Wildlife Asia Annual Report
2020 will certainly go down in history as a year that we were really forced to hit the reset button, in both our professional and personal lives and the way in which we live. The pandemic reveals how important our relationships are, and the freedom we so often take for granted. This is a time to truly reflect on the impact our species has upon the planet and indeed each other.
Truth is, we are not yet out the other side and in all reality, far from it. We still, however, sit within a window of opportunity in terms of how we emerge from this pandemic: Can we commit to continuing the positive changes we’ve begun to make?
Although the past year without travel to our field projects has left me feeling at times a little detached from our work, it has also provided the opportunity to gain new perspective, to explore causes closer to home and to really appreciate how these issues are so interrelated across our continental divide. I have also found much needed connection from two exemplary narratives that have opened my mind to new concepts and hopes for a better future. The first was Charles Massy’s work on regenerative agriculture ‘Call of the Reed Warbler’, the second, David Attenborough’s new (and perhaps final?) commentary in ‘A Life on Our Planet’. Both present our failings, at times with paralysing heartbreak, but both equally provide the hope that intelligent solutions could turn us on a new trajectory whereby, in the words of Massy, ‘ returning humans and societies to a state of health that our evolutionary history has designed us for and can turn around our destruction of Mother Earth and human societies as we enter this potentially cataclysmic Anthropocene era’.
To do so, our minds and voices will be just as important as our dollars. We must demand brave and visionary governments who can reduce the financial incentive for destructive industries and instead subsidise renewable energy, encourage regenerative farming and put an end, right now, to the catastrophic global destruction of native forests. We must exact absolute intolerance of corruption and we need to support empathetic and wise leaders, whilst equally acknowledging our individual roles in bringing about change.
As the Executive Director of Wildlife Asia, I continue to be so very proud of the incredible people we support, who do just that. They stand up as revolutionary leaders and make authentic changes from the ground up. These are the people who will take us forward. We can help to pave that path and strengthen their impact.