For Irish Tree week 2009 and beyond, spend 20 min to see this inspiring project on bringing back ‘permanent’ rainforest (and rain), to local communities and oranguatans in deforested Kalimantan. It is simply an astounding project that covers restoring huge levels of biodiversity (trees, fruit & energy crops and wildlife) local economies, people and their cultures, all by mimicing close to nature, permanent forestry principles! The pictures from satellites of the change in the area are amazing.
See the video at http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/475
The world needs more examples of such economically & ecologically innovative forestry management projects (hopefully projects such as this will provide widespread political impetus to encourage more forestry of this type) rather than the short-term gains and destruction of monoculture clear-felling. I wonder how long it will be before the west realises the missed opportunities and enduring ecological, climatic and local wealth that such innovative forestry can bring. Surely these recessionary times will mean that governments will look again at forestry – the very idea of creating permanent local wealth while creating employment seems a no-brainer.
Willie Smits, like Nobel Peace Laureate, Wangaari Mathai, have made real the classic fictional short story of the ‘man who planted trees‘ – watch it and be inspired (ps, I highly recommend you all to subscribe to TED.com, much better than TV for great clips and ideas from the best thinkers , artists, scientists and doers around the planet). As Willie says, ‘it’s all based on one thing, by making sure the forests stay!’