We know that people depend on nature to provide everything needed to be healthy and alive. We use air to breathe; fresh water to drink, bathe and water our crops; soil to grow our food including plants and animals; hills, mountains and forests for building materiel; oceans and rivers for fishing, travelling, as a source of power to light our homes or run our machines and dispose of our waste. Not only this, we use nature for exercise and pleasure-activities like trekking in forests or mountains and the sea for beach holidays. Nature is also part of our religion and is a subject for beautiful paintings poems and stories. All of these benefits that we get from nature are known as ‘ecosystem services’.
Now since people use nature for their own benefits, to live, make money and get wealthy, conservationists say we should assign a price to all such benefits. In this way we will appreciate and understand the true value of nature and care about nature in the way that we look after other things we buy – the best toy, an expensive car or beautiful house, keeping these safe, caring for and cleaning them each day.
To explain this in a simple way – what if we had to pay the river instead of the government some money each time we used a bucket of water for our basic routine of bathing each day? A bath keeps us healthy and saves us a lot of money that we would otherwise have to spend on a trip to the doctor, his fee and medicines, as well as loss of money we could have earned in the time we were unwell. Suppose we say that this could probably cost us around Rs. 500 or even Rs. 5000.00. So if each of us were to pay into Ms Ganga Devi’s bank account money for all the water we use, Ms. Ganga Devi would be one very rich lady for providing this important ecosystem service! And we would also need pay each tree for all the oxygen it gives us to breathe.
So conservationists say we must put a money value on all parts of nature that we take so freely - the air we breathe, water we drink or bathe with, the plants and animals we use for food and medicines, as well as the trees and mountains, whose wood and stones we use to make our homes, schools, offices and hospitals. Many are unseen values like the oxygen that forests provide, the water cycle, and rivers that originate high in mountains. Nature gives us everything that helps us live happy and comfortable lives.
To raise awareness about the value of nature and its conservation, WWF-India presents the theme for the Wild Wisdom Quiz 2018 – "THE PRICE OF OUR PLANET"
This theme will highlight the significance of our irreplaceable natural resources – forests and wildlife, oceans and rivers, plants and animals and our never-ending use of these resources. Through the quiz, each student will learn about
• How your choice will impact plants and animals that live both near and far, perhaps even on a different continent;
• How all living things that make up nature's web are so wonderful and varied, yet similar in their need to survive;
• The wonderful adaptations of so many plants and animals, some of which cannot live or thrive without the other.
• New discoveries and extinction,
• The many things in our lives today that are nature-inspired – from art and culture to science and technology
• Best practices and the use of sustainable innovation.
In short the Wild Wisdom Quiz will help to give us the wisdom to choose what and how much we use, leaving at least half the earth for all the other animals and plants to live, thrive and survive. As the great leader Mahatma Gandhi said - "The earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed"
You can act now to help save the environment and learn to live in harmony with nature.