Read this post to discover more about the significance, goals, guiding principles, scope, and importance of environmental studies.
Environment refers to the surroundings in which we live. Environment encompasses all the items on which we are dependent for our survival, whether living or non-living components such as soil, air, or water.
The Environment Protection Act (1986) defined “Environment” as the sum total of water, air, and land, their interactions with one another and humans, other living beings, and property.
Ecology and Scope of Ecological Studies
Ecology is the study of organisms, plants, and animals in their interactions or dependencies on other living and non-living things.
The term ‘Ecology’ is derived from Greek word ‘Oekologue’ which is composed of two words:
(a) ‘Oekos’ means surrounding
(b) ‘Logs’ means study on a whole ecology means ‘Study of surrounding’
The scope of ecological study includes
- The focus of this speciality is on the study of energy and materials flow in the environment.
- It’s about the study of nature and how it works.
- The term “ecosystem” refers to the transfer of various items from the biotic component to the abiotic component of a natural environment. E.g., Biogeochemical cycles are one such example.
Meaning Of Environmental Studies
Environmental studies is the scientific study of an ecosystem’s structure and status, as well as changes in organisms resulting from it. It encompasses research not just on the physical and biological characteristics of the environment but also on social, cultural, and human factors as well as their influence on the environment.
Objectives and Guiding Principles of Environmental Studies
According to UNESCO (1971), the objectives of environmental studies are:
(a) Developing public understanding of environmental issues.
(b)Prescribing basic information about the environment and its associated issues.
(c) Concern for the environment must be fostered through education.
(d)Developing public enthusiasm for environmental protection and improvement
(e) Developing skills to assist the concerned people in detecting and resolving environmental issues
(f) Seeking a balance with Nature.
According to UNESCO, the guiding principles of environmental education should be as follows:
(a) Education about the environment should be required from the primary to the postgraduate level.
(b) Environment education should be multidisciplinary, incorporating environmental physical, chemical, biological, as well as social-cultural elements. It should connect biology and technology by forming a link between the two.
(c) The historical perspective, the present situation, and possible future concerns should all be considered in environmental education.
(d)Sustainable development should be emphasized in environmental education, which entails economic growth without damaging the environment.
(e) Environmental education should highlight the importance of seeking international collaboration in environmental planning.
(f) More emphasis should be placed on doing things and having experiences rather than simply learning.
Scope and Importance of Environmental Studies
Environmental education comprises of fields like environmental science, environmental engineering, and environmental management.
Ecological engineering relates to the scientific study of environmental systems (air, water, soil, and land), changes in organisms as a result of their interaction with the environment, and environmental damage caused by human intervention with nature.
Ecological engineering is an interdisciplinary scientific field that combines technical expertise with ecological science and policy, aimed at preserving the environment for future generations by addressing human-caused environmental damage and improving environmental quality.
It emphasizes the importance of physical, social, and economic factors in a company’s or project’s environment. It encourages planned investment at the outset of the manufacturing process rather than last-minute cleaning up.
It generally covers the topics of environment and company objectives, scope, and structure of the environment, interaction between nature and society, society and business interactions, environmental impact assessment, pollution economics, pollution prevention, environmental management standards.
The importance’s of environmental studies
- To clarify contemporary environmental ideas, such as how to preserve species diversity.
- To live more sustainably.
- To optimize the usage of natural resources
- To comprehend the actions of an organism in its natural habitat.
- To understand how organisms in populations and communities interact.
- To raise public awareness and education about environmental concerns and issues at all levels of government.
Need of Public Awareness about Environment
In today’s world, owing to industrialization and increasing human population, our natural resources have been rapidly exhausted and our environment is being damaged by human activities. We must therefore protect the environment because of this.
It is not only the responsibility of government to take an active part in environmental protection; it is also the obligation of individuals. It’s more cost-effective to protect our environment than it is to repair it after it has been damaged, so we should all do our part.
Mass media, such as newspapers, radio, television, and other forms of communication, are very significant in raising public awareness about the environment. BSI (Botanical Survey of India, 1890), ZSI (Zoological Survey of India, 1916), WII (Wild Life Institute of India) are a few of the organizations that play an important role in increasing public awareness around the environment.