Salomo Ndeyamunye yaNdeshimona
Allow me to share my perspective on this platform. The anatomy of this coin is rooted in our replenished natural resources here in Namibia and elsewhere in the world. Our forests have been cut down, by us and by outsiders, to make the world we live in a better place.
We cut forests to be able to create our artificial environment, out of concrete. The habitats of animals, birds, grasses and other plants have been destroyed. I pity what our future generations will find to cherish, let alone remind them of the world we used to live in. A world where oxygen was truly free, and birds sang, nature flourished, and any disease could be cured with natural herbs.
Natural habitats like trees, where birds have nested and multiplied, have been destroyed. The birds flew away and we caged them in zoos and parks.
They no longer have freedom today due to the inability of humans to coexist with them. Our ancestors lived in peace and on them; the San of our land have lived enduringly on the land for ages. They preserved it well enough, only for us to come and destroy it.
Many books, conferences and documentaries have been produced to inform us about conservation. Many community conservatories have been established to try to make animals in the wild coexist with humans. Yet hunger, gluttony, and greed have driven us to kill, loot, and destroy what we have recreated.
Today there is nothing left. If so, it is very little to support us, and even less to live to be found by the future in us. Many expressions such as “cut one, plant two” have been invented, but our ears seem to be deaf with greed and hunger, perhaps. We have seen how many plants, animals, fish and birds have been artificially recreated to replace what we have destroyed.
Wood from trees has been replaced with non-degradable plastic to help us live, further hurting our little world. The fundamental question is how many practices and formulas have we created to find a way to reintroduce plants, birds and animals to their natural habitats? I know the Cheetah Conservation Fund for cheetahs in Namibia and NARREC for birds of prey near Windhoek. However, I wish we could do more. We raise guinea fowl and other birds, like ostrich quail and so on, as well as fish and many others for consumption.
What if we breed them and put them back into the wild? I mean, waterfowl feed on fish, and we compete with them, yet we want them to fly over us and rejoice. Why can’t we raise fish in ponds and stock them in natural ponds in our parks and communities in order to let them live naturally? The sound of a guinea fowl is music to our ears.
We go all the way to Etosha just to hear them sing, so why can’t we present them and keep them in our community forests so that they are close to us?
Why can’t we plant forests and create habitats for birds and other prey?
Why can’t we plant herbs that have healed us for centuries? Why can’t we deepen natural ponds so that they can hold more water or wildlife and us?
All of this is only possible if we can create deliberate efforts led by community leaders, regional and national leaders alike.
The government can motivate the practice by rewarding communities who practice it fully. I therefore wish to conclude by calling on all environmentalists to speed up this practice, and that the government invest in this bright future.
We don’t need to be a society that consumes but does not produce and conserve.