EDITORIAL: Development must not come at the expense of conservation

A new report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature has painted a damning picture of the status of conservation of nature and natural resources globally, indicating that of the world’s 80,000 animal species, a whopping 24,000 of them are at the risk of extermination.

A new report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature has painted a damning picture of the status of conservation of nature and natural resources globally, indicating that of the world’s 80,000 animal species, a whopping 24,000 of them are at the risk of extermination.

The report attributes this disturbing phenomenon to acts of humans, including insecurity, poaching and other human activities.

 

Indeed, there are growing fears among conservationists that human activity and development are increasingly threatening the survival of severely endangered wildlife species, with calls to governments and other players to reverse this self-destructive trend.

 

Yet growing urbanisation, population explosion and a clamour to fast-track development in most parts of the world will continue to pose a major threat to environment conservation, a situation that sets the world on a dangerous trajectory.

 

Development that destroys our planet, with far-reaching consequences on humans, is counterproductive and not sustainable.

Every human being has a moral responsibility to conserve and sustain nature and natural resources, to make the planet a better place for both the current and future generations.

Phenomena like global warming, prolonged droughts and other effects of climate change that are fast manifesting in different ways should serve as a wakeup call to everyone that protecting the environment and nature is a matter of life and death, that it’s a necessity and never an option.

Speaking on the sidelines of the recent The Global African Investment Summit in Kigali, the president of the African Wildlife Foundation Kaddu Sebunya, warned that “the impacts of our actions will eventually drive human survival to a tipping point”.

And, as President Paul Kagame said during the annual gorilla-naming ceremony earlier this month, development and conservation are not mutually exclusive; they complement each other perfectly.

To sum up, all countries and peoples around the world must pursue sustainable development – in a manner that makes the planet a safer place for all.

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