Hayo van der Woude, Mullumbimby
The fires have spawned media discussion about the ecology, and the intimate relationships between all plants and trees.
We have here the oldest culture on the planet, managing a stable environment for 30,000 years. A most notable Aboriginal attribute is love of country, and that they’ve always cared for it.
By lighting ‘cool’ fires, in the right places, at the right times, they protected the large trees and canopies. Wild life and their habitats survived all extreme seasons and climate changes.
Mono-culture and selective harvesting of trees destroys such intricate relationships between plants that are so essential.
It suddenly dawned on me that the original peoples and the environment evolved together, part of the same ecosystem. Thus a healthy, fully functional Aboriginal culture is an essential component of a healthy Australia.
It’s a long but urgent process to improve fire strategies, and redesign food production and water usage for a different climate, and a new future that excludes corporate greed.
I suspect farmers and academics are now ready to fully involve Aboriginal people in their work. Food production needs to involve concepts such as permaculture, many people and many locations. Small is beautiful, flexible and healthy. Big can be slow, costly and destructive.
Some things just can’t be automated by squeezing people out for profit. Look for opportunities to create happy engaged communities.