Writings By Jason Gray

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Excellent video – Voices of Acre

The Earth Innovation Institute (EII) has developed a great video of efforts in Acre, Brazil to protect its forests and the climate through joint efforts of indigenous communities, the state government, cooperatives, and the potential of involving California in amplifying these efforts.  See this short film here.  A related film on sustainable supply chains is worth a watch too.


Annotated Bibliography of Peace Corps Writers’ Books in the Library of Congress

I came across a very cool bibliography of Peace Corps books requested back in 2011 by Congressman John Garamendi (RPCV, Ethiopia 1966-68) of records in the U.S. Library of Congress.  The bibliography focuses on Peace Corps Writers’ books, of which Glimpses through the Forest is one.  Looking forward to reading others on the list that I haven’t read yet.

Gabonese elections – violent unrest and contested results

I haven’t had time (or frankly, enough on-the-ground knowledge) to post a truly informative synopsis of the contested results of Gabon’s recent election.  From media reports and reports from contacts in different parts of the country, the situation appears to be calm.  Posting a couple of links here and here  and here.

Lewis & Clark College Chronicle Magazine

Excited to have Glimpses through the Forest included in the class notes section of the Fall 2016 edition of The Chronicle Magazine of Lewis & Clark College (my alma mater for law school)!

Book review of Dr. Richard Carroll’s The Emperor and the Elephants

From idealistic, but on-the-ground realism of a twenty-something Peace Corps volunteer, to the added context of experienced hindsight, Dr. Richard Carroll’s The Emperor and the Elephants provides fascinating reflections on his many years in Central Africa working for conservation, wildlife, and protected area development and management.  With challenges of language, remoteness, cultural differences, and the political machinations outside the gambit of any conservation worker, the history of Central African environmental protection is highlighted by heroic efforts of local and foreign advocates.  Dr. Carroll’s prose brings out the beauty – raw and up-close – of these efforts and this place.  I was fortunate to be able to work with Richard in the 2000s in Gabon, not too far from where he worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Central African Republic.  His analysis and descriptions were as valid for me during my Peace Corps and WWF years, as they were for him decades earlier.  I highly recommend The Emperor and the Elephants for its clear-eyed, yet passionate and hopeful, call to understand the world and the conservation imperative of working with local advocates to protect important landscapes and wildlife.

Gabon elections August 27

The elections of August 27 in Gabon pitted incumbent Ali Ben Bongo against opposition leader Jean Ping.  Results were delayed in being released.  More to come…

First mammal species wiped out by human-induced climate change

Very depressing news about documented extinction of the Bramble Cay melomys going extinct because of climate change induced sea level rise.  Even more depressing is that conservationists tried to act in time to sustain a successful captive breeding program, but with all the preparation to undertake such a program, they arrived too late.

Happy Belated World Environment Day 2016

June 5 was World Environment Day.  This year’s theme from the United Nations is “Zero tolerance for the illegal trade in wildlife.”  Please learn about the many efforts seeking to eliminate illegal trade in wildlife!

Glimpses through the Forest turns 3!

Hard to believe, but it has been 3 years to the day that Glimpses through the Forest was published!  To celebrate, I’m signing my book up for a 5 day free Kindle book promotion from May 8-12.  You can’t beat free, and I hope you enjoy my stories 🙂

Increasing transparent maps for tropical forests

In reading a recent article from the Center for International Forestry Research, I was reminded that there are an increasing number of tools to help local communities, governments, conservationists, and the public at large monitor changes in canopy cover and biomass, the ability of resource managers and carbon markets to play an important role in helping conserve tropical forests is moving in an exciting direction.  See for example here for mapping by the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, and here for work by the University of Maryland, and here for work by the Woods Hole Research Center.  These tools are incredibly powerful at helping see the extent of existing deforestation, as well as planning for mechanisms to curb it, track improvements (and set backs), and strive for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation as well as improving carbon storage by protecting the forest.

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