Environmental protection is the practice of protecting the natural environment by individuals, organizations and governments.Its objectives are to conserve natural resources and the existing natural environment and, where possible, to repair damage and reverse trends.
Due to the pressures of overconsumption, population growth and technology, the biophysical environment is being degraded, sometimes permanently. This has been recognized, and governments have begun placing restraints on activities that cause environmental degradation. Since the 1960s, environmental movements have created more awareness of the various environmental problems. There is disagreement on the extent of the environmental impact of human activity and even scientific dishonesty occurs, so protection measures are occasionally debated.
Overconsumption is a situation where resource use has outpaced the sustainable capacity of the ecosystem. A prolonged pattern of overconsumption leads to environmental degradation and the eventual loss of resource bases.
In biology or human geography, population growth is the increase in the number of individuals in a population. Many of the world's countries, including many in Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia, have seen a sharp rise in population since the end of the Cold War. The fear is that high population numbers are putting further strain on natural resources, food supplies, fuel supplies, employment, housing, etc. in some of the less fortunate countries. For example, the population of Chad has ultimately grown from 6,279,921 in 1993 to 10,329,208 in 2009, further straining its resources. Niger, Pakistan, Nigeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, and the DRC are witnessing a similar growth in population.
Environmental degradation is the deterioration of the environment through depletion of resources such as air, water and soil; the destruction of ecosystems; habitat destruction; the extinction of wildlife; and pollution. It is defined as any change or disturbance to the environment perceived to be deleterious or undesirable. As indicated by the I=PAT equation, environmental impact (I) or degradation is caused by the combination of an already very large and increasing human population (P), continually increasing economic growth or per capita affluence (A), and the application of resource-depleting and polluting technology (T).
Times are ever changing. Having said, it is crucial for societies, countries and organizations to avoid resistance and adapt to the needs of all living species and resources. Key concepts of conservation pertain to sustainability of resources and species, the longevity of individual product usage and the concerned domino effects that reckless usage of resources is creating. Sustainable developments, ecological restorations alongside animal welfare are not only all important aspects when discussing conservation and change but it also provides a valid reason as a topic of concern and awareness. By educating current and upcoming generations, and equipping them with the necessary knowledge and tools, change to help replenish the environment and a healthier living style as a society is bound to reap great results.
In the industrial countries, voluntary environmental agreements often provide a platform for companies to be recognized for moving beyond the minimum regulatory standards and thus support the development of best environmental practice. For instance, in India, Environment Improvement Trust (EIT) has been working for environmental and forest protection since 1998. A group of Green Volunteers get a goal of Green India Clean India concept. CA Gajendra Kumar Jain a Chartered Accountant, is the founder of Environment Improvement Trust in Sojat city a small village of State of Rajasthan in IndiaIn developing countries, such as Latin America, these agreements are more commonly used to remedy significant levels of non-compliance with mandatory regulation. The challenges that exist with these agreements lie in establishing baseline data, targets, monitoring and reporting. Due to the difficulties inherent in evaluating effectiveness, their use is often questioned and, indeed, the whole environment may well be adversely affected as a result. The key advantage of their use in developing countries is that their use helps to build environmental management capacity.
An ecosystems approach to resource management and environmental protection aims to consider the complex interrelationships of an entire ecosystem in decision making rather than simply responding to specific issues and challenges. Ideally the decision-making processes under such an approach would be a collaborative approach to planning and decision making that involves a broad range of stakeholders across all relevant governmental departments, as well as representatives of industry, environmental groups and community. This approach ideally supports a better exchange of information, development of conflict-resolution strategies and improved regional conservation. Religions also play an important role in the conservation of the environment.
An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment, interacting as a system. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Energy enters the system through photosynthesis and is incorporated into plant tissue. By feeding on plants and on one-another, animals play an important role in the movement of matter and energy through the system. They also influence the quantity of plant and microbial biomass present. By breaking down dead organic matter, decomposers release carbon back to the atmosphere and facilitate nutrient cycling by converting nutrients stored in dead biomass back to a form that can be readily used by plants and other microbes.
Many of the earth's resources are especially vulnerable because they are influenced by human impacts across many countries. As a result of this, many attempts are made by countries to develop agreements that are signed by multiple governments to prevent damage or manage the impacts of human activity on natural resources. This can include agreements that impact factors such as climate, oceans, rivers and air pollution. These international environmental agreements are sometimes legally binding documents that have legal implications when they are not followed and, at other times, are more agreements in principle or are for use as codes of conduct. These agreements have a long history with some multinational agreements being in place from as early as 1910 in Europe, America and Africa.Some of the most well-known international agreements include the Kyoto Protocol.
