SEBASTIAO RIBEIRO SALGADO, a Brazilian famed photographer, with his wife Lelia morphed a severely damaged and barren landscape, due to rampant deforestation and disappearing wildlife, in Minas Gerais region of Brazil into a lush green forest by planting some “two million” trees for the duration of 20 years consistently. Their perseverance and determination worked eventually!

It all started in 1994 when Salgado decided to take a family farm in this place, but he found the land with only 0.5 percent covered with trees and rest barren. This damaged environment not only made him disappointed but sparked inspiration in him and his wife, who came up with the idea to replant the forest. What sounded impossible was made possible with the contribution of an environmental organization named ‘Instituto Terra’. Hence, the 1,754-acre barren land has transformed into a tropical paradise in a period of 20 years which rejuvenated the flora and fauna.

We keep speaking on global warming, land pollution, plantation and stuff here in Pakistan, but have we ever pondered on such an initiative? We have no lack of barren lands which need to be transformed into greenery. The arid enormous mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan need to be planted trees. How many of us, except criticising and heaping all responsibility on the state, have ever dared to take an initiative individually? We can make change, but it requisites will, expedition, determination, perseverance and conviction, just like the abovementioned Brazilian couple.


Gilgit-Baltistan, May 10.