Chasing Resources

According to the Oxford Dictionary, natural resources are materials or substances occurring in nature that can be exploited for economic gain. This textbook definition explains a lot about how we treat them. When we consider trees to be merely a ‘substance occurring in nature that can be exploited for economic gain’, then cutting down trees for economy driving activities seems logical. Our current ecological crisis in a way stems from the fact that humans have equated everything to the value they bring to our economy, and this will come back to bite our children and grandchildren in the years to come.

We need an alternative if we are to ever to slow down our pace towards impending ecological catastrophe. One such way is to reimagine how we view ‘Natural Resources’. The very word ‘resource’ implies that there needs to be some form of exploitation, so what if we consider them to be heirlooms? An heirloom by definition is ‘A valuable object that has belonged to a family for several generations’. Nobody owns an heirloom, it only survives if it gets passed on from generation to generation in an almost intact condition. focus on the fact that none of us own resources we are merely stewards maintaining ‘Natural Heirloom’ for the generations to come.

By merely renaming ‘Natural Resources’ to ‘Natural Heirloom’, we are accepting that we don’t own nature, we are merely maintaining them for the generations to come.

‘We don’t inherit the environment from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.’ - The Native Americans were aware of the fact that taking care of tour surrounding is our responsibility to our children, it's time we start using this traditional knowledge to help fight a better tomorrow for our children.

Anoushka Viegas

Programme Coordinator