Conservation and Environmental Management Should be made a Norm
It is very sad to think that the Earth was once blessed with an abundance of fauna and flora and today that is a thing of the past. I have listened to my dad tell us stories of how once his area could have easily been compared to a jungle but today that is hard to believe. Soils were so fertile that crop production for subsistence farming was thriving but today the fields produce very little. Some might say this was when the earth was in its prime but we have forgotten that we are a part of this planet and that somehow somewhere we stopped to care.
When we stopped to care
We have forgotten that just like a mother the earth and its natural environment has nursed and fed humankind for generations. Earth is like a mother that selflessly provides for us but, just like an ill-disciplined child that has turned against the hand that feeds him/her, so have we. We have turned against earth and its natural environment.
Pollution, deforestation and over exploitation have become a habit. Now that we have grown, we no longer care. I think that we have come to believe that the industries are our sole providers now. We have forgotten where the raw material that feed these industries are extracted from.
I have observed that all we do is take, consume and damage without guilt or compassion for our provider. What has happened to sustainable development? Has it merely become a memorized concept with a definition attached to it? Or have we forgotten that the generations to come after us are still to make use of the natural environment? Take a moment as an individual and ask yourself this, what will happen to food security in the next few years? Will my children and my children’s children one day come to know earth and its beauty the way I once knew it to be if we continue to live unsustainably and without compassion for the earth and its natural environment? If the answers to these questions are no, then you should start caring and transform your life towards an environmentally friendly way of life.
This is what happened when we stopped caring about our environment. Source: www.namibiansun.com
Take it from me, we already know the basics
I admit, I never attached practical significance to the concept of sustainable development and environmental management. Asked what it was back then, like a parrot, I would give the textbook definition but I really never fully grasped the concepts. My love for protecting the environment started when I was doing My Bachelor of Town and Regional Planning at Namibia’s University of Science and Technology. The focus was always on creating sustainable and environmentally friendly cities, in which human activities, the built environment and the natural environment are in harmony with one another. I was introduced to concepts of greener cities and environmental management modules, which helped me realize that the environment needed us to behave responsibly with natural resources and we need the environment to develop. I was fortunate to meet Ndinelago Heita an environmentally conscious friend, who would literally make you pick up your litter. I think we all need a friend like that, and even better, to have the courage and commitment to be that friend! Today I do not litter, I am keen on green energy and I support public transport.
I further remember growing up in an African family setting, where one had to take care of your clothes or any other items up until such a time you outgrow them and pass them on to a brother, a sister or a cousin. From that I draw the same principles that I attach to sustainable development and sound environmental management practices today, which are conservation for the generations to come.
Not everyone is aware of the significance of making conservation and environmental management a part of our lives but conservation is a collective effort as it will at the end of the day benefit everyone.
We should learn to take what we need because in principal one still has something to use tomorrow. A culture of conservation can only be achieved if the youth is aware and educated about the burning issues such as climate change and the need for conservation of our scarce resources. The youth should take initiative such as this blog writing to create awareness. The youth that further have a passion for environmental management should mobilize themselves in order to create a large movement. After all, this is our Namibia.
The rationale behind educating the youth in my opinion and I know many other people within the conservation fraternity will agree with me, is because the youth are the backbone of society and they have to live longer with consequences of our current decisions. I therefore call on everyone to give back to the earth through conservation and sound environmental management.
As the youth we should start at home by:
- Reducing, Re-using and Recycling
- Conserving energy at home
- Buying products that do not contaminate the environment
- Driving conservatively and
- Greening-up our lives overall (saving water, reducing food waste, etc.)
Like self-discipline and consideration for others, conservation should be a norm in our daily lives and a movement for generations to come.
Using green energy (e.g solar energy) has no negative effects on the environment. Source: www.travelnewsnamibia.com
About the author:
Sackaria Mangundu is currently employed at Helao Nafidi Town Council. He holds a Bachelor of Town and Regional Planning Degree as well as a National Diploma in Land Use Planning. He is currently working on a proposal to forward to the Ministry of Environment of Tourism aimed at creating environmental awareness at school and community level. His main focus at the moment is creating urban areas that are in harmony with the natural environment and youth empowerment. He also serves as a life coach at Ponhofi Secondary School.