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Environmental Management

Environmental Management

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Published by pagla420

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Published by: pagla420 on Aug 11, 2008
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11/11/2012

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Introduction:
A disease cannot be cured if we are unable to get to the root of it. Similarly theenvironment cannot be properly maintained if we do not know the cause of the pollution. This iswhere environmental management plays a very vital role. Environmental management is themanagement of man’s interaction with and impact upon the environment. At first we have to know thereason of the pollution and then we have to figure out a way to keep it to a minimum level. The air we breathe and the water we drink are not as fresh as it used to be. Pollution has become a by-product of  progress. As time has elapsed, the world has progressed a lot. There are lots of factories these days thesmoke of which pollute the air and the harmful wastes which are discarded into the nearby lake, river or sea pollute the water which in turn affect the aquatic lives. If it carries on like this then what worlddo we leave for our next generation? But that does not mean that all the factories should be shut downto avoid pollution, instead we have to think of an alternative to reduce its harmful affects. Many treeshave been cut down for various purposes but have we ever thought what can this lead to? Plants takein harmful carbon dioxide from air and give out oxygen. Now the rate at which trees are being cut, aday would come when there will not be enough trees to provide sufficient oxygen for us. So anincreased amount of carbon dioxide in air will affect the ozone layer, which protects us from theharmful UV rays from sun, resulting in global warming and greenhouse effect. But again we do needwood to make furniture, paper and many other useful staffs and sometimes forests and hills need to becleared to make factories, roads etc. for our own benefits. Since we cannot restrain ourselves fromcutting trees despite of knowing its effect, we have to make sure that we select a particular regionwhere we can plant lots of trees and allow the birds and animals to have their natural habitat. Thiscourse has helped us to learn about these pollutions; its effect on nature, human and other lives; andthe ways to reduce this pollution. The brief learning from this course is discussed below.
Environment:
Environment is a term that comprises all living and non-living things that occur naturallyon Earth or some part of it (e.g. the natural environment in a country). This term includes afew key components:
1.
Complete landscape units that function as natural systems without massive humanintervention, including all plants, animals, rocks, etc. andnatural phenomenathat occur within their boundaries.
2.
Universal naturalresourcesandphysical phenomenathat lack clear-cut boundaries, such as air, water, and climate, as well asenergy,radiation,electric charge, andmagnetism,not originating from human activity.
Environmental Management:
Environmental Management is not, as the phrase could suggest, themanagement of the
environment 
as such but rather the management of man's interaction with andimpact upon the environment
.
The need for environmental management can be viewed from a varietyof perspectives. A more common one being the concept of carrying capacity which refers to the
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maximum number of organisms a particular resource can sustain. Environmental management istherefore not the conservation of the environment solely for the environment’s sake but rather theconservation of the environment for human kind’s sake. As with all management functions, effectivemanagement tools, standards and systems are required. An 'environmental management standard or system or protocol attempts to reduceenvironmental impactas measured by some objective criteria.The 
standard is the most widely used standard for environmentalrisk managementand isclosely aligned to the European Eco Management & Audit Scheme (EMAS).
Ecosystem:
An ecosystem is a naturalsystemconsisting of all plants,animalsandmicroorganisms  ( bioticfactors) in an area functioning together with all the non-living physical (abiotic) factors of the environment. Central to the ecosystem concept does the idea thatliving organismsare continuallyengaged in a set of relationships with every other element constituting theenvironmentin which theyexist.Ecosystem servicesare “fundamental life-support services upon which human civilizationdepends,” and can be direct or indirect. Example of direct ecosystem services are: pollination,wood,  erosion prevention etc. Indirect services could be consideredclimatemoderation,nutrient cycles,  detoxifying natural substances and many more.
Resources:
As resources are very useful, we attach somevalueto them. Resources help to producegoods so they have economic value. Natural resources likeforests,mountains etc. are very beautifulso they haveaestheticvalue. Gifts of nature such as water also have a legal value because it is our right to enjoy it. On the other hand, resources have an ethical value as well because it is our moralduty to protect and conserve them for the future generations. Resources have three maincharacteristics:utility, quantity (often in terms of availability), and use in producing other resources.  Natural resources are derived from theenvironment. Many of them are essential for our survival whileothers are used for satisfying our wants. Natural resources may be further classified in different ways.On the basis of origin, resources may be divided into:
1.
Biotic - Biotic resources are the ones which are obtained from the biosphere.
2.
Abiotic -Abiotic resources comprise of non-living things. Examples includeland,water,air   and minerals such as gold, iron, copper, silver etc.On the basis of the stage of development, resources may be called:
1.
Potential Resources - Potential resources are those which exist in a region and may be used inthe future. For example,mineral oilmay exist in many parts of India having sedimentaryrocks but till the time it is actually drilled out and put into use, it remains a potential resource.
2.
Actual Resources - Actual Resources are those which have been surveyed, their quantity andquality determined and are being used in present times. For example, the natural gas which isobtained from the Sylhet Gas Fields.
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On the basis of renewability, natural resources can be categorized into:
1.
Renewable Resources -Renewable resourcesare the ones which can be replenished or reproduced easily. Some of them like sunlight, air, wind etc.
2.
 Non-renewable Resources -Non-renewable resourcesare formed over very longgeological  periods.Minerals and fossils are included in this category.The gifts of nature cannot be consumed in their original form. They have to be processed in order tochange them into more usable commodities. This is known as resource development. With the rise inhuman numbers all over the world, the demand for resources has also increased. However, there is adifference in thedistributionof resources to different regions or countries. Developed countries usemore resources than developing countries. The rising demand coupled with the over-utilization of resources has led to several problems:
1.
Depletion of resources 2.Accumulation of resources in the hands of a few
3.
Pollution:
Pollution is the introduction of pollutants (whether chemicalsubstances, or energysuch as noise, heat, or light) into the environment to such a point that its effects become harmful to humanhealth, other living organisms, or the environment. Pollution control is a term used inenvironmentalmanagement.It means the control of emissionsandeffluentsinto air, water or soil. Without pollution controls the undesirable waste products from human consumption, industrial production, agriculturalactivities, mining, transportation and other sources will accumulate or disperse and degrade thenatural environment.In the hierarchy of controls, pollution preventionandwaste minimizationare more desirable than pollution control. The major forms of pollution are listed below along with the particular pollutants relevant to each of them:
1.
, the release of chemicals and particulates into the atmosphere. Commonexamples includecarbon monoxide,sulfur dioxide,chlorofluorocarbons(CFCs), andnitrogen oxidesproduced byindustryand motor vehicles.
2.
 viasurface runoff , leaching togroundwater , liquid spills,wastewater   discharges,eutrophicationand littering.
3.
 occurs when chemicals are released by spill or underground storage tank leakage. Among the most significantsoil contaminantsarehydrocarbons, heavy metals,  herbicides,  pesticidesandchlorinated hydrocarbons.
4.
, which encompassesroadway noise,aircraft noise,industrial noiseas well as high-intensitysonar .
5.
, added in the wake of 20th century discoveries inatomic physics.
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