Land Lost

I saw a tagline for an article today that stated that the pace of deforestation in the Amazon is increasing. I didn’t read the article, because it would have been far too depressing. It makes me incredibly sad to think that people are still destroying the rain forest. This has been going on for decades, even though everyone knows it’s wrong.

But what this article specifically made me think of today was how, when I was in high school, I was briefly a member of the Environmentalist Club. We ran a fundraiser so that we could buy up some small part of the rain forest, which was fairly inexpensive at the time, and I believe that we were ultimately successful in acquiring some.

I wonder now what ever became of that land. Did we ever really buy it? Is it still protected? If so, to whom does it actually belong? And if buying up rain forest could save it (and theoretically, at least, it could) why haven’t the goodhearted billionaires of the world acquired the remainder to safeguard it? I mean, if teenagers could at least try to do their part, what the hell is wrong with all the adults?

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3 Responses to Land Lost

  1. sprite says:

    We did buy it and had a deed for the acre or two we raised the money for. I also have been thinking about that land recently…

  2. sprite says:

    So I did a little further digging but because we would have done this PIE (pre-internet era), I don’t have a firm grasp on what which organization we would have gone through. But my research suggests it was probably in Brazil because around that time there was a lot of high-profile push-back about a proposed highway that was going to be routed through their part of the Amazon.

    Some of organizations legit buy acreage (one assumes they purchase large bundles up front and then allot them to one or more donor after the fact, rather than waiting for $ to roll in from small donors). Others seem to allot their “purchase an acre” funds to grants to local groups in the area, which is definitely a much more modern, non-colonizing approach, who will either purchase the land themselves or arrange to protect it in some fashion. And at least one group works with the Peruvian government, since they own the land and are disinclined to sell it, to create more conservation-friendly policies (they don’t market this as a “buy an acre” program,” but it seemed worth mentioning).

  3. chick says:

    Interesting. Your research spurred me to look up more information on the issue myself and whether or not buying the land would fix the problem. It seems that sometimes buying the land does work, depending on the area and how the politics are handled. Other times, not so much. So I hope we bought that tiny little bit of land in the right way. As for buying up land now, one article suggested that the money would be better spent specifically on halting climate change, since the rain forest might dry out if the globe continues to warm. It is a reminder that big problems are rarely solved in such a simple way. Still, I think given all the wealth that exists in this world, we could fix the problem. We just need the right people in the right places to do the right things.

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