According to data released by Global Footprint Network (GFN), an international sustainability think tank, humanity used up the annual Nature’s Budget within 8 months, with carbon sequestration making up more than half of the demand on nature. GFN tracks humanity’s demand on the planet (Ecological Footprint) against nature’s ability to provide for this demand (biocapacity). GFN’s Earth Overshoot Day marks the date when humanity’s annual demand on nature exceeds what Earth can regenerate in that year. Earth Overshoot Day fell from early October in 2000 to August 13th this year.
It is perhaps for reasons such as this that Carbon Environmental Awareness Society founder Reuben Ntuluki in conjunction with Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism (MEWT), will embark on an exciting yet tough undertaking to bring public awareness and education to the effect of Global warming and climate change. Ntuluki says he discovered his passion for conservation while studying Environmental Science at the University of Botswana. He says since Botswana is signatory to carbon footprint reduction strategies, he saw it fit to help ensure that the country walks the talk. He says it is also his way of giving back to the community.
Global warming is brought about mainly by uncontrolled carbon footprint arising from use or consumption of fossils and its derivatives. The initiative has been branded ‘Carbon Walk’ since that is the message that will be communicated through a 1000 km walk from Kasane to Gaborone during the month of October 2015. Ntoloki says he tries to walk as much as he can to prepare himself for the excursion. “The previous charity walks that I have undertaken recently have also helped to prepare me both mentally and physically for the walk,” Ntuluki tells Lifestyle.
The Carbon walk initiative will be launched for the first time with the possibility to make it an annual event. The 1000km walk initiative was established by a group of youth who formed and registered Carbon Environmental Awareness Society in October 2014. Prior to registering the society, this youthful group was recruited from different tertiary institutions such as University of Botswana, Limkokwing university, Botswana College of Agriculture and Botswana Accountancy College by Y–care Charitable Trust and were enrolled for a two year Y-care Youth Leadership Program from 2007 to 2009. During this training, the group participated in long distance walks such as Makgadikgadi walk (60km), Domboshaba walk (70km), Tsodilo Hills walk (50km). Furthermore between 2010 and 2014, the group volunteered in organisations such as Cheshire Foundation in which they helped to organise and administer a 20 km sponsored walk for the foundation. In June 2014 the group engaged Cancer Association of Botswana and organised a cancer awareness walk which took place from Ramokgwebana to Bobonong. Ntuluki says the walk was organised as part of preparation for the Carbon Walk this year.
“Our aim and mandate with carbon walk in 2015 is to increase the visibility and impact of climate change and environmental sustainability education in the public, media and other relevant stakeholders,” Ntuluki says. “We have selected the month of October as it is suitable for this initiative since the weather conditions during this time give the walkers endurance to cover more distance as per the experience gained from the previous walks.” The Carbon Walk will take place in 30 days with 20 walking days and 10 resting days with an average of 50 km covered per day. The walk will run simultaneouslys with other events such as clean up campaigns on settlement along the walking route, road shows, and public education.
Other activities include camping along the walking route, radio and television coverage and live streaming of the walk on the internet as it occurs. “Upon completion of the carbon walk, a gala dinner will be hosted to acknowledge and invite more sponsors and other stakeholders to help raise funds that will be used by the society on a daily basis to adopt a holistic approach to environmental education so as to embed the idea of environmental sustainability on different sectors of the community through tools such as workshops, boot camps, conventions, school visits, television and radio programmes, and billboards advertising.”