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World Environment & Ocean Days

World Environment Day is June 5, and this year’s theme is “With Nature.” This is a great day to discuss the importance of the environment for your listeners’ health and the health of the planet.

In many places, deforestation is harming the environment. Trees are important sources of fuel for many people, but they are also important for storing carbon dioxide and keeping it out of the atmosphere, thereby slowing global warming.

The Congo Basin contains 20% of the world’s tropical forests, and spans Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. Farming and logging activities are threatening the forest, and up to 30% may disappear by 2030.

In East Africa, there are many types of forests. Coastal forests in Tanzania and Kenya have been reduced to just 10% of their original area. Much of the wood has been harvested for timber and fuel.

Learn more from the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF): http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/deforestation/deforestation_fronts/deforestation_in_the_congo_basin/ [1]

And from Info Congo: http://infocongo.org/3013-2/

World Oceans Day is June 8, and this year’s theme is “Our oceans, our future.” This is a great day to discuss the importance of oceans to livelihoods, particularly for men and women who work in the fishing industry.

For example, in this story from Thomson Reuters Foundation [2], women who salt and smoke fish in Senegal, as well as men who fish off the coast, are landing smaller catches. Fish stocks are dwindling due to competition from industrial trawlers which serve European and Asian markets. This situation hurts the men and women who work in fishing and related industries. More than 400 foreign fishing vessels—mainly from China, Europe, and Russia—navigate West African waters, according to Greenpeace.

Learn more about illegal fishing in this story from AfricaNews: http://www.africanews.com/2017/05/03/eight-chinese-vessels-detained-off-west-africa-for-illegal-fishing/ [3]

Learn more about overfishing in this in-depth feature from IRIN (English): https://www.irinnews.org/in-depth/fisheries [4]