“Namaste, namaste, sorry, sorry” … but the damage was done and later the tree was gone

“Namaste, namaste, sorry, sorry” and then a short discussion about why the rules are there to not cut down trees in the protected area. I returned 6 hours later, the tree was gone…

Instead of events like this the memory I’m going to choose for 2020 was the wonderful lack of disturbance in the jungle during lockdown. It was in sharp contrast to the wood collection of a few days ago, both legal and illegal as in the image. Lockdown allowed the protected area to breathe, not completely, poachers did strike but in the main it was a time which showed what could be, it was a time of reflection that hey, we have a pandemic, nature is warning us. Will we heed these warnings or is 2020 going to be the start of many such years? Time will tell, it will tell if we truly value protected areas, if we truly understand why we need them more than ever. It’s going to be interesting to see who does understand, who will reflect that in their actions.

I thank those who stood in support of our efforts in 2020. The leopard, the tiger, those guardians of the forest, they need our help more than ever to do that. In some ways it seems like we lost a year in our efforts to increase and better manage protected areas by 2030 but in other ways we learned a lot about who is really with us. More on that soon as we get closer to the next Year of the Tiger, at a time when we need to give the jungle breathing space more than ever…