A great mind once said a cheerful heart is some great medicine, but a failing heart who can contain it, I guess none. The world, in general, has had its fair share of issues this year and in Africa, Kenya is still in peoples mind and heart as they arise every day. A few kilometers away from Kenya, I am in Dar es Salaam meeting with scientists who are cheerful and strategizing in taking the western Indian ocean countries and their small islands nations through a better stage of achieving SDG goals with several goals taking the center stage. The scientists from almost all parts of the globe are interested in producing applicable science for especially SDG number 14 on life underwater for the western Indian ocean regions whose important principles:
- By 2025 Prevent and reduce marine pollution of all kinds.
- By 2020 Sustainable manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystem.
- Minimize acidification of the oceans.
- By 2020 Regulate overfishing.
- Increase scientific knowledge on the area
Many countries and small island nations along the western Indian ocean that attended the pre symposia, are strategizing and planning on how to manage this aspect of the MDG as well as include SDG 11 on sustainable cities and communities, of the few initiatives, registered Kenya and Mombasa as a city specifically seriously needs some of these interventions, is featuring but to a lesser extent, look at some of my earlier posts on Mombasa Island http://valentineenvironment.com/sea-level-rise-mombasa-and-lamu/.
The warming of the earth as per the AR5 report is based on the historical context, the increase of the three important greenhouse gases which includes the carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxides, especially from consumption of fossil fuels and deforestation with these gases increasing at almost thirty percent. The impacts that affects humans and ecosystems in coastal cities include , the increase of sea level from 1700mm to a severe pervasive and irreversible level, the acidification of the ocean and its related resources as well as the distorted impacts of the built environment with the natural oceans leading to both positive and negative impacts of the negative raising the bar to a new level.
The dangers associated with these climatic changes are of course affecting the life under the sea. The five risks unique to this ecosystem include risks on ecosystems and diversity, the distortions of marine life nesting sites, directly bearing on the sustenance of coastal communities that depend on this vital resources. For a start we need to reduce fossil fuel use between 40 and 70 %, I know Kenya wants to hear none of this, but wena! it is the bare truth. Zero or low carbon energy is important in reducing the climate risks and contribute to climate resilience and sustainability options.
The need to manage the blue economy cannot be underestimated in coastal communities along the east and western part of the Indian ocean. As the coastal cities in this region strategize and plan and join local government sustainability initiatives especially fit for coastal regions, we will not only be able to protect ourselves from climate-related threats, but we will as well be able to develop our coastal cities gradually. We will be able to protect the coastal above water and underwater resources as well as the people who get nourishment form these areas.
In the event that the coastal regions and governments do not support these initiatives and leave the forces of demand and supply which are mostly directed by the consumptive nature of the people. We will continue flouting ruthlessly the planning rules and regulations in the coastal regions, continue to increase the grey environment without sufficient plans to secure clean water and the related resources, we will continue to rape, maim and destroy the ecological services provided by the coastal environment much to the disagreement of nature. Bear in mind that the environment when highly destroyed may reach a point of no return, and of course when the environment disagrees and cannot sustain anymore, life will depart from you.
Meanwhile, the WIOMSA symposium is starting tomorrow, check and follow the proceedings here http://symposium.wiomsa.org/ . For the women in marine science and related disciplines, keep your ears open. Cheers, and let’s discuss after the symposium we are already set.