The spider web as a metaphor for the complexity of tropical forests: What would happen if we pulled one of its strings no matter how much we say we do it sustainably?
One of the main characteristics of tropical forests refers to their great complexity that refers to the great network of ecological interactions that are in a dynamic equilibrium. Another way of graphing complexity refers to the fact that forests are self-organized systems far from equilibrium in which conditions of chaos and non-linearity are verified, which means unknown order, high sensitivity to initial conditions and the fact that there is not necessarily proportionality between causes and effects. These properties allow systems to learn and develop the capacity for adaptation and evolution. The complexity approach, which deals with connections at the planetary level, touches each of us and refers to the tangible and intangible interrelationships that account for the wonderful phenomenon of life understood in an expanded conception.
Look at the forest from a socio-ecosystem perspective, look at the interrelated complexity of all expression of life. Not just PBI.
It is absolutely important to understand that the interactions of biological diversity in the tropical forest are fundamental to understanding the conservation of these important ecosystems of global concern. But the fact is that as a Western society we have developed epistemological and ontological frameworks that reduce the complexity of forests to sources of resources for economic growth and development. Our management proposals seek to simplify ecosystems in order to direct the focus of attention to those products, goods or services that interest us from the human perspective. But the fact that we valuely simplify ecosystems does not mean that they are no longer complex. The problem is when we productively force ecosystems and do not give them time to recover, to seek their dynamic balance.
Feel the philosophy of the forests, perceive the non-human sociology, respectfully listen to the pedagogy of the Shihuhuaco.
Recognizing the high complexity of tropical forests, it has been demanded that any intervention carried out on these ecosystems must be guided by a genuine approach to sustainability. Sustainability is not a theoretical or cosmetic resource to affirm that we are doing things well but we need to demonstrate based on firm and objective evidence that we are really considering it in its real dimension, scope and meaning. Worse still if we consider that sustainability is a hindrance to development, as heard in some sectors eager to continue with their rentier logic and dominance of the Amazon.
The pandemic has made it clear that we have to review the way we human beings have been relating to each other and how we have developed our relationships with nature, a discussion that forgets that we ourselves are nature, that we are walking ecosystems, that we are the expression of the symbiosis of life with our humanity shared with viruses and bacteria in our own vital structure. Obviously this is not a small thing because it goes through the entire civilizational framework that we have built for ourselves and that reality has revealed that it has serious limitations and that it is not possible to continue like this if we want to reduce the possibility that new pandemics will reappear. It is in this framework that we must understand the need to take into account the proposals of genuine, strong and super strong sustainability. The conservation of biodiversity as insurance against new pandemics.
Our society strongly marked by disjunction and reductionism, has difficulties to face issues related to increasing complexity such as climate change, the loss (extermination) of biological diversity, deforestation, illegal logging, poverty, issues that are also found absolutely interrelated. We cannot then continue with reactive or linear proposals that only seek direct explanations of cause and effect without understanding the interrelation of causes and effects that present retroactive and recursive properties. Therefore, multidimensional, multiscalar and multitemporal approaches that account for the interrelation between systems and processes are of fundamental importance. It is in this framework that the importance of multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, transdisciplinary and even indisciplinary approaches is understood around the great frontier problems that we have had to face and that present the attributes of uncertainty and rare, singular phenomena, breaks, fractures , randomness, chance, fuzziness, fog, discontinuity, bifurcation for which we had not prepared. From a complex systems perspective, it is understood then why we must take into account networks, frames, collaboration, articulation, synergies. It is not just about magic words or star words, but it refers to understanding the great fabric of relationships and favoring positive feedback processes. We cannot solve complex problems with tools that come from a simplifying perspective.
Rethinking the forestry sector with respect for the intangibles, the invisible, the absent, the silenced.
Any process of economic reactivation involves managing the great lessons that the corona virus offers us, as Boaventura de Sousa Santos affirms, implies recognizing the cruel pedagogy of the coronavirus (De Sousa, 2020). Pretending that the economy takes the lead from its own self-referential perspective can lead us to situations that we would not want to repeat. It is obvious that economics is of interest and that it is an absolutely necessary dimension, however it requires that it be developed responsibly, ethically, with a genuine sense of sustainability. There are worrying hasty speeches regarding the need to reactivate the economy even knowing that there will be a quota of impact on life, a situation that for these sectors is justified in the name of economic growth (¿?). There will also be those who want to "make up for lost time" and will exacerbate their production processes demanding flexibility of "environmental obstacles". But there is also the emergence of an important sector of the population, social movements, youth groups, groups of thought and dialogue that demand a new form of human coexistence and conviviality with nature. These groups are not willing to let us repeat stories of discord, inequalities, inequalities, asymmetries and the subordination of nature. In them and they we trust so that the processes of expansion of consciousness expand and constitute the regenerative forces.
Intercultural vitalist democracy so that the voice and the heart flow in the perspective of cosmic and bioregenerative consciousness.
Does it mean that we are proposing that nature not be intervened? That is not the idea. What is sought is that the interventions are carried out within the framework of respect and taking into account science and diverse knowledge in proposals for dialogue of knowledge (De Sousa 2009a, 2009b, 2009c, 2010, 2014, 2018). What is sought is that the relational ontologies (Escobar 2014) that imply the recognition and valuation of the various ways of relating to nature be respected and that the conception that nature has been made to dominate, exploit and put it to use is critically reviewed. our service. Hence the importance of interculturality and intercultural translation to ensure that fruitful, generous and equitable dialogue processes define the paths. Unite science with conscience, science with philosophy.
The forestry philosophy allows walking on land so as not to trample the forests. When to ask is to respect.
DE SOUSA SANTOS, Boaventura. 2009a A Discourse on Science. In An epistemology of the south: the reinvention of knowledge and social emancipation. Mexico: XXI century.
DE SOUSA SANTOS, Boaventura. 2009b An Epistemology of the South. The reinvention of Knowledge and Social Emancipation. Buenos Aires: Siglo XXI Editores, CLACSO.
DE SOUSA SANTOS, Boaventura. 2009c An epistemology from the South, Mexico: CLACSO and Siglo XXI.
DE SOUSA SANTOS, Boaventura. 2010 Decolonize knowledge. Reinventing power. Montevideo: Trilce Editions.
DE SOUSA SANTOS, Boaventura. 2014 Beyond abysmal thinking: from global lines to an ecology of knowledge. In Epistemologies of the South (Perspectives). Madrid: Akal.
DE SOUSA SANTOS, Boaventura. 2018 Building the Epistemologies of the South: for an alternative thinking of alternatives. 1st ed. Autonomous City of Buenos Aires: CLACSO.
DE SOUSA SANTOS, Boaventura. 2020 The cruel pedagogy of the virus. Autonomous City of Buenos Aires: CLACSO.
ESCOBAR, Arturo. 2014 Feeling with the earth. New readings on development, territory and difference. Medellín: UNAULA Editions.
By: Rodrigo Arce Rojas