Promoting Environmental Sustainable Development
Want to donate to the cause? Contact us now!
Dr. Chipo Mubaya
Global environmental problems are becoming more and more devastating and this is evidenced by a massive influx of natural disasters, unprecedented warming and cooling periods, severe biodiversity losses leading in some cases to species extinction, rapid urbanisation leading to the loss of critical ecosystems and much more. Thus people need to be aware of the type of environmental challenges our planet is facing and come up with coping strategies. This is a fact which cannot be denied.
Climate change has become an undisputed fact about our current livelihoods. Our planet is warming up and we are definitely part of the problem. However, this isn’t the only environmental problem that we should be concerned about. All across the world, people are facing a plethora of new and challenging environmental problems every day. Some of them are small and only affect a few ecosystems, but others are drastically changing the landscape of what we already know.
The planet earth is in a state of planetary emergency, with environmental problems piling up high around us. Unless we address the various issues prudently and seriously we are surely doomed for disaster. Current environmental problems require urgent attention.
In the light of the above, Emmaus International is involved in a number of interventions which are aimed at reducing the rate at which planet earth is being degraded thus maintain its stability for now and for future generations.
In trying to address these environmental challenges, we believe that the conservation of biological diversity, ecosystems, and natural places is critically important to the survival of us all—people, plants, and animals alike. But in all these interventions we are cognisant of the fact that local communities should be empowered to lead in the creation of a sustainable world for both people and nature through restoring and conserving the ecosystems where they live and on which they heavily rely for basic necessities and well-being. It is through such key collaborations that we believe humankind will achieve positive and sustainable environmental interventions.
However, at Emmaus International we strongly believe in evidence based interventions and as such research is one of our key interventions. Before we can take any action in all our sub-themes, we always involve ourselves in scientific research whose results are meant to guide our action plans.
As an organization we have keen interest in the following key environmental issues;
1. Applications of GIS and Remote Sensing for natural resources management such monitoring deforestation, monitoring fires, monitoring floods and droughts and wildlife tracking for research and conservation purposes.
2. Climate change vulnerability, adaptability, resilience and coping strategies
3. Loss of Biodiversity: Human activity is leading to the extinction of species through habitats loss which is one of the key drivers of biodiversity loss. Ecosystems, which took millions of years to perfect, are in danger when any species population is being decimated.
4. Invasive species are also compromising livelihoods in many communities and thus interventions are needed in this respect. Besides, invasive species are also threatening biodiversity which provide a variety of goods and services to communities as they can be toxic to the native species
5. Natural Resource Depletion: Natural resource depletion and environmental degradation is another crucial current environmental problem. Fossil fuel consumption results in emission of Greenhouse gases, which is responsible for global warming and climate change. Globally, people are taking efforts to shift to renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, biogas and geothermal energy and we are supporting such initiatives in our communities which we believe will have long term environmental benefits. Rehabilitation of degraded environments is also one of our key areas.
6. Deforestation: Our forests are natural sinks of carbon dioxide and produce fresh oxygen as well as helps in regulating temperature and rainfall. They also provide us with a variety of other goods and services. Thus there is need to enhance the integrity of our forests through tree planting activities which we are heavily involved in through donation of tree seedlings to various schools and communities across the country.
7. Urban Sprawl: Urban sprawl refers to the expansion of urban built environment which results in spreading of cities over more and more rural land. Urban sprawl results in land degradation, increased traffic, environmental issues and health issues. The ever growing demand of land displaces natural environment consisting of flora and fauna and thus we consider it one of the major threats to the natural environment which needs urgent attention
8. Promoting ecotourism as one of the major sources of income to communities which could provide incentives to communities to value their natural environment.
However, it is important to note that all these key environmental concerns are closely connected. As a result, all our interventions are multi-faceted as we tend to address these issues holistically. Join hands with us as we try to save our planet.
Dr. C. Paradzai