Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Life Imitates Art — The Man Who Planted Trees

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Thursday, November 17, 2022

The forest doesn’t need us.

It was here before us, and it will be here after we leave.

The forest will survive despite our abuses of it.

We are the ones who need the forest.


“The Man Who Planted Trees”
A short story by Jean Giono

Featuring the Paul Winter Consort & Jean Giono
Narrated by Robert J. Lurtsema
The work won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1987.

“The Man Who Planted Trees” is 1953 fictional short story by French author Jean Giono, who in a 1957 letter to a Digne, France city official wrote, “Elzéard Bouffier is a fictional person. The goal was to make trees likeable, or more specifically, make planting trees likeable.”

The book, which was translated into several languages and distributed without charge, was so well received that many thought it was a true story, thus somewhat necessitating such a letter.

The story illustrates the magnitude of difference that one person can make to the earth.

“The Man Who Planted Trees” tells a tale of Elzéard Bouffier, a simple man of determination, who, after losing his wife and son, retreated to a desolately remote part of France, which land he thought “was dying for want of trees.” So, with his dog and sheep as his solitary companions, he began his life’s work — daily planting one hundred acorns.

Over 30 years, laboring in peace without interruption, and in complete anonymity, Elzéard’s planting of trees resurrected and transformed a once desiccated landscape, relentlessly ravaged by winds, and forsaken by people, into a verdantly vibrant, vigorous, and thriving region, filled with people and life of all kinds.

Life imitates art.

Manipur man converts barren land into 300-acre forest

Meanwhile, Loiya is certain that the task of growing a forest and nurturing it is going to be “a lifelong mission” although he now works in a pharmacy to earn a living and to sustain his family.
Published: 13th November 2022 12:41 PM — Last Updated: 13th November 2022 12:41 PM

IMPHAL: A 47-year-old man in Manipur’s Imphal West district has converted barren land into a 300-acre forest with a wide variety of plant species in 20 years.

Moirangthem Loiya, who hails from the Uripok Khaidem Leikai area of the district, started planting trees on the outskirts of Imphal town in the Langol Hill range about 20 years ago.

A nature lover from his childhood days, Loiya said, “in early 2000, after completing my college studies in Chennai, when I went to the Koubru mountain, I was appalled by the wide-scale deforestation of the previously thick vegetation that marked the Koubru hill ranges. I felt a strong urge to give back to mother nature which we humans as a whole have destroyed so much in modern times.”

The search soon led him to Maru Langol renamed “Punshilok Maru” or “Spring of Life” in the Langol Hill range on the outskirts of the capital Imphal town.

“I encountered the place accidentally while taking a hike and immediately felt the area which was all barren due to jhum cultivation could be converted into a thick green lush forest with time and dedication,” the 47-year-old told PTI.


Brazilian Couple Spends 20 Years Planting Trees On A Barren Ranch To Create A Paradise For Animals
By Sophie Wingate for Dailymail.com
Published: 12:23 EST, 3 June 2019 | Updated: 16:49 EST, 3 June 2019

Brazilian photojournalist Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado and his wife Lélia Deluiz Wanick Salgado have spent the last 20 years planting an 1,750-acre forest to transform a barren plot of land in Brazil’s Minas Gerais state into a tropical paradise.

When Salgado returned from a traumatic trip covering the Rwandan genocide in 1994, he was shocked to find his family’s former cattle ranch in a state of natural degradation.

“The land was as sick as I was – everything was destroyed,” the famed photographer said at a meeting on climate change in Paris in 2015. “Only about 0.5% of the land was covered in trees.”

Sebastião and Lélia Salgado have spent 20 years transforming the photographer’s desolate former family cattle ranch into a fertile forest.

Salgado, now 75, remembered the farm he grew up on as a lush and lively sub-tropical rainforest, but the area had suffered from rampant deforestation and uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources.

His wife had the idea to replant the forest.

“It was so natural, instinctive. The land was so degraded, so horrible. What a bad gift! Why not plant?” Lélia told Smithsonian Magazine in 2015.

Couple bring destroyed rainforest back to life by planting TWO MILLION trees over 20 years
Now 20 years later, the forest is the tropical paradise that he remembered as a child.
By Jenny Awford
5 May 2019, 1:29, Updated: 5 May 2019, 1:42

Sebastião Salgado Has Seen the Forest, Now He’s Seeing the Trees
He documented human suffering around the world. But now, back in his native Brazil, the renowned photographer is healing the devastated landscape.
By McKenzie Funk
October 2015

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