98. Environmentalism Vis-A-Vis Development

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442 Emporium Current Essays Environmental degradation and pollution have been problems for long but International concern has only become vocal in recent years The world community today has almost unanimous view on giving high priority to this issue. The episode of air pollution in Bhopal, famine in Sahel, loss of all of acres of land through desertification, for instance waterlogging an salinity and upward trend in chemical Poisoning and environmental cancer are some of the events and issues th
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  442Emporium Current EssaysEnvironmental degradation and pollution have been problems for long butInternational concern has only become vocal in recent years The world community todayhas almost unanimous view on giving high priority to this issue. The episode of air  pollution in Bhopal, famine in Sahel, loss of all of acres of land through desertification,for instance waterlogging an salinity and upward trend in chemical Poisoning andenvironmental cancer are some of the events and issues that have brought a fundamentalchange in the perception of environment in developing countries. Many people who usedto look at the Environmental Movement as the problem of the West have beenincreasingly convinced that the damage caused by the massive interference of man intothe environment is not only Jeopardising the quality of fife but forms a serious threat tothe survival of humanity throughout the world without any exception.In Pakistan rapid growth in population and indiscriminate use of natural resources haveled to environmental degradation. In urban areas, growing population influx, rapidindustrialisation and increasing use of automobiles have also added to population.Beyond urban areas environment problems include denudation of forest resourceswaterlogging, soil erosion, salinization, desertification, deterioration of coastal resourcesand reduction of valuable resources are exploited extensively without developingSubstitutes Renewal resources like forests' pastures, wildlife range lands are beingdepleted through the means of deforestation soil erosion salinization, waterlogging loss of genetic diversity and rate species. Industrial effluents, toxic wastes pesticideschemicals poor sanitation and garbage collection are adversely affecting human healthand 'the environment. Besides lack of adequate awareness about environment problemson account of lack of education and training and non-enforcement of the existing lawsrelating to the environment further Compound the problem and complicate the situation.The threat to natural resources productivity and the environment have become particularly severe at the national levelEmporium Current Essaysã* of during the last three debacles. Short-term interests have put g» .strain on the environment carrying capacity. Considerable dama]., has been done to our terrestrial ecosystem, where forests are disappearing at the rate of one per cent every year.This is certainly disastrous for a country like ours, where the percentage of land under forest is already quite low - only 5% - and where availability of timber is only 0.013cubic metre per capita as compared to 1.60 cubic metre per capita in USA.Increasingly deforestation is promoting soil erosion, desertification and flooding. Morethan 60 S of the land in. Pakistan has either already or is likely to be affected bydesertification.  Pakistan's aquatic ecosystem is rich in resources. It is supplying water for irrigation andother human uses. Additionally its rich fauna provides food for both local consumptionand for export, but increased pollution is threatening the viability of his life supportsystem.The rapidly conglomerating population is our Urban centres and industrial areas inresulting in the increase of environmental degradation through air, water and soil pollution on the ogle hand and growing slums, squatters and corrugation, on the other.The countless rural communities are faces with glaring Inadequacies of basic sanitaryfacilities, water supplies and malnutrition. All these are proving to be disastrous to humanhealth with dire consequences in a country where traditional infectious diseases are now being reinforced by new and more deadly one's like cancer and emphysema.These facts shots that environment conservation and development are two sides of thesame coin. Conservation aids development because it nurtures the productivity Capacitiesof natural resources and the environment in which people live and work. Developmenthelps conservation by ensuring that the people's needs are adequately supplied so ageforests, soils, fisheries etc., in the effort; to survive.Pakistan, the ninth most populous nation of the world, has immense fragile productivityis already under serious environmental threat. Moreover a major part of its rapidlygrowing population lives in near total dependence upon a delicately balanced water management system drawn from the biggest irrigation System of the world. With thisgeographic background and predominant agrarian-economy in which agriculture sector accounts for almost a third of country's GAP (2g %) employs more than half of the population (55%), and earns over to-thirds (79%) of the446Emporium Current EssaysEmporium Current Essays447Even though development will Continue to be the primary focus of attention, it has become very clear that development without environmental conservation is a mirageThis-brings out the fact that there is no intrinsic conflict between environment,ã development and poverty eradication, indeed the concept of sustainable developmentsynthesises these objectives. First of all, there is sufficient international evidence tosuggest that depending on the systems of societal management, a given resourcesendowment can support widely different levels of economic prosperity and rates of economic pi Asperity and rates of economic growth. Secondly, it also widely recognisedthat poverty itself is the greatest polluter, since it pushes people on the margin of subsistence into unsustainable activities. Thirdly, environmental problems are alsoeconomic problems; they reflect not only quality of life concerns but also economiccosts that inhibit the ability of the society to develop a decent standard of living.  The third factor responsible for the emergence of environmental problems is theinadequate institutional arrangements for economic and natural resource managementGiven the fact that economic and demographic pressures in Pakistan cannot be abatedsignificantly in a limited time span, and that natural resource use is already at the marginof possibility, the greatest potential for environmental and straightening of resourcemanagement institutions and the development and adoption of appropriate technologies.To sum up, environmental problems have emerged because of a combination of theaforementioned factors; accelerating economic A and demographic pressure, a limitedresources base, and Inappropriate institutions for the management of natural resources.While the economic pressure is in large part inescapable and the resources truly finitethere is still sufficient scope for adequate management of the existing resources. The bulk of this exercise of institutional strengthening is focused on local communities in bothrural and urban areas. However a number of problems are national in scope and requirenational responses.Growth of environmental consciousness as a reaction to growing pollution and ecologicaldegradation has of late been observed in the country. Pakistan must make every possibleeffort to highlight the environmental hazards and educate people to minimise if noteradicate the environmental problems. Radio television an the press should devote moreattention to the everincreasing Pollution dangers. The government must enforce therelevant legislation to control tf hazard. However the people for itsimplementation. Without citizens playing this important role of watchdogs governmentare known to ignoiv or overlook their basic obligations to their citizens. Comprehensivenational environmental programmes are urgently needed in the country which shouldinclude measures to create public awareness.In supporting the dissemination of environmental awareness today will be the future of Pakistani children an grandchildren. Time running out and should the country not acttoday tomorrow will be too late. Problems are fast multiplying and shall be getting out of control if not attended to earnestly and without further loss to time.
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