Mini Forests in São Paulo Combat Rising Temperatures

The Youth Planting Mini Forests In São Paulo To Combat Rising Temperatures. Source: Unsplash
Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Youth Planting Mini Forests In São Paulo To Combat Rising Temperatures. Source: Unsplash

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Brazillian youth take direct action and plant mini forests in São Paulo to combat rising temperatures.

A new program to plant mini forests in São Paulo, Brazil, brings together youth, educators, and indigenous communities to plant trees to reduce the urban heat island effect.

Why are Mini Forests in São Paulo Important?

Global warming is a term often used to describe the global climate crisis, but it refers to the fact that temperatures rapidly rise everywhere. Multiple heat-related natural disasters have been unfolding simultaneously throughout the last decade that can be directly attributed to this phenomenon. 

For example, due to the dry climate, high winds, and increased temperatures, a brushfire that began in New South Wales in Australia spiraled out of control into one of the worst mega-fires the entire country had ever seen. 

Another example of global warming and its impact can be seen in the living conditions of people in urban areas. In 2022, the heatwave in the United Kingdom and Europe disproportionately affected those living in densely populated areas, as these areas, such as London or Birmingham, have a severe lack of places for people to cool down. 

Evidence indicates that if trees and other natural life are integrated thoroughly into the everyday lives of city dwellers, a cooling effect occurs, reducing what academics call the urban heat island effect. 

They say that the best time to plant a tree was ten years ago, and the next best time is now, though in this case, it is entirely literal. This is how students in Brazil plant mini forests in São Paulo to create urban oases for themselves and future generations. 

How Does Planting Mini Forests in São Paulo Work?

By being in the Southern Hemisphere of our world, Brazil is one of the countries being hit hardest by the accelerating effects of the climate crisis. Due to this fact, many in Brazil are taking on the challenge of creating solutions to the rapid temperature increase. 

One of the ways that this is happening is not by the government but rather by the citizens of Brazil, specifically the youngest ones who will be most affected.

The program to plant mini forests in São Paulo is organized by a group called formigus-de-embaúba, an NGO that works with indigenous leaders and schools to facilitate the exchange of traditional knowledge of agroforestry and ecosystem management and to plant trees in São Paulo. 

In 2022, almost 10,000 trees were planted by 4,000 students with help from educators on public school grounds throughout the city. However, this is only the beginning, as it’s part of a more extensive program to plant trees throughout São Paulo, reducing the previously mentioned urban heat island effect. 

“We will plant another eight mini forests in São Paulo this year. Each one will be about 400 square meters [4,300 square feet] in size,” says formigas-de-embaúba co-founder Rafael Ribeiro. “We plant them very densely; that is to say, not just one tree here and another over there, like you usually see in the city.” 

The mini forests in São Paulo project has the potential to be implemented in 650 public schools throughout the city, inspiring the young to take an active role in helping their environment and educating them on how to nurture their native ecology. 

See also: Green Roofs on Brazil’s Favelas.

Using nature to help our people and world.

Moving toward urban design that accommodates nature into the very structure of how we live and exist in cities is a trend that is gaining more momentum. On average, cities are significantly hotter places to live, even at night, due to the heat retained by materials like concrete and asphalt. 

By integrating natural features like mini-forests into the fabric of our cities, we can mitigate the effects of climate change and make living conditions in cities significantly better. 

The model that is being demonstrated in São Paulo is beneficial not only because it promotes this exact idea but also because it integrates the knowledge passed down by indigenous communities into the plan. 

By teaching this to younger generations, guarantees the survival of these forms of knowledge and brings them into a new context where it can be even more relevant than it was before. 

As global warming continues to press on, strategies like this are what’s most important to maintaining our health and well-being. 

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