RISING UP TO THE SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGE.

My name is Emma Ochieng and I am the founder of Towards a Better Earth initiative which is a youth led initiative that seeks to advocate for sustainability and conservation. It was started in September 2019 alongside Edwin Koskei,who is the co-founder and later on we were joined by Temina Busolo who is our chief consultant.

The main motivation for starting it came from the need to rise up to the sustainability challenge especially considering the fact that climate change and environmental degradation poses a threat to our planet.

 We achieve our objectives through: working with individuals and  other initiatives to create awareness revolving around sustainability and conservation, working with schools and universities to educate students on environmental education and also planting trees since they act as carbon sinks and also just be part of the young people that are helping Kenya to achieve the 10% forest cover.

This being the decade of action when it comes to achieving the SDGs, we incorporate SDG 4-Quality Education, SDG 13- Climate action, SDG 15 -Life on land and SDG 17- Partnerships.

My hope for the future of TBEi will be that we will continue to form a network whereby other like-minded people will continue having open conversations revolving around sustainability and conservation and just to come up with solutions to solve today’s sustainability challenges.

I also hope that in the future I can also be able to start a network where upcoming entrepreneurs can gather together and have open conversations on how businesses can also rise up to the sustainability challenge because I do believe that businesses can play a big role in advocating for sustainability.

For more information on TBEi check out the link below:

https://www.canva.com/design/DAD6iTSuRy0/vhB4Aumq2azHJZaLVYMteg/view?website#2:intro

Our social media platforms are:

Twitter: @TBEi2

Instagram: _tbei

REMEMBERING THE LATE PROFESSOR WANGARI MAATHAI.

Today would have been the late Professor Wangari Maathai’s 80th birthday and therefore I thought of dedicating this post to her considering the fact that she was a resilient woman who stood for a very Noble cause.

She was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her contribution to Sustainable development,Democracy and Peace.

The Legacy of Wangari Maathai: Two Years On | The Green Belt Movement
NOBEL PEACE PRIZE AWARD

Among her books I have particularly loved ‘Unbowed’ which tells her extraordinary story ,spanning different worlds and revealing what the courage,determination,tenacity and humour of one good woman can achieve:how a good act such as planting a seedling and watering it can make all the difference in the world.(If you haven’t read it you probably should)

UNBOWED.

In Kenya she will forever be remembered for fighting for spaces such as Karura forest and Uhuru park.

Karura Forest (Nairobi) - 2020 All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go ...
KARURA FOREST
Uhuru Park
UHURU PARK

Although many years have passed,her memory will forever be engraved in our minds.May her soul continue resting in eternal peace.

WILDLIFE CONSERVATION.

3rd of March having been World Wildlife day,and the theme being “Sustaining all life on Earth”,many people went ahead to celebrate the day in different ways.

Being the founder of Towards a Better Earth initiative (Twitter @TBEi2) ,we organized with my team to have a Q and A session on wildlife conservation on the 7th of March with Caroline Kibii.

We held the session at Nairobi Safari Walk and we got to discuss quite a number of things from the State of Wildlife conservation in Kenya to the possible effects of climate change on wildlife conservation and also the opportunities available for the youth on the same.

Nairobi Safari walk is an amazing place to go and unwind especially after a long week .The entrance fee is currently 215 shillings for Kenyans (Remember to carry your national identification card too)

(Incase you would like to check out part of what we discussed check out the link https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DVhEJGrtNHKWtW9Cxfo0mbq3Z7InmYoz/view)

YOUTH INVOLVEMENT IN ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION.

With climate change posing a threat to our planet,there is great need for youth to actively get involved in environmental conservation.Environmental conservation has to do with anything we can do to protect our planet and conserve its natural resources so that every living thing can have an improved quality of life.

Involvement is very important because once we are involved we can be able to make a difference.This can be through reaching out to different environmental organizations and offer to volunteer.Such organizations and initiatives in Kenya include:Miti Alliance,Green peace,Global Youth Biodiversity Network(GYBN),Patree initiative,Green Generation Initiative(GGI) and Towards a Better Earth initiative(TBEi) among others.

The good thing is that there are a number of activities you can take part in the organizations and initiatives above such as tree planting and since trees are very important in mitigating climate change as they act as carbon sinks,you might just be helping mother earth heal her wounds.One can also get involved in cleanups and campaigns such as advocating for the use of renewable energy,climate smart agriculture and against air pollution among other activities.

Reaching out to the to the organizations is one thing,but have you ever also thought of taking your time to go and educate young children on matters environmental?It really plays an important role because it helps the children to grow up to be environmental conscious citizens.Even though one might not be well conversant with certain topics,one can take it upon themselves and go that extra mile by doing research and talking to peers who have studied the same or even better inviting them to give the talk with you.

As I wind up,I would like to pose this question to you:”What are you commiting to do for the sake of our planet?”

DOING THE BEST THAT YOU CAN.

