Romania’s Carpathian mountains are among Europe’s last great wildernesses. But their future depends in part on an emerging class of wildlands philanthropists, says Clive Aslet.
(…) As philanthropy increases and engages the imaginations of business leaders and industrialists — and as private wealth in the global economy is accumulated on a previously unprecedented scale — wildlands philanthropy is becoming less of a rich man’s hobby and more of a worldwide movement. The San Francisco businessman Richard Goldman has saved the forest on Yakobi Island from the pulp mills that have received so much of the timber from the rest of Alaska. Sea lions are given carte blanche to haul themselves on to the beaches, brown bears are invited to make a feast of the salmon.
Gordon Moore, co-founder of the silicon-chip maker Intel, has funded land acquisitions in the Amazon basin by the Amazon Conservation Association. The ACA is developing a field station, offering fellowships to Peruvian academics and helping local people to develop sustiainable income streams. Arizona, Tierra del Fuego, the Gulf of California, the lakes of Maine — all have inspired the generosity of individuals who perhaps subscribe to Lincoln’s dictum: ‘Laws change; people die; the land remains.’ Let’s hope that, in Romania, the forest remains, too.
A really nice article you should not miss in the Spear’s website.