Watchful eyes, thoughtful mind

Earth and us ….. past, present and future ….. connected?

Ecological forestry … it’s like vaccination April 6, 2009

Filed under: ecology,forest,human interference,rtr09 — Radiance @ 8:32 AM
I’m back with information on some more incredible ecological initiatives to share with you. As I continue blogging for the RTR09 campaign, I keep on coming across newer and newer people and organisations dedicated to conservation of nature. And I keep thanking myself for taking up the volunteer blogging opportunity :). Today’s post is about an ecological forestry project in Papua New Guinea involving the locals and empowering them. A small post on Eco Preservation society’s blog introduced me to it. There is a 10 minute video that summarises the project and brings you face-to-face with the people that made it happen.
In the 80s, Papua New Guinea had the largest surviving rainforests in the southern hemisphere. However, the multi-national logging companies were quick to move in and 90s saw the most reckless logging activity in these areas. The laws were ignored, ecology was disregarded and people robbed of their promised monetary compensations. Then a volunteer organisation from Australia made its appearance and over next 11 years, it strove hard and succeeded in stopping the logging and preserving the rainforests. The organisation was Rainforest Information Centre (RIC) that trained the locals in ecological forestry, provided them sawmills and made sure the MNCs didn’t get a foothold in the area. The ecological forestry was based on the fact that if the locals used sawmills called “wokabout mills” to log their own timbre, they only logged a small portion and hence didn’t damage the ecosystem. Also, the timber produced earned the loggers higher monetary rewards than what the MNCs were offering them. Hence the locals preferred wokabout logging, in turn saving the forest. So like vaccine introduces the disease on smaller scale to prevent large scale infection, logging a few trees ecologically prevented devastating deforestation. The Earth and the earthlings, both were happy!
The logged trees were also replaced by replanting the new ones. With major commitment and contribution from locals like Sasa Zibe, a method for replanting the trees that mimicked the natural forest was developed. This made sure the ecological balance was maintained. After 11 years of dedicated voluntary work, RIC has now transferred the responsibility to the able locals like Sasa who even today carry on in their footsteps, making the forests richer. To give the locals a sense of achievement, a very traditional graduation ceremony is held at the end of training. The spectacle of this ceremony makes a very interesting ending for a well-made video :).

One Response to “Ecological forestry … it’s like vaccination”

  1. Linda Hughes Says:

    You ROCK Radiance, thank you for sharing this!

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