CLIMATE CHANGE IS REAL
Global warming is real, and it is affecting everything and everyone on this planet. The effects deriving from this issue do not have instant impact on our world, but rather happen gradually which unfortunately makes a lot of people doubt whether climate change is real or not.
During my time here in South East Africa I have been able to see how much climate has been affecting the livelihoods of many people. I have spoken with farmers who have been struggling to produce their crops because of either too much water (floods) or lack of rain (drought). This is the reality of how the climate is changing due to human behaviour.
Drastic climate change has caused habitat change, which has a direct impact for the lives of the fauna for whom that habitat is home. As you may know, changes in duration of the dry season or rainy season disrupt the behaviour of many animals, especially wild ones, causing stress as their natural habitat changes. The problem is that animals cannot overcome and adapt to these changes fast enough and eventually the law of natural selection kick in and whoever can best adapt to changes will survive. So, you can easily imagine a species such as rhinos being affected by global warming. The drastic change in temperature and climate has changed its food plant cycle and its habitat.
During the long dry season for example, the rhinoceros likes to wallow in mud holes, and due to the change of climate this is becoming more and more difficult because there often is not enough water to make mud hole.
One another important issue that needs to be addressed when speaking about rhinoceros is of course the impact of poaching. Rhino horn is considered very valuable by the illegal market, and due to a current surge in poaching, many rhinoceros have been killed during the past years, particularly in South Africa and as a consequence of that field programmes are having to investment heavily in anti-poaching activities.
I made a visit at the Matopos National Park, which is one of the World Heritage sites here in Zimbabwe, and was lucky enough to see them and all I can say is that it is so terrible to see these animals being deprived of their natural freedom. As a strong animal lover, I found it heart-breaking having to look at them with a yellow tag on their ears, unable to roam around freely as they used to, with their horn being chopped off and a guardian supervising them at all time.
What life is that? What rights do we have over them to choose how and where they should be living?
Climate change is real and it’s happening right now. Just as the world is paying for it, we will eventually be affected by its impact!
It is everyone’s responsibility to respect nature and the Earth for ourselves and the future generations and it is our duty to act toward such an important issue.