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History of environmental planning and management since mid 20th century


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Illustrates major Historical events that prompted environmental planning since 1900.

Illustrates major Historical events that prompted environmental planning since 1900.

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  • 1. History of Environmental Planning and Management Since Mid 20thCenturyWhat is Environmental planning-Environmental planning is an act of formulating a programwith goals/aims to be achieved through a particular course of action to induce change to oursurrounding/environment for better living today and in the future.Environmental management is the way we control and take care of the surrounding to achieve aset of goalsAn Environmental Management Plan (EMP) can be defined as ―an environmental managementtool used to ensure that undue or reasonably avoidable adverse impacts of the construction,operation and decommissioning of a project are prevented; and that the positive benefits of theprojects are enhanced‖.( Lochner, P. 2005)Environmental Planning is the process of facilitating decision making to carry out developmentwith due consideration given to the natural environmental, social, political, economic andgovernance factors and provides a holistic frame work to achieve sustainable outcomes- (Wikipedia)Intensive Environmental planning and management begun some centuries ago due to industrialrevolution there was need to talk of environmental issues due to deteriorating quality of lifebecause of high migration rates from rural to urban areas leading to congestion and poor livingconditions.The need of environmental planning became a necessity owing to the fact that man was actuatingtowards a complex lifestyle that damage the environment by a wider margin than in earlier days.Population growth had increased and so man wanted more space to live in and farm on toproduce food for the growing population. The cutting down of trees became an issue andprompted for the need of a proper plan to curb the environmental degradation due to depletion ofForests especially in the developing nationsThe 1980 Tropical Forest Resources Assessment by FAO and UNEP was the firstcomprehensive assessment of tropical forests. The rate of tropical deforestation was
  • 2. calculated at 11.3 million ha a year (FAO and UNEP 1982), vindicating the fears of theStockholm Conference about the alarming rate of global forest loss. Since then, whileforest area in developed countries has stabilized and is slightly increasing overall,deforestation has continued inDeveloping countries (FAO-ECE 2000, FAO 2001b, FAO 2001a).In 1948 there was Air pollution in Pennsylvania caused by smog. Smog is Air pollution by amixture of smoke and fog the smoke id derived from coal burning. The air pollution that killed20 people sickened 7,000 and killed 800 animals. Those who were affected contracted differentrespiratory diseases and asthma. The aftermath of the Donora Air Pollution triggered out theclean-air movement in the United States, whose crowning achievement was the Clean Air Act of1970After World War II there was a concern over a new pollutant in the environment through deadlyradiation that is nuclear energy. In 1962 Rachel Louise Carson warned on the dangers of use ofagricultural synthetic chemical pesticides in Her publication Titled ―The Silent Spring‖.........DocumentsClass Notes Year 1 SESSilent Spring.docx Rachel pointed out that the useof Synthetic Chemicals like DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) harms and even kills notonly animals and birds, but also humans. Its title was meant to evoke a spring season in which nobird songs could be heard, because they had all vanished as a result of pesticide abuse.In 1969 a major tragedy happened in the USA Ohio State River an oil slick and debris in theCuyahoga River caught fire in Cleveland, Ohio, drawing national attention to environmentalproblems in Ohio and elsewhere in the United States. The CuyaHoga river fire brought attentionto other environmental problems that helped spur the Environmental Movement, and helped leadto the passage of the Clean Water Act in 1972.On December 1984 we had the most deadly accident in India the Bhopal water inadvertentlyentered the MIC storage tank, where over 40 metric tons of MIC (methylisocyanate) were beingstored.
