Ecosystem Restoration Camps founder, John D. Liu, spent part of August in South Africa where there is a real groundswell in awareness and participation in ecological regeneration. During his trip he participated in the Eden Festival of Action. Festival organisers and friends of ERC, Greenpop shared this account of a panel on Restoring Ecosystems and Self which John was part of:
“In week 3 at the Eden Festival of Action, we hosted ecologist, filmmaker and educator John D. Liu after years of research into ecosystem restoration. He is working to instigate a worldwide movement around the creation of Ecosystem Restoration Camps and was interested in joining us in the Garden Route as he feels that the model we are using could be key in the development of his vision for these camps.
We were also extremely excited to host him and learn from him as an expert in the field. We celebrated the opportunity to learn from John last Thursday when we held a talk and panel with him and 4 other experts: Matthew Koehorst of Six Kingdoms, permaculture expert Timothy Wigley, Siyabulela Sokomani of Shoots and Roots and Anna Breytenbach of AnimalSpirit with our Head of Programmes Zoë Gauld-Angelucci moderating the discussion.
We harvested questions from our audience of keen environmentalists, and the discussions that arose around the themes of mass reforestation, sustainable farming and the importance of cultural inclusivity in environmental action were highly inspiring. John stated “What I love about Greenpop is that it looks like an ecological restoration camp” – an exciting statement as Greenpop looks towards ongoing restoration projects.
As the UN Environment has declared the decade of restoration John D. Liu’s words of “We either restore the earth or we face the consequences.” ring true to new data that has recently emerged showing that planting trees is one of the simplest and best ways to mitigate the effects of climate breakdown.
We hope that the people who attended the panel discussion – our team, our participants, our hosts at Wild Spirit Backpackers Lodge and everyone who came to visit for the day – will walk away and feel empowered to continue these conversations and action in their own lives, and within their own communities.”