What will help us protect our forests?

March 21st, 2010

Our forests are now dwindling fast. Many of the floods, disasters and droughts we are experiencing have a strong link to our disappearing forests.

What can education do?What can ordinary citizens do to save our forests?

In many  fora and conferences, we hear the buzzword “biodiversity”.

What does this mean in our daily life?

It is the web of life. Nature and people are one. We can have many  many species of animals and plants in this planet.  The living species  thrive with us, humankind. We could all live in support of each other  but the problem is when humans look at everything as their domain, not as a steward, but as source for power and profit. Many animals are raised, hunted and bought  for feeding the population that can pay for it. Many plants are produced for feeding nations that want diversity in their menu.

Many forests are decimated  for their monetary value and not conserved for their biodiversity.

To make this issue dramatic let us review a movie, Avatar.

In the movie Avatar, the indigenous people of planet Pandora live in harmony with all the plants and animals.

They live under a great Tree of Life, and they fly with dragons who bond with them for life.

Everything they have is in tune with everything. They are very much part of nature and nature cares for them.

Then one day, aliens – the humans – swoop on them in search of valuable minerals.

The earlier  humans, who were scientists and anthropologists,  had been studying  the indigenous culture via dreaming states because humans cannot breathe naturally in Pandora. This is why the term- avatar – became useful.

The humans would go into dream chambers and their surrogates- avatars- would enter Pandora. To make the story short, the humans who became avatars started learning from the indigenous people but those who funded the research were arrogant and in a hurry to destroy Pandora.

The  alien leaders’ goal was to  extract the minerals under the great Tree of life. For humans, war was the logical way to get what they want. All the drama of war and peace, love and betrayal, have been created in this movie and we encourage people to see it for it is not just edifying but exhilirating as a 3D movie.

You can see the movie with new eyes.

Where does this  message bring us? To a paradigm shift in seeing the forest outside and inside us.

When the forest lives, we live with clean air, clean water and safe climates.

A tree is a gem and it serves us  by giving  clean air, clean water and safe climates. A modern resort does not produce natural oxygen, doesn’t  produce  clean water, doesn’t feed animals and people for  free.

Every inch of  forest soil yields the vitamins and minerals that go into the seeds. Thousands of flowers, trees, butterflies, birds,deer  and wild mammals in the forest are fed by the forest .

So when roads, cities  and resorts plunder  forests in Indonesia,Philippines, and Brazil, more disasters will come our way.

Girlie Villariba

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks

One Response to “What will help us protect our forests?”

  1. Amari says:

    Hello Girlie!

    First, I would like to congratulate and thank you for your lifelong dedication and commitment to the betterment of the Filipino people and people in general.

    We know that logging concessions do not come with responsibility or accountability from concessionaires to reforest areas they have denuded for self enrichment. I do not know if there is a law in the Philippines requiring logging concessionaires to be responsible for reforestation. On the other hand, when it comes to Philippine experience, the government and their cronies have always been the culprits in the irresponsible denudation of the land without any measure of accountability, causing floods, deaths, and horrible hardships for many.

    The current government, given the national leadership’s vow to improve the country, is in the best position to come up with creative incentives to individuals, communities, and organizations that are interested and in a position to engage in genuine reforestation efforts.

    Local governments should also encourage their constituents to plant as much trees as possible for the common good.

    A tree takes years to grow and each Filipino should take upon oneself the duty to plant a tree, either in one’s backyard or sponsor a tree to be planted by those in areas needing reforestation.

    Praying for your success in your endeavors.

Leave a Reply