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CONNECTING PEOPLE TO NATURE

Posted by NYCA Blogger on May 19, 2017

Rajesh Kunwar

Dang, Nepal

People need nature and nature needs people. Nature enhances our lives, helps us feel better, has positive impacts on our social skills, and helps us be environmentally responsible citizens. Along with that it provides all food, air and water that we need to survive. When people lack a nature experience, it can lead to apathy towards environmental concerns.

Our food, our water, our livelihoods — they all come from nature. But we’re taking more than our share, and now the fate of the one and only planet we’ve ever called home is uncertain. The challenges that Mother Nature’s oceans, rivers and forests are facing affect us all — and it’s up to all of us to work together to tackle them. Because, ultimately, saving nature is the only way to save ourselves.

From the smallest microorganisms to the largest animals, all life on Earth has a common ancestor.  Everything is connected to everything.  So how is it that our species has come to dominate the landscape in such a short period of time?  Furthermore, what gives us the right to do so?  In 3.5 billion years of life on Earth everything has followed a natural course of evolution.  However, our rapid success as a species has begun to affect this natural order.  With our population at seven billion and climbing, we have played a tremendous role in the disruption of the Earth’s natural systems.  As we continue to grow and have a greater impact on the Earth’s systems, it is imperative that we address our role and relationship with nature.

The ability of human to manipulate the landscape and recognize the consequences of doing so puts us in a peculiar position.  As a species we are assigned with duty to provide and proliferate.  Our goal is to achieve stability for ourselves and our kin.  However we also have an obligation to maintain the environment, as we depend on the resources and services it provides.  The question then becomes: what is our role in nature?  Do we have the right to manipulate the land, factory farm animals, and pollute waterways?  Or do we have an obligation to reduce our numbers and merely subsist?  In order to answer these questions we must rely on our knowledge of Earth, evolution, and our influence on the environment.

Humans play a vital role in nature.  What separates us from nature though, is the ability to understand our place within it.  This cognitive capacity of ours has historically been the cause of a perceived division between man and nature.  However, in order to achieve a sustainable future in which humans assume a more natural role and have less of an impact it is imperative that we reconsider our role and relationship with nature.  A change in the way we regard nature has obvious political, economic, and social repercussions, but our cognitive ability obliges us to reevaluate our position in the world rather than continue to degrade it. There are a number of ways in which we can begin to reconsider our relationship with nature, but all of which require an enormous effort.  Through a universal education curriculum, it is possible to encourage people everywhere to consider themselves as part of a larger picture.  By teaching people about the environment, evolution, and ecology, we can provide them with the tools for change.

Our role within nature should be one of subsistence rather than commercialization.  We have exploited the world for too long and the consequences of doing so are everywhere.  As everything is related to everything, we have no right to infringe on the livelihood of any other species.  In fact, our cognitive ability and understanding of nature obliges us to maintain the integrity of the environment.  So we must change how we influence the land.  We must respect the natural order of things and find a way to live accordingly. Different strategies like establishment of Parks, walking and jogging infrastructure, bicycling and trekking infrastructure, designation of maximum shaded area, summer camp, outdoor schools, kitchen garden. Publication of popular books/stories about nature, photo sharing program, production of own food in organic way. Policies are made in favor of saving the nature with the sustainable use of resource by the people.Although change in attitudes would require a complete overhaul of our current economic and political structures, it is something that must be done.  As history shows, if we continue to encourage expansion and development it is very likely that we will see major effects in climate and ecology.  We have seen the destructive nature of industrialism and capitalism.  We can predict and measure the effects of our actions on the environment.  We know we are headed in the wrong direction and we are expecting major consequences.  So why don’t we do something about it?

