Zambia needs to take conservation of the environmental seriously rather than just commercialize the finances being provided for that purpose.

Climate change issues are very serious and which should not be taken for granted because science indicates that our planet faces dramatic and lasting changes due to global warming.

And unless we take significant actions today to reverse greenhouse gas emissions trends and to enhance climate resilience, we risk irreversible damage to our planet and ultimately cause death to ourselves.

Mitigating the impact of climate change requires immediate and aggressive actions. Without them, natural ecosystems, and the services they provide to all of humanity, are at risk of dangerous impacts, such as rising sea levels, melting glaciers and ice caps and increasingly frequent instances of drought and heavy precipitation causing flooding and changes in timing of wet/dry seasons.

Other risks climate change may bring to our Earth include intense tropical cyclone activity, changes to the lakes, rivers, streams and hydrological systems that supply fresh water, alterations, disturbances to agriculture and heat-related mortality, and  increased outbreaks of infectious diseases.

Zambia has already begun experiencing some of the mentioned effects and therefore urgently needs to deploy all available measures to ensure some of the effects are gradually being reversed.

Basically, it’s all about ensuring that the funds being provided for climate change activities is used for the intended purposes rather than being diverted and spent on unrelated programmes. We need to take serious the need to mitigate climate change impacts before we end up in a quagmire.

Let’s ensure that we do everything we can to conserve the planet’s natural systems because it is one of the key essential responses to the climate crisis.

We need to stop the destruction of tropical forests is a cost-effective and necessary way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions now. Studies have shown that the burning and clearing of tropical forests alone accounts for approximately 16 percent of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, more than all the world’s cars, trucks, airplanes and ships combined.

Unsustainable agriculture practices also contribute to another 14 percent of CO2 emissions.

If we fail to halt emissions from forests and unsustainable agriculture use, and do not conserve natural ecosystems, we will fail to resolve the climate challenge.

Mitigating climate change will also require reducing CO2 emissions by increasing energy efficiency and promoting the development of carbon-free energy sources, a shift away from fossil fuels that will take decades to achieve.

In fact, it is estimated that up to 25 percent of all emissions reductions needed by 2050 could be achieved by protecting and restoring forests and other natural ecosystems.

Such nature-based solutions are immediate and cost-effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance resilience to climate change, they are our bridge to a climate-secure, low-carbon future.

Protecting nature provides significant opportunities now, opportunities to cut emissions dramatically, preserve our planet’s ability to support life, and sustain communities in the face of those climatic changes which cannot be avoided.

A healthy natural world is our most important asset in meeting the greatest challenge of our time.

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