I think that is wonderful! One of the things I found interesting in the article is the clever way they make people help to plant seeds and aid reforestation--something geared to every age and occupation. The kids do it because they can make a slingshot game of it; homeowners and farmers do it for their own sustenance and potential future profits (growing trees for their seeds--a sellable item); tourists on the helicopters do it (using the seed bags stored under their seats) because it is fun AND they feel personally involved in helping to restore the country's forests. We need more programs like this here and in other countries with severe deforestation problems. (Madagascar springs to mind--it is estimated that they have lost more than 80% of their forests to logging.) I've always felt that if you shake your finger and lecture people or you try to force them to do something they don't want to do or don't understand, you may as well give up before you start. But ... if you make them feel that they are a part of something that is both good for them and their community AND make it fun (or profitable) at the same time, you've got them. I think this is the key to saving the environment around the world. Instead of setting up adversarial scenarios of them vs. us (bad guys vs. good guys), we need to present Earth's many sufferings as something we all can cure if we simply put our heads together and come up with solutions everyone can find some benefit in.
Eco-tourism is a perfect example of a win-win solution. Indigenous people in remote villages can use the natural resources of their ancestral lands without destroying them. By making a feature of a rain-forest (something to attract tourists with cameras instead of loggers with chainsaws), they keep the rain-forests they've inhabited and depended on for thousands of years and they feed their families in the bargain. For his part, the tourist gets his photo-trophies and a feeling of having helped the planet and a native culture. It is the same in other places, whether a rain-forest or a desert--any habitat that is being depleted faster than nature can regenerate it simply because the humans who live there are forced to make use of scarce resources because they have no choice. Give those people an alternative that lets them keep living on the land they love and 95% of them will take it in a heartbeat! They don't want to destroy their land. They often do it out of desperation--usually as a result of misplaced attempts to bring them into the 21st century. (Forcing Western agricultural practices into other cultures has been primarily responsible for the destruction of what was once a balanced and harmonious existence within a culture and its natural environment.)
Anyway, this was an interesting article and hopefully will inspire people who care about the environment to get creative and get busy! Thanks for posting it!
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