Thursday, 22 March 2012

World Meteorological Day: Powering our future with weather, climate and water.

 23rd March: World Meteorological Day;

The other day, World Community of Foresters, Environmentalist, Biodiversity Conservationist and Nature Lovers celebrated the World Forestry Day with a note to reach to the common man, the importance of forest and the need for its conservation with sustainable utility. While celebrating the day, emphasis regarding the link between the green coverage and stream flow would have been definitely made, and so came the importance of forest for water and water for life.

Because they purify and slow the flow of water to the sea, helping to control floods and water pollution, the wetlands are considered as “the world’s kidneys.” As water is essential for food production whose demand is ever escalating owing to the arithmetic rise in worlds population, the foresters then joined the FAO agencies and world community to celebrate the importance of water on World Water Day yesterday with the theme “Water and Food Security.”

Forests are further considered as “the world’s lungs” because they take carbon from the atmosphere and produce oxygen, and it is this function that has attracted growing attention in recent years as the world faces the challenge of Climate Change. And as the world celebrates the World Meteorological Day today, the need for conservation of forest to ameliorate the climate is re-emphasized. The theme for World Meteorological Day 2012 is “Powering our future with weather, climate and water,” and this focuses on the critical roles of weather, climate and water services in powering a sustainable future for us and for generations to come.
Photo courtesy of Satori13  

Every year news headlines the newspapers where hurricanes and storms devastated the homes of civilians, where drought hit the farms of our peasants, and where the impact of climate change has is painfully felt. The greatest injustice on our watch is that those who did the least to cause climate change are the first and hardest hit.

So, to secure the life of our successors fully lies in the present generations. In this regard, Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of WMO has conveyed a message to the world and some important excerpts are as follows;

“Certain human activities are contributing to the warming of the climate system and have dire effects on our natural environment, such as increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea levels.”

“It will be extremely important to ensure that in all our efforts to implement the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS), in particular to contribute to sustainable development, we always keep in mind the need to minimize as much as possible the atmospheric release of greenhouse gases.”

“Vulnerable communities around the globe are struggling to increase their effectiveness in preventing or mitigating natural disasters, close to 90 per cent of which over the last 50 years have been linked to weather, climate and water hazards.

 “WMO has continued to stress that Least-developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other vulnerable developing countries should be increasingly empowered to use early warning systems to safeguard their fragile sustainable development, as well as the environment and the global climate, for present and future generations.”

“While many renewable energy projects must necessarily be large-scale, several ‘green’ technologies like wind, solar and hydropower are especially well-suited for the rural and remote areas,”

“Biomass production involves using garbage or even crops, such as corn, sugar cane or other vegetation, to generate bio-fuel or as a direct combustion material. However, care must be exercised not to release an even more powerful greenhouse gas into the atmosphere than the one we seek to avoid in the first place, as well as not to jeopardize, through energy generation, the food security resources of the concerned population.”

“By scaling up renewable energy and other low-emission technologies, it would be possible to provide universal access to modern energy services by 2030 without significantly increasing greenhouse gas emissions.”

“The 13 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1997 and global temperatures in 2011 were higher than any previous La Niña year, an event which usually has a cooling influence. Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have continued to increase unabated, reaching an all-time high in 2011.”

           Read the full Message HERE;

image courtesy: google images;

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

World Water Day: Water and Food Security.

22nd March 2012: World Water Day;

International World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. This year the theme for the World Water Day is “Water and Food Security”.
World Water Day Logo 2012

Water is one such element without which the existence of life is but a big question mark. About 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water. Of this ninety-seven percent of the water on the earth is salt water which is filled with salt and other minerals, and humans cannot drink this water.
courtesy: Riku Dhan Subba 

Two percent of the water on earth is glacier ice at the North and South Poles. This ice is fresh water and could be melted; however, it is too far away from where people live to be usable.

Just less than 1% of all the water on earth is fresh water that we can actually use. We use this small amount of water for drinking, transportation, heating and cooling, industry, and many other purposes.

