Vanishing Pristine Lands and Climate Change

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By Francis Musinguzi |30-09-2016 | musinguzi@who.net

Down the road into the Semuliki River valley is a showcase-welcome to natures’ only planned beauty. The overlooking pristine landscape of the Rwenzori Mountains, the meanders of Semuliki River and the communal grazing plains of the Batuku pastoral people, all align in faultless splendor.

It’s sad that this amazing beauty certainly disappears as you journey through the expansive plains of the western rift valley, towards Budiba, a village off the banks of Semuliki River. ‘Budiba’ locally means an item that has lost market value. The descriptive name of this village affirms the fact that climate change is unprecedently devastating communities around the world.  The Week news portal reported that the Earth has lost 10 percent of its pristine wilderness since 1993, with South America losing 30 percent and Africa losing 14 percent in the 20-year period.

Let’s take a look at why Budiba came be a place that lost its market value. Once a thriving fishing and prosperous pastoralist community, Budiba is now a nearly desolate place from the fury of what I believe are impacts of climate change. The fishing village is continually submerging as a result of constant floods from the Semuliki River, having its source from glaciers on the Rwenzori Mountains.

Evidence has it that the Rwenzori glaciers are fast disappearing by the effect of global warming and climate change. As this happens the lower lands are submerged in floods, where the local people are not prepared to adapt. Instead, the Budiba people retreat and return only to keep their old way of life, moving about with thousands heads of cattle. The Batuku herdsmen gather to water their animals and continue to silt the riverbed of Semuliki. When the torrents come, the impact is far reaching; displaced communities, lost opportunities to education, health and livelihoods; and lost biodiversity.

It’s sad; our earth’s pristine biodiversity is continues to wane at unprecedented speed and the future generation will neither see it nor live it. You Remember Budiba; truly mother earth is losing its market value!

Resources

The Week: http://theweek.com/speedreads/647826/earth-lost-10-percent-pristine-wilderness-since-1993

Glacier Hub: http://glacierhub.org/2014/10/09/glaciers-recede-in-east-africas-mountains-of-the-moon/

 

EMAS Canada

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Canadian Centre for World Mission

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Jan Standaert, Belgium Michael Wills, Canada
Tetherdown Primary School, London

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Wereld Missie Hulp

WMH

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