This is Aiita Joshua Apamaku from Uganda, a wildlife biologist with up to 3 years of experience in international wildlife, climate, and biodiversity science policy. He currently volunteers with Youth4Nature as a Global Ambassador. Aiita Joshua is also a Content Curator at NatureWILD Hub and Communications Lead for the Africa Youth Caravan to the UNFCCC COP27
Here is an interview with Aiita Joshua Apamaku By Ussi Abuu, WildHub Conservation Catalyst
1.1 What is COP and why is it important?
Aiita: Dating back to the Rio- Convention, a declaration to act to protect the earth was passed. The 27th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC brings forth stakeholders within the climate space- Governments, Academia, Civil society, youth, and indigenous groups to a common understanding to craft the way forward for a climate-resilient planet- that we owe ourselves as humans.
1.2 What happens at COP27?
Aiita: Parties to the UNFCCC COP have converged as nations, civil society to negotiate, learn, build synergies and partnerships for a plan of action on climate change. This comes as a build ups to the Glasgow pact of the UNFCCC COP26 which saw loads of commitments to address the climate crisis- with high hopes that commitments will be transformed into action.
1.3 What does COP27 hope to achieve?
Aiita: Climate justice as the core of the climate agenda still remains central to discussions around the UNFCCC COP27. In order to achieve the climate goals, communities, and landscapes have to adapt to resilient practices that build their resilience to address climate-related disasters. To this end, developing countries still face this barrier with financing the gap on adaptation- loss, and damage. For a transition into a Global Green economy, countries from the Global North are being urged to pay up for the climate disasters they’ve imposed- emissions that they are highly responsible for.
Let's talk a little bit about human development
2.1 What is human development and why is it important?
Aiita: Ideal human development encompasses the socio-economic and socio-cultural well-being of people in society- with emphasis on a healthy environment. Human development dynamics go further into the individual lives and roles play towards a joint and shared future they envision for each other.
2.2 How does global warming affect human development?
Aiita: From prolonged droughts to frequent floods- unpredictable weather patterns to the emergence of new yet unknown illnesses, physical and mental disorders. Displacement of people, not by human instability but rather climate stability. These are the overhauling effects of climate change- Greenhouse gasses. All these have set in pace, more frequently over recent times causing unrest and affecting the socio-economic and sociocultural livelihoods of communities.
Let’s talk a little bit more about your involvement with WildHub.
3.1. How did you hear about WildHub and why did you join?
Aiita: I heard about Wildhub from a friend, and colleague championing biodiversity action in Uganda- and immediately got interested to join such an interesting community of “knowledge banks” especially for my own professional development.
3.2. For someone who is a leader in conservation, what are the top 5 lessons you can share with us?
- Conservation is our responsibility and we ought to act- in our individual capacities to conserve and protect nature.
- Conservation is a business. Conservation should encompass benefits for parties who undertake conservation in practice.
- We are nature and we ought to make it feel part of us.
- A favourite quote “If you can’t go to the Wild, Bring the Wild to you”.You can only then know and feel the connection with nature
- We acknowledge we need to save the planet. We however cannot do it alone. It’s very important to share our experiences and stories to inspire and create awareness on critical issues of conservation importance.
3.3 How does your work impact other people in conservation?
Aiita: I strongly believe in the power of storytelling- telling stories of my own experiences and insights into the conservation space- the baseline of my engagement at NatureWILD Hub. I envision a society where people freely share their experiences with nature, growing themselves to take the small actionable change to protect and conserve it.
3.4. Is there something that would make WildHub even better for you or people you know?
Aiita: I would love more interactive spaces, sharing circles on specified focus and thematic areas. Stories are powerful!
Thanks, Aiita Joshua, for sharing your insights and wisdom with our WildHub members and many others around the world, I particularly like your perspective or insights on the life of environmental sustainability by bringing people together in a holistic way to create positive action for biodiversity and climate change and our mental wellbeing.
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Thanks for sharing! I agree; storytelling is an inspirational and powerful way to help people connect with the world around them. I look forward to seeing the stories you share.
Dear Lara, thanks for reading, I agree! storytelling has always been an important method for community building and preserving the past. Dear Aiita we looking forward to reading more from you.
Climate justice is very important to human development. It's great to know that the issue is becoming a top priority. Great interview!
Thanks so much Ussi for this interview. We ought to share more stories on the pertinent issues we face today- climate change and biodiversity loss; and how these are affecting our daily livelihoods.