Conservation of Environment

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Introduction

Conservation of the environment is a set of methods and practices which are observed to preserve the environment, its inhabitants, and the resources it provides. There is a need for conservation of the environment as there is continuous inflation of population, pollution, and consumption of resources. We must learn to protect and conserve nature to replenish and recover the resources which our environment provides us. As we have only one home, the mother earth, we cannot afford her getting sick anymore. The environmentalists have realized that we are consuming our resources on a rate that is a lot higher than the rate at which our environment provides us. Thus, several movements were launched in the past which helped the environment to some extent, but the damage is severe, and we need more attention to this matter. More organizations and governments should heed to this matter before environmental degradation reaches the point of no return. 

Environmental degradation

The first step in solving a problem is identifying the causes and effects of the problem. Similarly, the hazards to our environment and biodiversity are the environmental degradation factors. These factors are mostly results of human activities like the fast-paced industrial revolution, deforestation, and disturbance in natural courses of water. These hazardous factors lead to many complexities that involve Ozone layer depletion, global warming, pollution, and overpopulation.

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution which is also known as the Victorian era in England, there was increased implantation of industries. This growth remained unchecked for more than one hundred years. People started crowding the cities, streets became flooded with working children, men, and women. Roads became congested with smoke from vehicles and chimneys belonging to coal factories. 

Ozone depletion

The black smoke from chimneys proved to be the grim reaper for the ozone layer which encloses our planet and protects us from the harmful Ultraviolet rays coming from the sun. Due to continuous exposure of the ozone layer with smoke and chloroform carbons (CFCs), it is degrading at a very fast pace. Due to the depletion and degradation of the ozone layer, UV rays are penetrating the earth’s environment causing a lot of complexities like Skin Cancer. Since the start of the depletion of the ozone layer, there is an undeniable increase in cancer cases all over the globe. It is of utmost need that exhausts and fumes from factories, vehicles and air conditioners must be treated and modified in order to minimize the damage which is being dealt with the ozone layer and environment.

Global Warming

Global warming is one of the pieces of evidence of environmental degradation. It is the continuous increase in the temperature of the earth. This is happening due to the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the environment. The presence of carbon dioxide in the environment causes the production of an effect called the greenhouse effect. The energy waves from the sun do not leave the atmosphere of the earth. Rather, they get trapped in our environment raising the earth’s temperature. The weather patterns are changing due to an increase in the overall temperature of the earth. Climate changes are becoming more extreme. Moreover, the glaciers are melting causing a rise in sea level. This situation results in complications like Tsunamis and floods. Unchecked human activities are the reason for this global problem. This global warming can only be countered by limiting the use of fossil fuels and other nonrenewable energy sources so that the release of harmful gases can be minimized.

Pollution

Our environment involves everything around us. Air, land, water, animals, and even the space around us is a part of our environment. Due to the establishment of excessive factories and power plants, our environment is suffering from a great issue which is pollution. The air from the coal stations and factories is polluting the air. The polluted air is not only harmful to human beings, but it is also fatal for avian species. The birds which are a part of nature are finding themselves in the list of endangered species. Every species plays its role in the cycle of nature. If one becomes extinct, the cycle is unbalanced giving rise to many complexities. 

The water bodies are becoming graveyards for aquatic life due to the untreated waste from factories. The polluted water is also hurting human life as well as floral diversity. The water from lakes and canals used by locals to irrigate their crops takes the diseases to the plants that become our food. The animals who drink polluted water suffer from several contagious and fatal diseases.

Dumping of wastes in open land is a common practice observed by local industries. This leads to pollution of land. The flora and fauna making a home in such land become intoxicated by pollutants, resulting in disease and death.

Overpopulation 

Due to modernization, urbanization became inevitable. The increase in population has put a great deal of stress on environmental resources like fuel, food, and water. This is a universal fact that a larger number of mouths require a larger amount of food. It has put great stress on agricultural land. Earth has suffered from severe deforestation as a large area which was covered by forests was deforested to make cities and agricultural land. There is an increase in the number of vehicles due to an increased number of consumers which has put great stress on fuel. Fossil fuels are a nonrenewable form of energy as they are extracted from the earth. They are being depleted by human beings at a very extreme rate. If we do not control population and industrialization, an energy crisis is inevitable.

Approach to Conservation of Environment

Environmental reforms

Over the past few decades, many reforms were passed around the world which pledged to save the environment. Many companies and organizations came to an understanding that how much the environment and atmosphere are being degraded due to human activities. An honorable example is environment improvement trust EIT which was formed in India in 1998 to save forests and to protect the environment. The green revolution projects have started in many countries that have the common goal of reforestation.

Many international Environmental protection programs were also signed by many countries to make a collaborative approach toward conservation of the environment. As the damage done to the environment is caused by human activities, it is essential to take a collaborative initiative to solve this global problem. These collaborative projects involve the protection of oceans from oil spillage, forests from the natural and accidental fires, and protection of atmosphere from the industrial smoke and its greenhouse effect. Some of the prominent international environment conservation agreements and reforms are the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris agreement.

