At the time of writing COP26 is underway with hopes and fears being expressed on all media. No doubt when this is read reactions will have been widely broadcast. How do we now view the future?
Whatever the outcome from the conference, it is easy to see the problems we are facing – however it is more important to focus on the solutions. This was the message of Nicola Peel, enthusiastic speaker at our AGM on 30th October. She has spent 20 years in the Amazon Basin, where she worked with the local people developing solutions to their environmental problems, one of the issues being water pollution caused by oil extraction and gold mining. The ultimate solution is to prevent the pollution. Until that is achieved, alternatives have to be used. Nicola described how fungi are used to clear up oil spill, and how rainwater is saved, avoiding the use of contaminated river water, so improving the health of the communities. The heart of the problem is that the polluters (eg oil companies) do not pay for harm caused. It is our demand for their products that drives them.
Another development Nicola mentioned is the use of leaves to mulch the soil and the planting of inga tree alleys which mean that continual deforestation ‘slash and burn’ was not necessary in order to produce good crops.
Biodiversity in the Basin is prolific, its protection is essential, and while local people have very few belongings and they live close to nature, their children are full of life and joy. A lesson there for western lifestyles.
The problems we face may vary but we can all be part of the solutions. If we invest money, we should do so with companies with ethical environmental policies. Use renewable energy providers. Buy local, buy organic, eat less meat. Avoid toiletries which pollute. Save water. Lobby MPs and Councillors. Save water. Reduce waste. The list goes on. Above all, protect and enjoy nature.
For more information about Nicola and her work, go to www.nicolapeel.com.
At the AGM our Chairman, Mick Denness, spoke in his report of the longevity of the Society and its contribution to our community and future. The Committee was elected. Mick drew attention to the need for a new Tools Officer and thanked retiring officer Steve Harvey for all his efforts over recent years. He also thanked such a large number of members for attending.
A report on the work party at Hurston Warren to clear the heathland SSSI of invasive vegetation on 6th November will be in next month’s issue.
We meet next at 10.30am on 4th December at Riverside Walk to clear the banks and stream between Love Lane bridge (where we meet) and Fryern Dell. All are welcome to join us. For information about this and our other activities, or on becoming a member, please get in touch with Chairman Mick Denness on 01903 745971, or see our website https://www.storringtonconservation.org.uk