Mother Earth, the Environment, and Peace: Protecting Our Home
by Rickon Mwiinga
This bright green poster caught my eye recently. It is for an event on the UN’s Mother Earth Day - April 22 to be held at the Mthunzi Children’s Centre on the outskirts of our capital city, Lusaka. It’s an organization I know well. The children there are planning to involve the community in a day of environmentally friendly activities, including litter picking and tree planting.
This set me thinking about how my country, Zambia, is addressing the climate crisis in today's world. The environment is facing numerous threats and challenges. With pollution, climate change, and the destruction of natural resources, it is crucial that we take action to protect our planet. As human beings, we have a responsibility to preserve the earth for future generations, and to ensure that the environment is sustainable for all living creatures.
One of the key steps in protecting the environment is to reduce our carbon footprint. This means making choices that limit our impact on the environment, such as using public transportation, reducing energy consumption, and recycling. A report from the United Nations suggests that by taking these actions, we can significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and slow down the rate of climate change (UN, 2020).
Currently, the Zambian government strives to take various steps to protect the environment and promote peace, such as enacting laws and policies that encourage sustainability, promoting diplomacy and providing humanitarian assistance, and using environmental practices to promote peace. And I am glad to see Mthunzi Children’s Centre taking this forward in a practical way practical, promoting an eco-friendly community.
Another important aspect of protecting the environment is to preserve natural resources, such as water and forests. According to the World Wildlife Fund, over 1.1 billion people lack access to safe drinking water, and this number is projected to increase in the coming years (WWF, 2020). By conserving water and protecting forests, we can help to ensure that these vital resources are available to everyone.
In addition to protecting the environment, it is also essential that we work towards peace. There are two aspects to this, the dangers to the planet in terms of the devastation that bombs, particularly nuclear weapons can do to the environment, and also the threat to peace that environmental changes present. In communities where extremes of weather conditions have struck, such as drought, floods, fires and the cyclones recently experienced by our neighbours in Malawi and Mozambique, communities have to migrate, putting burdens on their neighbours which can create conflicts. And of course, all such severe climate incidents damage the peace of mind of victims.
By promoting peaceful solutions to conflict and investing in sustainable development, we can create a more stable and peaceful world.
Protecting our Mother Earth and promoting peace are all interconnected. By taking action to reduce our carbon footprint, preserve natural resources, and work towards peaceful solutions, we can create a sustainable future for all human beings and living creatures. Let us remember our responsibility to protect the environment and work towards a more peaceful world.
United Nations. (2020). Climate Change. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/climate-change/
World Wildlife Fund. (2020). Water Scarcity. Retrieved from https://www.worldwildlife.org/threats/water-scarcity
Rickon Mwiinga who is studying Theology at Rhema Zambia, while working for Lusaka Hotel as an IT manager, and running a tourism business as a young entrepreneur