The high Himalaya, verdant peninsular forests, sparkling wetlands, mighty rivers, rolling grasslands and productive coasts – we have been blessed with all these and more. There was a time when some people believed that protecting this wealth was an animal rights issue, and testily asked advocates of wildlife conservation: “Are tigers more important than humans?” Fortunately, no one any longer disputes the fact that floods, droughts and climate change are a direct result of unwise land use – primarily deforestation coupled with uncontrolled industrialisation and chemical agriculture. Put another way, ecological destruction inevitably lowers the quality of human life. By contrast, scientists confirm that protecting the natural habitats of the wild animals that have been depicted on these pages is the most efficient, most economical way out of the climate change crisis that threatens to overwhelm us all.
India Naturally seeks to sow seeds of appreciation for the beauty and worth of our nation’s incredible wildernesses. And to communicate that the most valuable assets we can pass on to our children are living forests, clean rivers, healthy soils and a stable climate. In working towards this objective, the authors gently point out that those of us lucky to be living in India today will reap the benefit of a revitalised spirit, which is one of the most enduring gifts that nature offers to all who surrender themselves to its magical charm.