Couple Plants An Entire Forest Over The Past 20 Years - Growing 2 Million Trees

The number of trees in the world is quickly diminishing due to deforestation and pollution. Even the Amazon Rainforest, the Earth's largest concentration of trees, is being chopped down to make space for farmland.

The United Nations reports that over 129 million hectares (about 318 million acres) of forests have been cut down since 1990. This amount resembles the country of South Africa and will never be recovered again. An area about the size of the country of Panama is lost each year. There isn't enough global reaction to combat this growing problem.

The statistics surrounding this issue continue to worsen. According to Scientific American, deforestation as an industry contributes 15-percent of the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. In addition, countless plant and animal species are becoming endangered or going extinct altogether.

David Attenborough, a known British naturalist, claims that the various species on Earth today are going extinct at a similar rate as when dinosaurs existed. Everyone knows that this time period in history did not end well.

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Amidst all of this diversity, two people from Brazil are doing their part to make a change for the better. Lélia Deluiz Wanick Salgado and Sebastião Salgado are a married couple who have dedicated their lives to fighting global warming. This couple is a true testament to how impactful individuals can be in the battle against these powerful problems, The Guardian reported.

After spending years documenting the genocide in Rwanda, Sebastião returned to Brazil only to find his homeland torn apart. A large portion of the tropical rainforest had been chopped down for industrial purposes. Furthermore, a significant amount of wildlife was extinct as well.

In an interview with The Guardian, Salgado revealed his shock upon returning home. He reported that only 0.5% of the entire land bore trees. Sebastião felt as sick as the forest looked. His wife had the amazing idea of replanting the entire forest by hand. According to Sebastião, all of the familiar birds, fish, and insects began to return due to the increased number of trees. Sebastião eventually felt reborn with the creation of the new forest.

According to Sebastião, it is imperative that native trees be planted as opposed to foreign plants. These trees must also be planted with seeds gathered from the same area in which they are planted. Animals won't interact with trees that are not native, and this leaves forests silent. Over the past two decades, the couple has planted over 2 million trees in an attempt to rebuild their forest. Wildlife and other plant species have returned and made a home in the renewed area.

What do you think about this story? Is there anything you do to help save the environment? Let us know in the comments and be sure to spread the word about this article to raise awareness!