Discussion concerning environmental protection often focuses on the role of government, legislation, and law enforcement. However, in its broadest sense, environmental protection may be seen to be the responsibility of all the people and not simply that of government. Decisions that impact the environment will ideally involve a broad range of stakeholders including industry, indigenous groups, environmental group and community representatives. Gradually, environmental decision-making processes are evolving to reflect this broad base of stakeholders and are becoming more collaborative in many countries.
Many constitutions acknowledge the fundamental right to environmental protection and many international treaties acknowledge the right to live in a healthy environment.Also, many countries have organizations and agencies devoted to environmental protection. There are international environmental protection organizations, such as the United Nations Environment Programme.
Although environmental protection is not simply the responsibility of government protection acts , most people view these agencies as being of prime importance in establishing and maintaining basic standards that protect both the environment and the people interacting with it.
Tanzania is recognised as having some of the greatest biodiversity of any African country. Almost 40% of the land has been established into a network of protected areas, including several national parks.The concerns for the natural environment include damage to ecosystems and loss of habitat resulting from population growth, expansion of subsistence agriculture, pollution, timber extraction and significant use of timber as fuel.
Environmental protection in Tanzania began during the German occupation of East Africa (1884-1919) — colonial conservation laws for the protection of game and forests were enacted, whereby restrictions were placed upon traditional indigenous activities such as hunting, firewood collecting and cattle grazing.In year 1948, Serengeti was officially established the first national park for wild cats in East Africa. Since 1983, there has been a more broad-reaching effort to manage environmental issues at a national level, through the establishment of the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) and the development of an environmental act. In 1998 Environment Improvement Trust (EIT) start working for environment & forest protection in India from a small city Sojat. Founder of Environment Improvement Trust is CA Gajendra Kumar Jain working with volunteers.
Division of the biosphere is the main government body that oversees protection. It does this through the formulation of policy, coordinating and monitoring environmental issues, environmental planning and policy-oriented environmental research.The National Environment Management Council (NEMC) is an institution that was initiated when the National Environment Management Act was first introduced in year 1983. This council has the role to advise governments and the international community on a range of environmental issues. The NEMC the following purposes: provide technical advice; coordinate technical activities; develop enforcement guidelines and procedures; assess, monitor and evaluate activities that impact the environment; promote and assist environmental information and communication; and seek advancement of scientific knowledge.
The National Environment Policy of 1997 acts as a framework for environmental decision making in Tanzania. The policy objectives are to achieve the following:
Tanzania is a signatory to a significant number of international conventions including the Rio Declaration on Development and Environment 1992 and the Convention on Biological Diversity 1996. The Environmental Management Act, 2004, is the first comprehensive legal and institutional framework to guide environmental-management decisions. The policy tools that are parts of the act includes the use of: environmental-impact assessments, strategics environmentals assessments and taxation on pollution for specific industries and products. The effectiveness of shifing of this act will only become clear over time as concerns regarding its implementation become apparent based on the fact that, historically, there has been a lack of capacity to enforce environmental laws and a lack of working tools to bring environmental-protection objectives into practice.
Formal environmental protection in China House was first stimulated by the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm, Sweden. Following this, they began establishing environmental protection agencies and putting controls on some of its industrial waste. China was one of the first developing countries to implement a sustainable development strategy. In 1983 the State Council announced that environmental protection would be one of China's basic national policies and in 1984 the National Environmental Protection Agency (NEPA) was established. Following severe flooding of the Yangtze River basin in 1998, NEPA was upgraded to the State Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) meaning that environmental protection was now being implemented at a ministerial level. In 2008, SEPA became known by its current name of Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People's Republic of China (MEP).
|Command-and-control||Economic incentives||Voluntary instruments||Public participation|
|Concentration-based pollution discharge controls||Pollution levy fee||Environmental labeling system||Clean-up campaign|
|Mass-based controls on total provincial discharge||Non-compliance fines||ISO 14000 system||Environmental awareness campaign|
|Environmental impact assessments (EIA)||Discharge permit system||Cleaner production||Air pollution index|
|Three synchronization program||Sulfur emission fee||NGOs||Water quality disclosure|
|Deadline transmission trading||Administrative permission hearing|
|Centralized pollution control||Subsidies for energy saving products|
|Two compliance policy||Regulation on refuse credit to high-polluting firms|
|Environmental compensation fee|
Environmental pollution and ecological degradation has resulted in economic losses for China. In 2005, economic losses (mainly from air pollution) were calculated at 7.7% of China's GDP. This grew to 10.3% by 2002 and the economic loss from water pollution (6.1%) began to exceed that caused by air pollution.China has been one of the top performing countries in terms of GDP growth (9.64% in the past ten years). However, the high economic growth has put immense pressure on its environment and the environmental challenges that China faces are greater than most countries. In 2010 China was ranked 121st out of 163 countries on the Environmental Performance Index.
