Category: trees


EarthJustice News Release Conservationists today hailed a new scientific study that identifies an ambitious network of protected areas, with wolf and beaver restoration as a centerpiece, as a sound strategy for restoring native ecosystems and wildlife diversity on western public lands. The benefits of this proposal would contribute significantly to stream restoration and help mitigate […]

Conservationists hail scientists’ western rewilding blueprint as “a major call to action” to the Biden administration —

What does Forest Voices of India actually do?

Forest Voices of India is a U.S.- based 501 C 3 organization that helps support four charities in India…

A young boy is enchanted by a blue butterfly and by the tall trees he walks among, along with his classmates on a nature outing into the forest. They do a detailed study of the eco-system. Twenty years later, as a successful businessman, he avoids making investments that might harm the wilderness. Instead, he looks for ways to invest that will build eco-friendly environments to restore nature. In the back of his mind – always – he remembers the blue-winged butterfly.

A young woman from a disadvantaged background has not been able to finish school. It’s difficult to find a job and she feels at loose ends until she takes a handicrafts workshop which teaches how to make delightful objects out of environmentally friendly, natural materials. She is also taught how to start a business selling handicrafts. Happy making lovely objects – she looks to a brighter future ahead.

Along with a group of her peers, a middle-aged woman has been taught how to start her own business. No longer feeling trapped sitting at home, she has some extra money now to help support her family, and she feels a renewed sense of purpose – along with a sense of peace.

These and many other programs run by the Ramaswami Foundation (the C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation) and their sister organization – the C.P. Ramaswami Environmental Education Centre — bring about dramatic changes in people’s lives. They reach tens of thousands of people in six different states in south India – not just bringing a sense of fulfilment to individual people but transforming people’s relationship with the natural world – bringing life to both people and the earth.

Over the past thirty years or so, the Ramaswami Foundation has restored 53 sacred groves – small forests. These vary in size from just a couple of acres to two or three hundred acres. Each is closely connected traditionally with a nearby village…

To be continued…

Photos:
C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation and the C.P. Environmental Education Centre

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Forests, such as this one in Indonesia, do lmore than just store carbon. Photograph: Xinhua/Rex/Shutterstock It may sound obvious, but until now it was not quantified: The world’s forests do more than just store carbon, new research finds New data suggests forests help keep the Earth at least half of a degree cooler, protecting us […]

How Do We Love Thee, Forests, Let Us Count The Ways — Organikos

War and Peace

Buchenwald Forest
Photo – Nasenbar (Diskusson)

It is not actually possible, on this morning in March, when our television screens are filled with the suffering and death of people, including children, old people, ill and disabled people, as well as their dogs and cats – when we watch apartment buildings going up in flames, shattered by bombs and artillery fire – to ignore all this and write about the charming days of spring. War is not charming.

So, we will write instead about courage and kindness.

No one doubts the immense courage of the Ukrainian people – their self-sacrifice and their heroism. We can all see the women and children who endure days and nights of hardship – and we see the kindness of the people in neighboring countries who lend a hand, providing a bowl of hot soup and then opening their houses to strangers.

What is not always so visible is the courage of Ukrainian men – young and old – who return to devastated towns and cities to fight, to resist – not knowing if they will survive or if they will ever see their wives and their children again. They enter an abyss of danger.

We are all aware of the heartbreak of this situation. Some wars are worse and unkinder than others. However, human history, including recent history, is filled with wars – also with disasters – incomprehensible suffering for which no one can be blamed.

Heroes too

History is also filled with heroes – with those who sacrifice their own comfort, well-being, and their own lives – for others or for their country. We don’t know the names of most of those heroes – and all too often when wars happen in far-away places – or many centuries ago – or among people who may look different from us, or whose culture is not similar to ours – people with whom we feel no immediate connection – then we may not be open to feeling quite the same level of compassion.

We have trouble sometimes relating to other human beings who are different from ourselves – but how much more trouble do we have seeing, noticing, and being aware of those who are not human?

Animals can be heroes too. Not everyone accepts this concept, but a surprising number of people do.

Animals, plants, and the entire world of nature display both courage and kindness. These are not just human traits. What about the dog who, instead of running out of the burning house, runs further into the house to wake up his person and save the whole family?

What about the mother duck who, at risk to her own life, makes sure that each of her baby ducklings has gotten safely across the road?

What about the tall bristlecone pine tree who stands on the mountain side, in a swirling snowstorm, in bitter cold – until the spring. Is he or she not brave? Yet, one can hear the reactions of some who are thinking….. “that thought about a tree is just a step too far – and maybe a little silly.”

Countless nations and cultures

On the other hand, whole nations and cultures of people – many countless generations over eons past have seen the entire world of nature as living and alive. Most, if not all, of the earlier cultures of the earth have attributed personhood to mountains and rivers, to the oceans, to the animals — in countless stories, songs, and dances. Even modern legislative bodies – in India and New Zealand, for example, have recognized the sacred, living essence of rivers and mountains? Are they all wrong?

Perhaps not. Perhaps the earth herself and all her children are alive and conscious, as well as beautiful, graceful, and majestic. Perhaps we ourselves, as children of the modern world, need to regain at least some of this ancient perspective, this ancient wisdom, and perhaps when we do, we will be aware of a closer bond and kinship with all that lives – the animals, the plants, the rivers – all creatures and all human beings. Perhaps then we may be more aware of the kinship of all life – and more in touch with the great peace within – within our own souls, within the living worlds and beings of nature — within our fellow human beings. And perhaps then we can move on – in greater strength and kindness, and with greater awareness of the life and beauty of the universe – the universe who teaches us so much.

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At the core of Forest Voices of India is the vision of the earth and all her beings as an ancient web of life – including people, animals, and plants – who are all part of nature. May we get back in touch with these ancient concepts – to re-discover, to protect, and strengthen the earth, which is our world. May there be peace on earth.

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May 2022 bring blessings for the earth! Happiness, peace, protection, and well-being for all the trees and plants, for the mountains, the oceans, the rivers, the forests, the deserts, and all wild lands. May all wild creatures be blessed and free in the wild – and all animals everywhere be safe, protected, and happy. May all the peoples of the earth be blessed and touched with a spirit of kindness. May ancient traditions be once again revered and respected, honoring the Earth and all Her children!

Forest Voices of India

Under the leadership of Dr. Nanditha Krishna, the CPREEC (C.P. Ramaswami Aiyar Environmental Education Centre) in Chennai, India, has restored 53 sacred groves, over the past thirty years – bringing back the original flora and fauna and restoring these small forests with the same species of plants and animals which always lived there in the past, providing once again beautiful tranquil lands which the people living nearby had treasured in the past. Each village in India once had a sacred grove. Now, the village people themselves maintain and care for these restored sacred forests and the abundant wildlife that live there.

These ancient sacred groves represent one of the amazing traditions of India, which has traditionally valued and preserved the life and the beauty of the natural world.

Dr. Nanditha Krishna is an environmentalist, art historian and well-known author of over twenty-five books about the art, culture, and the natural world of India. Among these are Hinduism and Nature, Sacred Animals of India, and Sacred Plants of India.

Listening to this short video, you will be transported to the city of Chennai where you will be among the tall, peaceful trees of the CPREEC and CPRA Foundation centers, yet not far from the busy city life of nearby streets.