The theme for World Environment Day 2020 is Time for Nature.
The foods we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature.
Yet, these are exceptional times in which nature is sending us a message: To care for ourselves we must care for nature.
It’s time to wake up. To take notice. To raise our voices.
It’s time to build back better for People and Planet.
In India, on this World Environment Day, it’s ‘ELEPHANT’ on the mind.
The animal-human conflict that resulted in the untimely death of the cow elephant in Kerala a few days ago, is because in our greed for “more”, we forgot about the “infrastructure” that supports life on Earth. Human wants are unending. We want more of everything – more land, more natural resources, more convenience, more money. And we want all of this irrespective of what it takes. Never mind if it means “less” of everything else. It’s quite obvious that in “caring” for ourselves, we have not cared for nature. The solution is not a difficult one. Humans need to stop encroaching – forests, hills, rivers, lakes, villages, rural, suburban, urban. All it needs is eco-sensitive people at the top, and political will. When the “right” things are done, citizens will be there to offer endless support. As we have seen, nothing is impossible.
The Bandipur National Park is a part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, the largest protected area in Southern India and the largest habitat of wild elephants in South Asia. Not far from Bangalore, we’re fortunate to have been able to make a few trips. Elephants are common in Bandipur. Nonetheless, watching them roam around in the wild is always exciting.
Just see how caring the elephants are. And how good they look in their own habitat. Can we not just let them be!
A couple of days ago, in a webinar about the current Covid-19 pandemic, primatologist Jane Goodall said, “We have brought this on ourselves because of our absolute disrespect for animals and the environment… We have come to a turning point in our relationship with the natural world… If we do not do things differently, we are finished… We can’t go on very much longer like this.” Hope our leaders are listening.
Pictures taken in Bandipur over a few visits