Environment and Health Public Lecture Series - How the Australian Rainforests were Saved - the Influence of Gandhi
Source: http://toxicslink.org/event-preview.php?eventnum=293, Date: , 2010
The world's first direct action in defense of
rainforests took place at Terania Creek in northern New South Wales
Australia in 1979.Strongly influenced by Gandhi's principle of
satyagraha, the actions were hugely influential and led to the NSW
government's historic legislation in 1982 protecting the majority of
the sub-tropical rainforests there. This was followed by a similarly
successful campaign in Tasmania where huge swathes of temperate
rainforests were protected in National Parks and finally, the
protection of the tropical forests of Queensland. Using film and music
as well as spoken world, John Seed moves from this historic drama to
the state of India's and the world's rainforests to-day.
About the speaker
John Seed is founder-director of the Rainforest Information Centre in Australia
Since 1979 he has been involved in the direct
actions that have resulted in the protection of the Australian
rainforests. In 1984 he helped initiate the US Rainforest Action
Network that grew out of the first his many US roadshows. He has worked
for 30 years for the protection of rainforests worldwide for which he
was awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) by the Australian
Government in 1995.
He has created numerous projects protecting
rainforests in South America, Asia and the Pacific through providing
benign and sustainable development projects for their indigenous
inhabitants tied to the protection of their forests. These projects
have been funded by the Australian Government aid agency AusAID, The
Australian Council of Churches and various foundations.
He has written and lectured extensively on deep
ecology and with Joanna Macy, Pat Fleming and Professor Arne Naess, he
wrote "Thinking Like a Mountain - Towards a Council of All Beings" (New
Society Publishers) which has now been translated into 10 languages.
For more than 20 years he has lectured on Ecophilosophy and conducted
experiential deep ecology workshops around the world.
He is an accomplished bard, songwriter and
film-maker and has produced 5 albums of environmental songs and
numerous films He is a Fellow of the Findhorn Foundation UK and
occasional Scholar-in-Residence at the Esalen Institute in California.
Since 1986 he has worked on various projects in India including the
reforestation of Arunachala, defending the Katkari, an oppressed Adivasi
community in Maharashtra, and the protection of the worlds largest remaining
population of wild Asian elephants in the Nilgiris.
In 2003 he launched an Australian endangered
species campaign and made the film "On The Brink" with David
Attenborough, David Suzuki, Olivia Newton-John and Jack Thompson
In 2007 he launched the Rainforest Information
Centre's climate change campaign and has offered "Climate Change,
Despair & Empowerment" presentations and workshops in Australia,
Canada and the US.