Environment and Development.
Authored by Anshu Prasad
Keywords: Environment, Development, Sustainability, environmental issues.
This article provides the basic meaning of the term environment and development, the relationship between the two. Moreover, what are the importance of sustainability, environmental issues, and the solutions and preventive measures to protect the same?
The topic “environment and development” is so broad that it could easily cover any number of sub-topics, such as cultural ecology and human ecology, political ecology, or the developing world. Sustainable development can be characterized a way to deal with the economic development of a nation without compromising the quality of the environment for future generations. For the sake of economic development, the price of environmental damage is paid as land degradation, soil erosion, air & water pollution, deforestation, and so forth. This damage may surpass the benefits of having more quality output of goods and services.
The environment can be defined as the sum of the physical world that comprises the world's landmasses, oceans, and the atmosphere. Whereas, Development is defined as the process of growth and change in human social, political, and economic systems.
Relation b/w environment and sustainable development
Environment and sustainable development are closely related, they are used in the broad perspective and the overall development of human beings without any distinction. The environment is an extended sense, which includes social, political, and cultural surroundings. It is through development that the natural environment can be preserved and social and cultural environments can be made progressive. Any economic growth that devastates nature and ecology and is not sustainable, can’t be classified as development.
Importance of sustainability
The aim of sustainable development is to adjust our economic, environmental, and social needs, permitting prosperity for time being and future generations. Sustainable development includes a long-term, integrated approach in creating and achieving a healthy community by together addressing economic, environmental, and social issues, whilst keeping away the over consumption of key natural resources.
Sustainable development encourages us to save and enhance our resource base, by steadily changing the manner in which we develop and use technologies. Countries must be permitted to meet their essential needs of employment, food, energy, water, and sanitation.
If this is to be done in a sustainable manner, then there is a definite requirement for a sustainable level of population. Economic growth should be supported and developing nations should be allowed the growth of equal quality to the developed nations. There are four objectives of sustainable development: These incorporate social progress and equality, environmental protection, conservation of natural resources, and stable economic growth.
Environmental issues are one of the harmful effects of human activities on the environment. These include overpopulation, waste disposal, pollution, climate change, global warming, greenhouse effect, so on.
A large number of environmental protection programs are being practiced at the various individual, organizational and government levels which aims to establish a balance between man and environment.
The types of environmental issues are:
Climate change is one of the great concerns in today’s scenario which has surfaced in the last few decades. Greenhouse gases are the major cause resulting in climate change. Climate changes have a lot of destructive impacts such as a change in seasons, melting of glaciers, epidemics, etc.
The burning of fossil fuels, emissions from the automobiles, and chlorofluorocarbons add to the ozone-depleting greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Which has led to an increase in the earth’s temperature causing environmental changes? This rise in temperature across the globe is known as global warming.
Ozone Layer Depletion
The ozone layer is a layer of concentrated ozone gas that protects us from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. This is the most important layer which is being destroyed by CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons), which are used by the industries and in our day to day life (e.g. aerosol cans).
The chlorine that is present in these compounds destroys the ozone layer. The hole in the ozone layer leaves the humans and the wildlife exposed to the harmful UV rays that result in several skin diseases including cancer.
The addition of harmful substances into the rivers, lakes, oceans, and ponds, that changes the physical, chemical, or biological condition of the water is called water pollution. The polluted water lacks oxygen and as a result, the organisms die.
Air pollution is the consequence of emissions from industries, cars, and the increasing utilization of fossil fuels. The gaseous emissions have added to an increase in the earth’s temperature. It had even increased the risk of diseases among individuals.
Solid Waste Management
Solid-waste management is defined as the discipline associated with the generation, storage, collection, transportation, processing, and disposal of solid waste in such a manner that does not have a harmful effect on the environment.
Deforestation is the depletion of trees and forests. The trees provide us oxygen, several raw materials, and even regulates the temperature of the earth. Due to the depletion of trees for commercial uses, there has been a great change in the earth’s climate. Destruction of forests has led to the elimination of an enormous number of plants and animal species affecting biodiversity.
The earth’s population is increasing drastically. The estimated population is more than 7.8 billion. The increasing population has led to a shortage of resources. If this continues, it will be very difficult to sustain for the huge population. All the other environmental issues including pollution, waste management, deforestation, climate change, and global warming are all associated with over-population.
Solutions to Environmental Issues
Most common solutions to the environmental issue are:
1. Replace disposal items with reusable items.
2. The use of paper should be avoided.
3. Conserve water and electricity.
4. Support environmentally-friendly practices.
5. Recycle the waste to conserve natural resources.
If these Environmental issues are not controlled, there will soon be no life on earth.
Our natural environment makes human life possible, and our social condition helps define who we are. It is therefore essential that our population and economic growth are environmentally sustainable.