Economic Development and the Environment
The Relationship Between Economic Development and the Environment
The economic development in the societies of the world has taken a great
toll on the natural world that we live in. We must all wake up to the fact
that our environment is in trouble, and try to find ways to undo the damage
caused to it.
Compatibility of Economic Development and the Environment
Though environmental awareness is on the rise around the world and in India,
and commitment as well as compliance levels are far higher than before, we
still have a long way to go. Standards, certification, valuation and
reporting are only part of the story. Today it is no longer a question of
‘nice to have’ but has become instead, a ‘must have’.
Economic development and the environment are not compatible.
Environmental pollution resulting from gradual changes or by a sudden
catastrophic event has always existed. From the moment the planet began to
support life there have been continual disturbances of the biosphere by
variations in solar activity, earthquakes, forest fires, meteorite impacts.
However, a new threat to the biosphere began with the advent of
Industrialization Leads to Economic Development, and the
Industrialization led to economic development and the environment then began
to suffer even more. For a long time people were only interested in the
process of economic development, and the environment with all its problems
was neglected The process of industrialization started many acts have
restricted the industries to meet the air, water and land pollution levels.
Over the years the Acts, the books, etc. have only been preserved with the
publishers or on self, rotting to find a pair of human hands. Somewhere in
nineties after the landmark Rio Declaration, the books and the Acts were
taken out from their resting-place and the minds started working in the
direction, how to undo the loss already done to the environment. Some of the
historical developments which have given thrust to the environmental issues
started late in the 20th Century. Chronologically a few important events are
(i) 1972: UN Conference on Human Environment, Stockholm.
(ii) 1984: WCED: (World Commission on Environment and Development): Our
Common Future (1987).
(iii) 1990: BSCD: (Business Charter for Sustainable Development) : Our
Common Future (1987)
(iv) 1992: UNCED: (UN Conference on Environment and Development) Agenda 21
and Rio Declaration.
(v) 1993: ISO set up TC – 207: BS 7750 as pilot project set up by U.K. EMAS
(vi) 1994: Standards/Schemes: BS7750 issued.
(vii) 1996: IS/ISO 14001 (Sept 96 issued).
(viii) 2002: Johannesburg Environment Summit.
(ix) 2004: IS/ISO 14001 (2004 issued)
[The picture used
in this article has been taken from the photo library of stock.xchng.]
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