As a student in environmental management it falls upon me to provide solutions to the stinking problem of environmental degradation.
Africa is widely viewed as a land of untapped opportunities and an important economic block.
In 2016, Africa imported 35.4 billion dollar worth of food import alone. The tourism sector, production, telecommunication sector, service sector, just to name but a few are on the rise.
However, deforestation, waste management, and change in climatic patterns is becoming a monster reality in Africa.
The rate of deforestation is increasingly becoming a point of concern. It has even become hard for most of African countries to hit the 10% forest cover hard as required by the UN.
Bounded by the Atlantic, Indian and southern oceans, waste management is already becoming a bother too.
Government and local authorities all around Africa and N.G.O are doing their best to face this challenge of climate through legislation and running campaigns to sensitize the Africa population on the benefits of environmental conservation. However little effect is being felt on the ground.
With the rising influence of internet, social media and smartphone, penetration all around Africa, environment conservation could take another positive new dimension) it is estimated that 340,783,242 people across Africa are frequent uses of the internet (internet world stats)
The internet will be used to educate impact, inform and run campaigns on the benefits at environmental conservation.
This is an avenue whose potential is great but has not been tapped yet
What actions do you propose?
With a literacy rate of 64.0% in the sub-Sahara, Africa, and fast increasing around Africa. It is clear that most of the population in Africa can read and write and hence understand what environmental conservation is on a basic scientific concept.
As pointed out earlier in the summary, 340,783,242 people in Africa are frequent internet subscribers. on a daily basis. To get a clear picture on this statistics, we are going to take Kenya & South Africa as our case studies.
Kenyan situation according to a study done in Jan 21 2016 by Phoebe Park – CNN
Active Facebook users – 5 million daily
Active Twitter users 1.7 million daily
Active LinkedIn users 1.3 million daily
Active Instagram users 2 – 3 million daily
Snapchat active users 500,000 million daily
In South Africa According towww.internetlivestat.com
% (Increase) Penetration
From the above statistics, it goes without saying internet influence can no longer be left out in the efforts for environmental conservation not only in Africa but also the rest of the world.
It is worth noting that so much has been done locally and internationally on legislative but very little has been done on implementation.
I am going to clearly stipulate a two way platform using the modern technology to impact on environmental conservation.
1. Use of social Media Platform
To clearly understand this platform, I wish to give a direct example on how social media is making a positive impact on other avenues.
Francis Kariuki is an administrative chief of Lanet Umoja a location in Nakuru county about 160 km from Nairobi Kenya. He is a popularly known as the tweeting chief. Francis has captured national and international attention by using twitter a micro blogging platform as a tool for community policing and neighborhood watch reporting and preventing crimes.
This has not only seen crime drastically reduce in his location but has also won him many accolade locally and internationally.
A report by Facebook on 8th Sept 2014 showed that over 100 million people across Africa use Facebook. This number has significantly risen over the years.
By using a robust campaign on social media platforms e.g. Facebook, twitter, instagram, snap chat, what Sapp, LinkedIn etc., information on environmental conversation around Africa, information will easily be accessible.
2. Creation of an environmental APP
Many people around the world want to make a positive contribution on environmental conservation but they do not know how.
The creation of an environmental application which will be available for free for downloads on both android and IOS will be a game changer on environmental issues in Africa. This will give a chance to the public to lend support in legislation and other environmental issues.
The app will provide an alternative, fast and easy way of tackling environmental issues. It will be convenient for it will expose the user to lesser time wastage, lesser security fears and maximum efficiency.
By only a tap of a finger, the user will be able to report cases of deforestation, irresponsible waste disposal, animal torture, pollution etc.
This app shall be connected with different agencies across Africa tasked with the role of conservation
The user will report cases by posting articles, photos as well as videos at the event of capture of environmental degradation case. On this event, the nearest command center will send its officers to respond to the case through provision of exact co-ordinate by the app.
Point of concern
It is worth noting that an online programme called the Green Diamond is ongoing. It is using Facebook as its avenue. It has been started by university students in Kenya and hopefully with appropriate support, it would be a game changer in environmental conservation
Who will take these actions?
This is an extensive idea which is all inclusive
It ranges from the participation repeatable environmental N.G.Os government institutions, local governments, the students and the general population in respective counties
Government institution tasked with conservation will be required to be stakeholders by providing information which will be put on social media platform for reach by the general population.
The government and the local authorities will be required to be actively responsive, on an event of a reported case on the app.
The general population will be tasked providing information from every part of Africa and providing it on the app and actively participating on social media
Environmental N.G.Os will be tasked with providing necessary information on research and important information on both the app and on the social media platforms.
Where will these actions be taken?
These actions will start their effect in African countries. However, it is worth nothing that social media is a global tool of influence. Moreover, environmental conservation is a global issue, therefore with time it will be important to use it globally.
What are other key benefits?
- Help achieve the UN goals of 2020 where 60% of global population will be using the internet
- It is less costly
- Help catch and convict criminals
- Help connect people with common interest not only across Africa but also globally
What are the proposal’s costs?
Office Cost USD 12000 (per year)
App Creation USD 10,000 (just once)
Internet installation and sponsoring online USD 6000 Just once
Salary and staffing USD 30,000 per year
Total Cost estimate
(First Year) USD 60,000
We intend to reach out to not less than one hundred million people on all social media platforms all around Africa in the first fifteen years
With an aggressive plan to reach out to many people, this project just like wine will get better and better with time. I can confidently say that the project will serve as well so to time infinity
Literary statistics metadata information table UNESCO Institute of statistic Sept 2015
National literacy server National Bureau of statistics June 2010
Adult literacy rate population 15 + years (Both sexes and female) VIS Data center UNESCO August 2015
www.internetlivestats.com elaboration of data by international telecommunication union (I.T.U)/ World Bank and United Nations population Division
http://peacetalks.net/ptevents(nairobi-peace talks 2015)