Environment and Sustainability


Climate change isn’t a hoax anymore it has reached its tipping point in human history. It’s true colors are evident in all aspect of our world today. One cannot accept the fact until he or she feels the impact personally or is impacted by the whole thing. During our field trip on Gender, Environment and climate Change we watched a video clip produced by Mr. Porvarour Arnason who has been documenting the melting and retreating glaciers at Hofn, South east Iceland. This is evidenced by pictures taken from the same spot spanning several years proves that human beings are under estimating the negative effects of their natural environment.

Conflicting evidence between the North and the South was evident during colonial periods. Both North and South divide compromised the environment which enhance poor, dangerous and unpredictable environment today. Most of the countries from Global south are still facing more consequences in relation to climate change. The most vulnerable and less developed countries feel it most example Somalia, South Sudan and Ethiopia among others who are currently facing severe drought which has been recurrent and stole many innocent lives.

During our field visit, I learnt that Icelandic government is trying their best to preserve the natural environment and pride which includes Mountains, sea, Rocks, birds, plants, glaciers including others.The government supports the locals who took the initiative to preserve their resources and cultures for next generations to come. But from the observations and lectures from environmental educational centers at south, it was very disappointing that the beauty of glaciers will be lost in the coming 200 years. This is due to the climate change imbalance predicting future changes.

The global south are the ones who suffer and die due to the harsh impacts of global change whereas the Global North are mostly the contributors to environment changes.The global North has taken actions to stand and protect their environment collectively whereas the South still don’t give much priority and attention on climate change. The irony comes in where the Global south always are concerned on immediate impact and assistant to people affected by ensuring there is proper hygiene and sanitation, access to clean water, and food security.

After the hazard events in Southern Iceland years ago caused by volcano eruptions and followed by flooding in the areas, has displayed major concerns to the people in the area. Most of quality waters from the streams may be toxic and therefore risky to the animals and humans in the area. There is high precipitation all through Winter and summer and the older generations are really worried and started advocating to government, environmentalist specialists and most importantly the younger generations to step forward and fight for right cause of preventing misuse of natural resources and environment to avoid perilous climate change. The elderly in Southern Iceland have tried teaching the young who are still left behind on the respect of nature, patience and values towards their relationship with nature.

Finally, the scientist, the local community of Hofn, the game ranch management and Icelandic government including other stakeholders are creating and coming up with new adaptable strategies to address issues on their native cultures practices and protect the communities land. It was amazing to see the game ranches having more women than men plus women in management who would much contribute proper decisions that will benefit the whole society.

Unfortunately, our world needs to wake up from the deep sleep we are in and get to see the reality. We should think about ourselves, our children’s lives and those of our grandchildren in future. Do you really want to see them cry over our impact of destroying the nature and its environment or do you want to see them happy and having prosperous lives?

By Bisharo Ali.

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