  • 3. The official immediate death toll was 2,259 and the government of Madhya Pradesh hasconfirmed a total of 3,787 deaths related to the gas release. Others estimate 8,000 diedwithin two weeks and another 8,000 or more have since died from gas-related diseases. Agovernment affidavit in 2006 stated the leak caused 558,125 injuries including 38,478temporary partial and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries.Other environmental problems that brought the world attention to the deteriorating and carelessuse of the environment include the following Seveso: Italian dioxin crisis-10thJuly 1976 The 1952 London smog disaster Major oil spills of the 20th and 21st century The Baia Mare cyanide spill-Rumania/Rumania The European BSE crisisBovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), is a fatal cow disease. The disease issometimes called ‗mad cow disease‘ because it causes cows to act strangely andcollapse on the spot It is concentrated mainly in the cows brain, spinal cord and certainorgans such as the spleen. Spanish waste water spill-Aznalcollar The Three Mile Island near nuclear disaster-Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
  • 4. Some of the acts that have taken place since 1960s Include the followingInitial passage Act1956 Clean Air Acts London1969 The National Environmental policy Act1970 Clean Air Act1972 The Federal insecticide, Fungicide androdenticide act1973 The Endangered species act1974 The safe Drinking Act1976 The Resource conservation and Recovery ActThe toxic substance control1977 The clean water act1980 Superfund1986 The superfund amendment and reauthorizationactThe emergency planning and community right-to-know Act1990 The oil pollution prevention Act of 1990The pollution prevention ActTable 1.1 Adapted from (Steven L.E Brian J.K 1999)With considerations to the above environmental hazards and accidents during the 20thCenturyand early 21stCentury it was a necessity that man had to plan on how to manage his environmentfor a better today and tomorrow. This prompted the need to plan and mange the environment toavoid or reduce environmentally related accidents in the future.
  • 5. The United Nations saw the need to take environmental issues as a centre stage and in 1972 theFirst Global environmental convention was organized by United Nations Conference on theHuman Environment (UNCHE) which met in Stockholm Sweden from 5 to 16 June 1972.Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (1972)This Conference was held in Stockholm Sweden in 1972 having considered the need for acommon outlook and for common principles to inspire and guide the people of the world in thepreservation and enhancement of the human environment. Thereafter a series of conventionsfollowed that insisted on the conservation of worlds Environment.Proclaims that:Man is both creature and moulder of his environment, which gives him physical sustenance andaffords him the opportunity for intellectual, moral, social and spiritual growth. In the long andtortuous evolution of the human race on this planet a stage has been reached when, through therapid acceleration of science and technology, man has acquired the power to transform hisenvironment in countless ways and on an unprecedented scale. Both aspects of mansenvironment, the natural and the man-made, are essential to his well-being and to the enjoymentof basic human rights the right to life itself.The protection and improvement of the human environment is a major issue which affects thewell-being of peoples and economic development throughout the world; it is the urgent desire ofthe peoples of the whole world and the duty of all Governments.Man has constantly to sum up experience and go on discovering, inventing, creating andadvancing. In our time, mans capability to transform his surroundings, if used wisely, can bringto all peoples the benefits of development and the opportunity to enhance the quality of life.Wrongly or heedlessly applied, the same power can do incalculable harm to human beings andthe human environment. We see around us growing evidence of man-made harm in manyregions of the earth: dangerous levels of pollution in water, air, earth and living beings; majorand undesirable disturbances to the ecological balance of the biosphere; destruction anddepletion of irreplaceable resources; and gross deficiencies, harmful to the physical, mental and
  • 6. social health of man, in the man-made environment, particularly in the living and workingenvironment.In the developing countries most of the environmental problems are caused by under-development. Millions continue to live far below the minimum levels required for a decenthuman existence, deprived of adequate food and clothing, shelter and education, health andsanitation. Therefore, the developing countries must direct their efforts to development, bearingin mind their priorities and the need to safeguard and improve the environment. For the samepurpose, the industrialized countries should make efforts to reduce the gap themselves and thedeveloping countries. In the industrialized countries, environmental problems are generallyrelated to industrialization and technological development.The natural growth of population continuously presents problems for the preservation of theenvironment, and