China has taken initiatives to increase its protection of the environment and combat environmental degradation:
Rapid growth in GDP has been China's main goal during the past three decades with a dominant development model of inefficient resource use and high pollution to achieve high GDP. For China to develop sustainably, environmental protection should be treated as an integral part of its economic policies.
Quote from Shengxian Zhou, head of MEP (2009): "Good economic policy is good environmental policy and the nature of environmental problem is the economic structure, production form and develop model."
Environmental protection has become an important task for the institutions of the European Community after the Maastricht Treaty for the European Union ratification by all of its member states. The EU is active in the field of environmental policy, issuing directives such as those on environmental impact assessment and on access to environmental information for citizens in the member states.
The Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland (EPA) The EPA has a wide range of functions to protect the environment, with its primary responsibilities including: [ full citation needed ]
In Russia, environmental protection is considered an integral part of national safety. There is an authorized state body, the Federal Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology. However, there are a lot of environmental issues in Russia.
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has identified 17 megadiverse countries. The list includes six Latin American countries: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela. Mexico and Brazil stand out among the rest because they have the largest area, population and number of species. These countries represent a major concern for environmental protection because they have high rates of deforestation, ecosystems loss, pollution, and population growth.
Brazil has the largest amount of the world's tropical forests, 4,105,401 km2 (48.1% of Brazil), concentrated in the Amazon region.Brazil is home to vast biological diversity, first among the megadiverse countries of the world, having between 15%-20% of the 1.5 million globally described species.
The organization in charge of environment protection is the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment (in Portuguese: Ministério do Meio Ambiente, MMA).It was first created in year 1973 with the name Special Secretariat for the Environment (Secretaria Especial de Meio Ambiente), changing names several times, and adopting the final name in year 1999. The Ministry is responsible for addressing the following issues:
In 2011, protected areas of the Amazon covered 2,197,485 km2 (an area larger than Greenland), with conservation units, like national parks, accounting for just over half (50.6%) and indigenous territories representing the remaining 49.4%.
With over 200,000 different species, Mexico is home to 10–12% of the world's biodiversity, ranking first in reptile biodiversity and second in mammals—one estimate indicates that over 50% of all animal and plant species live in Mexico.
The history of environmental policy in Mexico started in the 1940s with the enactment of the Law of Conservation of Soil and Water (in Spanish: Ley de Conservación de Suelo y Agua). Three decades later, at the beginning of the 1970s, the Law to Prevent and Control Environmental Pollution was created (Ley para Prevenir y Controlar la Contaminación Ambiental).
In year 1972 was the first direct response from the federal government to address eminent health effects from environmental issues. It established the administrative organization of the Secretariat for the Improvement of the Environment (Subsecretaría para el Mejoramiento del Ambiente) in the Department of Health and Welfare.
The Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (Secretaría del Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, SEMARNAT) is Mexico's environment ministry. The Ministry is responsible for addressing the following issues:
In November 2000 there were 127 protected areas; currently there are 174, covering an area of 25,384,818 hectares, increasing federally protected areas from 8.6% to 12.85% its land area.
In 2008, there was 98,487,116 ha of terrestrial protected area, covering 12.8% of the land area of Australia.The 2002 figures of 10.1% of terrestrial area and 64,615,554 ha of protected marine area were found to poorly represent about half of Australia's 85 bioregions.
Environmental protection in Australia could be seen as starting with the formation of the first National Park, Royal National Park, in 1879.More progressive environmental protection had it start in the 1960s and 1970s with major international programs such as the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in 1972, the Environment Committee of the OECD in 1970, and the United Nations Environment Programme of 1972. These events laid the foundations by increasing public awareness and support for regulation. State environmental legislation was irregular and deficient until the Australian Environment Council (AEC) and Council of Nature Conservation Ministers (CONCOM) were established in 1972 and 1974, creating a forum to assist in coordinating environmental and conservation policies between states and neighbouring countries. These councils have since been replaced by the Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) in 1991 and finally the Environment Protection and Heritage Council (EPHC) in 2001.
