The misty forests of Miguel Pereira, just two hours drive from Rio’s Copacabana beaches, show the scars of development. Over the past century, this part of the Atlantic forest has experienced three waves of development – logging, coffee plantations and cattle ranching – each of which ran down the environment a step further.
By 2008, there was almost nothing left to extract. The hills were stripped bare, the rivers dry and the soil degraded. Local people were left in poverty. Many moved to Rio to find work.
But now they are returning because Miguel Pereira is once again frontier territory and is being held up as a model in a new global campaign to revitalise 150 million hectares – six times the area of the UK – of degraded land around the planet by 2020.
For more on this story, visit: Brazil’s blueprint for reforestation | Environment | The Guardian.