Well hey there amigo, I humbly want to say thanks for stoppin by and takin interest in what this girl is doing! While you read, Keep in mind that the ideas and thoughts expressed in this thing are mine and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Peace Corps or the United States government...blah blah blah...go read!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Poverty and the Environment

Mussa is the average local Angochean. Mussa has a pretty big family and his family gets hungry, so he needs to feed them. He is a fisherman, but he is a pretty poor fisherman, so he doesn't have the money to buy a fishing net (in more agrivating scenarios Mussa had enough money but spent it on something stupid like a widescrean TV for his hut). So Mussa, being resourceful, uses what he already has--for example, a mosquito net--to fish. Many of Mussa's fisherman friends, in the same situation, do the same thing. The mosquito net he and his buddies are using has really small holes and doesn't allow much of anything to remain in the ocean but water. So they all get a lot of good eating fish, a lot of baby fish, fish eggs, some smaller sea critters, and plants and other vegetative goodies everytime they cast or drag their nets in the nearby Indian Ocean. Mussa and the gang do this for a while. Soon, they notice that there really aren't many animals in their nets anymore, so they move fishing spots and continue. Soon their new fishing spot is fishless, so they move again and again until the sea is fished dry near Angoche. Now everyone is getting really hungry.
Welcome to Angoche and many other places in the world where poverty and beautiful ecosystems clash. Often in places like this, poor people and natural reasources are in quite a vicious cycle in which both sides suffer. If people are not educated on how to use reasources properly, they will be destroyed or depleated, leaving locals even more devestated.
In Angoche, 2 organizations WWF (environmental) and CARE (people-oriented) combined to create a project called Primeiras e Segundas which focuses on protecting local wildlife and terrain in order to boost productivity of the soils and ocean (not to mention protecting some beautiful species just to keep them around to marvel at) so that the local people can survive and even thrive. Their website is accessable on the right side of my blog for you nerds and hippies who want to know more. So anyway, they've been here for a while now trying to teach people how to do all this preservation stuff and have mainly been working with the older folks. We recently collaborated with them to involve some young people.
Alex and I rounded up a group of students who gathered in the Primeiras e Segundas office to learn about environmental issues and then do a beach clean up last Saturday. Our students were impressively interested in what the project officers were teaching about and are even talking about getting a student group started up! It's been exciting to see them have opportunities to apply what they've been learning in biology to their lives in such a vital way.

Here's Cremildo, the Marine bio officer teaching some students about the structure of sand dunes.
Cardoso and trash. Good work dude.
The guys teaching the kiddos. I'm so impressed with them. So well educated. So qualified to do their jobs. Actually show up to meetings on time. Interact well with students. And so passionate about what they're doing. It's been refreshing collaborating with them!
Stay posted! More to come about Primeiras e Segundas. We will be taking a smaller group of students in a week or two to the far chain of islands between Angoche and the open ocean to learn more first hand about mangrove importance/preservation. We even get to camp out there!!! And I hear there are dugongs, whales, dolphins, and all sorts of beautiful critters. So excited.

No comments:

Post a Comment