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Issues related to environmental protection

February 4, 2014
TR10-GR2-3155
18-ENV
CONTEMPORARY ISSUES RELATED TO ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Contributors:
Carla Richards
Shirley Mohamed
Makeda Patrong
Makeba Timothy
1. Definition of environmental protection.
2. The importance and need for environmental protection.
3. Types of environmental organizations.
4. Role of governmental bodies to protect the environment.
5. Environmental protection methods adopted in three countries.
6. Measures used to decrease and prevent environmental disasters. Training of people
about recycling issues.
7. Economic benefits of environmental preservations.
8. Consequences of not putting laws and other measures in place to protect environment.
9. Difficulties related to the implementation of changes to environmental protection.
Environmental Hazards and Their Effects:
10. Climate Change - Global Warming
11. Greenhouse Gases
Attempts to Formalize Environmental Protection Globally:
12. The Kyoto Protocol Climate Conference
13. Climate Change Conference - Copenhagen, Denmark and Beyond
14. Balancing the Ecosystem
15. The New Energy Model
16. Conclusion
The world’s natural environment is diminishing at an alarming rate, and in order for the
future generation to have planet Earth as a livable habitation, individuals, organizations
and governmental bodies, must put measures and legislations in place, to protect and
safeguard our environment.
The negative effects of environmental pollution can cause “rising sea levels, stronger
storms, species extinction and spreading tropical diseases. Minimizing these effects would
clearly benefit all humanity". Solving climate change, follow the money – article by Peter
Meisen, Global Energy Network Institute, January 2008 (Pg 1).
This paper seeks to examine some of the contemporary issues related to environmental
protection and to identify groups and agencies that are committed to the protection of the
environment. We would also focus on local environmental protection efforts and that of
two other countries.
DEFINITION OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Environmental protection could take on many different meanings depending on the
country in focus. Some countries are not industrialized but have rich eco-systems, while
others may be heavily industrialized. Generally speaking environmental protection is all
available practices used to protect our environment, whether on individual, organizational
or global (international) level. Our environment is made up of all living and non-living
things that occur naturally on the earth. This includes eco-systems such as rivers, lakes,
forests, caves, animals and other living organisms, the sea, land formations and the
atmosphere. Ned Haluzan. September 19, 2010. Retrieved, November 7, 2010.
http://ecological-problems.blogspot.com/2010/09/environmental-protection-definition-and.
html
“A nation’s environment is the result of a combination of facts, on which human effort has
little impact, and policies, which can and are influenced by human effort. Among the facts
that affect the competitiveness of a nation are endowments in natural resources, land area,
risk of natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods or El Nino, risk of human disasters
such as epidemics, war and so on. A nation can try to mitigate the impact of some facts of
life through, for example, the construction of anti-seismic buildings or the vaccination of
the population. However, the likelihood of compensating for a lack of natural resources or
size is limited. Policies, on the other hand, are entirely dependent upon the determination
of people. They can be shaped and revised at will." This statement sums up the
environment both eco and economic. Stephane Garelli,Competitiveness of Nations: The
Fundamentals. Retrieved November 9,2010 from
http://www.imd.org/research/centers/wcc/upload/Fundamentals.pdf
THE IMPORTANCE AND NEED FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
Environmental protection is critical to the well being of all nations. Poor environmental
management could have a negative impact on economies as mismanagement could lead to
societal health problems, depletion of natural resources and dramatic changes in climatic
conditions. The United Nations has for several years tried to convince nations of the need
for sensitivity to the environment. It made predictions that as a result of global warming
and rising sea levels large portions of the world’s population would have to be evacuated
to higher ground. We have seen this prediction unfold in dramatic fashion in countries
around the world.
Pakistan was hard hit with flooding claiming the lives of more than1,300 persons and
forcing hundreds of thousands from their homes in what is reported as the country’s worst
floods since 1929. Aid workers estimate between 3,000 to 4,000 Pakistanis have been
affected by the flooding and face food shortages.
Isabelle Zenhder. Massive flooding around the world brings misery to millons. Published
August 8, 2010. Retrieved November 9, 2010.
http://www.examiner.com/international-headlines-in-national/massive-flooding-around-th
e-world-brings-misery-to-millions-photos
In the month of August 2010 alone casualty around the world from flooding amounted to
almost 2,500. Attempting to solve the flooding problem is like treating the symptom,
instead eviromental protection and management should be part of the holistic solution,
with the aim of bringing synergy between man and nature.
http://en.rian.ru/infographics/20100812/160171553.html.
