In the aftermath of Rio de Janerio, Brazil Earth Summit in 1992, concern for mother earth began assuming fever pitch as many countries prodded by conservationists, Community Based Organizations, CBOs, International Non-Governmental Organizations, NGOs and the academia began sounding warnings of a possible nosedive into Armageddon, judging by the unguarded manner in which the world’s natural resources were being depleted.
From Rio to Kyoto, Durban and now Paris, fretfulness about the future of a world in which the winner seems to take all has been haunting many world leaders to the point of even assuming an apocalyptic allure, with some exhibiting genuine concern and others paying lip service.
However, what has come to be an incontrovertible verdict is that we are all condemned to a very rough deal if the issues inherent in climate change are not given the calibre of attention they rightly deserve. Do not mind the distraction emanating from some academia naysayers who are wont to ascribe paranoia to warnings of an impending retribution from mismanagement of the earth’s resources.
Be that as it may, the youthful French President Emmanuel Macron must be accorded the necessary accolades and support in his contemporary bid to ensure the world’s natural resources are managed in such a manner as to conduce to a global reduction in avoidable crises. His decision to convene and host the immediate past climate change summit in Paris is much acclaimed and puts him in the pantheon of visionary world leaders who ascribe much importance to what our generation is indebted to posterity. For, it is obvious that most crises in the world have been caused by divergence in perceptions of resource allocation mechanisms – be they nationally or internationally.
Even so, what seems to be raising a snag is the manner in which this newfound love for preserving nature’s endowment to humankind has been carried out. Nobody can gainsay the interconnectedness of a world that has today been reduced to a global village by technology. By this token therefore, our generation’s legacy to posterity has to reflect goodwill, as well as being the brainchild of all and sundry. There should be no big country and small country or developed and underdeveloped country.
On the contrary, the idea of developed and underdeveloped countries should be visible in the complementarity that ought to be inherent in steps geared at curbing the current insecurity relating to gas emissions the world over. To him that more has been given, so too, would much be expected. What this easily translates into is that the developed nations of the world must be prepared to make the requisite sacrifices to usher into a healthier global environment with regards to ecological sanity. We cannot begrudge the advanced economies of the world for being where they are. However, if they have made commendable strides, it has been thanks to depletion of resources that would have been useful as buffers to the ozone layer.
In this regard, developing countries that by some twist of fate still have their natural resources, particularly, forests, intact must be accorded some compensatory mechanisms to cushion the adversity derivable from sacrifices that they must now make to ensure that the advanced countries do not reach the point where everybody would have been condemned to be permanently wearing gas masks.This must be the epicentre of further discussions in the realm of climate change.
The Amazon Basin, Congo Basin and parts of Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries must be seen as ecological hotspots that require global attention in terms of financial assistance in the implementation of programmes whose conceptualization ought to be the result of specialist inputs from all over the world. This way, the complementarity necessary for a world devoid of permanent fear of annihilation by poisonous gases would have been floated for good. When this would have been done, leaders of the world shall then be au fait with the essence of governing for posterity – nothing akin to the present here-and-now mentality that seems to drive many world leaders.
Whatever the trajectory from which it is perceived, climate change ought to be of utmost concern to all. While admitting that there might have been elements of exaggeration in the approach conservationists and other apostles of doomsday- being- around-the-corner have treaded this far, the fact that urbanization that is inherent in population growth and technological advancement materializes in more and more pressure being exerted on resources, impels world leaders to see the need to immerse themselves into the global quest for a more sane approach to managing the earth’s resources.
This can only be achieved through consensus and not the dispersed pattern that is currently en vogue, particularly, the posturing of the United States of America where ironically, consumerism is at its peak. America’s current big brother swagger that makes her feel she can bully her way through any situation in the world does not, certainly, augur well for a world in quest of stability- ecologically, economically or in the realm of politics.
As a cautionary dispensation, local measures too, have to be conceived as deterrents to unscrupulous granting of concessions to logging companies and agri-business corporations. Admitted that in our skies, the ground rules are charming at the level of the Ministries of Forestry and Wildlife, what obtains at field level leaves much to be desired.
The appalling complicity between administrators -sometimes including Government ministers and forestry officials is such that calls for immediate truce. Not only are the logging companies indulged in unorthodox methods that do not make for reforestation as felling ignores safety of other trees, more vexing is the fact that some of the harvested tress have been abandoned in the forests. Reforestation projects have been hardly respected while sizes of logs are left to the discretion of the logging companies. Indeed, agri-business corporations are sometimes even accorded the luxury of logging in their concessions contrary to existing statutes.
In the Amazon basin, the internecine war between alienated natives and large-scale plantation promoters has meant that more and more forests have had to be erased. While clamouring for assistance from the developed world, we should sit back and think globally while acting locally. This way, the essence of Paris climate change summit would have had its intended impact and, the minds of the likes of French President Macron-arrowhead of a world devoid of ecological disasters would have been put to rest.
By Ngoko Monyadowa