By Guest Writer

Reality is clear, time is running out- we must go from harming our environment to healing it.

Every 5th day of June yearly, we celebrate World Environment Day which is seen as a global platform for inspiring environmental positive change.

This day was first held in 1973 and since then it has become a global event to celebrate and encourage action on the climate crisis and environmental degradation.

According to UN and definitely reality, it is clear that humanity is using up the world’s resources faster than they can naturally recover.

Despite a plethora of environment conventions, climate agreements and progress towards halting environmental degradation and climate change, we keep facing environmental crimes and worsening climate change impacts.

Uganda in in crisis, Africa is in crisis yet they have a small contribution to planet damage.

The world is in a crisis, climate change and humanity environmental negligence has swept away the word and it is in deep trouble.

Environmental degradation and climate change is having a growing impact on the world and it is hitting the most vulnerable groups the hardest. Women, children, youth and other vulnerable groups are 14 times more likely die in climate change and environmental crimes disasters. These groups will bear much of the burden of   these challenges, despite not having contributed to   them nor having had the opportunity to advocate for policies that would mitigate them.

As we celebrate the World environment day, we should know that the impacts of environmental degradation and climate change we face today are not just about the future, it is about the lives that are being lost today, people displaced today and living at risk.

And the message is clear we are running out of time and nature cannot simply keep up with our demands. Our governments are lost in their daily routines of making jobs, caught out in making short profits from fossil fuels and not looking up at long term prospects of the present and future generation.

Uganda in particular, we keep facing uncontrolled deforestation, unstopped plastic pollution, and changes to key ecosystems such as Lake Victoria, national parks and others.

And these present significant challenges to the people who depend on these resources.   Our protected areas like Bugoma forest, Zoka forest, Murchison falls​ National Park, water bodies, swamps and others are threatened by the growing sugar industries, timber logging and ongoing oil activities.

Recently, it was all over news that Air pollution is escalating in the administrative center of Kampala and the nearby outskirts.

The director in charge of Environment at Kampala City Centre (KCCA) Mr. Daniel Okello speaking during the launch of the air quality awareness week at the

Uganda Media House on 3rd May, 2022 noted that we lost 23,000 people in 2019 due to HIV in Uganda and in the same period, 26,000 people   died   as   a   result   of cardiovascular diseases linked to air pollution.

This literally means that air pollution has gone ahead of HIV in taking away the lives of Ugandans.

Let’s make a day like June 5, 2022 practical. The solution is easy, let’s take a collective transformative action on a global scale to celebrate, protect and restore our planet.

Let is all know that the environment and planet is the one thing that we all share mutually encouraging everyone, everywhere, to live sustainably and take action on the climate crisis and environmental degradation is the way to go.

I urge the youth, civil society and other stakeholders to play a key role in raising awareness and urging governments and the private sector to make large-scale changes for environment and climate justice.

We must engage governments, businesses, civil society, schools, celebrities, cities and communities in raising awareness and celebrating environmental action.

The science is clear & time is running out – we must go from harming our planet to healing it. There is #OnlyOneEarth. Let’s all take care of it. Happy World’s Environment Day.

The author is Brighton Aryampa {aaryampa.brighton@gmail.com}, a lawyer and Chief Executive Officer, Youth for Green Communities (YGC).

Disclaimer: We as UG Reports Media LTD we welcome any opinion by any one if it’s of a constructive use to the Development of Uganda. All the expressions and opinions in this write-up are not of UG Reports Media LTD but for the author of the article.

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