Willie Smits: How we re-grew a rainforest

Dandelion Salad


http://www.ted.com By piecing together a complex ecological puzzle, biologist Willie Smits has found a way to re-grow clearcut rainforest in Borneo, saving local orangutans — and creating a thrilling blueprint for restoring fragile ecosystems.


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7 thoughts on “Willie Smits: How we re-grew a rainforest

  1. all the above is very interesting, now and without prejudice, can someone tell me how Argentinians call the very yellow-happy dandelion? thank you!!!!

  2. Maybe I am an incurable pessimist, but I fear Willie Smits and the BOS project — while noble in their own right — are doomed to failure. While the project is incredibly wel-planned and most carefully executed, the project lacks the “total” or “global” perspective. Agriculture, housing, our relationship to animals and culture (religion, the arts, etc.) must be conceived together, as a unity. One cannot introduce a tribal culture to post-tribal and even post-industrial agricultural practices and expect long-term success unless the tribal culture also receives a make-over. I am simply saying what is already a commonplace principle: we must think of the whole.

    What this implies is that, like most people, the tribes of Borneo cannot expect to manage their affairs better than any other people on earth simply because they now possess an ideal garden of plenty. Unless the promised land is accompanied with the promised culture, the land is doomed. This is, according to anthropologists, what happened to countless cultures, including those that once inhabited East Island, whose tribe is now extinct. The vast majority of the world’s people are uncultured and highly susceptible to the primitive forces exerted by charismastic men, greed, irrational fear and the longing for immortality. Eventually, people will not be content with mere peace and full stomachs, and all Hell breaks lose, and Eden lies destroyed again.

    Ironically, Smits’ primary goal was to save “the thinkers of the jungle,” the orangutans. Before we can hope to succeed at that, we need a species that understands what thinking is and nourishes its thinking organ as carefully as it nourishes its stomachs.

  3. This is just fantastic. Where did you find this? What a brilliant healer of the forests. It is a huge impediment that the economy has to be included in the concept, but he seems to factor that in.

    I had no idea trees in tropics seed their own rain!

    I’m not sure we can bring back the old growth, but this is a beautiful design for equilibrium and rebirth. We should have spent those bankster trillions on this.

    I’m all for using bamboo, but we need to now completely leave the trees alone. Those were such horrible fires in 1998. This man is exactly the old-growth forest ecologist we need– if this can create home for the orangutans (and the GIBBONS!), it’s the greatest thing.

    Please bring him here to fix our devastated northwest coast and ancient eastern old growth and boreal American forest , just no loggers allowed! Or if tropical forests are his focus, please heal our central & South american abused jungles. Then there is Africa. And Madagaskar—All the forest animals are under attack.

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