Environmental protection is a practice of protecting the natural environment on individual, organisation controlled or governmental levels, for the benefit of both the environment and humans.
Due to the pressures of over-consumption , population and technology, the biophysical environment is being degraded, sometimes permanently. This has been recognised, and governments have begun placing restraints on activities that cause environmental degradation. Since the 1960s, activity of environmental movements has created awareness of the various environmental problems. There is no agreement on the extent of the environmental impact of human activity and even scientific dishonesty occurs, so protection measures are occasionally debated.
Approaches with regards to environmental protection
Voluntary environmental agreements
In industrial countries, voluntary environmental agreements often provide a platform for companies to be recognised for moving beyond the minimum regulatory standards and thus support the development of best environmental practice. In developing countries, such as throughout Latin America, these agreements are more commonly used to remedy significant levels of non-compliance with mandatory regulation. The challenges that exist with these agreements lie in establishing baseline data, targets, monitoring and reporting. Due to the difficulties inherent in evaluating effectiveness, their use is often questioned and, indeed, the whole environment may well be adversely affected as a result. The key advantage of their use in developing countries is that their use helps to build environmental management capacity.
An ecosystems approach to resource management and environmental protection aims to consider the complex interrelationships of an entire ecosystem in decision making rather than simply responding to specific issues and challenges.
Ideally the decision-making processes under such an approach would be a collaborative approach to planning and decision making that involves a broad range of stakeholders across all relevant governmental departments, as well as representatives of industry, environmental groups and community. This approach ideally supports a better exchange of information, development of conflict-resolution strategies and improved regional conservation.
International environmental agreements
Many of the earth’s resources are especially vulnerable because they are influenced by human impacts across many countries. As a result of this, many attempts are made by countries to develop agreements that are signed by multiple governments to prevent damage or manage the impacts of human activity on natural resources.
This can include agreements that impact factors such as climate, oceans, rivers and air pollution. These international environmental agreements are sometimes legally binding documents that have legal implications when they are not followed and, at other times, are more agreements in principle or are for use as codes of conduct. These agreements have a long history with some multinational agreements being in place from as early as 1910 in Europe, America and Africa. Some of the most well-known international agreements include the Kyoto Protocol and others.
History of environmental protection
Environmental protection in Tanzania began during the German occupation of East Africa (1884-1919) — colonial conservation laws for the protection of game and forests were enacted, whereby restrictions were placed upon traditional indigenous activities such as hunting, firewood collecting and cattle grazing. In year 1948, Serengeti was officially established as the first national park for wild cats in East Africa. Since 1983, there has been a more broad-reaching effort to manage environmental issues at a national level, through the establishment of the National Environment Management Council (NEMC) and the development of an environmental act. In 1998 Environment Improvement Trust (EIT) start working for environment & forest protection in India from a small city Sojat. Founder of Environment Improvement Trust is CA Gajendra Kumar Jain working with volunteers.
Division of the biosphere is the main government body that oversees protection. It does this through the formulation of policy, coordinating and monitoring environmental issues, environmental planning and policy-oriented environmental research.The National Environment Management Council (NEMC) is an institution that was initiated when the National Environment Management Act was first introduced in year 1983.
This council has the role to advise governments and the international community on a range of environmental issues. The NEMC the following purposes: provide technical advice; coordinate technical activities; develop enforcement guidelines and procedures; assess, monitor and evaluate activities that impact the environment; promote and assist environmental information and communication; and seek advancement of scientific knowledge.
Tanzania is recognised as having some of the greatest biodiversity of any African country.
Almost 40% of the land has been established into a network of protected areas, including several national parks. The concerns for the natural environment include damage to ecosystems and loss of habitat resulting from population growth, expansion of subsistence agriculture, pollution, timber extraction and significant use of timber as fuel.
The National Environment Policy of 1997 acts as a framework for environmental decision making in Tanzania. The policy objectives are to achieve the following:
Ensure sustainable and equitable use of resources without degrading the environment or risking health or safety
Prevent and control degradation of land, water, vegetation and air
Conserve and enhance natural and man-made heritage, including biological diversity of unique ecosystems
Improve condition and productivity of degraded areas
Raise awareness and understanding of the link between environment and development
Promote individual and community participation
Promote international cooperation
Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth… these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women’s empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all. – Ban Ki-moon