Enviromental Isses Essay
1. Define the term Environment
2.Understand the basic principles of environmental management. 3.Explain the relationship between environment and sustainable development 4.Describe ecology and ecosystems as applied in environmental management 5.Identify environmental resources within Kenya and their classification 1.3 Meaning of Environment
The study of environment management is, in many cases about man and the things that surround him that is the study of living and non- living things. The subject of environmental management frequently arouses suspicion among politicians and economists especially in the developing countries and Kenya is no exception.
Some groups of people within our communities have a tendency of feeling that the subject of environment is a concern for the rich and the educated class. The politicians on the other hand believe that this is about denying them their political space in the community and hence tend to oppose it unnecessarily.
In this lecture unit therefore the writers have tried to explain the meaning of the concept of environment, the main principles governing environmental programs and activities and the benefits of managing the environment. This is indented make all people including you to appreciate the need for supporting various efforts being made to make our environment safer and friendly without compromising development and growth.
The word environment is defined as the totality of conditions and influences that affect the way things live and develop, (M. Munyua and J. Onyari). Things as used here means both the living and non living things which drives or influences the way living things are formed or are modified or are developed in their process of growth. UNEP has also defined environment as the basis of living on this planet.
The word environment can therefore be defined in terms of the following. Air, land or water
Plant, animal and human life
The social, economical and cultural conditions that influence the life of man or a community Any building, structure, machine or other device made by man Any solid, liquid, gas, odour, heat, sound, radiation resulting directly or indirectly fro the activities of man
Environmental management therefore means the way one runs his or her business can have a significant impact on the environment. By monitoring and managing our business’ impact and being aware of our environmental responsibilities, we can ensure that our projects are environmentally friendly while reaping the added value from the business.
Whatever the level of impact, there are incentives, guidelines, tools and information required to help people manage their businesses’ impact and minimize it where appropriate. By introducing sound environmental management practices and reducing our environmental impact overall, our projects can
profit from cost savings through efficiency or productivity gains. The other benefits include 1.Receiving assistance and grants from the government
2.Spending less on raw materials, energy and water
3.Receiving recognition through numerous environmental awards 4.Finding new market opportunities for “green” goods and services 5.Improving workplace safety through reduced use of industrial chemicals and reduced waste. 6.Reducing accidents and wastes due to mistakes or errors.
1.4 Environmental Management Principles
The following principles provide a basis for organizations pursuing environmentally responsible operations. They may help formulate environmental policies appropriate to individual businesses.
1.4.1 Environmental protection
Project managers should protect the environment by trying to reduce any adverse impact of their project’s activities and products on the atmosphere, water, land and among all the living organisms to a level where the cost to society do not out way the benefits. This will include:
1.4.2 Environmental Management
Project managers should recognize environmental management as an essential and critical aspect of corporate activities. The lead on environmental management should come from the top. As with other corporate priorities, Chief Executives need to set objectives and monitor progress. There should be a well-defined management structure. In particular, there should be a clear line of responsibility for the implementation of environmental management.
Where necessary, specialist advisors should be employed to assist line management in discharging their responsibilities. The main tasks of senior management in environmental management include: Developing future performance objectives
Forecasting and assessing challenges and opportunities
Developing a strategy and preparing contingency plans
Motivating, controlling and co-coordinating employees.
The following are some of the procedures of achieving the above: A. Establish and maintain policies, programs and practices for conducting operations in an environmentally sound manner. In order to do this it may be necessary to conduct an initial environmental review of the company’s operations to establish exactly where the company stands with respect to environmental risks. Policy statements vary from short statements of intent to voluminous policy manuals. Ultimately the success or failure of an environmental policy will depend on management’s ability to spell out specific objectives for employees.
B. Set clear, measurable and realistic goals for minimizing the impact on the environment. Environmental performance indicators should be developed to measure the company’s record in terms of, for example, resource efficiency, safety, pollution and nuisance. CIntegrate environmental decision making in all aspects of business planning and operations. 1.4.3 Performance Assessment
Meet or exceed all applicable environmental standards and regulations. Where standards and regulations do not exist, companies should establish standards to restrict adverse environmental impact. Improve environmental performance by taking into account technical developments, scientific understanding, and consumer needs and changing legislation set by the relevant authorities. Measure and review environmental performance by conducting regular audits to evaluate progress against set standards and goals, compliance with laws and regulations and implementation of these principles. 1.4.4 Communication
Communicate with government, employees, shareholders, local communities, the general public, the media and environmental groups about the environmental performance of company operations and products to discuss environmental matters with relevant groups. Ensure that customers, distributors, suppliers and the public have information to enable them to transport,
store, recycle and dispose of products to minimize environmental impact.
Co-operate with industry associations, government agencies, scientific and environmental groups to shape policies and legislation. Participate in educational initiatives and programs to raise environmental awareness and to develop an understanding of the contribution which industry can make to minimize environmental impact. 1.4.5 Employee Commitment
Educate, train and motivate employees to conduct their activities consistent with these Environmental Management Principles and the company’s own policies. Formulate, discuss and agree objectives with various individuals and operations involved. If appropriate, to allocate environmental objectives and targets to individual employees and make them accountable for the achievement of those objectives. 1.4.6 Products and Processes
Evaluate relevant project activities scientifically, including the setting of the production facilities, for their impact on the environment, and implement reasonable countermeasures. Give priority (in the research, design and development stages of making a product) to cost effective ways of lessening the possible impact on the environment at each stage of a product’s production, distribution, appropriate use and disposal.
To plan all aspects of the production process carefully with regard to the choice of raw materials, their durability, ease of repair and the recycling of parts. Develop, design, build and operate facilities which seek to reduce resource inputs and waste output, consistent with sustainable development criteria. Reduce pollution levels by measures such as good housekeeping, substitution of materials, modifications of product design and process, and resource recovery. 1.4.7. Emergency/Contingency Plans
Prepare and test emergency response plans for dealing with environmentally damaging incidents and to respond to such incidents by protecting the health of employees, the public and the environment. Ensure that adequate information is given to all concerned parties. 1.4.8. OtherParties
Encourage contractors, suppliers, business associates and joint venture partners to adopt environmental management policies and practices which are consistent with their activities.
1.4.9. Technology and Skills Co-operation
Facilitate the transfer of environmentally sound and appropriate technology and management skills to suppliers and customers.
1.4.10. Assessment and Management of Environmental Risk
Assess, to the extent practicable using available methods and technology, the potential environmental impacts of project operations, products and services so that avoidable environmental problems can be prevented. Take business decisions related to operations, products and services bearing in mind the balanced environmental and economic and social development needs of the community. Establish a policy and strategy to reduce, and, where practicable, eliminate the discharge of environmentally harmful substances.
What are some of the principles you consider critical in environmental management? Give reasons why you consider them critical?
1.5 Environment and Sustainable Development
Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use that aims at meeting human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for future generations.
The term was used by the Brundtland Commission which coined what has become the most often-quoted definition of sustainable development as development that ‘meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.’ (Reclift, M. 1997) Sustainable development ties together concerns for carrying out capacity of natural systems with the social challenges facing humanity. As early as the 1970s “sustainability” was employed to describe an economy in equilibrium with basic ecological support systems.
Ecologists have pointed to the limits of growth and presented the alternative of a steady state economy in order to address environmental concerns. The field of sustainable development can be conceptually broken into three constituent parts: environmental sustainability, economic sustainability and socio-political sustainability.
A. Environmental Sustainability
Environmental sustainability is the process of making sure that current processes of interaction with the environment are pursued with the idea of keeping the environment as pristine as naturally possible based on ideal-seeking behavior. An unsustainable situation occurs when natural capital (the sum total of nature’s resources) is used up faster than it can be replenished. Sustainability requires that human activity only uses nature’s resources at a rate at which they can be replenished naturally. Inherently the concept of sustainable development is intertwined with the concept of carrying capacity.
Theoretically, the long-term result of environmental degradation is the inability to sustain human life. Such degradation on a global scale could imply extinction for humanity and or other species. B. Sustainable Growth Mode
The relationship between environment and the society, under this mode, the concept is considered as purely utilitarian. Conservation is one of several policy goals, Technological, administrative and economic tools are employed to gradually shift the economic development path towards one, which maintains the regenerative capacity of renewable resources and switches from the use of non-renewable to renewable resources (Rees, 1990).
C. Sustainable Development Mode
Under this mode, environmental conservation and/or preservation become the sole basis for defining a criterion with which to judge developmental policy. Environmental ethics becomes a key theme for analysis.
This mode envisages fundamental changes to the status quo through a shift in the way economic progress is pursued. Suitable development would mean a change in consumption patterns toward patterns that augment environmental capital (Pearce et al, 1987). By shifting the development path, it is argued that it will be possible to leave intact (or indeed increase) the stock of assets (both natural and man-made) available for future generations.
Sustainable development ensures that producers and consumers face up to the real social costs of their action. Individual preferences can operate to determine the specific package of resources employed for the moment and those left as future assets. In cases where use or depletion of a particular environmental asset, (e.g. the ozone layer) affects the sustainability for the total global system, then it is clear that individual choices must be constrained so that they operate within safe limits.
In the context of resource allocation, equity and provision of welfare services are seen as central to the sustainability debate. Emile Salim, (1988) cited in Rees, (1990) that sustainable development implies economic growth that rises per capita income and distribution in the society, quality of life and which eliminates poverty.
Poverty and environmental degradation have becomes part of worsening aspect of under-development. It leaves many societies with little option but to extract what they can in the short term from the resource base, resulting in the depletion of fertile soils, forest, and ground water. This in tern increase rural poverty as the cycle continues.
1.5.1 Goals of Sustainable Development
The concept of sustainable development encompasses the following aims: •Help to the very poor who, without necessary help, are left with no option but to destroy the environment; •Pursuance of a pattern of economic development that lead to self-reliance in the utilization of available resources; •Cost effective development process that does not degrade environmental quality nor reduce the productivity of its soils in the long run; •Health, clean water and shelter for all;
•The promotion of people-centered initiatives in which people are the key resource; •The notion that sustainable society is one that lives within self-perpetuating limits of the environment. Such a society recognizes the limits of its sustainable growth by seeking the best means to achieve the desired growth while avoiding aimless growth.
1.5.2 Origin of Sustainable Development
The origin and meaning of the concept may be traced back to the concerted efforts, in the late 1960s, which was directed toward preventing pollution.
Pollution was then mainly a concern for the Western World (pollution in the developing countries had generally not reached alarming level). It was out of this concern that the Stockholm Conference (1972) was convened. There was also concern that pollution would become a ;third world problem too, if developing countries followed the pattern of development that the West had taken and which had least regard for the environmental protection.
1.5.3Sustainability and Eco-development
Eco-development has two roots, ecology and development. Thus eco-development means an ecologically sound development that achieves harmony (instead of creating conflict) between man and nature or between the society and the physical environment. It also means non-destructive relations among all the above, within limits of economic necessities and technological possibilities.
Ignacy sachs, a proponent of econ-development, defined it as: “An approach to development aimed at harmonizing social and economic objectives with ecologically sound management, in spirit of solidarity with future generations, based on the principle of self-reliance, Satisfaction of basic needs, a new symbiosis of man and earth; another kind of qualitative growth, not zero growth, not negative growth”. (Glaeser B. 1984)
Eco-development is a process of development that ensures that ecological concerns are complied for during developmental efforts. Under the process, planners pursue economic development while acknowledging the limits within which the environment can sustain that process. Eco-development has following aspects:
Eco-development makes that all groups of people, especially those in the developing are able to get their primary needs and that they participate in all the concerns of development process.
Eco-development involves the application of local resources to enhance development. 3.Environmental Compatibility
Environmental preservation or conservation of natural and cultural heritage
is regarded as an integral part of eco-development.
Glaeser (1984) states that sustainable development requires the following key factors: •Harmonization of consumption patterns and time use lifestyles; •Appropriate technologies using ecologically compatible designs; •Low energy use with emphasis on enhancing renewable energy sources; •Fresh look at the way we use environmental resources with a view to preserve the same or recycle those that are recyclable; •Ecological principles to guide land use and settlement patterns; •Participatory planning and grass root activation;
•Deliberate actions towards preserving and improving the physical environment for the benefit of man and the environment itself.
The concept of sustainability was first brought to public attention through a publication on ecology – “World Conservation Strategy,” (1980), which defined sustainability mainly in terms of three practices: •Maintaining essential ecological processes and life-supporting systems •Preserving genetic diversity;
•Sustainable use of species and ecosystems.
1.5.4Agenda 21 and Sustainable Development
The main agenda at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit that was attended by world leaders representing more than 170 governments was sustainable development that entails global environmental concerns. The Key outcome of the summit was Agenda 21 which addressed sustainable development at both local and international levels. (Njuguna.N George. 2009)
The basic idea of Agenda 21 was that people should live within the limitations of the planet and share its resources equitably and use them sustainable. The protocol was hailed as an agenda for the 21” century and as a timely means for the provision of development at the same time helping controlling, protecting and conserving natural environment.
Other highlights of Agenda 21 were appeals for governments across the world to put necessary measure in place that would enable all people to participate in the decision-making processes in all developmental matters. It also acknowledged the fact that sustainable development would fail if policy-makers continually imposed decisions from above instead of enlisting the interest and participation of all the people. The partnership between policy makers and the citizenry, normally called participatory approach to socio-economic development, is therefore a key concern of Agenda 21.
1.5.5Requirements for Sustainable Development/PRINCIPLES
Sustainable development requires a formal system that secures effective people participation in decision-making. Such a system also provides for environmental interventions in all political, economic and social processes of a particular region. Other requirements of sustainable development include.
A. Environmental Considerations
One basic element of sustainable development is the entrenchment of environmental considerations in policy formulation. In the past, the connection between environmental and economic policies was barely acknowledged. It is today common knowledge that sustainable development demands the integration of these policies both in theory and in practice. Conflicts between proponents of environmental and those of economic respectively have been reduced, as economic objectives are placed within a common framework in which a variety of other parallel objectives can be recognized.
Environmental concerns have been a major factor in the formulation of the concept of sustainable development. As noted earlier in this chapter, environmental concerns generally focused on pollution in the industrialized nations. In developing nations however, environmental issues are more basic. They include problems caused by high population growth rates, rural-to-urban migration, growth of slums and squatter settlements, inadequate sanitation, soil erosion, frequent famine and drought and abject
poverty in many regions. These are problems that characterize under-development. Societies in both developed and under-developed countries have to address their respective environmental issues as they seek to undertake are said to be environmentally complaint and therefore sustainable.
Sustainable development incorporates an invariable commitment to equity. Thus, it emphasizes not only on the creation of wealth along with resource conservation, but also on the fair North-South distribution of resources. This is largely in reference to the wealthy communities, notably in the Northern hemisphere and the poor ones which are mainly in the South. Fair distribution of resources is also expected within communities in the same region or countries. The term also incorporates inter-generational equity, i.e. a fair distribution of environmental benefits between generations.
C.Uplifting Socio-Economic Status
Sustainable development also implies something more than economic advancement. This means that terms like “economic welfare” when used within the content of sustainable development would be inclusive of non-financial components. These components include quality of the environment itself, socio-economic status of peoples (e.g. their health and level of education), the quality of work, the existence of cohesive communities and the vibrancy of cultural life – none of which can be measured by GNP.
D.Satisfying Basic or Essential Human Needs
Sustainable development further aims at satisfying basic or essential human needs, starting with the needs of the poorest and the needy in the society without any harm done to the natural and cultural heritage. These needs include biological (e.g. food and sleep), cultural (e.g. entertainment and music), material (e.g. money and bicycles) and in and non-material (e.g. psychological) Needs of course are complex and particular to different persons. Meeting these needs, and especially those of the poorest in the society, is the goal of sustainable development.
Sustainable development requires that a satisfactory number of the people who are to be affected by a development process should be also involved, at the very least, through their voluntary contribution, in project formulation and implementation in their respective localities. These people are given all the necessary direction and momentum. In this case, therefore, participation is as much a goal of sustainable development as it is a means of achieving it.
Self-reliance is a unifying objective – a confidence-building factor emphasizing on dependence on a country’s own resources including the often ample and reliable manpower. At individual level, the term implies that one is able and feels proudly able to bear one’s own burden without being helplessly dependent on outside support. Metaphorically, the burden is the cost and effort involved in sustainable use of individual or nation’s resources for self-reliance. Self-reliance refers to independence achieved through rational use or allocation of nation’s natural and human resources in the process of sustainable development.
Self-reliance further refers to the ability and freedom of ordinary working people (who constitute the majority in society) to choose their lifestyles based upon their culture and the available resources. Such a life-style has to be free from any pressure or interference from vested groups such as big political powers, political groupings and multinationals corporations. It should be noted that society’s or even individual needs are dynamic in the sense that options open to the people or to the society do change and expand within the process of sustainable development. 1.6Ecology and Eco- systems
The concepts of ecology and ecosystems are most useful in a discussion of environmental management. An ecosystem is a complex set of relationships among living resources, habitats and residents of a region. And Ecology is the scientific study of the processes influencing the distribution and abundance of organisms, the interactions among organisms, and the interactions between organisms and the transformation and flux of energy and matter.(Munyua J and J Onyari 1996) Within ecosystems there are flows of energy and matter. Basically the energy enters the system in form of sunlight which is utilized by green plants in a process known as photosynthesis.
The energy flows through the system and is lost mainly as heat. Matter cycles within the ecosystem with most chemical elements being recycled through the system repeatedly. Each ecosystem has an input of materials from the atmosphere and other ecosystems. This relationship is very critical for the survival of all living things on the universe. We all depend on the environment for our survival and comfort. The environment consists of all those things and systems that exist close or surround each other. Therefore we need to maintain this relationship for development to take place. Activity 1.2
Using local examples, explain the main factors which may influence sustainable development in Kenya.
