Dr. Jagadindra Raychoudhury
Environment encompasses all living and non living things occupying natural habitat. All plants, animals, humans and other living organisms live and operate in nature. It also includes Sunlight, atmosphere, land, water, plants, animals, sea life, minerals, and different species that are occurring naturally on earth. Actually, environment plays a pivotal role in healthy living and existence of life in planet earth. Earth is home for different living species and is dependent on the environment for food, air, water and other basic needs. Therefore, it is very much important for every individual to save and protect our environment to continue with our smooth breathing.
Indian philosophy is basically based on its culture long back several thousand years ago especially from Vedic era. In Vedic era, it is well versed on environment in Atharvaveda where more emphasis was given on water, air and plants. It is very much interesting to know that the ancient Vedas have several references on environment protection, ecological balance, weather cycle, rainfall phenomenon and related subjects that directly indicate high level awareness of the seers and people of that time. As our Indian heritage showed the concept of environment protection in a well organized manner considering all important aspects so we should follow the same path to protect our environment for our present as well as future generations.
Environment friendly relationship:
To make a friendly relationship with environment, it should give some proper guidance to younger generation from their childhood at home initially then at school where there should be references on environment in their course curriculum. We should teach them the meaning of survival on this earth that without food we can survive few days but not a single minute without air. As we are getting oxygen from plants for breathing, hence we must concentrate on plantation of more saplings along with proper care at least for one year. Besides plantation we can also make a friendly relation with birds which chirp around our residential campuses. No doubt, initially birds may not be accustomed with our friendly behavior but they become friendlier within a very short span of time with increasing their number. According to our earlier concept, people were very much familiar with various pet animals like cow, dog, cat, goat, pigeon and hen etc. To develop even friendlier relationship with environment, we can also proceed for plantation of medicinal plants because some of these are in the verge of extinction. The medicinal plants help us in two ways- firstly conservation aspect and secondly beneficial for our health.
It is very important for noticing the good things in nature, expressing the joy and calm they can bring and sharing feelings about nature with others. Appreciating beauty in nature is another art of living. The fundamental relationship between humans and nature is the ongoing exchange and change of resources, the service nature and human provide to each others. We tend to consume as if there is an unlimited supply of resources, but we live in a world of non-renewable resources. It is to be noted that cutting down trees and littering have a negative effect on animals and plants. Protecting endangered species and cleaning rivers, lakes and seas has a positive effect on environment. At home, we can help our planet by recycling waste and growing plants or vegetables.
Effective environment protection measure:
Environment was very friendly for each and every organism but due to human population explosion extraction of nature has started long back. Deforestation, killing of wild life, tremendous use of coal, water, fossil fuel, etc. makes a hazardous condition to the mother earth. It is humans who are exploiting its resources from top of the hills to the depth of the ocean and as a result climate has changed with much more devastating condition which takes place in nature like earthquake, flood, lands slide, scorching heat, dust wind etc.
The protection of environment could be performed by individual, organization and government machinery. But the main objective are to conserve natural resources and existing natural environment and where possible to repair damage and reverse trends.
There are simple ways to protect our environment and everybody can easily practice it.
- Conservation of water (Rain water harvesting)
- Plantation of trees and nurturing.
- Reduce, reuse and recycle especially waste materials.
- Formation of volunteer organization locally for cleanliness.
- Use of long lasting electric bulb (LED).
- Educate and understanding the meaning of conservation of nature in various communities through nature’s club.
- Introduction of solar lights or its panels for power generating.
- Avoid of using single time using of plastics and encourage using reusable bags.
- Avoid taking cars as much as possible
- Preventing the emission pollutants as per practicable.
There is certain important legislation for environment protection which follows:
- The water (prevention and control of pollution) Act. 1974.
- The Air (Prevention and control of pollution) Act 1981.
- The Environment protection Act 1986.
- The National Green Tribunals Act 2010.
- The Hazardous Waste Management Regulation etc.2017.
Youth involvement in environment protection initiative:
It is very much true that young people can play an active role in protecting and improving the environment. They can make their homes, schools and colleges more environment friendly by adopting some practices which not only creates direct impact on changing behaviors and attitudes, but possibly influence their parents, relatives and families. Youth can easily able to show interest in community and civic engagement, particularly in relation to social and racial justice issues. It is easy to become community leaders for them for the interest of protection of environment.
There are some ways to protect environment by youth:
- Plantation and nurturing of more trees at home or their educational institutes.
- Organizing eco clubs in their school/ colleges to do certain awareness programmes like street plays, posturing, celebration of environment day and door to door campaign.
- Reduce and recycle of papers.
- Select sustainability products at the time of purchasing.
- Decrease meat and dairy consumption.
- Avoid two wheelers and practice cycling to control pollution.
- Avoid plastics and use reusable bags.
- It should very selective in buying goods.
Youth communities have strong power to organize some activism in relation to protect environment and a fruitful result will definitely come out for the interest of restoring environment as a whole.
Protection of wildlife:
Protection of wildlife is essential because they are the original habitat in forest or nature. Wild animals have a very systematic process where everything is maintained with the help of food chain mechanism. The populations of animals are well managed under this category. Hence, the conservation of wildlife is essential to protect their habitats in order to maintain healthy atmosphere of wildlife species or population and to restore, protect or enhance natural ecosystem. Because according to IUCN report altogether 27,000 species are in the verge of extinction.
Wildlife conservation is the practice of protecting plants and animals species and restoring their original habitats. The goal of wildlife conservation is to ensure their survivability of each and every species.
It is very much important to protect our wildlife to maintain the balance of ecosystem; moreover we are ensuring that future generation can enjoy our natural world and the incredible species that live within it. To protect wildlife, an Act has been introduced i.e. Wildlife Act of 1972. Under the purview of this act wildlife protection is implemented and as a result the killing of wildlife or cutting of trees illegally is minimized. It is also important to understand that how species interact within their ecosystem and how they are affected by environmental as well as human influences.
We must find out some strategy to protect our wildlife and following measures may be beneficial for protection of wildlife:
- The habitat of the wildlife should be protected without destroying their existing forest area.
- To study and retrieve all wildlife data, in particular, the amount and development of wildlife.
- Delimiting their natural habitat region.
- Protecting animals against pollution and natural hazards.
- Control of forest fire.
- Reforestation and Afforestation.
- Proper utilization of forest and its products.
- Awareness among common people.
- Local people residing in an around wildlife sanctuary/ National park ask to extend their support for protection of wildlife.
- Frequent monitoring of forest officials especially during flood and introduction of GPS system or drone are in urgent need at present context.