Our Nature

We live in a world highly influenced by humans, but that was not always the case. Modern humans evolved for tens of millennia as small groups of hunter-gathers. Our ancestors hunted, fished and gathered plant products before learning to cultivate plants and domesticate animals. This formed our species in ways we are only just starting to understand.


Cave paintings show that respect for other animals has always been important. Hunting created the first nature reserves and anglers organise to restore rivers. Our first animal protection organisations were started by people who had gained empathy for companion animals.



Nowadays, humans tend to dominate nature and often harm it. Yet we all depend on nature for air to breath, clean water, and clement weather to grow crops. Many of us stay healthy through recreation in nature. We should all learn ways to manage nature well. If you enjoy wild foods or just love watching wildlife, you too can help conserve those resources.


Hunters and watchers of wildlife do not always cooperate, but they need to. Conflicts divert attention from threats to all, like climate change.  Using renewable resources sustainably is not different from using farmed produce, but better for conserving nature. Therefore, in 2004, an agreement to cooperate was signed in Europe between representatives of government, hunting and bird-watching. These groups are prominent among 1300 organisations in our International Union for Conservation of Nature, which represents nature conservation at the United Nations. We run this network to encourage conservation by all who benefit from wild living resources.