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Institut Marquès will plant this year the tree number 1,000 in its "Forest of Embryos"

29-Jul-2018

Institut Marquès, an internationally renowned centre in Assisted Reproduction and Gynaecology located in Barcelona, started a year ago the project "The Forest of Embryos". Its purpose is to celebrate the births achieved thanks to our advanced assisted reproduction techniques and thus contribute to an improvement of the environment. The initiative consists in giving the chance to parents of babies born with the help of the centre to symbolise their birth by planting a tree at a mountain in Mont-roig del Camp (Tarragona, Spain). The offer has thrilled many families to the extent that, currently, over 500 oaks are growing in this area already.

Now, Institut Marquès has extended this ambitious project renewing the collaboration agreement originally subscribed with a local NGO, the environmental association "L’Escurçó", to plant 1,000 more trees during the coming months. For the past year over 800 families from 25 nationalities have asked to have a tree planted with the name of their child. The trees are identified with a plate with the name and date of birth of the child. Once each tree has been planted, the centre sends an email with a picture and the geolocalisation to the parents. This proposal has attracted many visitors from all over the world to the area already.

Commitment to protect the environment

The "Forest of Embryos" is located at the mountain of Mare de Déu de la Roca, where almost thirty years ago a major forest fire broke out. This is one of the reasons for Institut Marquès to have chosen this area and contribute to its reforestation, as a sample of the commitment towards the preservation of the environment. "We would like to raise awareness and do our bit by planting a tree whenever a child is born thanks to our assisted reproduction treatments in order to leave a better world for them", has explained Institut Marquès’ CEO, Dr Marisa López-Teijón.

During a visit that part of the team of Institut Marquès paid some days ago to the "Forest of Embryos", Dr López- Teijón pointed out that: "It is very moving to see the small oaks sprouting; after a year, they are just a thin stem with leaves, barely 30 cm above ground. They are like babies: so weak when they are little, so strong when they are growing up!"

The Spanish region with the worst sperm quality

The second reason why the centre decided to choose Tarragona as the location of the "Forest of Embryos" is that it is one of the Spanish regions whose inhabitants have the worst sperm quality, according to the study about sperm quality in Spain, due to the impact that environmental pollution by chemical toxics has on people’s health and male fertility.

According to the research carried out by Institut Marquès, chemical toxics (endocrine disruptors) and environmental pollution are directly related with an increased male infertility in industrialised areas such as this one.

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