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 who 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), practically 700 km off the coast of Chile in South America.
Over the previous decade, I’ve been fortunate sufficient to sluggish journey by many distinctive locations world wide. But 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. 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 called after him.
So the island’s endemic forests, vegetation, marine animals and birds advanced in isolation
Many species are solely discovered right here in the complete world!
Getting to Robinson Crusoe Isla includes an adventurous journey on a tiny 6-seater airplane – not for the faint hearted!
Only 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. Before 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 couple of seal pups have been present in a cave within the Nineteen Sixties. The island neighborhood determined to guard them, and the Chilean authorities lastly declared their looking (principally by American ships) unlawful. Their inhabitants has bounced again fantastically in latest a long time!
And the boat journey to San Juan Bautista – the island’s solely inhabited village – is paying homage to a scene from Jurassic Park
Only a 1000 odd locals name the island home
As per the 2017 census, the official Robinson Crusoe Island inhabitants is 976!
Yet life right here is bustling with neighborhood actions
Think basketball and soccer tournaments, hikes for ladies, triathlons, swimming within the ocean on a full moon evening, entrepreneur gala’s and so on!
Even although 97% of the Juan Fernandez Archipelago is a protected nationwide park
Humans have left an enormous footprint on the island
Invasive species launched a whole lot of years in the past
Including rats, rabbits, goats, cows, horses, canines and cauti (feral cats) – and vegetation like mora (blackberry), maqui and murtiya.
Have been crowding out the slow-growing endemic forests
Making it one of the vital endangered locations on earth
Less than 500 Juan Fernandez Firecrown buzzing birds stay right here within the wild
Found solely on Robinson Crusoe island in the complete world.
And the final remaining Dendroseris Neriifolia tree on the earth!
But Island Conservation, CONAF (Chile’s forest division), Oikonos and different native organisations have been working to eradicate invasive species
The solely method to shield the endemic forests and uncommon species of the island is to get rid of the invasive species – a painful activity in each approach.
Aided by Lenovo’s good expertise
That allows 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 Pro.
And provoke new tasks with the neighborhood as a part of the #workforhumankind initiative
Including a pilot neighborhood farming mission, 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.
Built lovely friendships with the island neighborhood
Came head to head with the fact of conservation, local weather change and species extinction
Witnessed probably the most magical mornings and moon rises
And discovered 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?
*Note: I used to be invited to Robinson Crusoe as a part of the Work for Humankind mission with Lenovo and Island Conservation. What an honor!
Welcome to my weblog, The Shooting Star. I’ve been referred to as a storyteller, author, photographer, digital nomad, instagrammer, social entrepreneur, solo traveller, vegan, sustainable tourism advisor and environmentalist. But in my coronary heart, I’m only a woman who believes within the transformative energy of journey.