Conservation and education – thinking outside the box and making noise

21 November, 2010 § Leave a comment

Hi all, this is my first post for MASC. I am currently in Indonesia where the devastation and effects of habitat loss can be seen on a daily basis. Most people will not get the chance to come to countries where the impacts of unsustainable demands for timber and other products (oil palm) is driving the loss of habitat. This is why the activities of MASC are so crucial, to educate and inform in a non-traditional way and to target a wide audience. Theatre and story-telling are an integral part of human culture throughout the world, this is a means of education that transcends cultural and national barriers. Spread the word, get on board and break a leg!

Some worrying news has emerged from the agreement between the governments of Indonesia and Norway about the proposed plans for forest protection. A letter was written by leading conservationists (including myself) where we note that while the original letter of intent that spelled out the terms of the partnership between Indonesia and Norway mentioned conservation of “natural forests”, subsequent statements from ministers have at times only referred to “primary forests”. Some fear the posturing is an attempt to backslide on the agreement, allowing industrial interests to convert selectively logged forests, which account for the bulk of Indonesia’s remaining forest and often contain 70-80 percent of the biodiversity found in untouched forest, to timber and pulp and paper plantations. This follows on from a letter written to Alan Oxley and his associates, an industrial lobbyist—of using deceptive practices in claiming that logging, wood-pulp, and palm oil companies are not important drivers of deforestation. Please follow this link for the full story and for links to the original letter, for which I am also one of the scientist signatories.

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