Our Story

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HOW IT BEGAN

Our story starts last Autumn at a gathering at the Eden Project in Cornwall. It was there that the Oxford English Dictionary definition of nature was shared with us.

‘The phenomena of the physical world collectively; esp. plants, animals, and other features and products of the earth itself, as opposed to humans.’

It stopped us in our tracks. To be told that we were excluded from Nature felt like being told that we were not part of our family. Lawyers for Nature and House of Hackney were already collaborating on a project to appoint Nature and Future Generations to the Board at House of Hackney, and we decided to work together to change the definition of nature.

If you are part of something you care for it. You take responsibility for it. You respect it, you protect it. You give gratitude for it. You spend time with it. The opposite is also undoubtedly true. How could we care for and protect Nature if we perceive ourselves as being separate from it?

This narrative of separation has contributed to the environmental crises we are in today. We are a part of a sacred web of life with all living organisms including plants, animals, rivers, mountains, oceans, and their living systems which have equal rights to exist and thrive. Nature is our lifeforce and what we do to Nature we do to ourselves.

We have been pursuing infinite growth on a finite planet with insufficient concern
for its impact upon the natural world and the dictionary definition of nature reflects this separation.

Dictionaries and their definitions reflect the words and the meanings of the time.
They act as a mirror to our culture, society, and views. As the single most important authority in understanding the accurate meaning of a word in the entire English-speaking world, the definition of a word can have a powerful impact, both positively and negatively on outcomes and behaviours of humans. This is quite a responsibility.

There is a promising movement towards a more eco-centric view of considering ourselves a part of Nature.

It is encouraging to see the growing global Rights of Nature movement where ecosystems such as rivers, lakes and mountains are given legal personhood in the same manner as human beings, recognising that Nature has the same inherent rights to exist and thrive as any of us.

Nature’s voice is being brought into our decision-making forums. Companies are starting to ensure that Nature’s interests are being represented in company decision-making, for example Faith in Nature and House of Hackney have both appointed Nature to their Board.

We believe the definitions of nature are both inaccurate and have the potential to negatively impact how we consider the Nature in our behaviours and actions. This separation is contributing to the decline of the natural world.

Our aim with the #WeAreNature campaign is to persuade dictionaries to modify their definition, to include humans as part of Nature, not separate from it, so that when decisions are being made that impact Nature, they are taken with a deep consideration for the natural world, realising that any actions that harm Nature harm us all…as we are Nature. This will hopefully encourage us collectively to take the urgent action needed to protect the natural world upon which we depend on for our survival.

“As we move towards a high state of awareness and consciousness and find a deeper connection to Nature, it's important to challenge our everyday in order to make things better for future generations. A dictionary definition is important on so many fundamental levels, creatively and tangibly, because language plays a crucial role in our very understanding of the world.” - Javvy M Royle, House of Hackney
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NATURE IS FOR ALL

The impact of your support has the power to help truly consider Nature as our Home.

What we believe about our place in Nature, largely determines how we perceive, value, shape and interact with it.

If you have any ideas, thoughts, or would like to collaborate:
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