ProjectEDUCATE

Why Conservation Nation?

Because our planet is at risk and we are responsible. Everyday millions of trees are cut across the globe to supply our need for energy and development With very little or nothing being done to mitigate this.

The link between human activity and the environment is unequivocal. There is no denying mankind's means of production and consumption are inherently flawed: We consume so many resources, produce so much emissions with little or no mitigating measures. Given the link between human activity and the environment, it is imperative that remedial strategies include the people in the communities in which projects are being implemented. Interventions must seek to relieve the pressure on our natural environment especially our forests as well as our soil and water resources.

Forests

Our forests especially are under extreme pressure as everyday, large tracts of land are destroyed to meet human needs. These mainly center around the need for energy and income in the form of charcoal and firewood. The charcoal and firewood dilemma is a compound one as trees are cut down to meet these needs for both personal and commercial consumption. Regrettably for much of the time it is both. The same applies to firewood. It is a vicious cycle that requires concerted efforts as well as creative and innovative approaches from relevant stake-holders. While individuals and communities cannot be prevented from or denied the satisfaction of these needs, we can work together to seek more sustainable and environmentally friendly means to help meet them. Interventions like solar, alternate bio-fuels and others need to be explored to help meet both energy and income needs at both the personal and commercial levels.

Agriculture and development

In addition to the need for energy and income, the unprecedented growth in human population is responsible for the loss of large forests. Our forests are being attacked from all angles with little or no mitigating factors. Putting the future of the planet which is heavily reliant on forests for food, clean air and water, medicine and a host of other things that include tourism in further jeopardy. The challenge is once forests are cleared especially for agriculture and human settlement, it is near impossible to claim them making the active protection of our forests imperative to our very existence and survival.

Littering and fly-tipping

Littering and the indiscriminate dumping of garbage pauses numerous challenges to the environment. Besides being unsightly they can contaminate our water sources and pollute soil which directly affects agricultural output and thus affecting the nation's food security and gross domestic product.

As more of our water sources are polluted due to littering and indiscriminate dumping of both household and commercial waste, the already difficult challenge of providing safe, clean drinking water becomes compounded. This means both government and the relevant stake holders would have to allocate additional resources to providing water at the expense of other development and social needs. It stands to reason that reducing or completely stopping littering and fly-tipping will not just save and serve our Country's water and soil needs but bring us a step closer to addressing other developmental challenges by freeing the needed resources.

Soil and water

Just like our forests, our soil is constantly under threat. Even with their proven capacity to significantly increase yields, we are now aware of the threat fertilizers and pesticides pause to the soil. Sapping nutrients after only a few years of use and rendering land barren yet this this not the only danger to soil. The indiscriminate cutting down of trees leaves soil dangerously exposed and prone to deforestation. Without tree cover, the scorching sun more readily absorbs moisture from the ground which means the micro-organisms that sustain the soil structure are lost to heat and dehydration. With soil structure compromised, it can longer hold water or nutrients resulting in little or no vegetation (desertification).

Water

There is no denying water is life. Yet in Zambia as in many developing Countries access to clean drinking water is a major challenge that is worsened by unplanned human settlements which often immediately results in the accumulation of household waste in rubbish pits and dumping sites. These easily end up in water sources like rivers and streams and cause contamination. Commercial development also puts a strain on our water resources as nuclear and industrial waste are often discharged without treatment into our lakes, river and streams. Often the effluence ends up in larger water bodies endangering both human and marine life.

Given that human activity is a factor in the state of our planet, mitigating factors must put consideration into the active involvement of community members. This In addition to creative and innovative solutions holds much potential in addressing the environmental challenges that threaten to obliterate our way of life. Young people especially hold great promise in creating a better future; one that is conscious of the effects our actions have on the environment and works towards a much more harmonious existence that will protect and preserve the environment for the benefit of all.