The environment surrounds people; environment is defined as natural and artificial surroundings. The surroundings affects and are affected by human activities.
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Taking people as the central point, any other thing that surrounds human kind is environment. People directly or indirectly depend on natural surroundings for their live hood. It is through exploitation of these resources that men get food, industrialisation raw materials, and medicine among others. In the efforts to satisfy human satiable needs, natural environment has been destroyed or damaged and in return, it affects the human life.
To reduce poverty, attain equality in resource distribution, and feed current generation without limiting future generation capability of feeding its population, a healthy planet is required. Other than economic effects of environmental damage, there are psychological and emotional effects of world’s gradual environmental damage (Sutton, 2007). This paper looks into various components of environmental sustainability.
Millennium Goals recognised environmental sustainability as one of the major global social and economic responsibility of different states, firms and individuals.
It encompasses actions taken to ensure that limited natural resources are utilized in an appropriate and effective manner that current generation will meet its needs effectively without limiting the capability of future generation in meeting theirs. Resources are not equally distributed, however they are enough for the entire world population only if they are well managed and organised.
Despite this recognition of the need to protect the environment, forests, land, water, and fisheries are often over-exploited by few individuals who have influence and acts for self-interests.
On page 6, Sutton, is of the opinion that there is a great connection between environmental damage, industrialisation and urbanisation; he observes that human beings have altered the natural environment and resulted to living in unclean, polluted environment, on its hand, the environment have limited the benefits that human beings could have derived from it.
Factors that limit the attainment of environmental sustainability goal
The world is fast industrializing and urban centres are growing. Industrial processes and urban population emit pollutants to the environment decreasing environmental sanity. When wastes are not disposed correctly, they have negative effect on the environment. Industries produce green houses to the atmosphere, have solid wastes on the earth service and utilize raw materials from the environment for their production. When this is the case, then the environment is damaged.
With increasing world population, and the need to meet its current needs, the world is over exploiting the available natural resources to a point that some have become exhausted. The exhaustion means that future generation will not be able to meet its needs from such resources. Some people are ignorant of the need to manage and conserve the environment. They misuse the available resources and do not see it their role to protect the environment.
Selfishness both for individuals and firms have resulted to damage and over exploitation of natural resources as people aim at meeting their own needs. The need to meet generational needs have resulted to a relaxation of some national and international rules where governments are not actively enforcing them (Sutton, 2007).
Initiatives to attain the goal of environmental sustainability
Scientific innovations, inventions and development have resulted to better means of doing things, aimed at ensuring there is minimal pollution to the environment. The globe is becoming a world village with improvement in transport and communication networks. Transport industry have been know as one of the industry that utilizes some of the worlds limited and exhaustible resources, fuel, then emits gasses that pollute the environment.
There have been collaborations among different countries calling for product improvement to such industries. Focus has also shifted to internal productions in a company where automation and recycling strategies have been embraced. To target different sectors and pollution, the international community is on the forefront to device mechanisms that will assist human beings to be sensitive to environmental damages. Such initiative was the Kyoto protocol on carbon emission.
Civil society, government and international bodies are targeting a transformation of human attitude and perception towards the environment to ensure that people appreciate the need to conserve the environment for their own good and the good of future generation. The enlightenment from the massive campaigns is yielding fruits as people are becoming more sensitive of how they are using the available resources.
One area that the public is impacting on is on attitude they hold for those companies that do not have eco-friendly processes and products. A tendency is emerging that consumer’s power is forcing companies that are less concerned with the environment to revive their processes and products. Many companies have embraced corporate social responsibilities, which are targeting environmental conservation. These programs include tree planting, recycling and environmental education programs (Sutton, 2007).
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Humankind rely on natural environment directly or indirectly for their live-hood; to ensure that current generation meets its needs without limiting the degree at which future generation will meet theirs, effective conservation of the environment is necessary. Governments, international bodies, companies and individuals should join efforts to ensure minimal damage to the environment.
Sutton, P. (2007). The environment: a sociological introduction. Cambridge: Polity Press.