What comes to mind when you hear the term "web of life"? You would probably think of the complex existence of different plants and animal species in a balanced ecosystem and each component has a place in the food chain. Every single entity depends on each other whether directly or through interactions with other species.
Thousands of different cultures have developed owing to close interaction with nature and also one another. It is not exaggerating to say that local culture, language and lifestyle are constantly influenced and dictated by the environment and landscape in which people live for multiple generations over.
This is the 'real' web of life: the close relationship of nature and culture. It is called biodiversity and cultural diversity or "biocultural diversity". It is the complex expression of beauty and life's potential of every living creature created by God. Diversity in nature and culture makes survival in our ever changing planet earth possible for many generations to come.
Biodiversity and cultural diversity are irreplaceable but we are taking everything for granted. Our economic, political and social actions are disrupting the health of the planet's ecosystem and culture, confusing the younger generations and silencing the voice of native minorities. The walls of extinction are closing in on diversity in all it's forms. The nodes of inter-connectivity in nature and culture is unraveling, negatively affecting the integrity of our biocultural world.
The direct impact caused by the loss of biocultural diversity is heavy on indigenous peoples and local communities, but no one will be spared. All of us have roots in culture, no matter how disconnected we are. The task of restoring and sustaining the diversity in nature and culture is a cause that all of us must own, regardless of who we are, how we live and where we reside.