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The amazement at diversity

The amazement at diversity

A text from the book Colombia, Wild Magic

Author: Francisco Forero Bonell

Photos: Ron Chapple, Soren Jensen et al.

PNN Chiribiquete, North Zone, Rio Ajaju, Department of Caqueta

About 15 thousand years ago, human beings who had crossed the Bering Strait from Asia and had colonized the north of the continent first set foot on this territory called today Colombia, on their way to southern America. We could say that they were primitive beings, but the remains found show signs of civilizations that already knew how to light bonfires, prepare food, hunt and master agriculture. That says something crucial about them: if they planted it was because they had decided to stay. And if they gathered around the fire it was because they were undoubtedly a community and on clear nights they told stories.

Surely, the first ancestors of the Muiscas and the Pijaos, the Tayrona and the Uitoto, the Wayuu and the Panches, among many others, were surprised to see the extensive territory they were occupying as the centuries passed. : a place of lush forests and mighty rivers, of tepuis and cliffs, of seas and snow-capped peaks, of moors where drops of water become a stream and then a torrent, and of a fauna that became sacred because its animals were so many and so varied that soon snakes and jaguars, condors and frogs became part of their cosmogony along with the sun and water.

So those stories told by our first ancestors and the later inhabitants who came face to face with the Spanish had to be the same as today: those of amazement at each dawn dyed red and each sunset dressed in oranges and ochres. Before tapirs, sloths, hummingbirds, blue morpho butterflies, toucans, yellow-eared parrots, poisonous frogs, chigüiros, crabs, spectacled bears and pelicans. In front of ferns, orchids, ceibas, dividivis, wax palms and yarumos. Given the possibility of eating curubas, lulos, soursop, cashews, chontaduros, arazás or feijoas. In the face of so much exuberance. Faced with diversity.

Honey bear, Tamandúa, Hato la Aurora Reserve, Casanare

Although the encounter with the Spanish cracked our territory, it also contributed to a country with such natural wealth being enriched by the contribution of human groups such as Europeans and Africans. But soon the advance of the new settlers began to conflict with the country's biodiversity. Today this biodiversity, which continues to be considered the second most privileged in the world, is more fragile and threatened than ever.

Immersed in our cities and municipalities, the majority of the inhabitants of our nation have lost contact with the wealth of nature. Therefore, appealing to a technological version that recalls those first men who gathered around the fire to tell stories, we wanted to make a film with all the digital tools of the moment, which would bring together Colombians around the history of their own territory, its ecosystems, its geography, its fauna and flora, so that he would learn to love it after knowing it and recognizing himself in it. We already know that you only love what you know.

Rufous-winged hummingbird, Boissonneaua jardini

That was the starting point of Colombia Wild Magic: to show Colombians that biodiversity that the first men found and that grew over the centuries until it became abundant, but that now we could lose. Make known this common treasure for Colombians, which we have inherited and must continue to inherit to future generations. With that idea in mind, we cinematically conceived this kind of first-class trip through the different ecosystems of Colombia. Those of us who were in charge of this production for five years did so to contribute to an urgent cause: to increase the awareness of Colombians about the need to protect our flora and fauna, which have been devastated by the hands of man. Educating and loving are the two justifications that moved us to deliver these images. It has also fueled us with the dream of helping predatory actions stop in all regions of the country.

PNN El Cocuy, Boyacá

In the Serranía de Chiribiquete, a green space with difficult access between Caquetá and Guaviare the size of the forest area of ​​Costa Rica, there are nearly 250 thousand cave paintings stamped on the stones. They are the signs of ancient civilizations that came into contact with nature, took from it only what they needed and left us a message that crosses the centuries: that we will only last as a species if we maintain harmony. That we will only be able to leave traces and greet the following civilizations if we respect all forms of life and if we allow Colombia – this territory where everything fits and everything is possible – to continue maintaining its wild magic.

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