Sunday, 7 June 2015

CLIMATE CRISIS: WHO WILL ACT


Heavy Clouds over a Wheat Field
From rising sea levels to changes in crop patterns, from extreme weather events to changing economies, climate change will affect us all.  For our generation, the decisions being made on climate change in our countries now will affect our future. Climate change is the mother of all conservation battles. It has implications for species extinctions, changes in vegetation, migration patterns of insects and birds, and much more, it threatens us humans too. 

Climate change is considered to be a critical global challenge and recent events have demonstrated the world’s growing vulnerability to climate change. The impacts of climate change range from affecting agriculture to further endangering food security, to rising sea-levels and the accelerated erosion of coastal zones, increasing intensity of natural disasters, species extinction and the spread of vector-borne diseases, thus turning millions of people into refugees.

Every year 192 countries come together to meet and negotiate a new climate change deal.  This December 2015, World leaders are due to agree a new international climate deal in France, Paris. We all have an opportunity to change our world. We can use this opportunity to make a decision to demand better climate change deals for our own countries.

The international climate conference will be held at the Le Bourget site from 30 November to 11 December 2015. This will be the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties (CMP 11) to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The conference objective is to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world. Leadership of the negotiations is yet to be determined.
World Global Warming
On the road to Paris 2015; HOW CAN WE ENCOURAGE THE WORLD LEADERS TO TAKE BOLD ACTION TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE? HOW CAN WE ENSURE THAT THE MOST VULNERABLE ARE HEARD AND PART OF THE SOLUTION? HOW CAN YOUNG PEOPLE SPARK THE POLITICAL MOMENTUM NEEDED?

If countries are serious about coming to a global agreement in the next few years, then they will need young people behind them to participate in the solutions, promote renewable energy, and take up green jobs.  This is only going to happen if young people are included in decision-making and if young people receive good education and training on climate change.

ꞌIt’s not just an issue of who benefits but also who pays the price. Several people say that, while the richest benefit from development, the poorest pay the harshest price for climate change-related damagesꞌ.

I can only hope for concrete solutions and real agreements from all parties that will make the climate deal agreement at COP21 in Paris a historically good one. I hope to see our Zambian Government, Civil Societies and the Youth to advocate and demand for commitments that are JUST, EQUITABLE AND POWER-FULL CLIMATE AGREEMENTS.




Friday, 29 May 2015

RESOURCE BLESSING, RESOURCE CURSE: LARGE SCALE NATURAL RESOURCE EXTRACTION

The extractive industries have the potential to significantly transform environments, communities and economies. At times, such transformation may manifest in conflicts or disputes between a resource developer and local communities, or even complete breakdown of the company’s social license to operate with associated costs for the company, local communities, and the broader public.

Large-scale natural resource extraction can only be met with the support of strong institutions engaged in the legislative process, monitoring compliance and environmental management practices, and promoting transparency. Without strong and committed institutions filling this role, the ꞌꞌRESOURCE BLESSINGꞌꞌ threatens to become a ꞌꞌRESOURCE CURSEꞌꞌ.
Smelting Works of a Copper Mine in Zambia
Exploiting the natural resources of a country is a powerful method for growing a nation’s economy and building the human, physical, and social capital needed for real national development. However if the sector is mismanaged and exploitation proceeds carelessly, natural resource extraction can be accompanied by increased corruption and reduced transparency, sow national disharmony, fuel economic inequality, and lead to irreparable environmental damage which poisons the source of peoples’ livelihoods for generations.

The enormous economic opportunity presented by these natural resource endowments has raised proportionally large concerns for sustainable environmental governance, revenue management, public health, community compensation and inter-generational justice.

Indeed many concerns are raised and I personally feel that, these concerns can be dealt with if we have many people/activists/CSOs/corporating partners that love and are interested in natural resources and deeply concerned about it’s destruction. People who are concerned with what the big corporations are doing in the name of making more profits but in the long run create more environmental problems and continue exploiting that which poor countries are endowed with.
Emerald Mining In Zambia
We need more activists, advocates and CSOs that are keen in ensuring that our environment is protected. For far too long the world’s poorest people have seen no benefit from the vast natural resources in their own backwards. It is time to end the injustice where ordinary people are silent witnesses, left to suffer without basic services, as the profits from their countries assets are hidden and plundered by corrupt regimes.

The power to save our natural resources and Zambia rests with the Zambian people. Remember that plans to protect air, water, soil, wilderness, wildlife and natural resources are in-fact plans to protect man.


We have fought for social justice. We have fought for economic justice. We have fought for gender justice. We have fought for Criminal Justice. Now we must add a new fight – the fight for environmental and climate justice.