Reforesting Venezuela: Community-Led Seed Gathering and Tree Planting in Mission Arbol

Over April and May each year, during the flowering season in Venezuela, a range of public authorities, community organisations and schools take part in National Seed Gathering Days, collecting thousands of kilograms of seeds for planting new forest as part of the government’s Mission Arbol (the Tree Mission).

By Various

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Students in the eastern state of Anzoategui planting new trees (UNELLEZ blog)
Students in the eastern state of Anzoategui planting new trees (UNELLEZ blog)

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Children participating in seed gathering (MIAMB)
Children participating in seed gathering (MIAMB)

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Environment minister Alejandro Hitcher examining samples of seeds in Francisco de Miranda National Park during a national seed gathering day on World Earth Day, 22 April. (AVN)
Environment minister Alejandro Hitcher examining samples of seeds in Francisco de Miranda National Park during a national seed gathering day on World Earth Day, 22 April. (AVN)

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A child learns about the different kids of seeds that are being gathered for plantation. (AVN)
A child learns about the different kids of seeds that are being gathered for plantation. (AVN)

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A Conservation Committee in the western state of Trujillo, in the Venezuelan Andes, displays their gathered seeds. (abrebrecha.com)
A Conservation Committee in the western state of Trujillo, in the Venezuelan Andes, displays their gathered seeds. (abrebrecha.com)

Launched six years ago, Mission Arbol promotes community led restoration, conservation and sustainable use of Venezuela’s forests. Key to the program are volunteer run Conservation Committees, which receive public funding and are responsible for planting and caring for new tree plantations, as well as participating in seed collection drives.

There are currently 40,000 volunteers in Mision Arbol, grouped into 4,000 Conservation Committees. Speaking to press on 22 April during the 11th National Seed Gathering Day, to mark World Earth Day, Venezuelan Environment minister Alejandro Hitcher highlighted that since its initiation Mission Arbol has planted 32 thousands hectares of new forest in Venezuela, and around 45 million new trees.

Text by Ewan Robertson for Venezuelanalysis.com

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