We decided to form the Nature-Link Institute after experiencing first-hand, communities who, through their livelihood activities, actively participated in their natural environment. For these communities, ecosystem participation is an essential strategy for sustainable development. While we talk about conserving biodiversity, these communities, all over the world are cultivating biodiversity.
This got us thinking about our own lives and how disconnected we are from our local environment. So disconnected, in fact that most of us could not survive let alone thrive in the natural environments in which we live. Our food comes from hundreds if not thousands of miles away and is purchased from the store, our houses are now being built in factories and delivered on trucks and our livelihoods do not contribute in any way to the health of the environment. Most people are unaware of the effects of their lifestyle on the environment at all scales from the local to the global.
We want to educate and inform people about different ways to view the human-environment interface.
Therefore, it is no surprise that even our best and most sincere efforts at conservation are misguided and ineffective. Simply making an area off limits to humans does not help humans or the environment. Even the well-protected reserves are subject to global warming and other global atmospheric changes caused by human activity. Our research initiatives have shown that communities, whose culture and livelihood practices place them within the ecosystem as active participants, are adaptable to the forces of environmental, cultural or political change.
So, why did we form the Nature-Link Institute? Because, we want to educate and inform people about different ways to view the human-environment interface. Furthermore, we want to redefine the way humans interact with nature through our programs of research, education and advocacy and along the way, we want to share our experiences with you.