By Barbara Goldoft
The Philippines was once famous for the beauty of its reef-ringed islands, white beaches, and lush forests. In less than a half-century, its forests were felled, its oceans over-fished, and its coral reefs destroyed. The rapid harvest of once-abundant resources has brought droughts, deadly flash floods, and the collapse of vital fisheries. As the rural economy weakened and millions migrated to cities, they overwhelmed the urban infrastructure. Today, the Philippines stands as an example of the profound and sweeping consequences of ecological decline. In The Green Tiger, Barbara Goldoftas documents this tragic trajectory. But hers is not a story of hopelessness and inevitable defeat. In lyrical, unflinching prose, she traces the struggle for conservation in the Philippines, from isolated villages to large cities, and in the process illustrates the surprising ways in which conservation and economic growth can effectively co-exist.