ENSURING FUTURE CONSERVATION THROUGH KIDS
A good point of departure will be to go back to history to understand how the natural world operated in the past. I have been here for over two decades to witness the brutal effect of human activities on the natural world. A visit to our forest, plant, land, animals and natural sites exposes one to first-hand experience about how the original course of nature has been altered.
Every youth can attest to the fact that the air we breathe now is incomparable to what we were refreshed with during childhood. Today’s air is contaminated with dust, smoke, smog and other impurities that poses great health challenges.
As a kid in 2015, my school was located in a serene society filled with trees, birds, plants and a stream. This natural endowment helped in regulating the temperature, aided practical and connected child education with nature. Many a kid longed to visit the big school stream, which was a pride for us because of its importance the entire community.
In 2018 when I decided to pay a visit to the community where my former school was located, I took an erosion-overtaken footpath that steeped down the school stream. My heart was pricked when I saw the poor conservation and negligence culture of the community that had led to the shrinkage of the water body. This displeasure raced through my mind as I ascended towards a forest adjacent my school. I found myself on a plain ground, which was formerly a forest site. I was initially shocked but summoned courage to question myself. Was I in a wrong location? Was my compass faulty? Maybe the forest relocated? Oh no! The forest that once had varieties of economic and forest trees had become a desert due to poor management by the community inhabitants who out of insatiable quest for money, lumbered without replacement. The forest had become a plain ground on which people struggled to build upon.
When I arrived at the school compound, I noticed that the cool temperature of the school regulated by the forest was missing. The environment was hot and this contributed to the negative performance of many a pupils.
As a kid, I remember going for fishing trips not necessarily for the purpose of fish for food but for breeding. This is not the plight of many an adults who harvest fingerlings for food. This bad practice is having a depleting effect on aquatic population.
It was very common to see migratory birds like cattle egrets in Africa during the dry season. The effect of climate change has hampered the activities of these birds that contribute positively to the wellbeing of the natural habitat.
In my home country Nigeria, there were varieties of food to be eaten during my childhood days but that is not the case today. Many a farmers are gradually abandoning the cultivation of some native African crop specie that encouraged diversity to focus on common crops that narrowed diversity. This has resulted in the monotonous diet intake pattern of many African homes and extinction of many rare crop species capable of ensuring food security.
To ensure conservation of land, plants, forests and natural places, the mind-set of the average adults need to be tilted to that of a little child. Since a kid today will eventually become an adult tomorrow, they need to be integrated into the project of nature conservation.
Children are very innocent and handle natural resources with care in comparison with adults. Public enlightenment campaigns should be targeted towards the public in order to cultivate the kid conservation mind-set.
Children should also be actively involved in the fight for the conservation of the natural habitat. This can be done through early child education and formation of kid conservation clubs. Children have a direct and indirect role to play in the decision making of every family. Kids who have been equipped with natural resource conservation will help to influence the activities of adults who are the major executors of natural resource mis- management.
Artificial intelligence that promotes nature conservation should also be incorporated into the official school curriculum of children. This is an efficient way to spark up the minds of the future leaders to embrace nature conservation.
Toys and recreational materials for kids should be designed to reflect nature conservation. A kid whose toys was produced from un-conserved natural product will equally grow up to exploit these products to the detriment of nature in the future.
If we fail to get the kids on board to help in nature’s conservation, our safe haven will be destroyed in no distant time. Will Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto offer any help when the earth is destroyed? I fear we may all be dead in a minute if we fail to act noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo