The Biodiverse Development Foundation

Now and then, we all tend to forget about the importance of biodiversity, why it is essential for the preservation of every cultural and natural heritage, and for the protection of our unique ecosystems.

Put simply, biodiversity is the diversity of life on earth, it includes the variability among all living organisms, terrestrial, aquatic, and so on. Understanding how biodiversity works, the importance of every form of life on earth, from the wide range of plants to every animal species living in their natural environment, is essential for the improvement and conservation of human welfare. Such things as food security, improving nutrition, the air we breathe, the water we drink, all comes down to biodiversity.

And for Robert van de Griend, founder of the Biodiverse Development Foundation (BDF), conserving biodiversity is a priority.

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Panama city, or the city of uncomfortable inequalities

Panama City was the first stop on our road trip. After a 12 hours journey on the plane, this is where we first landed for three days, before flying off to Cali.

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Panama City

To be honest, even though Panama City is quite famous and a well-known touristic destination, it was not our favourite.

Firstly because we stayed mostly in the city (big mistake), secondly because Panama City’s landscape is, in my opinion, filled up with too many skyscrapers. One side of the city is really rich, when the other is way too neglected. What I saw mostly during my stay over there was an apparent inequality.

Tourism in Panama City is growing. In 2012, Panama was picked #1 Place to visit by the New York Times.  Continue reading “Panama city, or the city of uncomfortable inequalities”

Travelling while studying

Travelling the world while being a full time student can sound a bit unrealistic. But for those like me with a big thirst for travel, well the good news is that it is absolutely possible.

I’m pretty sure that everyone has a travel bucket list. And even though the idea of travelling can be intimidating (although it is, more often than not, exciting) we all have places we want to see before it is too late. Personally, my bucket list is way too long, which means I had no choice but to start as soon as possible, while studying. And I don’t regret anything – even if often it means being quite broke – it’s worth the risk.

The basic musts for travelling are money and time. With university only taking up to three days of each week, you might have guessed that time is not the issue here. Because sadly I am not rich yet, well, you might have also guessed it, the issue is money.

Not everybody is a lucky student with a grant. I had to support myself alone and find my own ways to make money. But I never considered myself to be unlucky. Not having a loan while studying just meant I had to go with the cheapest option, since all the money was coming out of my pocket. So I became a low cost traveller. Being a low cost traveller means travelling for 36 hours to get to a destination that is usually accessible by direct plane in eight hours. It means not being scared of the option of hitchhiking, it means a lot of car share and so on. Most days it was tight but it never stopped me. Hell no.

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