1.6.1 Food Chains and Webs and Transfer
Food chains are the transfer of food energy from its source in plants through a series of organisms which are eating and being eaten by others. Individual food chains do not, occur in isolation. In any ecosystems there will be many different food chains occurring at the same time, and they will be inter-connected with one another to form a ‘food web’ Projects conducted by various organizations should be in on this concept since they affect not only one Individual but many individuals.
The concept of ecology and ecosystems is a critical one for project management in that the activities of project programs should not be allowed to interfere or disturb the relationship between organisms in our environment. 1.7 Environmental Resources and their Classifications
Kenya has diverse resources which need to be protected through various agencies and laws. Some of these resources are critical and play a major role in the present and future development of the country. These resources range from the land, mineral resources to forest and wildlife. These resources are interrelated and need a holistic approach to their management. These resources are classified as follows.
1.7.1 Land and Land-Based Resources
Land is the basic capital and resource on which development in Kenya is based. It provides primary human requirements such as food, fiber and fuel, while supplying raw materials for manufacturing, as well as providing space for human habitation and recreation. Rising human requirements are placing ever increasing demands on land. Some of these demands often conflicts in terms of land use.
1.7.2 Forest Resources
Forests cover a very small proportion of Kenya’s total land area but they rank high as one of the country’s most important national assets. They conserve biological diversity, water and soil and are a major habitat for wildlife. There need for united approach by all the concerned to conserve our forests if Kenya is develop rapidly.
1.7.3 Wildlife Resources
Wildlife constitutes an important national resource with substantial socio-economic, cultural, scientific and environmental values and should be properly managed.
Wetlands in the country include swamps, deltas, bogs, flood plains, areas bordering water bodies such as mangrove forests, riverside ecosystems, lake shores, coral reefs and marine mud-flats which have moisture part of the year. 1.7.5 Rangeland Resource
Much of Kenya’s land is classified as rangelands which are characterized by scanty and unreliable rainfall. The rangeland resource is enormous but the ecosystems are fragile requiring appropriate management strategies to ensure sustainable productivity.
1.7.6 Other resources
The other resources Kenya has been endowed with include
D.Fisheries and marine resources
Briefly highlight on the importance of proper
management of resources within Kenya.
In this lecture, we have said that the study of environment is about man and the things that surround that is the living and non-living things. We have also identified the basic environmental principles to include environment protection, environment performance assessment, and communication and employee commitment.
In addition we have pointed out that sustainable development is a pattern of resource use that aims at meeting human needs while preserving the environment. The concepts of ecology and ecosystems are most useful in discussion of relationships among and living resources, habitats and residents of a region.
Finally we have ended the lecture by explaining that Kenya has diverse environmental resources which need to be protected through agencies and laws relating to environment. These resources include Land, minerals, Forest and Wildlife.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT
2.3 Meaning of EIA
2.4 Role of EIA in good environmental practice in Kenya
2.5 Environment Impact Assessment procedures in Kenya
2.6 Environmental laws: International and Kenyan perspectives. 2.7 Challenges of EIA
In lecture one, we discussed the Meaning of environment, principles governing the management of environment, environment and sustainable development, Ecology and Ecosystems and Environmental Resources and their classification. In this chapter we are going to introduce you to Environmental Impact Assessment. Our focus will be on the Meaning of EIA, role of EIA, EIA guidelines in Kenya and challenges involved in EIA.
At the end of this lecture, you should be able to:
6.1 Explain the meaning of Environment Impact Assessment
2. Explain the role of EIA in good environmental practice in Kenya 3. Identify the Environmental Impact Assessment systems applicable in Kenya. 4. Examine Environment management guidelines in
5. Explain the Environmental laws: International, Kenyan perspectives 6. State the Challenges of environmental impact
2.3 Meaning of Environmental Impact Assessment
Environmental assessment is a procedure that ensures that the environmental implications of projects are taken into account before the project decisions are made.
The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that decision makers consider the ensuing environmental impacts to decide whether to proceed with the project. The International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) defines an environmental impact assessment as “the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social, and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made
2.4 Role of Environmental Impact Assessment in the Management of Projects in Kenya
In principle EIA helps in the proper planning, monitoring and management of projects in Kenya in order to minimize their negative impact to the community. The main roles centre on the following. 2.4.1Sustainability and Strengthening of Local Issues.
The country has three different faces: firstly, it has unique nature values, not only on a national but also on an international scale. Secondly, the land uplift results into an interesting land use pattern and real estate structure. The land area is been developed rapidly by private developers, which, in turn means there is a need to control and monitor the whole process of development by land to ensure equitable and controlled development. The third factor result mainly from the county’s unique location from the mainland to the sea land to the mountains to the plains, type of local way of life cannot be found elsewhere. 2.4.2Documentation
The Environmental Impact Statement deals with a planning dilemma; how to assess the impacts of a plan, which does not include detailed design drawings and therefore no detailed predictions of impacts, can be made. All the actors realize that the decision to implement the plan has already been made, and the development in that direction cannot be ceased or stopped by any means. In the assessment, impacts are regarded as warning signs, and are merely transformed into potential mitigation measures than described as direct or indirect impacts. It is up to the competent authorities to ensure that enforcement will be in line with the findings of the Environmental Impact Statement.
But a lot of responsibility falls to the Proponent, who will carry on with detailed design activities such as forestry road upgrading and building, and drainage of forests and fields. In the Surveying Tradition, reorganization is perceived as improving rational use of land resources. Here pros and cons of the project are in terms of classical economics. The Public Participation Tradition assumes that local inhabitants and interest groups should have a key role in all measures affecting their environment. The Nature Conservation Tradition has its own well known principles. All these are the concerns of EIA in Kenya. 2.4.3Capacity Building and Institutional Strengthening
In spite of the fact that the authors of EIA may not be objective evaluators, they try to find out the key issues for others to learn from. The National Land Survey is for example, willing to learn how to develop its practices in Kenya and elsewhere. The Environmental Authorities need good practice examples of Strategic Environmental Assessment in Spatial Planning. And especially, the Public needs evidence that their participation has not gone by the board. 2.4.4General Discussion
Environmental Impact Assessment procedures cannot solve the problems of Kenya in a rapidly changing economic, social, environmental, and land use framework but it provides a flat form of evaluating the developmental policies of the country against those of other countries. At least the procedure gives an opportunity to discuss and assess the situation in a transparent and open-minded way. It may also appear that re-organization benefits are relatively small compared against the risk of losing the traditional cultural setting. This may in turn lead to serious reconsideration of the developmental policies for the better future.
Environmental impact assessments are sometimes controversial.
2.5Environmental Impact Assessment procedures for Projects in Kenya In Kenya the procedures for environmental impact assessments are largely governed by the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (1999), and other
consideration given due attention in the project selection, sitting and design. It should however be noted that there is no universal procedure to be followed for each project because the application of EIA varies with the types of projects or project area/region and there is no one “right” way given the comprehensive variety of issues that must be considered(Njuguna, 2007).
Based on the empirical evidence collected in developing countries and various other parts of the world, it has been found out that one way of approaching EIA cost effectively is to familiarize the person who makes the decision with the steps involved in the EIA, the importance of timing each step, and the resources required in the project design and implementation. Generally the steps or processes involved in carrying out an Environmental Impact assessment are as follows: 2.5.1Preliminary Actions
Preliminary actions or activities are some of the issues to be identified and activities to be undertaken at the very initial stages when planning, conceptualizing, defining and formulating an environmental impact assessment. The activities involved at this stage include identifying a decision maker or makers; selecting a co-coordinating person; deciding on work allocation; writing description of proposed action and reviewing the existing legislation. The issue of identifying the decision maker may appear simple but it is one of the most difficult and complicated issue to handle in the EIA process.
This is because in Kenya and indeed in many developed and developing countries, there is normally conflict in terms of who is the person with the authority over a certain project or programme. This fact is even made more complicated in a situation where the project or programme requires to be carried out or falls under different ministries. Therefore it is very helpful from the onset to state clearly which person, or persons, or group will have the responsibility of making the final decisions on a particular project or a programme. Another preliminary activity involves selecting a coordinator who will manage the EIA study on behalf of the decision- maker.
The work of the co-ordinator is more or less like the supervisor on the ground who will ensure that the study proceeds along the lines set out by the scoping exercise and that the outcome of the study will be in the form that is useful to the decision maker. A coordinator therefore is supposed to have some technical skills on the environmental impact assessment as his role is technical in nature. In some rare cases the decision maker himself carries the role of the coordinator. The third preliminary activity is the allocation of work.
This involves allocation of responsibilities to be carried out and by whom. What should be noted here is that there are several alternatives of allocating the activities and it varies from one country to another. For example, in the U.S.A, the practice is that the developer conducts the assessment while the Environment Protection Agency serves in a review and “watch dog” capacity. In other countries like in Bahrain, the government agency actually carries out the environmental impact study.
In text Question
What is the current practice in Kenya as regards work allocation? Whatever model of allocation of work is to be followed the primary thing here is that allocation of work should be done early in the life of the project. The next preliminary activity that follows the allocation of work is the description of the proposed action. It involves coming up with a write up which should be brief (not more than ten pages) that specifies exactly the action that the study is intended to solve; the list of constraints to be encountered and the proposed action to be taken.
The activity of writing a description of a proposed action is technical in nature and it is normally recommended that the writing of the proposed action should be done by the co-ordinator or an equally qualified person. The last of the preliminary activities is the review of the all existing laws, regulations and ordinances that would apply to the proposed action. The motive behind this action is to identify any areas of conflict and iron them out at the earliest. Take Note
The list of preliminary activities listed above is not exhaustive. It is limited to activities that are necessary in many projects 2.5.2Identification of Impact (Scoping)
The second major step for conducting an environmental impact assessment is scoping. It consists of two parts or processes. The first part requires a compilation of all possible impacts whether severe or trivial by getting information from as many sources as possible. Once this information is obtained, the list is compiled and then the list is carefully examined and a manageable number of key impacts are selected for study.
The rest of the impacts are normally discarded. Another area where identification is done is on the legislative or regulatory requirements. The scoping process therefore helps in establishing the extend for any additional studies; enables the proper scheduling of activities to studied; assists in getting the staffing required; and also helps in complying with the prevailing laws and other regulations Scoping requires working closely with all the interested parties and other stakeholders in the project to be implemented. In some countries like in the U.S.A, there are strict laws that require scoping to be done at early stages of the EIA and also in coordination with interested parties, agencies and the public.
There are a number of sources for getting the information that can be used for scoping. The most ideal source for developing a checklist of impacts is by synthesis from other EIAs on similar actions. Other sources could include UNEP’s referral system the Division Early Warning System (DEWA) and other national environmental agencies in different countries; completed EIAs on similar actions; and from a growing number of textbooks and resource materials that list potential environmental effects of different development or industrial activities. Impact identification is normally done under scoping. It involves collecting all data on the environment that can in one way or the other can be affected by the planned project. 2.5.3Baseline Study
The baseline study is the establishment of what existed in the area prior to an action. It does not need to be extensive nor all inclusive since in the cause of scoping, most important impacts would have been identified. However baseline study would be required in order to measure the baseline levels of those environmental parameters that the most important impacts will affect. Therefore the baseline study should be formulated from the short list of impacts identified under scoping.
The activities required under baseline survey are field work and a review of the existing documents. At this stage resources will be required for personnel and some basic training in the technical field. It is also at this stage that technical specialists are required to put their inputs into the environmental impact assessment. 5.2.4 Impact evaluation (Quantification) and Predication
After identifying the impacts of a proposed project, the next logical step will be to know or measure the degree or extend of that impact. This is carried out through an impact evaluation process. For example, if the impact identified for people living in a village nearby to a proposed factory was noise, impact evaluation should be able to measure the extent of effects that will occur as a result of the changes in the noise levels in that particular village.
To determine the nature of expected impact, it is essential to predict the noise level at the village during the time period when the factory will be operating and also to predict the level before the installation of the factory. Then a series of calculations can be done to determine the sound output of the factory.
A computer model may be used to calculate the noise levels which may occur as a result of introducing the new noise source. A point to be noted here is that for some impacts, there are predictive techniques e.g. air pollutant dispersion models which enable prediction of future conditions of environmental parameters to be ascertained, but for other impacts it may be necessary to rely on the “best” judgment of the experts based on their knowledge and experience. 5.2.5 Mitigation Measures
Once the impacts have been identified and quantified, some may be found to be significant and adverse. Therefore this calls for measures which might reduce or prevent the expected impacts. It is often not possible to eradicate an adverse environmental effect but it is feasible to reduce the intensity. These measures of reducing the adversity are referred to as mitigation measures. Examples of mitigation measures are installing of dust collectors, sludge ponds, noise mufflers, and crop rotation. Take Note
1.Proper assessment should be done to determine the extent to which each mitigation measure might reduce the impacts, or prevent them altogether.
5.2.6 Impact Assessment or comparison of alternatives
The next step after mitigation measures is to assess the extent of impact and compare them with the available alternatives. At this stage all information gathered from all other steps are made available. In addition, all environmental losses and gains will be assessed along with the economic costs and benefits to produce a full picture for each project alternative.
The intended output of this step is a series of recommendations from which the decision-maker will choose a course of action. In order to compare the alternatives it will be necessary at this stage to have the following information: all information on costs and benefits and all the positive and negative environmental impacts for the project. 2.5.7 Documentation and Communication of Impact Information
This is perhaps the most important steps in Environmental impact assessment. It involves preparation of the environmental impact statement or report. The report should be prepared in a manner that it can be understood by non-expert decision makers and members of the public if given access. The report should be prepared in a simple language that can be easily understood, and should ideally have the following features: •Executive summary
•Use visual displays, tables, graphs and diagrams as much as possible •Keep the text to the minimum necessary
•Focus on the likely impacts
•Avoid jargon and highly technical language
•Include in the technical appendix the methodology used.
2.5.8 Decision Making
Once a report has been prepared, it is then forwarded to a person who is going to make a decision. Many times the decision maker may be one or several government officials, a manager or a Board of Directors. Once the decision maker goes through the report he is expected to make any of the following decisions: •The project proceeds
•The project proceeds with the amendments, and
•The project is cancelled with amendment
The primary objective of undertaking an EIA is to help the decision maker to make a sound decision on the project. Therefore the report generated should convey to the decision maker the nature of the problem that was addressed; the possible alternatives that were considered and the r pros and cons for each one of them. 2.5.9 Post Audits
This is considered as the last step in the environmental impact assessment. Post audits are conducted to determine how close those predictions were to the reality. Given its nature, it is normally not possible to have it done immediately after decision making process. Therefore in most cases it is done by another team which is set up later after the EIA process has been completed.
2.6Environmental laws: International, Kenyan perspectives
Now that you are familiar with the steps followed while undertaking an environmental impact assessment, let us now look at the legal framework for the environment. We will start by discussing environmental laws as applied in Kenya and also try to have a perspective of the international law. In this respect we may focus on one or two countries in order to have a clear understanding of the international aspect. 2.6.1Environmental Laws in Kenya
In Kenya, environmental laws can be traced back to 1994 when the government adopted the National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) and later the Environmental Management and Coordination Act was enacted in 1999.
The Act consolidates the various legislation that touched on the environment mainly the constitution of Kenya; land tenure and land use legislation; forestry legislation; wildlife legislation; water laws and agricultural legislation. One of the most important features of this act is that it created the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) which was given the mandate to oversee and monitor the status of environment in Kenya. The functions of the National Environment Management Authority are as follows: •Monitor the state of environment
•Advise the government on issues of policy legislation and coordinating touching on the environment •Harmonizing and integrating environmental concerns during development planning •Ensuring of compliance with environmental laws, regulations, impact assessments and other standards on environment •Promote environmental education and awareness
NEMA has the legal authority to exercise general supervision and coordination over all environmental policies
The Environmental Management and Co-ordination Act (EMCA) require that all key projects, proposed or on-going, should carry out environmental impact assessments. Those projects which are found to have destroyed or violated any environmental laws are obliged to pay the fine or compensation and remedy or rectify the ills caused. 2.6.2International Environmental Laws
Internationally, increased public awareness over the damage done to the natural environment has resulted into international environmental agreements. Some of these agreements have been discussed in lecture eight of this module under the global initiatives to conserve the environment. What is important to note here is that in most countries where laws indented to protect the environment are in operation, environmental assessment legislation is incorporated within the main environmental legislation or enacted as a separate act.
The purpose of this act is to protect, conserve, and ensure wise management of the environment in the country or a specific region Examples of the more elaborate environmental legislations are Canadian Environmental Protection Act (1999) and the United States National Environmental Policy Act (1999). The National Environmental Policy Act (1969) is considered one of the most comprehensive and all encompassing environmental legislation in the U.S.A and many other parts of the world. Under the Act, the Federal Government is required to prepare the national environmental protection policy and create a council for environmental quality to monitor national progress toward environmental policy goals. 2.7. Challenges in Assessing Environmental Impacts
Environmental impact assessments are measures or estimates of consequences of management decisions on one or more environmental indicators. They may be simply methods for identifying changes in the environment, or they may be tools for decision-making which also assess the magnitude and significance of these changes. In this section we shift from describing environmental laws to discussing some of the challenges and potential difficulties that may be encountered while faced with developing systems to assess these impacts.
These are conceptual challenges which are not, for the most part, likely to have quick technical solutions. The issues we discuss are organized into three sections: the identification and integration of environmental indicators; the bias against future impacts or, alternatively, our greater ease and ability in measuring and assessing current and tangible impacts; and the reality of data limitations, which constrain the development of assessment models in covering the breadth of environmental parameters that are being measured. 2.7.1 Choosing Environmental Indicators and Deciding How to Integrate Them As we have noted, many environmental indicators are needed to fully describe the environmental impacts of any proposed project to be implemented.
To use the example of pesticide toxicity, there is no single species or group of biota that is most sensitive to all pesticides and thus useful as a surrogate for all others in toxicity testing. This truism applies to other environmental perturbations as well — we cannot rely on a single indicator species or abiotic effect to tell all we need to know about impacts of any management decision. Scientists are therefore faced with the need to test and evaluate impacts on various groups of biota, and then integrate the results in order to create a composite assessment of environmental impacts of a pest control method or other management strategy.
