Closer to home

November 28, 2008 at 11:19 am Leave a comment

Tom’s returning perspective:

It’s been a while since my last posting, with Nick leading the way with enlightened thinking over the past few weeks. Like every good deserter, I have a good excuse; I’ve spent much of these last few weeks in Madagascar, visiting Blue Ventures, an organisation I helped found a number of years ago.

After the tumult in the markets accelerating prior to my departure, it was refreshing to spend time in a place where bankers, traders, analysts and auditors are unheard of. I’ll try to avoid the usual clichés, but I hope you’ll excuse my appreciation of how little the financial crisis means to the majority of the world’s population. In the village of Andavadoaka, a subsistence economy, they are still far more concerned about the daily fishing catch in order to feed their families, than the world markets and the subsequent ramifications. In fact, it’s hard to see how the financial crisis might reach the village; two days walk from the nearest town (and therefore bank or market). The people of Andavaodoaka are pretty self-sufficient.

But they are only too aware of the environmental crisis – because it affects their livelihoods, alongside billions of others who rely on the land and the sea for their sustenance. These people have witnessed a massive degradation in the marine ecosystem over the course of their lifetimes as a result of coral bleaching – directly caused by climate change. Although they don’t understand the science behind the changes, they want to know how they can protect their inherited ecosystem. They want to know why large patches of the reef system become completely devoid of life and often die off each summer. They want to know whether we can help them stop this happening, as it worries them, it creates tension, unrest and could, if left unchecked, result in forced migration from an area where they’ve lived quietly and symbiotically for generations.

For fear of repeating a previous post, let’s focus on the real, lasting issue effecting the world over – the environmental crisis. Here at Bright Green, we’ve offered to put a Malagasy child through a years education for each placement we make, to ensure a Brighter Greener future. We urge you not to lose focus on the environment in these uncertain times.


Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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