Plan to build scientific research centre and 6 mile walkway through Amazon rainforest - Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:11 PM
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Default Plan to build scientific research centre and 6 mile walkway through Amazon rainforest

'PLANS are underway to build a science centre and six-mile (9.6km) walkway through the rainforest in the heart of the Amazon, with the British organisers hopeful that "Avatar" director James Cameron will come on board the eco-project.
The $10 million site will serve as a meeting point for scientists from the Royal Botanic Gardens and universities, as well as a tourist attraction, The (London) Sunday Times reported.

It will also provide jobs for local Brazilian tribes who will take an estimated two years to construct the centre and walkway in Roraima, an isolated province in northeast Brazil.

"This will be the first scientific research center to be built in the jungle proper," Robert Pasley-Tyler, from the Amazon Charitable Trust, which is backing the scheme, said.

The site will be designed by Marks Barfield Architects, the firm behind the London Eye and the treetops walkway in the UK's Royal Botanic Gardens.

"It doesn't support a lot of people in the natural state. You have to be very careful about what you bring in," said David Marks, from Marks Barfield Architects, adding that the site could be constructed from bamboo.

While Pasley-Tyler is hopeful that Cameron will lend his support to the plans, discussions with the Avatar director have not yet taken place.'



This sounds fascinating and is encouraging news for once (with regard to the Amazon) especially as it comes after yesterday's awful Belo Monte report.

I really hope that JC will take part in this, although we need many more 'high profile' people to do as he has and start showing some interest.

I'd love to go there and see for myself, if/when this ever comes to fruition.
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:28 AM
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This sounds entirely too good to be true.

I hope it's true
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Old 01-23-2012, 01:51 AM
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Interesting idea, I hope we see more of this
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Old 01-23-2012, 06:29 PM
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Avatar Meet 2015: The Amazon?

- Mikko
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:25 PM
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...probably going to be prohibitively expensive for most people, plus all the associated issues with going to south america. Would be nice to meet people who could, but the meetup for everyone should be somewhere relatively accessible.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:57 PM
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Hmm, as per usual, i'm somewhat dismissive of this idea. It's a good idea that they should build it out of bamboo, provided it comes from a reasonable source and isn't flown half way around the world to accomodate it, but i'm rather more concerned by the idea of it being some kind of 'tourist attraction'. Those kinds of efforts can have colossal detremental effects on the local ecology... Aside from the fact that the kind of 'tourists' visiting such a place will more than likely have little respect for such an issue, rather, they just see it as their 'last chance to see'.

Maybe i'm being cynical, but something tells me inside that doing this to such a highly preserved and endangered part of the world is just... wrong.
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Old 01-24-2012, 07:50 PM
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People not seeing it means they're more likely not to really care and won't even try and do anything - that's the benefit of awareness in these.
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Old 01-24-2012, 11:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fkeu'itan View Post
Maybe i'm being cynical, but something tells me inside that doing this to such a highly preserved and endangered part of the world is just... wrong.
A popular belief, but one I think that, with respect, is misinformed and misses the point.

Consider this: every minute, an area the size of 3 football fields is disappearing in the Amazon, up to 80% of which is through illegal logging.

Illegal logging stems from the huge global increase in demand for timber products, irrespective of their legality and is directly fuelling rainforest destruction. Take the EU for example, it is a significant importer of timber from regions where illegal and destructive logging is at its worst and the US, being the world’s largest consumer of wood products and one of the top importers of tropical trees is, many speculate, largely responsible for this high demand in timber which in turn is the driving force behind illegal logging worldwide. Unfortunately, both the US and the EU have limited policy addressing illegal logging. I believe Japan can also take its fair share of the blame.

So, if it would appear that the main cause of this destruction is due to overseas demand from various unscrupulous governments which, let’s face it, aren’t going to change their tune anytime in the near future, then what else can be done?

Remember everyone, since you’ve been reading this, another 3 football fields of Amazon rainforest have gone.

The notion that "such a highly preserved and endangered part of the world should be left alone" is at best misconceived. At the current rate of deforestation and at some point during this century, there will be nothing left to ‘leave alone’. It is estimated that in just 18 years time more than 55% of the Amazon rainforest will have disappeared. That is more than 700 million acres.