At a national level, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 is the primary environmental protection legislation for the Commonwealth of Australia. It concerns matters of national and international environmental significance regarding flora, fauna, ecological communities and cultural heritage.It also has jurisdiction over any activity conducted by the Commonwealth, or affecting it, that has significant environmental impact. The act covers eight main areas:
There are several Commonwealth protected lands due to partnerships with traditional native owners, such as Kakadu National Park, extraordinary biodiversity such as Christmas Island National Park, or managed cooperatively due to cross-state location, such as the Australian Alps National Parks and Reserves.
At a state level, the bulk of environmental protection issues are left to the responsibility of the state or territory.Each state in Australia has its own environmental protection legislation and corresponding agencies. Their jurisdiction is similar and covers point-source pollution, such as from industry or commercial activities, land/water use, and waste management. Most protected lands are managed by states and territories with state legislative acts creating different degrees and definitions of protected areas such as wilderness, national land and marine parks, state forests, and conservation areas. States also create regulation to limit and provide general protection from air, water, and sound pollution.
At a local level, each city or regional council has responsibility over issues not covered by state or national legislation. This includes non-point source, or diffuse pollution, such as sediment pollution from construction sites.
Australia ranks second place on the UN 2010 Human Development Indexand one of the lowest debt to GDP ratios of the developed economies. This could be seen as coming at the cost of the environment, with Australia being the world leader in coal exportation and species extinctions. Some have been motivated to proclaim it is Australia's responsibility to set the example of environmental reform for the rest of the world to follow.
At a national level, the Ministry for the Environment is responsible for environmental policy and the Department of Conservation addresses conservation issues. At a regional level the regional councils administer the legislation and address regional environmental issues.
The environmental protection in Switzerland is mainly based on the measures to be taken against global warming. The pollution in Switzerland is mainly the pollution caused by vehicles and the litteration by tourists.[ citation needed ]
Since 1969, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been working to protect the environment and human health.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an independent public body under the aegis of the Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment established under the Environmental Protection Agency Act, 1992.
All US states have their own state-level departments of environmental protection,which may issue regulations more stringent than the federal ones.
In January 2010, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson published via the official EPA blog her "Seven Priorities for EPA's Future", which were (in the order originally listed):
As of 2019, [update] it is unclear whether these still represent the agency's active priorities, as Jackson departed in February 2013, and the page has not been updated in the interim.
There are many works of literature that contain the themes of environmental protection but some have been fundamental to its evolution. Several pieces such as A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold, Tragedy of the commons by Garrett Hardin, and Silent Spring by Rachel Carson have become classics due to their far reaching influences. [ citation needed ]
The subject of environmental protection is present in fiction as well as non-fictional literature. Books such as Antarctica and Blockade have environmental protection as subjects whereas The Lorax has become a popular metaphor for environmental protection. "The Limits of Trooghaft"by Desmond Stewart is a short story that provides insight into human attitudes towards animals. Another book called "The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury investigates issues such as bombs, wars, government control, and what effects these can have on the environment.
Environmental law, also known as environmental and natural resources law, is a collective address environmental pollution. A related but distinct set of regulatory regimes, now strongly influenced by environmental legal principles, focus on the management of specific natural resources, such as forests, minerals, or fisheries. Other areas, such as environmental impact assessment, may not fit neatly into either category, but are nonetheless important components of environmental law.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It is involved in data gathering and analysis, research, field projects, advocacy, and education. IUCN's mission is to "influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable".
Environmental policy is the commitment of an organization or government to the laws, regulations, and other policy mechanisms concerning environmental issues. These issues generally include air and water pollution, waste management, ecosystem management, maintenance of biodiversity, the protection of natural resources, wildlife and endangered species. Concerning environmental policy, the importance of implementation of an eco-energy-oriented policy at a global level to address the issues of global warming and climate changes should be accentuated. Policies concerning energy or regulation of toxic substances including pesticides and many types of industrial waste are part of the topic of environmental policy. This policy can be deliberately taken to direct and oversee human activities and thereby prevent harmful effects on the biophysical environment and natural resources, as well as to make sure that changes in the environment do not have harmful effects on humans.
The New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH), a former division of the Government of New South Wales between April 2011 and July 2019, was responsible for the care and protection of the environment and heritage, which includes the natural environment, Aboriginal country, culture and heritage, and built heritage in New South Wales, Australia. Until its abolition in 2019, the OEH supported the community, business and government in protecting, strengthening and making the most of a healthy environment and economy within the state. The OEH was part of the Department of Planning and Environment cluster and managed national parks and reserves.
The Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources is Mexico's environment ministry. Its head, the Secretary of the Environment, is a member of the federal executive cabinet and is appointed by the President of the Republic. In 2018, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador appointed Josefa González-Blanco Ortiz Mena as Minister of the Environment.
