Activist countries

How African Countries Celebrated World Environment Day

The land is ours to till, not waste. Ours to man not maim Niyi Osundare.

Nations around the world celebrated World Environment Day yesterday to raise awareness of deteriorating environmental conditions and encourage people to take positive environmental action globally to help create a better future. This year’s theme was “One Earth”, and one of the main reasons for this is that the Earth is heating up rapidly. Human activities such as the felling of trees and the burning of fossil fuels are causal effects.

The warmer the earth becomes, the higher the threat to the existence of life in it. If warming reaches around two degrees Celsius, the ecosystem will collapse and a third of all life on earth will be threatened with extinction. The Earth is about to pass the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold, and it may be sooner than expected. The effects of climate change are evident in rising sea levels, increased heat, drought, insect outbreaks, loss of wildlife, erratic rainfall, etc.

The estimated cost of adapting to these probabilities continues to rise and could reach 280 to 500 billion US dollars per year by 2050 for developing countries alone. It is also interesting to know that although developing countries do not contribute significantly to climate change, they are the hardest hit due to lack of adaptation infrastructure. However, Africans cannot fold their hands and act careless. All hands must be on deck to save the earth. Across Africa, countries observed World Environment Day differently, and here are the highlights.

Nigeria

Nigeria is ranked 53rd most vulnerable countries to global climate change. Extreme weather conditions compound the challenges faced by communities. The growing struggle for food supply is driving resource conflicts across Nigeria, and we have seen this with the rise in clashes between farmers and herders. In commemoration of World Environment Day, the government has taken climate-sensitive measures. Yesterday, the federal government reiterated its commitment to ensuring that the Climate Change Act and other environmental policies are implemented. Last year, the country pledged to reach net zero by 2060 at the COP26 summit.

Lagos State, Nigeria’s commercial hub, has expressed its commitment to promoting environmentally friendly policies geared towards building a healthy economy in the 21st century and called on residents to adopt a sustainable mindset to create a livable built environment. Around five hundred trees have been planted in Plateau and the Anambra State government has pledged to plant over one million trees to promote reforestation.

Ghana

To commemorate WED, the country’s Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr. Kwaku Afriye, called for reorientation the use and disposal of plastic to minimize the current pollution problem faced in the country. Plastic pollution is one of the main environmental problems facing the country. Plastic waste is a major cause of flooding in Accra and other major cities across the country. To build resilient infrastructure to mitigate the consequences of climate change, Ghana needs at least $1.3 billion implement its climate adaptation roadmap. Failure to act would cost the economy $13 billion.

By The report, a number of organizations have set up exhibition stands to showcase products made from recycled plastic. These recycled products include roofing sheets, tiles, truck tires and other building materials.

Kenya

Kenya has vast ecological zones and varied habitats, including lowland and montane forests; coastal and marine ecosystems. Wetlands contribute significantly to Kenya’s economy in terms of agriculture. But the strength of Kenya’s biodiversity is declining due to poor implementation of conservation and restoration laws.

Kenya also bears a fraction of the global burden of climate change. In 2011, drought in Kenya caused damage estimated at $11 billion, while another in 2014-18 left 3.4 million people food insecure and half a million without access to water. In 2018, floods displaced 230,000 people in Kenya, including 150,000 children, drowned 20,000 head of cattle and caused the closure of 700 schools.

During the WED commemoration, the Kenyan environmental activists called on governments to ensure a balance between tackling climate change and meeting biodiversity conservation and restoration needs. Activists have argued that a delicate balance between use and replenishment is necessary; nature and food systems, restoring ecological balances and transforming consumption, production, infrastructure, investment and land use for just climate action.

Also, major African media companies teams up with China Media Group (CMG) in Kenya to deploy a joint initiative in the field of environmental protection. Representatives of African media weighed in on their role as broadcasters and publishers in raising environmental awareness. They called for more exchange programs between Chinese and African media to strengthen environmental reporting through technological advancements.

South Africa.

Climate change, biodiversity and loss of nature are some of the major environmental crises facing South Africa. One of the causes of climate change is the emission of coal that South Africa is known for. South Africa is the 7th largest coal producer and 12th largest carbon dioxide emitter, responsible for almost half of Africa’s carbon dioxide. Charcoal production is essential to their economy, but it is unsustainable and poses a threat to the health of South Africans.

Almost two months ago, climate change triggered one of the South Africa’s deadliest floods. More than 400 people died from the floods and more than 12,000 homes were destroyed, forcing around 40,000 people from their homes. South Africa saw the WED as a day to raise awareness of the devastating impact of climate-induced environmental crises on humanity and its economy (South Africa).