Urbanization; managing our environmental resources

Urbanization; managing our environmental resources

Post By: TWOW foundation 8 Comments 12 likes

Event Image

Environmental management is the protection, conservation and sustainable use of the various elements of the environment. Good environmental management involves activities that enhances the environment and create conditions favorable to people and other living organisms. Africa is experiencing a rapid depletion of living natural resources, Land degradation, desertification, Deforestation and Soil Erosion. Environmental management is the study of how living things and non living things co-relate with their environment. 

The advance of cities is growing fast. Rapid urbanization is increasingly becoming a subject of debate as nations negotiate to tackle sustainability challenges. Current research findings however indicate, that the development of cities is fast growing with little emphasis on sustainable development to our forests which is part of the Eco-system we are dependent on. The findings, however, offer little suggestions on the framework for identifying and evaluating the impact of urbanization in relation to sustaining forests cover, which almost 60 percent of human beings and living things are supported.

The existence and proper management of forests determines favorable climatic conditions, consistent rainfall that sustains our agricultural industry, while extreme carbon emissions to the atmosphere have a negative influence on rainfall patterns. Increased carbon emissions to the environment will increase carbon-dioxide levels to the atmosphere affecting rainfall patterns, which is a product of the existing forest cover. Poor Health is attributable to the destruction of forests in favor of development of urban cities. A high influx of industries emitting high levels of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere contributes negatively to the existing environment. While Africa is dependent on rain-fed agriculture for its food production, deforestation of forest cover in favor of human settlement projects destroys the water catchment areas that sustains the cycle of rainfall affecting our agricultural activities.

In the rural community wood fuel is still the biggest source of energy and timber. Timber from trees still forms a large percentage for sources for raw materials for export and commercial purposes. The harvest of timber for such purposes negatively impacts environment conservation efforts and hence the need for regulation. Only a small percentage of land in Kenya is suitable for agriculture with the remaining percentage being managed poorly. The top soil is usually washed away during heavy rains causing heavy soil erosion and destruction of vegetation occurs during this period.

Our natural environment is a resource that contributes significantly to the economy and GDP, sustaining a number of key industries like tourism. Kenya's Biodiversity (flora and fauna) sustains a number of primary industries, (Food, Tourism) that contributes to the GDP and is the most valuable ecosystem sustaining varying marine life, including estuaries, mangroves, sea grass beds and intertidal reef platforms and coral reefs which are vital for the diversity and reproduction of marine organisms. This natural ecosystem must be conserved at all costs to maintain a thriving tourism sector.

Empowering women at the grassroots to practice conservation agriculture is one of the measures that can be taken to control challenges of frequent droughts and growing food insecurity. Once empowered, the Women in Sustainable Agriculture can secure their income and make their way around middlemen to be the sole producers of food crop in their societies. The women will have the ability to ensure self-sustenance for them and their families, subsequently making great contributions to the economy and environment. Urgent measures are needed to integrate environmental concerns into sustainable agricultural projects in relation to management of range lands, forests, water quality, wildlife and conservation of genetic resources.
Environmental conservation in Kenya is key to its development and enforcing conservation has met challenges like population pressures. Raising awareness to the Local communities to engage them in participating in conservation and education must be organized to educate the community on the needs to protect their environment. Collaboration of the local communities and the relevant agencies is seen as a platform where, the local community can be empowered to protect sustain and develop their surrounding communities.

Tree planting initiatives can help save our rapidly diminishing forests. Pest control programs should be established geared towards eradicating fast desertification in sub-Saharan Africa. The goal is to enhance voluntary initiatives and participation in environmental conservation activities by every Kenyan through education and awareness campaigns. This is expected to foster inclusiveness and partnerships in environmental conservation and management.