Group of hikers on beautiful mountains and hills

What does nature mean to you?

Life, beauty, divinity... nature is lots of things to lots of people

From 3–10 December, the GLF team is in Dubai reporting from COP28. Follow us here for live updates, interviews and daily wrap-ups.

Taken literally, nature is just a collection of things – plants, animals, landscapes, sky – basically anything not made by humans. But in reality, our relationship with nature goes far beyond seeing it as just a collection of objects.

Day 10 of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) focused on the theme of nature – and we set out to see what that actually means.

Janice Ochieng
“Nature, and me, is the wholeness of life. Without nature, we cannot get our food, we cannot breathe, we don’t have a shelter. So, nature is life and we are given nature to take care of it. So, we have a responsibility as people to ensure that our nature is thriving for now and for future generations.”

Fernando Morales de Rueda
“For me, nature is the beauty of feeling at home. I just feel it, when I enter a forest and you feel instantly that your body is relaxed, you feel inspired, you feel connected with yourself. So, for me, it’s the beauty of feeling at home – and that means that you’re protected with nature, protected from all the environmental hazards and the conflicts, and we can actually feel nature as part of our solutions to many of our challenges, from climate justice to food provision, to alleviating climate impacts.

So, for me, nature feels like home, like safety. And maybe if we protect and restore nature, we’re protecting ourselves and we’re protecting the ones we love. That’s nature for me.”

Caroline Chen
“Nature means things that are not destroyed by humans, things that you can go and just enjoy. The animals, the fresh air, the ocean, the lakes, the beautiful clouds without smog. That’s nature.”

“I’m a big fan of nature. I love being in nature with all that comes with, from insects to animals. I’ve been camping for most of my life since I was quite young, and I like to keep a small part of nature at home as much as I can, so I like to keep some green stuff at home – I always have plants living at home.”

Jonathan Hendry
“Nature means something that we save, nature means something we understand more and more because it’s benefited us so much – that it can continue to benefit us, and so we need to look after it, otherwise it won’t benefit us – there are so many reasons just to be selfish and look after it, let alone all of the reasons to not be selfish and look after it!”

Mohammed Hassan
“Nature means a lot, and we are trying within the project that I’m managing to use nature-based solutions for coastal protection. This helps a lot in maintaining nature and living with it rather than deteriorating the environment.”

Orouate Ouska Dula Walidou
“Nature is everything that surrounds us. It’s all those things that enable a human to survive: thanks to nature, we can breath, we can find food, we can live comfortably.

Nature is life.”

What does nature mean to you? Join the conversation over on the GLF Instagram page to share your thoughts.

Some quotes have been edited for length and clarity.

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