 

Rajesh Kunwar

Prithu Technical College

Dang

9849073502/9813696797

 

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Connecting people with nature:  

Posted by NYCA Blogger on May 19, 2017

 

Anu Dahal

We are living in a century surrounded by new technologies, scientific inventions which made world a small village as well as all these things made us superior than other creatures. People in this 21st century find it more comfortable to be grounded inside new gadgets rather than spending time in an open place. We like to hear the sound of musical instruments more than the sound of a singing bird.  In the desire of moving forward in search of better facilities, instruments to make our life easier we had actually forget about the nature. From deforestation to pollution of water, air, land all these human activities has caused serious harm to the nature. In order to protect the nature firstly we must understand the value of nature, its importance and why is it necessary for us?

 The main reasons for connecting people with nature is that we are the part of nature without it we cannot exist. Air, water, land, and atmosphere all these things has helped us for our survival. Apart from this it is the home of all living beings, nature releases our stress, inspires us to be creative, releases our stress, makes us healthy, heals our diseases etc.

Nature is the home of all living beings not just us we all start and end our life here. All those things which sustain our livelihood has been provided by the nature. In comparison to other living things we have the intelligence and thinking capacity which makes us superior among others therefore it’s our duty to protect our home. In order to protect our home we should use nature and its resources wisely, we must bring nature friendly resources to protect our nature and we must understand the value of it.

Nature heals our diseases as it has herbs which acts as medicine while curing the diseases. It also releases our stress. One can be relax by sitting in a garden listening to the sound of birds, scent of the flowers, gentle touch of the air, stars shining in the sky etc. all these things gives us pleasure and makes us smile. Due to the unmanaged and unplanned settlements, construction of roads, dams and various other land activities has limited the open space it has become very hard to find such a place to enjoy the nature, exploitation of valuable herbs has created a big problem to cure the disease therefore, strict laws should be made and implemented in order to protect the valuable species and land.

The beauty of the nature makes everyone creative while observing it one can forget all the thing and can became a completely different person. For example while watching birds, mountains, flowing river one can develop a poem not just that nature gives us peace and brings positive thoughts in us to try something new. It’s a good idea to lay down in an open area and try to explore something new rather than wasting time on chatting in social medias.

 At last, from all the reasons explained above, I would like to conclude that people must be connected with the nature.

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Nature: Beauty or Calamity?

Posted by NYCA Blogger on May 19, 2017

Bedana Rai.
Ghattekulo, Kathmandu

I don’t even remember how suddenly I woke up. I was waken up around 3:30 am by the frightening alarm of storm which was nightmare which I had never experienced. Storm is single word but strong which constitute of roaring thunder, scary lightening, rains over every direction, strong wind blowing everywhere. Lying on bed by the window side with no curtains and no latch, I could see every scattered lights, sky roaring and clouds creating monster features. Among the scary emotion I figured out how lucky I was to be alone in 8th floor, holding windows without latch to protect my room from getting damp. But out of nowhere I remembered those people living on footpaths and my sarcasm over myself had no validity to be worried.

The doors and windows were smacking, the dried up clothes had wings to fly, flowers pots were jumping and the sky looked so angry was frightening so ruthlessly. I was holding the windows and insisting to the god of storm to stop. The storm continued for half an hour and slowly the god of sky calmed down. But I could not sleep after viewing such a scary appearance of sky in the most inappropriate night time. My thoughts then slowly led me to the beautiful memories I had with nature. The evenings I lied on rooftop and talked with sky, stars, moon and clouds. Sometimes sky did reply me with various shapes of clouds which I assure to understand but most of the time they just listened to me. I suddenly missed the soothing breeze of the beach, the gentle touch of wind of the rooftop. I missed those rains I enjoyed with my best friend again in rooftop. Those sacred drops of rains had given me satisfaction and happiness. But, today it was not the same sky, wind or the rain and somewhere my heart still shakes.

The memoir of good nature started to flow in my mind. I remembered my childhood in hilly region of Nepal. I missed those mountains, those bushes and trees, those bugs, insects and animals. I wanted to smell that soil once again, those rain drops, those grassland like trail, those greenery and that lap of mountain. The emotion of joy was so strong, my mind started to calm over the beautiful and peaceful memories. Then, I took a glance from window, I see tall building before me with verandahs full of colorful clothes hanging everywhere. I am disappointed because I wanted to see those mountains and those trees but couldn’t.

