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  News from what remains of the Jungle
From: Floral Artistry jjingram at pacbell.net> on 2001.05.18 at 09:16:39(6520)
Ron,
I think you have lost part of the equation here. Millions of plants are gone
because people have become indignant and will not allow material to be wild
collected. Millions of acres are slashed and burned every hour. You should
read into this "burned" as being completely unavailable to anyone but God.
There is no way we can bring this material back. The Brazilian government
has adapted a red line law that is emphatic about wild material. They can
not get it through their thick heads about the fact that it is their own
ignorance that is destroying these plants.
They need to adapt a collection and preserve mentality to at least remove
plants after the trees have been slashed and move the material to growing
facilities and grown on and when strong enough, sell to the world market.
I'm not talking "white gringo greed" here. I'm talking practical solutions
to save the very same plants you would like to have.
And, just for your info, if it were not for greedy collectors in the early
part of last century, Your garden would be a very boring thing. You would
have none of the foods you enjoy, none of the trees you enjoy and none of
the medications you so seem to think are the result of greed. Many of these
medications have saved millions of lives a year. I do not agree with the way
they are marketed and marked up unnecessarily but the fact remains that we
have them.
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From: "Eduardo Goncalves" edggon at hotmail.com> on 2001.05.19 at 20:21:48(6525)
Dear Jon,

Let me add a few comments on your message. In fact, there are many
native botanists in South America, some of them, top notch experts.
Unfortunately, only a few of them are able to publish regularly in English.
It is not so surprise. If the scientific language still was the Latin, how
many Anglo-saxonic scientists will be silent for the rest of the world?
German scientists discovering many interesting things in the beginning of
the century and north American are discovering this things again, like it
was the first time! Another important thing is that the `publication`
culture is not so important here, i.e., it wasn?t so important. Anyway,
based on the lack of priority of the government, we are too many!
Yes, we are not so scientific but things are changing. Take a look at
the recent literature. South Americans, Hindus and Chinese are everywhere,
from Botany to Physics. In the last International Aroid Conference, there
was many Colombians, Brazilians and other non-English-speakers, all with
very interesting posters and/or conferences. I know we are not enough
(considering the complexity of our biomes), but we are trying to be at the
party too. In the last two Aroideanas, there was many articles from
Brazilians. Just like India, there are two worlds together here in Brazil.
We have good scientific institutions, with a very competent staff... And we
have the extreme poverty. It is hard to understand, but these worlds speak
the same language! And some of us (like me) are even studying aroids!

Best wishes,

Eduardo.

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From: Paul Tyerman ptyerman at ozemail.com.au> on 2001.05.19 at 20:53:07(6527)
> I am in the process of setting up a
>growing area/production facility in Brazil to produce mass quantities of
>native flora, everything from Aroids, bulbs, flowering trees, and palms to
>gingers and heliconias. It is merely a matter of time to get the monies
>together. The Brazilian permits are all lined up and ready to go. This would
>not only sustain Brazilian natives (if only in the cultivated sense because
>their "natives" will destroy the wild forms) but also educate the employees
>as well as supply them will decent housing and income.
>

John,

Hopefully that will show others that it CAN be done and might show some of
the slashers that they can earn an income from saving what they would
normally burn, for only the cost of collecting the material and selling it
to the concerns such as yours. If that cycle could be started then there
is hope for many of the species that are being wiped out at such a rate.

Maybe then the one or two individuals of plants thought to be extinct that
are unknowingly still growing in the trees or ground destined for
decimation and crops will have a future that involves life rather than death.

I hope it all goes well for you. May just be the chance for a lot of
species, as well as some necessary income for some of the poor farmers.

Cheers.

Paul Tyerman

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From: Betsy Feuerstein ecuador at midsouth.rr.com> on 2001.05.19 at 20:53:21(6528)
Yes, both can happen. We can get the plants we so love, and the little guy can
collect from to be destroyed or altered terrain and all can be better off in the
deal. And yes, you are right, the governments cannot comprehend that they
themselves are the biggest culprits in the destruction of their own ecology. No
one wants to take responsibility and all want to blame. While I want the forest
to stay and be for the future, if that is not to happen, let's find ways like
this to make as much of the plant material to be saved and propagated and
released. That is the costly end. When money passes hands for the product which
it is at that point, those down the line in both directions are supported with
what they need and want. The growers are financially supported, the collectors
are supported, the plant collectors either commercial or hobby are getting what
they want. Why is this so difficult to be understood? Perhaps it is that very
few truly know the massive destruction of the areas in question and that
authority has ideas of survival that do not foster preservation and sustanence.
Reality check, what is, is and we best come to grips quick or in the end, the
land is worthless, the little guy moves on to start yet again and more is
destroyed. Learn to see the asset in the forest itself and this can have a light
at the end of the tunnel, all be it small at this time.

Good luck with your venture. I wish you well. Keep your botanical data to make
the botanists happy if at all possible. (Are you from Brazil? or just a
dedicated lover of plants settled on the plantdom of Brazil?)

Betsy

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From: "Ron Iles" roniles at eircom.net> on 2001.06.13 at 08:00:10(6696)
John!

I will precis everything you kindly said with all the to represent
about Jungle problems and SOLUTIONS in 23(2) or 23(3). Can you briefly add
more? We need an article which suggests all the different channels to
attack to get the most positive ACTION to halt destruction.

Cheers

Ron

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