It’s World Rainforest Day (June 22)! I can’t begin to explain my love of rainforests. It’s how I learned to enjoy hiking and now happily find myself on 20 kilometre treks through the mountains. It’s how I learned to love animals (though I’d be happier if the snakes stayed away – I’m a magnet for them). It’s how I picked up photography again. It’s how I’ve become the person that’s looking out for fungi and the shapes of tree vines. It’s connected me to the history of a place and through local folks I’ve learned so much. It’s taken me on more adventures than I could ever imagine and I’ve swum in more waterfalls and pools than I could count. I’ve been a little scared but I’ve mostly been utterly awed. These magnificent areas are so, SO old. They change every day.
Rainforest time is also one of my only escapes from the world; by getting into it. It’s probably how I keep smiling. It’s my cure to nearly anything – and for whenever I’m in there it’s how I get to gently switch my brain off for just a couple of hours. When people ask me how to stay happy and positive when you work in human rights and environmentalism; spending time in the rainforest is one of my only answers.
According to WWF, rainforests cover only 6% of the Earth’s land surface, but are home to over half of all the world’s documented species. We’ve got a lot of work to do on protecting them. Whilst I’ve seen incredible things, I’ve also seen enormous amounts of logging and land development loss. We need that to immediately stop.
Here is a tiny peek into some of my favorite adventures – from Belize (where I’ve been bizarrely often for work), to Australia, Indonesia and Uganda. And for something a little fun, there’s a video at the end of a typical rainforest day – me completely unprepared, no plans for the day and often nearly soaking my camera because I have no idea how to justify the cost of (even secondhand) underwater housing and would rarely have it on me in the right situations