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20 Million trees and counting

20 Million trees and counting
20 Million trees and counting

Over the last 20 years, Sebastião Salgado's family property in Minas Gerais, Brazil, has changed significantly, turning into a thriving ecosystem, all thanks to the dedicated efforts of Instituto Terra. In 2001, Salgado, with his wife Lélia and a team of volunteers, started a bold project: planting 20 million trees across 1,500 acres of once barren hillsides. The landscape, previously damaged by deforestation, has slowly but steadily recovered.

Founded in 1998 by Salgado and Lélia, Instituto Terra played a crucial role in environmental restoration, going beyond just planting trees. The institute takes a comprehensive approach to sustainable rural development and ecosystem revitalization in the challenging terrain of the Rio Doce Valley.

Instituto Terra's impact is evident in the renewed self-sustaining ecosystem that now houses a diverse array of flora and fauna. Remarkably, rare and endangered species such as ocelots, purple-breasted parrots, and the Atlantic titi have made a successful return, marking a significant achievement in wildlife conservation.


The institute's initiatives align with global sustainability goals, notably contributing to Sustainable Development Goal 15 - Life on Land. Actively involved in biodiversity restoration, combating land degradation, and advocating for sustainable land-use practices, Instituto Terra embodies a commitment to global environmental aspirations.

Beyond its immediate environmental impact, Instituto Terra's success story goes beyond borders. It serves as a tangible example of the transformative potential inherent in environmental initiatives. Through collaborative projects and ongoing endeavors, Instituto Terra emerges as a catalyst in the global movement toward a more sustainable and interconnected planet.

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Video credits: Instituto Terra


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