Thursday, July 18, 2024

Facing World’s Challenges through Innovation and Sustainability

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Significant progress has been made in various fields in the last decade. From medicine, science, agriculture to technology. Concurrently, in today’s society, we witness the steady growth of a number of problems. Not forgetting, 2020 and 2021, the most difficult and uncertain years of the last decade. The continuous rise in global temperatures is among the problems linked to our planet, Earth. Most countries experience global warming resulting to an increase in severe shifts in weather patterns. Following this, people have come to embrace the need to escalate awareness of going green. Fossil fuels is being substituted by renewable energy sources such as solar, geothermal to cut down emissions of Greenhouse gases and many are opting to engage in replanting initiatives. Many firms have adopted circular economy initiatives and formed synergies to reduce quantity of waste emitted and production costs. Going a step ahead, they are embracing the need to educate their stakeholders on their best environmental practices through annual sustainability reporting.

There is no life without water. Industries continue to release hazardous waste into open water sources causing its pollution. Irrational use and poor water management has forced thousands of communities to relocate in search of clean water. Various species of water animals are becoming extinct. Moreover, many children under the age of five suffer from diarrheal infections due to consumption of contaminated water. The most effective technique to counter is to treat via chemical, biological operations before reaching the waterway system.

Around the globe, many institutions have been actively emphasizing on the necessity to maintain good health. Pandemics such as COVID-19 outbreak is the most recent that challenged , tested and disturbilized the medical innovations which affected global economy causing uncertainity and anxiety.

Malaria, Ebola and HIV/AIDs have remained deadly for decades . Air pollution has eased the transmission of air borne diseases among large masses. Most low-income nations have poor access to healthcare. Emerging wars between or within countries has leads to the damaging of medical infrastructure while forcing many to relocate for safety but diseases continue to spread swiftly. Promoting health breakthroughs such as investing in drones to deliver medicine, a diverse global bio bank to make drug research and development more equitable, utilizing Big Data to track our health with wearables, incorporating artificial Intelligence to act as human radiologists in diagnosis while creating algorithms to review research papers might be a solution to these problems we face. In addition, educating people on improving lifestyle variables.

In modern society, global poverty represents one of the most severe issues. This trickles down to many having limited access to education and being deprived of their human needs. A pre-requisite for poverty reduction and socio-economic development is a sustainably managed environment where it naturally supplies ecosystem goods that supports creation of jobs, income generation and alleviates poverty. Aligning public and private investments with objectives of addressing poverty, climate actions and environmental conservations will accelerate the implementation of SDGs. Recognizing various environmental assets that are unique green economic development opportunities , increasing promotion of large and small-scale green investments through funding and responsible planning.

It is less likely that the entire world will achieve SDG 2 on Zero Hunger by the year 2030. Hunger means less productive individuals who are less productive hence unable to earn more to improve their livelihoods. This situation continues to worsen as many nations face food insecurities due to the occurring climate change and natural disasters. Recent wars have disrupted its provisions intensifying hunger in numerous countries that depended on them. Currently, majority don’t have access to safe, balanced and sufficient food. There has been an increase in malnutrition cases among children under the age of five.

A world with zero hunger positively affects our economies, health and equality. A solution can be adoption of resilient agricultural practices that maintain ecosystems and improve soil quality. Also, forming diversified and soundly managed plant and seed banks at all levels maintains the genetic diversity of cultivated plants, seeds, domesticated animals and related wild species. Participants across the food value chain ensure they carry out transparent food production practices. Through data collection and advanced analytics, consumers can access real-time information about the produces so they make informed decisions.

To reduce the cost of nutritious foods, governments can intervene in various food supply chain points. Various stakeholders can be advised on how to invest in innovations e.g. rural energy, mechanization, drones, automatic irrigation systems and implement smart regulations to catalyze actions towards food systems ensuring food availability at all times.

Since the inception of international peace, there have been attempts to restrict armaments placing high priority on decreasing and finally eliminating nuclear weapons, reinforcing the ban and abolishing chemical weapons which pose greatest harm to humanity. Following the technological era, there has been precision in the fewer chances of collateral damage where there has been use of unmanned combat aerial vehicles that is used for intelligence, surveillance and target acquisition.

Dr. Edward Mungai
Dr. Edward Mungaihttp://www.edwardmungai.com/
The writer, Dr. Edward Mungai, is a global sustainability expert. He is the Lead Consultant and Partner at Impact Africa Consulting Ltd (IACL), a leading sustainability and strategy advisory in Africa. He is also the Chief Editor at Africa Sustainability Matters. He can be contacted via mailto:edward@edwardmungai.com

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