One can grasp the conceptual challenge this poses by thinking about how one would go about weighting and summing an evaluation of impacts on human beings in relation to impacts on other biota, especially if the impacts were dissimilar in magnitude and type. 2.7.2 The challenge of quantification
Another challenge to creating a composite assessment of environmental impacts of proposed projects or programmes is finding a meaningful common currency to describe different types of impacts. In answering many questions about environmental impacts, monetary values do not adequately describe non-market costs — such as the loss of an individual life, loss of biodiversity, impacts on ‘non-game’ species, disruption of an ecosystem, future costs of current soil erosion, or loss of non-replaceable resources.
Ongoing research in several disciplines (and inter-disciplines) is aimed at devising means of valuing environmental and other non-market goods; much of this work falls under the rubric of ‘resource ecological economics’ (Daly 1991; Daly and Townsend 1993; Daly and Cobb 1994; Guinee and Heijungs 1995; Krishnan, Harris and Goodwin 1995). 2.7.3 Bias against Future as Compared to Present Impacts
There are several ways in which we can be biased against considering future, as compared to present impacts. The issues that tend to concern us most are those that occur in our immediate space and time frame. This implies that current activities which lead to environmental impacts at more distance places and times tend to receive less attention. For example, a project to test ecotoxicity of pesticides emphasizes their short-term lethality rather than their chronic and cumulative impacts. Or we may be more interested in the short-term reduction in pesticide use that occurs when pest-resistant varieties are introduced than in the long-term impact on pest populations caused by the use of pest-resistant varieties.
Long-term and cumulative impacts are more difficult to comprehend and quantify than short-term impacts and there are less data generally available. As a result, less weight tends to be given to these impacts in environmental assessments. A second manner in which we can be biased against the future as compared to the present is by not considering impacts associated with future events (Garetz 1993) such as leaking of improperly stored pesticides in the future.
Assessing future impacts of future events can be more uncertain than assessing impacts of current events, but this does not mean that such impacts are less important. For example, the Superfund Program and Hazardous Waste Program were established primarily on the basis of future rather than current risks. 2.7.4 Data Limitations
Data are required at one point while carrying out an environmental impact assessment for proposed projects. Data can be divided into different classes. Recognizing the variety of types of data enables us to place the availability of data into perspective. Data which describe intrinsic properties of a system are unlikely to change with time. Examples of these are soil data, rainfall and climate records. Other data are valid for short time periods, such as farm management information, which therefore have to be collected frequently.
Yet other data may vary according to the type of assessment, or as new knowledge becomes available. For these reasons it is difficult to define a minimum data set for the proposed projects which will be widely applicable or remain constant for a long time. 2.7Summary
In this lecture two we started the lecture by explaining the meaning of environmental impact assessment as a procedure that ensures that the environmental implications of projects are taken into account before the project decisions are made.
The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that decision makers consider the ensuing environmental impacts to decide whether to proceed or not to proceed with the project. We looked at the role of environmental impact assessment and said that environmental impact assessment helps in the proper planning, monitoring and management of projects in Kenya in order to minimize their negative impact to the community.
In the subsequent section we looked at the procedures for environmental impact assessments in Kenya where we said that they are largely governed by the Environmental Management and Coordination Act (1999), and other consideration given due attention in the project selection, sitting and design.
We also noted that there is no universal procedure to be followed for each project because the application of EIA varies with the types of projects or project area/region and there is no one “right” way given the comprehensive variety of issues that must be considered. Further we looked at the environmental laws in Kenya and agreed that In Kenya, environmental laws are governed by the Environmental Management and Coordination Act of 1999. We also looked at the international perspective of environmental and noted that in most countries where laws indented to protect the environment are in operation, environmental assessment legislation is incorporated within the main environmental legislation or enacted as a separate act.
The purpose of this act is to protect, conserve, and ensure wise management of the environment in the country or a specific region Finally we ended the lecture by looking at the challenges of environmental impact assessment. We stated that these challenges are experienced when choosing environmental indicators and deciding how to integrate them; the challenge of quantifying the impacts; the bias against future as compared to present impacts and challenges related to data collection.
ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
3.3 Meaning of environmental and development
3.4 The relationship between environment and development
3.5 Integrating environmental issues into development
3.5.1 Waste management
3.5.3 Land degradation/ Drought and desertification
3.6 Impact of development on the environment
In lecture two above we introduced to Environmental Impact Assessment where we covered Meaning of EIA, Role of EIA in good environmental practice in Kenya, Environment Impact Assessment procedures in Kenya, Environmental laws: International, Kenyan perspectives and the Challenges of EIA. In this lecture we are going to cover the Meaning of environmental development, the relationship between environment and development, Integrating environmental issues into development that is, Waste management, Pollution and Land degradation/ Drought and desertification and Impact of development on the environment. 3.2 Objectives
At the end of this lecture you should be able to;
1.Explain the meaning of environmental development.
2.Analyze the relationship between development and environment. 3.Discuss the various techniques of integrating environmental issues into development. 4.Explain the impact of development on the environment.
3.3 Meaning of Environmental Development
Environment and Development is concerned with all aspects of the
developmental activities which impacts on our environment. It is again concerned with the complex interactions between development and environment, its purpose is to seek ways and means for achieving sustainability in all human activities aimed at such development.
Its coverage includes interactions among society ( environment) and developmental advancements, development; technical, economic, ethical and philosophical aspects and the environment, practical implementation; development and application of indicators of sustainability; development, verification, implementation and monitoring of policies for sustainable development; sustainable use of land, water, energy and biological resources in development; impacts of agriculture and forestry activities on soil and aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity, and much more. Modern environmental technology applies the newest developments management to the conservation and reduction of the negative impact of human involvement in our natural environment. Scientists are focusing on technological advancements that are socially equitable, economically viable and more environmentally sound.
The present environment be it physical, social economic or even political has to a large extent been shaped by technology. In order to fully utilize the potentials of technological advancement, a high level of familiarity with the relationship between development and the environment is important. This is becoming more necessary and experts are predicting that the effect of technology on the environment and society will be even more far-reaching and wide spread in the future. For example, technological advances have definitely benefited us in form of more of material benefits and conveniences like sufficient food, clothing, housing, health care.
People today are much better fed, clothed, and housed. People need to work less hard, and don’t need to expose themselves to many perils that their ancestors hundreds or thousands of years back were. But along with such gains in physical convenience and wealth, there have been some losses also. One are of loss has been the degradation of our environment. We have already lost a lot in terms of wiping out from the face of this earth many species of plant and animal life. Also we have damaged the natural beauty, serenity, and healthy environment of many places by industrial activity, urbanization, and mass invasion by tourists of places of natural beauty.
A lot of such damage was unavoidable. But perhaps a lot more was the result of human callousness and excessive greed for profit rather than unavoidable outcome of technological development. The damage that has already been done is great, but much greater damages now stares in our face in the form of global warming. This phenomenon, which is the result of excessive release of some gases such as carbon dioxide and ozone in atmosphere due to industrial activity, is slowly increasing the average temperature around the globe. Since 1800’s global warming has increased average global temperature by more than 0.6 degrees, and is increasing further rapidly.
To a layman this increase in temperature does not appear to matter much, but if allowed to continue this way, it will cause mass extinction of plants and animals, and cause many other disastrous damages to the earth which will be irreversible. This means that bringing back the temperature to the original levels will not be able to reverse some of the effects of global warming. For example, one of the effect will be melting of the icecaps in the polar region, raising the level of waters in ocean.
This process is irreversible after certain level of temperature is reached. Unless we are able to stop the global warming, the melting of ice caps will submerge under water coastal areas all around the world. This area is home for about 15 percent of the world population today.
In own opinion how does development and environment affects one another?
3.4 The Relationship Between Environment and Development
The relationship between the natural environment and development is very critical especially as it touches on how development affects the environment. Increased production of goods and services has been sought through different combinations of labour, raw materials accumulated capital and available technology. The manner and conditions in which these factors are related can be determined within the context of the level development attained within specific period of time.
The idea that development is possible only when the resources are available supports our idea that development is related with our environment. It should be re-emphasized that the environmental issues are of great importance to the development process of a particular region or place and should therefore be considered as an integral aspect of development. The current concern with the environment has arisen at a time when the energies and efforts of the developing countries are being increasing devoted to the global goal of development.
Indeed, the compelling urgency of the development agenda has been widely recognized in the last decade by the international community and has more recently been endorsed in the proposals set out by the United Nations for the second Development Decade. The problems experienced by the industrially advanced countries have, to a large extent, brought about the current concern with environmental issues globally.
These problems are themselves very largely the outcome of a high level of development. The creation of large productive capacities in industry and agriculture, the growth of complex systems of transportation and communication and the evolution of massive urban conglomerations have all been accompanied in one way or the other by damage and disruption to the environment. These disruptions have attained such proportions, that in many communities, they already constitute serious hazards to human health and well- being. In some ways, in fact, the dangers extend beyond national boundaries and threaten the world as a whole.
The problems experienced by the industrially advanced countries have, to a large extent, brought about the current concern with environmental issues in developing countries.
This does not in any way suggest that the developing countries are unconcerned with these problems. They have an obvious and vital stake in them in so far as these problems have an impact on the global environment and on the socio-economic relations between developing and developed countries. The developing world also has an interest in them to the extent that they are problems that tend to accompany the process of development. These problems are in fact already emerging with increasing severity in most developing societies.
Wisely, these societies clearly wish to avoid, as far as is feasible, the mistakes and distortions that have characterized the patterns of development of the more industrialized societies. As mentioned earlier, the major environmental problems of developing countries are essentially of a different kind. They are predominantly problems that reflect the poverty and the very lack of development of their societies.
In other words, they are problems, of both rural and urban poverty. In both towns and the countryside, it is not merely the quality of life but life itself that is endangered by the poor quality of water, housing, sanitation and nutrition, by sickness and disease and by natural disasters. These are problems, no less greater than those of industrial pollution, that clamour for attention in the context of the concern for human environment.
They are, verily, the type of problems which affect the greater mass of mankind. It is evident that, in large measure, the kind of environmental problems that are of importance in developing countries are those that should be overcome in the process of development itself. In the more industrialized countries, it is appropriate to view development as the major cause of the environmental problems. Badly planned and unregulated development can have a similar result in the developing countries. However, developing countries must view the relationship between development and environment from a different perspective. In their context, development becomes essentially a cure for major environmental problems.
For these reasons, concern for the environment must not and need not detract from the commitment of the world’s more industrialized nations to the task of assisting the development of the less developed regions of the world. Although it may be argued that the concern with human environment in developing countries can only reinforce the commitment to development, it should also serve, to provide new dimensions to the concept of development itself. In the past, there has been a tendency to equate he development itself. In the past, there has been a tendency to equate the development goal with the more narrowly conceived objective of economic growth as measured by the rise in gross national product.
It is usually recognized today that high rates of economic growth, necessary and essential as they are, do not by themselves guarantee that urgent social and human problems will be solved or even lessened. Indeed, in many countries, high growth rates have been accompanied by increasing unemployment, rising disparities in incomes between groups and regions and the deterioration of social and cultural conditions. As a consequence, new emphasis is being placed on the attainment of social and cultural goals as part of the development process.
The recognition of environmental issues in developing counties is an aspect of this broadening of the development concept. It is part of a more integrated or unified approach to the development objectives. Whilst the environmental problems of developing countries are in large measure those that have arisen from the lack of development, it is true that problems arising out of the process of development are equally in evidence in these countries to the extent that the safety of the environment depends on their relative levels of development. As the process of development gets underway, the latter type of problems is likely to assume increasing importance.
The process of agricultural growth and transformation, for example, will involve the construction of reservoirs and irrigation systems, the clearing of forests, the use of fertilizers and pesticides and the establishment of new roads and communities.
These processes will certainly have environmental implications. Similarly, industrialization will result in the release of pollutants that will react on the environment in a number of ways. Urbanization is already a p0ressing problem for many developing countries and some cities are experiencing problems similar to those of industrialized counties. In addition, with the urgent need for the rural areas to sustain a growing population, the problem of the rural environment assumes a new significance. The problems are already severe in developing countries.
But with the lack of relevant educative information and resolute action, they will tend to attain formidable dimensions in the decades ahead. Some of the advanced environmental consequences of the development process could be avoided by better planning and regulation as we will see in the last sections of this lecture. However, it suffices to point out at this juncture that in some fields environmental issues open up new positives for developing countries. The structural changes in production and trade as well as the geographical relocation of productive enterprises which might be necessitated by environmental considerations, should provide new opportunities for meeting some of the developmental needs of the developing nations.
Among such structural changes, we can mention first of all the switch in balance between natural and synthetic products and the re-opening of certain markets to the export of natural products. In some cases, developing countries may be able to increase the inflow of foreign capital and create new industries, if such opportunities are to be fully realized, they will require new and concerted measures on the part of the developed and developing countries in the field of international trade and investment.
The desire to redress some of the past damage to the environment and to minimize the environmental cost of future development will, in most cases, represent a new claim on productive resources and an additional element in the cost of production some of this burden may be reduced in the future as science and technology respond to the needs of environmental management. Still, one of the major questions which arise from the increased concern with the preservation of the environment is how the higher cost of future development should be shared between developed and developing countries.
There are misgivings in the developing countries that, given their peripheral role in the international economy, they may not be able to take full advantage of opportunities arising from environmental control, while at the same time they may have to bear a disproportional part of the extra burden which such control would entail.
The increased cost burden to developing nations should be accompanied by a greater willingness, on the part of developed nations, to provide additional assistance. On the other hand, nations should endeavour to rectify the inefficient allocation of productive resources arising from the indiscriminate protection of agriculture and industry. Whatever is done should in any case provide fresh for more efficient protection of the environment. 3.5 Integrating Environmental Issues into Development
The purpose of development of any region is to provide opportunities of better living and employment to the people. While industrial development almost inevitably creates more employment in any region, the possibilities of adverse effects on the environment also increases if these adverse effects are not properly contained or reduced to minimum. Thus there occurs a situation in which the material goods increase but the quality of life deteriorates. This requires a proper machinery of integrating environmental issues into developmental efforts as examples given below indicates. 3.5.1 Waste Management
Concern over our environment has seen a massive increase in recycling globally which has grown to be an important part of modern civilization. As a society we manage to produce a vast amount of materials that are just thrown away, waste management is the collection of these materials in order to recycle them and as a result decrease their effects on our health, our surroundings and the environment. Practices in waste management are different the world over, dependent on certain issues such as how developed the nation is, if it is a city or rural area and so on.
The management of waste is not only the responsibility of governments and the manufacturer, but also an individual’s duty. Waste management is an issue that has to be dealt with daily in order to control the huge amounts of waste currently passing through our towns and cities. Kenya is one of the countries that is giving attention and priority to how it handles its waste, and this has resulted in the emergence of companies offering environmental services for resource recovery and recycling. To reduce the impacts of waste and unwanted resources on the environment it is important to educate the populace about waste items and how they can be processed or recycled.
There are several resource recovery systems in place and facilities that have been developed to deal with these issues. Natural recovery systems make use of of food, organic and green waste and are then dealt with in in-vessel compost systems, whilst materials collected for recycling include glass, plastic bags, metals and paper. Automated and manual methods are used to sort materials from construction sites, such as brick, tiles and concrete and after being sorted are re-used for road base and construction materials.
E-waste (electronic waste) comes from items such as old computers which are taken apart in order to recover materials like cabling, aluminum, copper, glass and plastics. Bioreactor landfills are deployed to generate green energy through the capturing of biogas from municipal waste. There is also help provided for councils to award innovative technologies which can be used to recover recyclables.
We can all help out when it comes to waste management and recycling products. It may not seem effective to recycle products as a household, but put all those households together and you will produce a result. It is each person’s responsibility to do what they can to conserve resources, reduce landfill volumes and produce new materials using less energy. Some cities in developed nations keep a record of their resource recovery systems in order to identify if they are working effectively, evaluate them and update them if necessary, this information can then be passed onto other areas or nations to help them in the recycle challenge.
Deciding to recycle is a simple step and surprisingly easy to start. If you are unsure where to begin there are lots of resources, including the local environmental sector, who will be eager to teach you how to recycle your leftover waste and improve on your environment. 3.5.2 Environment Pollution
Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into an environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the ecosystem i.e. physical systems or living organisms. Pollution can take the form of chemical substances or energy, such as noise, heat, or light. Pollutants, the elements of pollution, can be foreign substances or energies, or naturally occurring; when naturally occurring, they are considered contaminants when they exceed natural levels.
Environmental pollution has now become an important global issue, gaining rapid importance since the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (UNCHE, 1972). The fast pace of industrialization, galloping demand for energy and reckless exploitation of natural resources during the last century have been mainly responsible for aggravating the problem of environmental pollution, which is now set to pose serious threat to biodiversity and ecosystem processes.
3.5.3 Land Degradation
Land degradation is a global development and environmental issue (UNCED, 1992; UNEP, 2007) but there is no authoritative, global measure. Land degradation is defined as the long-term loss of ecosystem function and productivity caused by disturbances from which the land cannot recover unaided (Bai and others 2008). Land degradation occurs slowly and cumulatively and has long lasting impacts on rural people who become increasing vulnerable (Muchena 2008).
The UN Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD), of which Kenya is a signatory, recognizes land degradation as a global development and environment issue. Desertification is the most severe form of land degradation. The CCD defines desertification as land degradation in arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid areas (also referred to as drylands) resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities.
Demands on the land for economic development and pressures from a burgeoning population are leading to unprecedented land use change. In turn, unsustainable land use is driving land degradation. The result is a loss of land productivity with impacts on livelihoods and the economy.
Unsustainable human activities that take place in already fragile areas and that are aggravated by natural disturbance such as drought or flooding lead to land degradation and desertification. Kenya’s 2002 National Action Programme on desertification reported the following: “The existing ecological conditions in drylands are harsh and fragile. These conditions are exacerbated by frequent drought and the influx of people from the high potential areas into the drylands. Overgrazing and subdivision of land into uneconomic land parcel sizes have further worsened them.
