Thematic Green Messages

Author: Dr. Isaac

1st Apr 2016 at 08:18 pm

Natural Resources Management

OUR LAND, OUR FUTURE.


Author Dr Kalua writing on OUR LAND, OUR FUTURE.
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Kenya's land comes in all shapes and sizes from the loam soils of the Highlands to the sandy and rocky terrain of the semi-arid regions in northern Kenya. To make this land count for the people of Kenya, we need to pay close attention to the fifteenth Sustainable Development Goal, ‘Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss.'

If we heed the call to action contained in this goal, our land will begin to pay us sustainable dividends. Unfortunately, Kenya and the wider Africa still has a long way to go in as far as sustainable use of land is concerned. Africa's forests, which are living guardians of Africa's land, are in the Intensive Care Unit. Since 1990, nearly 130 million hectares of forest have been lost. This forest loss covers a cumulative area that is more than twice the size of Kenya.

We should be increasing our forest cover, not depleting it. A joint United Nations and Kenya Government report noted that increased efficiency in Kenya's forestry sector could usher into the country economic benefits of KES 19 billion per year. In Zambia, forest ecosystems contribute KESH 131.5 billion to the national economy. Based on such figures, we need to realize that expanding our forest cover will ultimately contribute substantially to the growth of our economy.

Another fact as shocking as Africa's forest loss is this one from the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, ‘12 million hectares of land are transformed into new man-made deserts every year.' In other words, desertification in the world consumes land that is four times the size of Rwanda every year.

Last year during celebrations to mark World Day to Combat Desertification, our Environment Cabinet Secretary reminded us all about the dire consequences of desertification, ‘Droughts have accelerated soil degradation and reduced per-capita food production. In the last decade alone, four major food crises have all been triggered by desertification.'

Our land cannot take care of us if we don't take care of it. If we want to ensure food security and optimal land productivity we have no option but to take care of our land through a variety of ways like tree growing and sustainable land use.Think green, act green!

Yours in Green,

Dr Isaac Kalua.


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Dr. Isaac Kalua

Author - Thematic Green Messages

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