Plastic pollution’s many side effects on the ecosystem
Avr10

Plastic pollution’s many side effects on the ecosystem

Plastic pollution’s many side effects on the ecosystem Meekaeel Siphambili Gaborone, Botswana: Apart from sustaining a rich diversity of natural ecosystems, the country’s water resources are critical for meeting the basic needs related to water supplies for domestic and industrial requirements, with the wildlife included. Mankind however, has turned out to be his own and the ecosystem’s worst enemy.   Mankind is the destroyer of the much needed water resources and in the process destroying many other animal species living in water and on the wetlands. The fauna and flora, the animal, bird and many other all suffer because of the dumping of construction concrete debris, used tires, and plastic and shop issued plastic carrier bags or any other garbage that is not needed. Plastic carrier bags that washed  into dams and lakes normally trap fish, frogs and other water living beings, eventually leading to their prematurely death. Efforts to sensitise the general public on the effects of plastic, debris or garbage falls on deaf ears and always regarded as ‘drivel garbage’. Plastic reduces the aesthetic value of the environment as they hang on trees and generally are widespread in the environment. Some bird species are alleged to die from being attached to plastics. The bird normal flies without stopping for the fear of the plastic attached to it, mostly on the legs. The bird then dies of exhaustion after flying without rest; ‘trying to flee from the plastic’ attached to it, the wind blowing against the plastic forces the bird to fly even harder. Dumping of concrete debris have changed or altered water ways, the plastic, especially the shop issued plastic bags, besides trapping or snaring the fish and birds are alleged to be hazardous to the ecosystem. Plastic is not biodegradable hence once deposited in the soil it persists in the environment for a long period of time. The plastic have adverse impacts on human and animal health due to their impervious characteristic, they serve as a breeding place for mosquitoes and other vermin. Domestic animals like goats and cattle also feed on plastic and they disrupt the digestive process causing bloating and untimely death of animals. The Botswana Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism has made several attempts to manage or control the proliferation of plastic carrier bags in the environment through various strategies such as public education and awareness on proper use of plastic carrier bags, recycling and minimization of its use. Water stress due to changed or altered water courses and with the aid of climate change has forced the wild animals to come closer to humans in search of water. “Since 2009...

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Africa-Environment: “we have to be very strong” Pacome Moubelet Boubeya (AMCEN)
Jan27

Africa-Environment: “we have to be very strong” Pacome Moubelet Boubeya (AMCEN)

Africa-Environment: “we have to be very strong” Pacome Moubelet Boubeya (AMCEN) On the sidelne of  the  3rd United Nations Environment Assembly held at the end of last year,  Era Environnement was part of a press conference held by  the minister of Forestry and Environment of Gabon, Pacome Moubelet Boubeya, who  is also the  president of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment ( AMCEN).  Mr Pacome Moubelet Boubeya gave his view on the significant role that  (AMCEN) plays on the continent and in the world. Interview by Wandile Kalippa in Kenya Era Environnement: Do you think Africa is ready to walk the talk on pollution, in view of the contrasting realities of ecosystem pollution by oil companies in Central Africa and Nigeria, and West Africa particularly, Nigeria and Gabon to be exact? Pacome Moubelet Boubeya: We have a big challenge. We have a challenge of developing our countries, of financing that development, of creating jobs and wealth to our countries, but we have a greater challenge even that of making sure that in the development strategies that we are taking we are not going to be destroying our own countries because of the exploitation of oil for instance, so, we have to be very aware of that and we have to adapt our development ambitions to what the reality is going to be tomorrow. If we do not do so now that the West is making and taking every effort for them to align with what they believe tomorrow is going to be. If we do not do anything today, it means that tomorrow we will be once again twenty of fifty years late, if we can compare with the West. So, we have a challenge. The challenge is to as I was saying to create wealth, give jobs to our people in the case of Nigeria and in the case of Gabon as well, you see that our population is very young and if we foresee the increase in population, let us say in Nigeria we can see that within the next twenty – twenty five, fifty years the population of Nigeria is going to increase by something like twenty five or thirty five percent, and we need to adapt our environment , global environment with the increase of population that we are going to have to make sure that we have the means and wealth to take care of these people as well. But maintaining what we have the most permanent in our countries which is our earth, our environment and we have to do whatever we have to, to protect, it means what? It means we have to...

