Mata Atlantica, Birituba Mirim

We are back at the farm in Birituba Mirim after 2 days of meetings and planning in Sao Paulo.  The contrast of the forest, the full air, the density and the sounds compared to the vast city, the high rise, the thick air, the sounds of planes, helicopters and cars… they are two extremes, sitting side by side and fighting each other.

Renato said the Mata Atlantica is in a silent war.  You can feel it, on Monday we visited the Euclyptus farms and the way they are ripping the land of everything, leaving dead, dry soil below, the uniform rows of trees are interpspersed with protected forest near to the water springs that are now being loked after by the government, the contrast within two steps between the dried, empty earth of the euclpytus and the fertile buzzing forest of the Mata Atlantica is as acute as the difference between the forest and the city.

Today we have returned to visit some primary forest.  Our conversations with Paula who is managing the education elements of the Dark Forest project here in Sao Paulo has led us to explore the 3 stages of forest - primary (ancient and untouched), secondary (regrown) and tertiary (parks and managed areas).  These link to our themes of the past present and future of the forests - the forests of our times, the myths and legends of the forest and the forest of our imagination.  It also leads to the next nature debate - if this is where we are now how do we protect, develop and sustain the forests we desire and need for the future?

The one thing that has been going through my mind is the idea that these forests are the lungs of our earth.  You feel it, they breathe, they are living, real, growing and changing.  It is this vitality that I hope that we can interpret and transmit.

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