In June, FSNet-Africa commemorated World Environment Day. A build-up to our activities was a live #InConversationWithFSNetAfrica podcast celebrating Biodiversity Day on 20 May 2022. Dr Tiwonge Mzumara Gawa, an FSNet-Africa fellow and researcher from Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST), was interviewed on the Twitter Spaces platform. She shared her thoughts on critical issues around biodiversity; highlights from her interview can be accessed here.
Dr Mzumara-Gawa inspired us all to “do a little something” to support biodiversity. She gave examples of simple changes that we can make in our day-to-day lives to build a shared future for all life on the planet.
Her challenge to listeners was to identify an action they would commit to taking in support of biodiversity. Listeners voted on the options provided below:
Also during the month of June, FSNet-Africa followed up on this call to action through a Twitter campaign titled #SmallActionsSaveThePlanet. Followers were invited to post photos that captured what they do in everyday life to support biodiversity. Three main ways in which our followers are supporting biodiversity and protecting the environment were highlighted: using recyclable materials, shifting to a plant-based diet, and managing their waste.
- Using recyclable materials
Recyclable or reusable material can help preserve biodiversity by limiting the amount of resources needed to make new products and thus conserving natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals. Recycling also reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills, thereby reducing pollution.
- Plant-based diet
Shifting from meat and other animal products to a plant-based diet has high potential for reducing the carbon footprint, mitigating climate change, and improving human health.
- Waste Management
Waste management saves the environment from the toxic effects of inorganic and non-biodegradable elements present in waste. Proper waste management reduces pollution, helps improve air and water quality, and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
What have we learnt? A small change in our day-to-day habits can make a big difference. The theme for World Environment Day this year was #OnlyOneEarth. Small actions can help in the effort to protect and restore our planet.