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Click a day plants 16 million trees in Brazil’s Atlantic coastal forest

Page history last edited by Rosemary 10 years, 3 months ago

Since 2000, the Click Tree or “clickavore” campaign of the SOS Mata Atlântica Foundation has been working towards the recovery of Brazil’s devastated Atlantic Forest, known in Portuguese as "Mata Atlântica”. The forest ecosystem, which lies along most of Brazil's Atlantic coastline, has lost 93% of its original coverage, becoming mostly urban and industrial centres, affecting water supplies, creating erosion and devastating the once-rich local biodiversity.

The program, which works with the support of the non-government Vidagua Environmental Institute and the Abril Editorial publishing house, allows people to click on the site and plant a tree in the Atlantic Forest – known in Portuguese as Mata Atlantica. So far, more than 16.5 million trees have been planted, donated to 930 reforestation projects in 350 municipalities, helping to create five community plant nurseries that earn income for communities and non-governmental groups and create jobs.

The initial goal was environmental education, "to involve communities in the conservation" of the ecosystem, Ludmila Pugliese, forest restoration coordinator at SOS Mata Atlântica, told Tierramérica. Internet users may click on the site just once a day and the click leaders each month win visits to SOS or t-shirts. "There was one who did it religiously each day and, when he ended up hospitalised, he called us on the phone so he wouldn't lose his lead," said Pugliese. Donors can see on the web page the areas that have been reforested with "their" trees.

Such enthusiastic participation led to a "restorative vision” that would connect isolated fragments of forests so they could recover such lost functions as recharging underground water and increasing the native animal populations through biological corridors, said Pugliese, a biologist with a Master's degree in forest resources.

The program expanded to include landowners who wanted to reforest their plots, sponsors who offered seedlings, private and community plant nurseries, and companies that offered technical assistance. Some landowners began by planting 5,000 trees, enough for three hectares, and "they enjoyed the experience so much that they repeated it several more times," she said. In some states, like Sao Paolo, true forest restoration requires a minimum of 80 different species per hectare, made up of trees native to the Atlantic Forest. Fruit trees are recommended in order to feed the fauna.

The expansion led to another program, Forest of the Future, in which specialised companies are hired to develop technical projects, because merely owning land does not mean the owners know how to reforest, especially vast areas that require "investment and effort," explained Pugliese. Its sponsors are large companies or banks that are interested in compensating for their own greenhouse gas emissions, as well as television programmes, rock bands, and even couples who are planning their weddings, she said.

This story was adapted from a longer story entitled Environment Brazil: Click Here to Plant a Tree, by Mario Osava of Tierramerica, datelined Rio de Janeiro Sept. 7, 2008, and distributed by Inter Press Service News Agency Sept. 16, 2008. The story was originally published by Latin American newspapers that are part of the Tierramérica network. Tierramérica is a specialised news service produced by IPS with the backing of the United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Environment Programme and the World Bank, available in Spanish, Portuguese, and English.

 

For other stories about forests, see:

Briquettes provide energy, let forests regenerate in Malawi

Abdul’s dream of restoring mangrove forest in Malaysia takes root in villages

Community residents protect Malaysia’s oldest forest reserve

Guerrilla tourism helps protect remote mountain forest in El Salvador

Madagascar plan to reduce deforestation achieves excellent results

Pioneering deal offers new hope for preserving tropical forests, global climate, local jobs

Re-establishing forest ecosystem in Uganda fights climate change

Reforesting desolate Colombian savannah shows sustainability can be created anywhere

Tanzanian blacksmiths pass on skills, creating jobs and saving forests

Tanzanian botanist honoured for reforestation efforts

Traditional Mexican coffee farms could help regenerate forest

World’s first solar cooker village helps cut deforestation in Somalia

Local forest mapping in Congo Basin may help villagers protect livelihoods

 

For other stories about tree-planting activities, see:

Replanting olive trees in Palestine symbolizes hope for a peaceful future

Re-establishing forest ecosystem in Uganda fights climate change

People around world meet challenge to plant a billion trees in one year

More than 100,000 Tanzanian homes built with bricks fired by agricultural waste

Tanzanian botanist honoured for reforestation efforts

Cooperation helps nomads fight desertification in Mauritania

Planting hope for the future: Kenya's Green Belt Movement

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