World's Largest Tropical Reforestation Underway in Brazil

2017 CEBrazil

"The project in the Brazilian Amazon is using a new technique for planting trees that results in more, stronger plants–and hopes to cover 70,000 acres in new forests. Developed in Brazil only a few years ago, the new planting technique is called muvuca. “In Portuguese, it means a lot of people in a very small place,” says Rodrigo Medeiros, Conservation International’s vice president of the Brazil program and the lead on the ground. The muvuca strategy demands that seeds from more than 200 native forest species are spread over every square meter of burnt and mismanaged land… Several seeds germinate, compete between themselves for nutrients and sunlight, and the strongest ultimately become big trees. According to a 2014 study by the Food and Agriculture Organization and Biodiversity International, more than 90% of native tree species planted with this strategy germinate, and they’re especially resilient, able to survive drought conditions for up to six months without irrigation… “With plant-by-plant reforestation techniques, you get a typical density of about 160 plants per hectare,” says Medeiros. “With muvuca, the initial outcome is 2,500 species per hectare. And after 10 years, you can reach 5,000 trees per hectare. It’s much more diverse, much more dense, and less expensive than traditional techniques.”

John Converse Townsend, "The Largest Ever Tropical Reforestation Is Planting 73 Million Trees," Fast Company, October 31, 2017,

Image: CIFOR via Flickr, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)