after planting 30,000 trees to restore once forested lands.

Rainforests are essential to life on earth. They produce oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide and enhance rainfall. Forests also provide rich habitat for wildlife and are often considered 'biodiversity hotspots', as they can contain many different species of trees, plants and animals. The Amazon is the world’s largest rainforest and the largest river basin on the planet. The Amazon rainforest stores around 100 billion metric tons of carbon, and 34 million local people depend on its resources. More species are found here than anywhere else on Earth.

Like many rain forests around the world, the Amazon has faced widespread deforestation. Forest losses in the Amazon biome averaged 1.4 million hectares per year between 2001 and 2012. Much of this loss is due to known large-scale agriculture, but illegal logging is also creating vast areas of devastation. 8 Billion Trees have standing contractual agreements with local and state governments who authorise them to operate and plant in these devastated areas. They also work alongside a research institute in Brazil, who run grassroots campaigns to educate and empower local communities to care for their forests by protecting and planting trees.

Their recent 30,000 tree planting project involved multiple areas in the Brazilian States of Tocantins and Para. These sites were chosen specifically for their level of destruction as well as importance, whether that was to provide habitat for the forest's animals or for preserving rivers and waterways through soil restoration and root structure. For most of these areas 8 Billion Trees utilised their environmental engineers and planters who carry out their reforestation projects, but in some cases volunteers also got involved. These included university students as well as local land owners who benefited by learning how to maintain and preserve their land.

The wonderful '8 Billion Trees' team, who successfully planted 30,000 trees in the Amazon. (Photo: 8 Billion Trees)

One of the local planters, Salmo Caetano, whose land was restored by the project said:

"This action will change our reality. Some families here are unable to make a nursery with irrigation. Now, with this support, it has improved 100%. We have good seedlings, better production conditions and training. So, that makes all the difference".

(translated from Portuguese to English)

Project video:

8 Billion Trees was co-founded in 2018 by Michael Powell and Jon Chambers, who were inspired by groups like Ecosia and Trees for the Future, but saw the opportunity to do something even bigger: plant and save 8 billion trees. This wonderful NGO carries out large-scale tree planting and tree conservation operations to actively fight deforestation, to fuel positive environmental change and to defend habitats for animals.

8 Billion Trees has an online shop full of useful items and beautiful gifts to raise funds for their projects. Take a look at what you can buy and the impact your purchase will have here: 8 Billion Trees shop.

Sources: 8 Billion Trees, WWF

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