The Circle of Life: International Biodiversity Day

May 19, 2021 | written by:

Few things in the world can make my heart beat faster than the first thumping notes of The Lion King, ever since I first heard them with my legs not even touching the ground in the dark of the cinema.

Do you remember the refrain?


It's the circle of life

and it moves us all

'Til we find our place

On the path unwinding,

In the circle

The circle of life


As well as powerfully vibrating in your chest, these stanzas carry a very timely thought, and much deeper than you might expect from a children's film: we are all part of the great circle of life.


I wonder if this might also be the favourite song of Michelle Nijhuis, an American journalist who has been writing about climate issues for decades, for some of the world's most prestigious publications, from National Geographic to the New York Times Magazine.


In her latest article for Yale's blog, Yale Environment 360, Nijhuis reminds us how our existence is interconnected and interdependent with that of other animal species, 'not just because viruses from their bodies can enter ours, but because we survive thanks to the soil they fertilise and the plants they pollinate'.


The very concept of nature, according to the journalist, is foggy, because it creates a distance between us and the natural world. And you know, it is easier to destroy that which we perceive to be different from us. 


But this trend is beginning to reverse: today we talk about biodiversity, where before we would have talked about nature, because it better conveys the idea of complex, teeming and constantly evolving life.


And we are also beginning to talk about inalienable rights for animal species and their habitats, an idea that still sounds revolutionary, but no more so than the eight-hour working day or the vote for women did a few years ago.


At Treedom, we believe in solidarity between species. So much so that we plant both fruit trees and forest species on the same land where classic annual crops (such as maize, beans or cassava) are planted. This coexistence of species provides shelter and nourishment for different plant and animal species, is more resistant to disease and is a haven for pollinating insects;


Because nature is a web: to pull one thread is to change the whole weave.


https://wwnorton.com/books/9781324001683

https://www.lse.ac.uk/sociology/people/carrie-friese

https://e360.yale.edu/features/species-solidarity-rediscovering-our-connection-to-the-web-of-life

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