Connecting People with Nature

Anne Reeves, 
President, National Parks Association of NSW

They are singing our song!   When news arrived that this is the theme selected for World Environment Day 2017, celebrated around the world on June 5, I was encouraged.  This message has been at the heart of our National Parks Association of New South Wales agenda from the start.

World Environment Day, a 1972 initiative of the United Nations Environment Programme, is now hosted by a different country each year; this year most fittingly by Canada.  For more information, including a toolkit, and a statement from Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, see http://www.worldenvironmentday.global

Of course our environment, our precious planet Earth, sustains us each and every day. Caring for country is much more than a once in a year celebration. This is well demonstrated by our Association’s diverse and extensive range of activities. Connecting people with nature, and in fellowship, and in caring, is happening every day of the year in NPA. Maybe an early morning walk to greet the dawn; a time of sharing the knowledge of our amazing and unique bushland and its wildlife; striving to explain to decision makers the importance of preventing degradation from plastics, carbon emissions, invasive species, clearing, and more; sharing the thrill of a strenuous climb; or just reflecting on good memories around a campfire.   All this and more is happening in the name of NPA NSW.

As we celebrate our own sixtieth anniversary, let’s share and help others to connect with nature, and to grow our commitment to ensuring a sustainable future. In our increasingly urbanised world, keeping in touch with the natural world of which we are a part becomes ever more important. Way back during the 1979 International Year of the Child, there was a widely quoted saying to the effect that “We have not inherited the Earth from our parents, we have borrowed it from our children.” Fostering an appreciation of the amazing complexity and beauty of our planet earth, a mere dot within the vast universe, by connecting people with nature from their earliest days, is one element in fulfilling this legacy.

This Nature NSW Winter issue provides some insights into our past, present and future needs if we are to continue as a vibrant voice protecting nature through community action.  So enjoy, help us celebrate our wonderful natural world and our anniversary on world environment day and every other day.

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