Long ago, through the eyes of a child, I saw the world as a vast, unconquerable expanse. I pictured tangled green jungles teeming with wildlife, deserts burning in sunlight and chilling in moonlight, oceans swimming with colour, and amazing creatures. The wonder of Nature beckoned and nurtured me and everyone I knew. I saw the natural world as complex and mysterious, and far more powerful than humans could ever be.
Feeling reverence toward trees, plants, animals, streams, mountains, lakes—all of the natural world—my happiest dreams were of living more closely connected with our beautiful planet. Now that I have retired as a lawyer and stepped away from years of office work, the wonder and beauty of Nature continue to nourish and inspire me.
Learning about the intense environmental stress impacting the Earth has led me to think about how I can contribute to protecting the intricate interconnectedness of all life on our planet. When I discovered MAPS, I wanted to join with others to encourage choices that would assure protection for Nature, starting with the Arctic Ocean wilderness at the top of our world. I signed the MAPS petition and made a donation. After a while, I decided I would set up monthly donations as a way of sharing in the MAPS effort to safeguard the Arctic polar sea region, which I learned was an important first step toward addressing global climate challenges.
Honouring the Wonder of Nature
When the organization’s general counsel asked me to review some of the footnotes included in a memorandum supporting the need for an international treaty, I had an opportunity to look at reports from United Nations affiliated groups, universities, non-governmental organizations and others. All pointed to the serious environmental changes occurring and accelerating on the planet. I could see that proposing a treaty creating a Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary (MAPS) provided a way to begin responding to these concerns. The treaty offers a positive, workable solution that will allow the countries of the world to join together in protecting the planet.
As the MAPS efforts expanded, I accepted an invitation to become more actively involved, by serving for a year on the Board of Directors for the US foundation. Now I am learning all about the skills needed to structure and operate a non-profit that is part of an all-volunteer, international organization. I feel honoured to serve in this way, and to be part of a worldwide community of volunteers uniting in an effort to care for Nature, our beloved world, and all of its inhabitants.
Ann Harvey is the former Assistant Attorney General at the State of New Mexico. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors for Parvati Foundation (United States).