Pratik Bhattarai

The author is a Program Support Assistant at an NGO based in Kathmandu.

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Published On: July 12, 2021 03:02 PM NPT By: Pratik Bhattarai

The increasing needs for environmental conservation

The increasing needs for environmental conservation

Environment refers to the complex of physical, chemical and biological factors that act upon an organism or an ecological community; and ultimately determines its form and survival. In other words, the environment is where we all meet, where we all have a mutual interest; it is the common thing all of us share. 

The United Nations has declared June 5 to be celebrated as ‘World Environment day’ to highlight the importance of its protection. The General Assembly in 1972, following the first major conference based on environmental issues, known as Stockholm Conference / Conference on the Human Environment, adopted resolution to mark June 5 as the world environment day. Government and organizations in the United Nations worldwide celebrate this day reaffirming their concern for preservation of the environment. The theme for this year will be ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ with a special focus on creating a good relationship with nature and the main event will be hosted by Pakistan. This year’s event will also mark the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030.

Due to increasing urbanization and modernization many environmental problems have increased as a result of human activities and unplanned management of infrastructural development. Therefore, a dispute between the importance of conservation and preservation of ecosystems to protect the environment and the necessity to satisfy human desire by sacrifice the environment has arisen all across the globe. Various human activities have induced many undesirable effects on the environment which can be threatening human health, biodiversity, natural resources, the gene pool of ecosystems, and  can cause problem of pollutions, greenhouse effect, global warming, climate change etc. Due to the increasing human population, more people require more resources, which mean that as the population increases, the Earth's resources deplete more rapidly. The result of this depletion is deforestation, loss of biodiversity as humans strip the Earth of resources to accommodate rising population numbers. Deforestation alone is considered to be the cause of about 20% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing emissions from deforestation is the key to achieving the problem of climate change and global warming. Human activities in the environment interfere with the planet’s natural balance, making the earth’s climate less stable and unpredictable. So, unseasonably high temperatures, the rise of sea level, melting of snow of the Himalayas, irregular rainfall patterns are some of the notable impacts arising these days.

Environment policy will succeed only if it focuses on strategies that address the root cause of the environmental problems. Public awareness and participation are highly effective to improve environmental conditions. Public participation can also render costless and useful assistance in afforestation, conservation of wildlife, improvement of sanitation and drainage systems. The use of indigenous institutions, local voluntary organizations, and NGOs can render much help in educating the masses about the harmful effects of environmental degradation and the benefits of keeping the environment clean. Provision of fine and punishment, Polluters pay Principle, the concept of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle should be followed wisely for sustainable environmental conservation. The government should encourage citizens, advocates, and conservation organizations to work on environmental protection and management. Lack of proper environmental impact assessment while allowing the completion of several infrastructural projects has done serious damage to the forest, wildlife, and natural resources of Nepal. Appropriate research and studies should be done before introducing such large projects on high biodiversity areas. Therefore, it is necessary to implement intelligent and concrete strategies to minimize the impact of environmental degradation. Initiatives of alternative and clean energy sources such as solar energy, improved farming practices, electric vehicles, Plantations, management of water resources, can help to reduce the impact on environment.

Conserving the environment, which originally should have been ingrained in our behaviour, has now essentially become a challenge to us. Making a sure and effective change is difficult but with rational thinking, efficient approaches, and continuous efforts from our side, the harmony that has been lacking between us and the environment can be resolved and then sustained. Harming our environment means harming ourselves. It's time to wake up and build back better for people and the planet. We cannot imagine ourselves if we cannot imagine the environment alongside us.


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