Tuesday, 18 November 2003

Where is the rainforest going -- yet more concerns

I am writing this from the office of the WLT's partner in Argentina -- the Fundación Patagonia Natural. Flying across the Amazon and then on to Argentina, several things struck me looking down. First, it was dark as we flew across the western Amazon, and from on high fires could be seen at regualr intervals. This has been noted many times before, but what doesn't seem to be mentioned is the amount of light pollution there is even in remote parts of the world. It seemed that villages and even scattered farms now have generators, and bright lights are becoming the norm. What effect this has on migrant birds and other wildlife is impossible to guess.

And then soon after crossing the border into Argentina (it was light by now) it was possible to see the forest being stripped. square plots were visible from the air, some already farmed others still forest. Those cleared took virtually no notice of water courses, and increasing sedimentation was often visible. And for what? Yet more food for the northern hemisphere, which is already overfed. However, it is not all depressing -- there are some splendid initiatives happening in Patagonia -- but that will wait for another day.

1 comment:

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