This posting refers to an article from|
Science magazine. It is 0.5 MEGs as an Acrobat file. The article appeared
in the 23 February 2007 edition and describes some efforts by the government
of Brazil to reforest sections of the Atlantic rainforest. It looks like
they anticipate eventual money needs on the order of $2 billion US. But
the article meshes with the discussions here on conserving habitat and
plants of P. spiritus-sancti on a private reserve and the idea of using
revenues from plant sales to assist.
It looks like the plan described in
the article may include such a plant sale both as part of the funding and
as part of the economic trade-off for taking farmer land away from normal
crops. If this is true it means that the Brazilian government may be amenable
to the idea of tapping into the interest of plant enthusiasts for specimens
to further a cause which they both seem to share.
In any event, the ideas discussed in
the article are interesting to me because they hint at the complexity of
the restoration effort. Those of us that live in the species-impoverished
northern latitudes need to be reminded about how many species are represented
in a tropical rainforest and how many are probably needed to keep it going.
And the article discusses some efforts that have failed since restoration
is not just a matter of hiring a couple of college students to plant a
few thousand saplings. The other reason I submit this is because it is
a glimpse of optimism, refreshing to a person like me who is fatigued by
endless apocalyptic jeremiads with which our news is filled. Fingers crossed.
At the same time it is obvious that
there is a possible contradiction here with the proposed expansion of ethanol
production from Brazil. One of the target restoration areas happens to
be prime sugarcane cropland.
OK, enough windiness. Commentaries aside,
this does relate to aroids and their conservation.
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