ENVIRONMENT AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The world is entering another millennium. Amidst the situation of dramatic revolution in technology in almost every sphere of life, humankind is probably preparing it to face the new challenges of the coming millennium. Though many challenges are yet to be identified, their number is not at all encouraging and it is difficult to set priorities.
The most challenging is probably the population boom. Because, together with this problem comes many other problems of which none is less important. The problems of food, shelter, health, education, job, recreation and many other, all increasing in dimension. Again, all these problems together are giving rise to another very important challenge to be overcome that is environmental hazard.
Though environment encompasses everything that surrounds us including ourselves, it is the humankind, which is mostly responsible for the changes that take place in environment. It is already established that there is a direct relation between human activities and environmental change. It is encouraging that people have started becoming aware of the environmental situation. However, the question that remains unanswered is, “Is it too late, too little?”.1 It is almost certain that our way of living is not sustainable. We are probably heading towards extinction of human and other races unless we adopt a simpler way of life.
This paper will address the environment in the context of ecosystem and environmental resources for human development. The logic behind the economic growth will be discussed while addressing economic development. Later, it will discuss the relationship between two elements of the topic: the environment and the economic development. The effort will be directed in promoting a general awareness to the environmental threat inherent in any human activity with special emphasis on economic development activities. Some measures that may be undertaken in making the development sustainable and how to finance those measures will be discussed also.
The aim of this paper is to highlight the relationship between the economic development and environmental changes and discuss the ways to achieve environment friendly sustainable development.
Components of Environment. The dictionary meaning of the term environment is the physical surroundings, conditions, circumstances, etc, in which a person lives. Another meaning is the totality of the physical conditions on the earth or a part of it, especially as affected by human activity. From these definitions, we see that the components of environment are actually everything that surrounds us including ourselves. Broadly, we can divide this into two components: physical and biological.
Resources of Environment. Resources of Environment are also components of environment, but they are more specific and help in understanding the interaction between them. They are mainly of two types: natural and human. The natural resources are land, water, natural vegetation, livestock, minerals, etc. They provide a platform from where human interact with the environment. Man is the pivot element in the entire process of resource utilisation for economic development. Besides, he also intervenes into the whole ecosystem.
Ecosystem. Ecosystem concept is fundamental to the examination of human impact on environment. It provides a way of looking at the functional interaction between life and environment which helps us to understand the behaviour of ecological system, and predict their response to human or natural environmental changes. The definition of ecosystem is given by, “an energy
driven complex of a community of organisms and its controlling environment”.2 This is the central concept in environmental science. The basic feature of all material use in ecosystem is cycling. Without...
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