"Photographer and Wife's 20-Year Project Restores Destroyed Forest and Brings Back Wildlife"

In an incredible effort to restore a once-destroyed forest, a photographer and his wife have planted two million trees over the course of 20 years. The result? A flourishing ecosystem where even the animals have returned.

Sebastião Salgado, a Brazilian photographer, and his wife Lélia Deluiz Wanick Salgado have transformed a 1,502-acre piece of land that was once barren and desolate into a thriving forest. The area, located in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, had been ravaged by deforestation, overgrazing, and prolonged droughts.

The couple began their efforts in 1998 when they founded Instituto Terra, a non-profit organization that aims to promote sustainable development and ecological conservation. They worked tirelessly, hand-planting trees and restoring the natural water sources of the area.

The transformation has been astounding. Today, the forest is home to more than 172 species of birds, 33 species of mammals, and 15 species of reptiles and amphibians. Water has returned to the region, with the creation of 20 natural springs, and the soil has been enriched with nutrients.

The couple's efforts have not gone unnoticed, and they have received numerous awards for their work. In 2019, they were awarded the prestigious German environmental award, the Blue Planet Prize, which is often referred to as the "Nobel Prize for ecology".

Their work is a testament to the power of restoration and the resilience of nature. It serves as an inspiration for others to take action and make a positive impact on our planet.


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