Re: Tropical forest dreams and nightmares
- Subject: Re: Tropical forest dreams and nightmares
- From: "Eduardo Goncalves" <email@example.com>
- Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 09:28:59 -0500 (CDT)
I agree completely with you! (except for the toooooooo formal "Mr.
It would be a pity if my children (that still donīt exist) have to include
the rainforests at the same cathegory as Dinosaurs, Trilobites and Dodo
Eduardo, leaving tomorrow morning to the Amazonian rainforest.
>From: "Jay Vannini" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>To: Multiple recipients of list AROID-L <email@example.com>
>Subject: Tropical forest dreams and nightmares
>Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 19:23:13 -0500 (CDT)
>Ron: I also enjoy opening your e-mails on aroid-L - like Irish malt,
>kinda weird but very tasty.
>Having spent the last twenty-seven years romping around New World and
>tropical forests, I hope that I haven't lost any of my original wide-eyed
>wonder and enthusiasm for these wonderful ecosystems. Experience, however,
>has brought perspective, and with it, a much more sober view of their
>While, in deference to Neil, I know that there are still many incredible
>places that are fairly easily accessed, as a long-time resident of a
>tropical country, I would have to agree with Eduardo Goncalves that, today,
>there is a very real difference between cherry-picking sites to visit to
>observe and collect neat organisms, and the realities of everyday fieldwork
>and the conservation situation for much of the forest in this (the northern
>Neotropics) region. Today, sadly, many of the only places where one can
>many desirable tropical "goodies" be they fish, fowl or fern, are a few
>besieged protected areas and thus, are morally and legally off limits to
>average amateur collector.
>Ron, with the exception of Costa Rica and a very few other Latin American
>nations, I would not expect any open-armed welcome of foreign biologists to
>take back samples of whatever happened to strike their fancy. Perhaps
>Malesia or parts of west Africa is different. Mr. Goncalves' nightmare
>scenario (presumably regarding Brazil) does represent the extreme case
>regarding some governmental attitudes towards bio-prospecting in general,
>and foreign devils in particular. It shud be common knowledge that there
>now many well-trained, competent, multilingual biological researchers
>in most of these countries. Granted, such may have not been the case ten or
>twenty years' ago. My personal experience both as a naturalist and a
>"player" in the Central American natural resources' conservation game is
>that I have never met a field biologist in this region that I didn't like,
>and never met a local bureaucrat/forestry/wildlife official that I did!
>The truth is that most of these nations have their own agendas for
>(mis)managing natural resources, and many of these agendas respond to
>(surprise!) local economic and social pressures, rather than good science
>any sense of "global good". These pressures, unfortunately, often result in
>what are widely regarded as misguided policies (transmigration, mammoth
>hydroelectric projects, expanding the agricultural frontier onto marginal
>lands, etc.) that result in short-term populist gains and long-term
>environmental degradation. And with the most affluent nation in the world
>today seemingly unable to resist the temptation to leave untouched the
>miniscule area of pristine habitat remaining within its borders, it would
>the height of hypocrisy for anyone to wag fingers at developing nations'
>BTW - there are multidisciplinary teams that roam the world's tropical
>forests to increase our awareness of biodiversity "hotspots" - Conservation
>International used to have one of the best in their Rapid Assessment
>before an air accident took the lives to two of their most talented field
>En fin, let us all hope, against all the dreary evidence to the contrary,
>that some of our planet's most awe-inspiring places survive our own
>lifetimes to allow our children have "rainforest dreams", too.
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