Climate Change and Environment
Climate change is not a joke, it's real although there are some deniers causing confusion. The United Nation's Secretary General once said , "it is a major and overriding environmental issue of our time and the single greatest challenge facing environmental regulators". The increased manifestation of climate change in Africa and the World is a growing crisis with direct impact on the economy, health, safety, agriculture, infrastructure, security, etc. This global crisis can't be ignored and we at Engineers In Green Actions-Africa (EGAA) recognize the importance of a concerted effort by various stakeholders like the UN,UNFCCC , African Union(AU) ,Local Governments, Central Governments ,Regional Governments, International Communities and Companies in this noble cause.
Today, we are faced with dirty and dangerous energy like coal, nuclear,etc. There are now extreme floods, severe droughts, tornadoes, typhoons which have all affected lives in Africa and other parts of the World. For our Climate Change Interventions we propose to:
- Fight deforestations and plant more trees in communities. No doubt, forests will counter desertification; make timber for economic growth, fruits for food, clean air. Forests is one of the ways of slowing down climate change as a mitigation strategy. We are talking about billions of trees for fruits, herbs, timber, wind breaks etc to be planted in Africa. We will supplement this by engaging women and men in making Jewelry and Crafts (beads, bags, head scurf, quilts, etc) from recyclable materials/paper and other environmentally friendly materials. Income from this sold locally and Internationally will help to supplement fighting climate change to the families through the JC4C2 Programme below.
- Protect the biodiversity. A functional ecosystem where all species are healthy and not threatened to loose their lives is another way of protecting the environment. This variety and variability of animals, plants and micro-organisms at genetic, species and eco-systems levels is very necessary. The wetlands, rivers, lakes should be preserved in its natural setup by engaging the responsible bodies to ‘walk their talks’. Polluting of lakes, rivers shall be avoided so that the aquatic life is maintained hence good healthy fish for food, sports fishing etc. We will campaign against over fishing and under size fishing.
- Influence Policies/Enact laws.
Through a good amicable engagement with Governments and other stakeholders, policies that support the environment and climate change interventions are achievable. Solid waste management policies in Africa is still wanting.
- Climate change mitigation and adaptation. To increase the resilience of communities or people from climate change attacks/disasters (strange weather shocks), EGAA proposes to identify, practice and implement a climate disaster response Team (CDRT) so as to provide food, water, evacuation, accommodation, disseminate information etc. For energy, we will promote renewable energy like solar, wind and other appropriate sources.
- Climate change education/Sensitization/Campaign. All the above is more achievable if the citizens or communities understand climate change and its impacts before it strikes. We propose to go on Radios, TVs, Schools, Colleges, Universities, News papers, magazines, social media and all other avenues as long as it will impart the understanding of climate change and its potential disasters for potential responses and solutions. Our message will always strongly echo: contributions to developing climate change solutions, mitigation of GHG emissions and promotion of energy efficiency.
- JC4C2 Interventions Programme
This initiative came as a beautifully crafted idea (JC4C2) from Chicago-USA, as our President and CEO, Mr. Ocaya F. Bese was attending a Climate Change Leadership Corps Conference in August 2013. From his lonely Hotel Room No. 910 at the Hyatt Regency, McCormick Place, Chicago, the conference attendees had departed home and he was waiting for his flight back to Africa’s Uganda several days later. He jotted this idea on his phone (electronic data) in a quite environment, overseeing a side of the beautiful City of Chicago from his Hotel window. On return, he initiated the idea and it involves Women, Men, Youth Groups in Villages making Jewelry and Crafts (beads, head scurfs, bags, necklaces, bracelets,ear rings, baskets,quilts etc) from recyclable or biodegradable materials which are not detrimental to the environment. These Jewelry and Crafts will be sold both locally and Internationally to raise funds for Climate Change Interventions in areas of Adaptation, Mitigation and Research hence supporting the overall Climate Change and Environment Program of Engineers in Green Actions-Africa. This Programme alone has the following impacts:
- Spreading the word of climate change and its dangers to the very local people in village communities and cities and how to adapt or mitigate it.
- Sales portion from this goes to support the Women/Men and Youth Groups in terms of helping household needs like food, medicine, clothing, school fees, etc.
- Sales portion from this Jewelry & Crafts 4 Climate Change (JC4C2)Interventions directly supports EGAA’s Programme in activities of Climate Change Adaptation, Mitigation and Research. This will include the following activities but limited to: Tree Planting, Improved Water access, Climate campaign/sensitization, biodiversity protection, etc.
- Disasters, responses and reduction: We propose to be ready to respond to disasters as soon (minimum time lag) as it strikes. There is no need to wait. We will need emergency transportation vehicles, ambulances, mobile solar powered water purification systems, food, pre-designed accommodation system units ,Tents, boats, softwares for forecasting disasters before it strikes, etc. We don’t want to wait, this is the time! As we implement all the above interventions, our focus is to answer these questions: Does it strengthen resilience? Does it reduce GHG emissions into the atmosphere? Does it promote energy efficiency? Our answers must be YES ! Where necessary, building codes will have to be changed or modified to be more resilient to disasters and climate change. The use of computer softwares to monitor floods, drought, landslides, earthquakes will be utilized hence earlier warning to vacate can be issued in time.
- Carbon Neutrality. This is a way by which Organisations, businesses and individuals use to reduce GHG emissions to zero as concerned people about climate change. The carbon foot print is measured for each individual or company and it can be offset by : purchasing carbon offset units or by abatement i.e by reducing or avoiding emissions through use of renewable energy and by growing forest which removes carbon from the atmosphere. We propose to adopt a National Carbon Offset Standard which will be approved by each Government and Stakeholders hence Organisations and Governments can take responsibility in reducing the GHG emissions in the atmosphere. Certificates will be issued for best companies and organizations in attempting and achieving carbon neutrality. In this way we will be more relevant in fighting climate change.