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TEDGlobal: The Forest

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SOSMAWe built a theater for TEDGlobal 2014 and, after the event closes, it will be taken down. And as Chris Anderson admitted at the end of session 9, this has many of us concerned about the environmental impact of this conference.

A chance encounter with Tasso Azevedo, the speaker who shared how deforestation in Brazil rolled back 75% in 10 years, surfaced an idea for something to do about this. Azevedo shared the name of a locally based organization, SOS Mat Atlântica, that works on reforestation and could help us offset the carbon footprint of the conference by planting trees. They use about 1,300 trees of 80 different species per hectare, and they follow up on the development of the trees for at least five years to guarantee that they are growing well. Each tree costs $20, and they conduct an independent audit to guarantee that planting is really done properly.

And so in a historic town near São Paulo, TED is planting a forest of 10,000 trees. “We’ve written a check on your behalf,” Anderson told the audience. “That’s 10 trees for each of you.”

Anyone for a trip to TEDGlobal: The Forest?