The Forests of the World Project will be in aid of WWF, the world’s leading independent conservation organisation and documented by the bestselling author and photographer Arabella Carter-Johnson.
Following Iris has always been an adventure, her paintings have inspired people throughout the world allowing us to see beyond a diagnosis. We believe ‘Different is Brilliant’ raising positive awareness for Autism. It’s all about building on strengths instead of focussing on the weaknesses and following the lead of your child – that is the precious key.Iris’s love of nature is the foundation of her development, the inspiration for her paintings and where I have found she learns best. We are now embarking on a new adventure together travelling to the Forests of the World. Each trip will be tailored to Iris’s interests and we will educate her throughout the journey. After all where better to learn about the jungle or volcanoes, eco systems and different cultures than be immersed in them. She will learn in a real way that means something to her and I will document the process inspiring others, showing them the beauty in our world that needs to be protected for future generations.
The Forests of the World Project will be in aid of WWF, the world’s leading independent conservation organisation. Their mission is to create a world where people and wildlife can thrive together. To achieve this mission, they are finding ways to help transform the future for the world’s wildlife, rivers, forests and seas.
We will discover and share the delights of the forests in California, Cambodia, Canada, Greece, Romania, Chile, New Zealand, Germany, India, Finland, China, Madagascar and hopefully others too over the coming years but our first trip last year was to Costa Rica as it is a fine example of how it can be possible to live in harmony with nature. A 4 week adventure that was inspiring, challenging, mind expanding & a joyful celebration of our beautiful planet that needs to be protected and of course how ‘Different is Brilliant’ with Iris Grace.
Costa Rica is considered to possess the highest density of biodiversity of any country worldwide. Its biodiversity can be attributed to the variety of ecosystems within the country. Tropical rainforests, deciduous forests, Atlantic and Pacific coastline, cloud forests, and mangrove forests.
This incredible country shows us how people and wildlife can thrive together, over twenty-seven percent of the country’s land has a protected status as national parks, wildlife refuges & forest preserves. The Costa Rican government is active in protecting its biodiversity, encouraging tree farming to provide some habitat for wildlife, enabling some measure of biodiversity to remain in these areas despite humans’ use of these natural resources. Jaguar ‘corridors’ have been created, protected trails which allow these big cats to pass safely from one area to another.
Ecotourism brings in 2.8 billion dollars in revenue for the country. Ecotourism is defined as “tourism directed toward exotic, often threatened, natural environments, especially to support conservation efforts and observe wildlife.” The profitable industry of ecotourism entices businesses to capitalize on natural resources by protecting and preserving them rather than consuming them.
Our next adventure in April is a 2-week road trip in Greece, visiting the Foloi Forest on Mount Foloi, one of Europe’s oldest self-planted beech and oak forests. Named after the Centaur’s king, Folos, or Pholus, who hosted Hercules when he was searching for the Erymanthian boar. Traversed by the Erymanthos and Ladon Rivers, the forest is perfect for walks and Im looking forward to telling Iris about the Myths of Centaurs and fairies. We will also visit the incredible Meteora monasteries rising like ecclesiastical eagles’ nests, these monasteries are among the most awe-inspiring religious sites on earth. The spectacular Vikos Gorge will be another memorable sight and a place for exploration.
The Acropolis in Athens with its spectacular ruins is a cultural icon and a symbol of the birth of Western civilization will be a highlight along with the ruins at Delphi located in an unbeatable natural setting. I will teach Iris about the myths and legends, gods and goddesses, marveling at the world of the Ancient Greeks. Olympia is among the most important archaeological sites in Greece located on the western side of Peloponnese, this was the place where the first ancient Olympic Games took place. These games were held to honor god Zeus and somewhere that I would love Iris to explore.
Since the Costa Rican beaches were such a hit with Iris we will also be taking a route along the coastline to let her enjoy the freedom of the sandy beaches. She will need some downtime after discovering the epic tales of heroes. This is set to be an unforgettable trip and we can’t wait but for now, the preparations begin while adventure awaits.