A Lesson from the Past
The idea of finding fossils always fascinated me as a child; it wasn’t the fossils that spoke to me as much as the idea of finding something that used to be part of the Earth. With time this fascination grew into an interest in all archeological discoveries including species and lost civilizations among other things. I would imagine how life was back then and wondered if people in the future will wonder about our present life. Somehow all this time there was always this voice in my head that these remains/fossils were living things that used to roam the Earth like many such living things today. One thing I never realized as a child was that I was living in an age where many such creatures were becoming extinct and the future generations might not even be able to relate to the idea of them. For them, vultures and common leopard could be what dinosaurs are for us. A creature that used to be on Earth and isn’t anymore, a creature the more imaginative humans make movies about and is admired for its special effects.
Nature has a way of balancing things, and all the components have a purpose. Species such as vultures serve a purpose in the wild and to our planet. Without them there would be an imbalance, causing damage to the Earth systems. Everything in nature has a life cycle like every product; there is an introduction phase, a growth phase, maturity and decline. Now it is for us to decide if we are in the growth or maturity phase? If we want to keep discovering and growing or have this Earth reached its maturity and there is only decline in the future. This Earth is in constant jeopardy and it is us who are single handedly destroying it. It is sad that this grim realization hasn’t dawned on us yet. Still ironically we are the only one who can do something about it.
All hope is not lost, even understanding why nature conservation is so important can do wonders for Earth. It is as imperative as building new technology, discovering new horizons and strategizing for economic war fares. I believe we owe it to ourselves, to our ancestors whose curiosity led to extraordinary discoveries and to the future generations who might not be able to exert their full potential because of our mistakes. I believe the aim should be to leave this Earth better than we found it.
Nadia Farooq is Senior Officer Compensation and Payroll, WWF-Pakistan.