On Thursday, December 15, Megadeth drummer Dirk Verbeuren and his former ’90s bandmate in thrash metal band Artsonic, Sylvain Demercastel, brought attention to their environmental effort to save forests in Costa Rica—called Savage Lands—with the announcement of a new initiative, Lottery of the Trees. Savage Lands is the pair’s new nonprofit organization whose goal is to “help finance reforestation and the purchase of land to extend green areas and create sanctuary zones” in the Central American country. The lottery, which runs now through February 15, 2023, will raise funds for the cause, by offering metalheads some pretty cool prizes, including a custom Dunable guitar made by Intronaut’s Sacha Dunable, another custom Dunable guitar played onstage (and signed) by members of Gojira, Megadeth, Loudblast and Sepultura, as well as tickets to Hell Fest 2023. All you have to do is go here to purchase your lottery tickets, and in the process, help out a good cause. All money will go toward the purchase of lands that will become untouchable areas, refuges for wildlife; as well as reforestation and conservation operations in endangered areas in Costa Rica.
So why is it important for the environment to protect forests in Costa Rica? Verbeuren and Demercastel explain it like this:
Verbeuren: Trees absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, so they’re part of the lungs of the planet, together with our oceans. Trees are being cut down at an unprecedented rate. We all know about the disasters in the Amazon that have been happening in recent years. The truth of it is, it’s going to affect everybody, not just the people who live by the deforested areas.
Demercastel: It’s a central issue for many reasons, but here are the three that come to my mind.
1) Everyone speaks about the value of trees in regard to CO2 and global warming, but trees act on many other aspects, including soil preservation, habitat for wildlife, local rainfall, shade and temperature. So it is a very large spectrum of [benefits] when you grow trees.
2) The increase in CO2 in the environment due to deforestation is huge.
3) It’s easier to engage people on the environment on this topic, more than on any other one. Everyone likes trees and forests, while other environmental topics can divide people. Who would argue about trees?