Friday, January 30, 2009

Sting...I mean Gordon your office...

CHILIBRE, Panama: The land where Marta Ortega de Wing raised hundreds of pigs until 10 years ago is being overtaken by galloping jungle - palms, lizards and ants.

Instead of farming, she now shops at the supermarket, and her grown children and grandchildren live in places like Panama City and New York.

Here, and in other tropical countries around the world, small holdings like Ortega de Wing's - and much larger swaths of farmland - are reverting back to nature, as people abandon their land and move to the cities in search of better livings.

These new "secondary" forests are emerging in Latin America, Asia and other tropical regions at such a fast pace that the trend has set off a serious debate about whether saving primeval rain forest - an iconic environmental cause - may be less urgent than once thought. By one estimate, for every half a hectare of rain forest cut down each year, more than 20 hectares, or 50 acres, of new forest are growing in the tropics on land that was once farmed, logged or ravaged by natural disaster.

"There is far more forest here than there was 30 years ago," said Ortega de Wing, 64, who remembers fields of mango trees and banana plants.
Gosh...who would have guessed that the zealot rainforest-type environmentalist was full of mangos? Now...let's do I purchase a couple hundred hectares of this forest and charge Exxon retro-actively for carbon credits?