OPINION: Time to remind ourselves that there’s #OnlyOneEarth and we must live in harmony with nature

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OPINION: Time to remind ourselves that there’s #OnlyOneEarth and we must live in harmony with nature
Ecosystem restoration efforts
What does 'living in harmony with nature' imply? Why do our forefathers frequently refer to the glory days of nature as a thing of the past? Can’t we see or experience this pristine form of nature any longer?
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Every time my mind stumbles upon these questions, I wonder if we’ll ever be able to experience nature the way our grandparents did. I also try to understand the difference between then and now. Living in harmony with nature means that we respect all life around us. It fosters the well-being of the planet, humans, animals, and plant life simultaneously.
Today, many people would agree that we have a greater understanding of nature than previous generations; we no longer advocate chanting to the rain Gods or praying for miracles. Our in-depth understanding of science and technology has helped us make sense of the natural world, how it works, and why maintaining ecological balance is crucial.
However, if we take a step back and consider it, we've merely used this knowledge to comprehend better how human activities might thrive.
Many critical resources, such as fossil fuels, are nonrenewable, but they are being utilised excessively. Increased air, water, and soil pollution have resulted from unrestricted human activity, posing a serious threat to human health and safety. We realised that the human-centred development model was to blame when global warming and climate change unleashed their wrath in the form of unprecedented natural disasters and diseases.
We began to feel a sense of superiority over nature as we burst myths and misconceptions about the environment. We forged an unhealthy relationship with nature, which involved stepping on our wildlife, natural habitats, and natural resources to thrive in this ever-changing world.
Rather we should have advocated the harmonious coexistence of humans and nature, rationally developing and utilising resources and paying attention to environmental issues.
Earth and its ecosystems are our common home. Every individual should remember that the Earth does not belong to just us. It is vital that we live in harmony with nature to create a balance between the economic, social, and environmental requirements of current and future generations.
According to scientists and researchers, our current way of life, particularly our consumption and production habits, has significantly impacted the Earth's carrying capacity. Our disregard for nature has manifested in the form of loss of biodiversity, desertification, climate change and the disruption of natural cycles. For several years now, nature has been seen as a commodity that exists primarily for the benefit of humans, and environmental issues have been downplayed or dismissed as 'solvable' through technological means.
The first step towards living in harmony with nature involves letting go of ideas that encourage science and technology to overpower the natural forces and environment. A more sustainable model for production and consumption is required to meet the basic demands of a growing population while remaining within the constraints of the Earth's finite resources.
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Advances in science and technology have enabled us to create and discover solutions to difficult problems, efficiently track climate change, and predict natural disasters. All of these advancements have boosted our faith in scientific knowledge. However, we cannot ignore the difficulties that these advancements have caused, such as pollution, global warming, habitat fragmentation, and so on.
These issues and their effects can only be avoided if indigenous knowledge is encouraged to cohabit with science and technology. We must follow the fundamental laws of being a part of nature while also applying our knowledge to enhance living conditions. We must realise that we will never be able to live without the help of other natural elements such as animals and plants.
For example, efforts are on to integrate the expertise of rural and tribal populations with the modern and scientific knowledge of forest departments and other seasoned environmental experts during planting programmes in various parts of the country.
As an environmentalist and the CEO of an organisation dedicated to restoring our ecosystems, I've realised that changing people's attitudes toward nature is the key to solving the problem. When we realise that there is #OnlyOneEarth that supports life, that there is only one planet that offers us space to dream, aspire, and create, we will begin to make modest changes in our lifestyle almost unconsciously. It will eventually pave the way for us to live in harmony with nature.

Bikrant Tiwary is the CEO of Grow-Trees.com

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are of the author/interviewee and do not necessarily reflect the views of Business Insider India. The article has been partly edited for length and clarity.

This column is part of June 2022’s month-long awareness campaign on the theme “ Only One Earth: Sustaining People, Planet and Prosperity ” by Business Insider India’s Sustainability Insider .
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