Compiled by Blessed Marecha
23 November 2021
In the beginning God created the environment and after being satisfied he then proceeded to create man. God knew that for a man to survive he needs the environment but for the environment to survive it does not need man. Whatever man needs to survive or develop comes from the environment. Let us talk about the oxygen we breathe in, the majority of us take it directly from the atmosphere. You cannot talk of civilization without including the environment; most of the resources are extracted from the environment.
However, instead of maintaining the environment, man started to destroy the environment under the mantra “industrialisation” unaware that, the more the environment deteriorates is the more his survival becomes hard. In the 19th century man was enjoying development and at the same time increasing the concentration of green house gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere. During this development period wetlands and forests were heavily destroyed to pave way for industrialisation yet they are the major reservoirs and sinks of the green house gases. Thus they play a major role in reducing the concentration of these GHGs in the atmosphere.
With passage of time, as industrialisation, destruction of forests and destruction of wetlands increased, the concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere also increased. Resultantly the natural climate system began to change at a rate which made it hard for the ecosystem to adapt to those changes. Thus, man now started to suffer from the negative effects of climate change such as unbearable heat waves, floods, Tsunami, mudflows to mention but a few. All these natural disasters caused by climate change threatened man’s food security and eventually man’s survival.
After noticing that, climate change is now an issue of common concern of humankind which requires joint efforts of all human kind to fight it regardless of race, colour, origin, region, age group as well as whether you contributed to climate change or not or to what extent did you contribute, man came up with legal frameworks and principles to regulate his anthropogenic emission of GHGs in to the atmosphere. More so, man set up commitments which he must meet in a bid to reduce the concentration of GHGs by sinks and reservoirs as well as reduce emission by sources.
Mitigation and adaptation are two major mechanism man is now using to fight climate change. Through mitigation man introduced measures to reduce the effect of climate change such as construction of dams and forestation. Through adaptation, man admitted that climate change is real and come up with measures which enable him to survive with the effects of climate change.
Sustainable development as advocated by the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris is the golden principle which governs man’s mitigation and adaptation measures to climate change. Thus in implementing all these measures man must not compromise the interests of the future generation. Thus there must be equity between the current and the future generations and amongst the current generation as far as benefiting from natural resources is concerned.
Without any doubt, nature based solutions (NBSs) to the effects of climate change is the best way to go as the nature itself is involved in fighting climate change. Mostly these NBSs are environmental friendly and they allow sustainable use of natural resources. In other words, it’s a situation synonymous with ‘one stone killing two birds simultaneously’ as nature is being conserved and at the same time climate change is being fought.
Driven by this quest of NBSs and for the love of the future generation Midlands State University Environmental Association (MSUES) led by President, her excellence Christabel. C. Mhiribidi launched the restore the nature’s beauty programme under which 20 acacia xanthophloea trees were planted along the China main road. These trees were donated by Gweru Forestry Commission. MSUES is a voluntary society composed of young and energetic students (youths) who are passionate about promoting climate and environmental justice ensuring that the environment is not harmful to the health and well-being of the people.
MSUES recognises the importance of trees in our livelihoods besides being GHGs sink. It is from the trees where we get oxygen to breathe in, we get timber for various uses, shed and trees are also a source of food for both human beings and animals. In addition trees are used as defence mechanism from natural disasters such as landslides, floods and harsh winds. With this in mind, MSUES driven by passion sacrificed its time and resources to this project of restoring the beauty of the nature by planting 40 trees. It is also MSUES’ ambition to plant as many trees as it can.
Below are pictures of MSUES members in action.
(MSUES members in action busy preparing the land for the upcoming tree planting day. “Sweat brings in sweet”)
(MSUES members before the planting session.)
(MSUES members in action planting trees. Both males and females playing same roles regardless of gender)