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World commits to pollution-free planet at environment summit 
Déc09

World commits to pollution-free planet at environment summit 

World commits to pollution-free planet at environment summit By Duncan Mboyah The world environmental ministers have made a commitment to have a pollution-free world at the close of the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi recently. The leaders made resolutions and pledges promising to improve the lives of billions across the globe by cleaning up air, land and water. “The science we have seen at this assembly shows we have been so bad at looking after our planet that we have very little room to make more mistakes,” said Edgar Gutierrez, Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica and the President of the 2017 UN Environment Assembly.He said that for the first time, the assembly is sending a powerful message that they will listen to science, change the way people consume and produce, and tackle pollution in all its forms across the globe. For the first time at a UN Environment Assembly, environment ministers issued a declaration saying that they will honour efforts to prevent, mitigate and manage the pollution of air, land and soil, freshwater, and oceans – which harms health, societies, ecosystems, economies, and security. The declaration committed to increase research towards the fight against pollution through tailored actions that includes sustainable lifestyles based on a circular economy, promoting fiscal incentives to move markets and promote positive change and strengthening and enforcing laws on pollution. “We have a long struggle ahead of us, but the summit showed there is a real appetite for significant positive change,” Erik Solheim, UN Environment Executive Director said. He said that the massive support from civil society, businesses and individuals – with millions of pledges to end pollution – show that this is a global challenge with a global desire to win this battle together. Almost 2.5 million pledges from governments, civil society, businesses, and individuals were logged. If all commitments are met, 1.49 billion people will breathe clean air, one-third of the word’s coastlines will be clean, and USD 18.6 billion of investment will come online. The Ministers noted that tackle pollution will enable countries contribute to sustainable development by fighting poverty, improving health, creating descent jobs, improving life below the water and land and reducing Greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). They committed to collaborate with the politicians, scientists, the private sector and civil society to deliver a pollution free planet. They committed to continue to respect the Rio principles on environmental and development in efforts to make the environment clean. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for air quality, more than 17,000 people die prematurely due to ill health associated with pollution. Hundreds of children below the age of five die from contaminated water and...

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Pollution: Big challenges for  delegates attending  UNEA conference in Kenya
Déc04

Pollution: Big challenges for delegates attending  UNEA conference in Kenya

  Pollution: Big challenges for delegates attending  UNEA conference in Kenya By Duncan Mboyah   Kenya hosts  over 7,000 delegates who  attend the United Nations Environmental; Assembly (UNEA), according to Kenyan official. Prof. Judi Wakhungu, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources said that heads of states and government, 100 ministers, environmental scientists, UN agencies, members of the civil society and private sector are attending the conference that takes place from December 4th – 6th. “Governments around the world are looking up to United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) to monitor and review and establish environmental challenges including pollution,” the CS said during a media briefing. Prof. Wakhungu said that Kenya is committed to supporting the work of the United Nations and desires to maintain Nairobi’s position as the central hub of the UNEP. UNEA is the world’s highest level decision making body on environment and it meets biannually in Nairobi. The last meeting was held in Nairobi in 2015. UNEA has a universal membership of all 193 UN Member States and enjoys the full involvement of UN organizations, specialized agencies, inter-governmental organizations, civil society and the private sector. The Assembly provides a platform for leadership on global environmental policy and aims at delivering a number of tangible commitments to end pollution of air, land, waterways, oceans, and to safely manage our chemicals and waste. Under this year’s theme of ‘Towards a free pollution planet’, delegates will deliver a policy declaration on pollution, linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to signal that humanity can work together to eliminate the threat of pollution and the destruction of our planet. “We have instituted and implemented a wide range of policy and regulatory measures towards eradicating pollution on air, land, water and marine,” she noted. Kenyan is expected to showcase to the world how it has managed to implement the recent ban on use of plastic bags. About Duncan Mboya Duncan Mboyah  is a  Kenyan citizen who specializes in science journalism – health, environment, agriculture and sustainable socioeconomic development. He is currently working with Xinhua News Agency in Nairobi covering science and climate change. Duncan has over 15 years of journalism practice and has written hundreds of articles on climate change effects in Kenya and Africa in general in the past years. He also regularly contributes articles to Scidev net, a British owned online science publication that specializes on science and technology development in the developing world. He has a Degree – Bachelor of Science in Communication and Journalism from Moi University and is currently a Communication’s Studies Masters student at Moi University, Kenya. Duncan also works as a media consultant...

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