Land degradation is increasing Studies in 1997 showed that 64 per cent of Kenya’s land area was potentially subject to moderate desertification and about 23 per cent were vulnerable to severe to very severe desertification. In the northern rangelands, 12.3 per cent suffered from severe land degradation, 52 per cent to moderate land degradation, and 33 per cent faced slight vulnerability to degradation.
The latter study identified degradation in ASALs as a potential precursor to widespread desertification. In the early 2000s, approximately 30 per cent of Kenya was affected by very severe to severe land degradation (UNEP 2002) and an estimated 12 million people, or a third of the Kenya’s population, depended directly on land that is being degraded (Bai and others 2008). The droughts of 1970-2000 accelerated soil degradation and reduced per-capita food production (GoK 2002).
The impacts of land degradation and desertification include a reduction in crop and pasture productivity and fuel-wood and non-timber forest products, which are closely linked to poverty and food insecurity. The damage to soil, loss of habitat, water shortages, and siltation reduce biodiversity and ecosystem services and has economic consequences. Land degradation manifests itself in many forms; among them are soil erosion, increased sediment loading of water bodies (such as Lake Olbollosat, the Winam Gulf, and Lake Baringo, all of which feature in satellite images in this Atlas), loss of soil fertility, salinity, reduced ground cover, and the reduced carrying capacity of pastures (as in Amboseli National Park, for example).
1. What is relationship between Population, environment and development? 2.Using examples, give reasons why land degradation is a more serious problem in Kenya.
5.5 Impact of Development on the Environment
The socio-cultural roots of our present environmental crisis lie in the paradigms of scientific materialism and economical determinism, which fail to recognize the physical limits imposed by ecological systems on economic activity. The economies must expand within ecosystems, which have limited regenerative capacities.
The emergence of the concept of sustainable development in recent years has brought in the general realization that societal perceptions must shift towards ecological determinism so as to achieve qualitative growth with the limits of ecosystem carrying capacity. In the past, environmental aspects of industrial developments were usually not taken into account seriously, as it was believed that this was almost inevitable and almost necessary for the economic development.
Environmental movement, for all purpose, had its beginning in 1972, the year of the Stockholm Conference. After Stockholm Conference of 1972 even the erstwhile underdeveloped countries have realized the environmental degradation can be disproportionately more than economic development unless suitable safeguards are not provided from the beginning. It has also been felt that the effects of pollution in all its aspects may not remain limited to the boundaries of developed and developing nations.
The hazards of Green House effects and the depletion/disruption of ozone layer of the world atmosphere have become more real than just postulations. In Kenya for example, our environmental thinking took its cue from the developed countries and perceived the preservation of the threatened species both flora and fauna. Later two areas related to prevention of any further degradation and depletion of basic natural resources and life support system of land, water and vegetation were identified.
The need to preserve the country’s production base and to combat industrial pollution and insanitation in the interest of public health has been felt. Institutional arrangements such as National Committee for environmental planning and coordination was set up after independence, which was followed a little later by the creation of Pollution Control body.
Environmental degradation affects developing countries more fundamentally, than it does the developed world. It is universally recognized, in developing countries, that, while economic development is an essential process to erase poverty and hunger, at the same time, it is equally important, to protect the environment from pollution at regional as well as national and global levels. As such, effective measures are called for at all levels of production, to combat pollution and to save the environment, from degradation. In Kenya, our efforts to provide to a vast and growing population, with food, and comforts, can be sustained in the long run, only if we protect and preserve our environment, from further degradation.
Though agriculture is still the main-stay of the population, a sizeable section of population is engaged in manufacturing and allied activities which affect agriculture activities and hence poverty and hanger. However, the industrialization of the predominantly farming areas has led to the degradation of environment due to industrial pollution. The population around the industrial complexes is exposed to the hazards of industrial pollution thereby, influencing their quality of life.
The problem of accumulation of industrial waste, like flyash & redmud, steel slag at rural and urban areas respectively have assumed significant proportions, while, their utilization aspects, have so far been neglected: (considering the fact that their alternative usages are in practice elsewhere in their respective countries and abroad). It is, therefore, of paramount importance, to start commercial utilization of industrial waste (eg. flyash, redmund, steel slag) by involving the industries, users, and concerned State and Central Government departments, without any further delay.
Industries should be compelled to do recycling of their waste, on a regular basis, through legislation and its strict enforcement by all countries. All these anti-pollution laws and measures, become ineffective, in the absence of proper monitoring system. This can be accomplished through regular monitoring by a competent and high powered group.
Development, population and environment are closely related issues, and take place in one earth with finite resources. It must be obvious that unlimited population growth and permanent development, using the limited resources available therefore cannot continue forever. There is a limit as to how many human beings this planet can support in harmony with other species that are needed to make the human existence worthwhile. Biologists have a concept that we would be well advised to pay attention to. We refer of course to the concept of the “carrying capacity” of a biosphere.
We know that, in the animal kingdom, unlimited population growth ultimately leads to the destruction of the habitat of the species and as a result there is a drastic check in the growth rate, or occasionally the species will be wiped out from the face of the earth. In the last 600 million years, the earth has known many a massive extinction of species as a result of drastic changes in the habitat, or as is occasionally put forward as an alternative hypothesis, due to the impact of extra-terrestrial objects. Scientifically, no less than five major extinctions have been fully documented.
Majority of this can be scientifically explained by changes in the climatologically conditions, which ultimately affected the habitat of the then living species. In none was mankind involved, for the simple reason that we did not exist yet. According to the most optimistic estimates, mankind in its present form came into existence only about half a million years ago.
At present, we may witness the beginning of another period of mass extinction of species, but this time one of the main actors in the drama is man, who through his actions or sometimes his lack of actions is endangering the future of the world and its inhabitants. Air pollution from the emission of fumes caused by burning fossil fuels or as a by-product of industrial production in the developed countries is well documented. Similarly, water pollution as a result of indiscriminate dumping on land, the coastal areas and even the high seas is also a known fact.
Desertification as a result of deforestation or inappropriate use of land is now also one of the sad realities of many developing countries. The quality of life both in the developed and the developing countries is negatively affected by this deterioration of man’s habitat. Good drinking water, already a scarcity in many developing countries, is also rapidly becoming a luxury in developed countries.
Mankind strives to improve its lot by improving its quality of life. This is achieved through development. A very simple definition of development is the totality of activities that ensures that the basic needs for human existence are met for an ever-increasing number of the population. Since the early days of mankind, the basic needs have been stated in general terms to be, the need for food, shelter and self-esteem. Food includes all kinds of nutrition, and self-esteem also includes aspirations to better one self, through education, occupation and self-realization.
The shift from human and animal sources of energy, from dependence on only agricultural production have all contributed to the level of development which is now being enjoyed by about a fifth of the world population, and which is the aspiration of the rest. Unfortunately, it seems that, at this particular time in the history of our planet, this aspiration is not only far from being achieved in the near future, in also poses serious threats to the continued existence of life on planet earth. Human activities have always had an impact on the environment either in a positive, neutral or negative sense.
Agriculture has affected the distribution of plant and animal species, both the domesticated and wild ones alike. Archaeological and historical records show that mankind has been responsible for the destruction of its habitats as well as those of other living beings. Unknown numbers of animal and plant species have, in the past, been forced into extinction by human actions. However, it is thought that the consequences of the destruction of the habitat had in historical times only limited impact on the planet as a whole. At present however, we may be at the brink of a global catastrophe, caused by the actions of both the developed and the developing nations.
This, paradoxically, is partly caused by mankind’s efforts to improve the quality of life. Industrialization and energy use through burning of fossil fuels, use of nuclear energy, using chemicals in the production of amenities that should make life easier, all have negative side effects on our environment. Fertile soils, water for irrigation and for human consumption are being polluted beyond repair, and the rate at which this happens in the developing countries is directly influenced by the rate at which the
population grows and the numbers involved.
Now there is evidence that even normal, one would say natural processes, have negative effects on the environment because of the large number of emitters involved, and because, apparently, the balance within the bio-sphere is already disturbed. It seems that we are dangerously close to a point of no return.
Recently, the world population has been alerted to two dangers. One is the progressive warming up of the atmosphere with the resulting change in climate, change in patterns of rainfall, flooding of exposed areas, and negative effects on the vegetation. The second danger is the depletion of the ozone layer, which offers protection against negative radiation of sunlight. Both are caused by a change in the composition of the air, by the addition of large numbers of gasses, which were either trace elements in the air, nonexistent or were simply recycled through natural processes.
The relationship between carbon dioxide, oxygen and living organisms is well known. Now it appears that perfectly normal human activities such as agriculture and cattle breeding are also contributing to air pollution and to bringing closer the realization of the two dangers just mentioned. It has been found that methane gas accounts for about 16% of the warming effect of the atmosphere, and that about two thirds of the methane gas emissions are caused by decomposition in irrigated field, and in the guts of cattle!
It is ironic that life providing activities, such as agriculture and cattle breeding are, are now threatening our survival on this planet, and possibly also the survival of the planet itself. It is obvious that we need to continue to produce food for the ever-growing population.
The excessive population growth in today’s third world countries is not the cause of the present precarious situation. This is the result of a long accumulation of industrial waste and thoughtlessness on the part of the more developed nations. However, the third world, partly because of the large numbers of inhabitants that it needs to feed, clothe and provide amenities for, is aggravating the situation. The third world is faced with a very serious dilemma, and unless it can contain the population growth and at the same time drastically improve the conditions of its population, it will not be able to fulfill some of the legitimate aspirations of its peoples. To do so, it necessarily needs to turn to industrialization, with all the inherent consequences involved.
In Africa, developing countries are already suffering the consequences of deforestation. Considerable parts of the tropical rain forests of Africa are already gone. The increasing need for firewood has also denuded much of the other forests of Africa, and the increasing rate of desertification is well documented. Loss of arable land is a very serious matter because it affects the livelihood of a large part of the African rural population. Deforestation and desertification also have an important impact on the climate of the region. Shifting patterns of rainfall, or lack of it, are also well documented. The number of human beings who need food and fuel directly affects both processes.
Global climatic changes, brought about by global warming will have a considerable negative impact on life on earth, and, like all other continents, Africa will also be affected. Shifts in climates with the modifications in the existing ecological zones will affect the fauna and flora and the possibilities of agriculture and cattle breeding. Shifts in temperature, air humidity and precipitation may be too fast for nature to adjust to. Warming of the world may also affect the level of the sea causing it to rise, thereby threatening many developing countries, including some African ones. In this regard, West Africa is particularly vulnerable.
1.Briefly explain the impact of technological advancement on the environment.
In this lecture, we have said that environmental development is concerned with all aspects of the developmental activities which impacts on our environment. We also said that it is concerned with the complex interactions between development and environment, its purpose is to seek ways and means for achieving sustainability in all human activities aimed at such development.
Its coverage includes interactions among society (environment) and developmental advancements, development; technical, economic, ethical and philosophical aspects and the environment, practical implementation; development and application of indicators of sustainability; development, verification, implementation and monitoring of policies for sustainable development; sustainable use of land, water, energy and biological resources in development; impacts of agriculture and forestry activities on soil and aquatic ecosystems and biodiversity, and much more.
Further, we explained how the relationship between the natural environment and development is very critical especially as it touches on how development affects the environment. Increased production of goods and services has been sought through different combinations of labour, raw materials accumulated capital and available technology. The manner and conditions in which these factors are related can be determined within the context of the level development attained within specific period of time. The idea that development is possible only when the resources are available supports our idea that development is related with our environment has been discussed in this lecture.
Lastly we have said that environmental degradation affects developing countries more fundamentally, than it does the developed world. It is universally recognized, in developing countries, that, while economic development is an essential process to erase poverty and hunger, at the same time, it is equally important, to protect the environment from pollution at regional as well as national and global levels. As such, effective measures are called for at all levels of production, to combat pollution and to save the environment, from degradation.
POPULATION AND ENVIRONMENT
5.3 Meaning of the term population.
5.4 Population as part of the environment
5.5 Effects of population growth on the environment
5.6 Population control and its impact on the environment
In the preceding lecture we discussed environment and education. In this lecture has been designed to equip you with necessary skills on the population and environment. It covers the following critical areas: Meaning of population, population as part of the environment, effects of population growth on the environment and Population control and its impact on the environment.
At the end of this lecture, you should be able to:
7. Define the term population
8.State the relationship between Population and the environment 9.Explain the Effects of population growth on the environment 10.Describe Population control techniques and its impact on the environment
5.3Meaning and History of Population
Ecologists, economists, researchers and geographers (or demographers for that matter) understand the term population differently. That is one reason why we have decided in this lecturer to use the term human population which is closer to the Geographers’ or demographers’ concept. Human population here refers to people, their numbers, their distribution and their activities within a defined environment. Numbers here refers to population size, growth rate and density (which are an element of distribution). Human population is dynamic; it increases or decreases and at present, it is growing. In some regions of the world, there is a violent population explosion.
The upsurge in population numbers started about 200 years ago, and was first identified in Europe by Thomas Malthus. As early as 1798, Malthus warned that the amount of food being produced in Europe would soon be insufficient for the fast growing population. Before that time population had been growing very slowly and this was due to two generally accepted reasons: first, there was a high death rate, particularly among young children; and, secondly, dreadful epidemics occurred that wiped out huge sections of the population.
The Industrial Revolution in Europe is said to have been an important cause of the rapid population growth; towards the end of the eighteenth century. Scholars attribute this to four main factors which have their roots in the Revolution: – Improvement in medicine;
– Improvement in farming and transport;
– Better health facilities; and better food and sanitation. – Better food and sanitation.
These factors greatly improved chances of human survival. In fact, while both remained high, death rates were drastically cut. Malthus’ analysis was the first attempt to systematically understand the relationship between population change and socio-economic welfare. He asserted that man’s capacity to increase-his means of subsistence is much slower than his capacity to reproduce and multiply.
Whereas production can only increase in arithmetical progression, population grows in geometrical progression or what Hardin (1975) terms, exponentially. He based himself on the Law of Diminishing Returns when he argued that the labor supply increases with population growth, but there is little or no increase in capital supply. Output increases slowly while the supply of labor increases rapidly; the net result is a fall in per capita income.
In countries like Kenya, some people have dismissed as baseless the claim that there is a need to curb the rate of population increase. Their argument is that there is a lot of land lying fallow that could be occupied by additional people. Furthermore, they criticize the land tenure system which allows individuals to own a disproportionate amount of land which could be used to settle thousands of people. Some even advocate that national parks and game reserves be turned into habitable land to be occupied by the additional population.
Similarly, some people argue against population control from a religious standpoint. Any efforts to control birth are thought to be against the wishes of the Creator, who, at creation, ordered men to multiply and fill the earth. They affirm that we need not worry as everything that occurs on earth is according to the Creator’s plan. A secular variation of this view would be that nature should be allowed to take its course; in the event of overpopulation there are natural phenomena which counteract the situation and restore the balance. Two other views have been advanced from the economic point of view. Some argue that more births are a blessing since the labor force increases.
While this argument might be relevant in countries like China (where production is labor intensive), it could not be defended in countries where the main forces of production are capital intensive. Besides, the Law of Diminishing Returns shows that an over increase in the labor force is counterproductive. Another school of thought (which reflects the Marxist view), has recently advanced the theory that the so-called ‘problem’ of the population explosion is a creation of the multinationals and their equally rich agents in the developing countries who fear for their property in case of additional numbers of poor people. According to this school of thought, most people who worry over population increase are trying to find a way to avoid relinquishing any of the privileges they now enjoy.
This comes back to the old argument that the wealth of nations is in the hands of a few individuals and, if it were equitably distributed, then the issue of population increase would not arise. It would be wise to listen to those views which should not be dismissed as of little importance given the current economic conditions. Among the world’s economists and demographers, the strongly held view is that the world is finite and resources are limited. Therefore, to encourage excessive additional numbers of people is tantamount to willingly courting an imminent disaster.
The concern for the nature and quality of the environment is becoming an increasing important focus of interest both in the developed and in the developing countries. Attention has often been drawn to the problems present by the current trends in the growth of population, the difficulties of ensuring adequate food supplies for the human race and the and the continued strain upon stocks of renewable and non-renewable resources. The recent intense interest in environmental questions could also be attributed partly to increasing physical and social environments that cities provide.
5.3.1. The History of Human Settlement
Settlements may be grouped into two major types, urban and rural. On the basis of size, settlements smaller than towns are rural and the size of, or larger than towns, are urban. Rural settlements are associated with the land and related activities such as farming, fishing and forestry.
On the other hand, urban centers are inhabited by people engaged in manufacturing and service activities such as administration and commerce. Still, whereas the notion of human settlement includes phenomena such as emigration or migration to humanize either the rural or urban setting. It also includes an increase in the percentage of the population living in urban settlements. This phenomenon is otherwise referred to as urbanization. Intext Question
Can you now think of other differences between rural and urban settlements?
In historic times, progressive change among Africans and other peoples of the earth was incidental; an outcome of the altering patterns of natural phenomena and their effects on the environment. There is a theory that human beings have all along been the feeble playthings of material forces have altered the conditions under which communities lived and on which they based their assumptions of life. But to what extent, and in what ways, did man purposely seek to guarantee his survival?
Africa’s Neolithic villages of the Nile Valley (which date from as early as 4,000 B.C.) already showed signs of changes from the Neolithic agrarian pattern of the region. This urban culture became more evident with the onset of the iron Age (around 2,000 B.C). this period slowly opened the way toward Africa’s developing her ability to harness the resources of her environment by adopting new social and economic behaviour and techniques.
It intensified agricultural and exchange activities which depended upon communal efforts through some form of social organization of a large number of people. Understandingly, ethnic groups clustered around agricultural centre and these canters joined together to form larger political groupings. In North Africa, such groupings were already in existence between 5,000 B.C and 3,000 B.C. It would then appear that the concept of statehood developed concomitantly with urbanization. The rural input the form of labor and environmental resources in these early settlements became the basis of economic and urban growth.
