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The Niles #13
The Conservation Issue

Dominik Lehnert and Leila Bendra-Lehnert
When there is something wrong in the forest, there is something wrong in society.
25.03.2019  |  Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
 (photo: The Niles | Nik Lehnert)
(photo: The Niles | Nik Lehnert)

As this proverb suggests, the condition of the environment is a good barometer for the overall health of a community.

A forest, for example, is a rich ecosystem that can only exist when its elements are in balance. When one element takes over, this balance is threatened.

Human ambition has gone unchecked for decades, with greed, power and indifference plaguing societies and ultimately the environment.

From the careless overuse of plastics to the illegal dumping of toxins into water sources, human behaviour has proven detrimental to local and global ecological systems.

As journalists from the Eastern Nile Basin countries discovered while researching this issue of The Niles, healing the forest starts with healing communities.

This means taking a hard look at human actions that lead to degradation while shedding light on sustainable conservation efforts.



Rethinking conservation
By MiCT The Niles Berlin, Germany
Nile Basin countries produce a fraction of the world’s emissions yet bear the brunt of pollution and climate change.


Degradation drivers

Could the Nile run dry?
By Waakhe Simon Wudu Juba, South Sudan
Growing populations will increasingly rely on the Nile, yet water levels have not risen in 200 years – an unsustainable combination and one that the countries of the Nile Basin can only address together.

The long route to a cup of coffee
By Yosra El-Zoghby Cairo, Egypt
The coffee plant was discovered in Ethiopia 1,000 years ago, so why does coffee-loving Egypt still import most of its coffee from Indonesia?


Resource depletion

A virtual solution to the water shortage
By Bassem Mahmoud Cairo, Egypt
Once again, Egypt has cut down on rice cultivation to conserve water.

Planting life, one tree at a time
By Selam Mulugeta Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
After decades of drought and famine, one region in Ethiopia has found a way to restore food security and fight erosion.


Ecosystem destruction

Diversity at risk
By Alaa Eliass Khartoum, Sudan
Sudan is vibrant with hundreds of plant and animal species, but violence, pollution and climate change threaten to drive many life forms into extinction.

Keeping a wetland from turning into a wasteland
By Goraw Goshu Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
Lake Tana provides wetlands that are advantageous for
the environment and its residents. But waste dumping, over farming, construction and deforestation threaten to destroy these precious ecosystems.

Pollution threatens a historical lake
By Mohamed Wadie Ghozzy Cairo, Egypt
How irresponsible agriculture and pollution first kill the fish, then the livelihoods of the people who rely on them.



Drowning in plastic
By Bullen Chol Juba, South Sudan
Burning it pollutes the air, throwing it in the Nile poisons the food cycle – how a young nation is struggling with a pollutant that takes thousands of years to break down.

Piles of problems
By Elzahraa Jadallah Khartoum, Sudan
Waste in Khartoum, which is not being disposed of and recycled as fast as it is being produced, is heaping up around the capital and causing various environmental and health issues.

Addis Ababa choking on smog
By Dagim Terefe Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Ethiopia’s capital city has some of the highest carbon monoxide levels in the world – the primary driver are vehicle emissions.

Sacrificing the environment for power
By Martha Agama Juba, South Sudan
With renewable energy sources undeveloped, the widespread use of petrol and diesel generators pollute the air and exacerbate the effects of climate change.



Do you know how to ‘go green’?
By MiCT The Niles Berlin, Germany
These ten questions will test how well you understand what it takes to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle.

This article is part of:
When there is something wrong in the forest...


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