Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wilderness Not Wasteland

The first session on Thursday afternoon focused especially on conservation of wild areas, particularly in the Himalaya.

Vance Martin of The Wild Foundation, talked about how we must work with nature, not against it. What we see is not as important as how we look at it and how we feel about it.

The Wild Foundation’s theme is “Nature needs half” – their global vision is to protect and interconnect at least half of the planet, land and water, to support life on earth. The wilderness is more important today than it was yesterday, and not as important today as it will be tomorrow.

Bittu Sehgal, editor of Sanctuary Asia, said that urbanites have “nature-deficit disorder,” echoing Sheela Jaywant’s poetic essay from earlier in the day. "Sanctuary believes that the survival of humanity and the natural world are intertwined, and depends significantly on the reversal of global climate change." Bittu has been instrumental in Project Tiger since its inception in 1973, and is an ardent conservationist.

Kate Harris is a young adventurer with an amazing story. Her presentation focused on her recent trip across the Norwegian Plateau by skis in January: Fram Means Forward: Exploring the Contours of Cold.” She and her companion were looking for the edge of the world, with fantastic descriptions of the snow and the cold. Readers of adventure and travel will be hearing more of her in the coming years, I am sure.

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