The environment is the ecological community that surrounds all living and non-living things. It is the very reason why we are alive, without which we would definitely not exist. That being said, it is, therefore, the single most important thing right now that needs our undivided attention to preserve and protect.
The environment plays a crucial role in our daily lives, and it is important to understand its significance for our well-being and survival.
Here are some key aspects of the Importance of Environment to Humans
- Ecological Importance: The environment provides habitat for a diverse range of species, and supports the complex web of life on Earth. Every organism is interdependent on others in some way, and any disruption to this delicate balance can have significant consequences. For example, the decline of pollinators like bees can affect the availability of food crops that depend on them, which can in turn impact human food security.
- Human Health: The environment is a key determinant of human health, and exposure to pollution, toxins, and other environmental hazards can have serious health consequences. Clean air, water, and soil are essential for maintaining a healthy population, and protecting the environment is therefore an important public health priority.
- Economic Importance: The environment provides many valuable resources that support economic activities, such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and mining. However, these activities can also have negative impacts on the environment if they are not managed sustainably. Moreover, the environment is an important asset for the tourism industry, and its degradation can have significant economic consequences.
- Climate Regulation: The environment plays a critical role in regulating the Earth’s climate by absorbing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. The loss of forests and other ecosystems that act as carbon sinks can therefore contribute to climate change, which has far-reaching impacts on human societies and natural systems.
- Cultural Importance: The environment is also important for cultural and spiritual reasons, and has deep significance for many indigenous communities around the world. Protecting the environment is therefore not only a matter of ecological and economic sustainability, but also a matter of cultural preservation and respect for human diversity.
Why do we need to protect Environment?
Other than just being a planet, Earth is home to innumerable living species and we are all dependent on its environment for food, shelter, air, water and so many more needs. But, over the years, we as living species have not quite learned to protect our own homes. We have misused and poorly treated all our natural resources, which has resulted in the incremental fall of the entire natural system. Global warming, ozone layer depletion, pollution, overpopulation, species extinction and so many more consequences have emerged before us only to shake us from our slumber and cry for immediate help.
It is already too late, but we can still try to collectively and individually take responsibility to nurture and conserve the world we all live in.
Now that we are amid the biggest environmental threat that the modern world has ever faced, climate change and global warming are the biggest issues that mandate our ultimate priority. Therefore, leaders around the world have come up with multiple Constitutional provisions of environmental law that aim to mitigate problems that are adversely affecting our natural world.
So, let’s take a look at some of the regions in the world that have implemented some of the most important laws to protect environment.
Laws to protect environment in Kenya:
It took very little time for single-use plastics to transform from a miraculous invention to a component that literally chokes the Earth. The single-use plastic bag that we use only once ends up on earth for decades. Something as simple as a PET bottle takes up to 450 years to completely break down. While nations are still looking to invest in alternatives, Kenya is definitely leading the way. Kenya introduced a law that banned single-use plastic carrier bags and after years of back and forth, it finally came into effect in 2017. The law states that if anyone is found to be manufacturing, selling, distributing, and using single-use plastic bags, they will face fines up to $38,000 or even up to four years in prison. Kenya’s plastic ban is considered to be one of the strictest laws to protect the environment that has ever been introduced. Post this, several other African countries like Eritrea, Rwanda and Mauritania have outlawed single-use plastic carrier bags.
Laws to protect environment in France:
Out of all countries in Europe, France has been seen to take the most number of essential steps to protect the environment. One of the major laws to protect the environment that was introduced by France was levying raised taxes on high-polluting vehicles. Vehicle emissions are one of the key factors influencing the quality of the atmosphere and this law only aims to check that. Until recently, high-polluting car (SUVs) owners had the obligation to pay up to $14,000 in case of a breach in emissions of 184g/km of carbon dioxide.
However, this has been altered to a whopping $22,240. The country also played a huge role when it banned single-use plastic items like plates, cups, cutlery, cotton buds, etc.
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Laws to protect environment in Bolivia:
Another very interesting and talked about law to protect the environment that has been making its rounds for quite some time now is Bolivia’s Law of Mother Earth. Passed in December 2010, this law deems nature as sacred and considers her as any other individual who is entitled to rights that protect her from being exploited.
It defines Mother Earth as “a collective subject of public interest” and proclaims Mother Earth and its living beings to inherit laws specified for the environment. Therefore, it establishes that Mother Earth can fight for its rights through its representative, which is no one else but humans.
Laws to protect environment in Palau:
The islands of Palau might occupy a very small space in this big wide world but it has been supreme when it comes to helping the environment regain its former glory. Palau takes pride in holding the title of the biggest no-fishing zone in the world. Across 50,000 square kilometers, Palau permits only 20% of its waters for domestic fishing to meet the republic’s food requirements. This measure has been beneficial for several reasons when it comes to striking an ecological balance. These strict fishing and mining laws to protect the environment not only benefit marine life by creating a sanctuary for different types of fish to reproduce and grow but also benefits Palau’s local fishers in terms of sustaining a healthy fishing community.
Palau has also banned certain types of sunscreens that have been found to affect the environment adversely. Oxybenzone is one of the most common elements found in sunscreens that absorbs ultraviolet rays. But, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Oxybenzone is extremely harmful to coral reefs and other marine life.
Laws to protect environment in Latvia:
Latvia has introduced yet another celebrated law to protect the environment that essentially allows the public to take part in the decision-making process when it comes to measures taken to conserve the environment. Latvia supports and urges its people to legally challenge the government when it takes certain decisions that could potentially harm the environment.
The Latvian justice system takes pride in its transparency with its fellow citizens and authorizes the public to question and even seek environmental information from the government.
So, these were some of the most important laws around the world that work towards protecting the environment. Some of these have been considered to be the most fierce and strict environmental laws.
From the Earth Day movement in 1970 to the Zero Hour movement in 2017, there have been multiple famous environmental movements where we have come together to demand concrete actions to save the environment. It’s high time that we acknowledge the consequences of all our actions and start saving our one true home because at the end of the day, “we do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”.