Friday, 27 December 2013
The State of Nature report which was released on 22nd May 2013 makes for uncomfortable reading.
Mankind started using tools around 2.5 million years ago. The Thomas Newcomen Engine was invented 300 years ago, heralding the start of the Industrial Revolution in the UK.
The State of Nature report was merely looking at how well nature has faired over the last 50 years, if you like, since Sir David Attenborough was filming the Adventure: Quest programmes.
In that relatively tiny period of time, 60% of UK species have declined, and half of those have vanished rapidly.
Our most threatened species have declined by 77% in the last 40 years.
Over 10% of species are immediately under threat of disappearing completely in the UK - things are not looking good for nature.
Nature is vital to human existence. Healthy air, water & food all come courtesy of Mother Nature. So why are we destroying it?
Well one reason is linked, ironically to human expansion: since Sir David Attenborough started broadcasting, the world population has trebled. As we expand, we will certainly need nature more in order to survive. Something needs to be done now!
If we look at the wildlife in our parks, it's the same Butterfly, Bee, Beetle and Fly species that we see on flowers during a Summer's afternoon that pollinate the crops which we rely on for healthy, natural food. Insects form part of complex ecosystems that in turn keep soil fertile, water pure and weather tolerable. These are quite important things!
So why are we destroying Life in the UK?
Well, whilst Sir David was starting out on his national service in the navy, a Frenchman called Andre Gide was receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1947. He received the award "for his comprehensive and artistically significant writings, in which human problems and conditions have been presented with a fearless love of truth and keen psychological insight".
Gide's work grew into the idea that man was torn between two systems, one divine and the other adulterated. This was not just about good and evil but also concerned "Herd Morality", where we become influenced by those around us.
If we look at mankind's recent history, it can really be summed up in one word "exploitation", such a shame that it came from such an exciting and similar word as "exploration"!
Gide himself criticised the "large consessions" regime that exploited nature and man to the extreme in Africa, leaving land bare and people as slaves. He influenced reform of colonialism through his words.
We used to manage woodlands, and farm with nature as a community. But with advancement has come greed and unsustainabilty - we have grown and left Mother Nature behind: as Michel did his wife who had healed him through care in Gide's book - "The Immoralist".
So where are we? We appear to be in a mire! For the sake of our children's world we need to get out of this
mire. Our kids need Natural Capital (living systems that supply our basic needs) How do we protect it for them? Well we get out of this mire with Maya!!
Without nature, profits and wealth are useless!
By reflecting Gide's work "Maya" in Hindi can mean the powerful forces of good and evil. So let mankind use the good forces to secure our future? But "Maya" has also been defined in Punjabi as "money", and therein lies the warning. Our pursuit of resources and materialism makes us blind to our innovations which can protect our planet, whilst satisfying our needs. We need to open our eyes and adopt safe practices, which can yield for man and nature.
My preferred definition of "Maya" is "knowledge of the vital air". We all have the power to protect, and with another billion of us on the planet by 2025 we need to work together now as communities for nature to help put things right.
The Moving Mountains Nature Network (MMNN) supports PROJECT MAYA (http://www.mayaproject.org) - a system of living where people AND planet are in harmony.
Our networks are being designed in a way, where the community and local businesses can prosper, whilst protecting the beauty and biodiversity of their parks, reserves and other green spaces, that form vital components of the ecological network.
We have completely free packages for businesses that support UK wildlife.
MMNN-Farmland aims to help rural communities and economies by promoting healthy, local, sustainable produce and showcasing innovative, open farming that embraces nature and the community. 75% of the UK is farmland and we believe the farming industry AND nature can thrive TOGETHER.
Network sites will be released early in 2014, but for now you can follow us either here or on twitter:
We are only 4 months old and are still at the construction stage. But all readers can help nature now.
Join one of the wildlife organisations shown on our home page and join your local wildlife or "friends of" volunteer group. Volunteering for wildlife and our children's world feels amazing!
All council websites have details of how you can help protect your parks and Local Nature Reserves.
As you can see, we promote and support UK Wildlife Organisations. They will ALL form part of our networks. MMNN is unfunded and we are volunteers from top to bottom, so could really use your help too in supporting us and spreading the word about us and our aims.