Captain Planet and the Planeteers by Ted Turner
‘Mostly Harmless.’ The only entry in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy used to read just ‘harmless,’ but after much careful deliberation and much intensive high-level editing, writer Ford Prefect was able to attach “Mostly” to Earth’s entry.
Since then segue writers (probably just me) of the world have attempted to relate the science fiction musings of the Great Wizard Douglas Adams to articles about global conservationism.
Speaking about global conservationism – funny you should even be thinking about that, I’ve compiled a list of conservation programs and projects from around the globe. You know, because when the NSA is watching you or your money is being spent on the military it’s nice to sit back, relax, use some comma splices, and learn about some good old-fashioned-down-to-earth wholesome people.
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Oh sweet Africa! The continent of origin. A place both filled with beautiful landscapes and plagued by poverty, war and oppression. Despite the evils that happen there, there is quite a lot of good-natured conservation going on.
For example, I present the KAZA project. This project aims to connect portions of Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe in an effort to co-facilitate human and wildlife-life.
It’s the size of a European country. The inhabitants include 2.5 million people, a quarter of a million elephants, 3,000 species and some of the last hopes that Africa’s wildlife will endure the 21st century in substantial numbers.
…writes Michael J. Coren. But despite all of the good that this project will likely achieve, some critics are a bit skeptical.
Some question whether or not the focus is in the right place
Critics are also concerned that the project may end up enriching foreign tourism companies rather than local communities.
But whether or not this can save the declining African wildlife, it is wonderful to see these nations working together to bring balance to the force. Lets just hope that their efforts are for good.
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In Indonesia, there are many many many forests. Ask two of our writers, editors, and big cheeses in chief. I’m sure that they could tell you all about it. But where there are forests there are paper mills, tooth pick factories, and beavers. Lots and lots of beavers.
In this case the beavers are corporate and have decided that the woods might be a bit more precious than they previously had thought.
After recieving a lot of flack- and rightfully so- for their destructively belligerent deforestation practices (dbdp for short), Asia Pulp & and Paper has put a hold on their farming of national forests. The company, which holds a substantial amount of private land, has decided to focus on farming renewable trees that they’ve grown. This comes as a significantly awesome change of pace from the fern gully-eske practices which they so loved.
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Oh to be a cowboy crossing the Great Plains of the United States. As you load your riffle, the rail car (built by slaves, and migrant workers) bumps a bit in protest and some of your precious gun powder spills to the floor. No worries, though, this hunt is easy. You load your riffle, take aim, and fire a round. You believe that you’ve missed your target but in all actuality the bison has been downed.
This sort of reckless behavior is exactly what caused the decline of the North American Bison population. Manifest Destiny-ers(?) took the land and it’s bounty as theirs and theirs alone.
As cattle ranching and fenced-in farming became more and more popular so too did it become popular for the bison to die. The pre-columbian Americas boasted a bison population of more than 60 million. In 1890 the population almost entirely died out. There were only 750 left. Now, with much effort, the population is stably rising with approximately 360,000 bison roaming the Americas.
Bison conservation efforts by organizations such as The American Bison Society have dramatically aided bison, buffalo and many other species in an attempt to rejuvenate endangered populations.
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Ahh sweet Guyana, the Caribbean nation of South America. Now, you’re about to witness a rare quoting of wikipedia and if this were a dos X meme it’d read something like this: I don’t always quote Wikipedia but when I do It’s about the biodiversity of the only English-speaking non-island Caribbean Nation in South America.
The following habitats have been categorised for Guyana: coastal, marine, littoral, estuarine palustrine, mangrove, riverine, lacustrine, swamp, savanna, white sand forest, brown sand forest, montane, cloud forest, moist lowland and dry evergreen scrub forests (NBAP, 1999). About 14 areas of biological interest have been identified as possible hotspots for a National Protected Area System.
Basically, Guyana is a wonderful paradise for nature’s plants and wildlife. It turns out nature thrives here for one simple reason: There aren’t very many humans living there. The population density of Guyana is 3.8 humans per square mile. That is single digits. To put that into perspective, The population density of Rio de Janeiro is 16,100 humans per square mile.
So not only does Guyana boast an incredibly low impact, the people that do live there want to keep it beautiful. The government is actively working to set conservation guidelines for when people find out about Guyana
The Government of Guyana, under the leadership of President Jagdeo, is taking major steps to protect its natural resources. In 2002, the government granted Conservation International (CI) the world’s first “conservation concession” to protect 81,000 hectares (200,000 acres) of primary rain forest in the Upper Essequibo watershed.
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In 1961 Japan, the U.S., the former Soviet Union, the U.K., France and several other countries agreed to “not do anything stupid in Antarctica“. The cleverly named Antarctic Treaty aims to:
to utilize the area for peaceful purposes only and prohibit to establish military bases and to carry out of the maneuvers, to promote the freedom of scientific investigation and cooperation in the area, not to assert, support or deny a claim to sovereignty or create any rights of sovereignty, and to prohibit any nuclear explosion and the disposing of radioactive materials.
Since that time, 36 other nations have signed onto the Antarctic Treaty.
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Europe, the land of the conquerors, gypsies, and well-to-do aristocrats has much need for conservation. Because of its relatively high population density the types of conservation projects that go on here are a bit different. It seems that those wishing to do some good work have to really try hard to find areas to protect.
The EOCA is a conservation project base for those planeteers looking to help out in their own way. One project, focusing on the Alps, was successful in removing tons of unused metal from old ski lifts.
From an abandoned ski re[s]ort, they took away about 50 tonnes of different waste materials. These included the remnants of ski lifts and a pile of concrete blocks – left from winter sport activities in the 1960’s and 70’s. The slopes of the Montagne de Lure have been returned to a wild state, for the rare Orsini’s Viper, to allow the wild tulips and fritillaries to spread, and for the pleasure of its visitors.
Even in densely-packed Europe there are ways to protect the environment.
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And before I go on, I must take a second to marvel at how awesome it is that Australia is: an island, a continent, a nation and pretty bad-ass.
Down under, there are many conservation projects. The Tasmanian forests are dwindling. It’s a shame as they are a beautiful place. When you have a forest, you have people who would like nothing more than to chop it down to pulp for paper. The conservation of the Tasmanian Forests comes amid
Growing concerns about the negative public perceptions of the logging of these forests and changes in the market have contributed to this decline and a loss of opportunity. The forest agreement is an attempt to break this downward spiral. It attempts to find a way to protect forests and protect people whose livelihoods are tied up with the forestry industry. It seeks to open opportunity for the industry to move onto a more sustainable higher value path.
So many there is a way for both companies and people to work together to not completely destroy the world as we know it.
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