Since water covers almost all corners of the earth, a mere 30% is occupied by land. This land is further fragmented into deserts, cities, mountains, etc and leaves only 10.57% (15.74 million square kilometres) as arable, and this minute fraction of land have to feed as many as seven billion greedy people at present. Statistics say that each of us drinks from 2 to 4 litres of water every day, however most of the water we ‘drink’ is embedded in the food we eat: producing 1 kilo of beef for example consumes 15,000 litres of water while 1 kilo of wheat ’drinks up’ 1,500 litres. So, the least percentile of less than 1% of fresh water has to not quench the thirst of 7 billion people directly but have to satiate the greed by producing nutritious food. So came the slogan “The World is Thirsty Because We are Hungry”.

save water, save money.

Food security is when all people all the time have easy access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food for their dietary need and preferences for the better living and life style, and to produce such food, water is the fundamental output.

The following Video Clip Produced by FAOWater best explains Why is water so important to our food security?

To read more about World Water Day, ClickHere.

Yesterday, we celebrated the World Forestry Day. There is a close link betwwen the forest and sustainable water supplyForests help sustain the soil and water base that underpins agriculture. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), eight percent of the world’s forests play aprimary role in soil and water conservation. Forested catchments supply a vital source of clean water for human use: an estimated 75% of usable water worldwide. So we should save the forest to save water and 

Save Water, to secure the Future!!!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

World Forestry Day: Value the Forests.

21st March 2012: World Forestry Day;

Bhutan Forest: source linked
This day marks the importance of the Forests. Forests has played a paramount role in the evolution of ethnological culture and shaping the livelihood of the people dwelling in close intimacy with the forests from time immemorial. Forests are the basic of life, which contributes towards environmental, economical and socio-economic development of this modern world. Thus, forests are one such creation of God, which helps the people and community meet their basic necessities for living. The world’s poorest of people rely on forests for food, cooking, heating and lighting, owing to multifarious services the forests provides in the form of timber and numerous non-wood forest products.

“Everything in nature is lyrical in its ideal essence, tragic in its fate, and comic in its existence.” Contemplated George Santayana, and as such the natural beauty of forest is a great source of inspiration for the innovative artists. It is worth mentioning here that Lord Buddha himself was born in the forest and got enlightened in the forest. His teachings were made simpler for comprehension by using many metaphors and similes from the elements present in nature and as such, rooted in the forests is the doctrine of Buddhism. Moreover, many believe that there are unseen spirits everywhere – in the earth and trees, sky and waters, rocks and forests, failing to respect them, they punish us with natural calamities. This calls for the conservation of forests from the spiritual point of view.

Life in the metropolitan city is never peaceful. There are noises of honking cars, and surrounding areas are filthy with stinking garbage. The air is polluted and water is not fit for drinking directly. A short recreational tour from their busy schedule by the side of woods would heal the entire mental trauma that the man faces in their what they ironically term luxury homes, when gush of fresh air filled with natural aroma from green trees and colourful blossoms caresses them. Added to the mystical serene are the sounds of chirping birds, rustling of leaves and flowing of pure streams. This is why a valleys adorned with natural forest rich in its biodiversity attracts many nature lovers, thus opening the scope of ecotourism.

Forests also serves as major carbon sinks and plays a crucial role in reducing the negative impacts of climate change. Looking beyond our narrow human greed, forest provides home to diverse animal species and maintains a stable and dynamic ecosystem. Furthermore, forests play an important role in prevention of soil erosion, and helps in maintaining a water cycle thus offering a protection to catchments and our agricultural lands.
fire continues array in forest

However, many forest areas are lost annually due to carelessness and unsystematic use of forest resources by humans. Intentional as well as accidental forest fires engulf thousands of hectares of forest cover every year. The expansion of urban areas and road networks further adds pressure to the nearby forest areas. Excessive grazing of cattle’s trample the newly sprouting seedlings of trees rendering the area degraded. Illegal cutting of trees and exploitation of the virgin forests disturb the wildlife habitats, which compels the wild animals to come in close proximity to human settlements causing great threats of human-wildlife conflicts. Wildlife is dying and species are prone to extinction. Watersheds are diminishing and fish spawning streams are shrinking. The air we breathe is getting polluted and world is getting warmer year after year due to global warming, only because the lost forests are not replenished.

We should therefore remember that when we take away the forest, it is not just the trees that go. If the forests go, so will be the fate of the entire population who depend solely on forest for their livelihood, and the balance of the entire ecosystem will be shaken, leaving dire consequences for all of us. With the disappearing of forest, so gone will the beauty of mother earth, so we should sustain the forest by protecting it to meet the requirements of products and recreations forever.

Save our Forest to Save Ourselves.