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Farmers, foresters and other endangered species

Today is apparently Endangered Species Day. Far from making light of the results of Homo sapiens reckless and elitist antics on Planet Earth suffered by countless members of the Plant and Animal Kingdoms ever since fire was discovered and religion gave a perceived divine right, there are also those within the 7 billion strong species that are on the verge of extinction.

A biodiverse mixed agricultural and forest landscape in central Sweden, is a cultural landscape shaped by centuries of human activity into what it is today, a mosaic of fields, wetlands with remnants of ancient forest and rolling hills with mixed hardwood and softwood working forests.

A biodiverse mixed agricultural and forest landscape in central Sweden, is a cultural landscape shaped by centuries of human activity into what it is today, a mosaic of fields, wetlands with remnants of ancient forest and rolling hills with mixed hardwood and softwood working forests.

Farmers, foresters and fishermen or fisherwomen are all trades, or more correctly lifestyles, that would seem to be on the verge of disappearing. At least it would seem to be the case in the industrialised world.

It is not a physical eradication as such, wars, genocides and homicides apart, but a consequence of industrialisation, urbanisation and administrative rationalisation. Never before have so few been responsible for feeding and providing for the so many yet these few have difficulties in making a living off the land, forest or water.

The odds are seemingly stacked against them as the many who increasing live in the urbanised world expect to purchase the products of said farmers, foresters and fisherpersons in the local convenience store, supermarket or big-box at an affordable price at the flick of a switch, click on a mouse or turn of a key.

The many having adapted to the concrete, steel and glass jungle have seemingly lost touch with how such perishable consumables and energy utilities are produced in a world dominated by virtual realities and alternative facts yet they place all manner of demands and restrictions. Some may be well intended but lead to dramatic unintended consequences only apparent when stepping outside the concrete office block.

European environment MEP's call on the Commission to take measures to phase out the use of vegetable oils that drive deforestation, including palm oil, as a component of biofuels preferably by 2020. They also call for a single certification scheme for palm oil entering the EU market.

Oil palm and rubberwood plantations along with fish farms in southern Thailand predominately owned by smallholders.

In an age of desktop publishing and opinion (such as this piece), where “likes” and other virtual engagement metrics from the many rules, the pen or keyboard is indeed mightier than the shovel, chainsaw or net. Yet it presupposes and takes for granted the availability of food, feed, fibre, fuel and other frivolous necessities made available from the few to the many.

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