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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A conifer forest in the Swiss Alps (National Park).

The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem, it will avail us little to solve all others.

Theodore Roosevelt[1]

Environmental protection is a practice of protecting the environment, on individual, organisational 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 recognised and governments began 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.

Contents

Governance

Many Constitutions acknowledge the fundamental right to environmental protection and many international treaties acknowledge the right to live in a healthy environment.[2]

Also, many countries have organizations and agencies devoted to environmental protection. There are International environmental protection organizations, as the United Nations Environment Programme.

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European Union

Environmental protection has become an important task for the institutions of the European Community after the Maastricht Treaty for the European Union ratification by all Member States. The EU is already very active in the field of environmental policy with important directives like those on environmental impact assessment and on the access to environmental information for citizens in the Member States. [3]

New Zealand

At a national level the Ministry for the Environment is responsible for environmental policy and the Department of Conservation addresses conservation issues. At a regional level the regional councils administer the legislation and address regional environmental issues.

United States

Since 1970, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has been working to protect the environment and human health.[4]

In literature

Environmental protection has become a theme in fiction as well as non-fictional literature. Books such as Antarctica and Blockade have environmental protection as a theme whereas The Lorax has become a popular metaphor for environmental protection.

See also

References

  1. ^ Theodore Roosevelt, Address to the Deep Waterway Convention Memphis, TN, October 4, 1907
  2. ^ http://arno.uvt.nl/show.cgi?fid=4976
  3. ^ http://arno.uvt.nl/show.cgi?fid=4976
  4. ^ The United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved on (August 23, 2008). "About Us (section)". U.S. EPA.

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