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Guiding Principles for Zambia's Future

2011 greetings!

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To my extended family

 The Action Plan of the Environment Initiative of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD, June 2003) reflects a universal uncertainty, “Throughout Africa, poverty remains the main cause and consequence of environmental degradation and resource depletion...”

Which is it? Cause or consequence? I join others, confident that poverty is ultimately a consequence of environmental degradation and resource depletion caused by our own poor stewardship of the planet.

That there is a massive imbalance in the exploitation and consumption of resources, permitting some societies to enjoy unprecedented wealth at the expense of the majority, does not affect the survival challenge of our times - we have to learn to live within our planet’s means or face bloody conflicts to the end. 

 This probably means abandoning key modern virtues like “greed is good, it’s all about me and I want it now” and adopting better communal rules that place our needs within the environment's capacity to supply them. Are the people with the longest history of sustainable management of the environment ready to help the world find a better way, or will Africans simply follow the standard development path to depletion blazed by rich nations. 

 We appear to be losing 4 tonnes of soil/ human/ year so my long-term vision begins with Allan Savory's call for a BROWN REVOLUTION to prepare the ground for a GREEN REVOLUTION necessary to feed 9 billion of us by 2050! 

 Happy 2011 to you all, we’re virtually with you every day!

 

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 July 2011 17:07
 

Land and Natural resource management

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People tend to take care of what is their own. The destabilisation of customary lands and resource management by the British invasion and the subsequent transfer of ownership of these lands by the Kaunda regime into the unified state in 1973 has left Zambia's common resources in a bad place with the Zambian people unclear about what is theirs and what is not.  People can often be heard shrugging off customary norms on common resources with the response "Ndí fya boma", a colonial era sentiment  meaning it "belongs to government" impying it's not ours, so its fair game to plunder. The delicate covenants of trust key to equitable sharing of resources have been broken, undermined by modern values of individual ownership and exploitation.  

Last Updated on Sunday, 09 October 2011 10:17 Read more...
 

What's your country's biggest export?

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We bet it's soil, life-giving nutrient-full soil and instead of making money, creating jobs and bringing security and wealth it's undermining our future fast. Degrading soils release massive amounts of stored carbon dioxide Co2, accelerating desertification, climate change and biodiversity loss and, because there's less vigorous plant re-growth ( less nutrients) to put the Co2 back in the soil, it's a negative spiral. 

Reducing Co2 emissions from our energy-hungry lifestyles is commendable but it's looking pretty futile and unrealistic because 4 billion more people have just arrived at the high consumption, high emissions table and many more on the way- its impossible to stop human progress- everyone wants more.

Reversing the natural cycle, we see that improving soil promotes increasingly vigorous plant growth which moves an increasing amount of Co2 from the atmosphere into the soil by way of photosynthesis and thus providing more food for all life.

Too simple? For many perhaps it is, but for farmers, pastoralists, gardeners, foresters and all us with their feet still on the ground it's common sense.

How do we restore the soil on a large-scale? Well now that may sound a little counter- intuitive at first but..........  

Dr Allan Savory, winner of The Buckminster Fuller Challenge 2010 in recognition of his "Operation Hope for Africa" project, challenges us with the assertion that: 

"Humanity's future hangs on a slender thread - learning how to manage livestock to address biodiversity loss/ desertification/ climate change"                          

Please take an hour and watch his video seminar here 



 

 
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