A journey into the forest - Part2
A story about Responsibility, Purpose, Mushrooms and Oneness.
by : Rachel Porquet-Chanmugam
The second part of our project is about mycelium.
Because fungi is just the tip of the iceberg; what goes on beneath the forest is as important and interesting as what goes on above it. Mycelium is like Gold for the forest.
Our research hopes to demonstrate that mycelium could improve the quality / quantity of our other harvests (vegetables in the organic farm as well as forest garden products within the forest grounds).
We also want to demonstrate that it can be used to efficiently filter water, including rivers and streams significantly polluted by pesticides or petroleum by-products. It can be used for air filtration as well by the way.
In my opinion there are 2 main areas to take into consideration in order to protect ecosystems: Conservation/Protection
Restoration - in terms of structures and functions (if possible with accrued resiliency).
The first and main emergency would be to enforce a ban on any kind of deforestation of wild native ecosystems around the globe. All forests, and especially tropical rainforests, are super important: they hold most of the Earth’s biodiversity, they produce a great amount of O2 while fixing a lot of CO2, they are a catalyst for rain, they provide and store clean water, they produce more cooling from evaporation than any possible air conditioner ever could (on top of the shade they provide), and interestingly in our pandemic context, it is important to note that there is a link between deforestation and the release of infectious diseases.
The list is not at all exhaustive…
We would like to measure how the quality and density of mycchorizal networks underground in the forest soil could improve the health and the resilience of the forest. This is especially valid in the context of an Analog Forest, which is engineered to help degraded landscapes get back on their feet - not in a better way than nature would do (nothing beats Nature!), but in a faster way.
This is the need of the hour : to learn and fast action!
The second emergency is to multiply the restoration of degraded lands, as well as to maintain the current forests’ efficiency, in a context of adverse conditions arising from climate change - conditions that seem to worsen faster than we expected… Indeed, ‘healthy’ forests around the world have already started showing signs of distress . It is crucial to realize that we can all play a role in this.
Each one of us. Together.
I need to participate! Sure, in my own terms. But I feel there’s no other way, because it has the potential to make me (and Manu) better and happier people, and because it’s the silver bullet we have for saving our species and millions of others from extinction.
You should participate too!
Not only for those reasons, but also because our dependency on consumerism is not only killing our planet, it is killing us too; physically, emotionally and spiritually. There are enough scientifically proven studies showing how being in nature significantly makes us more happy, healthy and holy. Going back to nature means going back to who we are and where we are coming from, going back to meaning and purpose. Not only individually but collectively - as communities, and globally at a planetary level of interconnected species.
Belipola is a man-made haven of ecosystems and biodiversity restoration. It started from scratch some 37 years ago on a land degraded by man. The current health and maturity of this analog forest shows that it is not only possible for humans to work on reversing the trend; it is actually working! Belipola is one of the living demonstration that our participation is required and deeply needed so that we can help care and heal;
Nature, Ourselves and our Self.
After all, we are One.