Amazon's Deforested Areas Could See 73M New Trees

Seeding effort aims to restore 74,000 acres of rainforest
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2017 10:56 AM CST
Brazil Begins 'World's Largest Tropical Reforestation' Effort
This Sept. 15, 2009, file photo shows a deforested area near Novo Progresso in Brazil's northern state of Para.   (AP Photo/Andre Penner, File)

The Amazon rainforest's "arc of deforestation" could soon have 73 million new trees. In an effort to reseed 74,000 acres of the Amazon—20% of which has been destroyed in the last 40 years—Conservation International, the World Bank, Brazil's environmental ministry, and several other groups are working together to spread seeds in the Amazonas, Acre, Pará, Rondonia, and Xingu areas of Brazil, reports Fast Company. Reforestation normally involves saplings, which must be grown and planted. But Conservation International CEO M. Sanjayan hopes dropping seeds from 200 native species per square meter of land, in what is known as the muvuca strategy, will "drive the costs down dramatically" and produce a greater diversity and density of plants.

"If you're really thinking about getting carbon dioxide out of [the] atmosphere, then tropical forests are the ones that end up mattering the most," says Sanjayan, noting the move will help Brazil reach its Paris Accord target of reforesting an area the size of Pennsylvania by 2030, per Smithsonian. A release notes it's the "largest tropical forest restoration in the world." Up to 2,000 locals will work together to seed each hectare, with families receiving $700 per hectare. Additional seeds will also be distributed in existing forested areas. Some 90% of seeds are expected to germinate, though only the strongest will survive. A leader of the program predicts there will be 2,500 trees per hectare after six years and up to 5,000 after 10 years. (Deforestation has revealed millennia-old "geoglyphs" in Brazil.)

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