Monday, 26 August 2013

Planetary wealth

Fisherman's pirogue - Saint Luce - Madagascar - Giles Crosse
Making a living from the resources provided by nature is something of a normal way of life in Madagascar.

However there is also a crucial role for education in terms of environmental stewardship.

Much of this has to do with ownership.

For example, it is very challenging to create a meaningful dialogue with a local community whose land has been bought up by foreign investors.

All too often, this creates a mindset whereby locals see minimal advantage in stewarding both their marine and land based assets, because as far as they are concerned foreign investors will most likely tear down the forest or pollute the seas.

This creates a short mindedness that damages the environment and the heritage of future generations.

Giles Crosse
But offering a true sense of ownership generally has the opposite effect in terms of long termism and a more meaningful appreciation of how best to protect and utilise natural resources into the future.

When an individual or a community is invested in the local ecosystem, it is so much easier to build bridges, to educate and influence and set up an alternative to short term resource use and exploitation that has unfortunately already damaged many of the planet's ecosystems.

This offers huge benefits to humans and ecosystems alike, of which we are of course a part, and upon which we depend for food, air, water and the materials to clothe and protect our children.

Giles Crosse

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