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Essay

HUMPHREY MREMA

Year-Prize: The 13th Eco-generation Environmental Essay Competition     Item: Time for Nature

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NATURE IS AT RISK, WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING NOW

 

HUMPHREY MREMA (Tanzania)
Honorable Mentions

 

 

It was early in the morning, while in class, our Geography teacher cracked a serious joke that after laughing from it, we came to deep thinking of what the tutor has just said, the topic on the table was about Environment, she explained a lot of things, out of those, I clearly remember what she said that made people laugh, she said: “Environment is like a coat left for years, you can’t wear it until you make sure that there are no insects within.”  We giggled, but the quote left me with some questions, how does the environment relate to what the teacher said? I solved the equation by revealing that environment is like a coat left for years if it won’t be preserved and actions won’t be taken to protect it, and if you wear it the insects which may symbolize negative impacts brought by environmental pollution will ruin the Earth but the way to overcome this is by implementing environment protection strategies to serve ourselves and the Universe we are found within.
'Biodiversity' is a relatively new word. It encompasses not just individual species but the relationships between species and their habitats. Increasingly, scientists are studying whether various habitats and the species they harbor, can survive the massive changes that human beings have brought on the planet, particularly in clearing forests and plains for agriculture and ranching. Harvard University biologist Edward O. Wilson, one of the leading authorities on biodiversity, estimates that the world could lose 20 percent of all existing species by this year 2020.

In the first place, threats to food security and supplies will increase in a direct proportionality as how loss of biodiversity escalates. Food chain and food web are important components of the ecosystem which show how both autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms depend on each other. The updates were given by the UN in February 2019 report on how biodiversity loss endangers food security  it has to be handled with full commitment.  The report provided by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) clearly examined biodiversity loss in 91 countries, including the plants, animals, and microorganisms that provide critical ecosystem services, such as keeping soil fertile, pollinating crops, cleaning water, and fighting pests and diseases. (FAO, 2019) Only 20 plant species provide the vast majority of the world's food. Of those, just four—wheat, rice, corn, and potatoes—feed more people than the next 26 crops combined. Food insecurity can be solved if all International strategies enacted will be fully implemented, deliberately through SDG goal number 2- Zero Hunger.
In like manner, loss of biodiversity endangers availability of oxygen to the universe, without love you can survive, without food possibly you can go up to a week without dying, do you think the same grace will be available by living without oxygen? Impossible! For example, without bees pollinating crops and trees turning carbon dioxide into oxygen, even basic human tasks such as eating and breathing become harder. Taking a scenario of 2019 Amazon rainforest wildfires, which burned about 906,000 hectares of land, we consider this forest as the lungs of the Earth, what are the measures taken so that the fire won’t outbreak again? It is my suggestion the World to establish a Disaster Risk Reduction initiative comprised of leaders, environmental activists and other stakeholders to take close measures of preserving the region, not only the Amazon forest but also other strategic areas and the World at large. It is possible and we can do it now!
Coupled with several reasons for reserving biodiversity loss, the availability of medicines is highly contributed by the biodiversity found on the Earth. We have modern drugs derived from wild species that are used as a pain killer. For example, Ziconotide from cone snail toxic, cardiac drugs, for example, Lanoxin from digitalis plants and anti-cancer drugs, for example, Taxol from Taxus trees. (Cohab Initiative, 2010). How can people and other organisms manage to fight against disease if there were no medicines to get them out of illness? In ecology we depend on each other, so we’re obliged to create a sustaining World.
In addition, biodiversity should be reserved because it has social and cultural prominence within the community. When I was young I used to hear that there were creatures some centuries ago including the dinosaurs, where are they right now? They have become extinct. Singita, Grumeti in Tanzania is believed to have black rhinos  who are in danger of disappearing, poachers are hunting them, and drought becomes unfriendly for their survival. If serious measures won’t be taken possibly Tanzania will lose its fame of accommodating rhinos which has boosted tourism. Biodiversity is an icon of fame, reputation, and respect, we should not ignore this.
Furthermore, biodiversity helps in disaster risk reduction, in the natural circumstance, the great disasters may have been overcome by the diversity of organisms by themselves according to the situation given to them. (IUBS, 2017), there is a necessity of keeping our biodiversity because they have a great contribution to risk reduction. We have coral reefs and ‘coral polyps’ which help in avoiding storms and wave erosion in water bodies which is risky to sea vessels. Therefore, we can automatically avoid disasters if we will be passionate to protect the biodiversity.

Conclusively, I am the Chairman of Youth Survival Organization  an NGO which is focused in saving the community, article 10, and section 8 of our constitution shows that our Organization aims at “Mobilizing youths in conservation and preservation of the environment for sustainable development”, we are strategic in taking environmental projects that will help in saving our community basically through environmental conservation. We exhort the World to unite with a common goal of redeeming our biodiversity. The change starts with me and you!

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