Editorial: We must mend our relationship with nature

Impala inside Akagera National Park. According to the report, wildlife populations have fallen by more than two-thirds in less than 50 years. Sam Ngendahimana

The latest report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) shows that animal population has reduced by 68% since 1970, as human activity erodes the planet’s life support systems to the edge.

The report underlines how humanity’s increasing destruction of nature is having a catastrophic impact not only on wildlife populations but also on human health and all aspects of our lives

 

It comes at a time when, here in Rwanda, the health threat posed by air pollution is growing.  According to the ministry of health, about 3,000 lives are lost due to air pollution-related illnesses every year. Air pollution is one of the top causes of mortality in the country.

 

Biodiversity is being lost at an alarming rate. This loss affects our own health and well-being.

 

These developments bring into sharp focus the need to rebalance our relationship with nature, because, according to the WWF report, the environmental, health and economic consequences of failing to do so are disastrous.

In fact, projections suggest that based on the current scenario of pollutant emissions, the contribution of pollution to mortality globally will double by 2050

Therefore, world leaders must take urgent action to protect and restore nature to ensure our own survival.

One of the starting points is encouraging the world to adopt sustainable ways of producing food and energy.  

This is because, for instance, the increased production of food and energy in most parts of the world is being done by overexploitation of plants and animals. Scientists have warned that this is increasingly eroding nature’s ability to provide them in the future.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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