Students contribute to nature conservation in Uganda

Creation of awareness about protecting the environment without action is good but not enough. There is a need to go beyond theory and demonstrate practicality for creating a conducive environment for all life including other species. Every creature as a member of biotic community according to the order of creation is meant to live in time and space peacefully and enjoy life without causing harm to other beings and species. We all cherish a peaceful co-existence for integral development, using indicators such as the absence of a filthy environment, abject poverty, insecurity, overwhelming stress, and violence. This should be upheld from the perspective of sustainability and towards achieving sustainable development.

As already clearly put by the Brundtland Commission in its definition of Sustainable Development, the present generation has the responsibility of caring for the environment without over-exploiting natural endowments so that we avoid compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. If the past generation consumed everything without leaving something for us, would we be still breathing?

If the present generation continues to care less and fail to appreciate the natural gift the Author of life gave us and the remaining natural resources our parents left for us, what will happen to the present children and those yet to be born? How would the Author of life perceive the ecological crisis as a result of our irresponsible actions on the planet? Pleasing or displeasing? What impact does careless consumption and abuse of natural resources around us have on peoples’ health?

Against this background, and with the increasing awareness being promoted towards contributing to the Earth Charter International (ECI) activities, young people in schools through the guidance and support of their teachers are acquiring skills in how to conserve nature and defend it against human aggression and other non-human forces for a better today and tomorrow.

Pupils of St. Aloysius Primary School, Mbarara Arch Diocese and Mbarara District in Uganda, participating in bush clearing around their tree project

Pupils of the above mentioned School with the support of their teachers and under the guidance of the Staff in charge of sanitation participate in various activities geared towards the protection of environment. Among the projects they have creatively put in place and maintained is a tree project that consists of some diverse tree species. Some of these trees have become a home for beautiful birds and a place for leisure activities. This is making the place attractive and good to look at.

This serves a lesson to each one of us to rise and ‘fight’ for nurturing surrounding so that together we can avoid altering the natural ecosystem for the good of all humanity, both now and in the future. It is by this practice that we can extend love to the unborn and unseen.

Written by: Kamugisha  Marsiale,  Coordinator, Environmental Governance and Conservation Desk. Uganda Martyrs University & Mr. Gordon, teacher at St. Aloysius Primary School