to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the once-vast Lake
Chad, has shrunk 90% over the past four decades, threatening the lives
of up to 30 million people with hunger, conflict, and migration.
in an area that forms a natural border for the countries of Cameroon,
Chad, Niger and Nigeria, the surface area of the lake has gone from
25,000 square kilometers in 1960 to just 2,500 today, according to the
Chadian government, which will be hosting the 8th World Forum for
Sustainable Development in October with a theme of “Saving Lake Chad.”
Parliament Member Glen Pearson, who has been working to help Sudanese
refugees since 1998, has been calling for climate change mitigation to
prevent a large humanitarian catastrophe in the Lake Chad and other
With the support of the Canadian government,
Mr. Pearson was among the first to assist the refugees emerging from the
conflict in Darfur, Sudan, another region afflicted by water shortage,
adopting three Sudanese orphans.
Glen Pearson – Canadian Member
of Parliament, humanitarian, vegetarian (M): The people who are coming
out of Darfur into the area in which we work, they're not complaining so
much about the political situation. They complain that they can't find
water. Lake Chad has dried up.
Just since we’ve started going
there in 1998, the wells are now about six feet lower than they were
before. Much of that water is polluted now, because the cattle come into
the rivers.The rains are coming far later.
VOICE: According to
the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), half of Lake Chad's
shrinkage is due to climate change, and the other half by agricultural
abuses including livestock overgrazing and unsustainable irrigation.
With acute hunger already a serious problem in Chad and Niger, Mr.
Pearson, a caring vegetarian, cautioned that the possibility of hundreds
of millions of environmental refugees in Africa and beyond
must be prevented through efforts to stop climate change, with the United Nations also urging better water management.Glen Pearson (M):
Not just in Africa but in Asia, over 200 million people will be
traveling, moving. They are not going to know where the borders are. It
doesn’t matter if I help them catch rain off of the roof, if, on the
other hand, I am polluting into my own country, when it’s the people in
Africa who suffer from me doing it.
If I really believe in
helping the people of Africa, I will stop pumping carbon into the air
because that’s the place where it affects the most; because in the end,
that climate change will produce 230 million refugees and I am really
scared about that.
VOICE: We appreciate Member of Parliament Glen
Pearson, Canada and United Nations agencies, for your concerned wish to
assist the African people. We pray that through such concerted actions
to alleviate global warming and stabilize the environment, precious
waters like Lake Chad may be restored.
Supreme Master Ching Hai
has often reminded of the changes necessary for averting climate change
and humanitarian crises, as in a September 2009 climate change
videoconference in Peru.
Supreme Master Ching Hai:
Some countries and communities have to cope with worsened drought
situations. Their rivers and lakes are drying up or completely gone. So
how can we handle the mass migration of tens of millions of people all
at once due to desertification, the rising sea levels or the permanent
loss of crop fields? http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/10/15/lake.chad/index.html?iref=24hourshttp://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=32555&Cr=water&Cr1=http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Politics/20070817/sudanese_siblings_070817/http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/sucking-dry-an-african-giant/http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2008/world/vanishing-lake-chad-a-water-crisis-in-central-africa/
The smartest way would be to stop the
worsening of global warming by being vegan. It sounds very simple but it
is the best solution, the most effective and the effect of it will be
felt almost immediately.