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Nov 25, 2015 7 Min Read

Environmental Management: Does It Involve You?

Responsibility towards nature dates back to the book of Genesis when God created man and gave him the authority to take care of creation. In this context, man was to act as a steward, caretaker, and custodian of nature; at this point in time, the condition of the environment was excellent in every way, as said by God himself, but what happened has happened since then? Where did we go wrong? Since then, human beings have been the biggest contributors of environmental problems, from poor waste management, pollution, environmental degradation, deforestation, global warming, and climate change. All these environmental problems can be attributed to a lack of commitment by human beings to conserve nature for sustainability; ethics, as the moral principles that govern a person’s behavior, should be the driving force to govern how human beings relate with nature. Ecological Ethics points out the need for humans to consider their relationship to the utilization of environmental resources. Exploitation of nature backfires on human existence since it is through nature that human beings acquire ecosystem goods and services. It also points out the need for considering others, as this promotes harmony and mutual coexistence between different resource users if we take into account the well-being of our neighbors. The aspect of respecting the environment itself is also a core principle of environmental ethics, ensuring that the environment and its components are well taken care of in a holistic manner.

Initiatives like tree-planting go a long way to conserve our environment
Initiatives like tree-planting go a long way to conserve our environment

Despite the clear concepts provided by environmental ethics, human responsibility towards environmental management has been a major problem, more often in developing countries like Kenya. Although different strategies are being put into place to ensure good environmental management, these efforts don’t bear much fruit since environmental resources continue to face degradation as a result of negative human behavior and attitudes. The change of attitude coupled with lack of responsibility by humans to manage resources has led to a rapid depletion of environmental resources. This lack of responsibility especially results from the view that environmental management belongs to certain categories of people, like the local government, environmental institutions, and non-government agencies.

The urge to achieve sustainable environmental management should ensure transformation of humans’ approach toward nature and upholding their personal responsibility. Just as a journey of a thousand miles starts with the first step, so does a journey toward environmental conservation and management start with an individual’s responsibility towards nature. Personal responsibility towards nature means that you take wise actions when interacting with the environment by ensuring proper waste disposal, efficient utilization of resources including water, forest, and land, and minimizing pollution. The analysis of one’s personal relationship with nature should include asking questions like What role do I play in environmental management? How do we want the future generations to survive? What actions do we take to conserve the scarce environmental resources?

Answers to these questions would clearly indicate the reason as to why it is indeed very important to take bold steps as an individual to conserve nature. Many times we have witnessed environmental problems like climate change, deforestation, and pollution. These are conflicts caused by humans’ unjust actions toward nature, often driven by greedy individuals who would like to enrich themselves without taking great care and concern for their neighbors and the sustainability of the environment.

A good ecosystem is a result of responsible management of Mother Nature
A good ecosystem is a result of responsible management of Mother Nature

The fear that rises from our irresponsible care of nature is an insecure future full of environmental disasters like earthquakes, pollution, landslides, tsunamis, and severe diseases like skin cancer due to global warming, food shortage, and poverty. How then will human beings survive? As stated earlier, the late Professor Wangari Mathai once said that “If we don’t take care of nature, nature will take care of us.” In this context, one may be tempted to think that nature will take care of us in a good and ample manner, the irony being that nature will be cruel and unforgiving: it will take revenge for the unkind deeds humans have done for their own survival. Therefore, extreme caution should be taken to ensure that human beings evade the wrath of Mother Nature.

Responsible environmental management warrants a smile for the current and future generations
Responsible environmental management warrants a smile for the current and future generations

Mankind, therefore, needs to treat the environment with a cautious and ethical mindset, by undertaking environmentally-sound practices like proper waste management, use of green energy, planting of trees, supporting environmentally sound legislation, and taking part in initiatives to ensure the sustainability of Mother Earth. ‘Going green’ requires human participation by being responsible at all times, since the destruction of environmental goods and services greatly affects human beings as the core beneficiaries.

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