Humankind’s greatest priority is to reintegrate with the natural world.

-Jonathon Porritt

Today is World Wildlife Day. It’s a day set aside every year by the global community to celebrate the Earth’s fauna and flora. While days like these are important reminders of how vital it is that we work as a community to protect the environment, a handful of days throughout year isn’t enough. Protecting the environment requires more from us, it requires that as individuals and as communities we reconnect and reintegrate with the natural world.

We used to be aware of how reliant we are on the environment. We understood how we fit into the greater context of nature. Out of respect and necessity, our ancestors had a deep and abiding connection with the world around them. Whether they liked it or not, every day was World Wildlife Day.

Tingana male leopard scales a termite mound.

(Image Credit: Scott Dyson)

Sadly, somewhere along the way we lost this connection, putting both the earth and humanity at risk. We’ve lost knowledge, modes of being and the deep respect for that which our survival depends upon. Re-establishing that connection won’t be easy. In fact, it will likely be inconvenient and uncomfortable. It may, however, prove to be deeply satisfying.

This is precisely the primary aim of safariLIVE. Learning about nature is a vital part of our reintegration process. Once we understand and appreciate the beauty and complexity of the natural world, it becomes second-nature to celebrate and protect it. Our hope is that through exploring the wilderness with us on a daily basis, our online community will start looking more closely at the wildlife and ecosystems where they live.

Tiny lion cub glances at the camera over his shoulder.

(Image Credit: Fergus Clark)

Rather than taking one day to celebrate fauna and flora, take the time every day to reintegrate with the natural world. Spend time outside. Consider environmental costs, not just monetary costs. Be willing to make personal and social sacrifices. Ponder the ways society encourages our disconnection from nature. Our collective future must look different from our collective past. Daily habits must be broken, and status quo mindsets must be reconfigured. It’s not enough to protect the natural world, we must relearn how to engage with it, even putting ourselves under its protection.

This year the focus of World Wildlife Day is the protection of the world’s big cats. It is easy to say that these vulnerable cats need protection; harder to admit is that they need protection from us. To protect them we must first fundamentally change ourselves. For more information check out the official UN World Wildlife Day web page.

Author – Ashley Wall