Wetlands are significant carbon stores, and so the role of their conservation also needs to be considered in the development of climate change mitigation strategies
If they are not protected, the ecosystems could release huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, potentially jeopardizing their ability to store carbon that causes a rise in water, soil and air temperatures that in turn increases the effects of climate change.
How can this be mitigated?
According to Chief Corporate Affairs in Safaricom, Steve Chege – the private sector, government, and all other stakeholders must put people and the planet before profits and embrace sustainable practices as outlined by the Sustainable Development Goals.
Speaking during a stakeholders panel discussion themed The Role Of Wetlands In Climate Change Mitigation And Adaptation, which was hosted at the Michael Joseph Centre, Steve noted that in order to achieve the momentum needed to influence positive change, we must take our message of conversation beyond panel discussions, policy-making sessions, boardrooms and environment forums, and bring it right into our homes, and to our children.
With this year’s World Wetlands Day theme as Wetlands and Climate Change, one little girl’s story sheds a light on the collective action we can put when we come together.
Speaking to delegates at Michael Joseph Center. Thank you @SafaricomPLC & Sustainability team for invitation to speak on #WorldWetlandsDay #WetlandsDayKE #WorldWetlandsDayKe “Wetlands can be reclaimed for children to visit for flora & fauna” ASANTE SANA MY CHAMPION @JudiWakhungu pic.twitter.com/k73v2BZANp
— Ellyanne Wanjiku Chlystun (@EllyanneCGithae) January 30, 2019
Ellyane Wanjiku Chylstun is an 8 year old eco-warrior. Having planted 469 trees so far, she is eagerly following in the steps of her icons, the late Professor Wangari Maathai. At the age of 4, while in kindergarten, Ellyanne was inspired by the story of Wangari and the struggle she went through to make sure that trees were protected. The struggle then bore a passion that has been on ever since; to make sure that people not only plant trees but continue talking about why it is important and why it should be inculcated at an early age.
She had since continues to plant trees by herself, with her friends in school and with other schools including Farasi Lane Primary and Kawangware Primary. These are part of the 56 schools in Nairobi county that they plan to target by providing seedlings which will then be taken care of by the kids as their teachers also inculcate the value of tree planting and taking care of the environment within their learning.
Imagine what would happen if we all came together to support young Ellyanne’s dream? If we all saw the efforts being put by companies like Safaricom to see that this global cause to protect wetlands comes to fruition.