We Will Conserve Only . . .

“In the end we will conserve only what we love, we will love only what we understand, and we will understand only what we are taught” – Baba Dioum

Of course, that’s only if we don’t Kill What We Love. We’re very good at that, too.

The places I always think of that we killed cos we loved them are on the KZN north coast. Farmers would go to the beach with their tents for their fishing holidays, camping under the trees in the dense coastal forest. Then they built cottages, then their friends built cottages; then they built roads then the roads got tarred (about then we visited in 1963); then came flats, then high-rise flats and concrete paving and the rock pools had to be enlarged and deepened with concrete walls. Next thing you have a city right on the beach. There’s water, then a strip of sand and then concrete. No more dunes, no more forest.

Wonderful blogger The Bushsnob got me thinking of this when telling of his trips to the Masai Mara in the 1980’s. Lots of people love the Mara, so much so that he reckons we now have 118 lodges and camps and lodgings around the game reserve! That means MANY vehicles on the roads!

Soon we’ll need a parking lot.

‘You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone . . . ‘

Here’s what Joni Mitchell means by a ‘tree museum’ – we concrete the world, then leave tiny, ever-smaller islands of (sort-of) what used to be. This is a botanic garden she knew in Hawaii:

~~~oo0oo~~~~

Baba Dioum – Senegalese forestry engineer, joint winner of the Africa Food Prize.