Why am I embarking on a rewilding project for our land in the Andes mountains?
There are many answers to that question.
WHAT DO I MEAN BY REWILDING?
First, what do I mean by rewilding?
I am perhaps using a more loose definition than some others. For me, and in this case, rewilding means supporting the land in becoming more diverse and vibrant and a good habitat for a range of life from microbes to insects to birds to reptiles and mammals.
It won’t be the way it was before humans came here, or before Europeans came. That’s not possible. But we can use native plants to help the ecosystem recover and become more vibrant and thriving.
Rewilding for me means what the word implies. It means helping the ecosystem become more wild again, even if it will by necessity look different from how it has ever been before. It won’t be a copy of how it was, but it may rhyme.
And then, why rewilding? What’s the reason for it? Isn’t it better to make use of the land for food production or housing? Doesn’t it make more sense to sell parts of the land to make money on it?
Here are some of the answers that come up for me.
MOVED TO DO IT
The most honest answer is that I find myself moved to do it. Life moves to do it through and as me.
Beyond that, I don’t really know. I can have reasons and elaborate on those reasons, but I don’t really know.
At a more personal level, I can say it feels meaningful. If this is a project for the rest of my life – and hopefully far beyond, continued by others – then that would make me happy and I would feel my life had meaning in a very specific way.
On a day-to-day basis, it gives my attention and energy direction. It’s a project I can put energy and time into as things move in that direction, and I can give it a breather when that feels more right. It’s a project with its own pulse and life and without a particular timeline.
EXPRESSION OF MY NATURE AND REALITY
It’s an expression of my nature and reality.
I am an expression of this living evolving system we call Earth, just like anything else here is. I am this global and local living system supporting itself.
INTERCONNECTIONS AND SHARED FATE
From a more conventional perspective, I also know that my life as a human being is intimately connected with the rest of this living system.
Although Earth will continue without me and humans in general, we also share fate to some extent.
My health and well-being and the health and well-being of society and our civilization is intimately connected with the health and well-being of our local, regional, and global ecosystems.
It’s in my own interest, and the interest of all of humanity, to take care of our ecosystems and do what we can to help them recover and become more diverse and thriving.
LOVE FOR NATURE AND HUMANS
I love nature, and I have loved nature since very early childhood. I do it because I love nature. I love to see nature in a more healthy and vibrant state. It makes me happy.
I do it because I care about humans and the future of humanity. I love our amazing – and sometimes terrible – civilization and it would be a shame if it ends now. (Although if that happens, that’s OK too. Earth or the Universe doesn’t need humans, although we do bring something unique and beautiful to it.)
THE MANY BEINGS HERE
There are millions of beings on this land. This is their home. Many of them are born, live their lives, and die here. This is all they will know. This place is their life.
If I, as one person, can help millions of current and future beings have a good life here, I would love to do it. I cannot imagine anything more beautiful and amazing.
Each of these beings are their own world. They are their own cosmos. From the smallest microbes and up to the mammals here. What a privilege to support these worlds to have a life here.
I do it for their sake. It’s easy to imagine myself in their situation, and how much I would want someone like me to protect them and their habitat.
NEEDED IN THE WORLD TODAY
Biodiversity loss is one of the major issues in the world today. It’s one of the massive crises we are in the middle of, and one that’s tied in with the more popular climate change and equally if not more important.
If I can play a (very) small part in this global effort to protect our diversity, then what I am doing here is more than worth it.
Just by living in our current economic system, my life inevitably has a harmful effect on life. So this is my small part in making up for it.
I love learning and especially about sustainability and nature, and this is an amazing opportunity to learn.
We will hire two local experts to guide and help us with our rewilding project, and I am looking forward to learning as much as I can as we move forward with this project.
I also look forward to sharing it here and perhaps on social media and/or a dedicated website.
If what I am doing here can be a small local model, then that’s icing on the cake.
If it only inspires one person to do something else, that makes it more than worth it.
We sorely need these models today, in all aspects of society.
So although I most honestly don’t know the answer to this “why”, I can also find a lot of reasons.
Each one of these alone would make it worth it.
I am not doing this because I am especially noble. I certainly am not. I do it because I love it.
And I know there will be times I’ll be frustrated, fed up, tired, and want to give it all a break. I have already experienced that. (For instance, when workers cut down large areas of pioneer species allowing invasive grass to take over and did so after we explicitly told them not to.)
- why rewilding?
- am moved to do it, life moves in that direction in me
- meaningful, purpose
- expression of my nature, reality
- life moves to protect itself, support itself
- helping innumerable beings who need a place to live,
- very much needed in the world today
- modeling, others can learn from it