Environmental Conservation – UPSC (Environmental Geography)

In this article, You will read Environmental Conservation – for UPSC IAS (Environmental Geography).

Environmental Conservation

Environmental conservation is the protection, preservation, management, or restoration of natural environments and the ecological communities that inhabit them. Conservation is generally held to include the management of human use of natural resources for current public benefit and sustainable social and economic utilization.

Environmental awareness has increased enormously in recent years. Environmental conservation and protection is now a familiar and important issue for us all. Environmental issues require us to take a broader perspective, since they cannot be resolved by one region or one country alone. The cumulative effects of individual efforts can have a big impact on environmental conservation and protection. It is vital that each of us adopts a sincere attitude toward environmental laws.

1. Efforts to reduce environmental impact

Always remembering to take the global environment into consideration, we actively promote efforts to reduce the environmental impact of our business activities, including taking various measures to prevent global warming.

2. Regulations governing waste

In order to reduce the environmental impact of our corporate activities, we comply with all laws and ordinances relating to the proper disposal of industrial waste as well as those relating to recycling and the conservation and effective use of resources.

3. Regulations governing chemicals

In order to ensure chemical safety, when using chemical substances anywhere in the course of our corporate activities we comply with national laws and regulations as well as international law and
internationally accepted chemical substance control standards.

4. Pollution prevention:

In order to conserve and protect the environment, we comply with all laws and regulations aimed at preventing pollution, including air, water and soil pollution, as well as noise, vibration, odors and
dioxins.

Public Awareness for Conservation of Environment

Public awareness about environment is meant to help social groups and individuals to acquire a basic understanding of environment and its associated problems. Educationists and environmental specialists have repeatedly pointed out that any solution to the environmental crisis will require environmental awareness and understanding to be deeply rooted in the education system at all levels.

  1. Environmental awareness at the primary school level to impart elementary knowledge about environmental issues and problems.
  2. The relevance of real-life situations of the environment at secondary school level for the understanding of environmental problems.
  3. Management of natural resources at the senior secondary school level to develop skills to tackle the management problems of natural resources.
  4. Environmental issues and sustainable development at college and university levels for experimentation and solution to environmental problems and methods for conservation of natural resources.
Environmental Awareness through Adult Education:

The aim of adult education should be to create collective action in solving the environmental problems. The new types of complex environmental problems require understanding and hence a new approach to adult education. A new approach should be relevant with regard to being able to fulfill established environmental objectives. For effective adult education, functionaries have to build rapport with the support organizations.

They require doing the following

  1. Build capacities in technical, social, and institutional aspects of environmental management in the village.
  2. Reorient teachers and instructors with regard to natural resources management.
  3. Find ways to sustain people‘s interest on environmental issues and identify systems for conveying knowledge and skill.
  4. Educating people for the environment presupposes a policy for environmental training. This policy should be comprehensively covering a number of elements. These may include:
    • Identifying training objectives;
    • Determining environmental training practices;
    • Matching training programs to local demand for environmental knowledge and skills;
    • Identifying the best modes and methods of training; and
    • Ensuring the financing of training activities.
  5. The participation of rural women in environmental awareness programs is very essential. The reason being, she spends a great part of her life in arranging fuel, fodder, water for her family, and actively involved in the sustainable use of common resources. Thus, women‘s involvement in decision making, especially for natural resources management and development activities should constitute an essential case for building a solid framework for environmental awareness programs.

For general information, the following may form the subject contents for educating adults to become environmentally literate:

  1. Every house in the village should have a soak pit and water should not be allowed to spread in front of the houses.
  2. The water of wells, ponds, and rivers should not be polluted by bathing animals or dumping garbage in them.
  3. Environmental issues may be linked with health, explaining things like stagnant water breeds mosquitoes for malaria, etc.
  4. Water conservation techniques should be taught.
  5. Tree plantations should be encouraged in and around villages.
  6. Pesticides and fertilizers should be used in appropriate quantities to avoid their bad effects on the soil.
  7. Biogas plants should be encouraged to minimize the use of wood fuel.
  8. Solar energy should be encouraged for light and cooking purposes.
  9. The flour mills, brick kilns, or other small-scale industries should be established away from residential areas to avoid noise and air pollution.
  10. Training in handling of waste materials and methods of recycling should be taught.
  11. Lessons on environmental hazards and disasters should be taught.

