Management of environment to safeguard human health

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Management of environment to safeguard human health

  1. 1. Management of environment to safeguard human health Dr Nik Nor Ronaidi bin Nik Mahdi
  2. 2. Content• Definition• Introduction• Agenda 21• Environmental Health Planning• Environmental Protection And Sustainable Development In Malaysia
  3. 3. Definitions
  4. 4. DefinitionsEnvironment:• The sum of all external conditions affecting the life, development and survival of an organism.Ecology:• The relationship of living things to one another and their environment, or the study of such relationships.Environmental Sustainability:• Long-term maintenance of ecosystem components and functions for future generations. (US EPA)
  5. 5. Sustainable development :• A pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to comeEnvironmental Planning:• The process of facilitating decision making to carry out development with due consideration given to the natural environmental, social, political, economic and governance factors and provides a holistic frame work to achieve sustainable outcomes.Environmental management:• the idea of humans interacting with the environment in a responsible and ethically sound way, without sacrificing productivity
  6. 6. Introduction
  7. 7. Introduction• In the process of development, the issues confronting today are achieving desired development for economic or social reasons on one hand and safe guarding the environment and maintaining good quality living conditions on the other.• While taking up developmental activities, the assimilative capacities of the environmental components i.e., air, water and land to various pollution are rarely considered.• The developmental activities being haphazard and uncontrolled are leading to over use, congestion, incompatible landuse and poor living
  8. 8. Introduction• Conventionally, the environmental pollution problems are solved by introducing environmental management techniques such as control of pollution at source, providing of sewage treatment facilities etc. However, environmental risks are not being controlled completely by such solutions.• Presently, the environmental aspects are not usually considered while preparing master plans and the process is skewed towards developmental needs.• There is a need for assessment of the land in terms of not only the economic aspects but also the environmental aspects and the land uses are accordingly to be allocated so that the natural environment and ecological balance is not disturbed.
  9. 9. Introduction• Environmental Planning: – It concerns with the decision making processes where they are required for managing relationships that exist within and between natural systems and human systems. – It endeavors to manage these processes in an effective, orderly, transparent and equitable manner for the benefit of all constituents within such systems for the present and for the future.• Some of the main elements of environmental planning are: – Social & economic development – Urban development – Regional development – Natural resource management & integrated land use – Infrastructure systems – Governance frameworks
  10. 10. Introduction• Environmental management is not, as the phrase could suggest, the management of the environment as such, but rather the management of interaction by the modern human societies with, and impact upon the environment.
  11. 11. Agenda 21
  12. 12. Agenda 21• It is a comprehensive global plan of action by UN to achieve sustainable development.• It was an outcome of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janerio, Brazil, in 1992.• Adopted by 178 countries• Sustainable development itself has three important pillars, which are mutually supportive of each other: 1. economic development 2. social development 3. environmental protection
  13. 13. Agenda 21• There are 40 chapters in the Agenda 21, divided into four main sections. – Section I: Social and Economic Dimensions • which deals with combating poverty, changing consumption patterns, promoting health, change population and sustainable settlement – Section II: Conservation and Management of Resources for Development • Includes atmospheric protection, combating deforestation, protecting fragile environments, conservation of biological diversity (biodiversity), and control of pollution. – Section III: Strengthening the Role of Major Groups • Includes the roles of children and youth, women, NGOs, local authorities, business and workers. – Section IV: Means of Implementation • Implementation includes science, technology transfer, education, international institutions and financial mechanisms.
  14. 14. Environmental Health Planning
  15. 15. Forming a Planning Team• A planning team is made up of people who represent the different views and constituencies in the community.• The planning team will guide the community through each step of the planning process• There are many possible approaches to forming a planning team. For example, many communities already have land use planning commissions. This commission has demonstrated an interest and commitment to community environmental issues, and might be willing to oversee the environmental planning process.
  16. 16. Forming a Planning Team• Planning team should include some of the following types of people: – Managers or operators of environmental facilities (such as water and wastewater systems), who are knowledgeable about environmental issues and the condition of existing facilities. – Elected officials or board members, who already are involved in managing local communities and are familiar with issues that affect the area’s environment. – Local physicians, engineers, and scientists, who can provide technical information about environmental and health issues, links between pollution and health, and other key data.
  17. 17. Forming a Planning Team– County and state health agencies, which can provide local, state, and national health statistics so that local conditions can be compared with state and national averages.– Emergency response personnel, usually the community’s fire department, who often know about environmental accidents, the location of underground storage tanks, and potential sites and types of community exposure or risk.– Community residents, who represent specific interests or the “general public.”– Business owners and farmers, who represent important views in the community and can help determine future trends. (Getting a local industry or agriculture enterprise involved is especially important if the industry or enterprise
  18. 18. What Are the Different Environmental Planning Approaches?Comprehensive Planning• Comprehensive planning is considered as a pioneering method advocated and applied in environmental planning.• It builds on the idea that a harmonious relationship must be forged between man and his environment to prevent irreversible damage. This ensures the achievement of sustainable development in society.• This environmental planning approach follows the conventional steps in decision making, i.e., identifying the problem, formulating a set of solutions to the problem, and selecting the best solution based on pre- set criteria for judgment.
  19. 19. Incremental Planning• Planning does not necessarily have to proceed by means of specific, time-bound plans. It can proceed incrementally, by making small local changes.• It is applied if environmental problems have already become so disturbing, magnified or reach crises proportions.• It is not holistic, rather piecemeal, planning approach.• It is reactive, rather than proactive.• It relies heavily on the capacity of decision makers instead of information gathered from well-founded scientific evidence.• Incremental planning is inappropriate to environmental impacts which are irreversible.• It violates the precautionary principle in dealing with environmental problems.
