The destruction of forests and nature reserves will continue, unless alternatives are found for people who still use wood to make fire. That is the message from environmentalists gathered in Durban.

–> The meeting whose theme was “Our World is in our Hands” was aimed at finding solutions to the continued depletion of forests. It was arranged by the Department of Energy. Environmentalists say people in rural areas in particular, need to be compensated to protect trees and other natural resources.

Dick Kachilonda says for people, who still use wood to cook their food, it is difficult to see the value of preserving trees. “As the people who live in rural areas they depend on natural resources and the most important thing is to listen to their side and then see how we can work together with them. As the people with the same interest, it is important to work together with them so that they actually understand the dangers of debiting the environment,” says Kachilonda. “It is only when they start understanding it that they will actually work with you and go a step ahead, otherwise you will be talking about communities destroying the environment. But when they don’t have anything to support them they will continue doing that,” added Kachilonda. Durban will later this year hosts a Convention on Climate Change.

– By