Updated: Aug 6, 2021
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
World Environment Day (WED) is on June 5th every year. This day is set aside by United Nations with the aim of raising awareness on environmental issues. The theme of this year’s celebration is on Ecosystem restoration. All parts of an ecosystem (animals, plants, microbes, and humans) are interconnected. In order for our planet to thrive, we need to not only find ways to meet increasing demands for better lives, but to do so in a way that also protects healthy ecosystems and the many organisms that inhabit them. We are living in times when biodiversity is severely threatened, we have seen many cases of organisms going to extinction while the population of others is declining sharply.
Botswana’s economy reliably depends on the use of natural resources and ecosystems. These ecosystems include mining, manufacturing, energy, tourism, livestock and arable agriculture farming. This poses a serious threat to the conservation of genetic resources among them being habitat destruction, habitat conversion and disturbance, barriers to wildlife movement, unsustainable use of wild plant species, alien invasive species, Climate change, changes to hydrology and water quality of flowing rivers. In addition, another threat that has to be well observed is policy and institutional arrangements that may undermine ecosystem management.
The Covid-19 crisis has increased the already existing challenges that Botswana was facing. Those challenges include, but not limited to, Water scarcity, locust invasion, and climate induced droughts. Botswana as an African country, also faces a high potential of increased emissions, as African forests are under continuous threat from deforestation and degradation. This is because Africa is home to the largest proportion of forest dependent subsistence households in the world. Consequently, the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in Africa are mainly subsistence livelihood-related national and local scale drivers. This situation is likely to be worsened by the Covid19- pandemic which has exerted a lot of pressure to the economies world over and more so in Africa. Many people have lost their jobs, their livelihoods and the rural poor communities in Africa are barely struggling to survive. There is a likelihood that the fragile African ecosystems will experience increased pressure from communities seeking survival in the midst of Covid-19 thereby watering down the gains made so far in conservation.
HOW DOES BOTSWANA CLIMATE CHANGE NETWORK (BCCN) INTEND TO MARK WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 2021 GOING FORWARD?
BCCN is a membership based network that has a specific interest in climate change agenda. We different specific goals relating to numerous ways how climate change affects and impacts us. We consist of thematic coordinators and young digital activist. We also made a goal of planting a 100 000 trees across Botswana. So far we are at 510 and moving forward. We believe that the World Environment Day is a critical day when the world should reflect on the planetary health of planet earth. We believe that there are linkages and interdependencies between ecosystems and climate change. BCCN will endeavor to communicate messages on ecosystem restoration through a number of activities to be conducted through our platforms and other activities:
Community call (meeting) to action aimed at stopping the drivers of ecosystems degradation.
Dissemination of information through all our media platforms and our personal profiles.
1. Community call (meeting) to action aimed at stopping the drivers of ecosystems degradation.
The people of Gweta, Community people together with their Leaders, were called for a meeting and objectives of that meeting were to tell them about background of WED, why it is celebrated, the background of BCCN and why they should celebrate it. All these objectives were achieved and the community even had a chance to ask questions and they were answered.
2. Tree Planting
After the meeting we went on and planted 10 trees. It was a success. Below are the photos of the events that took place:
3. Dissemination of information through all our media platforms and our personal profiles.
While other team members were at Gweta, Young Digital Activists and Thematic Coordinators were spreading the word in all media platforms.
World Environment Day (WED) is on June 5th every year. This day is set aside by United Nations with the aim of raising awareness on environmental issues. The theme of this year’s celebration is on Ecosystem restoration. We at BCCN saw it feet to go out to the village of Gweta to tell the community about the importance of celebrating this day and also planted trees as part of honouring the Theme of this year.