adequate policies and measures should be adopted, as appropriate, to face theseproblems. Of all things in the world, people are the most precious. It is the people that propelsocial progress, create social wealth, develop science and technology and, through their hardwork, continuously transform the human environment. Along with social progress and theadvance of production, science and technology, the capability of man to improve theenvironment increases with each passing day.It was based on 26 Principles. Some of the principles included; Man has the fundamental right tofreedom, equality and adequate conditions of life, in an environment of a quality that permits alife of dignity and well-being, and he bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve theenvironment for present and future generations. In this respect, policies promoting orperpetuating apartheid, racial segregation, discrimination, colonial and other forms of oppressionand foreign domination stand condemned and must be eliminated.The natural resources of the earth, including the air, water, land, flora and fauna and especiallyrepresentative samples of natural ecosystems, must be safeguarded for the benefit of present andfuture generations through careful planning or management, asappropriate.........DropboxDocuments NotesSTOCKHOLM 1972.docxThe Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species 1975:
  • 7. World Conservation Union (IUCN) meeting drafts CITES, the convention on international tradein endangered species of flora and fauna was signed on 3rdMarch 1973 in Washington and cameinto force on 1stJuly 1975. India became a signatory in October 1976. Its secretariat is at Genevaand till 1998 it had 144 countries as its members. Its main aim is to ensure that the internationaltrade in wild animals and plants and their parts and products is not detrimental to the survival ofthe species. Each country is responsible for the implementation of the convention within itsfrontiers. The parties to CITES meet every 2 to 3 years to discuss and decided upon measures toimprove the implementation of the convention. NGOs are also permitted to participate. This ledto the Endangered Species Preservation Act.1976: Habitat, the first global meeting to link human settlement and the environment was heldto highlight the problems being faced due to an increase in the population.1979: Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution is adopted to develop thebest strategies and policies, including air quality management systems, in respect of operation ofold, new and rebuilt installations.1982: The United Nations Convention on the Laws of the Sea is adopted. It led to theestablishment of rules concerning environmental standards as well as enforcement provisionsdealing with pollution of the marine environment.1984: The International Conference on Environment and Economics (OECD) was held. Itconcluded that environment and economics should be mutually reinforcing. This conference ledto the Brundtland Report (World Commission on Environment and Development) called "OurCommon Future". The findings of this report were compiled to be discussed in the UNConference on Environment and Development, the Earth Summit at Rio in June, 1992.1985: Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer was attended by 21 countriesand the European Community. It was the same year that the hole in the ozone layer over theAntarctica was first discovered. This convention created a general obligation for countries to takeappropriate measures to protect the ozone layer. In the same year the World MeteorologicalSociety met in Austria to discuss the problems of green house gases and global warming.
  • 8. 1987: Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was finalizing andapproval and entered into force in 1989. 36 countries that together accounted for 80% of the CFCconsumption ratified it. It set the table for international action on an environment threat that laybeyond the confines of any country or government. It resulted in a sharp decline in themanufacture and use of CFC.1992: Earth Summit the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development(UNCED), was held in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. The gathering momentum on environmentalissues was given support and global focus and Agenda 21 was set out as a blueprint for action forthe 21stcentury. The Rio conference was significantly different from the Stockholm conference –it was not about the environment itself but about the world economy and its effects on the worldenvironment. The developed countries came to Rio to solve the issues of climate, forests andendangered species but this did not happen. This time the south was in a position to demand thatif the north wanted them to check their consumption of oil and coal and stop deforestation thenthe north would have to pay for it.Agenda 21 went beyond these purely environmental issues to address patterns of developmentwhich cause stress to the environment. These included: poverty and external debt in developingcountries; unsustainable patterns of production and consumption; demographic stress; and thestructure of the international economy. The action programme also recommended ways tostrengthen the part played by major groups — women, trade unions, farmers, children and youngpeople, indigenous peoples, the scientific community, local authorities, business, industry andNGOs — in achieving sustainable development1992: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - thecenterpiece of global efforts to combat global warming. It was adopted in May1992 at the RioEarth Summit, and entered into force on March 21st, 1994. The Conventions primary objective isthe stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would preventdangerous anthropogenic (man-made) interference with the climate system. Such a level shouldbe achieved within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate
