Climate change and its menace

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Climate change is a critical problem, which is adversely affecting the structure and function of The Gambia’s ecosystems. Upland ecosystems have degraded largely due to erratic rainfall, overgrazing, soil erosion and intensive cultivation, the result of intense pressure on land resources, high population growth and recurrent droughts.

 Lowland ecosystems and wetlands are threatened by salinity in the western half of the country, siltation and sedimentation resulting from upland degradation caused by erosion. Declining rainfall over the last years has increased aridity in the uplands and acidity/salinity of soils in the lowlands.

Many forecast that unless human beings significantly reduce carbon emissions, sea levels will rise, and weather patterns will shift violently. Another problem linked to climate change is human-caused pollution, which has left our planet on the verge of a tipping point in which ecosystems will die resulting in the release of massive amounts of CO2. If that happens, the changes to the climate could be irreversible, countless species will become extinct, and our economic and cultural way of life will be critically altered.

In this connection, humanity should not spare any effort to curb the global warming.  Experts believe that by taking action now, we can reduce emissions by more than 85 present, by the middle of the century, and prevent this climatic catastrophe before it is too late.

In The Gambia and in most Sub-Saharan countries, protecting tropical ecosystems and rain forests should be a moral obligation. We owe it to future generations to preserve our environment to mitigate possible catastrophic consequences from the irresponsible behavior of big business and multinational companies. The responsibility to create a better world, which is home to more biodiversity than any other ecosystem, is key to protecting the planet’s health and curbing climate change. This can only be done, if we decide inexorably to change the path of tackling environmental issues.

“Climate change is the environmental challenge of this generation, and it is imperative that we act before it’s too late.”

John Delaney