Before, as Water and Forest Engineer, I worked for several years for the Belgian Ministry of Cooperation and Development in a programme for the management of the Amazonian forest. I also worked in Central America to refine strategies and action-plans in the battle against forest fires, ignited by farmers in order to extend their plantations and increase their profits. Our objectives were the management of an environment of good quality, to maintain durable development for the local populations and for all citizens.
Today, retired, I am active in the area of public health, through the management and valuing of forests in my region of Brussels, the capital of Europe.
With the expression of opinions of over 400 citizens, neighbourhood committees, public and private institutions, and other associations, on the occasion of the public enquiry into the regional project of a Overall Plan for the Creation and Layout of a Mediapark, to be situated on the RTBF/VRT site located on Boulevard Reyers, we are defending, with the same objectives I followed in Central and South America, the protection of a rich wooded area containing trees that have been growing there for 60 years. Our action is in accord with numerous Brussels residents raising their voices democratically to preserve different forested sites and natural areas threatened by the chainsaws of political, financial and construction interests, which wish to replace nature with an excessive quantity of concrete.
The forest, in the Amazon, in Central America, and here – forests everywhere play an essential role in our life and our survival.
At a time when 75,000 people recently demonstrated in Brussels to defend our climate and the preservation of natural resources and biodiversity.
At a time when young people, and not-quite-so-young people, are demonstrating to prove the urgent need for concrete measures in the battle against climate change and its effects on public health.
At a time when the intense heat wave in the summer of 2019, has been breaking records for high temperatures, and knowing that these phenomena will continue frequently in future years.
At a time when dry spells combined with torrential rains and floods have affected Belgium in 2019 (and are predicted for future years), and when icebergs are melting even more quickly than forecast, thanks to human activity affecting the quality of our air.
At the time of important conclusions and appeals by the United Nations and the IPCC to take significant measures at local and global levels.
At the time when television news reports on the RTBF, the VRT and BX1 criticise with justification the serious threats and destruction of the Amazonian forests by the President of Brazil, and when numerous European cities are recommending the development of urban forests (including the Jardin Extraordinaire at the foot of the Brussels broadcasting studios?)
At a time when all these changes are happening at a breath-taking rhythm … it becomes clear that the preservation of trees, woods and forests, fundamental spaces of fresh air, within the urban milieu, is becoming decisive in keeping temperatures at levels viable for public health: the health of all citizens, but in particular, that of children and the elderly (childcare centres and rest homes for the elderly are located just at the edge of the Reyers site).
Today too, many criticise the Chinese leaders who aren’t willing to listen to the legitimate claims of Hong Kong inhabitants, nor are they willing to take account of their voices as free citizens. What’s necessary for the Brussels political authorities to validate citizen opinion and participation during the public enquiries, opinion that clearly expressed the request to maintain the entirety of the superb wooded zone on the Reyers RTBF/VRT site?
All the Belgian political parties made electoral promises about the climate, about biodiversity, about natural areas in the city, about air quality, about public health. Their current political choice should be consistent with and conform to their appealing words during the electoral campaign.
The Amazon, Hong Kong, Brussels: the same combat which should spread all over the planet, for the benefit of our entire human species.
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#Repost @wwf_uk ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ • • • • • • ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ¿Cómo ayudar en la catástrofe que vive la Amazonia? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 1. Infórmate tanto como puedas sobre las graves amenazas que enfrenta esta región. 2. Usa el poder de tus redes sociales para compartir esta información. 3. Incluye más opciones vegetarianas en tu dieta y elige productos que no estén asociados a la deforestación. 4. Exige al Gobierno que tome acciones urgentes para detener la deforestación en la selva húmeda tropical más grande del planeta. 5. Dona para la protección de la Amazonia. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ….. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ There was worldwide outcry when the Notre Dame cathedral was on fire. Why is there not the same level of outrage for the fires destroying the #AmazonRainforest? . #FightForYourWorld #Deforestation #ClimateCrisis #Rainforest #Amazon #Amazonia