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  • Colombian Musicians Plant Trees in World Environment Day

    Colombian Musicians Plant Trees in World Environment Day

    At the Thomas van der Hammen Forest Reserve in Bogota on Sunday, Colombian musicians worked side by side with locals on the World Environment Day, accompanied by nature sounds compiled over three years under the "Sound Forest" initiative.

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    Combined with a reforestation project led by the citizen collective "Van der Hammen Sowers," the initiative has resumed its activities suspended during the pandemic by planting native aliso and hayuelo plant species in the reserve. What began as a mental health project during the COVID-19 lockdowns became a way to strengthen a local forest, with artists donating native trees and combining local nature sounds into musical pieces.

    "We started in 2019 to collect biodiversity sounds from windows and when human activities stopped during the pandemic... we gave them to musicians who made four albums and the royalties from those albums come back here, they go back to the ecosystem," said Hector Buitrago, a musician and environmental activist.

    "Natural spaces in cities are very important because they give us oxygen, they give us quality of life. They can even protect us from future pandemics, if we have healthy biodiversity in green spaces with oxygen and that we can visit," he added.

    Gina Maria Pisa Moreno, director of the citizen collective, said the message of the initiative is that "together we are the forest, as it brings the reserve closer to the ears of those who love nature. Feeling the forest from another perspective, understanding that the birds and all the animals that live in the territory are also part of the music."

    The tweet reads, "Tomorrow we plant a sound forest in the Van Der Hammen Reserve in Bogota! , a process that began in 2019 and that this Sunday, June 5, on World Environment Day, materializes for Bogota! Thanks."

    "The importance of this reserve is that it is the last opportunity to have an urban forest for Bogota, a space that strengthens the main ecological structure of the city...and allows us to enjoy better physical and mental health."

    "Many birds arrive in this forest and feed the sounds so that we listen to them and enjoy them," Buitrago added, referring to the work of his group and others that create natural soundscapes to raise funds to continue planting trees.

    The event was part of Bogota's World Environment Day celebrations, which included meditation spaces and training workshops for different environmental activities. Other activities included yoga classes and a conversation with Indigenous communities.

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    Khamisi
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