Time is the most precious commodity not even gold and diamond can compare to time .Its thus flattering when a group of young people decide to put every other business they have behind them and be part of a 10Km walk in Karura Forest to create awareness on the need for conservation of forests.
The world is celebrating the global goals week and goal 13 on climate action is one of the seventeen sustainable development goals and one of the most important ones .This is because if we don’t conserve our planet right now we will have everything else but no future. A poorly conserved planet means we will slowly succumb to illnesses and disease.
The Green walk team has taken the initiative to stand with Karura forest a forest found near Nairobi the capital city of Kenya .Due its proximity to the city centre it’s been prone to grabbing by rich business moguls whose aim is to turn the forest area into an industry area where they build malls and hotels to make them more money to the detriment of our health. Such development will leave the rest of us prone to problems that arise due to climate change. deforestation and encroachment of riparian reserves have nothing but negative effects such as destruction of the ozone layer and increase in carbon emissions that we cannot allow .The general public does not understand the dangers of deforestation and they be interested in reaping from the short term benefits of job creation that will arise from commercializing Karura forest but we cannot let this happen. That is why efforts of young people such as The Green Walk Team cannot go unnoticed and bodies in government including the Ministry of environment should support and encourage more young people to join this initiatives bent on conservation of currently forested land and afforestation.
The plan of The Green Walk team is to compliment the environmental activities done by other stakeholders within the forest and to also better the lives of the people living around Karura Forest. Their goal of providing clean water and sanitation to communities in Nairobi is a noble one and is in line with Sustainable goal 6 on provision of clean water and Sanitation to all. Youth is fleeting but we must say that this young people are putting theirs to a good use. Care to be a green walker? Visit their website http://www.thegreenwalk.org/
Climate change is considered a boring topic by most young people. It’s not one of the things that will pop up in their discussions over coffee, pizza or a couple of cocktails yet it’s one that directly affects the quality of life they are living now and that of their future.
This lack of interest or what I would could call ignorance on their part should worry us to appoint of enjoining them in this climate change debate. Whether we are aware or not our world’s ecosystem continues to suffer from continued pollution and vandalism by our activities.
Climate change is real and here with us, people are losing lives to diseases caused by pollution, natural habitats including forests and lands bordering oceans have been lost. This is why am choosing to join the climate justice movement. A movement that consists of individuals that intentionally choose to give their time and where possible resources to find the root causes of global warming and then work towards the elimination of such causes. They are the voice of our world that is continuously being exploited by its inhabitants yet it cannot speak for itself.
Climate change is a product of globalization. Its main causes being capitalism and gender inequality embodied in our largely accepted patriarchal system where women end up bearing the largest burden of climate change. The widening gap between the rich and the poor can also be seen as a contributor to climate change because as the rich get richer from drilling oil wells and building mega cities on land meant for agriculture the poor are left to deal with the consequence of their action as they suffer from diseases caused by pollution from things such as oil wells and also drought and hunger arising from there being no land to plant crops in.
Being a biologist I understand that environmentalism should address everyday issues such as water quality and urban safety that touch on our day to day life. The dumping of chemicals into rivers like the Nairobi River by pharmaceutical companies and others make provision of clean water to the public impossible. Littering and the continuous mushrooming of slums in cities make these areas unsafe and contribute to climate change.
It’s time that we opened our eyes to the interconnection of the climate change debate with our day to day life. It’s not an issue that is separate from our personal lives. It’s thus the dearth of young people who are willing to use their voices either through writing, running campaigns or requesting the government to make the climate change issue a priority that worries me. Climate change is a big determinant on how our tomorrow on this planet looks like by alleviating climate change in the wake of a highly globalized and industrialized world we can solve many problems including poverty and gender inequality. Let’s therefore join hands as young people and be climate change ambassadors in whichever way we know how.