Photo Credit: National Wildlife Federation
Kenya was not left behind in marking the 5th of June 2020 as the World Environment Day, under the theme ‘It is the time for nature’. As a country, our focus should be on how we deal with the factors that negatively impact our biodiversity.
On 22nd May 2020, we marked the International Day of Biological Diversity under the theme ‘Our solutions are in nature’. Diverse plant and animal life continue to be threatened as a result of our activities such as pollution from waste, the transformation of natural ecosystems to agricultural land and infrastructure, overexploitation of finite resources among others.
The ban on single-use plastic carrier bags in 2017 that has proved 80% success and the recent ban on single-use plastics in protected areas, shows the commitment of the Kenyan government to improve the country’s ecosystem. With studies showing that by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish, there is need for stringent measures such as the bans on easily littered single-use plastics. Apart from being a pollutant caused by our improper disposal, single-use plastic is mistaken for food by sea creatures that feed on them and end up dying in the long run. Plastics break into toxic micro plastics, end up in land and water and eventually in our food chain; and as a result, cause diseases. Plastic pollution clogs our drainage lines eventually causing floods; and it’s a common eyesore in Kenya’s urban areas.
It is saddening that marine animals like whales, turtles, and fish get entangled or feed on the plastics that we carelessly through away causing the death of some of these species. Our environment is slowly getting chocked with plastic and at some point, the land will no longer support plant growth. This will kill our natural forests and agricultural production unless we change our waste management ways.
Photo Credit: World Wildlife Fund
Toxic air causes environmental effects like death of forest, acid rain among other effects. Burning of fossil fuels has been associated with global warming. As the greenhouse gasses rise, the temperatures rise; affecting the arctic regions which are habitats to a diverse ecosystem. Adopting to renewable energy will help reduce the impact on climate change and in return preserve our biodiversity.
Economic development comes with infrastructural growth that leads to the clearing of land that affects both plant and animal life. When trees are cut down to create room for infrastructure, many native plants, insects, birds, and animals are killed or displaced completely; leading to life disruption. What are some of the innovative ways that we need to adopt and develop green cities that will preserve our natural ecosystems?
Overexploitation of our natural ecosystems through over mining or harvesting of resources should adopt circularity models. A mining industry should ensure that they practice continuous restoration of animal species by re-wilding them in the natural environment they work. Reforestation, re-introducing plants to the environment to maintain its originality.
With all this impact, we should not forget that our lives are dependent on biological biodiversity. From the food we eat, the water we drink, and even the air we breathe to supporting other lives such as plants and animals. Our health sector is dependent on biodiversity; research shows that 60% of the human population depends on plant medicine for primary health.
Let’s learn to co-exist and live in harmony with nature and nature will reward us with a sustainable ecosystem that will support even our future generation with a smile!
Article By Pracksidis A. Wandera
Admin & Events Officer Sustainable Inclusive Business Kenya