Monday, 20 March 2017

Humans do not destroy your only home, conservationists advice

 A new report by World Wide Fund for Nature WWF, Living Planet Report 2016 , has revealed that about two thirds of wildlife globally could decline by 2020, within 50 years.

According to the report from 1970-2012 there was a 58 per cent decline in vertebrate population sizes.

WWF has attributed this to unsustainable use of natural resources by humans.

“Scientific evidence shows that we are surpassing the boundaries of what the planet can cope with. There also has been evidence of wasteful use of natural resources,” said Fred Kwame Africa Regional Director, WWF Africa during the release of the report in Kenya.

Excessive exploitation of forests and water bodies can adversely affect the natural habitat of wild animals and marine life.

Pollution on the other hand affects the well-being of bio diversity on the planet.

Living Planet Report 2016 states that increased human pressure threatens the natural resources that human depends upon, increasing the risk of water and food insecurity and competition over natural resources.

Sustainable consumption

Speaking in Nairobi, Kwame called for wise consumption in order to ensure a balance of the ecosystem.

“This is crosscutting at every level; at the individual, corporate, and individual level. Our lifestyles need to change. What we consume matters. What you wear what you eat has to be produced by someone. What you drive has to be fuelled. And all that adds up when it comes to environment conservation. The little choices we make at an individual level can make a difference,” he advised.

Kwame added that in the corporate world consumption should be managed where wastes and loss are better handled.

Kwame reiterated that such decisions looked simple but they always contribute in creating a balance for the world.

“If we produce better, if we consume better, and we preserve the natural capital that we have, we will reap the dividends. We will have a world where the ecosystem is intact and continues to provide environmental services to all us,” he remarked.

“We will have a world where food, water and energy security will be sustained as all these things are interlinked. We only have one world and we should stand up and speak up because this is an issue that concerns all of us.”

The report also shows that food production systems are putting major pressure on the ecosystem.

“We need to shift to agricultural methods that focus on yield optimization,” said Jared Bosire, Conservation Director for WWF, during the launch of Living Planet Report 2016.

Sustainable Development Goal SDG 12 calls for sustainable consumption and production patterns.

Development as expense of environment conservation

Meanwhile WWF has explained importance of development projects adding that they should not be at the cost disturbing the ecosystem.

“The Standard Gauge Railway SGR should not pass through the Nairobi National Park as it interferes with the wildlife’s way of life. This affects wildlife corridors making it difficult for animals to move freely. This might cause animals to trespass into human settlements and this is dangerous,” Bosire remarked.

 Bosire suggested that although costly, the government could opt for an alternative route for the SGR.

“Kenya has a treasure that no other country possesses; a national park within a capital city. Nature can be unforgiving. Building a railway line inside Nairobi National Park could cause environmental degradation,” concluded Kwame.