KIGALI - Senior UK scientist, Prof. Sir David King, lauded Rwanda and China for their efforts to preserve the environment via their intensive radical terracing policies, a move he said the rest of the world should embrace if the planet is to mitigate the effects of climate change.
King, the Director of Smith School of Enterprise and the environment at the University of Oxford, made the remarks while speaking to senior government officials at a public lecture last week.
King, who is also a member of the Presidential Advisory council (PAC,) said that managing the earth’s resources to deliver food to an increasing population is increasingly becoming difficult.
King, told the gathering that included cabinet ministers, that the current global warming resulting from climate change is destroying the ecosystem at an alarming rate.
King attributed the increasing carbon dioxide emissions to the burning of fossil fuels from power plants, trucks mostly from rich countries and deforestation of world forests.
He also said population explosion in developing countries has exacerbated the problem.
“Ecosystem services are getting overstretched due to the rapid population increase, and this has also led to a much faster increase in demand for food, yet production is hindered by changing environment,” he said.
King, a former science adviser to the government of UK also highlighted exploitation of minerals, conflict and terrorism, water resources and emerging insecurities as the other challenges to the 21st century.
Speaking to The New Times shortly after the public lecture, King said the positive outcome of the Copenhagen meeting on climate change last year, was that countries revealed their commitments concerning cutting the percentages of carbon emissions.
He, however, said that there were no punitive measures proposed for countries that will not implement this.
King called upon the governments, private sector and the civil society to pool their efforts in addressing the problem.
He said countries should switch to low carbon economy, embrace production of Genetically Modified (GM) foods that increases production if they are to ensure a sustainable future.
He also urged the governments especially of developing World to promote women education, the primary solution to check on population explosion.