It’s been raining heavily in Ghana since late noon yesterday, the weighed-down clouds drenching the eastern and finally arriving in the southern half of the country early this morning. Even now, the weather is still very overcast and there is a constant baby-shower of rain. It is as if Mama Earth is projecting an aggregate of the vibes coming from all over the world today – World Environmental Day, June 5.
It is as if she is saying, “I am here.” In the current state of the environment, the earth, and the climate in the preparations leading to Rio+20, it is as if she is letting us know that she is with us – watching, waiting and hoping. Yet what a half century of exploitation, commercialization, and inconsideration it has been! Should you hop onto a satellite high above earth, and compare the forest/plant cover, the shorelines, the desert areas, the waterbody-volumes all over the continent, of 50 years ago with those now, the depletion is over 60%.
Concerned? We are most alarmed about the current state of the environment of the continent. This is not simply due to the increasing agricultural and resource challenges slowly strangling us day by day, but also because in Africa, it is women who bear the brunt of most disasters, suffer most, and work hardest – and in the global scheme of things, it is Africa that is usually at the receiving end of most environmentally dangerous products and activities from the rest of the world. This equates to African women being the ultimate recipients of the consequences of these events, whichever angle we analyse it from. Do we know what women represent in the circle of life? If we do, then this should be a very frightening state of affairs for each and every one of us!
These reasons are mostly why in 2007, we took the decision to make the African Biodiversity Network one of our biggest grantees, investing major funds into their biodiversity-environmental-sustainable arch of activities from then till now. The ABN’s pioneering initiatives have done much and continue to preserve important, sustainable ecological knowledge and practice. Please take a look for yourselves what this wonderful institution is doing for Africa!: ABN Healing Africa. And when you’re done, find out about Mphatheleni Makaulele, one of ABN’s women partners from South Africa, and the amazing initiatives being run by her Mupo Foundation.
Words defy us, ABN and Mupo! Words defy us, all African stalwarts fighting against the influx of disastrous products, groups, activities, and institutions that have been gnawing away at Africa’s foundations and lifestyles and threatening to turn our continent, a haven of life, hope, ingenuity, and sustenance; the cradle of civilization and great personalities, into a barren land!
Women of Africa join ABN, Mupo Foundation, and other partners in their efforts to re-heal what we have wounded and scarred, pledging to work towards a more hopeful future for our continent. Plant a tree today, make a donation to our Grantees, and do something environmentally friendly today (and every day!).
Little seeds make mighty trees. Happy World Environment Day, Africa!
Golda Addo (AWDF Communications Associate)