Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees (Film & Panel Discussion with Diana Beresford-Kroeger and Filmmakers)
Time & Location
About the Event
About the Film
The science and enchantment of the global forest provides us with answers to modern dilemmas.
‘Call Of The Forest – The Forgotten Wisdom Of Trees’ is a documentary featuring scientist and acclaimed author Diana Beresford-Kroeger. The film follows Diana as she investigates our profound biological and spiritual connection to forests. Her global journey explores the science, folklore, and restoration challenges of this essential eco-system.
Beresford-Kroeger explores the most beautiful forests in the Northern Hemisphere from the sacred sugi and cedar forests of Japan to the great boreal forest of Canada. She shares the amazing stories behind the history and legacy of these ancient forests while also explaining the science of trees and the irreplaceable roles they play in protecting and feeding the planet.
Along the way we meet some of the world’s foremost experts in reforestation. Dr. Akira Miyawaki, a worldwide specialist in the restoration of natural forest systems on degraded land, shows us how a native forest system can be planted even in the smallest street corner of Tokyo. Dr. Bill Libby, a pioneer in the field of forest tree genetics, tells us about the impacts of climate change on California’s coast redwood and giant sequoia forests. Since 2002 Andrew St. Ledger, founder of The Woodland League in Ireland, has dedicated his life to restoring native woodlands in Ireland. We are introduced to the Anishinaabe people of Pimachiowin Aki who are working to have 33,400 square kilometers of boreal forest in Canada recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Trees provide food, create medicine, and most importantly, provide life-giving oxygen. Without trees and their ability to capture carbon dioxide, our living breathable atmosphere would cease to exist on our planet. Trees are the most important living organisms on earth, chemically affecting our environment more than anything else, and playing a vital role that sustains all life. Trees are literally the lifeline of the planet and the key to reversing climate change.
The Call of the Forest film and movement is a call for massive, global reforestation to reverse climate change. If we could look back in time we would see forests blanketing the continents. But as human society has developed we have lost upwards of ninety five percent of the world’s forests and we continue to lose more than one hundred and forty square kilometres of forest per day. Only 5% of the world’s old growth native forests currently remain today.
Call of the Forest sounds the alarm by calling for immediate action on a global scale, but at its heart, it is a story of triumph, proposing a simple strategy for each of us to combat climate change by planting trees in our own yards and neighbourhoods.
Climate change is happening. What can we do about it? It will start with a shovel and an acorn, but we might just change the world.
Diana Beresford-Kroeger is a world recognized author, medical biochemist and botanist. She has a unique combination of western scientific knowledge and the traditional concepts of the ancient world. Orphaned in Ireland in her youth, Beresford-Kroeger was educated by elders who instructed her in the Brehon knowledge of plants and nature. Told she was the last child of ancient Ireland and to one day bring this knowledge to a troubled future, Beresford-Kroeger has done exactly that.
Her Bioplan is an ambitious plan encouraging ordinary people to develop a new relationship with nature, to join together to replant the global forest. Her books include The Sweetness of a Simple Life, The Global Forest, Arboretum Borealis, Arboretum America, and A Garden for Life. Diana Beresford-Kroeger was inducted as a Wings Worldquest fellow in 2010, she was elected as a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 2011. More recently, in 2016, the Society named her one of 25 women explorers of Canada. In addition, in 2011 she was named one of Utne Reader’s World Visionaries.
A Message from the Filmmaker
For those of us who have grown up in Canada there seems an endless supply of trees, yet in this country we cut down approximately a billion of them every year. This idea of an endless natural bounty reminds me of a story I heard in elementary school. It was from John Cabot’s diary about the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. Cabot wrote that all one had to do to catch fish was to drop a bucket over board and pull it up and there would be fish in it. Now a days that bucket is more likely to not be filled with fish but with used condoms and tampon applicators.
The main figure in this film, biochemist and botanist Diana Beresford Kroeger talks about now seeing within view for the first time, the end of nature. For us in the cities, I suspect we must look with a guided eyeglass to see what is happening in nature, as we have lost the ability for ourselves to know what we are seeing. We are in tune with the rhythm of the cities, with its traffic flows, but not so much with how a river flows.
This idea of sign recognition in nature is key to the understanding the interconnected laws of our natural world beyond our immediate selves; recognition, identification of signs and comprehension of implications of our actions and/or inactions. And for Diana, the tree is our perfect steppingstone back to nature. From the single tree outside your door to a vast forest beyond our view or conception, Diana believes the necessary re-engagement of person and tree is where real understanding of nature can grow from.
This is even more critical as the world’s population is shifting towards urban from rural. And it will be the urban populations that will determine the policies of how the rural agricultural lands and forests will be managed.