By Paul Jimbo.
Many at times we talk about deforestation or environmental destruction and leave the whole matter at that.
In this commentary, I am going to engage my readers on the above subject matter, which simply amplifies one approach to forest conservation or to a larger extent environmental conservation.
Having attended UN several Climate Change conferences, I’m privileged to own some knowledge that would add value to my readers in the whole concept of environmental conservation.
Human activities such as deforestation or forest destruction, wanton sand harvesting, irresponsible diversion of waters for irrigation and the on-going illicit charcoal trade are just but a few ways we massively contribute to climate change.
Though climate change is a phenomenon that is science related, I would like to justify how human activities contribute to climate change.
According to Wikipedia- Climate change occurs when changes in Earth’s climate system result in new weather patterns that last for at least a few decades, and maybe for millions of years.
The climate system comprises five interacting parts, the atmosphere (air), hydrosphere (water), cryosphere (ice and permafrost), biosphere (living things), and lithosphere (earth’s crust and upper mantle).
The climate system receives nearly all of its energy from the sun, with a relatively tiny amount from earth’s interior.
The climate system also gives off energy to outer space. The balance of incoming and outgoing energy, and the passage of the energy through the climate system, determines Earth’s energy budget.
When the incoming energy is greater than the outgoing energy, earth’s energy budget is positive and the climate system is warming. If more energy goes out, the energy budget is negative and earth experiences cooling.
Forest conservation is the practice of planning and maintaining forested areas for the benefit and sustainability of future generations.
Forest conservation involves the upkeep of the natural resources within a forest that are beneficial to both humans and the ecosystem. Forest conservation acts to maintain, plan, and improve forested areas.
When we destroy forests like happens today across the country, we are simply exposing our land to adverse whether including draught, floods and all sorts of natural catastrophes.
It is a fact that human beings have to survive but again, that survival must come with responsibility.
We should have some controls, especially if we want to enjoy good weather and bounty harvests.
All water catchment areas including forests and water sources should be protected to avoid the aforementioned natural disasters.
Food production is essential to food security and so the justification that we need to encourage rural communities to engage into more farming.
It means we have to sensitise the rural communities on the need to protect and conserve the environment even as they engage in farming activities.
Their agricultural activities have to be seen to be promoting environmental conservation and this include agro-farming.
This is the concept where farmers are allowed to till their land for food production without destroying forests.
One of the major reasons why some individuals deliberately destroy forests is poverty and indeed rural communities are more prone to poverty.
The many challenges they face force them into charcoal business and this means wanton tree cutting to meet the high demand for the commodity in the market.
To them, the end product is what matters not the consequences of their actions.
These rural communities should be targeted in a massive knowledge and advocacy campaign aimed at creating awareness on forest conservation through agro-forestry.