'Rewilding' the Earth Start with Open Urban Spaces, then the Rest of the Planet
The Atocha Station in Madrid is an awesome example of Rewilding an urban space.
Start with Urban Spaces
even locally in the Philippines, invaluable species are being lost from areas where they used to thrive: innocuous insects like dragonflies, fireflies and crickets are now hard to find where you live. Philippine urban development has encroached over
natural flora and fauna habitats, creating vast stretches of impermeable
surfaces and losing tree canopy cover, thus creating natural flood traps that aggravate the already dangerous unprotected swathes of communities in vulnerable to low lying areas. Trees that used to shield the ground from excess rainfall by providing that essential buffer are now reduced to 'manicured' gardens and parks along streets and neighborhoods.
Just travelling along any Philippine national road
into the near south or north of Metro Manila and you will see clearings
along the highway for new malls (more impermeable surfaces as
catchbasins for rainfall) and new housing communities or high-rise mass
housing that are inherently difficult to sustain over any lifetime
because of the life support grid and resources needed to allow plenty of
people living in crowded spaces.
You expect that urban
development should be inherently limited to how any living space can
sustain itself with a grid support system. But urban planning and
growth like this is simply never the case in the Philippines. No wonder
we have gridlock in the capital like no other just overnight and nobody
wants to own up to the fact that a vehicle for every Pinoy is never an
impressive benchmark for how good our standard of living already is. And flooding occurs within five to ten minutes of any heavy downpour just because all that water hits concrete roads and high rises, and wells up when no trees shield our urban spaces anymore nor does the soil soak up the rain.
for rewilding mainly focus on denuded areas or wilds where local animal
populations have dwindled to none. You can check the Wildlands
Network, the Rewilding Institute, and the rewildingffoundation.org as working hard to keep biodiversity alive.
in urban areas, we all can make living a sustainable and enjoyable
activity if rewilding were part of urban planning policy. Push for
conservation science education and research and public policy
initiatives as a means for keeping people aware that having a dozen high
rises standing next to each other is tantamount to building a line of
mausoleums. Any cut-off from the life-support grid (power and food supply) and that kind of environment
will collapse when people go without food, water or power for a week. The storm surge in Southern Leyte turned peaceful citizens into looting and thieving mobs (even rapists) in a span of a week, because no one could survive the loss of the life-support grid.
An urban forest keeps any living space or urban space cool and shielded from excess rainfall unlike totally paved and concretized surfaces which allow floodwater to build up.
sustain any urban area, rewilding public urban spaces and even
high-rise rooftops with both flora and fauna is the only way to survive. Any situation. Extreme disaster or just everyday for the rest of your life.
we are to meet the needs of human beings to enjoy where they live,
planners need to remake cities into sustainable and resilient
'humanitats' that produce a good life. Organizations like Friends of the Urban Forest
in San Francisco push urban reforestation and greening as a way of
creating thriving living spaces and making business districts thrive
The true gauge for progress now according to smarter
economists is asking people if they are happy where they live, NOT how many cars they drive, NOR how big their paycheck is. Not even GDP anymore per se.
the true measure of success of any urban or rural community setting. In most
cases well-being can be created by simple urban structures such as
recreation areas that have green infrastructure: open space in the form
of parks and refuges, contact with companion and wild animals. There
are even proven urban reform measures that get criminals and misfits to
get back into society by learning to farm and being involved in urban
food production activities.
Half the Earth Restored as Wilds
Biologist, Edward O. Wilson, the Pulitzer-prize winning author of the book: Biophilia ( a
greenthink proposal and philosophy about life being linked to nature for survival ) wrote another book in the same vein called, Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life, this one an opne call for restoring the wilds in half of the Earth to restore precious
biodiversity. These rewilded nature preserves would be managed by forest rangers and other environmental scientists and caretakers.
For the Philippines, denuded mountains and everywhere else may be the biggest concern for local wildlife conservationists who may want to 'Rewild' our own motherland.
Biodiversity is a key issue for rewilding proponents, many rewilding organizations have been established to get things going.
Rewilding concepts have worked well and inspire: In the U.S., making an experiment with wolves in Yellowstone National Park and succeeded immensely in restoring the balance of the deer population with a ripple effect--dispersing the deer communities and keeping young trees and vegetation from denudation: keeping the National Park thriving again as a balanced environment for all flora and fauna.
Yellowstone Grey Wolf reintroduced into the U.S. National Park preserve.