Horsham Climate Cafe – the value of nature

All of us are experiencing the uncertainty the current pandemic has brought with it, alongside the forced physical disconnect from one another and our usual routines. However, while this situation has restricted us in many ways, it has also freed us in others. An overwhelming number of us are finding time to go outside and connect with the natural world, and for the first time are slowing down our pace of life to hear the birds sing and explore the beauty of the area where we live. In the spirit of this uplifting side-effect of Covid-19, our Horsham Climate Café last Saturday was focused around the value of the natural world, a value that we all now seem to be tuning into and wanting to protect.

We played a brilliant message from local environmental activist and film-maker Nicola Peel, who is currently on lockdown in one of the most biodiverse and beautiful places on Earth, Ecuador’s Cloud Rainforest. She shared with us her unique lockdown experience amongst such a stunning array of wildlife and beauty, and how the fight is on to protect such a special place from mining, as the Government has now granted mining concessions for the area. If you would like to read and watch Nicola’s messages and a blog of her life at the moment, please do explore these links to learn more (https://www.sussexgreenliving.co.uk/message-from-ecuadorian_cloud-forest/  and https://www.sussexgreenliving.co.uk/los-cedros-reserve-an-update-and-photos-from-our-friend-Nicola-Peel/).

We were even fortunate enough to be joined by Nicola herself live during our session, where she talked to us more about this conflict between protecting land for its intrinsic value and destruction for economic activities such as mining. Nicola has been supporting nine local children as they take their Government to court in a landmark case, the outcome of which is yet to be decided. To learn more about the fight and help raise awareness yourself, you can read our February blog reporting on the issue ( https://www.sussexgreenliving.co.uk/uk-environmentalist-raises-the-alarm-to-support-childrens-right-to-fresh-air/).
The value of the natural world has been no secret to indigenous people, who are typically famed for their connection and advocacy of our planet, something our speaker Victoria Wyllie de Echeverria talked to us about. Undertaking her PhD research at the University of Oxford, she shared with us her brilliant research into the indigenous people in Canada, investigating the deep connection they have to nature, their stewardship of the land and water and how they are adapting to climate change. If you missed her talk or would like to hear it again, we leave the recording of her presentation for you to listen to at your leisure.

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Inspiring sustainable living in Sussex