Follows as part of the work of Sustainable Art with Wildlife Trusts to show the importance of conserving peat and marsh land. An Arts Council bursary was used to study the peat bogs of Cumbria with a view to more work there to encourage local people to be inspired and help volunteer with this critical resource. Then followed Workshops with the Dorset Wildlife Trust focused on Upton Heath, which has some areas of spaghum moss and other peat liking plants and creatures. The Exhibition showed both the peat bogs and also a wide range of my other work in Wildlife subjects.
Marisa painted a large painting for the conference “Whale of a Time” at Birkbeck College, London University, that featured also an intensive selection of films, lectures and paintings on the subject of conserving oceans and rainforests.
For more on the events visit their website
The floods have been a long time coming but are, of course, exacerbated by our building on floodplains, failing to dredge rivers and the draining of peat bogs. There are so many competing aims; people want homes so flood plains are built on as it is cheaper for developers than clearing brown field sites or refurbishing existing stock.
As soon as this event is over, there will again be a push to carry on with this as we operate on a push me pull you form of Government.
Having studied so much about this and understanding the issues and what needs doing, I feel I should apply for the job of chairing the Environment Agency, although these jobs are usually a shoe in for time served.
So I will be posting up some pics done for an exhibition in France last June. These are of storks that migrate across the mountains down in the Eastern Pyrenees and some that stopped and made a nest. Then will return to the topic of peat bogs which sink and store much CO2 , Methane and of course water.
This picture shows how the Grey Whales have made an amazing recovery since the ban on Whaling was introduced and now only have to run the gauntlet of killer whales in their migration from the Artic to the Baja Penninsula off Mexico each year.There is some debate as to whether they feed while in the lagoons where they calve and I have painted them indeed feeding while there. They are bottom feeders and scoop up large amounts from the sea bed and filter it to glean small crustaceans and other food through their baleen. A large eco tourism has evolved to allow people to have close encounters with these wonderful creatures, WDS should have lists of ones working within sustainable guidleines.
Hopefully will be doing something to help with “Other Asias” before the end of the month.It seems unbelievable that such an arid country could have such floods leading to such suffering and devastation.What could have caused them? Is it overlogging in the Himalayas? Climate change moving weather patterns?
There are floods also in China, could they be linked? We need to have a clearer idea of what has caused them in order to safeguard against re occurrence and then see what can be done to help prevent another catastrophe.
In Britain there are often yearly floods on a much milder level but both here and abroad it should not be beyond the environment agencies to study methods such as used in Holland in order to know how to build against disaster.
Could extra reservoirs be built with sluices that could open and run off an amount of flood water? We all need water and that would store it for future use.It would be great to hear comments from those working in the field.
The following two articles are from the conference held recently in Lahore Pakistan on “Re-doPakistan” ,organised through;
The Indus River Dolphin
There is a wonderful rare dolphin in the Indus River that could become extinct as in the Yantese River in China. These animals are a good indication of the health of the river, if they die out it shows that too much water has been siphoned off and also that it could be polluted. They are also part of the heritage of Pakistan, a joy for our children to see and a source of pride and income from tourism for the local people. Various groups are trying to look after them and their web addresses etc are included below.
These paintings were inspired originally by a large work done for the group WDCS, in Speyside, where the indigenous dolphins that live in the Moray Firth in Scotland are at risk from drilling for oil in their habitat. My painting can be seen there and the charity uses the image to help raise funds. It led to researching the dolphins in Pakistan and hoping that people will want to preserve Indus River ones for future generations.
Marisa Rehana Samiullah Mann
Pakistan Wetlands Program: http://www.pakistanwetlands.org
This group is helping people and dolphins showing how less water and agrochemicals can be used in growing rice and cotton
an image and write up about the dolphin
An Urdu speaking group
This group helps local people ;
http://indusdolphin.org.pk/about/urdu/urdu_01.asp [urdu version]
http://indusdolphin.org.pk/river_dolphins/ [some also seen near Amritsar]
“Tragedy of the Yangtze Dolphin” New Scientist, 15 September 2007,UK,Lacon House,84 Theobald’s Road, London, WCIX8NS
Re do Pakistan Solar Power Stations
Artist; Marisa Rehana (Samiullah) Mann
There are many ideas that can transform Pakistan and one of them is to envisage solar power stations. They could provide clean energy that will never cease and allow all Pakistanis to have a good standard of living. Solar Power Stations are to be contrasted with solar panels that are good on a local or individual level, (CSP) Concentrated Solar Power, as they are known are for powering industry, transport and buildings. They would take a large start up cost but that could be loaned from World Organisations or countries such as the Arab States. Already some are planned; the far sighted Abu Dhabi is building a Solar City at Masdar and CSP plants are planned in Morocco, Libya and Algeria. A unified grid would be needed, known as (HVDC) high voltage direct current, to enable the power to be circulated; excess can be stored in melted salts. My painting is of a Dish power station. There are also other ones including a Power tower, parabolic trough and Fresnel mirror system.
CSP is a particularly good technology for hot desert regions as the heat gathered from the sun using mirrors is concentrated and used to power a steam turbine thus creating the electricity. Desalination plants could be set up and also powered near the coast to provide water for the station giving water and shade as waste products. It may be possible to thus also grow vegetables and fruits around the plants.
Other systems could also be fed into the grid; hot rock, wind, HEP and tidal turbines. This will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the air so as to help global warming, as otherwise deserts will increase, and without the set up and decommissioning costs of nuclear power.
This sounds like a story but it is only for us to open our eyes and look, use our brains and work together and this concept together with my other to help maintain the Indus River are 2 ideas envisaged for Pakistan
Time magazine February 25 2008
International Climate Forum
London June14 2008
“Green grid”, New Scientist 14 March 09
P249-256, Global Fever, How to treat climate Change, William H. Calvin 2008, University of Chicago Press
The European Lynx has been sighted in the Canigou Massif and elsewhere in the Pyrenees until the last 10 years. There is a programme to possibly release other ones back into the wild;
My paintings have brought back to these magnificent creatures to the wonderfully wild mountains of the local area.
I shall be putting the Eurasian Lynx back in the Canigou Massif in the Pyrenees, France with my gallery there. They were sighted until 10 years ago and there are plans to re-introduce them. The paintings are based on studies taken from http://www.whf.org.uk/cats.cfm?id=lynx in Kent where there are a number of large cats.