KABALE — The recent unexpected heavy rains across the country that paralyzed business and led to loss of homes and livelihoods to many Ugandans are the indicators that the devastating effects of climate change are escalating.
Unlike in the past where it was reported that Uganda was losing approximately 90,000 hectares between 1990 and 2010 of forest cover annually, the recent studies conducted by Africa Natural Resources Institute indicated that forest cover loss has now increased to an estimated 200,000 hectares annually.
Depletion of nature is accelerating even when Uganda has, in the last one or so decades, carried out several Policies, Legal and Institutional Reforms in a move to promote nature conservation and sustainable use of the country’s natural resources.
What bothers me is that the current rate of loss of nature at national and global levels refers to NO precedent in human history.
I then challenge fellow youths, why allow this happen in our era?
The continued loss of nature is entirely on the unscrupulous human behaviors.
On a basic understanding, man survives on food, water and air that he breathes. However, it seems like man has just kept a deaf ear and a blind eye on protecting and upholding mother nature for his continued better stay on earth.
If you could imagine, how many people in your community understand the vital importance of nature? If not mistaken, very few people do and these don’t recognize the huge threats it faces. For some portion of the community members in our societies, nature is less important and miles away from them and those in cities may only experience nature their TV screens and remain disconnected and unaware how nature is impacting and underpinning their lives.
Look! Here is an opportunity to utilize during this “double year” of 2020 to set a new direction for our society as we create a harmonious living between man and nature.
Individuals can support nature-based solutions by making ethical purchase choices, restoring nature where they live through tree planting and using renewable energy. They can also waste less, join movements that advocate for nature conservation and educate themselves and others more widely on these issues.
It is incumbent each one of us from the political sphere, business sector, private sector and more so the youths to raise more awareness about the benefits of nature conservation to our communities and generations to come.
Remember, the future direction of three big United Nations (UN) policy mechanisms; the international climate change agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Convention on Biological Diversity will be decided on in 2020.
This 2020, lets change the way we live to protect the environment
This writer, Happy Ali is a Communications Officer at WWF-Uganda