Environmental protection is a practice of protecting the natural environment on individual, organizational or governmental levels, for the benefit of the natural environment and humans.Due to the pressures of population and technology, the biophysical environment is being degraded, sometimes permanently. This has been recognized, 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 issues.
What Can Governments Do?These are some key principles of environmental governance:
- Embeds the environment in all levels of decision-making and action.
- Conceptualizes cities and communities, economic and political life as a subset of the environment.
- Emphasizes the connection of people to the ecosystems in which they live.
- Promotes the transition from linear systems (like garbage disposal with no recycling) to circular systems.
United Nations Environment Program
The UNEP is clearly the benchmark institution for global environmental management, but it has only had a partial success. It has been effective in two key areas: as a monitoring and advisory body, and in developing environmental agreements. It has also contributed to strengthening the institutional capacity of environment ministries the world over.
Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Created in 1991, the Global Environment Facility is an independent financial organization initiated by donor governments including Germany and France. It was the first financial organization entirely dedicated to the environment at the global level. It has 179 members
The World Bank influences environmental governance through other actors, particularly the GEF. The World Bank’s mandate is not sufficiently defined in terms of environmental governance despite the fact that it is included in its mission. However, it allocates 5 to 10% of its annual funds to environmental projects.
United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD)
The CSD is made up of 53 member states elected every three years, and was reformed in 2004 to help improve implementation of Agenda 21.Furthermore, the fact that its mission centres on sequencing actions and establishing agreements means that it is obliged to take part in negotiating and planning the agreements
World Environment Organization (WEO)
The increasingly globalized nature of environmental dangers has led many actors, including a number of states, to advocate the creation of a World Environment Organization within the framework of the United Nations. The organization would be capable of adapting treaties and enforcing application of international standards. UNEP has at times been considered as the embryo of this future organization.
World Trade Organization (WTO)
The WTO’s mandate does not include a specific principle on the environment. All the problems linked to the environment are treated in such a way as to give priority to trade requirements and the principles of the WTO’s own trade system.
What can we do for it?
Add a Low-Flow Faucet Aerator
This is a simple device which you can attach to your water faucets at home.
Change your Kitchen Habits
Use reusable containers for food storage instead of wrapping food in foil or plastic wrap.
Check your hot water heater
Did you know your hot water heater accounts for about 20% of all the energy used in your home?
Turn your water heater down to 130 degrees, which is hot enough to kill deadly bacteria, and still save energy. You can also drain 2 quarts (or 2 liters) of water from your hot water heater every 2 months from the valve at the bottom of the tank.
Recharge Your Batteries
Batteries contain heavy metals, such as mercury and cadmium, which have become a major source of contamination in dump sites.
Use Low Flush Toilets
In your household, 40% of the pure water is flushed down the toilet.
Carpool or walk to reduce carbon dioxide pollution in the air.
Reuse whatever you can, including aluminum pie tins, glassware, plastic cutlery and aluminum foil.
Keep used paper in a stack and use the flip side for scrap work.