EDITORIAL: Heed findings of climate report

Friday August 9 2019

A new climate change report has come up with ominous findings. The 1000 page report compiled by 108 scientists under the auspices of UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reveals that land use for food production and bioenergy contributes to global warming at an alarming rate.

This means, according to the report, that achieving food security for the ever growing human population will have devastated consequences to the environment and will worsen the effects of climate change in future.

The global population is set to reach 10 billion by 2050. This spells doom for the forests, which would have to be cut down to pave way for agriculture.

The report says farming together with its supply lines account for as much as 37 per cent of all man-made emissions.

We are aware of the dilemma the report’s findings present to, especially poor countries such as Tanzania that have high population growth rate coupled with low agricultural productivity.

However we are aware that the report should be a wakeup call for us to up our game. We have no alternative but to improve agricultural productivity that will help using less land for higher yields.

The government and other stakeholders must also check the habit of wanton falling of trees for the excuse of farming.

This could be done through devising strong punitive measures against the destruction of natural forests that suck a significant amount of greenhouse gases.

It is time that these forests were declared “government trophy” and given special protection.

But equal wait should also be put on controlling animal grazing, which is one of the largest causes of environment destruction in Tanzania.

In fact the IPCC report has urged the world to reduce consumption of meat and dairy products because of the destruction of forests to expand pastures and the methane gas that animals produce contributes to global warming.

It is time to wake up and take action before it is too late.