Born and raised in beautiful mountains of Nepal, I have been very close to nature. I was woken up by the chirps of birds, not the horns of vehicles or the annoying alarm ringtone. I played with mud, dusts, leaves and sticks not with the smooth colorful toys. I smelled the dongs of tame and wild animals not the scents from perfume store. I tasted those wild fruits and seeds and didn’t choose the flavors from the mirrored frame. I climbed those streams and mountains barefoot and didn’t complaint for the new arrival shoes. I had never imagined a life where I am unable to see a tree from my window, not a single creature to absorb when I am alone and scared. The serenity overwhelmed me when I remembered those days with nature.

I missed my home, my beautiful mountains, my own land. I was missing, I was wishing, I was regretting, I was shaking, I was being scared and within these upheaval I discovered that nature is not only the beautiful landscapes and scenes but nature is what constituted us, our earth whether it be storms or calamities. I missed those beautiful childhood memories because thunderstorm hit my sleep, my busy schedule. Whether I am living on those beautiful mountains or the city with skyscraper I find nature in me. Nature conveys me love through the sounds of thunder, those lighting and those creations of clouds. Nature changes its appearances and outlooks to show people their love, to show how nature is within people. Nature is beautiful however it appear and it makes me feel beautiful. Natural calamities are not good for people, it takes peoples’ lives but most of the time it is because of human’s action so nature is not one to be blamed. This is how my mind was arguing and debating but enjoying the conflicting idea of nature. But I thanked to thunder storm that I was able to recall those beautiful child memories and felt more connected to nature. And I ask you a question what is nature for you, is it beauty or is it calamity?

Posted in Environment Day 2017 | 3 Comments »

Connecting People To Nature

Posted by NYCA Blogger on May 19, 2017

Shasank Pokharel,

14/71 Dantakali Path, Vijayapur, Dharan, Nepal.

It was storming outside when I was writing this blog. Dharan, as a matter of fact has second highest rainfall just behind Pokhara. The place in Dharan where I was born, bought up and still living, Vijayapur has plenty of greenery. The green lushes of different species, hills and cool breeze have always inspired me to be creative and taking a nap in the lap of nature always refreshes me. Not to mention, the ‘out of box’ thought I come across all the time is a result of a strong connection to nature, err! That’s at least what I think.

What is ‘connection to nature’?

It is that eternal feeling you get when your sense organs actually pick up all the natural activities going around you. Twittering of bird, freshness of air or maybe beautiful scenery! It is also a feeling of care and love towards nature that is spontaneously awakens your heart and mind and perceives you to give nature the same amount of respect that you show to your parents. That feeling is also a core reason for someone being an environment campaigner/activist or a conservationist. Moreover, that certain connection to nature has given birth some of the greatest literary figure and creative minds whether the initiator of Romantic Age in English literature, William Wordsworth or four-time Pulitzer Prize for Poetry winner Robert Frost.

Why to connect people to nature?

Connection to nature is more like a basic necessity. Not to mention, we are dependent on nature for our survival. In real, it is more about expressing our gratitude to nature which we rarely do. Nature is not only helpful for our basic survival but it also helps us to refresh and divert our mind for a while from our monotonous routine. It helps to enhance our thoughts by stimulating certain hormones which calms us down and relaxes us. Moreover various studies suggest that those who spend certain time daily ‘connecting’ to nature are less likely to have health problems and are more creative too. In fact, I myself have experienced a significant upward surge in my creative power and my ability to write quality poems when I am in the lap of nature admiring all the beauty around.

A special relationship with nature is also very important for its conservation. We are at a very critical time in our history where the threat to nature is substantial mainly due to the unprecedented level of urbanization and industrialization in recent years. The best solution to this problem would be motivating entire population to develop a special bond to environment and nature. This bond encompasses care, love and gratitude towards nature and follows the theme of ‘connecting people to nature’. By creating such bond we are not only taking people really close to nature but also trying to treat it with high regards and helping in its conservation.

