Sad! Man-made rainforests are no match to natural ones

How easy it is to replicate iPhones, high-definition LED TVs, or indestructible mobile phones! And how silly of us to think that we can first bring down rainforests and then replace them with new ones by planting only a few species of trees with axes and shovels!

I came across this disheartening information recently that no matter how cleverly designed and executed, we cannot find the ecological richness of the naturally grown rainforests in manmade ones.

No degree of human ingenuity can recreate the complexity of a rainforest. Its richness. Its sheer wilderness. We cannot recreate the moist rich earth that took millions of years to take shape, the raw ruggedness, the range of mountains, the valleys, and the glens. We cannot reproduce the buttressed tree trunks that house millions of microbes, the giant and sinuous creepers, the vines, the shrubs, and that tangled mass of roots and rootlets that juts out of the earth only to give a hint of the unimaginably magnificent universe laying a few layers beneath.

Why? Because, despite all the advanced environmental sciences, we have miserably failed to understand the inter-relationship between trees, animals, birds, insects, microbes, micro-organisms—many of them still undiscovered. Because these rainforests took eons to grow and what we trying to do is ‘recreate’ one in a matter of a few decades.

 It took longer to get far into the forest. It seemed that the trees, feeling they were losing the argument with human beings, had simply walked deeper into the forest.Ben Okri, The Famished Road.


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