Soil policy in Victoria refers to the policies of soil governance in the Australian state of Victoria. In a 10-year vision for the environment of Victoria which is spelled out in "Growing Victoria Together", one of the goals is that "the condition of our land will improve as the impact of salinity and soil degradation is reduced". Complementing "Growing Victoria Together" is "Our Environment: Our Future", which is a framework for Victoria's environmental sustainability. This defines a "long term and integrated approach" that seeks to "maximise our future economic growth, maintain our quality of life and protect our unique Victorian environment". This is to be achieved by:
The environment of Brazil is characterized by high biodiversity with a population density that decreases away from the coast.
Environmental issues in Brazil include deforestation, illegal wildlife trade, illegal poaching, air, land degradation, and water pollution caused by mining activities, wetland degradation, and severe oil spills.
The Ministry of Environment, was a Cabinet-level ministry of Government of Pakistan, tasked and primarily responsible for planning, coordinating, promoting, protecting and overseeing the policy implementation of government sanctioned environmental and forestry programmes in the country. Its government activities included conservation, survey of fauna, flora, forestry, wildlife ; protection and prevention of pollution control, afforestation, and land degradation mitigatio. The MoE was also responsible for administrating and establishing the National Parks of Pakistan.
The natural environment, commonly referred to simply as the environment, includes all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in July 1970 when the White House and the United States Congress came together due to the public's demand for cleaner natural resources. The purpose of the EPA is to repair the damage done to the environment and to set up new criteria to allow Americans to make a clean environment a reality. The ultimate goal of the EPA is to protect human health and the environment.
Environmental governance is a concept in political ecology and environmental policy that advocates sustainability as the supreme consideration for managing all human activities—political, social and economic. Governance includes government, business and civil society, and emphasizes whole system management. To capture this diverse range of elements, environmental governance often employs alternative systems of governance, for example watershed-based management.
Environmental governance is a concept in environmental policy that steers markets, technology and society towards achieving the goal of sustainability. It considers social, economic and environmental aspects in the decision making of its policies.
A private natural heritage reserve is a type of preservation area in Brazil. The land is owned privately and may be used for research, education, eco-tourism and recreation. However, this use must be compatible with the goals of preserving the environment and maintaining biodiversity. Although the private reserves have been criticized, they are a valuable complement to publicly owned reserves.
The Nature Protection Service is a unit of the Spanish Civil Guard responsible for nature conservation and management of the hunting and fishing industry. It serves to carry out and oversee State provisions to preserve nature, the environment, water resources, and preserving wealth in hunting, fish farming, forestry and other nature related industries. They are also heavily involved in work against spills and contamination, illegal trade of protected species, unregulated hunting and fishing activities, protection of natural spaces, and prevention and extinction of fires.
The Environmental Protection Agency, is an agency of Ministry of Environment, Science Technology and Innovation, established by EPA Act 490 (1994). The agency is dedicated to improving, conserving and promoting the country’s environment and striving for environmentally sustainable development with sound, efficient resource management, taking into account social and equity issues. It oversees the implementation of the National Environment Policy. EPA Ghana's mission is to manage, protect and enhance the country’s environment and seek common solutions to global environmental problems. Its mission is to be achieved through an integrated environmental planning and management system with broad public participation, efficient implementation of appropriate programmes and technical services, advice on environmental problems and effective, consistent enforcement of environmental law and regulations. EPA Ghana is a regulatory body and a catalyst for change to sound environmental stewardship.
The desert-covered Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the geographically largest country in the Middle East. Moreover, it accounts for 65% of the overall population of the GCC countries and 42% of its GDP. Saudi Arabia does not have a strong history in environmentalism. Thus, as the number of population increases and the industrial activity grows, environmental issues pose a real challenge to the country. Lack of environmental policy can be linked to an enormous reliance on oil. Due to intense fossil fuel usage, Saudi Arabia has generated a number of environmental issues. Urbanization and high standards of living contribute to ground, water, and air pollution. Agriculture and overconsumption of natural resources cause deforestation and desertification. Likewise, Saudi Arabia’s oil industry subsidizes energy use and magnifies carbon dioxide emissions. These environmental issues cause a variety of health problems including asthma and cancer. Some environmental action is taking place such as the construction of a renewable energy industry. Policies and programs are also being developed to ensure environmental sustainability.
Situated in the South Caucasus Region bordered by the Black Sea to the North the Russian Federation to the North, Azerbaijan to the East, Turkey to the Southwest and Armenia to the South, Georgia is a small country supplied with profitable natural resources, heavenly scenes, copious water assets, rich living spaces, and ecosystems that are of local and worldwide significance.