Today’s Solutions: May 25, 2024

In the early 1990s, Brazilian photojournalist Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado was stationed in East Africa where he was covering the horrific accounts of the Rwanda genocide. Following this traumatizing project, Salgado decided to find solace in the lap of a lush and lively rainforest that surrounded his family’s sprawling cattle ranch. But instead of returning to green paradise he once knew, he came home to find a barren land with only a few trees remaining. Rather than give up, his wife came up with the idea of replanting the entire forest. Salgado supported her proposal and together the couple set out on a heroic mission. As a first step, the couple set up the Instituto Terra – the organization which tirelessly worked to bring a forest back to life. Over the next several years, the couple and the Instituto Terra team slowly but surely rebuilt the 1,754-acre forest, transforming it from a dusty plot of land to a tropical paradise. The land is now a Private Natural Heritage Reserve, home to hundreds of species of flora and fauna. In addition to 293 species of trees, the regrown forest has 172 species of birds, 33 species of mammals, and 15 species of amphibians and reptiles – many of which are endangered. On top of reintroducing plants and animals to the area, the project has rejuvenated several once dried-up springs in the drought-prone area and has even positively affected local temperatures.

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