Peace Rock

Disclaimer: Spoiler Alert!

DO NOT… I repeat DO NOT read this post if you plan to watch The Jungle Book.

I recently watched the Jungle Book and I loved it! Triggered so many childhood memories especially with the song , ‘Bare Necessities’.

Look for the bare necessities
The simple bare necessities
Forget about your worries and your strife
I mean the bare necessities
Old Mother Nature’s recipes
That brings the bare necessities of life

Old Mother Nature DOES bring the bare necessities of life… 😀

So, there was a drought in the jungle. The drought was so bad, a rock that is normally submerged in the river’s waters appeared. This rock is called the Peace Rock. It’s appearance meant that the animals…almost said people…could water at this specific point without hunting each other. So in essence, it was the food chain without arrows…:D. So the wolves (Mowgli’s fam), Buffaloes, Lions, Tiger (Shere Khan), Antelopes, all the animals in the jungle meet here. What struck me is the ability of these animals to have enough sense to have some sort of treaty during drought.

In the world however… 

Well… We do have treaties and have made peace over shared resources such as water. For example we have the Nile Basin Initiative which involves 10+ countries (Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, The Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda). But, the waters in the Nile are currently in abundance. What would happen if the water quantity drastically reduced?

Contrary to the animals in this movie who come to an agreement when resources are scarce, we fight when our resources are scarce. We go to war over shared resources, the most common being oil. Why can’t we sit together and say, ‘okay, you have some, then I’ll have some next time’ or ‘Let’s have half/half’.Some sort of equity. I wonder if we’ll ever realise that there’s no value in fighting and killing each other over resources…

Kindred Species

Today on my Twitter feed, I saw this test that Gisele Bündchen, a famous supermodel, had taken on wildfor.life and she was kindred species with a turtle.

So I decided to take the test and found that I was kindred species with the… wait for it… Helmeted Hornbill (HH). Quite frankly, I was abit disappointed. I had hoped to be a ferocious tiger or a sweet elephant or an orangatun… You know… But this was my opportunity to learn and share about the HH.

A few interesting facts include:

Helmeted_Hornbilli. It is found in places like Thailand, Malasyia, Brunei, Indonesia, Sinagapore, Sumatra and Borneo (Dream travel destinations)

ii.This species has a bare, wrinkled throat patch, pale blue to greenish in females and red in males.

iii. The body length is 110–120 cm (43–47 in)- Almost a whole tapemeasure.

iv. It is hunted for the casque which is the  extended bone like structure on it’s head (Like a helmet). The casque accounts for 11% of its weight. (That is heavy) .

v. According to this study, the Punan-Bah (a community) believe that a large HH guards the river between life and death.

 

vi. It is listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List . This is because,it’s casque which is ‘highly priced’ and is ‘ heavily targeted by hunters and illegally traded’.

For more on the Helmeted Hornbill, please visit: BirdLife International

So, what is your kindred species? Please take the quiz on Wildfor.life and feel free to share your species in the comment section below. 🙂

 

Crush

Today is another special day. 🙂

Today is World Turtle Day!

According to Live Science, ‘turtles are  aquatic reptiles with hard shells that protect them from predators.They have webbed feet or flippers and a streamlined body. Sea turtles rarely leave the ocean, except to lay eggs in the sand. Freshwater turtles live in ponds and lakes, and they climb out of the water onto logs or rocks to bask in the warm sun’.

 

Most turtles are omnivores and live to more than 1oo years. All turtles lay eggs. They dig nests in the sand and let the eggs hatch on their own. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), lists many turtle species as threatened, endangered or critically endangered.

So I applaud organisations such as Local Ocean Trust who support Watamu Turtle Watch (www.watamuturtles.com) in Kenya. WTW was started in 1997 by the locals to ‘protect nesting sea turtles’.

Crush?

Crush is a Disney charachter. The 150-year-old sea turtle helps Nemo and Dora (wrong charachter) Dory…Nemo and Dory find their way home in the Disney/Pixar 2003 animation film, ‘Finding Nemo’. You can see him with his son Squirt below.

Gimme some fin

‘Gimme some fin’ as we celebrate World Turtle Day …:)

 

Fish

 

I love love love fish. Well cooked fish simply makes me happy. Reminds me of one of the best cooked fish I ate in 2014 at a restaurant in Nairobi … Slurp😋

My mother grew up by the Indian Ocean and one the stories that she tells that never tires me is one of… Drumrolls… Fish! 🎉. Yes, you guessed right. 😊.

In those days, there would be seasons where live fish… LIVE Fish… would be washed ashore. The community would simply stroll to the beach and pick their dinner. Imagine that!  Today, this can only be a dream. The effects of overfishing and the decrease in fish production are felt in many parts of the world.

