There is a lot that needs to be done to bridge the gap between sciences and the arts. I hail from the great, yes great, Lira district of Northern Uganda. I also delight in being the founder of Africans Focused on Global Warming and Development (AFOGWAD) an organization that is comprised of young people brainstorming and locally establishing avenues and solutions to address one of our generation’s greatest tragedies, climate change resultant from carbon emission in the atmosphere.
The old English adage has it that “Ignorance is bliss”. At AFOGWAD, we have been questioning the impetus of the ignorance pertaining the invaluable significance of tree planting and forests in general. As such, we were prompted to carry out a survey to help us have a glimpse of what is the actual situation in our community.
The substantial results from our survey showed that a wholesome 60% of the participants were less concerned about the seemingly obvious significance of forest conservation and protection such as their role in the absorption of Carbon dioxide, just because they lacked the fundamental scientific knowledge. These included a handful of high ranking government officials who are supposed to join the fight against the devastating effects of climate change through sustainable policy making and implementation.
Another 15% of those interviewed said everyone is responsible for the forest conservation and protection, 10% of them who were mainly scientists and thus more knowledgeable about the issue claimed one should have at least a diploma in science in order to be a good tree planter and forest conserver, and 15% were not sure because they didn’t know where they belonged, whether on the scientific spectrum or on the arts.
We were thus brought to a conclusion that often times, the climate change scientists tend to communicate in a rather inefficient fashion, using terminologies and general scientific language too complex for the ordinary citizens to comprehend thus debilitating them from acting hence leading to loss in passion for forest conservation initiatives. In fact, some of the local participants even believed that the awards in the scientific world are awarded based on how complex their language is, a humongously disturbing revelation of the lee man’s view of the scientific world.
Obviously, the big challenge here is that the more the ordinary citizen is sidelined from the conversations on climate change the wider will the gap increase and thus hugely affect or limit their vital involvement in the fight. This is because some of the scientists are making those in the world of the arts to believe that even some simple actions like planting trees are not meant for them.
Out of my curiosity, we went ahead and asked some of the people we interviewed where they would group the many birds which have planted trillions of trees by dispersing their seeds, and the animals alike, on their fur. Many were left speechless. The bottom line is, it’s really a big concern as many wondered if the birds and animals had been Nobel prize scientists or acquired some advanced diplomas and degrees in forestry before embarking on a mission to disperse trillions of seeds that resulted into numerous plants out there!
This is one of the reasons that led to the birth of AFOGWAD’s, “Elders Keep for us Trees Campaign” which will very soon be launched if we manage to raise enough funds to execute it. We want the young people who are not sure whether they are scientifically knowledgeable or not to plant as many billions of trees as possible. This is to show to the world that anyone can plant trees, anyone can conserve and protect forests, anyone can fight deforestation, and anyone can cut carbon emission in the atmosphere by 60%. So let’s get dirty right now, right here and today as there climate is also changing right now, right here, and right today.
So, as stakeholders, we have the ball right at our feet. What direction we decide to kick it to shall either lead us to the rise of a new hope or jeopardy of the hope we have at the moment. We either do all what it takes to engage all categories of people to recover and guard this planet or face extinction just like the dinosaurs we decimated in the last ice age. Let’s think about our generations to come, let’s plant trees, let’s be earth guardians. Together we can fight for a better world! Hence not only scientists can fight climate change, anyone can, everyone should!
Blogpost and picture submitted by Ronald Onyang (AFOGWAD-Uganda) – onyangronald(at)gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
This post is published as entry #27 of our #Forests2015 blog competition. It is submitted in the “Youth” category.
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