The University of Exeter and local NGO plant thousands of trees in the Amazon
Ran by the University of Exeter and local NGO Instituto Ouro Verde (the ‘Institute of Green Gold’), the project has planted thousands of trees in the Amazon’s “arc of deforestation”.
Almost 150 acres of former rainforest land has been converted to the new “silvopastoral” systems, comprised of Inga trees, transforming the incomes of 20 smallholder families. Inga trees take nitrogen from the air and lock it in the soil, maintaining soil fertility long term. One farmer, Valdinei de Souza, stated that it had already made a “significant difference”.
While the deforested land was being used as pasture, the soil is nutrient-poor and thus cattle farming was not longstanding. This project provides a way to improve the quality of the soil and sustainably produce food.
“farmers are now feeding themselves and beginning to sell food too”.Professor Toby Pennington, of the Global Systems Institute and Department of Geography at the University of Exeter
UK Research and Innovation’s Global Challenges Research Fund awarded a grant to the project in 2019, a total of £1.5 billion to be managed by the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy.
Editor: Elen Johnston