DEFINITION OF ENVIRONMENTASL STUDIES
The word environment is derived from the french word 'environ' meaning surroundings. Hence, everything surrounding us is called "ENVIRONMENT".
Every organism is surrounded by materials and forces that constitute its environment. It is the environment from where every organism must derive its requirement. The environment creates favourable conditions for the existence and development of living organisms.
The survival of any organism requires a steady supply of materials and removal of wate products from its environment.
The degradation of the environment has become a serious problem for the existence of human beings. Pollution of soil, water and air causes harm to living organisms as well as loss to valuable natural resources.
Environmental studies involves educating the people for preserving the quality of environment.
The scope of environmental studies include:
1. Developing an awareness and sensitivity to the total environment and its related problems
2. Motivating people for active participation in environmental protection and improvement
3. Developing skills for active identification and development of solutions to environmental problems
4. Imbibe and inculcate the necessity for conservation of natural resources
5. Evaluation of environmental programmes in terms of social, economic, ecological and aesthetic factors.
IMPORTANCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
In the industrialized era that we live today, every component that we intake - be it, air, water or food are contaminated by industrial activities. THERE IS NO ZERO POLLUTION. To minimize this problem, knowledge of environmental studies is essential. An in-dept study of environmental studies will help us in the following ways:
1. We will begin to appreciate and adopt the idea of "DEVELOPMENT WITHOUT DESTRUCTION OF THE ENVIRONMENT"
2. Knowledge about "VARIOUS TYPES OF ENVIRONMENTS & DIFFERENT ENVIRONMENTAL HAZARDS"
3. Playing an effective role in protecting the environment by "DEMANDING CHANGES IN LAW AND ENFORCEMENT SYSTEMS".
4. Having a "POSITIVE IMPACT" on "QUALITY OF LIFE".
5. Creating a "CONCERN AND RESPECT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT".
NEED FOR PUBLIC AWARENESS:
Increasing population, Urbanization and poverty have generated pressure on the natural resources and lead to a degradation of the environment. TO PREVENT THE ENVIRONMENT FROM FURTHER DEGRADATION, the supreme court has ordered and initiated environmental protection awareness through government and non-government agencies to take part in protecting our environment.
Environmental pollution cannot prevented by laws alone. Public participation is equally important with regard to environmental protection.
Environmental Education (EE) is a process of learning by giving an overall perspective of knowledge and awareness of the environment. It sensitizes the society about environmental issues and challenges interested individuals to develop skills and expertise thereby providing appropriate solutions.
Climate change, loss of biodiversity, declining fisheries, ozone layer depletion, illegal trade of endangered species, destruction of habitats, land degradation, depleting ground water supplies, introduction of alien species, environmental pollution, solid waste disposal, storm water and sewage disposal pose a serious threat to ecosystems in forest, rural, urban and marine ecosystems.
Both formal and informal education on the environment will give the interested individual the knowledge, values, skills and tools needed to face the environmental challenges on a local and global level.