Located in the Northern Region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Garamba National Park is 5,200 km2 of national wildlife, and home to vast faunal species- 138 species of mammals and 550 bird species: rhinos, hartebeest, buffalo, hyenas, lions, giraffes, whistlings, and herons among countless others.However, since 1989 the park’s residents have faced poachers and hunters eager for lucrative tusks, status-symbol tails, and rhino horns- no matter what the cost, In addition, since its establishment in 1938 the Park has seen a population reduction of 80%.
A particular example would be the northern white rhinos- famed for its ivory horns which were said to have healing traits, the Park’s population of 30 rhinos in 1996 has since seen the sub-species become extinct in the wild, with the last sighting in 2008. There are currently only three northern white rhinos left in captivity.
Garamba National Park
CONGO, CENTRAL AFRICA
Deforestation is the act of clearing a wide area of trees, occurring due to the need of more land and resources to uphold the rapid growth of the global population. It provides a source of freshwater, natural shelter, and fertile soil.Trees can also be turned into paper, wood and timber, which can be used for industrial uses, while forest land is attractive for agriculture due to its fertility.
However, there are many consequences that follow up as a result of deforestation, as forests are one of landscapes that provide all 4 services of the ecosystem: sources, sinks, services, and spirituality. We are not only ruining the surrounding ecosystem, reducing the biodiversity of the environment but also taking away a major service to the ecosystem.
A country that's been greatly impacted by deforestation is Honduras. This country has been rated as the country most impacted by deforestation. Historically Honduras was almost entirely covered by trees, with only 1% of the land not forested. Since then the country's forests has been cleared by up to 40% with an ongoing rate of 3.1% each year.
Bibjolia Mining Area
One of the more prominent unsustainable practises was the alarming increase of deforestation in place for mining activity. The forest decreased from 237.819 km2 in 1971 to 174.274 km2 in 1984. The amount further decreased to 127.770 km2 in 1991. This amounts to a decrease of nearly 110 km2 in just 20 years. This also has led to contribute to many diseases of the miners - malaria (49.7%), liver disease (15.5%), and other serious diseases, with workers generally disabled by the age of 40..
Towards the end of March 1994, there were 10,521 quarry licenses (for building stones), and 1,324 mining leases (for major minerals). These mining leases were spread over mass areas of land, including 1 million ha of forest. India’s independence in 1947 ultimately led to the over-exploitation of natural resources as the country underwent rapid urban development.
The mining expansion came with many problems - especially in regards of the environment, from land degradation, air pollution, water pollution, noise, loss of biodiversity, to hazards directly towards the miners themselves.
Issues of less rain and higher temperatures are becoming a problem for many Indigenous tribes. In 2005, the Yanomami Tribe suffered the worst drought in the Amazon.However, in the early 1970s, the military government built a road through the Amazon along the northern frontier (which led to two villages terminated due to incurable diseases). The Yanomami tribe has continued to suffer from this road, from it’s lasting impacts - which has brought to access to colonists, alcohol, and diseases. Many colonists and cattle ranchers use this road in order to invade and deforest the Yanomami area. The drought is the consequence of climate change - mainly due to the illegal mining activity located on Yanomami land.
The illegal mining has led to deforestation which ultimately leads to the progressive increase of carbon emissions. Other consequences include the surrounding environment, the people of the Yanomami Tribe, and their health. The mining activity has led to transmitting deadly diseases (for example, malaria). The mining has also led to the pollution of rivers and the forests, with mercury. Cattle ranchers are expanding their terrain, and closing into the land of the Yanomami tribe. This also leads to deforestation, and is also a great concern of the Yanomami tribe.
SUSTAINABLE PRACTISES FROM INDIGENOUS CULTURE
Fire management is considered extremely important to Indigenous cultures, and prevents (or minimises) many consequences - including the effects of climate change. Aboriginal people use fire to manage country and the land, and to introduce a new variety of habitats and also vegetation. The variety of habitats and new selection of vegetation, attracts native species - which are usually hunted for food. This solution will decrease the many extinctions of native species that are heavily affected by the climate change, and other factors (e.g. deforestation - which leads to an increase of greenhouse gases, loss of habitat, pollution, etc.)
Aboriginal people understand when to begin a fire, how to control a fire, and perceive the consequences. The aboriginal people use a “cool fire”, and with it’s low-intense heat, it has two main benefits; allowing time for flora and fauna to escape (the heat cannot penetrate the oil in a tree’s bark), and the fire, itself, being a ‘self-extinguishing fire’ (once it burns through the grass, it self-extinguishes).
Transport is a major asset of our lives, however represents 23 percent of global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions. But this number will rapidly increase in the future, as the demand for transport will correspond with the rapid rates of global urbanisation.There are currently many alternative ways in powering vehicles, all of which have little environmental impact, and the major influence was made by researchers at the University of Surrey.
The goal was to achieve a more efficient battery, and technology regarding battery-charging. The researchers had definitely reached this goal, and had boasted about their new discovery, as being 1,000-10,000 times more powerful than the existing battery alternative.The new battery has made electric cars more efficient, allowing them to potentially travel similar distances as regular petrol care - without the need to recharge every six to eight hours.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
REDUCING THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE
One practical way to implement into our daily lives, in order to help reduce climate change, is to switch our diets towards a vegetarian/vegan-like diet. This also branches into other factors, like less food wastage, and the ability to grow one’s own food. Eating meat damages the climate, produces immense levels of greenhouse gases, requires large volumes of water, and causes a lot of pollution. The environment and climate will benefit substantially, if the demand for meat and animal products decreased - especially in over-consuming Western societies. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions, that is contributed by animal agriculture, range widely from 14 to more than 50 percent of total global emissions.
These emissions are exacerbated by agriculture in a number of ways; the clearing of carbon sinks (e.g. forests) in replace of raising/growing food can result in net greenhouse gas increase, and farming (especially on an industrial scale) requires fossil fuels.A study was conducted by scientists at the U.K.’s Oxford School, and found global agriculture-related emissions could be cut by a third by 2050 - if guidelines on meat consumption are followed - by 63 percent adopting a vegetarian diet, and 70 percent with vegan. With this, the global health-care costs will be reduced by $1 billion a year by 2050.