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Why Save the Atlantic Forest?Image via Wikipedia
In 1500, when the Portuguese arrived in Brazil, the Atlantic Forest stretched the entire 2,000 mile length of Brazil's eastern seaboard,covering an area twice the size of Texas. It was once the world's richest biological reserve; it has more plant and tree diversity in 2.5acres than the entire eastern seaboard of the United States.
Today, a huge 93% of the Atlantic Forest has been destroyed, largely in the last 50 years.
The Atlantic Forest and Amazon Rainforest really are the 'Lungs of the World'. Even with 93% of the Atlantic Forest destroyed the Atlantic and Amazon Rainforests produce 20% of the world's oxygen!
Scientists estimate 50-60 percent of plant and animal species found in the Atlantic Forest are only found in that region alone. Its an amazing treasure trove of biological diversity.
Who are SALVEASERRA?
SALVEASERRA are an NGO in Brazil working to restore degraded areas of the Atlantic Forest by promoting sustainable land use and agro-reforestation techniques through their 'Trees & Education Project' with GlobalGiving.
Since 1995 they have planted over 80,000 trees in the Atlantic Forest. They maintain a seed bank of local forest species to ensure that reforestation respects the original genetic profile of the forest.
SALVEASERRA also take groups of school children through the forest to help build awareness of its importance.
In addition to this they offer training courses tailored to the needs of local rural communities, farmers and others interested inorganic,ecologically sound farming and agro-forestry practices. In 2007 250 students took part in these courses.
They also work directly to alleviate poverty in the area by training local communities on how to use forest resources to make handicrafts to help provide employment and increase local incomes.And they run a course teaching eco-friendly ways to produce organic food at home to supplement family diets and increase income from surplus production.They also prepare and donate vegetable gardens to local communities.
Donate $2 and WIN
Everyone who donates $2 or more to SALVEASERRA before the 31st of January 2009 goes into the draw to win a fantastic We Add Up Organic Cotton 'Plant Trees' Tee.
WE ADD UP is an organic t-shirt campaign that counts you in the fight to stop climate change. Each tee is custom hand-printed with a unique number. YOUR number represents your position in the worldwide count of people doing something to do their part. No two shirts are alike. When you purchase a WE ADD UP tee and join the count, you help our number grow. Our goal is to show that small changes do make a big difference and WE ADD UP.