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Nature Experiences from Around the World

Over the holidays I connected with someone who lives in Singapore. It seems we share a lot in common. She’s about my age, she writes a blog and she loves nature and everything to do with the environment. We decided to guest blog for each other – so here she is – thank you Lavanya.

Hello everybody! My name is Lavanya Prakash, and I’m 13 years old. I have a huge passion for nature and photography, just like Miranda and I’ve started my own blog. I live in Singapore, which most people think of as a bustling city- but through my exploration I’ve discovered there are so many wild spaces here! I take photographs of new species of plants, insects, birds and animals that I see in my weekly visits to parks, nature reserves and any green space in Singapore (and Malaysia if I go on vacation).

I was so excited when I found Miranda and her story through her Ted talk. It feels amazing to know that there is someone your age doing almost the same thing, even though in the other side of the world. I don’t have many friends here who know or understand what I’m doing, and when I told that to Miranda- she felt the same way!

I also spoke at TedxYouth@Singapore about “Reconnecting children with nature”- about my experiences in nature and how children can spend more time outdoors. My main concern is that teenagers these days know of terms such as global warming and climate change- but are not able to really grasp the situation. This is because they don’t have a connection with nature so they don’t know what’s out there suffering and being damaged.

I told Miranda a bit about Malaysia, and she was really fascinated by it. Malaysia is truly an amazing place, and has one of the richest biodiversity of flora and fauna in the world. It is filled with different ecosystems- from mangroves, oldest rainforests, tall mountains, beautiful seas and oceans teeming with exotic marine and wildlife- including the rare Sumatran Rhino and Pygmy elephant. But sadly, most of these places are being cut down rapidly in Malaysia because of the growth of palms for palm oil. Whenever we visit Malaysia- we have to drive through acres and acres of oil palm plantations until we reach a natural forest. There are so many creatures that depend on the natural forests and it is saddening to know that their homes are being destroyed.

Thank you so much Miranda for letting me write on your blog! You are a great inspiration to me, and I can’t wait to share more of our ideas together and to the world. This is just the beginning for me, and I really hope to make a change here just like Miranda has in Canada. Please do check out my blog and feel free to leave your comments!

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