How to connect people to nature?

It’s easy! You don’t need to send nature a friend request or follow her. What you need is a habit of enjoying even some small gestures from nature say cool breeze in hot, humid summer, rain, flying of birds, etc. Maybe you could take a walk down the park, go for sightseeing or fish in the nearby stream. Else you can also be involved in some noble causes like clean-up campaigns or proper disposal of wastes. There are almost infinite ways to connect to nature and it solely depends on individual to find the best way to feel really close to nature.

As I said there are numerous ways to connect. But what are some of the best examples? National Parks, Wildlife Reserves and Conservation Areas are the perfect examples which have successfully managed to blend natural wilderness with plenty of tourism-elements to take visitors close to nature. Beautiful sceneries and flora and fauna in their natural untouched state have given visitors an altogether different experience. Likewise, in metro cities, in-city parks (e.g. Central Park, NY) and zoo are also helpful in connecting people to nature and relax them from their supercharged life. Similarly, boating in a river or lake, swimming in any natural bodies of water, hiking, trekking, bird-seeing camps, gardening, camping, etc. could also be useful for that purpose.

Adventure sports as a mean to connect people to nature

As we all know the topography of Nepal is very rugged with high hills, deep gorges, glaciers and fast-flowing rivers. The topography although a curse for development, is actually a boon for adventure sports like rafting, paragliding, bungee, mountaineering, etc. The natural resources suitable for these adventure sports can be exploited to draw more and more people towards nature. This will not only increase tourism but will be economically beneficial to our country and local communities. Attracting people to adventure sports is like connecting them to nature by adding the elements of adventure, thrill and excitement to make the connection an unforgettable experience.

 References

  1. ‘Connecting People to nature’, http://worldenvironmentday.global/en/about/connecting-people-nature
  2. ‘The Human-Nature Relationship And Its Impact On Health: A Critical Review’, Valentine Seymour, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5114301/
  3. ‘How does Nature Impact Our Wellbeing?’ University Of Minnesota, https://www.takingcharge.csh.umn.edu/enhance-your-wellbeing/environment/nature-and-us/how-does-nature-impact-our-wellbeing
  4. ‘Top 10 Examples Of Connecting People With Nature’ https://www.slideshare.net/ColleenWearn/top-10-examples-of-connecting-people-with-nature

 

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Connecting People to Nature

Posted by NYCA Blogger on May 19, 2017

Sita Ghimire

Khusibu, Kathmandu

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better”- Albert Einstein

We, people are creation of the nature, which is the entity of the universe. The nature comprises of biotic and abiotic factors incorporating physical, chemical and biological aspects. We are being connected to nature since our birth till death. All the resources, as earth, forest, soil, air, water, diversity, flora and fauna; we are using now, are the gifts of the nature. We are the most intimate biological aspect of nature.

People, directly or indirectly, in one way or the next, are bonded to the nature. So, utilization of nature in proper way solely depends on people’s activity and sane thought. Establishment of good and sound connection with our mother nature is indeed a crucial issue for us. Nature is the nurturing and supportive mother for our complex life activities. Connecting with nature does not necessarily mean that climbing mountains, rafting in the rivers, and others but it is spiritual feelings to be in touch with the nature and its surroundings!

Affinity with the nature is also meant to create awareness for sustainability, attitudes and behaviour of nature to the people. It is an individual’s feelings (emotionally and cognitively) with the nature and belongingness to nature with regards to connection. It also develops the capability of a person to represent himself in this world. The existence of people depends upon the existence of the nature. People can remain connected to nature upto their destiny since it allows itself to be used for the other creations of the world. The relationship of human to the natural world ranges physically and spiritually, distant or close, however sound connection keeps the nature close to the hearts. Human might have beneficial relationship such as feelings, need, happiness, along with some sorts of discomfort, and expectation with the nature. Our life is sustained as we are bestowed upon by the nature and its gracious and inevitable wonders.

