Ecological Intelligence: New Approach to Save the Planet

Kunto Nurcahyoko
Jun 20, 2018 · 4 min read

It is estimated that around 46–58 thousand square miles of forest are lost annually — the number is equal to 36 football fields every minute.

Teaching our students to understand the importance of nature is very essential

Global warming is happening and also threatening our entire life. For the last century, it has caused countless disasters such as dreadful flood, severe drought, increasing of sea level, pollution, and other disasters. Sadly, human activities have been indispensably contributing to the release of pollution and global warming on earth.

According to Pure Earth, an international non-profit organization dedicated to solving pollution problems in low- and middle-income countries, toxic pollution affects more than 200 million people worldwide.

In some of the world’s worst polluted places, babies are even born with birth defects and life expectancy as low as 45 years because of the cancers and other diseases because of human pollution. In addition, the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere today is way higher than at any point in the last 800,000 years.

Beside the pollution, humans have been cutting the trees to advance their lives. Therefore, our forests are under threat from deforestation. Deforestation comes in many forms, including unsustainable mining activities, fires, clear-cutting for agriculture and housing, and degradation due to climate change.

This affects not only for the plantation and animals but also human. It is estimated that around 46–58 thousand square miles of forest are lost annually — the number is equal to 36 football fields every minute.

Basically, global warming refers to the increase of earth’s temperature due to greenhouse gasses. The gasses create layer which traps the sun’s heat and continuously warms our planet. The threat of global warming is indeed serious. Hence, as the most technologically advanced creature on the planet, we have huge responsibility to it.

Because of that reasons, green movements become a new trend. People start realizing the importance of taking care of our planet. The activists, NGOs, and government have worked hand in hand to save the nature. However, little has been significantly achieved.

Indeed, people must immediately take a look at the root of the problem; the lack of people’s awareness to take care of the earth. Human being needs to revitalize their perspective and role in relation to the dynamic of nature. A healthy nature is essential for the sustainability of human life. Therefore, teaching people, especially our kids and young generation to take care of our nature must top the agenda of all stakeholders.

Nowadays, acquiring a new sensitivity to the unfamiliar range of threats toward our nature through “ecological intelligence” is a must. “Ecological intelligence” deals with the ability of someone to adapt to their ecological position and to understand their important role within the ecosystems.

This intelligence helps people to learn from experience and to interact effectively with their environment. Ecological intelligence also provides human insights about how human activity impinges on ecosystems and how to prevent the further destruction caused by human.

In a planet where nature and human coexist, people must envision the future of the relationship. For most of the time, we are used to believe that intelligence only deal with math, science, and language. Indeed, we take the concept of intelligence for granted. People still believe that an intelligent individual is the one who has high score on Mathematics or verbal intelligence. Some of us define it as IQ score.

Now, more than ever, we need to start considering someone who is aware of their ecological role as a brilliant individual; someone who uses water wisely is clever, someone who uses electricity efficiently is smart, someone who is aware of the importance of nature is definitely intelligent. Those people need to be recognized and appreciated.

To realize such spirit, we need to look beyond the thinking that puts mankind outside nature; the fact is, we live together within ecological systems. We need to discover and share the urgency to understand our true significance and effect to our planet.

Through ecological intelligence, we will learn how to do better for our nature. And of course, creating this awareness of ecological intelligence is very essential and needs the support from all stake holders, especially from our education system.

Our schooling system must appreciate and reward students who can perform this intelligence. Curriculum must instill the importance of keeping the earth. And most importantly, ecological subject must be included within the curriculum. The trend of Sekolah Alam (school of nature) can be a good model on how schooling and nature can work hand in hand to help students’ learning success.

There, students can learn how to interact with nature and grow with it without neglecting their academic contribution at school. The curriculum regulated within public school must be also adjusted to involve “go green” extracurricular activities which help them how to contribute in saving the nature, such as “go paperless”, water & energy saving, and tree plantation.

However, above all, it is always our individual contribution that matters the most. People must remember that we are all in this together. Nature belongs to everyone, not only for the current generation but also for the next generation.

When being ecologically intelligent is part of official recognition system from school, government, and media, the awareness to keep the planet safe will eventually emerge as part of our daily needs.

Written by

Kunto is a traveling addict who always gets excited to learn new things and discover the mystery of the world.

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