Suzana and Claudio Padua: The Magic of Trees

Suzana and Claudio Padua

Standing in the red earth courtyard of a simple Brazilian homestead, Suzana Padua looks with pleasure at the grove of trees that Valdomiro ("Miro") de Castro and his wife Ireni have planted near their farmhouse and, in the distance, the chartreuse fringe of saplings growing alongside the Morro do Diabo State Park. "Look around you!" she exclaims. "The Pontal is greening."

That's a remarkable statement, since the Pontal, a once heavily forested area in the far west of Sao Paulo State, has long been devastated by logging and ranching. But nature is making a comeback in this impoverished region, thanks largely...

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