Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wild 9 Post Script

It’s all over but the work.

I have been struggling for 3 days to come up with an effective way to “wrap a bow” around the gift of Wild 9. It’s hard to see and hear everything that we saw and heard at the WWC without coming back to the everyday world highly energized, inspired and more than a little terrified. What are the big take away realizations for me? Small planet ….. smaller than we think. Big problems …. Bigger than we know or can fully understand. Time for solutions is verrrry short – shorter than we care to admit.

But Wild 9 introduced me to so many incredible thinkers, activists and worker bees from every strata of every society that I experienced a profound and deepening hope for our future. I most certainly felt a global reinforcement for what we at Art for Conservation are trying to do in our own small way – the arms and hearts of strangers patting the collective “us” on the back and saying “Nice work! Keep it up! Thanks for what you are doing.”

So, platitudes and affirmations aside, it’s time to get back to work with a knowledge that we are on the right path and that there are many, many others around the world ready and willing to collaborate, connect and conspire to save the planet and to work with the sense of urgency that is dictated by the crisis that grows every day in our air, our water and our landscapes.

To paraphrase President Obama, ”the fierce urgency of now” is indeed upon us and the common themes that inform our work are connectivity, communication and climate change. The party's over. Get to work!

Quotable Quotes from 9th World Wilderness Congress

1.“That just scared the hell out of me!” Art Wolfe, after viewing Jim Balog’s presentation on the
Extreme Ice Survey which is visually documenting the catastrophic decline of the world’s glaciers.

2. “Less than 1/5th of 1% of the world’s oceans are protected from fishing and yet oceans cover 75% of the earth’s surface.”
Brian Skerry on the rapid decline of our ocean ecosystems.

3.“The next 4-8 years are the most important years in human history.”
Bittu Sahgal, editor of Sanctuary magazine, India.

4.“We will not stop climate change if we don’t stop killing nature. It’s that simple.”
Harvey Locke, Canadian conservationist, one of the founders of the Yellowstone to Yukon Initiative.

5.“I awake each day torn between a desire to save the world and savor the world. It makes it hard to plan my day.” E.B. White


Linda Helm, VP


Alison M. Jones said...

LInda - Thanks for your update on WILD - was sorry that our No Water No Life expedition to document the Mara River Basin prevented me from being there. Certainly understand the daily angst of whether to spend one's time saving or savoring our planet.

Yes, we must all follow the path to correcting the status quo - but what is that path???? Did you hear constructive concepts for changing the current consumptive paradigms? Looking for any and all ideas!


Art for Conservation said...

Alison - I appreciate your comments. I heard SO many constructive concepts that my brain hurts. To give you an idea - go to this link to see the resolutions that came out of the Congress: http://www.wild.org/resolutions-from-wild9/
Also the "Message from Merida" that is being taken to Copenhagen is illuminating. See here for that:http://www.wild.org/mensaje-de-merida/

While these are simply statements, they are they are affirmations of plans and purpose for the immediate future.

Those interested can also - for the first time ever - access streaming video of the presentations made at Wild 9, many of which described active programs that are working and could serve as models for other parts of the world. Go here for that and you'll get the benefit of the Congress without the costs(or the tequila hangovers): http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wild9