The rational use of natural resources is totally feasible. An example is the reforestation program of the Terra Institute in Minas Gerais.
In the 1990s, Lelia Delviz, Wanick Salgado and Sebastião Salgado bought a farm near the city of Maimarés, in Minas Gerais.
The lands had been destined to the cattle activity, therefore all the local flora was devastated almost in its totality.
Its new owners decided to recover the area to create a sample of sustainable development that could be replicated in the rest of the Rio Doce Valley.
Implementing the proposal took a lot of effort and required a search for funds. They also created an environmental organization known as the Terra Institute.
17,000 hectares that were heavily eroded were reforested in a strip of the Rio Doce Valley. This required more than four million seedlings of the native species of the Atlantic Forest of Brazil, grown in a nursery created on the same property, known as Granja Bulcão.
The plants grew and what was once an arid area, has been transformed into a fertile forest, full of fauna, with abundant springs. Species at risk of extinction have the possibility of finding a habitat that allows them to perpetuate themselves in the future.
The Brazilian Atlantic forest is one of the most vulnerable ecosystems on the planet. At this time there are only 95,000 km2 of this natural environment, that is, 8% of its maximum surface reached during the last ice age. That is why initiatives such as those promoted by entrepreneurs are so important.
The Terra Institute and its plans for Mina Gerais.
The organization is aware of the damage that the area has suffered from cattle ranching and iron exploitation. This has generated a devastating impact that has manifested itself in soil erosion, droughts and loss of quality of life for its inhabitants.
To assist in the recovery of the Valley, it has proposed the restoration of degraded areas, environmental education programs and applied scientific research.
The Bulcão Farm was declared a Private Natural Reserve. With this successful experience, the Government created the figure of Private Reserve for Environmental Restoration (PRER) in order to encourage other citizens to replicate the experience.
More information: artsandculture