Our favourite river to date has got to be the Amazon of South America. Early in 2013 we spent a few days living with a native village deep in the Ecuadorian region of the Amazon Jungle. After an afternoon spent harvesting our dinner – plantains, pineapple, snake eggs, “candy of the tree” and countless other delicacies I could never quite pronounce – we were encouraged by our host’s daughter and grandchildren to join them for an evening swim in the river. As sunset turned to dusk, we catapulted into the water from tree branches and rolled in the bank’s mud “Mowgli-Style”, communicating with the universal language of smiles and laughter. It was only later that we discovered our bodies covered head-to-toe with tiny river flee bites, though we both agree it was absolutely worth it.
Rivers are the lifeblood of the planet; sustaining ecosystems, enabling transport and providing new opportunities to harness clean energy. We have a responsibility to protect and cultivate our natural resources for the prosperity of generations to come. And what better place to start than in our own backyard?