May 2003: "Waking Up in the Rainforest"

Author: David Wann

This article emphasizes the importance of creating sustainable commerce that preserves natural systems instead of destroying them. Until we understand our place in nature, we will continue to consume products that appear cheap and simple to produce, yet bring hidden costs. David describes his experiences in the Rara Avis ecotourist reserve of Costa Rica. A key insight is 'complexity-in-balance', such that every niche is occupied, nothing is wasted, and resource consumption is minimized. The founder of Rara Avis, Amos Bien, is trying to demonstrate that the rain forest is worth more as a system than cut down for short-term gain, through identifying sustainable products that leave the forest intact.

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