Der weinende Lacandon-Urwald
The PLANETFOND International Charitable Foundation – “Loving Planet” implements projects aimed at maintaining biosystems and ecological balance, strengthening the human connection with nature and preserving indigenous population groups and their distinctive culture. The Fund aims to unite people and businesses around the world to restore the planet’s natural resources, protect and guard animals, and improve the Earth’s climatic conditions. But an equally important initiative of the organization is to support small primitive peoples, those closely integrated into the natural ecosystem.
One of these amazing populations is the lacandons, a small Mayan group living in the tropical forests of Chiapas in southeast Mexico. The “People with a silent step of ghosts“ for centuries have passed their knowledge about the relationship of man with the environment and are hanging on by the skin of their teeth to cherish this region of gorges, waterfalls and rivers. It truly is an amazing kingdom. But, despite all their efforts, their world is dying a painful death, along with all its inhabitants. While this small people group cries for help, the planet says goodbye to the largest colony of rare wild jaguars, with more than 1,500 species of unique plants, with 33% of all Mexican birds and 25% of all Mexican animals. The countdown for a world where colorful butterflies are still fluttering and rainbow fish still splash in water began more than half a century ago and has now reached a critical point.
Back in the 1970s, in response to growing demand for agricultural land, the Mexican government authorized a new system of agricultural distribution, giving the right to forest use in this area to private companies. Within a few years, in the pristine forest zone of Lacandona, stretching from the Mexican state of Chiapas through Guatemala to the southern part of the Yucatan Peninsula, more than half of the rain jungle was cut down for agricultural use. At the same time, the popularity of hunting grew – the shooting of rare wildlife was not forbidden here until the 90s. Fires also played a tragic role, causing thousands of living creatures to suffocate and destroying tens of thousands of hectares of the promised selva.
In order to save even a small fraction of the unique ecosystem, the destruction of which has already become almost irreversible, the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve (Montes Azules is Spanish for “Blue Mountains”) was created. This is the last artificially preserved living island of wildlife in a once immense sea of pristine rainforests. Its territory occupies only one quarter of the original Lacandon square, while the wild jungle outside the reserve has already been turned into a wasteland burned by man. There is some destruction inside the park area, but as long as this unique natural reservoir is preserved, the heart of the long-suffering tropical forest continues to beat, supporting the life of most of the biodiversity of Mexico.
However, do not forget that the true owners of this, the world’s richest ecosystem, are those who have their roots in this long-suffering land. The roots of the Lacandon people hold on to this land more than the roots of even the strongest of the centuries-old trees. Today, this small local population supports depleted forests, studies the “health status” of the jungle and wildlife, and carefully develops their precious lands. They survive financially through meagre government subsidies. There are so many problems on this earth, and so few financial opportunities that sometimes it seems that this rich natural reservoir simply takes its revenge on people, threatening to disappear from the face of the planet because people have not learned how to value its true wealth. Indeed, in only in the last quarter of a century, humanity has destroyed around 10% of the Earth’s unique natural eco-systems.
The locals have a saying: we protect the jungle if the jungle serves us! But do not forget that this works both ways. After all, these amazing rich and fragile rain forests will protect us for a long time and our future generations, filling our planet with life, if today we help save them. It’s time for us to protect the jungle!
Today, the PLANETFOND Charity Foundation – “Loving Planet” launches a project to partially restore the unique Lacondon natural reservoir and starts raising funds for planting about 60,000 rainforest trees, which will recover between 40 to 60 hectares of lost jungle. And although this figure is not large compared to hundreds of thousands of hectares of selva already lost, it will nevertheless be of great help for the forest, through which life will again run through the veins. Here the birds will again sing their morning trills and proud tapirs will run, the prayers of the lacandons to their more supportive deities will be heard, and the scorched lungs of this corner of the earth will once more be filled with oxygen.