Besouro de Fogo
Reforestation of the Mata Atlantica
It was September 2019 when I was launching a new series – Saudade Brazil – and I heard about the awful fires burning down the Amazon Forest in my home country. I immediately thought I should use part of the proceeds of my collection to help a reforestation project of some sort.
At that point, I contacted my dear friend Alessandra Jeszensky, as I knew she would be in the loop about whatever was going on. I knew my contribution wouldn’t be as crucial to the Amazon as Leonardo Di Caprio was already doing a great job supporting there. I wanted something smaller, and to my surprised, with a trembling sweet voice, my friend said: we just bought this land and are looking into sponsors to fund the reforestation of 1 Acre on top of a mountain.
They had already paid for the land and went into a very bureaucratic process to turn it into a national reserve to be protected in the future. But they had no funds to buy the plants and hire equipment to make it happen. I assured her we would raise the money.
A few years later, I finally had the opportunity to visit, and I was in tears to see the results. Out of 1200 trees planted, 1113 were still up and growing. It is an incredible number as the average loss is 30%. My next goal is to raise money to buy the land next to theirs to revert that to a national reserve as well.
Most of the original forest in the region has been taken by kettle farming. So much work needs to be done in order to reverse the damage. And with only a couple of years, my friend said the neighbors have already been inspired to protect the forest and have already seen a change. Areas near their land used to dry out for a part of the year. Now the river continues to flow. Ale and Sandor are true heroes.
May their actions multiply into more goodness in this world.
Photos from Our Visit
Upon arrival we visited a waterfall. This is the original landscape of Mata Atlântica. Very humid and dense forest.
The light green are devastated areas due to cattle farming. The reforestation we are doing is one of those affected areas.
View ALL photos on this google album:
NFT Art ALERT! For the collectors: I have launched the Saudade series as NFTs to raise money and expand the Reforestation Project. Invest and support. View Collection.