Dalai Lama the 14th put into words, “the natural environment is one which sustains the life of all beings universally”. This statement carries profound weight because it highlights the importance of our surroundings to not just mankind but also the flora and fauna. Ever since the inception of the human race, man has exploited his surroundings for his survival. Fast forward to the future, mankind still continues to derive the maximum benefit out of their surroundings. But it pays no heed to give back. As a result, the natural environment faces an undying threat as its resources diminish one by one.
What is the natural environment?
Ever since childhood, we have collected bits and pieces of information on this vast ecosystem around us. Therefore, we all hold the knowledge to a certain degree on this topic. But truly speaking, ‘the natural environment is all the living and non-living things that occur naturally, without human intervention.’
This includes the atmosphere, water, energy, microorganisms, climate changes, radiation, soil and electricity discharge etc. However, the four main constituents of the natural environment could be listed as soil, air, water and the sun. Although the definition itself carries that all things made without human intervention are part of the natural environment. We see how the environments now comprise of many landscapes, fields, plantations etc. which built by human activities. So as a whole, we can conclude that the natural environment means all the living and the non-living in our environment.
How important is the natural environment for mankind?
Well, put it this way the natural environment is of utmost importance to man because his survival directly depends on it. Like I mentioned before the environment has been from centuries ago being acting as the benefactor to fulfil many human needs. Of course, we know that it is next to impossible for man to last even a day without Oxygen; and this gas is created thanks to the natural environment that exercises photosynthesis. Even the basic psychological requirements of man which is food, water and shelter are all directly or indirectly fulfilled because of the natural environment.
One crucial factor that we as humans should keep in mind is that the natural environment is a mix of both renewable and non-renewable resources. Therefore, one fine day when these resources are no longer available at the beck and call of mankind due to its constant exploitation, it will more or less be the end of the human race. That is how important our natural environment is to us.
Is the natural environment satisfied with human activities?
The plain and upfront answer to this question will be NO. Why? Because over centuries; man has only taken from it and never given back. How unfair is this way of thinking? Humans are in a wrong notion that this natural environment was created only for their benefit. No, it’s not. It was created to be shared among animals, plants and humans all alike. Just because the humans are more intellectually advanced they somehow think that they could gain ownership over these resources. This is where the problem lies. Overexploitation gives rise to pollution, pollution, in turn, gives rise to a number of issues; an atmosphere that is not suitable to breathe in water that is not suitable for contamination, soil that is not favourable for plantation etc.
The prolonged existence of these issues has given rise to even bigger issues that pose a serious threat to the existence of mankind; such as, global warming, climate changes, depletion of the ozone layer, natural disasters etc. Mankind has brought this upon themselves. It is mankind who is to be blamed for all of this.
The surroundings gave them everything but they returned nothing. Just as Phil Harding (Archeologist) says; ‘with all the waste or pollution, someone somewhere pays for it.’ Pollution was the worst thing mankind could ever do to its surroundings and yet that is exactly what they did. Thousands of people die on a daily basis somewhere in the world due to the adverse effects of human activities. Its payback for what we have done.
Have we done our best to amend the damage?
Of course, many conventions, organizations and movements have been established on a global scale to address the issue. But has the work undertaken by these global initiatives worked its way towards re-amending the damage done? It has of course to a certain level, but this still needs humungous work. Of course, many conventions, organizations and movements have been established on a global scale to address the issue. Until and unless every man is notified of the consequences of their negative actions to the natural environment this issue will never see the hope of being better.
-We ourselves did this to our natural environment who never failed to provide us with what
we require, therefore now it is upon us to repair the damage done. –