With many people referring to this fall as “hotumn,” and the effects of global warming becoming more apparent with each passing headline, it’s high time to make a concentrated effort to rectify our environmental mistakes.
As reported by Fast Company, we’ve got a bright spot on the horizon. They report that the largest-ever tropical restoration project, taking place in the Brazilian Amazon, is set to plant 73 million tropical trees, using a new technique that results in healthier, stronger plants.
Led by Conservation International, the project is set to take place over six years, and will sprout 73 million trees in “what's known as the ‘arc of deforestation,’ in the Brazilian states of Amazonas, Acre, Pará, Rondônia, and throughout the Xingu watershed. The short-term plan is to restore 70,000 acres (the area of 30,000 soccer fields) that have been cleared for pastureland to their former forested glory,” according to Fast Company.
The new method of planting is called muvuca. “In Portuguese, it means a lot of people in a very small place,” says Rodrigo Medeiros, Conservation International's vice president of the Brazil program and the lead on the ground.
The muvuca strategy takes a variety of seeds from over 200 native forest species, spreading them over each meter of deforested land. Because the muvuca method so densely packs the seeds into one area, multiple seedlings will sprout. Ultimately, only one plant will prevail: by nature, the strongest of the group.
This produces the strongest trees, which are incredibly resilient. According to a 2014 study by the Food and Agriculture Organization and Bioversity International cited by Fast Company, more than 90 percent of native tree species planted with this strategy germinate, and are able to survive drought conditions for up to six months without irrigation.
Not only will the project provide a much more diverse, dense reforestation than previous techniques, it will also provide employment in local communities, where people in the area will be able to work actively planting seeds and reforesting the land.
So far, a couple million trees have been planted, and that’s just the beginning.
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