It is also true that the inter-play of environment and social relationships worked to establish belief and behavior patterns. The concept of divine kingship emerged in urban and rural settlements as the basis of social control and inter-territorial exchange relations. In other words, different communities found it expedient to develop social systems and divine leadership to mediate in their social relations.
Given the abundance or scarcity of environmental resources, they needed well-coordinated social systems within which they could collect, store and distribute resources appropriate from the environment and the agricultural surplus created through improved methods of food production.
In sum, when discussing the subject of human settlement, it is important to note that one of the oldest of all demographic trends is the one towards urbanization. Pre-agricultural men, by necessity, had to be dispersed over the landscape as hunting and gathering required a vast area of territory to produce enough food for a home. Under such conditions, it was impossible to exist in large concentrations.
But the agrarian revolution began to change all that. Because more food could be produced in a smaller area, people began to form primitive communities. Hence, the ability of farmers to feed more than their own families was obvious prerequisite of urbanization. A fraction of the rural population had first to be freed from cultivation of the land in order to form cities. 5.3.2. Growth Rate and Consequences
The Population Council notes that due to the high population growth rate, Kenya’s per capita GNP rose only by 18.6 per cent ^between 1968 and 1972 compared to 35.7 per cent between 1964 and 1968. In fact, the GNP has continued to fall and there is a clear indication of increased unemployment and poverty, particularly in urban slums and squatter areas. Beggars and destitute are on the increase.
Moreover, continuous inflation further erodes the purchasing power of the currency in many developing countries. The effects of population explosion are more evident in urban and peri-urban areas where it is becoming extremely difficult to provide people with even their most basic needs. Food shortages could be attributed to underproduction; but a more obvious reason is that, the demand (due to the large number of consumers) is beyond the capacity of production. Besides, formerly productive land is now leached of nutrients and exhausted.
Land produces less when there is a lack of rainfall. Weather seems to have become quite unpredictable while the rate of population growth constant or ever increasing. Incidences of famine are on the increase and, when they occur, developing t countries have to depend on rich developed countries for food. Millions of urban inhabitants cannot find decent shelter; street pavements, bazaars and disused motor vehicles have become their homes.
More population means more movement. Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians scramble for the inadequate space available on urban streets and highways. Unemployment is the most critical issue in developing countries. Besides, the great numbers of those who depend on the few earners, keep the majority of the people on the very brink of misery and starvation.
In desperation, many people turn to such unacceptable activities as theft, prostitution and thuggery. Whenever the problem of basic human needs becomes less urgent, new needs for recreational and social facilities arise. Schools are overcrowded and yet not all school age children can be accommodated. The critical issue is what impact the population growth will have on the limited resources available. How many people can the country provide for decently?
Tremendous growth in the world population is anticipated before the year 2000. Even in developing /’countries, this will have severe consequences on the environment. According to Soutwick (1985), human population will increase by about 55 per cent, from 4.1 billion in 1975 to 6.4 billion in the year 2000; faster growth is expected in the less developed countries. Out of the estimated 6.4 billion people, 5 billion will be found in these countries.
5.3.3 Determining the Population Growth Rate
How do we determine the population growth rate? For example, when we say that the rate of population growth in Kenya is 3.8 and that it is one of the highest in the world, how do we arrive at that figure? The simplest method used by the demographers is to compare the Birth Rate and the Mortality (Death) Rate of a given country or community.
This is related to people’s different attitudes and lifestyles. Cultural values that include a persistent desire for big families are / still dominant. There is also tolerance for illegitimacy and many children are born outside marriage. Whereas birth rates are increasing, death rates are falling rapidly due to: • Modern health measures;
• Modern eating habits and lifestyles;
• Rising life expectancy; and
• Declining wars and local conflicts (in the more peaceful areas of Africa). The Death Rate in Africa is estimated at 22, (which is much lower than the Birth Rate of 46) and still the highest in the world.
5.3.4 Population Distribution
Population distribution is another very important factor in understanding problems related to the environment. The world population may be estimated at 6 billion, but these billions are disproportionately spread among countries; that is population density varies. Take, for example, the African continent. Here, population is unevenly distributed with over three quarters of the population being found in only one third of the continent.
A country like Nigeria, which is smaller than Sudan, holds over 50 million people while Sudan has less than 10 million. Similarly, in Kenya, over three-quarters of the population occupies one third of the country. Most people in Kenya live in the south-western half of the country. A small province like Western Province has over 1 million people while North Eastern Province which is larger, has a very small and scattered population.
Migrations, which are seldom anticipated or planned for, alter the population of both the country of origin and the country of destination. This is one factor that has caused considerable population change and uncertainty in the world and, especially, in many developing countries. There are numerous physical and socio-economic reasons for cross- boundary migrations including civil wars. Within countries, there are general migratory trends from rural to urban areas and from areas with relatively fewer resources to those with more resources.
Population dynamics affect many aspects of life: political and social relations, resources, the environment, food and nutrition, health, social services and employment. Since the time of Malthus, population issues, particularly the ways in which rapid population growth threatens human well-being and survival, been given more and more importance. Currently, opinions range from drastically curbing population growth as a first step to solving all other socio-economic problems, encouraging it to help solve those very same social problems. Activity 5.1
1.Explain the meaning and history of population
2.Discuss the effects of population growth on the environment 3.How is the population growth rate determined?
5.4 Population as part of the environment
Ecologically, people are part and parcel of the environment; they actively interact with its components. Whether by divine design or by chance, or as a result of the process of evolution, Human beings belong to a higher category of organisms or animals and have a more developed brain, a more sensitive nervous system and a greater ability to think and manipulate the environment. It is in this way that they are able to survive and realize their role as humans. They depend on the environment of which they are a part to obtain their basic needs: food, shelter and clothing. In this process, there is considerable interaction between people and the environment.
Over time, human beings have developed more effective ways of using and controlling the environment. They now realize that, if humanity is to survive, great care must be taken of all natural resources. In the past centuries and with a smaller world population, the problem was not given much importance. Due to various reasons, including thoughtlessness, neglect of their divine duty and selfishness, men has overused their habitat. This situation has been exacerbated by the high rate of ^-population growth in many parts of the world.
Although Thomas Malthus foresaw the possibility of a shortage of food supplies about two and a half centuries ago, his warnings were not taken seriously until the middle of our century. Malthus was quite right, for since his time, famines have claimed and are still claiming countless lives in many areas of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Hundreds of millions more are suffering from malnutrition.
Food shortage aside, there are reports of severe environmental pollution and depletion of natural resources. Most -of those are related to the increase in population and the ‘ irresponsible use of the environment. Some environmentalists see this denudation and pollution as a threat to the existence of the very human race that is causing it. Everywhere on earth people now feel the threat of environmental problems, see the need for identifying their causes and realize the urgency of finding solutions. Both the Governments and NGO’s are getting involved in studies and projects to save the environment.
It is true that the rapid growth of cities has raised numerous problems such as atmospheric pollution, traffic congestion, urban overcrowding, shelter shortage, inadequate planning and the like. Nevertheless, environmental problems are not confined to cities alone; they also exist in the rural areas. It is therefore pertinent to note that problems related to both urban and rural deterioration have been with us for centuries.
Man as herbivore and carnivore, with a very wide dietary range, is remarkably well equipped to exploit the variable habitats of the world. As a hunter, fisherman and forager, he feeds on a substantial number of different plant and animal species.
When natural systems and ecosystems are used unwisely by man, they may rapidly become unstable with associated severe and sometimes essentially irreversible effects. Historically speaking, the first small population of human beings probably appeared on earth between one and two million years ago, probably on the continent of Africa.
Since then, the human population has spread out to occupy virtually the entire land surface of the planet and by the last decade of the last century it numbered over 5 billion individuals. In their quest to provide subsistence, shelter and recreation for specific demographic units, human beings have learned to modify and exploit the environment to their advantage in a great variety of ways.
In Africa, in the early days of the Holocene period when the Sahara was particularly wet, the abundant fauna and flora in the area favored man’s pre-occupation with hunting and gathering. But when the drying process of the present day Sahara region become more pronounced by 5,000 B.C., adverse environmental changes in the area had already driven the early African inhabitants to more complex adaptation and development of efficient ways of exploitation the habitat. By this period, the inhabitants of the Nile Valley had already learned to till the land in seasons, sow and irrigate it in order to get a more regular and abundant food supply.
While agriculture and settlement had become possible in the area by this period, a similar process was taking place elsewhere although it may not have been at the same pace. As the Stone Age, the culture of hunting and gathering become enriched by Neolithic traits, the adoption of agricultural practices led to man’s specialization and division of labor. Whereas the adoption of agriculture marked the genesis of a more intensified exploitation of the habitat, the resultant multiplication and localization of food supply entailed by this phenomenon boosted population growth; it was because of this that the need for permanent human settlement arose.
An era of competitive resource and exploitation with potentially catastrophic short and long-range effects unimagined previously was ushered in.
What do we mean by human settlement?. The use of the term human settlement seems redundant; for, are not all settlements human? If settlement is defined as the permanent place of residence of people, then not only towns and cities but also farms in a hamlet forms a settlement. But we also talk of farms dotted about the countryside as dispersed settlement notwithstanding the rigidity of these different images of settlement as portrayed either in rural villages or urban centers, economic activity may help in defining types of settlements. The number of residents is a simple way of classifying settlements into broad categories such as village, town, city metropolis and megalopolis.
Man is part of the environment and he/she must use it to survive. He/she uses it for the following purposes: • As a source of food;
• As a source of air to breathe;
• As a source of water to drink;
• As a source of resources like oil and minerals;
• As a means of travel and communication;
• To provide space for shelter and other socio-economic and physical activities; • As a source of artistic satisfaction;
• As a setting for relaxation and leisure activities; and
• As a fit ambience to stimulate human thought, research and discovery. Through ignorance, sheer carelessness, curiosity or desire for economic and social growth, man has often misused or overused the environment in wasteful ways. • Some methods of land cultivation or farming have led to reduction in the soil’s fertility and productive capability. over cultivation and overgrazing have led to soil erosion by wind or water.
• The overexploitation of environmental resources without providing a means of regeneration to replace them. Deforestation, excessive mining, hunting, fishing and draining of water resources, are some of the typical activities through which man has caused a serious imbalance in the environment. Excessive reduction in genetic diversity has disrupted the ecosystem. • The use of some chemicals and/or techniques to suppress or control human diseases and enemies such as insects, animals and reptiles. These have resulted in destruction of certain species, polluting water, air and soil with effects more detrimental to man than the presence of the initial enemies. Certain drugs for protection against, or cure of, diseases have also had nefarious effects on nature.
• The use of secondary means of production in the process of industrialization and mechanized farming puts much pressure on natural resources and leads to various forms of environmental pollution: gas leaks, radiation and chemical sprays which harm and poison people, animals and plants.
• Certain patterns of human settlement can adversely affect the environment; the congestion of people in particular areas can lead not only to pollution but also to the disruption of the natural ecosystems of these areas. Cities today are experiencing severe environmental problems. Settlement on river banks and seashores not only interferes with the natural course of such features, but also leads to pollution as these waters become the dumping grounds for human waste. As population grows, so does, the misuse and overuse of the environment. Dangerous chemicals and wasteful techniques are used to sustain the increasing population.
More industrialization and mechanized farming is required to provide Employment and enough food for the additional people. Research centers must be established to study the new problems created by the increased population and its activities; the spread and concentration of settlements, more cultivation, deforestation, mining, hunting and fishing.
5.4.1. Population and Land
It would be a mistake to think of land merely as space to be occupied without taking into consideration the carrying capacity of the said land; that is without considering the number of people that land is capable of supporting without any danger of depreciation. While there is considerable acreage of land in Kenya, much of it is so marginal that it can support only a minimal number of people.
Even if people were given a piece of land in such an area, they would be reluctant to settle there; areas with greater resources are more attractive and tend to be overcrowded. Some thirty years ago, families in Kakamega and Kisii Districts of Kenya had an average of ten acres of land. Today, such families have an average of half an acre. Recently, some of the families have sought to settle in less desirable areas but even these places are becoming overcrowded.
The result is landlessness, migration to towns and development of slum areas. As this century begins, natural resources are under increasing pressure due to high human population growth rate which is threatening public health and development. Water shortages, soil exhaustion, loss of forests, air and water pollution, and degradation of coastlines afflict many areas. As the world’s population grows, improving living standards without destroying the environment is a global challenge. Most developed and developing economies currently consume resources much faster than they can regenerate. Most developing countries with rapid population growth face the urgent need to improve living standards.
As we humans exploit nature to meet present needs, are we destroying resources needed for the future? 5.4.2 Technology, Human Settlement and Environmental Degradation But how many people can the earth support? There is simple answer to this question as ‘capacity’ may be defined in different ways, and may change with time. Whether capacity is perceived as the earth’s potential to barely support a teeming, crowded and squalid world or defined in terms of the number that it might support with some measures of comfort and dignity, one fact remains evident: the earth has its limits.
It is not yet clear whether or not or even when we will run short of environmental resources such as land, energy, fossil fuels, water, food and renewable resources. In a previous chapter of this book, it has been pointed out that the distinction between renewable and non-renewable resources is not always a clear one. The crucial question to be asked about a renewable resources is “Does the rate of production or replenishment equal the rate of contrast, the question that may be asked is simply “how much exists and how long will it last at the present rates of consumption?
If the rate of consumption of a given resources exceeds the maximum sustainable yield, sooner or later the stocks will be exhausted and the human population depend on that resource will be impoverished and possibly perish. Again, it is not absolutely certain that technology could save the earth if it had to support staggering human numbers. Their settlement patterns and demands would certainly tax the environment understood in this context, as the set of natural conditions that define human living space The environment has four functions.
1.As a source of available goods, it provides air, water, a useful and pleasant landscape and natural recreational facilities both in urban and rural settings 2.As a supplier of renewable and non-renewable resources, it provides resources that are used as inputs in the communities production activities 3.As a receptacle of waste, it is burdened with what is a discarded introduction and consumption activity: solid waste, emitted, pollutants accumulated, partly or fully decomposed, transported to other areas or transformed. 4.The environment provides space for the location of economic systems such as land for industries and residences, agriculture and infrastructure.
As a result of these often overlapping functions, major environmental problems occur because of the unchecked use of often environmentally imprudent or inappropriate technologies. From the stone onwards, man has influenced the landscape by changing forests into meadows, digging ditches and canals, building dykes and converting salt marshes into cropland.
Already in Africa, vast swathes of once productive land have been decertified. Questions related to environmental problems emerge from the study of several pivotal issues.;
•The extent of human dependence on the natural environment and the fundamental Character of its disruption •The exponential properties of growth of human population and its impact on the environment; •The inter-locking nature of present problems of environmental deterioration, resource consumption, and social organization and •The limitations of technology
Patters of human settlement and the exploitation of natural resources have contributed largely to the conditions that have bred certain chronic environmental problems. It should be reiterated that the conditions that make the earth hospitable to its human settlers result from complex and perhaps fragile balances among the great chemical cycles water, nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus and sulphur, all powered by the energy of the sun. organism regulate the environmental concentrations of nitrites, ammonia and hydrogen sulphide all of which are poisonous. 5.4.3. Urban Settlement
The trend towards urbanization continues today; it has been especially accelerated since the last century. The urban population of the world increased from 1,350 million in 19970 (about 37.3% of the world total population) to 1,800 million in 1980 (41.3%) BUT THE annual growth of urban settlement remained 2.9 per cent and 28.9 per cent in 1970 and 1980 respectively. The rural population however increased at a much slower pace from 2,310 million in 1970 to 2,600 million in 1980.
The African case demonstrates the fact that rapid urbanization has not been confined to industrialized countries. By 1968, Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya, was growing at a rate of per cent per year. That is more than the growth rate of Los Angeles between 1950 and 1960. Accra, the capital of Ghana, is growing at almost 8 per cent per year; Abidjan the former capital of Ivory Coast cent ; Lusaka, capital of Zambia and Lagos, former capital of Nigeria, both at 14 per cent.
Indeed, pessimism may be generated by projecting the present rate of human
population growth worldwide into the future. In the not so distant future, the world population will exceed 5 billion people. However alarming the future may appear it is clear that the 1970’s marked a climax and a turning point in gigantic transformation of human settlement patterns in developed countries where previously the majority of the world largest cities were to be found, the growth of urban centres began to slow down and a process as spread into surrounding areas go underway.
Contrastingly in developing countries, growth continued to climb rapidly. For the first time, developing g countries produced a greater proportion of big cities compared to developed nations.
Among third world cities, only Buenos Aires had over million people by 1950. by 1980, 22 cities counted more than million people. By the year 2,000 the number of city dweller may have doubled; 61 cities with over 4 million inhabitants and few exceed a staggering 10 million.
5.4.4 Rural Settlement and the Environment
Irrigation and drainage in settled lands has brought about abrupt and sweeping transformations in natural systems. The controlled distribution of water over cultivated lands and the withdrawal of excessive water through drainage have immediate effects on the crop-producing capacity of the land. It also affects both the quantity and quality of downstream flows.
The sudden appearance of extensive areas of irrigated crops in sub-humid and arid ecosystems triggers the potential for dramatic changes. These systems become inherently unstable. Because of intensive management of irrigation, arid ecosystems which have a limited capacity t assimilate, withstand and respond to inputs of water, chemicals and energy, find it difficult to adapt to alterations in species diversity, numbers of organisms and the Stability of their interrelationships.
The modification of aquatic ecosystems through irrigation practices results in: Shifts in humidity and sedimentation
Transport and resultant entrophication of fresh waters
Wide distribution of pesticides and herbicides
Dissemination of aquatic weeds and phreatophytic plants, and Bacterial and viral contamination
It also leads to the spread of parasite vectors.
Although irrigation may bring many benefits upon human health (improving nutrition, water supply and community facilities), it also has deleterious effects through chemical pollution and distribution of diseases such as malaria and schistosomiasis.