  • 9. change, to ensure that food production is not threatened, and to enable economic development toproceed in a sustainable manner.1995: The First Conference of the Parties (COP-1) to the FCCC, the UN FrameworkConvention on Climate Change took place in Berlin from 28 March - 7 April 1995. Itcomprised of 170+ nations that have ratified the Convention and is expected to continue meetingon a yearly basis. In addition to addressing a number of important issues related to the future ofthe FCCC, delegates reached agreement on what many believed to be the central issue beforeCOP-1 - adequacy of commitments, the "Berlin Mandate." Delegates agreed to establish anopen-ended Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate (AGBM) to begin a process towardappropriate action for the period beyond 2000, including that of the commitments of Annex IParties through the adoption of a protocol or other legal instrument. COP-1 also requested theSecretariat to make arrangements for sessions of the subsidiary bodies on scientific andtechnological advice (SBSTA) and implementation (SBI). SBSTA serves as the link between theinformation provided by competent international bodies, and the policy-oriented needs of theCOP. SBI was created to develop recommendations to assist the COP in the review andassessment of the implementation of the FCCC and in the preparation and implementation of itsdecisions.1997: Kyoto Protocol, 159 nations attending the Third Conference of Parties (COP-3) to theUnited Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (held in December 1997 in Kyoto,Japan) agreed to reduce worldwide emissions of greenhouse gases. Delegates to COP-3 agreed tothe following specific provisions. Thirty-eight developed countries agreed to reduce theiremissions of six greenhouse gases. Collectively, developed countries agreed to cut back theiremissions by at least 5% below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. Developing Countries -Countries which are in the process of becoming industrialized but have constrained resourceswith which to combat their environmental problems, which include China and India, have noformal binding targets, but have the option to set voluntary reduction targets. The Kyoto Protocolalso established emissions trading, joint implementations, and clean development mechanisms toencourage cooperative emission reduction projects between developed and developing countries.
  • 10. World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002) was held in Johannesburg, South Africa,from 26 August to 4 September 2002, to take stock of achievements, challenges and new issuesarising since the 1992 Earth Summit. It was an ―implementation‖ Summit, designed to turn thegoals, promises and commitments of Agenda 21 into concrete, tangible actions.To help advance the cause of sustainable development in a continuous fashion, the GeneralAssembly also declared the period 2005-2014 as the United Nations Decade of Education forSustainable Development. The Decade, for which the United Nations Educational, Scientificand Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is the lead agency, aims to help people to develop theattitudes, skills and knowledge to make informed decisions for the benefit of themselves andothers, now and in the future, and to act upon those decisions.ConclusionEnvironmental planning and management is inevitable in this century to foster for sustainabledevelopment and also to gather for the needs of our current population without harming theenvironment.―In essence, sustainable development is a process of change in which the exploitation ofresources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development; andinstitutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential to meethuman needs and aspirations.‖— From the Brundtland Report, ―Our Common Future‖So as human being we must have plans to guide us through safe exploitation of resources-precisely the reason why we‘ve had numerous world conventions to plan for and manageenvironmental activities all over the world- since we men are rational and would tend to exploitthe common resources with less care leading to damaging them at the long run.REFRENCES
  • 11. 1. Lochner, P. 2005. Guideline for Environmental Management Plans. CSIR Report NoENV-S-C 2005-053 H. Republic of South Africa, Provincial Government of the WesternCape, Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning, Cape Town.2. Steven L.E Brian J.K.1999 Fundamentals of Environmental Management, John Wiley &Sons, INC.New York(USA)3. Brundtland Report (1987) Article 42/187.General Assembly-Forty-second Session