Category Archives: Africa

Caller Ring Back Tunes Conservation Campaign. A Digital Centered Approach To Speak to Young People

ConservationTunez-01.jpg

 

Caption: A screen Grab of the MTN Uganda Caller Tunes Portal Showing Conservation Tunes.

Biodiversity Conservation in this digital age means we must adapt to the methods the young generations are moving with, otherwise, we shall be moving towards opposite directions and sending out messages using wrong forums. There is increasing need for creativity in the way conservation messages are pushed out to the people in a sense of making the messaging ‘sleek’ and also segmented for the right audiences.

In Uganda, we have about 21million unique mobile phone users which amount to 50% of the population and 14 million internet users, important to note that 70% of the population is below 35 Years. This means the relevance of speaking to the people through these devices cannot be undermined. If everyone comes to realize that loss of biodiversity affects all of us in the long run because even the telecom companies only make money when the peasant farmer has a dollar to spend on airtime.

For over 3 years I have been actively using my space as a radio and TV host to communicate information about protecting the environment in my music shows, something that my colleagues at first thought was awkward until I explained to them that, through these shows we can change behavior and attitudes of the people if we do it smartly. For now, this is something am proud of and encourage my colleagues to take up the other challenges such as HIV/ AIDS, teenage pregnancy e.tc whichever one feels comfortable with.

In my day job is I look after the East African business of Content Connect Africa which is a digital music content distribution company plugging in music content in form of Caller Ring Back Tunes, Full Track streaming and downloads through telecom networks.
Through this space, I have been able to create 30 second long Caller Ring Back Tunes (CRBT) speaking about conservation. The campaign is simply about the telecom customer choosing a CRBT that speaks about either, Forests / Wildlife / Wetlands. The CRBTs are available in either English/ Luganda languages. I hope to get government’s support to ensure the content is free for access to the telecom networks.

Listen to the CRBTs here

By James Propa

GYBN Steering Committee, Uganda

Advertisements

Homo sapiens, biodiversity and climate change in the Arabian Gulf

“In order to understand, I destroyed myself.”  ― Fernando Pessoa

For the past 4.5 billion years, the world we today call “Planet Earth” has been undergoing constant change since its formation especially in terms of climatic changes driving evolutionary change whereby species and ecosystems work on adapting to survive or face extinction.  This constant fluctuation between the climate being extremely cold and covered in ice to very hot and vice-verse has in the past 10,000 years come to equilibrium, thus, making the planet’s climate more stable.

This has led to the flourishing of diverse flora and fauna creating what we know as today’s biodiversity and subsequently to the explosion of the Homo sapiens species population. The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) defines biodiversity as the variety of life on earth and the natural patterns it forms, this refers to ecosystem, species and genetic variation.

In the past approximately 650,000 years, temperatures and greenhouse gases such as CO2 and CH4 levels are known to have changed following cyclical patterns over a large span of time. However, over the past century following the industrial revolution, human activities have started affecting the natural climate balance negatively whereby COlevels have now reached 400 ppm in comparison to the 80 ppm rise in COconcentration at the end of the past ice age which took over 5000 years to occur.

A-dugong-feeding-on-a-sea-grass-bed

Climate change impacts are already being felt around the world with projections of dramatic shifts in the states of many ecosystems; climate change has also been linked to well documented changes in physiology, phenology, species distributions and others (Watson, 2012). Moreover, it is also seen to be one of the main contributors to the global loss of biodiversity and has already caused accelerated rates of species’ extinctions along with changes to ecosystems worldwide (Sala et al., 2000; Thomas et al., 2004; Pimm, 2008; Watson, 2012).

Known to host the world’s hottest sea, the Arabian Gulf in recent years has become an attraction hub for scientists, economists, energy experts and researchers from various fields due to the region’s interesting and challenging nature (Riegl & Purkis, 2012). Despite the harsh environmental conditions, the region harbours a rich biodiversity bringing together ecosystems such as coral reefs, mangroves, sea grass beds and sabkhas whilst being home to numerous endemic species. Moreover, the Arabian Gulf also fosters many migratory species of turtles, whales and other species and is considered to be of international importance in terms of biodiversity as it hosts the second largest population of dugongs following Australia and the largest breeding colony of the Socotra Cormorant in the world in addition to many other reasons…..Continued here