“Growing up in Sub-Saharan Africa, I became more and more concerned about the significant implications that the loss of biodiversity and climate change has on our livelihood and communities and most importantly, we are asking: is there a future for us?
Words of Gambian conservationist Kemo Fatty as he received his Commonwealth Points of Light Award.
Kemo Fatty is the founder of ‘GreenUp Gambia’, a local organization bringing together 500 volunteers to advocate for environmental issues and promote sustainable farming practices.
“The impacts of environmental injustice on our environment, economy, health and wellbeing has evidently made it hard to live with nature as we depend on it unsustainably without thinking of the future implications. This has become a sobering reflection for us, we have a moral obligation to leave a better earth for our children,” said Fatty in his acceptance speech.
Moved by destruction
Fatty and his team of volunteers are responding to what they see as an ecological emergency and a developing climate crisis.
In the Gambia, land degradation linked to deforestation has caused significant ecological and economic losses. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – Action Against Desertification initiative, over 200,000 hectares have been deforested in recent decades and over 100,000 hectares have been lost to desertification since 1998 in the little west African country.
Kemo Fatty believes that protecting the environment and adapting to climate change will help protect livelihoods especially among rural communities.