Control of the spread of these diseases requires an interrelation of studies of diseases transmission, ways in which snail or mosquito distribution may be affected by canal maintenance, alternative patterns of human settlement and field cultivation practices.
It may also call for a fresh assessment of the practicability of changing canal design and water distribution schedules, of circumstances in which farmers may be expected to revise crop cultivation, and of domestic water use, including bathing and other practices. Clearly, as human settlement and intervention in arid ecosystems become more widespread and complex, there is an increased need and urgency to understand the physical, biological and social processes which they trigger off or interrupt.
Given that about two of Kenya is semi-arid, there is need to understand the physical, biological processes which relate to the natural balance of ecosystems. Semi-arid land is dry and apparently unfavorable to dense and abundant life. Redemptive policy measures are required to either slow down or halt the complete destruction of much tracts of land by both natural and human agencies. Safeguarding policies must be instituted to regulate the occupation and use of such land in order to avoid environmental crises.
It should not be forgotten that the advance of the nomads towards the edges of the Sahara has contributed to the degradation of the natural environment: the Hilalian Arabs are accused of having systematically cut down the fruit trees of North Africa.
Their goats and other animals appear to have hastened the destruction of some of the region’s woodlands. In dry areas, therefore, while irrigation is a necessary evil that destabilizes the ecosystems, nomadic pastoralism may contribute much more directly to the degradation of vegetation cover.
Much depends on the relationship between the pasture resources and the grazing load they bear. The pasture resources may vary according to rainfall while the grazing load varies according to settlement patterns and economic conditions. During the dry periods, the pastoralists cut down trees to provide leaves for fodder. They increase their flock excessively whenever they find it profitable to do so.
However, the birth rate of nomads is usually lower than that of settled people. This explains why in the West Africa Sahel, the supremacy of pastoral nomads between the 15th and the 19th century contributed to the low human density in the area. However, here and the rest of the Maghreb Africa, the onset of colonial occupation saw the expansion of agricultural settlement first on the rich soils and then into semi-arid regions. It slow witnessed the sedentarisation of nomads and semi-nomads. The rapid increase in population that followed resulted in the destruction of forest, the deterioration of vegetation and the dangerous acceleration of soil erosion.
One may ask why soil erosion is considered such a big threat in Africa. It is obvious that the developing economies of Africa demand the full exploitation of their resources in order to provide a sound economic base for balanced growth in other sectors. Since water plays such a significant role in the life of a nation, demand for the resource has increased tremendously with increasing population and urbanization and it is fast becoming an item of short supply.
Yet the same resource wreaks havoc when there are sudden torrential rains. The magnitude of its threat may best be exemplified by Kenya’s campaign to erect gabions in vulnerable areas, a campaign that was further spearheaded by President Moi in the late 1970’s. Here, as elsewhere on the continent, there is an added need to fully utilize environmental resources because of population increase. Pastures have been overgrazed: this fact led to destocking campaigns in British Africa in colonial times.
In the north and south of the Sahara, settlement has had generally unforeseen consequences. In these areas, natural resources have been heedlessly overexploited and therefore the uncertainties and the threat of disequilibrium in marginal areas have been aggravated. Moreover, people’s productive and extractive activities have been circumcised by the environment. Their history of settlement, similar to that of other continental areas, has governed the conditions of their occupation of land. Thus, soils resource exhaustion is an area of exploitation with historical roots and deserts are the extreme condition arising from soil exhaustion.
In Africa, soil erosion causes a colossal loss of arable land which amounts to about 40,000 hectares per year. This specific degradation amounts to nearly 2,000 tonnes per square kilometer in Central Algeria. A comparable situation can be observed in the Arab countries of the Middle East. Indeed, a third of the semi-arid areas has recently been created by man.
It seems that although soil erosion is a universal phenomenon, there is no ultimate solution. Restoration of land quality must be a long term project. In tropical zones, human settlement has taken place in rain forests and flood plains; only disaster, pestilence and war have arrested further settlement. But in semi-arid tropics and the tropical uplands, the fragility of the soils has never allowed the human population to expand beyond low densities. It is human economic activities in the Sahel of North and West Africa that have exhausted the soil and created a semi-arid zone.
Elsewhere, the highlands of East Africa, the Cameroons and New Guinea are among the tropical uplands threatened by soil erosion. These areas are among the most complex and delicate environmental systems on earth. Given that the human population passed the 4,400 million mark in 1980 (an increase of more than 700 million over the world population in 1970), it will be difficult to satisfy the needs of expanding human population without correspondingly modifying the environment. The basic implications of that modification can
be foreseen as threefold:
a)Some renewable resources are depleted at a greater rate than they are replenished: b)Most renewable resources are dispersed too widely to be re-collected and re-used: and c)Residuals are discharged into some parts of the atmospheric and oceanic ‘Sinks’ beyond the rate at which they can be absorbed.
Tropical forests are still found in many countries of the world but nearly half of their total area is to be found in three countries alone, namely, Brazil, Indonesia and Zaire. Although tropical forests are the world’s richest biological zones and provide a wide range of useful products (such as fuel, building materials, pulp wood, pharmaceuticals, resins, gums and dyes), they are also the home of millions of people.
Currently, they are being exploited at a rate that is ecologically destructive and economically unsustainable. What is more, much of the world’s oxygen production takes place in these forests and their degradation is an environmental tragedy. Inevitably, much of the forests cover will be lost by the year 2,000 through complete conversion to other uses and by severe degradation. By that year, there will be an estimated minimum loss of tropical forests of 12.5 per cent.
In Kenya, natural forests are protected by government policy through the Ministry of Environment and natural resources. As a result, there is still natural vegetation called highland forest which covers certain isolated parts of the Kenya highlands where it is found at altitudes ranging from, 1,976 meters to 2,736 meters. Mount Kenya, Mount Elgon and the Aberdares have this forest belt. At the Coast are found Witu Forests, Midagedi forests, the forested Kayas, Gongoni forest, remnants of the Shimba Hills forest, Sokoke forest and Ramisi River valley forest.
Clearly, a government protection policy had to be enacted because many of these existing forests have been reduced considerably by lumbering. In fact charcoal burning is the greatest threat to Kenya’s vegetation cover and the demand for charcoal is accentuated by increasing human settlement in Kenya’s urban centers where oil and gas prices are becoming increasingly prohibitive.
From the foregoing information, it is clear that, although desertification is exacerbated by severe drought, its principle cause is human overexploitation of dry lands through over-cultivation, overgrazing, poor irrigation practices and deforestation. This proves the fact that even though the study of ecological change is still rudimentary, there is evidence to show s that human settlement and community lifestyle have often been a dynamic element in the disfigurement of the environment.
A. Settlement and the Pollution of the Environment
Nowadays, protection of the global environment is closely connected with a set of issues such as the depletion of the stratospheric ozone, the long range transport of pollutants, live in large settlements, burn fossil fuels and use technology to meet his needs. The process of air pollution accelerated during the industrial revolution with the introduction of steam power for factories and with greater concentrations of population in manufacturing centers. The number and variety of pollutants increased still more markedly with the development of modern chemical technology in the 19th century.
B. Population Explosion and Settlement Problems
The growing size of urban areas is changing the whole pattern of land use. Fast metropolitan growth leads to degeneration of shelter and quality of life in suburban areas: slum sectors inevitably mushroom and soon become today’s biggest challenge to mankind. Nairobi’s and Kampala’s slum and squatter settlements continue to grow and along with them, the social consequences of poverty. They provide sanctuaries for deviant patterns of social behavior including crime and prostitution.
Slums are unquestionably deplorable. They not only breed physical sickness but also overcrowding, lack of privacy and deprivation of the basic amenities of life can be demoralizing. Besides, it is a sad fact that any growing town soon has a fringe such undesirable quarters.
The populations of the urban settlements are being augmented by three
sources: a)the population explosion in the poorer and more backward parts of the cities; b)the rising unemployed rural population seeking employment opportunities in the city; and c)The attraction of the city which the rural population sees as a provider of a better quality of life and amenities such as hospitals and schools.
As rural populations are being siphoned off into urban settlements, these three reasons combine to give population growth the form of an urban explosion. But the juxtaposition of people with different levels of income, different races, produces in the city (unlike in the countryside) a social environment with unanticipated psychological effects. Though efforts are being made to cope with the development of the cities, problems often arise faster that they can be solved. The city is becoming more complex and the environmental degradation is practically unstoppable. Will mankind win or lose the struggle?
The question of human settlement has exposed the crises that exist in urban centers. But environmental problems are not confined to urban settlements alone. They also exist in rural areas. The truth is that man has produced imbalances not only in nature but more fundamentally in his human relations. In rural areas, environmental problems have arisen out of poverty, malnutrition, and low quality housing, poor water supply, and inadequate sanitation, prevalence of diseases, illiteracy and natural disasters).
Eighty five per cent of Africa’s population lives in the rural areas. But even there, the rapid population growth in recent times has tended to aggravated problems and impose further constraints on resources. Problems are further compounded by the increasing wave of rural to urban migration and the fact that both outsiders and rural folks they look at rural life as inferior in quality and comfort. The crisis exists not only in land ecology but above all, in social ecology. While man in the urban area is literally undoing the work of organic evolution by creating vast urban conglomerations of concrete, metal and glass, in the rural areas the characteristics of low quality environments persistently include:
unrewarding subsistence agricultural or pastoral economy; inadequate supplies of safe drinking water; and
Poor housing conditions.
All of these conditions result in the replacement of a highly complex organic environment with a simplified, inorganic one.
Furthermore, the situation is aggravated by the building of gigantic economic projects in the rural areas which may interfere with the regions’ ecological balance. In Africa, such development projects include the Volta River Scheme in Ghana; the Aswan High Dam in Egypt, the Orange river Project in South Africa and the Kindaruma Project in Kenya. These projects, which were intended to provide water for irrigation and the generation of hydro-electricity, have brought about their own unique ecological hazards and created conditions conducive to the spread of water borne diseases in irrigated areas (e.g. bilharzias, typhoid, cholera, trachoma and malaria).
In the past decade in every environmental sector, conditions have either failed to improve, or they are worsening: •Public health: Unclean water, along with poor sanitation, kills over 12 million people each year, most in developing countries. Air pollution kills nearly 3 million more. Heavy metals and other contaminants also cause widespread health problems. •Food supply:
Will there be enough food to go around? In 64 of 105 developing countries studied by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the population has been growing faster than food supplies. Population pressures have degraded some 2 billion hectares of arable land — an area the size of Canada and the U.S. •Freshwater:
The supply of freshwater is finite, but demand is soaring as a population grows and use per capita rises. By 2025, when world population is projected to be 8 billion, 48 countries containing 3 billion people will face shortages of fresh water Kenya being one of them. •Coastlines and oceans:
Half of all coastal ecosystems are pressured by high population densities and urban development. A tide of pollution is rising in the world’s seas. Ocean
fisheries are being overexploited, and fish catches are down. •Forests:
Nearly half of the world’s original forest cover has been lost, and each year another 16 million hectares are cut, bulldozed, or burned. Forests provide over US$400 billion to the world economy annually and are vital to maintaining healthy ecosystems. Yet, current demand for forest products may exceed the limit of sustainable consumption by 25%. •Biodiversity:
The earth’s biological diversity is crucial to the continued vitality of agriculture and medicine — and perhaps even to life on earth itself. Yet human activities are pushing many thousands of plant and animal species into extinction. Two of every three species is estimated to be in decline. •Global climate change:
The earth’s surface is warming due to greenhouse gas emissions, largely from burning fossil fuels. If the global temperature rises as projected, sea levels would rise by several meters, causing widespread flooding. Global warming also could cause droughts and disrupt agriculture. How people preserve or abuse the environment could largely determine whether living standards improve or deteriorate. Growing human numbers, urban expansion, and resource exploitation do not bode well for the future. Without practicing sustainable development, humanity faces a deteriorating environment and may even invite ecological disaster. A Taking action
Many steps toward sustainability can be taken today. These include: using energy more efficiently, managing cities better, phasing out subsidies that encourage waste, [etc.] B. Stabilizing population:
While population growth has slowed, the absolute number of people continues to increase — by about 1 billion every 13 years. Slowing population growth would help improve living standards and would buy time to protect natural resources. In the long run, to sustain higher living standards, world population size must stabilize. Environmentalists and economists are increasingly agreeing that efforts to protect the environment and to achieve better living standards can be closely linked and are mutually reinforcing.
Slowing the increase in population, especially in the face of rising per capita demand for natural resources, can take pressure off the environment and buy time to improve living standards on a sustainable basis. As population growth slows, countries can invest more in education, health care, job creation, and other improvements that help boost living standards. In turn, as individual income, savings, and investment rise, more resources become available that can boost productivity.
This dynamic process has been identified as one of the key reasons that the economies of many Asian countries grew rapidly between 1960 and 1990. In recent years fertility has been falling in many developing countries and, as a result, annual world population growth has fallen to about 1.4% in 2000 compared with about 2% in 1960. The UN estimated recently that population is growing by about 78 million per year, down from about 90 million estimated early in the 1990s. Still, at the current pace world population increases by about 1 billion every 13 years.
World population surpassed 6 billion in 1999 and is projected to rise to over 8 billion by 2025. Globally, fertility has fallen by half since the 1960s, to about three children per woman. In 65 countries, including 9 in the developing world, fertility rates have fallen below replacement level of about two children per woman. Nonetheless, fertility is above replacement level in 123 countries, and in some countries it is substantially above replacement level.
In these countries the population continues to increase rapidly. About 1.7 billion people live in 47 countries where the fertility rate averages between three and five children per woman. Another 730 million people live in 44 countries where the average woman has five children or more. Almost all population growth is in the developing world.
As a result of differences in population growth, Europe’s population will decline from 13% to 7% of world population over the next quarter century, while that of sub-Saharan Africa will rise from 10% to 17%. The shares of other regions are projected to remain about the same as today. As population and demand for natural resources continue to grow, environmental limits will become increasingly apparent.6 Water shortages are expected to affect nearly 3 billion people in 2025, with sub-Saharan Africa worst affected.
Many countries could avoid environmental crises if they took steps now to conserve and manage supplies and demand better, while slowing population growth by providing families and individuals with information and services needed to make informed choices about reproductive health. Family planning programs play a key role.
When family planning information and services are widely available and accessible, couples are better able to achieve their fertility desires. “Even in adverse circumstance — low incomes, limited education, and few opportunities for women — family planning programs have meant slower population growth and improved family welfare,” the World Bank has noted. If every country made a commitment to population stabilization and resource conservation, the world would be better able to meet the challenges of sustainable development.
Practicing sustainable development requires a combination of wise public investment, effective natural resource management, cleaner agricultural and industrial technologies, less pollution, and slower population growth. Worries about a “population bomb” may have lessened as fertility rates have fallen, but the world’s population is projected to continue expanding until the middle of the century. Just when it stabilizes and thus the level at which it stabilizes will have a powerful effect on living standards and the global environment. As population size continues to reach levels never before experienced and per capita consumption rises, the environment hangs in the balance. 5.4.5 Conclusion
In treating of human settlement, we have touched upon almost all aspects of human social and economic activity and related them to environmental questions. Where we found it useful, we have provided historical perspective because both human settlement and resource exploitation are historical phenomena. But as noted out earlier, the understanding of ecological change is still in a rudimentary stage although human element in their own environment.
Particularly in the last two centuries, man has been disassembling the biotic pyramid that has been supporting humanity for countless millennia. Because history is part of the environment, examining the rural and urban settlement patterns in one’s country and era involves seeing them in the context of the past so as to perceive and formulate trends in ecological and social change. Such trends are important in helping to make future projections; they underscore the need to formulate viable policies to guide societies in their resource utilization.
However, it is equally to note that urban and rural squalor is a most degrading human environmental condition. Yet, while there is evidence to establish that the abuse of land-based resources (first soils and then fossil fuels), has had a direct relationship to the rise in power of First World nation states, the Third World countries, who own some of these resources, have failed to exert their dominance.
African countries have been caught up in a web most frequently described as underdevelopment. Flows of matter and energy are re-directed to increase the human comfort, convenience and pleasure of the western societies, the repositories of advanced technology for whom African environmental resources are perpetually extracted, exploited and carted away. While African resources are precious and should be used sparingly and wisely for the benefit of the African countries themselves, the human conscience of the overdeveloped West is largely directed towards domination and exploitation. This situation will continue to be harmful to the Southern nations.
But while the overdevelopment of the West is cushioned by the relentless exploitation of Third World ecological resources; and while the Southern languish in liquidity problems, unfair pricing of their resources and deteriorating climatic conditions, they have yet to contend with the twin problem of technological advancement in the west. To underscore the binary relationship between the Western nations resources, on one hand and the third World nations with their almost stagnant lifestyles and fledgling political, economic and technological resources, the West has on occasions attempted indirectly to destroy the African environment by turning it into a dump yard for its toxic and radioactive nuclear wastes.
Many African settlements are threatened by these. Whereas its resources are continually depleted and taken away using Western advanced extractive technology, the African continent continues to languish in poverty and indebtedness. This is because Africa was incorporated in the economy of production and exchange on very unequal terms with the Western nations. Disadvantaged by the less influential position which Africa occupies in this global economy, the deepening socio-economic crisis of this economy has been pushed towards Africa and the rest of the Third World by the increasing subordination of these territories to Western interests.
The watchdogs of these interests are the Western dominated monetary institutions, the international Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank which force African and other Third World countries to operate within a sort of orthodoxy favorable to the developed West.
Thus, the large-scale and systematic exploitation of Africa’s natural and human resources is affected by various forms of unequal exchange. Falling prices of most raw materials extracted from its environment have been coupled with the shrinking share of Africa in world trade. This has caused a growing deficit and bred a soaring debt burden currently standing at US$1,354 million. When the debt crises in Africa and the rest of the third world is analyzed properly, it provides a clear picture of how the global economy operates in its most thoroughly irrational mode.
