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The gardeners of the forest | Ian Redmond | TEDxSouthamptonUniversity

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Drawing on four decades of research with gorillas, starting as an assisstant to Dian Fossey, Ian Redmond OBE passionately argues why we must protect these and other species such as elephants because of their important impacts on ecosystem processes that we, even in the industrialised countries of the north, depend on. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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Text Comments (16)
Taylor Gilligan (3 years ago)
Love this man, and all he does for the wildlife/environment.
Jos Leggett (3 years ago)
More inspiration from the legendary Mr Redmond, after myself, just returning to the UK from 6 months in the west tropics, habituating the largest known group of forest chimps (Pan troglodyte verus) in order to understand and protect better. It's hard not to just look at our close ancestors in awe and instead properly understand the behavioral ecology between organisms and there distribution and the interactions that determine them. Such a small percentage reach full longevity due to poaching, spread of disease or other human influences jeopardizing the "Cultural Transmission" passed from mother to infant/juvenile and in turn affects gardening!  I was also blessed on the 19th Nov to have a rare up close and personal encounter with one large male forest elephant that gave me quite a display! Now, I'm hooked for life in regulating, protecting, learning and understanding.  Continue Ian in educating and inspiring like you did me whilst meeting you at Bristol Zoo Gardens Symposium. I cant wait until my health and strength allows me back for another stretch with, I can't call them my friends. But they now tolerate me and if I am ever looked at by them as part of their community then I'm certainly at the very bottom of the hierarchy. Hah!  Jos Leggett   
Jon Kov (3 years ago)
fuck you sir.  Eat that elephant shit for all i care.  You are an enabler
Jon Kov (3 years ago)
You fuckin' have elephant ivory in your kit.  Your argument is invalid.  You have the "tooth" of the dead animal in your hand.  weirdo.  So if i buy it, it's different. 
Jon Kov (3 years ago)
Do you return it when your finished using it, or does it stay with you.  Do you put it on a shelf when you get home.  The same point could be had with a resin copy.  That tusk you have should be destroyed, or buried
Ian Redmond (3 years ago)
Ivan, this carved tusk was confiscated by customs in UK and is on loan to me for educational use.  I would not buy, sell, wear or display ivory as an ornament, but as an educational aid I hope it helps make the point I am trying to make. Hope this clarifies it.  Thanks for  your interest.  Ian
Adrian Moten (4 years ago)
Queue complexity of a global interconnected food web and nutrient cycling and u start watching where u tread
David Beaune (4 years ago)
Same with bonobos, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/257327320_Ecological_services_performed_by_the_bonobo_%28Pan_paniscus%29_seed_dispersal_effectiveness_in_tropical_forest?ev=prf_cit and other frugivorous animals: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/256303581_Seed_dispersal_strategies_and_the_threat_of_defaunation_in_a_Congo_forest?ev=prf_cit
David Beaune (4 years ago)
On the ecosystem scene, all actors have to play a role here I show how elephant extinction affect tree populations: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/256303377_Doom_of_the_elephant-dependent_trees_in_a_Congo_tropical_forest
Ian Redmond (4 years ago)
Hi David, thank you so much for your comments and the links to your papers - I will certainly cite them in future publications on this critical topic that most of the world seems unaware of, and yet which is central to maintaining the health of these globally important forests.  Kind regards, Ian
Isiac Torres (4 years ago)
Why do they need to pedal to power the videos? It would actually save a lot of food/water and materials to make any other type of generator, Wind, Water, banana power.
Pose Manikin (4 years ago)
fantastic talk! :)
Ken Jones (4 years ago)
While Ian's message is common sense to many of us, it is absolutely needed to be delivered to the American public. I think that indeed, many, many members of the general public think of these animals as ornamentation - curiosities that are not important to their future. But as Ian points out, we need these gardeners to maintain the forests that are so important as a foundation to the hydrological cycle, for carbon storage - climate stabilization and the health of the Web of LIfe. "If you value the forests, protect the gardeners". I will share this TED talk with our A-Team For Wildlife kids.
Simon Jennings (4 years ago)
this is an impressive talk, but i think it is wrong to portray the developers of mining and other mega projects that involve land conversion as being wholly on the negative side of the conservation equation. As he rightly says the problem with conservation as practised by conservation ngos and donors is that it does not provide enough money to compensate for the failure of many species to provide useful economic benefits to a degree significant enough to a) make people think twice about eating them until there are none left, or b) to change their livelihood strategies so that there is less deleterious impact on natural habitats.  By contrast careful thinking about "no nett loss biodiversity offsetting" etc in the planning and execution of mining projects can generate streams of secured funding and commitments on a scale that conservationists only dream about,  and secure habitats over medium to long term timescales. The mining majors, being sensitive to their profound impacts on land and local society, are actually at the forefront of this kind of thinking, in which they are aided by conservation scientists and by ngos like ffi. They view this as an important part of corporate social responsibility. An ideal mining project might run for fifty years and bring substantial economic, employment, development, and conservation benefits when viewed in the round.
Christophe Abegg (4 years ago)
This is great to learn that Gorilla are useful for the ecosystems and even the global climate, that they are not only an ornament to be shown to tourists. The point I fail to understand in Redmond speech is what is a humanity that would only be able to value what is useful? Why that gorilla are alive and part of the living planet isn't a sufficient reason? Why do we need functional reasons to stop killing?
Luke Berman (4 years ago)
A fantastic talk by a true inspiration of mine, we have to start understanding that everything is connected and if we remove key species like elephants or gorillas then there will be huge consequences. To protect the forests we must protect the gardeners.

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