#WILD LIVES MATTER: Promoting sustainable environment and laws for equal survival

By Jerry O. Jonah.

Of lately the ‘Lives Matter’ campaign (which began in 2012 when activists Opal Tometi, Alicia Garza, and Patrisse Cullors posted on social media with the the caption ‘#BlacklivesMatter’ after the acquital of George Zimmerman, a white police officer who shot and killed a black teenager Trayvon Martin) has become a crucial one. For many decades before the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement there has been racial and discriminatory policies by the white against the people of colour. We don’t want to get into the various reasons or causes, but we can say it all took a different turn and a much more different response by victims, a real radical outburst, when in 2020 Tens of millions of people took to protest across America and other parts of the world over the killing of George Floyd  by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

It has been described as the largest ‘Civil Movement’ in the U.S history.  In recent time it has taken into different interpretation and find relevance to protest against what people percieve as injustice. From the isreali – Palestinian crisis, giving arm to #post like ‘#Palestinian Lives Matter’, to the new kind we find in Ferminists version of ‘#Girls Lives Matter’ or ‘#Me Too’ movements. All speak about, all aim at one thing, Justice and Rights.

But the big question, do justice and rights restrict to our specie alone? I bet over 90% of individuals wouldn’t see anything more, if we (humans) don’t get rights then who else? Do animals have rights? Do the trees have rights? They may ask! But of course they do, they do have rights too. Yes we may not call them ‘Human Rights’, but they do. Perhaps forest right, perhaps coastal or wild-life right. Lets call them in one word, ‘Ecological Rights’. But the big question again, how many know about this right or how many do to protect or work for this right? Truth is, our answer would find a more downing scale because on the contrary many of us rather work against it.

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And that’s because we feel they’ve not been well constructed and tabulated in the Constitution. And that’s because we do not realize our connectivity to these nature and how much we depend on each other for survival. Reports in the past few decades show over 20% of our Wild-life are endangered species and at the verge of extinction owing to several years of catastrophic exploitations, from industrial deforestation, to illegal haunts for meats and for raw material, no thanks to unchecked human activities.

But for the past few months several seminars and international conferences have been held about the Environment, to discuss the future of our common planet, and everything about it. They point the dangers our world is sliding at if we sit still and do nothing. They raise the alert that all hands must be on deck but more on field to get this all differently if we must preserve our world. I can’t speak of all resolutions reached: from energy switchover, to reduce carbon emission, to forest and environmental policies, and to wide range campaigns.

And this efforts have begun, the Biden administration announcing recently the appropriation of $2.5 billion investment for electric school buses(ESBs) to replace the traditional diesel driven ones, and another $2.5 billion for zero emission and other alternative fuel vehicles. This is quite a huge move for action. On the other hand, more and more writings, and journals, advocating for the environment are recording wide reach and gaining momentum. This is a noteworthy start.

But we hope to see more in coming days. We hope to see government and states, federal and state agencies, promote even more stringent laws against uncontrolled haunts of our wilds, even as far as policies for controlled slaughter of animals in our abattoirs. To put in place policies for sanctions and enforced, and if necessary more agencies be established to help existing ones as the forest and the coastal guards, and more government sponsored campaigns and enlightenment programmes to aid this.

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Wake up and be a part of our safer world  initiative today!


Jerry O. Jonah is a Wild Life activist, political affair analyst, author, and Life coach. He writes from Abuja. 

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