Why the random fish stories?

I have just discovered from one of nature.org ‘s tweets that today is World Fish Migration Day. The aim of the day is to raise ‘awareness on the importance of open rivers and migratory fish’.  Fish migration is ‘the journey that fish make to reproduce or feed and complete their life cycle. Barriers like dams, weirs and sluices disrupt natural river flow and prevent them from reaching their breeding  grounds’ .

I may not be an ichthyologist (fish expert) but I believe that better migration paths for the migratory type of fish will have a positive outcome of higher biological  production rates and perhaps a decrease in the price so that it is affordable to all. Who knows, with good feeding and breeding of fish, we could go back to the days of picking fish from the shores of rivers and oceans…

For more on this day, please visit: http://www.worldfishmigrationday.com

 

Ecology is PERMANENT Economy

Capitalism

Capitalism. That’s the focus of most of the world today. It scares me. I feel that it’s a ticking time bomb.Look at the image on the left. Imagine the sound of a ticking time bomb with visuals of  polluted water, polluted air, droughts, dry riverbeds, stunted crops, poverty, hunger, crime, darkness, human-wildlife conflicts…Wait, there’ll be no wildlife because we would have butchered it trying to get precious ivory or teeth or fur or eyes or claws or whatever it is we can create a market for.

Capitalism aims at maximizing profit for a small minority at the expense of others. So capitalism will only continue growing because there’s always need for more profit. When the economy goes down, capitalism goes into some sort of panic and among other things, the rate of unemployment increases.

Capitalism thrives on greed. We want more and more and more and more. In the effort to meet our wants, we destroy the environment like we are being paid. Actually, we are being paid.We have been made to feel like we must choose between conserving nature and having a job.

What we don’t realise is that…

‘ The environment and the economy are really both two sides of the same coin. If we cannot sustain the environment, we cannot sustain ourselves’ – Nobel Laureate Prof. Wangari Maathai

‘ Ecology is permanent economy’- Sunderlal Bahuguna (Leader of the Chipko Movement)

Imagine that image above fully loaded… What will happen to tourism which especially in Africa is nature based? Where will we get our energy from? Where will we get our food from? (Or maybe we’ll invent a pill? Bacon flavoured breakfast pill…Or would you prefer the banana pancake flavoured pill?) What will we drink if most of the water is polluted? Perhaps we will rely on reverse osmosis and desalinization but will the poor afford this water? Will we be leaving our homes at night only to avoid the scorching heat because of the destruction of the ozone layer as a result of the pollutants we release into the atmosphere? What will happen to our children? Our children’s children? Will they be born wearing gas masks?

So now?

Sustainable development is the answer. The 1987 Brundtland Report defines it as ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’.

Encouraging the use of renewable energy such as solar, wind power and biogas, sustainable water resource management which would include rainwater harvesting and recycling water, planting trees to reverse the image above, sustainable agricultural practices which include use of organic manure, soil conservation through reduction of soil erosion and mulching among other practices, ensuring that the 3R’s are put into practice and the final and most important in my opinion, is the education of communities on the importance of environmental conservation.

Colour Blocking

I love colour! I love the vibrancy that colour brings to life. I don’t even have a favourite colour; Given a chance, I would have the seven colours of the rainbow classified as one colour, then ‘rainbow’ would be my favourite colour.

Colour blocking

For a long time, people have been quite conservative about colour. Greys, Monochrome (Black and White), Blue… Then in the past few years, colour blocking became all the rage. Bright happy colours combined together to form interesting outfits.

‘Where is she going with all this considering that this is not a fashion blog?’ the readers ask

Aspects of environmental management have for a long time been managed individually. For example, water management. Water was managed as water. So the water people were just the water people. Not considering that there are many other users of water who also contribute to the quality and quantity of water. The other uses include: Agriculture (Farmers), Energy (Geothermal & Hydroelectric), Municipal (Supply to individuals and wastewater management), Domestic (Hygiene,Drinking and Cooking) and most importantly for to maintain ecosystems such as forests, soil, wildlife and all other biodiversity (fish and amphibians). This type of management did not work. It was not sustainable as people got bored and deserted projects. These projects were sort of forced on them therefore there was no ownership.

Today, managers realise the importance of including different people from different walks of life in their projects. Colour blocking in environmental management, is including the different colours to achieve a ‘rainbow effect’, that is, people from the different sectors; encouraging participation from the communities and especially women, youth and the disabled; integrating indigenous knowledge and ensuring that the needs of the people are met versus assuming that we know what the needs of the people are. This process, difficult as it is to have everyone on board and to agree on various issues, is sustainable. And brings joy to manager’s hearts as the mission has been accomplished.

Enjoy the song ‘In Harmony’ by our very own Little Mermaid 🙂