We were born of this earth. We are an integral part of the community of all life. Our own lives are connected with countless lives of other creatures, and conversely those countless lives are also interconnected with our individual being. Nothing and no one stands on ones own.
Once we cease to experience this feeling of unity, we have severed the connection with the wondrous flow of life within our very own being. Not only does this culminate in feelings of alienation and isolation, but it also opens the door towards exploitation of the earth and nature, loss of respect for our fellow human being and exhaustion of our own life force.
If we can no longer experience these connections, we sever our own inner connection with the wondrous flow of life; nature. This not only leads to feelings of alienation and isolation, but also opens up a path towards an extortion of the earth, a loss of respect for our fellow human beings and an exhaustion of our own life force.
It is an accepted worldwide belief today that the well-being of the earth, and the diversity of other life forms require a dedicated effort on our behalf. Scientists and many others are striving to find ways and means to repair the damage that we as human beings have inflicted upon nature, to protect her and to prevent the scarcity conflict of natural recourses. Internationally, environmental pacts are decreed, and people are working towards building the foundations of peace. These efforts reveal tangible evidence of a newly arising consciousness. The consciousness that the well-being of every living creature is inextricably linked to the well-being of our own lives. This ''inner aspect of sustainability'' is centre stage of the NatureCollege Foundation, but if we really wish to make a profound difference, we need to establish a platform to expand and carry this vision to the public at large.
Sustainability is a hot topic in our world today. However, the social developments surrounding this theme tend to primarily focus around technological solutions and regulations, which actually touches only on what we could call the ''outer side'' of sustainability. What manifests on the ‘’outer’’ side, however, is largely determined by personal motives and political choices based on underlying social and world perspectives. These views, or inner perspectives, are a determining factor of our attitude to life: “the inner side” of sustainability. The discussions about sustainability can only really become meaningful once we reflect upon the connection between the ''inner'' and the ''outer'' side.
In 1999, the first tentative steps were developed towards the creation of a foundation, which resulted in the establishment of the NatureCollege Foundation two years later. The insight that we are part of the diversity of nature both biologically and spiritually forms the basis of her body of thought. Human beings and nature are essentially one, and from that very realisation we shape our lives day by day. Partly owing to our human consciousness we are able to acknowledge the intrinsic value of each species, as well as the underlying cohesion of the ecosystems. This awareness brings about an added responsibility to the manner in which we think and act. I meet people all over the world who share this life vision. The NatureCollege Foundation is committed to revaluing the relationship between human beings and nature. Through this mission, the NatureCollege Foundation contributes towards a growing awareness and acknowledgement of the interconnection of all life on earth.
In the years to come, we will, with your valued help and support, strive to both improve and expand the number of our projects. I look forward to your participation in our activities, which will hopefully inspire you to the development of your own initiatives. In this manner, the NatureCollege Foundation can truly be the pebble in the water that creates the longed-for ripples towards change.
Irene van Lippe-Biesterfeld
H.R.H. Prinses Irene of the Netherlands