Ecological Restoration And Go
Ecological Restoration is the newly developing science of healing this planet, and the Principles of Ecological Restoration have some interesting analogies with go. There seem to be a lot of shared terminology and concepts, e.g. strength, linkages, growth, succession, territory, control, natural development, life, and so on. At a more complex level, the comparisons become vaguer and differences emerge. However, at a basic conceptual level there do seem to be some interesting parallels, e.g. "Work outwards from areas of strength", "Re-establish ecological linkages", and "Let nature do most of the work". The last one I particularly like, as it expresses the flowing, daoist quality of the game.
A few years ago I spent a week planting trees in the Highlands of Scotland with the charity organisation 'Trees for Life', helping to restore the Caledonian Forest. While doing this I discovered my first analogy of ecological restoration with playing go. For some reason planting a tree felt a bit like plonking a go stone on the board! I think it was partly because we were encouraged to follow our instincts with regards to the placement of the trees, leaving just enough spacing - trying to mimic the kind of semi-random layout that would occur naturally.
I have reproduced here the shortened version of the principles, taken from the Trees for Life website:
- Mimic nature wherever possible
- Work outwards from areas of strength, where the ecosystem is closest to its natural condition
- Pay particular attention to 'keystone' species
- Utilise pioneer species and natural succession to facilitate the restoration process
- Re-create ecological niches where they have been lost
- Re-establish ecological linkages
- Control and/or remove introduced species
- Remove or mitigate the limiting factors which prevent restoration from taking place naturally
- Let nature do most of the work
- Love has a beneficial effect on all life
The Principles of Ecological Restoration in full.
adammarquis: I'm glad to see people posting analogies to go; I think it is an elegant way to show how fundamental and at base simple the game is. I find this particular connection very pleasing, perhaps due to its gentle nature bent. Seeing somebody finding non-war/conflict analogies is a welcome change from the norm as well.