Happy new year guys,I hope that you have all been well.

Image result for humming bird wangari maathai

For today’s blog post I was inspired by the late Prof.Wangari Maathai’s story on the hummingbird .It is basically about doing the best that you can and realising even that little thing that you do can make a huge difference.

Personally when I think about doing the best that I can when it comes to environmental matters ,I think about volunteering in tree planting activities,taking part in clean ups and also spending my time to to educate people on things to do with environmental conservation.

I also do believe in inculcating an environmental conscious culture.Even with the hustle and bustle of life, you can spare a minute to pick that paper that somebody had thrown down and just put it in the bin.

CLIMATE CHANGE.

It refers to a long term change in the statistical distributions of weather patterns ranging from a decade to millions of years.

According to the NASA’s report on climate change ,the current CO2 level is 412 parts per million and the global temperature rise is at 1.9 F since 1880.If the figures don’t scare and trigger in you the dire need to do something as an individual,I don’t know what will.

We are at a point in time where we can not afford to be oblivious to the realities of life because if we do we will pay dearly and the future generations will only have us to blame.

As a result of climate change,the glaciers have started melting and there has been a rise in sea level thus leading to flooding.


In addition,it has led to heat waves which result in wild fires leading to the reduction of forest and vegetation cover.

According to the Paris agreement,a long term temperature goal to hold global average temperature increase to 1.5 C above pre-industrial level was set.


In order to achieve the 1.5 C goal,steps such as using cleaner forms of energy like wind and solar can be employed instead of using fossil fuels like coal which emit green house gases.

Related image

Secondly,by reducing our meat consumption,the methane levels can reduce since  methane is particularly problematic as its impact is 104 times greater than CO2 over a 20 year period.

Lastly,since trees act as carbon sinks,we can make an effort to plant more trees in order to reduce our carbon footprint.

ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY.

Environmental sustainability is concerned with whether environmental resources will be protected and maintained for future generations.

It is has to do with issues such as long term health of ecosystems ,renewable resources, protection of species diversity and ecological structure and also preventing the consequences of global warming.

The above will be discussed in the next three paragraphs since they for the basis of our topic of discussion.

Long term health of ecosystems includes protecting the long term productivity and health of resources to meet future economic and social needs like farmland,fishing stocks and protecting food supplies.

When it comes to renewable resources,it is more about diversifying into energy sources like solar and wind power.The wind power project in Lake Turkana is to be the largest wind farm project in Africa .It is amazing that Kenya is stepping up.

The protection of our species diversity and ecological structures is also very important.The loss of animal species like ‘Sudan’ ,the male northern white rhino on March 2018 ,was really devastating and since then it has been very clear that there is great need to protect our species in order to prevent the loss of species biodiversity.We hope that something might be able to be done maybe through science and technology with ‘Najin’ and ‘Fatu’ which are the female northern white Rhinos either through artificial insemination or another method so that the white rhinos do not completely end up becoming extinct.

Lastly there is great need to prevent the consequences of global warming .Policies that ensure that the environment of the planet does not deteriorate to a point where future generations will continue to face water shortages ,extreme weather events and excess temperatures as it is currently being experienced need to be put in place.

Great examples of such policies include the carbon tax,government regulations to limit harmful emissions ,subsidizing /encouraging more sustainable environmental practices and including all environmental consequences in the cost benefit analysis of decision making.

GREEN ECONOMY.

According to UNEP,a green economy is a low carbon,resource efficient and social inclusive economy.It describes a pathway to sustainable development which is a long term goal.

Back in 1989 ,the green economy was actually a thing but at the time it was just coined in a pioneering report by a group of leading environmental economists.It was later revived in 2008,whereby UNEP launched its green economy initiative.

The green economy takes into consideration the environmental impacts of growth.This is a very crucial due to the impending issue of global warming and climate change.

The environmental benefits of the green economy include:sustainable management of natural assets and resources,reduced green house gases and other emissions and lastly, better adaptation to climate change and resilience to natural disasters.

Sustainable management of natural assets such as landscapes and resources like forests ensures that the resources continue to provide benefits,that is water is available to all,that forests provide ecosystem services and that soil supports agriculture.

Green growth also entails reduction,both relative and absolute of green house gases such as carbon (iv)oxide and methane together with other emissions to air,soil and water.This has significant health benefits and contributes to improving the environmental quality.

Lastly, better adaptation to climate change and resilience to natural disasters is another benefit of the green economy in the sense that environmental benefits combine to improve the physical resilience of economic and natural disasters.Wider resilience is supported by the economic and social benefits of green growth,with improved education,health and income enabling people to better adapt to and survive such events or changes.

In summary,an inclusive green economy is an alternative to today’s dominant economic model which generates widespread environmental and health risks,encourages wasteful consumption and production,drives ecological and resource scarcity and results in inequality.

The next time you think about the green economy,think of it in terms of low carbon growth,resource efficiency and social inclusivity. #towards a green economy.