Michael Succow

Visions and Thoughts

For too long, humans have fought against nature. We have used it like a quarry, have lifted ourselves above it, we want to dominate it. And now that we have caused immeasurable damage and irreversible losses, we experience a slow sense of discomfort, even compassion. But foremost we feel a sense of worry - worry about our own future, accompanied by doubt. Who is ultimately going to prove stronger, who will be victorious? Whither is this project “humanity” bound? Are we a project with an uncertain ending? How far can we humans remove ourselves from nature and exceed its carrying capacity before we suffer the consequences?

 

In this new millennium in human history we must finally understand that we can no longer act as nature’s rulers, exploit and destroy it. Instead, we must find peace with nature, we need to recognise its role as Creation. We must strive to coexist with nature, not squander its precious resources. We need to finally realize that we are an integral part of Earth’s fragile ecosystem.

 

I consider it my most pressing task to counteract the anthropogenic global changes in the ecological balance and the destruction of biodiversity! Again and again, on too large a scale, we have turned pristine, untouched and diverse natural ecosystems into worn-out, exhausted landscapes all over the world. As a result the preservation of ecosystem functionality, which ultimately forms the basis of our own existence, must be given top priority in all aspects of utilisation and exploitation of nature.

 

This also forces us to practise economic activities in accordance with nature – sustainable use. An important first step is the absolute protection of all natural areas as yet untouched by humans – preservation. The time has come for the long overdue validation of ecological services!

 

To call attention to nature, to realise its magnificence, its uniqueness and its vulnerability – to increase our awareness of these issues is a major goal of my foundation. The preservation of nature is not a luxury but one of the most important social services to ensure the continuation of human society. Let us give nature room and time to grow, and let us practise preservation and sustainability – for the sake of our own future.