“THE ‘environment’ is where we live; and development is what we all do in attempting to improve our lot within that abode. The two are inseparable.”
This is according to Our Common Future, which is also known as the Brundtland Report, from the United Nations World Commission on Environment and development published in 1987.
I found this phrase interesting considering the levels of environmental degradation in the country especially with the poor solid waste management and contamination of underground water.
The impact of the above is visible pointing to the outbreak of cholera which gobbled a lot of money in the mitigation process.
If avoided that money could have been spent on other needy areas of the economy.
It is sad that environmental degradation has continued to undermine and threatening the development progress of the country.
There is an endless list of examples where development is overtaking sustainable management of the environment.
For instance allowing mining in game parks is a direct affliction to environmental justice.
Another example is the increased industrial activities that have greatly contributed to polluting the environment thereby threatening
Deforestation, resulting from increased economic activities like construction and the huge demand for charcoal emanating from power rationing locally known load shedding, has continued to harm the environment.
But development should enable people to better their well-being.
Long-term development can only be achieved through sustainable management of various assets such as financial, material, human, social and natural.
Sectors such as agriculture, fishery, forestry, tourism and minerals provide important economic and social benefits to people.
Good development entails increasing the asset base and its productivity, empowering poor people and marginalized communities.
It also reduces and manages risks and taking a long-term perspective with regard to intra- and intergenerational equity.
Environmental degradation has been demonstrably linked to human health problems that include some types of cancers, vector-borne diseases, and emerging animal to human disease transfer, nutritional deficits and respiratory illnesses.
The environment provides essential material assets and an economic base for human endeavour.
Almost half the jobs worldwide depend on fisheries, forests or agriculture.
Non-sustainable use of natural resources such as land, water, forests
and fisheries can threaten individual livelihoods as well as local, national and international economies.
The environment plays a significant role in contributing to development and human well-being.
But it also increases human vulnerability, causing human migration and insecurity, such as in the case of storms, droughts or environmental mismanagement.
Environmental scarcity can foster cooperation, but also contribute to tensions or conflicts.
Economic growth is important for the prosperity and wellbeing of the economy and its citizens in developing economies like ours. It stimulates advances in technology, such as those that will be needed to continue decoupling consumption and production from their environmental impacts.
It is also an important factor in enabling other drivers of wellbeing, such as improvements in health, education, and overall quality of life, economic growth and wellbeing.
Economic growth typically refers to an increase in the level of goods and services produced by an economy, as estimated by measures such as Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The challenge lies in the proper management of these resources.
Sustainable development provides a framework for managing human and economic development, while ensuring a proper and optimal functioning over time of the natural environment.
To effectively address environmental problems, policy makers should design policies that tackle both pressures and the drivers behind them.
As I concluded I would like to urge all stakeholders to play their role in preserving the environment because the ministry in charge of environmental protection and Zambia Environmental Management Agency cannot address all the challenges at once.
Stakeholders should spend a lot of energies on changing the mind of the people failure to which huge sums of money will be spent on same programmes thus no development.
The mind set and perceptions some people on environmental management is really a danger to society and if left unchecked there will be no development.
Bye and until next week!
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