Tuesday, 4 September 2007

A depressing world

I am often asked "Don't you find your work depressing?", and when I respond "Yes", then asked "Why do you carry on?"

These are extremely difficult questions, verging on asking the meaning of life. And the answer is almost as pointless. However.

My recent visit to southern Brazil is a case in point. Flying from Rio, south to Curitiba, over Sao Paolo, one can see the endless destruction of what was once the vast Atlantic Rainforest. Now only 4 % of it remains. Or perhaps 6%, depending on which book you read. But it doesn't really matter, since in huge areas it's actually 0%. Totally and utterly depressing.

But then we caught a mountain railway from Curitiba (I am sure I had been in the very same carriages years ago in the Adirondacks) which travelled so slowly for 80 kms or so through the mountains, shrouded in Araucaria forest. Through railway cuttings so narrow you could have stretched out of the window and touched the fern-clad rocks either side. Over viaducts scarily high, through clouds, onwards and upwards, and then down for mile after mile. All through forests.

And so there was light at the end of the metaphorical tunnel. A huge swathe of surviving forest. Demonstrating why it is worth while trying to save what is left.

Demonstrating that though the impact the WLT is having on a world wide basis could be considered insignificant, when looked at on the local basis, the impact can be massive. And it is a model. We, and our partners, are showing that it can be done.

It is not just a question of cash either. Though lots more would certainly help. It is also very much a case of developing expertise and experience, and this is the great strength of the World Land Trust and its partners -- an enormous resource of experience and expertise.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful. This is precisely why I love to read the WLT's site pages.

    No mishy mashy avoidance of the real crisis we're in, but equally an inspired, and inspiring, exposition is offered, of what can be done if we just get together, summon the requisite courage and put some money and commitment into pro-active, remedial conservation.

    And then on into re-generation. And then further on, to a broader, wider horizon of ecological sanity.
    Bravo WLT - keep going!!