Yet we have so disconnected ourselves from the natural world; the rise of technology and industry may have distanced us superficially from nature, but it has not changed our reliance on the natural world: most of what we use and consume on a daily basis remains the product of multitudes of interactions within nature.

There is no question that Earth has been a giving planet. Everything humans have needed to survive, and thrive, was provided by the natural world around us.  Food, water, medicine, materials for shelter, and even natural cycles such as climate and nutrients. Beyond such physical goods, the natural world provides less tangible, but just as important, gifts in terms of beauty, art, and spirituality.


Fresh water:

There is no physical substance humans require more than freshwater, according to research, the more bio-diverse the ecosystem, the faster and more efficiently water is purified


Imagine trying to pollinate every apple blossom in an orchard: this is what nature does for us. Insects, birds, and even some mammals, pollinate the world’s plants, including much of human agriculture. Around 80% of the world’s plants require a different species to act as pollinator.

Seed dispersal:

Much like pollination, many of the world’s plants require other species to move their seeds from the parent plant to new sprouting ground. Seeds are dispersed by an incredibly wide-variety of players: insects, birds, bats, rodents…

Pest control:

Almost all agricultural pests have natural enemies, along with bats, these include birds, spiders, parasitic wasps and flies, fungi, and viral diseases. The loss, or even decline, of such pest-eating predators can have massive impacts on agriculture and ecosystems.

Soil health:

The ground under our feet matters more than we often admit. Healthy fertile soil provides optimal homes for plants, while participating in a number of natural cycles: from recycling nutrients to purifying water. Although soil is renewable, it is also sensitive to overuse and degradation often due to industrial agriculture, pollution, and fertilizers.


Nature is our greatest medicine cabinet: to date it has provided humankind with a multitude of life-saving medicines from quinine to aspirin, and from morphine to numerous cancer and HIV-fighting drugs. There is no question that additionally important medications—perhaps even miracle cures—lie untapped in the world’s ecosystems.

Biodiversity and wildlife abundance:

The argument to save the world’s wildlife has often come from an aesthetic point of view. Biodiversity produces food, fibers, wood products; it cleans water, controls agricultural pests, pollinates the world plants; and provides recreation, such as bird watching, gardening, diving, and ecotourism.


Recent research has found what nature-lovers have long expected: spending time in a green space, such as a park, provides benefits for one’s mental and physical health. Exercising in a park, instead of inside a gym, has shown to provide mental health benefits as a greater sense of well-being.



Imagine poetry without flowers, painting without landscapes, or film without scenery. There is no question that the natural world has provided global arts with some of its greatest subjects. What we lose in nature, we also lose in art.


While some of what nature provides us is measurable, most of what nature gives us is simply beyond measure. Economists, Scientists, Psychologists all highlight the importance of nature, but no one can truly even get close to what means, practically and aesthetically, to each of us.