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Generation Restoration and Equality: the roadmap towards sustainable development

 


Generation Restoration and Equality: the roadmap towards sustainable development

We are in a decade of action where we are fighting to solve two defining issues of our time: gender inequality and climate change. This will pave way to solution for other crises of our generation . We can’t solve climate change without solution to gender inequality – they have direct connection to the defining issues of our time. For every degraded land,  the impacts of climate change on women and girls is on the downturn. Degradation comes with the increase in global warming yet the largest natural form of trapping carbon from the atmosphere is through the restoration of all degraded land. This invariably means reaching the attainable points on gender equality. Also land degradation could exacerbates natural disaster and the spread of diseases. This is why climate change is a social, economic, and health issue. As stated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “with clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, limiting global warming to 1.5oC compared to 2oC could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society – this clearly outline the road-map towards achieving agenda 2030’’.

 Climate change, environmental degradation and insecurity are directly linked – creating an enabling environment that fuels environmental degradation thereby leading to insecurity of various forms such as water scarcity, shrinkage of Lakes, food insecurity, displacement and lost of livelihoods. In the centre of these crises, women and girls are dis-appropriately affected by it. Sahel, the world’s largest degraded environment with over half of women in the region married off in their childhood and a home to over 20 million child brides is a devastating consequences of climate change on women’s empowerment especially her education. Contributing  to these problems is the use of a girl child as a survival strategy in term of environmental hardship and a way of stabilising the family from poverty and hunger. Lake Chad seats in Sahel region and has shrunk by 90%. It is known to have displaced 10.7 million people while 2.3 million people are food insecure – another crises that adversely affect women and girls since they are the closest in sourcing for natural resource such as water.

According to the IPBES report, more than 75 present of Earth’s land areas are substantially degraded: undermining the well-being of 3.2 billion people. It is predicted that if we continue to pay leap service to the action that is needed to be done, further 25 percent of the Earth’s land areas could become degraded by 2050 with a corresponding effects on human migration. The Oogni land in Niger-Delta Nigeria reminds me of the need for reclamation of our land from oil spillage that is depriving our people from their basic human right thereby placing biodiversity at high risks. Also, linked to this cases is the Mauritian oil spillage that was leaked in the ocean placing aquatic lives and livelihood of people at risk.  Generational equality is a building block while generation restoration is the solution driver toward sustainable development. Land degradation is the worst environmental disaster that is placing billions of live on earth at risk of crises. In seeking for solutions, the Great Green Wall initiative is a commendable initiative which is capable of absorbing carbon that could help restore our degraded ecosystem and a huge benefit to the people’s well-being. In our world today achieving our goals and  meeting up with our timeline is very important as every little thing matters.

By Oladosu Adenike ([email protected]); an ecofeminist, climate justice activist and an advocate for the restoration of Lake Chad.

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