Connectedness is the feeling how much a person is attached and dependent upon the nature. Individuals with utmost intimacy with the environment are indeed more friendly and tend to develop more positive life attitudes and engage in more environmental activities along with sound and rational judgement ability. We have witnessed increasing environmental problems such as pollution, climate change, global warming, ozone depletion, deforestation, melting of polar ice caps, and other global challenges on today’s era.

The nature quiets the minds, and opens the heart. It heals and boosts in creativity, health and quality of life as well. For instance, we come up with creative ideas when we go for a walk in the park and we become more spiritual at the colours of autumn leaves and flowers. But World Health Organization(WHO) does not include the term spiritual health in its up front description of health. We experience our nature directly; breathing, sensation of heat and cold, walking, mountaineering, riding, and others. The nature supports wellbeing which has many facets and being emotional in nature. Nature helps to reduce spiritual crisis too. The nature also conducts autonomous bio geochemical cycles to continue the life process and keep it in balanced state. The residues of various floras and faunas are used to cure the diseases. There is a strong harmonious relationship between people and the nature as a relation between lock and key.

The livelihood of about 90% of rural people depends on the forest wood and it’s products. The mysterious property of the nature also reduces the nature deficit disorder such as obesity, depression which is possible due to close connectedness with the nature. So the eco psychologists are involved to aware people to create as eco friendly environment which helps to make people stress-free.

Modern life styles and rapid globalization have distracted our lives from natural environment where we spend more time indoors (90%), thus missing out the beneficial effects and devoid of beautiful scenario of the nature. This might lead to the irresponsible deeds and irrational decisions triggering further harm and destructions, which include loss of natural habitats of wild lives, deforestation, degradation of natural sources and increase of non degrading wastes .

Nature is the sole cause for our existence with optimum usage of its wonders. Thus, it’s our prior responsibility to conserve it along with its rational, wise and sustainable usage. A rigid sense of awareness and consideration of its broad importance is must. Each and every fragments of the nature is to be felt and considered own. This feeling of possessiveness towards the nature leads to harmonious coexistence for sustainability. In the context of Nepal, ban for the use of plastic bags, Bagmati and Bishnumati Cleanliness Campaign, establishment of National Parks and Hunting Areas, tagging of wild animals and others are the most important steps to preserve the nature .Various seminars and conferences, are conducted, for example; Paris Climate Agreement; December 2015, Copenhegon Climate Change Conference; December 2009 to reduce the risks of nature. Connectedness to Nature Scale (CNS) is a tool to measure relation between people and the nature. World Nature Conservation Day on July 28,Earth Day on April 22 and World Environment Day on June 5  are  the days on which its varying ranges of importances are disseminated to the people and has become an broaden area of research today. Small efforts of every individuals can have big impact. To overcome these challenges, new environmental paradigms are developed to focus on the relationship between people and  the nature.

To sum up, an effort of single individual is worthless on this attempt. Absolute collaboration of each and every individual, strake holders and the government is must. This could be the only way to sustain our relationship with nature as it is and to build a so called incredible green and clean future.

 

Posted in Environment Day 2017 | 14 Comments »

Connecting People to Nature

Posted by NYCA Blogger on May 19, 2017

 

Kalpana Ghimire

Nayabazzar, Kathmandu, Nepal

And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair- Kahlil Gibran

Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you- Frank Lloyd Wright

Nature is derived from the latin word ‘natura’, which means essential qualities. The material, physical world and abstract aspect of the universe is the nature. Mountains, forest, edaphic and topographical factors, air, water, flora and fauna, human are indispensable aspects of the nature. These are the blessings that we are bestowed upon. Since the origin of earth, there had been an establishment of intimate relationship between human and the nature.