Hopefully it is clear for everyone to see now why it is so important to save any and every part of the rainforest that we are able to and if this means making more people aware of the situation by means of diversification in the form of eco-tourism then so be it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fkeu'itan View Post
concerned by the idea of it being some kind of 'tourist attraction'. Those kinds of efforts can have colossal detremental effects on the local ecology... Aside from the fact that the kind of 'tourists' visiting such a place will more than likely have little respect for such an issue, rather, they just see it as their 'last chance to see'.
Eco-tourism in the Amazon rainforest is, in fact, one of the best ways to preserve its biological and ethnic diversity. It can also bring great economic benefits to the region along with environmental protection, since a clean ecosystem is what the tourists are looking for.

Even Greenpeace agree that the governments of the countries that share the Amazon rainforest should be more proactive towards eco-tourism as a way to provide economic development together with forestry and biodiversity conservation: -

Quote:
"Eco-tourism is rapidly becoming a leading way for developing countries to bring in foreign revenue by preserving their rainforests. Eco-tourists pay to see a country's natural beauty, not the destruction caused by short-run exploitation.

Money spent directly in the local economy helps give economic value to forest preservation. The locals, along with the government, can see the importance of keeping the forest intact. Most tourists are willing to pay directly for preservation in the forms of park entrance fees and donations.

Ecotourism can provide local people with economic assistance by offering them employment opportunities as wildlife guides and rangers for parks, and as workers in the service force of hotels and lodges.

With eco-tourism, income is earned from preserving the ecosystem, and forest clearing is discouraged because it is detrimental to income.
Ecotourism also provides the opportunity for intellectual advancement for locals educated as wildlife guides. With an education, their children will have a better chance of breaking out of their subsistence lifestyle and improving their livelihood.

Finally, local communities can earn supplementary income from the fabrication of handicrafts.

To be sustainable however, ecotourism requires careful planning and strict guidelines; short-term development can doom forests as easily as unsustainable logging. Too many people, inadequate facilities, and poor park management can spell the end for the "eco" in ecotourism.

Eco-tourism, when carried out in a sustainable fashion, can be very beneficial to local people, the economy, and the environment. It should not be restricted to legally protected areas, but should also be promoted in natural areas that lack protection. The presence of tourists, when properly managed, protects the area from over-exploitive activities."
Not only is this project a great idea, conceived by some of the best ecological minds therefore ensuring that its principles are ethically sound, but I hope it is the first of many.

FWIW, about 10 football field sized areas of Amazon rainforest have now been destroyed whilst reading this.

The status quo cannot continue.
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:31 AM
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Cool idea, I'd visit it if it's built. The only bit I'm concerned about is what effect it might have on the tribes. In a lot of eco-tourist situations, they have degenerated into "human safaris," where tribal people pretty much became like zoo animals. I hope beyond hope that this doesn't happen here, or that local cultures become corrupted or diluted or anything. Plus I wonder what might happen to any uncontacted tribes. Survival International has plenty of stories about what happens when eco-tourism becomes more about the money than conservation or cultural and lifestyle preservation.
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Old 01-25-2012, 01:01 AM
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Aren't they going to have to tear down the area of the amazon that they plan to build the research center and walkway on? Then they'll have to run electricity and water to the building.
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Old 02-03-2012, 11:58 PM
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I would hope that they do use solar power and local water and try to build it low impact, if they want to make this a show project that promotes ecology. Otheriwse people would probably criticize it for that and that is bad PR for such a project.

Hmm - do they need a geobiologist there? - I will need a job in about 2 years
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:52 AM
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6 miles isn't that much; infrastructure will be the main problem, primarily power, although lines could be run underground (I'm guessing solar would be out due to the canopy). Communication would take some work but be simple enough with the right equipment.
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:38 AM
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I think canopy will not be the problem:
"The ambitious walkway will be located in Roraima, a remote province of northeast Brazil, and will be designed by the same architects who created the London Eye and Kew Gardens’ treetop walkway.

Researchers will use the walkway to study the rainforest canopy while tourists will be able to enjoy stunning views from high above the jungle floor."
Pioneering six-mile walkway to attract 'eco tourists' to Amazonian rainforest | Mail Online
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:37 AM
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Here are a couple of films about the Walkway at Kew Gardens, just to give an impression:

Treetop Walkway: The New Bird's Eye View At Kew Gardens - YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uIp_...eature=related

Imagine to see the Amazonian canopy from above. It is little like flying over Pandora:


Last edited by redpaintednavi; 03-01-2012 at 11:50 AM.
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