Christian Long

Nalini Nadkarni: Conserving the Canopy

In TED Talks on April 13, 2010 at 8:35 am

Reflection by ALEX E.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Nalini Nadkarni:  Conserving the Canopy

As I watched this video, it helped me learn more about the rain and temperate forests, the species that live there and the Epiphytes, which make the canopy a unique mini-ecosystem.

There are about 4,000 different ant species that live in the rainforest and about 28,000 species of Epiphytes that grow in the rainforest. The Epiphytes form a fragile soil/moss layer that acts like a peat moss, rich in minerals can absorb water. This layer, if disturbed, will not grow back for decades and that is being harmed by humans who are unaware of the damage that is being done, which can be seen by the Floraculture Industry.

People these days are not tuned into nature due to urban growth and the ‘urban youth’ are not in tune with nature. That is why there are now newsletters, internet pages and magazine articles about the canopy/rainforest to raise awareness about the environment. There has also been the ‘Treetop Barbie’ that was introduced, this popular doll has now effectively used to help influence the minds of people to pay more attention to the environment.

However, the most effective way to reach out to the minds of the ‘urban youth’ is music. Today, music is the most effective way to get an idea across, which was shown with Bobby McFerrin doing a short note on neural brain science. Several musicians where invited to come and spend some time in the rainforest, and there created several works about the forest, which in turn would find its way to a music store or itunes, to be heard and bought by teenagers.

Now, the most interesting part of her video was her work in the prisons. Here prisoners worked with her on canopy moss, such as which type of moss grew the fastest, and then this simple research turned into a huge program in the prisons and is spreading to other prisons. This research has created areas within the prisons for the prisoners to work in such as the beehives, greenhouses and other areas. When this video was created, a new research program having to do with the Oregon Spotted Frog was about to be launch for the prisoners to work on.

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