The unflagging efforts of Mario Robles del Moral to reforest his native Spain have gone global, with a path of forest worldwide being the ultimate ambition.
Great things can come from small beginnings. A voluntary reforestation programme begun in Spain by Mario Robles del Moral in 1993 has evolved into an environmental project of global proportions.
Not only do trees take in carbon dioxide as they grow and thrive, but forests are crucial to the health of water supplies, the soil and the air we breathe.
Renamed Forests of the Earth, the project has seen him inspire more than 600,000 people worldwide to plant at least one tree each in an ambitious effort to create a path of forest, a “Greenway”, across the globe. He hopes one day that this will be big enough to be seen from space.
A former nurse who has studied environment management, sustainability and corporate responsibility, economics and anthropology, Robles del Moral is convinced that planting trees is the best antidote to global climate change, and a massive provider of jobs – through the planting and felling of trees, and use of the wood.
The 1996 Rolex Award for his Forests of Spain programme has been a catalyst for several other conservation initiatives. He was involved in the UN’s Climate Neutral Network, and in developing plans to encourage tree planting and penalize polluters through the International Program against Poverty and Climate Change. He has also received several honours, including in 1999 the Henry Ford European Conservation Award, and the US Arbor Day Award in 2000.
Number of trees planted in the first few years of Forests of Spain
Volunteers participating in reforestation activities every year