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Conserve the environment to gain more from nature

There are without doubt valid reasons why Kenyan citizenry must be concerned about the state of the country’s environmental conservation. For one, the country is endowed with unique flora and fauna besides mountains, rivers and lakes that provide beautiful scenery—all of which contribute to make it a world class tourist destination, but which unfortunately we often tend to take for granted.
Nature has, indeed, endowed our part of the world with rich wildlife resources which, if tapped by both the National and County governments can greatly augment earnings to spur economic development. There is need, for instance, to completely ban charcoal burning and provide alternative sources of energy like solar to conserve the environment.
Globally, at various forums, attempts are being made to ensure less greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere to mitigate climate change and ensure temperatures, this century don’t rise by 2 degrees Celsius beyond pre-industrial levels to check global warming. Higher temperatures, of course, will see Arctic glaziers melting leading to rising sea levels and endangering island nations like the Maldives and others.
World nations should play their role to stop such an eventuality. Kenya, for her part should plant more trees to restore forest cover at 10 percent and halt felling of trees for charcoal burning, particularly in the water towers like Mau forest, Aberdare forest among others.
It is disheartening that, according to recent reports, the Mara River, a lifeline to both Kenya’s world famous Maasai Game Reserve and Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, is threatened with pollution, mining, sand harvesting and forest destruction in its catchment areas. This poses grave danger to one of nature’s spectacular phenomena, the wildebeest migration that draws tourists to this part of the world in droves. We should count our blessings that we can see the Big Five—lion, elephant, leopard, rhino and buffalo—in their natural habitats rather than through an emergency exit in the form of zoos in the west. We owe it to ourselves to protect and conserve our natural heritage.
It would be ironical if in a few years’ time, for example, we could exterminate our fauna and flora and have to travel to foreign countries to see an elephant or lion in its natural habitat and pay through the nose for such opportunity. All of us are obligated to safeguard the abundant God-given resources and tap them sustainably with the realization that unless we conserve the environment to mitigate global warming nature will ultimately, when all forests have been decimated and animals killed, hit back with a fury in the form of erratic or less rainfall, severe prolonged drought and generally onset of desertification. This will in turn spark serious human-wildlife conflict with disastrous consequences. To ensure both the present and future generations gain from the rich natural heritage, as a country, we ought to responsibly and sustainably utilise the resources with the realization that neglecting environmental conservation poses grave danger to mankind.

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