DIAZ: Open letter to President Joe Biden on climate change


Kenya Wildlife Service rangers prepare a rhino for translocation at the Nairobi National Park. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Dear President Joe Biden,

In a recent interview on climate change after your victory in the historic American presidential elections, you said that: “Climate change is the number one issue facing humanity. And it’s the number one issue for us.”

Mr President, you have our hopes not just in America but the world at large in reversing from an already dilapidating environment as a result of human activities to the desired place.

While we appreciate your aim, we further urge that you urgently design climate policies that protect workers and the most vulnerable and reduce all forms of inequality – economic, racial and gender. We must treat the climate and ecological emergency like an emergency.

In 2017, President Donald Trump issued an executive order that reviewed the ability to take action on the global threat of climate change. This was followed by a withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.

The former administration had reviewed about 95 environmental regulations that may have challenged many attempts made to conserve what was left of the environment, often citing them as burdensome to the fossil fuel industry and other big businesses.

But, we are glad you took a bold and necessary step to reverse this immediately you were inaugurated as well as your announcement that you would promptly direct agencies to review the long list of Trump’s regulatory actions that damage wildlife and their habitats.

Now, immediate steps are needed to support and build climate-resilient economies and especially for countries that value wildlife and would want to further their aim of protecting vulnerable wildlife from extinction. 

In many countries, wildlife remains a big tourist attraction, creating jobs and generating revenues for governments and its decline is worrisome.

In Africa especially, wildlife populations are declining as a result of overexploitation, destruction of habitat and poaching for exports. Plants and animals maintain a healthy ecosystem. And, when one species become endangered, it’s a sign that the ecosystem is out of balance.

It is my humble request, Sir, for a review of all the laws that support hunting, both for ivory and trophies. This trade must be banned to support efforts to protect wildlife and the environment.

We need a better environment to live in and to conserve wildlife because a well-balanced ecosystem maintains the health of the environment.

This ensures that human beings have access to clean air and water, and fertile land for agriculture.

Thanking you Sir.

Chris Diaz, a conservationist. @DiazChrisAfrica