Today, bloggers around the web are uniting to put a single important issue on everyone’s mind – the environment. And as expected, I would like to join fellow bloggers from the rest of the world on this important issue. Last week, as I was searching for information on Darfur in preparation for the Stop the violence in Darfur post, I discovered that drought, desertification and overpopulation are some of the causes of the armed conflict.It is easy to see that the first two are purely environmental in nature. It has been reported that the conflict started when the Baggara nomads searching for water have to take their livestock further south, to a land mainly occupied by non-Arab farming communities. I think the government of Sudan saw this conflict coming. As a responsible government, it should have started looking for solutions to the environmental problems of Darfur from an early stage. And when the conflict finally broke out, it is very sad to see that the Sudanese government aggravating the situation by taking sides with the janjaweed against the non-Baggara people as if to suggest that the Baggara are better citizens.
The Darfur situation gives us an example of things to come if we do not combat desertification. A recent UN report noted that around 50 million people will be at risk of displacement due to severe desertification over the next 10 years, causing an “environmental crisis of global proportions”. These risks threaten not just unstable regions, but also countries that are likely to experience the spillover of large-scale migration from areas directly impacted by a changing climate. Therefore, I would like to call upon different nations to join the United Nations in combating desertification. The United Nations Desertification (UNCCD) encourages member nations to develop both offensive stategems as well as defensive manoeuvres against desertification. In her summary, Heidi Strebel points out that the programmes implemented under the aegis of the Convention include reforestation projects, managed grazing methods, sustainable farming techniques, such as crop rotation, and efficient irrigation schemes.
Let me wind up this post by asking the different countries to invest in biofuels i.e. Jatropha for biodisel and Ethanol for petrol driven vehicles which are more environment friendly compared to traditional fossil fuels.