It is clearly time for a massive campaign to be launched to restore high-quality environment to Africa and the rest of the world. There is increasing need to rethink and raise our economic system to a level more in line with the realities of the ecology and the global resource situation. Consequently, resources and energy must be diverted from selfish and wasteful uses in overdeveloped nations to meet the genuine needs of underdeveloped countries. Whereas this effort must be largely political, the campaign should be strongly supplemented by legal and boycott action against all environmental transgressions.
This is necessary since the Northern states have failed generally to perceive the moral and real politic implications of an ever-widening gap between the Northern ‘have’ states and the Southern ‘have-nots’. Although the foundations of civilizations have rested heavily on their particular supplies of energy, the world community is now at an energy crossroads as environmental resources increasingly become politicized and selfish misused. In summary, human society, whether urban or rural, needs a coherent politico-ethical ideology to make the meaning of and ecologically based environmental policy clear and believable.
5.4Effects of population growth on the environment
The ever increasing number of people has led to a great scramble for the limited resources available; land, food, energy, air and water. In the scramble, some people get little or nothing while others profit by their positions of power to acquire tracts of land. The land tenure policy of individual ownership leads to excessive parceling of land making farming and agriculture either impossible or uneconomical. This leads to frustration and social conflicts when families are unable to acquire sufficient land on which to survive.
Indigenous forest and savanna vegetation, as a home for countless wild animals, is now rare. The destruction of some animal and plant species or some organisms has affected the functional relationships between human beings and their physical environment. The food chains, through which energy flows in the ecosystem and the biochemical cycles (carbon nitrogen and phosphorus cycles), essential to life, have been disrupted. Natural forest and good agricultural land have been indiscriminately used for human settlement. In fact, there is no longer any extra land in high potential areas; there is little space to allocate to schools and other essential amenities.
Schools and hospitals are overcrowded and this results in poor services and creates situations conducive to infectious and contagious diseases. Slum dwellers, which are mainly unemployed or underemployed, are just forced to engage in informal activities both legal and illegal. Both congestion and limited resources have led to increased urban crime rate, accidents, conflicts and pollution in general. Other large cities in the world are experiencing very much the same problems.
Chemicals such as carbon monoxide from motor vehicles and other gases from industries and factories including sulphur oxide, nitrogen oxide and hydro carbonates are continuously discharged into the atmosphere. Pulp and paper mills, iron and steel mills, petroleum refineries, smelters, and chemical plants also add toxic substances to the air. The situation is made even worse by fuel and trash burning. In our own country, the gases emitted by the Webuye Paper Mills in western Kenya, have high corrosive effect on iron roofs in the vicinity.
There is no doubt that those emissions have similar effects on plants, animals and man himself. Los Angeles (in California, USA), is an extreme case of air pollution caused by industrialization. Smog first appeared there during World War II and even now, all the efforts made by the Air Pollution Control District (APCD), have been unable to improve the air quality. This failure may be due to the rapid population growth. Each worker is faced with the virtual necessity of using a vehicle to move around in an immense city which lacks an adequate public transportation system.
More people and more vehicles, systematic resistance to smog control regulations from industries and a quasi irresistible move towards industrialization, have combined to work against successful pollution abatement. Cities in the developing countries may soon fall into a similar predicament.
Nairobi, which was sometime very cold, is said to have become much warmer. This may be due to the large expanse of metallic roads and the growing number of concrete buildings. More people mean more manpower in businesses and industries; more employment tends to attract more people. Air pollution is a threat to health. Concentration of various gases in the air leads to suffocation, heart and lung diseases, and poisoning, respiratory diseases, coughing blood clotting, asthma, bronchitis and cancer.
5.5.2 Water Pollution
The growth of industries in cities leads to an increased demand for clean water. The very same industries dissipate waste water and individual waste into the drainage system which is soon s polluted by lead, detergents, acids, ammonia, oil, and mercury. As a result, sewage treatment and refuse disposal facilities are quickly outgrown.
Over the centuries, the water masses in the world have been considered suitable dumping grounds for all sorts of human waste. Population growth has also led to the need for increased agricultural production and these results in heavier application of pesticides, herbicides and nitrate fertilizers. As a result, more pollutants find their way into streams, rivers, lakes, seas and even underground water and this becomes a real health hazard to users. Attempts to introduce exotic species of fish into a body of water in order to provide more human food may also result in ecological disasters. Solid Waste
One of the major problems facing most cities of the world today, including Nairobi, is lack of space for the hygienic disposal of solid waste. Solid waste has become an aesthetic disaster in Nairobi, whether waste is piled up to disintegrate or burnt to- dispose of it, the air becomes unpleasantly polluted. Water percolating through burnt solid waste soon becomes polluted and this also provides breeding grounds for disease-bearing organisms such as flies, rats and cockroaches.
5.5.3 Geo-ecological Hazards
Whenever there is human concentration, the surface of the earth is disfigured by wasteful methods of cultivation, overgrazing, sheer movement and deforestation. Dangerous gullies and canyons appear; the natural ecosystem is soon disrupted. The remains of mining activities and the mines themselves greatly affect the biosphere as they destroy the earth’s beauty.
5.5.4 Pollution of Heavy Metals
Through the industrial process, metals like mercury find their way into lakes and rivers thereby polluting the drinking water. Aquatic foods consumed by human beings, such as fish, may cause both blindness and deafness. Smelting of metals and the burning of petroleum produce lead-smoke toxic to the body’s organs. Lead poisoning causes miscarriages among other disastrous effects. Heavy metals also reduce photosynthesis and endanger aquatic life. In fact the long-term ecological effects of heavy metals on the seas have not yet been ascertained thoroughly but can apparently be disastrous.
Certain machines and substances used by man in relation to health, transport and nutritional requirements have proved detrimental to health. X-Ray machines, certain chemicals and roods can have serious radioactive effects on men such as genetic defects, cancer and stillbirths.
5.5.6 Noise pollution
Some modern technology is excessively noisy. Amplified music, sonic booms and supersonic aircraft produce noise that is detrimental to man’s hearing. Excessive noise can cause both /temporary and permanent loss of hearing.
5.5.7 Pesticides and Nitrogen
Synthetic insecticides, chlorinated hydrocarbons (like DDT), benzenehexachloride (BHC), aldrin, lindrane, .endrine, toxaphene.and even the organophriphates like azodrin, phodrin, and diazonetin are all designed to kill insects, but they also affect plants, animals and man himself in many ways. Their toxicity affects living organisms either directly or through food, water and air.
In a number of instances, agriculture today can also be considered ecologically hazardous. Pesticides often kill a higher proportion of the non-target population than that of pests. Because some synthetic pesticides have a toxic effect on so many other non-target organisms, they are sometimes labeled ‘biocides.
Pesticides with persistent effects – DDT-for instance – have been proved to kill or reduce the reproductive capacity in sea animals such as fish and other organisms in the soil and air. Poisonous fumes are very mobile and can be blown about the atmosphere as dust panicles; they can also travel in air and water currents. They dissolve in water and also become concentrated in the fats of organisms.
A concentration of DDT in the food chain poses a definite danger to the life and the reproductive capacity of certain fishes birds. For example, DDT caused a sharp drop in the egg shell thickness of peregrine falcons, sparrows, hawks and golden eagles between 1945 – 1947. These are vivid examples of the disastrous effects of DDT and other pesticides.
Adding nitrogen to water bodies leads to a contamination that cannot be removed by either boiling or chlorination. Although the organisms in it will die, the dangerous chemicals that the water contains will not be removed or broken down. The documented fate of Lake Erie in Canada is a case in point; the nitrate content in Lake Erie has been greatly increased due to the runoff from the surrounding farmlands (30,000 sq. miles). These waters are now too rich in nitrogen. Similar problems exist in other lakes in the heavily industrialized countries.
There are, therefore, several environmental problems that can be attributed to the population explosion. Whereas overpopulation cannot be blamed exclusively for this state of affairs, it is certainly responsible for intensified environmental pollution and other problems. Various approaches must be used to control the population itself so that the number of people matches the available resources.
5.6 Population control and its impact on the environment
Policies on population control have generally taken two major forms: Indirect control and direct control. Indirect control can be made effective in two different ways. First, policies may be adopted in relation to population locations or settlements. In many countries, the government controls human settlement by restricting it in certain places.
For example, in Kenya, certain areas are set aside for wildlife and forest conservation while others are state-owned and reserved for future development. There are laws prohibiting settlement in some areas which are hazardous to human life. Recently, the government has designed laws restricting the sale of land, a process which could easily lead to two extremes: population concentration and landlessness.
There are also policies encouraging settlement in the marginal lands in order to avoid excessive concentration of people in some of the best agricultural areas in the country. There are several new settlements in areas of so-called low potential such as in the dry parts of the Rift Valley, the North Eastern Province and areas formerly infested by tsetse flies. These new settlements have eased the population density in certain areas like Kakamega and Kisii.
Another method of indirect population control consists of restricting and monitoring population movement. The main type of population movement in developing countries like Kenya is migration from rural to urban areas in search of employment. This / is mainly due to the socio-economic disparity which has long existed between urban and rural areas. Urban areas are often thought to offer greater opportunities for improving one’s life. Most governments in the developing countries have recently adopted policies to
restrict migration to towns; they strongly advocate a return to the land.
An attempt is being made to transform the rural areas and provide them with facilities similar to those in urban areas. The policy is to decentralize industries and spread major institutions for instance, throughout the country. One of the main objectives S of the District Focus for Rural Development in Kenya is to ensure equal development for all districts and make them more attractive. Previous policies had emphasized development in urban areas and ignored the rural areas.
Direct attempts to control population occur in two ways. First, setting a higher minimum age for one to get married and start families; and secondly, family planning. The former approach has not received as much emphasis as the latter. Everywhere, governments of developing nations are advocating family planning; which in fact, dominates population control policies in most countries. Several methods have been developed or identified for family planning, but those which are commonly in use today include:
Sterilization: Sterilization in males is called vasectomy and •that in female is called tubectomy. In a rather simple and inexpensive operation, key tubes in the reproduction system are closed to prevent the release of either sperm or ova. It is usually a permanent method, of contraception, although the process can sometimes be reversed.
Injectable contraceptives: This method involves injecting synthetic progestin hormones into muscles from which they are lowly released. They prevent pregnancies and suppress ovulation by causing the production of thick cervical mucus which is impenetrable to sperm. Intrauterine Devices (IUD): The IUD are small plastic or
metallic devices that are placed in the uterus through the cervical >• canal. The gadgets seem 10 render the uterus inhospitable to both eggs and sperms thus preventing or stopping pregnancy.
Oral Contraceptives (the Pill): This involves regular intake of pills as
prescribed by a physician. Pills are a combination of synthetic forms of the hormones progesterone and estrogen. Oral contraceptives stop ovulation by interfering with the cyclical Hormonal changes required for ovulation and make the cervical mucus thick and impenetrable to sperm. Pills are taken every day in a 21 or 28-day cycle depending on the pill type. A whole cycle must be taken on schedule to work effectively.
Condom: The condom is a sheath or thin rubber (latex) envelope which is put on a man’s erect penis before intercourse to collect the semen, hereby keeping the sperm from entering the woman’s vagina.
Diaphragm’. This is a soft rubber cup with a stiff but flexible rim around the edge which is inserted into the woman’s vagina before intercourse. The diaphragm covers the entrance of the uterus; as a further measure contraceptive cream or jelly is spread on the surface which lies against the cervix in order to block sperm movement.
Vaginal contraceptives: These are foams, creams, jellies, tablets, sponge (today) and suppositories, all chemical substances containing spermicidal. Before intercourse, the contraceptive is inserted into the vagina, where it spreads over the vagina and cervix. These contraceptives render the sperm inactive.
Periodic abstinence (rhythm, natural family planning, fertility awareness): This requires the couple to refrain from sexual intercourse during the estimated time of fertility. Ways to determine a woman’s approximate time of ovulation and her fertile time include; keeping records of the menstrual cycle, the body temperature and the consistence of the cervical mucus (Billings ovulation method).
Despite persistent emphasis on family planning, population control methods have not proved as successful as expected in reducing the population growth rate. This is attributed to the following factors. Contraceptive methods are not 100 per cent effective. These /are chances varying between 0.2 and 30 per cent that women ‘ using various contraceptive methods can still get
pregnant. The use of contraceptives is sometimes associated with prostitution and loose morals. For that reasons, some people shy away from them. Certain family planning devices are thought by some to deny the full enjoyment of sex and prevent satisfaction. Others may be considered cumbersome and messy. Many people lack proper and adequate education on family planning and the use of the various methods. For a family planning program to be effective, an attitudinal change is required so that people can accept new methods more easily.
Most fears related to family planning come as a result of ignorance and prejudice. Occasionally, those who are supposed to promote family planning are known for their many wives and large families; this makes their arguments less convincing.
5.7 Lecturer summary
This lecturer begins with a short description of the relationship between the human population and the environment. It defined human population and some related concepts such as birth rate and death rate and discusses how these help to determine the growth rate of the population. It alludes to some factors that explain the recent high growth rate in some parts of the world. Subsequently, a brief definition of environment is presented followed by a discussion on the use of the environment by man. The recent high increase in population has multiplied overuse and misuse of the environment resulting in pollution and degradation of resources.
The visible effects of population growth on the Environment are then outlined. There is need to make provisions to adequately support the large and growing population; instead there is increased pollution and degradation. Population growth even creates new forms of pollution. This is what could be called pollution in disguise. The last pan of the chapter explains the attempts by man to control the population by indirect and direct methods. This is not always popular. Nevertheless the need to control the population is obvious, since it continues to increase while environmental resources are decreasing very rapidly. xxxxxxxxxx
In treating of human settlement, we have touched upon almost all aspects of human social and economic activity and related them to environmental questions. Where we found it useful, we have provided historical perspective because both human settlement and resource exploitation are historical phenomena. But as noted out earlier, the understanding of ecological change is still in a rudimentary stage although human element in their own environment.
Particularly in the last two centuries, man has been disassembling the biotic pyramid that has been supporting humanity for countless millennia. Because history is part of the environment, examining the rural and urban settlement patterns in one’s country and era involves seeing them in the context of the past so as to perceive and formulate trends in ecological and social change. Such trends are important in helping to make future projections; they underscore the need to formulate viable policies to guide societies in their resource utilization.
However, it is equally to note that urban and rural squalor is a most degrading human environmental condition. Yet, while there is evidence to establish that the abuse of land-based resources (first soils and then fossil fuels), has had a direct relationship to the rise in power of First World nation states, the Third World countries, who own some of these resources, have failed to exert their dominance. xxxxxxxxxxxxx
GLOBAL PEACE AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION
6.3 Meaning of environmental conservation
6.4 Benefits of environmental conservation
6.5 Global dimensions of environmental conservation
6.6 Global peace and environmental conservation
6.7 Challenges in environmental conservation
This lecture has been designed to help you understand what global environmental conservation is all about. It covers the following critical
areas: Meaning of environmental conservation, Benefits of environmental conservation, global dimensions of environmental conservation, global peace and environmental conservation and challenges of environmental conservation. 6.2 Objectives
At the end of this lecture, you should be able to:
1. Define environmental conservation.
2.Understand the benefits of environmental conservation.
3.Explain the dimensions of environmental conservation
4.Describe the relationship between global peace environmental conservation. 5.Identify the challenges of environmental conservation
6.3 Meaning of environmental conservation
Environmental conservation is sensible use of the earth’s natural resources in order to avoid excessive degradation and impoverishment of the environment. It should include the search for alternative food and fuel supplies when these are endangered (as by deforestation and overfishing); an awareness of the dangers of pollution; and the maintenance and preservation of natural habitats and the creation of new ones, e.g. nature reserves, national parks, and sites of special scientific interest (SSSIs).
The scientific discipline concerned with the ways in which Earth’s biological diversity is lost and the development of solutions to protect the natural functioning of ecosystems and the species that reside within them. Extensive surveys of habitats provide valuable information on the number, kind, and health of species that reside there. Combining this information with knowledge of how various factors (such as habitat destruction, overharvesting, pollution, introduced species, and the effects of global warming) contribute to species decline and extinction enables scientists and wildlife managers to design protection plans for vulnerable forms.
Often, protection plans involve the setting aside of large parcels of existing habitat, the elimination of foreign species, and the restoration of areas previously altered by human activity. Climate change, reduced forest cover, depletion of fresh water basins, pollution, drought and famine are testament to the urgent need for interventions to restore balance within the
environment and its eco-systems. The MDG 7 calls for ensuring environmental stability by increasing forest cover and protecting water catchment areas, among other actions.
Environmental protection is a practice of protecting the environment, on individual, organizational or governmental level, for the benefit of the natural environment and (or) humans. Due to the pressures of population and our technology the biophysical environment is being degraded, sometimes permanently. This has been recognized and governments have begun placing restraints on activities that caused environmental degradation. Since the 1960s activism by the environmental movement has created awareness of the various environmental issues.
There is not a full agreement on the extent of the environmental impact of human activity and protection measures are occasionally criticized. Academic institutions now offer courses such as environmental studies, environmental management and environmental engineering that study the history and methods of environmental protection. Protection of the environment is needed from various human activities.
Waste, pollution, loss of biodiversity, introduction of invasive species, release of genetically modified organisms and toxics are some of the issues relating to environmental protection. Many Constitutions acknowledge the fundamental right to environmental protection and many international treaties acknowledge the right to live in a healthy environment. Also, many countries have organizations and agencies devoted to environmental protection.
There are International environmental protection organizations, such as the United Nations Environment Program. With more and more individuals and community tackling about climate change as well as future environmental alarms, it has turned out to be essential for companies to include environmental protection and conservation to their policies.
Nobody could refute the implication of balanced social and environmental aspects. By means of embracing global environmental conservation and sustainability, the companies could uphold qualities extremely valued in physical environment. It could be a big help in making equilibrium between the environmental conservation systems and trade and industry development. Advantages of environmental protection and conservation differ from a single group to another.
