Mari Roald Bern

About Me...

As I sat in the aeroplane, some thousand meters above the Sahara I had this mixed feeling.
Joyfully terrified.

Excited about seeing, smelling, living and being in another set of reality frames.

I thought I was going to another world. I was anxious about the parasites, the hunger, the fires, and the pollution and about not being able to understand.

24 years old, I had left my studies in “Environmental Governance” to work for the sturgeons in the Danube, and now for the lemurs in the rainforest.

As I write this well back home in Norway, Madagascar is not another world. It is another reality, but human ignorance and lifestyles which proves detrimental to the ecosystems, is a reality all over the one world we have.

To let myself think that they live in another world helps to shove the poverty and hopelessness away. It also makes easier –strolling in the large supermarket to forget that I am also dependent on soil fertility and freshwater resources for my survival.

Alienated as I am from the production of my food, my clothes, my furniture and all of the other stuff around me, it seems hard to realize the profound impact I have on natural resources through my consumption lifestyle.
 / ©: WWF / Mari Roald Bern
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© WWF / Mari Roald Bern

And now?

I am currently working for a electricity generating company with hydro, wind and gas power plants primarily in Norway, Sweden and Germany. I am working as an environmental advisor partly in Oslo and partly in Lower Saxony in Germany. Specifically I am involved in a project addressing ecological continuity and hydropower plants, particularly with regards to fish migration measures. Thanks to my stay in Madagascar, I know how a free flowing river looks like.
(September 2010)

What I learned while I was there...

  • The younger generation and our aspirations will shape the future.
  • Exploring Madagascar showed me that people and nature are neither friends nor foes.
  • There is a mutual dependency and a need for interaction. I met passionate, devoted people with high goals and strong senses of accomplishment. Madagascar is faced with grand problems, and I was glad to return, knowing that people care.
  • Now I need to find a way to tackle environmental issues from my side of the globe.
© WWF / Mari Roald Bern © WWF / Mari Roald Bern © WWF / Mari Roald Bern © WWF / Mari Roald Bern © WWF / Mari Roald Bern

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