Sunday, October 10, 2010



Banjul, The Gambia (TNBES) When it comes to the issue of environment, public attitude towards it differs greatly as individuals do. At one extreme end are those environmentalists or nature-lovers who object to anything that reduces the purity of the air and water. Or that mars the natural beauty of the landscape.
On the other hand, are those who seem not to value at all the clean air, water and other natural beauties that God, the Almighty has blessed mankind with? It is a free gift of nature from God and this group of individuals believed that they can do very little to the environment either negatively or positively. They contentedly see their individualistic bit of polluting it as a drop in an ocean.
The rest of the people are scattered along the line between the two extremes. At this point, the environment may be define as simply the water, air and land around us. It provides a variety of important services.
Firstly, it gives man a habitat or surroundings in which both plant and animal can survive. As it is known, the land, air, and water contain elements needed to sustain living matter. Similarly, the environment holds resources that are useable in the production of goods and services. These exist in forms of diamonds, coal, petroleum and the like. The environment also provides recreation and furnishes many amenities that make life more enjoyable.
The activities of man, industrialization, rapid population growth and many other factors pose a great problem to our nest (the environment). At the foremost, is the problem of pollution? In the process of production and consumption, different kinds of wastes are dumped into the atmosphere.
Pollution is as old as civilization itself and when ever people have congregated; their wastes tend to pile up more rapidly than the forces of nature can digest. As a result, the problem of air, water or land pollution crops up.
In recent times, governments, individuals and organisations have been campaigning for environmental protection. The adoption of Agenda 21 by the member countries of the United Nation in 1992 in Rio De Janeiro was a giant leap towards the goal of attaining sustainable development. Chapter 19 of Agenda 21 deals with the environmentally sound management of chemicals.
In the Gambia, the National Environment Agency and some other nature-lovers have been trying to raise awareness on the protection and the management of our surroundings. Our country is ranked among nations most prone to climate change, as reports have it that Banjul will be submerged under water in 30 to 50 years. Bush fires, desertification and other activities of people are wrecking havoc to our environment, not at all just yet but in the long term. We should be aware of that.
Most recently, the Conference of Parties (COP 15) was held in Copenhagen, Denmark in December 2009. The efforts to save our planet ended up in mix feelings. The Kyoto Protocol, which calls on State parties, especially industrialized nations to reduce their greenhouse gas emission to 40 percent was said to be too ambitious and subsequently disregarded by so-called developed nations.
What came out of the climate talks was the so-called retention of the Kyoto Protocol, as efforts to convince developed countries to make it a legal binding document proofed futile, instead an agreement called the Copenhagen Accord was reached though not legal binding anyway.
The move for the Copenhagen Accord was seemingly meant to bring an end to the Kyoto Protocol by 2012 for the fact that an agreement was reached to give Africa $30 billion to solve its climate change problems till l 2012. The sum has been described by many as a drop in the ocean; hence every individual can have only $4 per year if it were to be divided amongst Africans.
For Africa, it was a matter of live and death because all it wanted with was to make the Kyoto Protocol a legal binding document, but America was never going to support it since they never subscribe to it in the first place. It’s allies all the same. The decision adds another scar to the condition of our beloved environment.
Drastic efforts were also taken in the form of protests. It worked in felling the Berlin walls; ending apartheid and gaining independence for nations.
But in Copenhagen, the march (demonstration) landed 400 people from across the world in Danish jails. That was a deliberate defying of international human rights laws and a step to help in the gradual perish of our earth, hence the decision that followed was the so-called Accord which allows industrialized nations to emit greenhouse as much as they can.
All in all in one, man should not have been the perpetrators of their own destructions and that of their habitat. The environment is man’s only abode that has been created with all the necessary resources for mankind to live on. It really doesn’t help when we disregard all what has been created for us for a perfect and fully equipped life on earth. However, from the look of things, the awareness campaigns, summits and conferences are not just seemingly impacting on the preservation of nature and securing the safety of human life on earth.
High time, we need actions to safeguard our world for generations to come and not necessarily making mouth and wasting financial resources to gather the world and let our planet perish.
No! Man should not foul his own nest. VOL:3 ISSN:92

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