Sunday, January 20, 2013

Setbacks in the field - get your Sisyphus on!

Apiary crops up in the forest
A house fit for the middle of regen plot!/!
Fully underway in the field at week's end - our second day in the regenerated forest we were surprised to see that an entire house was being constructed in one of our experimental plots!  Apparently this is to be an apiary to replace the managed honeybee colonies scattered about in the regen area - but in order to build it, some clearing of native trees planted 20+ years ago occurred. Luckily we were able to find a suitable replacement plot neraby for our diversity sampling - and fieldwork continues...
This sort of thing is unfortunately not too uncommon in conservation work - despite the best efforts of several local groups to establish and study plots such as the restoration area where we're working, there are constant tensions over land use. Furthermore, it seems that the group that decided to clear the area (without consultation of any of the team working on the restoration) could have easily set up the  apiary in a less sensitive area nearby - at best it seems poor communication and coordination were happening here. These types of miscommunications are happening in all conservation realms here on the coast - from the inland dry forest to the marine zone, where poaching continues unabated despite widespread education compaigns aimed at  highlighting the short-sightedness of overfishing/overharvesting for short-term gain in areas where many people's livelihoods depend on sustainable resources. Despite all, good work carries on - the spirit of Sisyphus (the Corinthian king from Greek mythology condemned to roll a boulder up a hill, only to have it roll back down - for eternity) is alive and well here on the coast - lots of people working together to tackle complex multi-faceted conservation issues!
Field crew in Gede, undeterred!

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