There is an urgent need to safeguard the environment to save the future generation. It requires understanding the immediate and real needs of UDCs by initiating a local process through adult education programs. It means environmental awareness by promoting low-cost resources conservation, regeneration of eco-system of villages, and stimulation of environmentally sound surroundings.

Environment Awareness through Mass-Media

Mass-media can play a vital role in creating peoples‘ awareness about the environment and conservation of natural resources. It can serve this purpose by means of its multi-channel regional and network service comprising programs such as talks, interviews, plays, and documentaries, etc.

The electronic media can identify and bring to a halt forces affecting the natural and even the man-made environment. It matters much how the public mind can be mobilized to reduce pollution and promote environmental quality.

For instance, the prevention of wastage of oil, gas, coal, and other sources of energy is not the solitary goal. The goal should be to focus on certain relative aspects leading to environmental protection through conservation emphasizing the protection of good earth. What we need is canvassing different methodologies of oil conservation since the electronic media are a potential mobilizer of public opinion. It is genuinely expected that the twin media play quite a significant role in influencing mass awareness against the excessive use of energy.

Media research and media planning in the field of environmental protection and conservation of natural resources can be accelerated keeping in view the attitude of the people. These could steer campaign objectives, measure the effectiveness of advertising campaigns, provide the information most relevant to the efficient use of media and transmit programs on conservation of resources and maintenance of environmental quality.

Establishment of Eco-Clubs

National Green Corps, a movement of eco-friendly children, has been spreading awareness about environmental protection among children. Under this program, more than 70,000 eco-clubs are set up all over India covering about 150 schools district-wise. Young students not only learn about the environment but participate in field activities in and around their schools.

Establishment of Greenbelts

Under this program, tree plantation is done along with public utilities such as roads, railways, canals, and private housing complexes, especially in July under the Van Mahotsava program (mass tree plantation festival) in India.

Campaign through State Transport

Under this program, the state transport department propagates the environment awareness message through slogans and pictures displayed in their buses.

Importance of Public Awareness for Conservation of Environment in India

Environmental sensitivity in our country can only grow through a major public awareness campaign. This has several tools —the electronic media, the press, school and college education, adult education, which are all essentially complementary to each other.

Green movements can grow out of small local initiatives to become major players in advocating environmental protection to the Government. Policymakers will only work towards environmental
preservation if there is a sufficiently large bank of voters that insist on protecting the environment.

Orienting the media to project pro-environmental issues is an important aspect. Several advertising campaigns frequently have messages that are negative to environmental preservation. The increasing awareness of environmental issues has generated great activity in recent years.

It has also brought to the knowledge of common citizens of India that for sustaining agriculture and maintaining the quality of environment at least one-third of the country‘s land should be under forest. This public awareness has helped government as well as voluntary organizations to take up the issue of environmental protection. People and activists agitation in connection with Chipko Movement, Appiko Movement, Silent Valley (Kerala), and Sardar Sarovar Project on Narmada are some illustrations to show how to clean and pollution-free.

There have been several tools, the electronic media, the press, school and college education, adult education, which are all essentially complementary to each other. Green movements can grow out of small local initiatives to become major players in advocating environmental protection to the government.

Merging the ideas and philosophy of environmentalism with the structure of formal education systems, it strives to increase awareness of environmental problems as well as to foster the skills and strategies for solving those problems.

Nature education expanded the teaching of biology, botany, and other natural sciences out into the natural world, whose students learned through direct observation. Both governmental and citizen entities included an educational component to spread their message to the general public.

Many states required their schools and colleges to adopt environmental observation education as part of their curriculum so that they are prepared to deal with environmental problems in the real world. Teaching training programs were developed to meet the increasing demand.

Publications of environment related resources material in the form of pamphlets or booklets published by Ministry of Environment & Forests can also help in keeping this section abreast of the latest developments in the field. Before we can all take up the task of environmental protection and conservation, we have to be environmentally educated and aware. It is aptly said ―if you want to act green, first think green”.

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