Today everyone is becoming concerned with his environment. People have come to realize that their lives are tightly knit to their surroundings. This has been made clear by growing knowledge of green environment even deep in the villages.
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However, scientists and other scholars have contradicted overtime in defining environmental justice. Concerned environmental bodies and other activist groups still have diverse definition for environmental justice.
As a result, justice in environmental terms has become too relative. Schlosberg believes that all the terms has only led to confusion with little help, he says “Yet all of these developments in justice theory, very little has been applied in environmental justice movement” (Schlosberg, 2007, Chap 1 Excerpt).
Several researchers have not come to terms when creating distinction between environmental and ecological environmental justice.
However, understandably ecological justice is associated with nature and distribution of factors influencing it, while environmental justice focuses on equity of distribution of resources among the social classes.
In addressing the disparities to Iles concludes that, “If both environmental and ecological justice can be addressed using a broad language of distribution, recognition, capabilities, and procedural justice, then a larger frame can be established that link both set of concern” (Illes, 2004, p. 92).
Environmental justice is supposed to protect our environment through sustainable development; however, industrial development and economic growth have surpassed man’s capability to manage his environment (Schlosberg, 2007).
Currently computer wastes have become a nightmare to environmental activists. In developed countries, governmental regulatory measures and groups concerned with environmental health to some extent have achieved control over these wastes.
In Europe, for example, computers’ component recycling programs has become useful in curbing environmental pollution. Iles notes, “The European Union, along with Japan and Taiwan, has enacted laws obliging electronics manufactures to take back obsolete technology for reuse and recycling” (Iles, 2004, p. 98).
Pressure has also been put upon computers’ designers to develop systems that are environmental friendly. Consequently, bans have also been employed as a method of fighting poor application of e-way in several states as well as manufactures.
Developing countries, on the other hand, are facing difficulty in adopting technological development and managing its environment pollution consequences.
Since many people in these countries are unable to purchase top manufactures designers, they opt to import used and environment harmful components from developed nations.
Worse still, these nations have not come up with policies of managing these wastes. Asia, for example, has become one of the huge importers of these low quality designs. These are the same trend in almost all the developing nations (Illes, 2004).
Despite the trend, the current data lacks the necessary support needed for action and the success of any mitigation will depend on future research as Iles states, “more data needs to be compiled on transnational flows of all forms of materials used in electronics and wastes, not just computers; and on the locations and activities of e-waste processing centers” (Illes, 2004, p.103).
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In spite of this lack of current statistical evidences currently, future dangers associated with poor disposal means in these countries is eminent. There is still a lot that is required to manage computer wastes by the policy makers (Iles, 2004).
Interestingly, despite many international conference over managing e-waste, very little have been achieved. Debates in this conference have been halted by several factors.
In Europe, for example, recycling programs can successfully run, however, in developing countries the program cannot succeed due to their low economic potential. Consequently, improving designer qualities can boost only developed nations, while developing nations might find it expensive to operate in the market.
Currently, there is confusion over the target group that should be focused upon in managing e-waste; government, manufactures or consumers. Additionally, there are very limited research materials that can be used to back up programs (Iles, 2004).
From studies, it is clear that e-waste is a growing concern in this century. Despite, its imminent danger, little has been done in curbing this international issue. However, first income countries are putting strategies to ensure e-wastes are managed within their boundaries.
Even these strategies though, have not achieved a significant level in curbing the problem.
Iles believes that control measures have achieved little success in curbing this problem, he say, “while regulatory and policy are growing worldwide, notably take back laws, and trade controls, these constitute a patchwork with many gaps, ill-planned laws, and poorly enforced regimes”, (Iles, 2004, p.101).
Consequently, third world nations, on the other hand, have become depositing grounds for e-wastes with very poor waste management system.
This is made worse by their huge cheap computer imports, for example Iles observes that, “Asia is becoming a center of computer ownership, thereby creating new domestic sources of electronic waste (Iles, 2004, p.95).
The major contributing factors to this harmful trend are; lack of scientific researches on effects of e-waste due to the fact that they do not have immediate impact, confusion among the policy makers on the focus groups, and legal and economic collisions over technological developments.
Currently, bans are being employed as the main tool in fighting e-waste, however, managing this problem require socioeconomic understanding, enabling regulatory system and psychological development among people (Iles, 2004).
Iles, A. (2004) “Mapping Environmental Justice in Technology Flows: Computer Waste Impacts in Asia” Global Environmental Politics. New York: Roel In’t Veld.
Schlosberg, D. (2007) “Defining Environmental Justice” in Defining Environmental Justice. Oxford: Oxford University Press (excerpt).