Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Another Paradise To Trash

A international team of scientists has discovered a isolated region of extraordinary biodiversity that has remained untouched by the presence of man.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4688000.stm

In less than a month the team identified new species of frogs, plants, birds and butterflies, and discovered the breeding grounds of the 'lost' Six-wired Bird of Paradise (see photo).

The area lies within a 'protected zone' in North-Western New Guinea, and its short term future is considered to be secure. However, now that the secret is out, and with further expeditions planned, how long will this new Eden survive?

'Eco' tourism, global biodiversity prospecting and local subsistence farming will be slugging it out. Those old-fashioned souls who still believe that the environment has a value beyond money, and should be preserved for its own sake rather than for the uses we can put it to, should look away now. It won't be pretty.




3 Comments:

At 6:49 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw this yesterday as well and had the same sinking feeling. Especially when the scientist/explorer at the news conference was enthusiastically claiming that they would be 'going back in next month' to explore further. Just can't leave 'paradise' alone can we (Adam & Eve)....like kids in a sweetie shop.

 
At 10:40 pm, Blogger Keith Scott said...

Does it have to be as bad as this?
The way Antarctica has been preserved is surely a heartening story for all of us concerned with the environment.
Shouldn't we be putting resources and efforts into ensuring this area is similarly preserved?

 
At 7:07 am, Blogger Matt Burge said...

Corruption is rife there. See the link on this site;

'Forestry corruption in Papua New Guinea'

Such an Antarctica style agreement would need heavy policing. Then there are the local people to consider regarding resource use.

As we look at resource use/protection on a world scale it seems even more important that institutions such as the UN are well financed and guided to lead on such issues. If however local people are being asked to preserve something on behalf of the rest of the world then they need to be compensated.

 

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