Environment problem have become an issue in the world due to the adverse effects associated with it. The results have affected all the living things and the non living thing, the major effect being observed in the climatic changes due to the emission of the greenhouse gases. Since this has become a problem in all parts of the world, addressing the problem has become a necessity.
ENVIROMENTAL PROBLEMS IN SUB-SAHARA AFRICA
Most of the 47 countries in the sub Sahara depend directly on the natural resources for their social and economic needs; this is because two third of the population live in the rural areas, more so, they also depend on agriculture. Environment degradation is has become a major obstacle for development the region, this is because of the water pollution, air pollution, soil pollution and decline in the biodiversity in the region. Though means of curbing the problems have been developed, implementing them remains issues since these countries are poverty ridden.
Air pollution in sub Sahara Africa
Most of the air pollution in the sub Sahara countries comes from the natural gases, this is because instead of finding better use of the carbon produced during the oil production, the carbon ends up being burnt in to the atmosphere in form of carbon dioxide. The World Bank estimates that the quantity of carbon flared is 20% of the energy the region uses per day. Since carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas it’s believed to be a major cause of the air pollution. The natural gas in the sub Sahara countries, Nigeria, Angola, Cameroon and Gabon is said be
readily available therefore making air pollution a major problem in these countries. Nigeria which is the leading consumer of the commercial energy is working on developing a gas-to-liquids industry and expanding their liquefied natural gas trade to reduce flaring.
The major reason for the continuous air pollution is because these countries us the non-commercial fuel in large scale, these fuels are used in both rural and urban areas. Africa is the largest user of the biomass energy; these include charcoal, agricultural residues, firewood and animal residues.
Another major cause of air pollution is the increasing process of industrialization as a result of globalization; this comes along with increase in number of industries which emit carbon dioxide in to atmosphere.
Deforestation in the sub Sahara Africa
Central Africa is one of the homes for the natural rain forests. These natural forests act as the carbon sinks, meaning that they absorb the carbon emissions from the atmosphere therefore reducing the green house effects. Deforestation is has become a thorn in the flesh in the most sub Sahara countries. As result by 2025, most of these countries will suffer from lack of fuel wood deforestation has major effects on the environment as it result changes in the climatic conditions over time, there is also loss of biodiversity and increased soil erosion. Most of the deforestation results in areas which have dense population such as the east African highlands and Sahel. Deforestation also results to desertification, there is also loss in the soil fertility and this reduces the soils ability to support plant life. Deforestation results climatic changes which is mostly associated with many adverse effects which include reduction in rainfall and increased rate of desertification which in turn results to downstream flooding, reduced water quality and sedimentation in rivers and lakes. It also can lead to dust storms, air pollution and related health problems but all these are the net effects of deforestation.
Causes of deforestation The main causes of deforestation is mans activities, these activities includes clearing land for either agricultural use or for settlement. Man also harvests the wood without planting trees to replace the harvested ones
STRATEGIES AGAINIST THESE NEGATIVE ENVIROMENT AL DEGRADATION AND THEIR APPLICATION
One way to control the environmental problems is by a country adopting hydroelectrically power and renewable sources of power. Other sources of energy are the hydroelectric power, geothermal, wind power and solar power. Though this is expensive for most third world countries because of the limited resources, they are better ways to manage these problems of environmental degradation. These projects require a well prepared project proposal so that the beneficiaries can be funded. Implementation of such projects is faced with some difficulties as there problems which can along with the construction of hydroelectric power station. These problems include displacement of some communities, destruction of some catchments areas, destroy some fishing grounds and bring some water borne diseases like cholera and become a breeding site for mosquitoes and other parasites.
Public awareness is also a way to control environmental problems. This is where the public is taught the negative effects of some practices like cutting of trees. The methods applied include use of media, public gathering, and method demonstration or may be use of lectures. All these methods require to be well presented to the audience; they will also require a lot of economic resources. The major problem with these methods is that most of them can only be taught to literates, since most of the less developed countries are faced with high illiteracy levels them implementation will be a problem.
The local governments can set by laws to restrict the companies and other firms to set a maximum levels of pollution beyond which they should fined, law can also be set to restrict the
production of some products, e.g. production of some wood products which contribute to deforestation. The major problem is that this can face some resistance from these in power especially if they own these industries. Controlling these industries can affect the employment and cause some economic loss to the respective individual and the industries in the respective countries.
Countries which produce carbon emissions as a result of oil production can reduce this by developing gas to liquid industry to reduce flaring of carbon emissions. All this require a country to have a strong economic muscle because it comes along with cost.
The countries can to agreements and treaties which are meant to curb environment degradation. Countries can also join the already existing treaties like the Kyoto Protocol which fight against global warming, these international agreement control the member countries on issues concerning the environment issues. A major set back with these agreements is that countries whose economies are affected by these treaties may deliberately not sign the treaty, e.g. as did the US on the Kyoto Protocol.
Oil which is a major pollutant of marine ecosystem due to spillage during transportation can be transported in better ways which cab detect the chances of spillage at it primary level. Unsustainable practices such as poaching, excess fishing, directing the industrial wastes in to the catchments areas should be made Illegal practices. All these control measures will depend on the willingness of the government in power and the efficiency of the implementing bodies.
HOW ASIA HAS TRIED TO CONTROL ENVIROMENTAL PROBLEMS AND THE OUTCOME.
Asian countries are blessed with a great ecosystem which is responsible for their high production of rice in the region, however, the biodiversity is being threatened the growing population which has resulted to the monsoon forests being threatened by deforestation which
in result to increased rate of global warming. Increased growth of the industrial sector has a net effect of pollution and this has made access for clean water for domestic use a scarce product. The ever growing population has increased demand for more agricultural land hence making deforestation to take place; this has also led to over exploitation of the agricultural land since Asia accounts for the 60% of the world population but its only accounts for the 24% of the world area.
In the process to control the environment problems in Asia, the countries have formed an Agro Environment research Consortium; this is involved in holding international conferences, doing research projects on the environmental issues and setting up of research focal points for individual themes.
These countries have formed the National Institute for Agro Environment Sciences [NIAES]
which was formed in 1983 with its major objectives are;
Being managing and assessing the environmental issues
Elucidating and managing the structure and function of the agro ecosystems.
Basic studies to elucidate agro ecosystem functionality
NIAES does collaboration with other Asian countries who share paddy rice agriculture food production platform and cultural and land connection. Several memorandum of understanding have been signed to control the environment problems, especially the problem of carbon emission which is a global issue.
Several benefits can long with these agreements, they create a net work which will provide for an organized contribution for international framework such as the intergovernmental panel for climate change the international geosphere biosphere programmed. The results of these project findings are pasted on the website hence providing information to countries and general public on ways to prevent environment degradation.
However this project and activities have been faced with problems which have made them not to be 100% effective. Though they have been implemented partially, they have faced problems like lack of an efficient implementing team, risks associated with terrorism in Asia e.g. in Pakistan and lack of sufficient fund or delayed funding; these proposals also take long to be drawn.
The net effect of these practices is the sustainable management of the environment though some people have criticized some findings of the research proposals.
Environment management is a key issue in the world which needs to be addressed by all the nation for the sake of mankind, this is because the on going trend of environment degradation will result extinction of the biodiversity, some of the biodiversity which is essential for the survival of mankind ones they become extinct, man will also pursue extinction.
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