South America

Students plant tree seedlings to strengthen the environment

36 Adventist schools in Midwestern Brazil hope to plant 30,000 Ipê tree seedlings, effectively removing over 4,700 tons of harmful carbon dioxide emissions.

Goiás, Brazil | Rafael Brondani, with Jenny Vieira

Students at Posse Adventist School in Goiás, Brazil, recently planted more than 300 Ipê tree seedlings on the school campus as part of the “Sustainable School” project, an initiative of the Adventist Education Network in Midwest Brazil. This special initiative emphasizes environmental preservation. 

Data from the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe) indicates that from August 2018 to July this year, 2625 square miles of the Amazon has been deforested. Another statistic presented by the Green Initiative website, using a CO2 calculator, showed carbon dioxide emissions in Brazil are currently equivalent to 7.85 tons per Brazilian every year.

The Ipê tree was chosen because it is effective in eliminating CO2 and because it is easy to plant. In addition to the Posse Adventist School, 36 other Adventist schools in the area are participating in “Sustainable School.” Their goal is to plant 30,000 seeds.
Goiás municipal Secretary of Environment, Cesar de Abreu, approved the initiative and was on hand for the event. Students received training from municipal forest engineer Tamiles Rodrigues as they planted the seedlings.

Stimulus to care

Principal of Posse Adventist School, Daniel Pereira, highlights this activity provides practical education and raises environmental awareness. “The students are excited and it was very nice to see their joy when it was time to put the seed in the ground,” he said. “They even asked me if they, too, will contribute to improving the world. From now on, we will make a schedule for all classes to follow the process of watering and growing the seed until it is the ideal size to plant in the final place.”

“From the first moment the project was announced, we put in our hearts the possibility of being part of and expanding into the city,” adds Pereira. “So we went after the partnerships, which were very accessible because it is a very relevant theme in the region and in the world.”

Ipê seedlings were distributed according to the number of students and collaborators at each school and planted the week prior to Tree Day, celebrated on September 21. With the planting of 30,000 seeds, it is estimated that 4,750 tons of carbon dioxide emissions will be eliminated from the environment. 

Posse Adventist School hopes to continue this project, with the partnership of business man Ivon Valente, owner of Rádio Cultura FM, challenging them to plant more than 5,000 seedlings by the end of 2020. 

This article was originally published on the South American Division’s Portuguese news site.