Note Ten

The Brazilian Amazon,
South America.
December 2019

It’s the toughest question in the world. And I do hope it’s haunting everybody.

Can conservation and economic opportunity come together?

In the current political climate, with environmental regulations under threat, with governments unapologetically looking every other way except at climate change, how do we counter illegal loggers, land grabbers and farmers – locals who clearly feel unobstructed?

For local families, without employment and income, to not chop down trees, set fire to them and plant beans, do we have an alternative? Can we ensure their livelihood?

Here, in this great forest, tourism has been able to play a part. It creates jobs, supports businesses changes people’s mind set. Eco-tourism reinforces the idea of connections, with economic direction. It explains why conservation and economic opportunity do not need to be mutually exclusive.

Speaking of connections,
This is a lesson worthy of note:

Everything here, in the forest, is dependent on something else – every creature, every plant, survives because of its connections to other species. There are no bees without trees and no trees without seeds, no birds and monkeys without figs and no figs without mammals, reptiles and insects dispersing them. Fungi protect and prey in equal measure. Orchids will only bloom where they find home and room to do so. A tree seems to be able to hold it all together. But then again, the soil needs to hold it and it has to continue to rain…

It occurs to me that this rainforest is a metaphor for the planet. For all of us who exist on it, collectively, connectedly.

If the green tracts go, so does the greatest global carbon sink.
As humans, our fate shall be identical.
Because connections aren’t lost as easily as you’d think…

Now that’s “dark” green. Quite like the cover outside my wooden window.



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