Quién no conoce el bosque chileno, no conoce este planeta. De aquellas tierras, de aquel barro, de aquel silencio, he salido yo a andar, a cantar por el mundo.
Those that have no idea the Chilean forests, have no idea this planet. From these lands, from that soil, from that stillness, I’ve come out to stroll, to sing for the world.
Pablo Neruda’s phrases echoed in my thoughts as I started experiencing the breathtaking landscapes and biodiversity of Robinson Crusoe Island (earlier referred to as Mas a Tierra), almost 700 km off the coast of Chile in South America.
Over the previous decade, I’ve been fortunate sufficient to gradual journey by means of many distinctive locations world wide. However nothing may’ve ready me for the month I spent on Robinson Crusoe Island, studying about its endemic species, greedy the challenges of conservation, bonding with the local people and dealing on sustainability initiatives. Right here’s why:
No people had set foot on Robinson Crusoe Island (Chile) till 500 years in the past
A Spanish sailor first arrived arrived right here in 1574 – and the Juan Fernandez Archipelago, to which the island belongs, is known as after him.
So the island’s endemic forests, crops, marine animals and birds advanced in isolation
Many species are solely discovered right here in your complete world!
Attending to Robinson Crusoe Isla includes an adventurous journey on a tiny 6-seater airplane – not for the faint hearted!
Solely 4 individuals + 2 pilots can fly the 700 kilometers at one time – and solely when the climate is simply excellent for touchdown on the brief, slim strip that’s the Robinson Crusoe Island airport. Earlier than the pandemic, it was additionally doable to take a ship over 4 days.
The endemic Juan Fernandez Fur Seals greet you on the airport jetty
Declared extinct within the 1800s, a number of seal pups have been present in a cave within the Sixties. The island neighborhood determined to guard them, and the Chilean authorities lastly declared their searching (largely by American ships) unlawful. Their inhabitants has bounced again superbly in current many years!
And the boat journey to San Juan Bautista – the island’s solely inhabited village – is paying homage to a scene from Jurassic Park
Solely a 1000 odd locals name the island home
As per the 2017 census, the official Robinson Crusoe Island inhabitants is 976!
But life right here is bustling with neighborhood actions
Assume basketball and soccer tournaments, hikes for girls, triathlons, swimming within the ocean on a full moon evening, entrepreneur festivals and so on!
Despite the fact that 97% of the Juan Fernandez Archipelago is a protected nationwide park
People have left an enormous footprint on the island
Invasive species launched lots of of years in the past
Together with rats, rabbits, goats, cows, horses, canine and cauti (feral cats) – and crops like mora (blackberry), maqui and murtiya.
Have been crowding out the slow-growing endemic forests
Making it one of the endangered locations on earth
Lower than 500 Juan Fernandez Firecrown buzzing birds stay right here within the wild
Discovered solely on Robinson Crusoe island in your complete world.
And the final remaining Dendroseris Neriifolia tree on the earth!
However Island Conservation, CONAF (Chile’s forest division), Oikonos and different native organisations have been working to eradicate invasive species
The one strategy to defend the endemic forests and uncommon species of the island is to eradicate the invasive species – a painful process in each manner.
Aided by Lenovo’s good know-how
That permits checking digital camera traps on the go.
Which additionally allowed me to work remotely
Journaling and documenting the conservation work on my Lenovo Tab 11 Professional.
And provoke new initiatives with the neighborhood as a part of the #workforhumankind initiative
Together with a pilot neighborhood farming venture, and a proposal to assist the island’s transition from diesel-generated electrical energy to solar energy.
Over a month, I skilled the stark, dramatic landscapes throughout the island
Tourism on Robinson Crusoe Island has formally been on pause through the pandemic although.
Constructed lovely friendships with the island neighborhood
Got here nose to nose with the truth of conservation, local weather change and species extinction
Witnessed essentially the most magical mornings and moon rises
And located immense inspiration, hope and gratitude to guard the species we’re fortunate to share this planet with.
Do you dream of visiting a spot as distant as Isla Robinson Crusoe?
*Be aware: I used to be invited to Robinson Crusoe as a part of the Work for Humankind venture with Lenovo and Island Conservation. What an honor!
Welcome to my weblog, The Capturing Star. I’ve been referred to as a storyteller, author, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism marketing consultant and environmentalist. However in my coronary heart, I’m only a lady who believes within the transformative energy of journey.