Our connection with nature is more or less very alike to human rights, the devoidness of which results in solidarity of all the aspects of human lives. The more we get linked to the nature, the more persuasive we become and lead ourselves. Simply, understanding the nature does not mean understanding our surrounding rather it shows the overall figure of ‘tragedy of commons’ linking with the deterioration of the environment as a whole.  We, humans are on the way to the natural world that exist freely and independently. Human being experiences a greater sense of peace and humanity in nature. Historically, our natural components have got utmost respect from the people in cultural and religious aspect. It shows the great feel that we are linking to the nature in the way how we believe the god in our life.  They were our identity and will remain till eternity. This could be the illustration of the spiritual bonding of human with the nature.

Over 99% major part of our evolutionary history are totally associated to the natural world.  Our dependency upon nature incorporates the need to fulfill the basic requirements of human lives namely food, shelter, medicines, and recreational purposes. The estimated data reports that timber and firewood of the forest resources supply about 80% of the energy for the purpose of cooking and heating in Nepal. The research conducted by the scientists shows that more than half of the humanity in global rely upon the freshwater that originated and accumulates in the mountain areas. The recent research studies predict that the patient have shorter hospitalization when they observe the natural surroundings. Adults who are working in the open environment connected directly to the nature are found to be having more creativity and healthy. Every individual has free access to the natural resources of a nature simply known as ‘Common property resource’. It is predicted that if humans think positive of their nature they will have emotion feeling towards protecting and caring of the nature leading to sustainability of the environment.

The essence of lives as air, water, plants products’ from trees, soil etc. are direct proportional to the nature. In addition, the planet where we dwell on are made up of the elements and materials of the nature. Our survival is possible due to water and minerals’ content in our body. The nature plays a significant role in the regulation of various cycles like hydrological, carbon, oxygen cycles, water purification, carbon sequestration, purifying air, disaster management, ecosystem services in the environment. Human, flora, fauna, and microorganism perform the crucial role in pollination, diseases prevention and decomposition of organic matter in the nature continuing the natural cycle of the environment An utmost and of course, an intimate relationship exists among human race and the nature. CNS (Connectedness to Nature Scale) figures how emotionally and   strongly we are interlinked to the nature.

Connectivity of the people with nature improves the physiological and emotional wellbeing along with other innumerable benefits. Our connectivity with nature not only incorporates the positive aspect, but also includes the vast and reckless destruction of our mother nature for our benefits. The continuation of loss, degradation and fragmentation by human has threaten the natural and semi-natural habitats leading to the reduction of ecosystem’s ability to withstand against the effects of human negative activities resulting ‘tragedy of commons’. Solastoulgia results when the people are unable to understand the nature. According to Stephen Jay Gould “We cannot win his battle to save the species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature as well-for we will not fight to save what we do not love. Small alteration can bring great difference. Therefore, we lose our life if we lose our nature.

Remedy for depletion could be the sustainable use and management of the natural resources. Likewise, the restoration of the nature is surely possible if we, humans have control upon our deeds that results this sort of devastation and have wise and sane thinking upon this issues. When we even respect only the physical factors of the ecosystem, the restoration and green economy will be highly achieved. Therefore, protection, conservation and maintaining the stock of the natural resources is urgent that results in the natural resource management (NRM). Regarding the climate change, pollution and degradation of the biodiversity, various conventions and protocols have been established like Convention on Biological Diversity, Montreal Protocol, Paris Climate Change Agreement, Ramsar convention so as to overcome those tackles.

In a nutshell, every individual’s life is well sustained upon close positive affinity with the nature. That’s why, it’s our sole responsibility to love, care and protect our nature till our last breath goes on. Once we foresee the critical menace of our nature, we can overcome the factors that directly triggers the devastating activities. This is the only way to sustain the nature as it was handed to us by our forefathers, otherwise it’s certain that we are destroying ourselves, our lives and will be the one residing in the graves and get buried deep inside the crust with no any traces of hopes left to upbring and uplift the pre-existing human civilization as it was!!!

 

Posted in Environment Day 2017 | 18 Comments »