Defending Ecosystems A Priority
Ecosystems in some regions of the world are on the verge of collapse. Balancing record human populations with diminishing and degraded natural resources is getting more challenging every day. Climate change is making that balancing act even more complex, as agriculture, water, wildlife and communities are feeling the impact in most regions of the world.
Because of these factors, biodiversity is under assault like never before and the web of life could collapse in some regions of the world within a few short years. Each regional collapse will contribute to the global spiral. Eastern Africa is one region that’s at a critical point. Momentum is already working against us and some fundamental priorities must emerge for immediate action.
Thanks to some collaborative and comprehensive planning by enthusiastic leaders in Kenya and Tanzania, we have a plan for the largest conservation project in East Africa. These diverse stakeholders are feeling the pressures of climate change. They believe in a shift to greater sustainability. They sense the urgency of more comprehensive wildlife conservation strategies. They have submitted several proposals to help address all of these issues simultaneously. The plans are solid, comprehensive and sustainable. They can make a difference.
One plan can expand to become a comprehensive and sustainable economic development plan for all of Tanzania. Earth Keepers Centre in Kenya just submitted a separate reforestation proposal that can be expanded to the nations of Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda. They are all braced to make an immediate and lasting impact on the entire region. Their future depends on it. The future of life as we know it depends on their success.
Africa’s tropical belt is one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world. Millions of people across Africa have already been displaced due to drought, famine and conflict. Desertification has already taken its toll on the northern third of the continent. The tropical belt is under assault by resource-hungry humans and climate change. The humanitarian crisis is adding to the environmental crisis. Without aggressive intervention, it will escalate and the ecosystem will collapse.
In Kenya, for example, Mt. Kenya is the main source of all water. That water also is used to generate 60 percent of electricity used across the country. Unsustainable use of forest resources (water, timber, firewood) is threatening the forests and the local livelihoods.
The conservation problems, like the destruction of indigenous trees for illegal fuel-wood, timber and charcoal trade, debarking and poaching of small animals, are caused by the local communities who are mainly ignorant of the importance of these ecosystems.
Elsewhere in Africa, investments from India and China have created an economic boom. This economic disparity—including the entitlement of the investors, myths, cultural factors, and corruption—is driving a devastating trade in illegal wildlife parts, including elephant ivory, rhino horn and others. That illegal killing of endangered species is rapidly driving them closer to extinction every day. Both the African elephant and the rhino could be poached into extinction within a decade, if drought and starvation don’t wipe them out first. Lions will go right behind them. The collapse will continue until the land won’t support man or beast. The trend is established and requires some interventions to at least slow the momentum.
The snowballing confluence of environmental and economic factors threatens to alter the future of Africa and the world forever. Containing this disaster to Africa will be impossible. Therefore, the entire world has a stake in saving this delicate ecosystem and others from collapse. We can’t afford to stand by and watch.
The entire planet must address the issues of overpopulation, deforestation, biodiversity, poverty, endangered species, sustainable agriculture and economic development. They all are complex issues that are becoming more entwined daily. We don’t have all of the answers, but we are helping some bright and enthusiastic young leaders develop a vision and plan for a brighter Africa. So far, they have developed 13 plans across Burundi, kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. They are asking us for help. We can’t do it without you.
They have plans to fight climate change, wildlife poaching, poverty and regional sustainability. Please join us as a volunteer, networker or funder. These projects are all shovel-ready.