World's cloud forests 'headed for destruction'
Writing in the journal Nature Climate Change an international scientific team has warned of the near-total loss of one of the world’s most delicate ecosystems, the Mexican cloud forest, along with 70 per cent of its plant and animal species, as a result of human pressures.
“Cloud forests occur only at certain high altitudes and their species are exceptionally vulnerable to the loss of the cool, moist environment that sustains them,” explains lead author Rocio Ponce-Reyes of Australia's ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) and The University of Queensland.
“Habitat loss and degradation by human encroachment are the main threats to cloud forests around the world at the moment,” says Ms Ponce-Reyes.
“However, given the narrow environmental tolerance of cloud forests, the fear is that human-induced climate change could constitute an even greater peril in the near future.”
She and her colleagues decided to test whether this was so by investigating the specific impact of future global warming on Mexico’s 17,274 square kilometres of cloud forest.
They concluded that only about 5557 sq kms would survive.
When they factored in the impact of potential human forest clearing and land use, the surviving area was whittled down to a mere 1 per cent of its present extent – just 151 sq kms.
“At present only about 12 per cent of Mexico’s cloud forest is protected – and it is not clear how effective that protection will be by the latter part of this century,” Ms Ponce-Reyes says.
“Immediate action is required to minimize this loss—expansion of the protected-area estate in areas of low climate vulnerability is an urgent priority,” the international scientific team declared.
They identify as a particular priority for rescue the cloud forest at the Sierra de Juárez in Oaxaca. This supports 22 of Mexico’s most endangered species and is expected to retain relatively large fragments of cloud forest despite rapid climate change, if only it can be protected.
Drought in Northern Nigeria
rought and desertification have been occurring persistently in the arid and semi arid zone of northern Nigeria with devastating social and economic impact for decades.
The primary causes of desertification in Nigeria have been identified as overgrazing, over-exploitation, deforestation and poor irrigation practices leading to negative impacts like; resource-use conflicts, problem of food security, lose of flora and fauna among others. Therefore, land degradation resulting from droughts has been accelerated by anthropogenic factors.
Gaining On The Environment
Industrialisation is central to economic development. Its impact does not only reflect in the growth of the nation’s economy but also in the wellbeing of the citizens. However, these industrial activities are often accompanied by serious environmental degradation which has negative effects on the health of the nation as well as the environment.
Pollution of terrestrial areas, air and water bodies as a result of hazardous wastes deposited on the environment where these industries are located have become a norm and a source of worry in many developing countries. It is against this backdrop that the need for effective waste disposal and a proper legislation on the environment is necessary.
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Green-It Front Page
From The Publisher
This is a publication of necessity. For over a decade, this concept has been on the cards. I always knew, we will do it but could not put a finger to its commencement date.
AND THE DESERT ENCROACHES…
The statistics on desertification in Africa is alarming, for most nations of the continent, especially those in North Africa, the “sand” is a feared enemy. In Nigeria, the situation is not much different, the desert is expanding, Lake Chad is a shadow of itself, people are being displaced and pastoralists in search of pasture clash with farmers. If the trend persists, the consequences will be dire. In this report, OluseyiAdegbola examines issues crucial to the fight to stop desertification.
In Bauchi, a state in Northern Nigeria, they drift along the cobbled streets, often barefoot.When the heat of the sun becomes unbearable, they take shelter beneath extended eaves, behind large plywood doors, in shady alleys – anyplace that’s hidden enough but with sufficiently quick access to the main streets where they resume their trade – begging alms when the sun goes down. Their skin is fair, hair curly, and by their features, you could quickly discern that they are not from around here.They are natives of the Republic of Chad, an African country ravaged by war, drought, desertification and famine; they are here seeking to preserve a livelihood which the desert stole from them.
WANGARI MAATHAI- BACK TO NATURE
“The planting of trees is the planting of ideas. By starting with the simple act of planting a tree, we give hope to ourselves and to future generations”.–Wangari Maathai
As a child Wangari Maathai, Africa’s first female environmentalist to win the Nobel peace prize (2004), adored the sites of nature- the hundreds of tadpoles that enjoyed the freshness of the marshy waters in the village, and the green natural expanse. To her, this was perfection as the environment all around exudes the warmth of nature and the peaceable state of Mother Nature.
PERSONALITY INTERVIEW: NNIMMO BASSEY
The state of the environment is at the centre stage of global discourse. Nations are faced with ecological disasters: floods, drought and desertification among other environmental hazards which to a large extent have been accepted as being effects of climate change.
Amidst these tragic events, renowned environmentalist and chairman, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth International, Nnimmo Bassey speaks with Green-IT reporter Oluseyi Adegbola on issues critical to the preserving of our environment.
PERSONALITY INTERVIEW: OMISORE
“Green Building is a must… a government providing mass housing for her people is exercising a social and political responsibility” - Omisore
The state of our environment is a critical issue that deserves the attention of all, government, organized professionals and technocrats. In this light Chief Tokunbo Omisore, the incumbent president of Africa Union of Architects (AUA) bares his mind on related and germane issues. Excerpt:
What is the vision and mission you want to enliven as the helmsman now at Africa Union of Architects, AUA?
First, I was elected President of Africa Union of Architects on the 16th June, 2011, before then I have been Secretary General in the last 6years. The mission and vision I will say commenced 6 years ago as secretary general but with an opportunity now to actualise what have since commenced with other council members to put in place. The aim in my 3 years as the President is to rebrand the African architect and architecture and this hinges on what you can refer to as the architect and her society.
WORLD POPULATION LEAP TO 7 BILLION
According to the United Nations on October 31, 2011 the global demographic projection is now estimated to have reached 7 Billion from the previous 6 billion ascertained on October 12, 1999 that had been increasing steadily geometrically right now at the rate of around 1.10% per year.