Essay Title

Nature and Me: Our Role in Achieving a Sustainable World


Nature, the origin of life, is humble but powerful. She plays a crucial role in regulating climate, water cycles, and biodiversity, which are vital for sustaining life on Earth. She shelters all, bearing, nurturing, and educating human beings.


Dozens of years have seen the transformation of human society, from industrial production to electronic development. However, many less-developed countries are still in the industrialization stage, struggling with industrial waste and pollution. The present world is still held up by various environmental problems, like global warming, desertification, and nuclear wastewater discharge, all of which harm the interests of mankind. The UN, which steers the world’s general developing direction, encourages all parts of the world to strive to develop in an environment-friendly manner. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, outlines a global commitment to achieve sustainable development and calls for narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor, improving people’s well-being, and striving for common prosperity. Central to this agenda is our role and relationship with nature. 


Nature is a giver, providing us with what we rely on for existence such as clean air, water, food, and raw materials for economic activities. When we enjoy using these essential resources, how to use them in moderation is a task for all countries and individuals to address. Over the years, we have witnessed how industrial development damaged our environment. Air pollution caused by vehicle emissions, heavy use of fossil fuels, dust and burning of waste, leads to acid rain and frequent smoggy weather; ocean development leads to improper disposal of wastewater and plastic that cause harm to marine life through ingestion and entanglement, and result in marine ecosystem degradation; the use of pesticides and fertilizers contaminates soil, degrading its fertility and affecting crop productivity. All of these disrupt the balance of ecosystems, impacting biodiversity and the overall health of the environment. 


Nevertheless, leading by the remarkable vision demonstrated by the UN, most countries have realized the significance of protecting nature rather than exploiting resources uncontrollably. For example, many nations encourage circular economy and renewable energy transition that promotes resource efficiency, reduces the ecological footprint, and cuts down greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels. China, the world’s second-largest economy, has declared that it will not follow the old pattern of “grow first, clean up later” and that the country has embraced the philosophy that “Green waters and lush mountains are mountains of gold and silver”. This shows China’s ambition to achieve man-nature harmony during modernization. As humans are living in a shared community, developed countries characterized by high-tech industries should shoulder the responsibility of providing assistance to countries in need. 

It is also necessary to integrate SDGs into individuals’ living style. The quality of the environment not only relates to the whole human fate but also links to personal welfare. Exploring our connection with nature helps us better protect it. Nature can be a source of inspiration and well-being. Spending time in nature promotes physical and mental well-being, creativity, and a sense of connectedness. Whenever we feel distressed or exhausted, walking into nature is the best medicine. Therefore, everyone should adopt eco-friendly practices like reducing waste, conserving energy and water, and supporting local and organic products. Many communities and schools have incentivized people to engage in local conservation projects such as tree planting, habitat restoration, and waste reduction initiatives. Environmental education is also promoted to raise awareness about the importance of nature and sustainable living.


Individual relationship with nature has been a journey of discovery, growth, and action. For children, who are in the stage where curiosity and exploration are strongest, nature is their most intimate friend. Leaves, flowers, and insects are the source of happiness. As we grow up, we have been taught the importance of preserving our planet’s natural resources, appreciating its beauty, and finding solace in its embrace. As we face unprecedented environmental challenges, it is crucial that we recognize our responsibility as individuals to protect nature and become active participants in its preservation. A sustainable world envisions humans living in harmony with nature, recognizing the intrinsic value of all living beings and ecosystems.

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Photo by Narcisa Aciko:

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