To the extent that the consumers are worried, this concept could help in lessening negative impacts of environment in the society. It would not just improve public health but as well make individuals more responsive of the environment conservation. Simultaneously, organizations could also gather remarkable benefits throughout environmental sustainability. As you can see, this notion could not just help them accomplish constitutional obligations but it could also recognize efficiently on what are the potential healthy risks will be involved in the near future.
Approximately every company organization requires adopting environmental protection and conservation policies in turn to look after the environment. It must include lessening in the handling of physical resources as well as selection of the renewable resources. Let’s say that if an organization runs to carry out good work by implementing the contemporary loom of recycling the whole thing and then redesigning products to decrease manufacture of toxic materials, then it could take pleasure in a firm standing in the business. This concept takes along numerous business benefits which could be implemented to improve the group’s representation.
In the last years, the environment has turn out to be a key question for the countries worldwide. Because of firm pollution targets, the companies dealing in the environmental resolutions have observed the appearance of numerous new opportunities. In the larger viewpoint, environmental protection and conservation could be considered an efficient base for a sustainable development.
6.4 Benefits of environmental conservation
A healthy environment is as important an element to life as food, water and shelter. As anthropogenic environmental degradation is being seen even in areas where no humans live, our world is facing some of the greatest challenges in its history. From climate change to acid rain to pollution to deforestation, there are many problems that must be addressed to correct the harms being done to the environment. It is said that in the middle income nations is where there tends to be the least environmental degradation. This is where the basic needs of the population are being met but there is not so much wealth that unnecessary products are being consumed that is harmful to the environment.
For the poorest of nations and people, when you
are unable to meet even the most basic of needs you will do anything you can to try to meet them- including using the environment in unhealthy ways such as slash and burn practices often seen in the rainforest to raise food for agriculture, or deforestation to use wood for cooking. Green spaces are a great benefit to our environment. They filter pollutants and dust from the air, they provide shade and lower temperatures in urban areas, and they even reduce erosion of soil into our waterways. These are just a few of the environmental benefits that green spaces provide.
Water quality protection. Proper landscaping reduces nitrate leaching from the soil into the water supply and reduces surface water runoff, keeping phosphorus and other pollutants out of our waterways and preventing septic system overload. Reduced heat build-up. Trees in a parking lot can reduce on-site heat buildup, decrease runoff and enhance night time cool downs.
Tests in a mall parking lot in Huntsville, Ala. showed a 31 degree difference between shaded and un-shaded areas. Reduced soil erosion. A dense cover of plants and mulch holds soil in place, keeping sediment out of lakes, streams, storm drains and roads; and reducing flooding, mudslides and dust storms. Improved air quality.
Trees, shrubs and turf remove smoke, dust and other pollutants from the air. One tree can remove 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually, equaling 11,000 miles of car emissions. One study showed that one acre of trees has the ability to remove 13 tons of particles and gases annually. 2,500 square feet of turf absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and releases enough oxygen for a family of four to breathe. Lower attic temperatures. Trees shading homes can reduce attic temperatures as much as 40 degrees.
According to the EPA, urban forests reduce urban air temperatures significantly by shading heat sinks such as buildings and concrete and returning humidity to the air through evaporative cooling. Natural resource conservation. By using trees to modify temperatures, the amount of fossil fuels used for cooling and heating is reduced. Properly placed deciduous trees reduce house temperatures in the summer, allowing air conditioning units to run 2 to 4 percent more efficiently. The trees also allow the sun to warm the house in the winter.
Green roofs cool urban hot spots. Led by cities such as Chicago and Toronto, as well as a number of universities, evidence is mounting that green roofs (i.e. roofs totally or partially covered with vegetation) can play an important role in saving energy, reducing the urban heat island effect and adding more green space to a built environment. Cooler summer days. Lawns will be 30 degrees cooler than asphalt and 14 degrees cooler than bare soil in the heat of summer. Natural resource conservation. Homeowners can “grasscycle” by leaving grass clippings on the lawn when mowing.
The clippings quickly decompose and release valuable nutrients back into the soil to feed the grass, reducing the need for nitrogen by 25 to 50 percent. Modern mulching lawn mowers make “grasscycling” even easier, and homeowners can reduce their mowing time by 30 to 40 percent by not having to bag clippings. Reduced pollution. Trees naturally remove pollutants from the air, so every tree that’s subtracted from a city’s ecosystem means some particulate pollution remains that should have been filtered out. In Washington, that amounts to 540 extra tons each year.
Rainfall retention. A healthy, sodded lawn absorbs rainfall 6 times more effectively than a wheat field and 4 times better than a hay field. Natural storm water management. A big tree removes 60 to 70 times the pollution than a small tree. Reduced temperatures. In Atlanta, temperatures have climbed 5 to 8 degrees higher than surrounding countryside where developers bulldozed 380,000 acres between 1973 and 1999, according to NASA. Scientists fear the heavily developed corridor between Boston and Washington could be the next big hot zone.
6.5 Global dimensions of environmental conservation.
Distinct trends exist regarding conservation development. While many countries’ efforts to preserve species and their habitats have been government-led, those in the North Western Europe tended to arise out of the middle-class and aristocratic interest in natural history, expressed at the level of the individual and the national, regional or local learned society.
Thus countries like Britain, the Netherlands, Germany, etc. had what we would today term NGOs — in the shape of the RSPB, National Trust and County Naturalists’ Trusts (dating back to 1889, 1895 and 1912 respectively) Natuurmonumenten, Provincial conservation Trusts for each Dutch province, Vogelbescherming, etc. — a long time before there were National Parks and National Nature Reserves.
This in part reflects the absence of wilderness areas in heavily cultivated Europe, as well as a long-standing interest in laissez-faire government in some countries, like the UK, leaving it as no coincidence that John Muir, the British-born founder of the National Park movement (and hence of government-sponsored conservation) did his sterling work in the USA, where he was the motor force behind the establishment of such NPs as Yosemite and Yellowstone. Nowadays, officially more than 10 percent of the world is legally protected in some way or the other, and in practice private fundraising is insufficient to pay for the effective management of so much land with protective status.
Protected areas in developing countries, where probably as many as 70-80 percent of the species of the world live, still enjoy very little effective management and protection. Although some countries such as Mexico have non-profit civil organizations and land owners dedicated to protect vast private property, such is the case of Hacienda Chichen’s Maya Jungle Reserve and Bird Refuge in Chichen Itza, Yucatán. The Adopt a Ranger Foundation has calculated that worldwide about 140,000 rangers are needed for the protected areas in developing and transition countries.
There are no data on how many rangers are employed at the moment, but probably less than half the protected areas in developing and transition countries have any rangers at all and those that have them are at least 50% short This means that there would be a worldwide ranger deficit of 105,000 rangers in the developing and transition countries. One of the world’s foremost conservationists, Dr. Kenton Miller, stated about the importance of rangers: “The future of our ecosystem services and our heritage depends upon park rangers. With the rapidity at which the challenges to protected areas are both changing and increasing, there has never been more of a need for well prepared human capacity to manage. Park rangers are the backbone of park management. They are on the ground.
They work on the front line with scientists, visitors, and members of local communities.” Adopt a Ranger fears that the ranger deficit is the greatest single limiting factor in effectively conserving nature in 75% of the world. Currently, no conservation organization or western country or international organization addresses this problem. Adopt A Ranger has been incorporated to draw worldwide public attention to the most urgent problem that conservation is facing in developing and transition countries: protected areas without field staff.
Very specifically, it will contribute to solving the problem by fund raising to finance rangers in the field. It will also help governments in developing and transition countries to assess realistic staffing needs and staffing strategies As we gaze into conservation process, we see still more posturing than real progress in the years ahead. We would like to believe that increasing numbers of politicians understand how important environmental issues are. What we hear instead are candidates making brave speeches about the environment, but doing little or nothing once they are elected.
Like the advertising consultants who help put them in office, politicians act as though describing a problem is the same thing as solving it. Since most voters apparently don’t feel it’s fair to hold a politician accountable for his campaign pledges, the environment continues to deteriorate. Our keen observation shows still more massive oil spills occurring before we begin to question our dependence on fossil fuels, the price of which cannot be reckoned solely on the basis of extraction, transportation, and refinement costs. Our assessment of the future situation also reveals more extreme weather before meteorologists acknowledge that these “atypical patterns” are linked to man’s helter-skelter impacts on the environment.
Saddest of all because it is most easily remedied, our experience shows millions more acres of tropical forest destroyed with countless numbers of unknown species lost before major international positions are taken to end this ecological mayhem. Conservationists today feel the sort of frustration that others before them felt. We know that catastrophes of global dimensions are looming- we know that effective leaders are desperately needed to counter widespread inertia and ignorance- but with complacency the prevailing mood, we drift closer, week by week, to worst-case scenarios.
No one can say for certain today whether deforestation, desertification, atmospheric degradation, oceanic pollution, global warming, or some combination of these will be the triggering mechanism to overrule the earth’s equilibrium. Conservationists know that we still have a chance to reverse global deterioration if only our political leaders will cooperate to create humane solutions for mankind’s runaway population growth. No one with the least knowledge of nature doubts that so long as humanity continues propagating at a net increase exceeding 10,000 people per hour, civilization itself is at risk.
One shouldn’t confuse this risk with the question of whether our species will survive. Barring nuclear war, it almost certainly will. But that’s not the issue. From the beginning of the 19th century and the start of the Industrial Revolution, the fundamental question for Homo sapiens has been, how many people can the earth support and at what standard of living? Scientific inquiry and political debate everywhere should be directed toward answering that question before nature herself-never one to abide by deficit spending-answers it for us. Indeed, in increasing areas of the world, nature is already calling in her IOUs in the form of perennial civil strife and famine.
Yet just as Churchill never lost his faith that the good and necessary fight could be won, conservationists today must not allow the immensity of our many challenges to demoralize us. We must, However, learn to distinguish fair-weather friends from those far fewer but more dependable souls willing and able to roll up their sleeves to get the job done. Many former allies are now part of the problem.
The growing preoccupation with credentials and conservation dogma among natural scientists and technicians has led to the cancerous growth of too many environmental hierarchies -nongovernmental as well as governmental-more concerned with protecting the well-being of those within the system than with protecting the resources the bureaucracies were founded to perpetuate.
These agencies’ and organizations’ “educational materials” and “press releases” are intended only to pacify or to enhance donations, not to stir the troops to political action. The public’s initiative is sapped by patronizing suggestions that conservation is too complex for ordinary people to comprehend. “Leave it to us experts” is the increasingly heard and subtly debilitating refrain.
Too many nongovernmental conservation organizations have become mere money pumps whose executives sink into the same sort of comfortable lethargy they were supposed to prevent among their peers in the public sector. The cat has become as fat and lazy as the mice, and the dog (the press), which should harry the cat, has grown equally fat and lazy. The second half of H. L. Mencken’s advice to his colleagues to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable” has been lost beneath mergers, monopolies, and advertising revenues. 6.6 Global peace and environmental conservation
Using conservation measures as a direct means of resolving an armed conflict is the most consequential use of environmental peace-building; yet this approach is still in early stages of global acceptance. The first international peace park idea involving an armed conflict between neighboring countries was in the Cordillera del Condor region between Ecuador and Peru. This case deserves special recognition as it was the first formal effort in which conservation groups were actively involved in international conflict resolution, and the resultant peace treaty included explicit mention of conservation measures as part of the overall resolution of the conflict.
The territorial conflict between Ecuador and Peru goes back several decades. In 1995, following several failed attempts at conflict resolution; an armed conflict broke out that lasted for about three weeks. A peace agreement signed in February of 1995 committed both countries to the withdrawal of forces ‘‘far’’ from the disputed zone. This plan was overseen by four guarantor countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and the United States. In compliance with the plan, both nations organized the withdrawal of 5,000 troops from the Cenepa Valley and supervised the demobilization of 140,000 troops on both sides. With this much accomplished, conservation groups became very active in trying to lobby for a peace park.
It should be noted that Conservation International was actively involved in biodiversity fieldwork even before the resolution of the conflict; it had worked closely with the military when fieldwork on documenting the biodiversity of the region was conducted in 1993. Therefore they were gradually able to influence more ‘‘hawkish’’ army officers about the collective importance of conservation and its instrumental use for conflict resolution.
As we endeavor to use collective environmental protection as a means of conflict resolution, let us not forget that conservation efforts are often causes of tremendous conflict. Environmental organizations and their relationship to communities have recently come under attack from both sides of the political spectrum. Since many peace park projects are often being promoted by such organizations, 26 the legitimacy of hese groups is essential for meeting the goals of conflict resolution. Such conservation groups are thus often faced with the dilemma of whether or not to give primacy to their ecologically determined conservation objectives.
On the one hand, pragmatic eco-revisionists have ‘attributed so many of invironmentalists’ failures to the incuriosity about the human (read: social) sciences, like social psychology and their scientific fetishization of the ‘natural’ sciences.’’27 At the same time some anthropologists have taken this criticism a step further by challenging conservationists about their detachment from indigenous people in their pursuit of conservation.
In a much publicized article for World watch magazine, anthropologist Mac Chapin recently critiqued the work of the Nature Conservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, and Conservation International by asserting that ‘as corporate and government money flow into the three big international organizations that dominate the world’s conservation agenda, their programs have been marked by growing conflict of interest and by a disturbing neglect of the indigenous people whose land they are in business to protect.’
Anthropologists and conservation scientists have encountered this debate before in various guises. An article in Conservation Biology by Schwartzman et al. (2000) that gave primacy to indigenous conservation practices had sparked a similar heated debate with responses from conservationists such as Redford and Sanderson (2000). Interestingly enough the disagreement here was between staff scientists at major environmental groups—some of whom were more unequivocally sympathetic to indigenous concerns over conservation priorities. Such a divergence highlights the ‘varieties of environmentalism’ that Guha and Martinez Allier (1997) have alluded to in their work on social movements.
Yet environmentalists are collectively also accused all too often by those on the Right of the political spectrum for being too positional and uncompromising in their approach to problem-solving and not interacting adequately with free-market interests. Even Conservation International, which is often accused by more traditional environmentalists of accepting large contracts and grants from oil companies and development donors, is just as much criticized by industrialists for not willing to compromise enough on extractive projects in ecologically sensitive places such as Madagascar.
Environmental and human rights groups are thus often lumped together by
critics of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), such as Sebastian Mallaby (2004) or Clifford Bob (2005) who decries their unwillingness to compromise on urgent development projects. The formation of peace groups must be considered part of this process of internal reconciliation as well as the extant motive of instrumental conflict resolution if it is to be sustainable.
When dealing with matters as emotive as environmental protection and conflict mitigation, one can’t help but feel a sense of urgency and advocacy for a phenomenon that holds promise in harmonizing these two worthy goals. This book has been written at a time of transition when peace parks are being recognized as a phenomenon by some while being dismissed as a side story by others. However, there is little disagreement that if managed and implemented effectively, conservation with community consent and conflict resolution are goals worth pursuing. My aim in this volume is not to be a green or blue activist but rather to present a story of measured hope with analytical persuasion.
Global Peace Initiatives was founded out of the belief that there is good everywhere. We believe we can nurture good by focusing on our strengths. We believe we can generate more conditions for peace through education and heightened awareness. Critical issues such as the environment; the complexity of human relationships and the sustainability of life seemed very challenging to reconcile. As a result, powerlessness and fear can shroud optimism and hope. Now is the time to bring to light more peace and greater understanding. This aims to promote messages of peace and hope around the world that awaken a sense of possibility. People should promote the concepts of peace, unity consciousness, positive intention, compassion, and sustainable development through local and worldwide action.
Through the arts, media, education programs, technology and local actions, the world should convey its message that when creativity is nurtured and possibility thinking is encouraged, hope is nurtured. We foster positive intention and promote peace. We believe we can inspire people to be possibility thinkers and creative forces for peace. We know the first steps toward peace come from within the human heart filled with hope. UNOs will serve as an organization to promote a critical mass for peace consciousness by defining peace more broadly than an absence of conflict. It should manage initiatives that promote conscious awareness for elements within our social environment that contribute to the human condition of being at peace.
1.Explain some of the environmental benefits that green spaces provide. 2.How is the use of conservational measures a direct means of resolving armed conflicts the most consequential use of environmental peace-building process?
6.7 Challenges in environmental conservation.
Quantifying the environmental benefits of conservation practices is essential for assessing the effectiveness of such practices, informing conservation policy, and targeting conservation programs to maximize environmental benefits. Developing performance-based programs that reward private landowners for implementing innovative conservation practices cannot succeed without being able to quantify the performance of those practices, but quantifying environmental performance in the real world presents numerous challenges.
Can you try and list down the most critical challenges of conserving our environment.
These challenges include 1) the high cost of establishing monitoring systems capable of producing scientifically rigorous results 2) the difficulty in establishing an adequate baseline from which to assess improvements in environmental performance 3) dealing with spatial and temporal variability in environmental conditions 4) the mismatch between standard criteria accepted by the scientific community and the motivations, pressures and demands of agencies charged with implementing conservation programs.
In the lecture we said that environmental conservation is sensible use of the earth’s natural resources in order to avoid excessive degradation and impoverishment of the environment. We further said the search for
alternative food and fuel supplies when these are endangered (as by deforestation and overfishing); an awareness of the dangers of pollution; and the maintenance and preservation of natural habitats and the creation of new ones. Again we have said that Green spaces are a great benefit to our environment.
This is because they filter pollutants and dust from the air, they provide shade and lower temperatures in urban areas, and they even reduce erosion of soil into our waterways We went on to say that distinct trends exist regarding conservation development. Where we have indicated that while many countries’ efforts to preserve species and their habitats have been government-led, those in the North Western Europe tended to arise out of the middle-class and aristocratic interest in natural history, expressed at the level of the individual and the national, regional or local learned society.
Lastly we have concluded by saying that Using conservation measures as a direct means of resolving an armed conflict is the most consequential use of environmental peace-building; yet this approach is still in early stages of global acceptance.