Social Justice, Sustainability

World Environment Day

Restoring the natural order of things – it’s now or never!

When we think ecosystem restoration we think of benefits like fertile soil, health pastures, native forestry, thriving biodiversity, and no more mono-culture. According to the UN ecosystem restoration means “assisting in the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded or destroyed, as well as conserving the ecosystems that are still intact.”

It is the latter part of this UN’s definition that really interests me – to conserve that which is still intact.

By definition ‘to conserve’ means to protect (something, especially something of environmental or cultural importance) from harm or destruction. If this is the case, and let’s face it who would argue with the oxford languages (the most widely accepted authority on the English language), then surly we must consider culture as an integral part of the equation.

So if culture is to be considered as part of the equation for restoration, and indeed for ‘life survival’, then surly <culture + natural environment = ecosystem restoration>. Therefore to restore true balance to the natural environment – to earth – it is important we take into account the social and the political within this equation.

By no means am I suggesting that throughout the course of history there was any form of ‘balance‘ in terms of social or political order, although the idealist in me would like to think that at some point there was – or at the very least that there could be into the future. But I do think regardless of my idealism that true ‘restoration‘ must consider the environmental, social, and political in tandem; with <Culture = Social + Political>. This call for ethical thinking means as a global society we must choose to be the sum of our values, not our challenges.

The question here might be, what values do we chose to place as important and what values do we disregard? Do we continue on the road of capitalism, greed and egotistical actions, or do we decide to take a different route for a change?

Ethical thinking means we never lose sight of our positive purpose, so perhaps if we incorporated this into the equation this would assist us in making decisions that create positive impacts for all life on earth.

According to a recent article presented by ‘The Alliance of Biodiversity International and The International Centre for Tropical Agriculture’ (10 June 2021), a group of scientists have found that if we doesn’t place social and political considerations at the centre of our efforts then restoration action is at risk of failure. As the title of the article I found states: As a decade of ecosystem restoration kicks off, don’t forget the people. Couldn’t have stated it better myself!

<Society on Earth = human + nature (interconnected)>

“Restoration ecology is experimental science, a science of love and altruism. In its attempts to reverse the processes of ecosystem degradation it runs exactly counter to the market system, to land speculation, to the whole cultural attitude of regarding the Earth as commodity rather than community.”

– Stephanie Mills

Photographs by: Stormseeker. @sseeker__
Feature image: Our last immortal flame

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