ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
This report attempts to enlighten the study and practice of Environmental Communication’s (EnvCom) essentials elements and consequence that would lead us to sustainable development. It also describes the many ways and forum in which the people, corporations, public officials, journalists, and environmental groups raise concern and attempt to influence the important decisions that affect our planet. Having understanding of nature and translate it into our actions towards the environment depend not only on science as we do know but on the public debate, media, the internet and even ordinary conversation that takes place every day. In short, EnvCom is a very broad and diverse topic that covers multidisciplinary field of study. LEADING SCHOLAR
Since it is a global and broad issue concerning the planet earth so there are many scholars are interested in the topic and among them is Robert J. Cox. Currently he is an Emeriti Professor in the Department of Communication Studies in the University of North Carolina, U.S.A and also the president of Sierra Club, an organization that dedicates to explore, enjoy and protect the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources. One of his outstanding publications is Environmental Communication and Public Sphere, (Sage Pubilction) which refered to by many environmental scholars. DEFINITION OF ENVCOM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Alexander G. Flor (2004) in his publication defined EnvCom as the application of communication approaches, strategies and technique to environmental management and protection. By environmental management, he means the natural resources that we benefit from likely of soil, forest, air, water and so on need to be managed systematically. Another scholar by the name of Robert J. Cox (2010) defined it as the pragmatic and consultative vehicle for our understanding of the environment as well as our relationship to the natural world; it is the symbolic medium that we use in constructing environmental problems and negotiating society’s different responses to them. He further describes that by pragmatic he meant educate, alert, persuade, help and mobilize people to solve environmental problems. For example, a pragmatic function of communication happens when an environmental group educates its supporters and rallies support for protecting a wilderness area. While by constitutive, he referred to communication about nature help us to construct or compose representation of nature and environmental problems as subject for understanding. For example, a construction project that is taking place might invite us to perceive forest which is natural resource is being exploited.
Sustainable development (Brundtland Report, 1987) defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it two key concepts which are the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given and the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs. ORIGINS OF ENVCOM
It was started in United States in early 1980s where a scholar by the name Christine Ovarec’s 1984 publication of generative rhetorical study analysed the discourse in early 1900s over an argument of preservationists and conservationists as to whether to allow a dam be built in a highly regarded natural site or not. At the end of the debate, the conservationist managed to convince the public by giving appealing progressive view of public’s need and its relationship to the nature. Based on her work, many regarded it as the dawn of environmental communication discipline. CENTRAL TO ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION
There are three central steps of actions to EnvCom which must be observed to ensure that the desired...
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