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Posted by on Jun 6, 2014 in Field Trip | 0 comments

The existence of a happy land…

Ecuador is the country of controversies and amazement. The diversity of landscapes, cultures and ways of life passed in front of my eyes, and amazed me.
Experiencing the modern way of life in Quito and how it is affecting the ecosystem services provided by the páramo ecosystem of the highlands, to the undisturbed life in the Tiputini Biodiversity Station and to the amazing co-existence of the modern way of life and nature in Galapagos.
When I set my foot in Galapagos I didn’t expect to find such a high diversity of wildlife inside the inhabited areas. The sea lions are occupying every bench and boat and it is amazing the fact that none of the animals are afraid of human presence. The serenity and the harmony of all the life forms of Galapagos astonished me.
I cannot imply that problems do not exist nor I can say that I could not identify issues around me during this trip. But we should figure out what we can actually learn from each place that we visit. We are living in a world that needs good examples, amazing examples. This is the best way to improve and to understand what can actually work in our future conservation plans.
Till recently in the Galapagos Islands one of the main issues was the overfishing of sea cucumbers and the local fishermen denied any of the conservationists concerns and warnings about the outcomes of their acts. “You are trying to patronize my income” was a common answer. However, after including some of them to the monitoring of the sea cucumbers and after the rest of them realized the decrease in the resources, all the society was convinced. And that brings us to today’s circumstances where the whole fishermen society decided to follow the regulations that had been put.
My point is that involving the locals, focusing on their interests as a way to make them understand can actually help us to move a step forward. Good examples are all around us, we just have to identify them, understand them and try to copy them when possible.
A harmonic co-existence with nature is not an illusion, at least not in my eyes. We just need to have a better vision, new goals and find out the good examples that can help us to set the foundations of our new universal common-society.

Afroditi Kardamaki

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