LET'S DO MORE TO PROTECT THE ONLY PLANET WE HAVE – The Citizen

In this day and age of rapid, seemingly relentless climate change across the globe, nations in particular – and the world at large – are best advised to heed calls to reduce the adverse effects of such change. Then the relevant authorities and other/supportive institutions must promptly and prudently act on the calls that are most likely to prove both functional and effective in tackling climate change and all its negative implications.
This advice comes in the wake of the ‘Nation Leadership Forum’ for experts in different fields that was recently held in Nairobi, Kenya, by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (Agra).
The forum – whose theme was ‘Building Africa’s Resilient Food System’ – called for “intensification of mitigation measures across eastern Africa to boost food production”.
Noting that “agricultural activities account for 30 percent of the factors which fuel climate change,” the Agra President, Dr Agnes Kalibata, called upon the forum “to ensure that the work we undertake as farmers does NOT contribute to (adverse) climate change”.
Dr Kalibata is also the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary General for the ‘Food System Summit’ whose “stated goal is to transform the way the world produces, consumes and thinks about foods within the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development … And to meet the challenges of poverty, food security, malnutrition, population growth, climate change, and natural resource degradation”.
Stressing that development of the African continent is “anchored in farmers,” Dr Kalibata said that farmers are thus best-placed to lead in climate mitigation measures. “The continent cannot advance unless we make progress in climate change mitigation, which defines our world,” she explained.
How true, we unhesitatingly say.
As we reported in these august pages in our Saturday edition (August 14, 2021), deforestation is generally cited as one of the things that accelerate adverse climate change in most countries of the world.

Bolster forest cover
Farmers were, therefore, advised by the Nairobi Agra Forum to plant trees along the edges of their farms so as to bolster forest cover.
According to the Treasurer of the Kenya National Farmers Association, Ms Ruth Maraba, a 10-acre farm can accommodate 10,000 trees, “which will help to address the deforestation challenges,” if taken up by all farmers.
As it is, Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta affirmed his country’s commitment in March 2019 “to achieve a minimum of 10 percent forest cover by 2022 as part of the country’s efforts to address climate change”.
But, it must frankly be admitted that what it takes to substantially reduce the adverse effects of climate change for the worse does not come cheap.
Climate change effects include – but are not limited to – erratic rains resulting in frequent dry spells or floods, as well as crop pests and diseases.
More often than not, all these can result in food shortages/food insecurity, environmental degradation and abject poverty.
However, high costs should not deter us from tackling climate change, as humanity has no alternative but to preserve Planet Earth, largely by checking environment-degrading activities.
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