Ecosystem conservation programs

Ecosystem conservation and protection approaches include steps and protocols to protect the overall environment. It includes the collective concern for all the factors of the environment and the ecosystem. And the formation of strategies that cover all the complex interrelations of ecosystem i.e. focuses on both flora, fauna, and the ecosystem in which they sustain.

Roles of Governments in Environment Conservation

The local government plays an undeniable role in the protection of the environment of its country and locale. But, the conservation of the environment is not only the duty of government, the people and voluntary organizations also play a vital role. The steps taken by the government have many impacts on the local stakeholders, owners, industrialists, and local people. So, collective response is required in the process of conservation of the environment.

Environmental conservation in History

When Germany started colonizing East Africa, they also created colonial conservation laws to preserve the animals from illegal games and indigenous practices like fire making and tree cutting for irrational purposes. These laws stayed from 1884 to 1919, as long as the colonial stayed. In 1948, a national park for the protection of wild cats was made in East Africa. National Environment Management Council (NEMC) was formed in 1983 which urged the governments and several organizations to take steps for the protection of the ecosystem and environment. The objectives of NEMC are to provide guidelines, support, and technical help to governments to create a strong approach for environmental conservation.

Role of Different Countries in Conservation of Environment

China

In 1972, a UN meeting was held in Stockholm with a purpose to counter the problems regarding the environmental crisis. This issue was highlighted by The China House. Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China (MEP) is also established in the last decade having stronger and broader objectives to save the ecosystem and conserve the environment. China is focused on reviving the ecosystem and environment as environmental degradation caused them a lot of economic losses.

European Union

The European nation has been trying to conserve the biodiversity and ecosystem for a long time. Several treaties and environmental policies were made in the past to conserve the environment. 

Ireland

Ireland has many approaches to conserve the environment including Environmental licensing, radiological protection, waste management, and environmental law enforcement.

Australia

This country has protected a large number of terrestrial and aquatic areas to protect biodiversity. Also, many national parks are established to conserve and protect nature and the environment. Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 was established to preserve natural forests, heritage sites, endangered species, and the establishment of many environmental conservation projects.

Individual and Personal Approach to conserve the environment

Organization and Government solely cannot handle the global problem of environmental degradation. Every human is a part of it because we all are responsible for it.

Conservation of Resources

Being a part of the environment, we must take care of it. If we are unable to give back to nature, then we must only take what we need.

Water

Water is one of the amazing gifts of nature. Every day we keep our taps running without paying any attention to the damage we are collectively dealing with earth. The underground water level is declining at a very fast rate. Thus, it is important to utilize water with care and according to need.

Fuel 

Most of the fuel that drives our commute is a nonrenewable resource of energy. It is derived from the crude oil which is an extract of the fossil fuels. If we keep using it without being prudent, our upcoming generations will suffer from an energy crisis. Rather personal transport we should prefer public transport as it helps the country and it conserves fuel.

Energy 

Energy is a part of the natural cycle. Electrical energy when utilized is converted into other forms of energy. Most of this energy gives rise to the level of entropy in the environment. As the entropy, the increase in the level of chaos also increases. It is an inevitable process, but we can surely slow it down. Make sure to turn off fans and lights when they are not being used.

Using renewable sources of energy

To minimize the entropy and stress on nonrenewable resources, we must promote frugal ways of energy, like wind energy and solar energy. The solar cells help converts light energy into electrical energy which is a cheap method. Similarly, windmills convert the energy obtained from wind and produce electrical energy. Both of these methods are renewable energy sources and put less stress on the environment

Summary 

We are a part of the environment in which we live. If it fails, we will fail. We must give back to nature for the cycle to sustain. We should promote afforestation. We must make petitions to the government to stop the industries and factories to release waste untreated. 

We should avoid personal transport to conserve fuel. We should respect animals by avoiding illegal hunting. Our government and ministries should use renewable energy sources rather using fossil fuels. 

Treatment of industrial waste is a matter of topmost priority, as it is the main cause of pollution, global warming, and ozone depletion. If we choose to ignore this matter nature will ignore us, and there is a high chance that we might suffer from energy crises and other complexities at a global level.

References

  1. Karamanos, P., Voluntary Environmental Agreements: Evolution and Definition of a New Environmental Policy Approach. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 2001. 44(1): p. 67-67-84.
  2. The California Institute of Public Affairs (CIPA) (August 2001). “An ecosystem approach to natural resource conservation in California”. CIPA Publication No. 106. InterEnvironment Institute. Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  3. Mitchell, R.B., International Environmental Agreements: A Survey of Their Features, Formation, and Effects. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 2003. 28(1543-5938, 1543-5938): p. 429-429-461.
  4. Harding, R., Ecologically sustainable development: origins, implementation and challenges. Desalination, 2006. 187(1-3): p. 229-239