Field Notes explores the themes of conservation and hope through a wide lens. Our guests include a moth-er, a wine theologian, Hebrew scholar, an environmental historian and a linguistic philosopher among others. Soundtrack – Jill Phillips & Andy Gullahorn: ‘Only Say the Word’ (instrumental track) from the album ‘The Good Things.’ Used with kind permission. www.andygullahorn.com – www.jillphillips.com
Ep 14: Jyoti Banerjee – Changing systems so we can change the world
For all the good work now being done to address the environmental crisis, why do we not see more impact? Why do things seem to be going from bad to worse and what can be done?
Jyoti Banerjee is co-founder of North Star Transition which aims to accelerate systemic change with the goal of increasing the impact of global efforts to halt climate change and biodiversity loss. He was part of the team that created the Integrated Reporting movement globally. He has been an impact investor for two decades and used to be an entrepreneur in the tech sector. He taught technology entrepreneurship at Said Business School, University of Oxford. He grew up in New Delhi and lives in London.
Ep 13: Ruth Padilla DeBorst – A story of living hopefully in Costa Rica
How do we keep going after trauma and tragedy? How can we avoid becoming overwhelmed and despairing in the face of the environmental catastrophe unfolding before our very eyes?
Ruth Padilla DeBorst is a renowned Latin American theologian based in Costa Rica, where she lives in Casa Adobe, an intentional community committed to living as good neighbours in right relation with people and the rest of creation. She is a long-time friend and former trustee of A Rocha International.
In this profoundly moving conversation with Peter and Bryony, she talks about how a terrible personal tragedy 24 years ago brought her to a new understanding of God's compassion for our suffering and the importance of honest lament.
Ep 12: Seth Appiah-Kubi – Fighting for Ghana's forests and the intrinsic value of nature
Is nature intrinsically valuable? Or should we only value nature that benefits humanity?
Trained as a Chartered Management Account with an MBA in International Business, Seth Appiah-Kubi hasn't come from a conservation background. However, his background in finance and subsequent work in securing natural resources shows the importance of an interdisciplinary approach in caring for creation. We need scientists, but we also need economists, politicians and a wealth of other professions to understand the importance of nature.
In this episode, Seth talks with Bryony and Peter about the work of A Rocha Ghana in the race to protect the Atewa Forest from Bauxite mining. In a country where roughly 70% of the population are Christians, he also knows more than most about how the teaching of the church can impact a population. He speaks with wisdom about the challenges facing the Atewa Forest and Ghana, but also with a real sense of hope.
Ep 11: Deepa Senapathi – Balancing the needs of nature and humanity
Are human livelihoods more important than nature?
Dr Deepa Senapathi is Senior Research Fellow in Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, at the University of Reading, UK, and also serves on A Rocha International’s Conservation Science Advisory Council. Deepa was born and grew up in Chennai, India, before further studies and research based in the UK. Her research has focused on critically endangered bird populations in Mauritius and India and, more recently, on insect pollinator communities in Britain and India.
She speaks with Bryony and Peter about the importance of balancing the needs of nature with the needs of humanity, the challenges this creates and why she remains hopeful for the future.
Ep 10: Colin Jackson – Conserving Kenya’s forests through church and community
The Dakatcha Woodland is facing a crisis. It is among the ten most threatened forest hotspots in the world, located 150km north of Mombasa in the south of Kenya. It is home to a number of rare species, but is threatened by an unprecedented rush of people purchasing land for agriculture and, in particular, pineapple farming and charcoal burning.
Colin Jackson, Director of A Rocha Kenya, founded the organisation in 1999 after working with A Rocha Portugal for three and half years. He speaks with Bryony and Peter about the importance of the Dakatcha Woodland, how climate change has altered the Kenya landscape, and the race to purchase land.
Ep 09: Enric Sala – The transformative power of nature
The world’s high seas – our so-called international waters – represent nearly 50% of the planet’s surface but are not owned by any state. Research shows that around half of fishing in the high seas would not be profitable without government subsidies or slave labour… So could we protect it by creating a giant marine reserve, and let nature flourish?
In this episode, Enric speaks honestly with Bryony and Peter about the desperate situation our oceans are facing. Despite the urgent and very real threats to marine life globally, he remains both pragmatic and optimistic about humanity’s ability to protect our seas and to find solutions that work for both people and planet.
Enric Sala is the National Geographic’s ‘Explorer-in-Residence’ which, as he describes in this podcast, is somewhat of an oxymoron. Formerly a university professor, Enric saw himself writing the obituary of ocean life and so quit academia to become a full-time conservationist. Enric has had an astonishing career, having earned numerous awards for his work. He founded and leads Pristine Seas, a project that combines exploration, research, and media to support and empower local communities and inspire country leaders to protect the last wild places in the ocean. To date, Pristine Seas has helped to create 22 of the largest marine reserves on the planet, covering an area of 5.8 million square km.