Rewilding the land, restoring ourselves - free online Zoom event with Kristine Tompkins
We’ve all come to understand that we’re damaging our planet - but for a few visionaries this isn’t news, it’s become a way of life.
Kristine Tompkins is an American conservationist, former CEO of Patagonia, and President and Co-founder of Tompkins Conservation, who, alongside her late husband Douglas Tompkins, has spent a quarter of a century, conserving and rewilding vast areas of the world.
Fighting against nature destruction, neglect and exploitation, together they purchased more than 2 million acres of land in Chile and Argentina to restore to wilderness. Kristine is also a UN Environment Patron, recognised for her commitment to protected areas of the planet.
So what does that mean in reality? In the wetlands of Iberá in Argentina, this requires the reintroduction of jaguars and giant river otters to the land, together with a level of commitment from local people that is almost unprecedented. This process makes stakeholder engagement look like a party game! So it’s not enough to buy land, reintroduce species, and reverse damage caused by pollution and deforestation.
Rewilding demands a high degree of diplomacy, tact and understanding. It also demands imaginative approaches to human behaviour, and ongoing support for marginalised or often hostile communities. Above all, rewilding calls for dedication - for the long-term dedication of time, money and energy to a massive and unpredictable process that can end in failure - but if we don’t learn to do it successfully, it may be the end of us all!
Kristine Tompkins has lessons to teach us. In a 2020 TED Talk entitled, “Let’s make the world wild again” she talks about how each human is impacted by every other human, and how each of our actions affects the health of the planet. None of us is on a solo journey, no matter how insulated we feel in our urban sprawl and our techno-bubble, we live or die, based in part on what those jaguars and giant otters are getting up to in their marshes.
You can’t protect a place unless you understand it. You can’t love it until you know it
While it can be hard for us to grasp, given our often limited experience of genuine wilderness and our even more limited opportunities to engage with it on its own terms, it is vital that humanity learns this lesson.
Kristine Tompkins is giving us all a chance to learn - partnering with Satopia and Journeys with Purpose, she’s speaking live at a free online event on 21 January 2021exploring why and how we all need to work together and sharing stories from Tompkins Conservation - one of the greatest successes in nature conservation. We invite you to register for this conservation and rewilding virtual event that will be held on Zoom here.
You can register for the free online Zoom event here.