Already several years working on the front line of biodiversity conservation, trying my best to contribute and help nature where I can.
It isn’t easy. At times, I feel overwhelmed by powerful waves of helplessness and anxiety. I see and hear Governments or people carrying on business as usual, as nature suffers from human greed, racing for more, and more, and more.
But I must remain optimistic and positive. I must be. If I wasn’t, I would have given up a long time ago. I am convinced that the solutions will arise from local initiatives, driven by communities themselves, taking on challenges. People can be as vulnerable as they can be resilient. From all around the globe, we are seeing popping out innovative community initiatives. This is what keeps me optimistic for the future. Change will come from the people.
Amid the current pandemic, wildlife conservationists are rallying together to come together in united campaigns to call on Governments to end the illegal wildlife trade that caused the spread of the Sars-CoV2 virus, already responsible for thousands of deaths across the planet.
But the power of the people is also part of the solution. As millions are forced to be confined at home to avoid the spread of the virus, we are realizing the importance of nature for our well-being (both physically and mentally). The urban-confined populations are dreaming for the pandemic to be over to go and immerse themselves in wild spaces, to contemplate the beauty of nature, trees and birds. Others are lucky enough to be confined in more ‘natural settings’ and feel grateful for it.
As the world is pondering what will come next, and different scenarios are discussed, analyzed and anticipated. We must remember that every day, we have the power to make a difference. From the tiniest of gestures (such as looking at that tree in front of you and be grateful for the oxygen it is producing or a simple act of kindness towards a stranger) to bigger actions (such as community initiatives to support local farmers or volunteer in an association). All of these actions, your actions, are like little drops of water. But taken all together across the planet, they produce an ocean of generosity, reciprocity, solidarity, optimism. Your actions are like twigs, but put together, they can form a bird’s nest that will support new life. Our actions are like umbrellas: protection is extended to much much more.
The world needs more of You! Yes, you. You are one of us. You care about those who lack a voice, and are marginalized and forgotten. So, spread the word. We need more of you. There are plenty of organizations, associations and various initiatives, near and far, that need your support around the world, especially during these times of economic struggle.
We are so grateful to all our donors already supporting our actions on the ground (and have committed to continue their support this year even when they are also struggling themselves), as well as to many other individual donors. Thank you.
On that final note, I will go hug a tree.
Camille. Founder and director.
In Nakai, Laos. 29 April 2020.