Retrieved November 16, 2010.
In a global technological world such as we live in today lack of investment in
environmental protection could also affect a nation’s competitiveness as this impacts
economic activity. For instance, the Indonesian tsunami claimed over 130,000 lives, over
36,000 persons missing and over 504,000 persons were displaced. Total damage from the
tsunami was estimated at $4.5 billion-$5 billion - almost equal to the entire GDP of Aceh -
according to a damage assessment prepared and released by the Indonesian Government,
World Bank, ADB, and other development partners in January.
The sectors most impacted were primarily private-sector dominated assets and activities
that relate directly to the personal livelihoods of the affected urban and rural communities:
housing, commerce, agriculture, and fisheries, and transport vehicles and services ($2.8
billion, or 63% of total damage and losses). The biggest public sector damages were to
infrastructure, the social sectors, and government administration ($1.1 billion, or 25% of
total damage and losses). Monetized environmental damages are also significant ($0.55
billion, or 12% of total damage and losses), although they belong in a separate category as
the environment will partially recover with the help of nature and time, as well as human
intervention. These include damage to coral reefs and mangrove swamps, loss of land use
and restoration of the coastal zone. Total damage and losses of this disaster – net of
environmental impact are $3.9 million.
http://www.adb.org/media/articles/2005/6618_tsunami_impact_indonesia/default.asp?
registrationid=guest
Published by Asian Development Bank. Retrieved November 19, 2010
In heavily industrialized countries industrialization poses a threat to the environment.
Since the industrial revolution, industrial and mining operations have been accompanied
by a problem: industrial waste which may be toxic, ignitable, corrosive or reactive. If
improperly managed, this waste can pose dangerous health and environmental
consequences. In the United States, the amount of hazardous waste generated by
manufacturing industries in the country has increased from an estimated 4.5 million tons
annually after World War II to some 57 million tons by 1975. By 1990, this total had shot
up to approximately 265 million tons. This waste is generated at every stage in the
production process, use and disposal of manufactured products. Thus, the introduction of
many new products for the home and office - computers, drugs, textiles, paints and dyes,
plastics - also introduced hazardous waste, including toxic chemicals, into the
environment. These, too, must be managed with extreme care to avoid adverse
environmental or human health impacts. The EPA estimated in 1980 that more than 70,000
different chemicals were being manufactured in the U.S., with some 1,000 new chemicals
being added each year. The human health and environmental impacts of many of these
chemicals are largely unknown.
http://www.texascenter.org/almanac/Waste/INDUSTRIALCH9P1.HTML
Texas Environmental Almanac, Chapter 9, Industrial Waste, Page 1
These statistics are staggering. The United States of America did not sign the Kyoto
Protocol, one wonders if large, developed, industrialized nations are really serious about
environmental protection. Developed nations move their operations to other countries and
show the same indifference to their environment. Environmental protection must be taken
seriously to prevent human suffering and tragedy. The industrial accident at Bhopal in
India is still today regarded as the most tragic in history.
Between 1977 and 1984, Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL), located within a crowded
working class neighborhood in Bhopal, was licensed by the Madhya Pradesh Government
to manufacture phosgene, monomethylamine (MMA), methylisocyanate (MIC) and the
pesticide carbaryl, also known as Sevin.
On the night of the 2-3 December 1984 water inadvertently entered the MIC storage tank,
where over 40 metric tons of MIC were being stored. The addition of water to the tank
caused a runaway chemical reaction, resulting in a rapid rise in pressure and temperature.
The heat generated by the reaction, the presence of higher than normal concentrations of
chloroform, and the presence of an iron catalyst , produced by the corrosion of the
stainless steel tank wall, resulted in a reaction of such momentum, that gases formed could
not be contained by safety systems.
As a result, MIC and other reaction products, in liquid and vapor form, escaped from the
plant into the surrounding areas. There was no warning for people surrounding the plant as
the emergency sirens had been switched off. The effect on the people living in the shanty
settlements just over the fence was immediate and devastating. Many died in their beds,
others staggered from their homes, blinded and choking, to die in the street.
Many more died later after reaching hospitals and emergency aid centers. The early acute

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