  20. 20. Consensual Planning• It is a participatory planning where the concerns of the different sectors of society are taken into consideration in the planning process.• Environmental problems are given solutions by involving those who are affected in finding a common, agreed solution to environmental problems.• Although this is a democratic environmental planning, in reality and in practice, the consensual planning approach takes time.• Sometimes, compromises are arrived to ensure that none of the different sectors of society is put in a disadvantaged position.
  21. 21. Adaptive Planning• It builds on people’s experience.• Past mistakes are valuable inputs to resolve current environmental problems.• It is founded on the idea that prediction of the outcomes of resource use is difficult.• Its weakness is that it does not foresee future problems associated with current technological advances.• It may be too late to do something if irreversible damage has been done to the environment.
  22. 22. Advocacy Planning• It entails competition between different groups in influencing decisions concerning environmental issues.• Group-backed arguments or positions strive for influence to resolve environmental problems.• There is no guarantee, however, that the most influential solution to a given environmental problem is the most appropriate one.• This is a highly political approach to dealing with environmental problems.• The most popular or influential group or solution may not necessarily address environmental problems.
  23. 23. Contingency Planning• Contingencies are relevant events anticipated by a planner, including low-probability events that would have major impacts.• It focuses on environmental problems that have adverse environmental consequences such as natural and man-made hazards.• Preparations are made to minimize risk due to unexpected, high impact environmental problems or disasters.• Contingency planning is a sensible environmental planning approach as it provides a leeway for ordered action necessary in mitigating or reducing the impact of an environmental hazard.
  24. 24. • Many organizations and professionals tasked with the management of natural resources may apply any of these environmental planning approaches to realize their objectives. Selecting the most appropriate one depends on the specific environmental problem at hand. It is possible that a combination of these environmental planning approaches may be applied at certain points in time.
  25. 25. Steps in planning process1. Raising awareness2. Reviewing and managing municipal environmental health performance3. Reviewing existing municipal policies affecting environmental health4. Making and reporting a local situation analysis5. Building effective public participation6. Setting priorities for practicable action7. Drafting the environmental plan8. Securing support from other levels
  26. 26. Steps in planning process1. Awareness• It may be necessary to raise awareness and provide training for employees of the municipality in the issues that are to be addressed• All employees of the municipality, particularly those who have to deal with members of the public, should be fully aware of, understand and be committed to the process.
  27. 27. Steps in planning process2. Municipal environmental health performance• Municipality and other principle partners need to review environmental health performance and how their activities affect the environment and community• How Effective Are Your Community’s Environmental Facilities? – Evaluation of the community’s environmental facilities will help to: • Identify problems (E.g. a landfill could leach chemicals into ground water that constitutes the town’s drinking water, or a wastewater treatment plant could generate odors in the surrounding area). • Identify potential risk • Determine whether the community is complying with regulatory requirements
  28. 28. Steps in planning process3. Existing municipal policies• Many policies will already have been formulated and strategies implemented that will cut across the environmental health agenda.• These existing efforts need to be recognized and integrated into the new programme.• Policies and strategies need to be considered: – Land use planning – Transport – Economic – Development – Housing services – Tourism – Welfare – health
  29. 29. • Don’t forget about environmental regulations – Federal and state governments have many regulations covering almost every environmental issue that could concern local governments. – These regulations are meant to protect everyone from the potential hazards associated with pollution. – E.g.: If a town upriver from your town dumps untreated sewage into the river, this sewage could pollute your water supply. Even if your community is environmentally responsible, you can’t be sure that other communities will be the same. Protecting the environment and preventing pollution has to be a collective effort.
  30. 30. • Knowing about environmental regulations is important because: – The regulations might help you identify some of the environmental issues that you face. – Complying with regulations will help you protect people’s health and the environment. – Complying with regulations will help you avoid the direct financial costs of pollution. (Pollution of natural resources costs money and jobs.)
  31. 31. PRESCRIBED ACTIVITIES Industry Infrastructure Agriculture Quarries Airport Railways Fisheries Transportation Forestry Petroleum Prescribed Land reclamation Activities Water Supply Housing Ports Mining Waste Treatment & Disposal Drainage & IrrigationResort & Recreational Development Power Generation & Transmission
  32. 32. Steps in planning process4. Situation analysis• Before planning a strategy, it is necessary to have some idea of the major issues that need to be addressed.• Analysis of environmental health status of the community provides some of this information.• It is to determine which are the “high-risk” problems: which pose a serious threat to health, the environment, or quality of life.• Situation analysis include gathering data on environmental conditions and health of the population such as: – Socioeconomic factors – Air, water and soil quality – Levels of noise and radiation – Status of land use and green space
  33. 33. Steps in planning process5. Effective public participation• The public includes everyone in the community.• Public participation is essential because: – The residents the community are the ones who will end up paying for most new environmental programs. – Residents will benefit from good environmental planning and management. – The public knows the community and has ideas about the kind of place in which they want to live. – If concerned, responsible community leaders are involved in the process, they are more likely to generate broader support for the environmental plan and for the work needed to carry it out.
  34. 34. Steps in planning process• Effective public participation can be achieve by building trust and openness among the stakeholders and demonstrates the authorities strong commitment in recognizing the community’s perceived needs.• Developing strategies for public participation is a major, complex and inevitably lengthy process.• The quick provision of meaningful feedback to those have participated is very important. They must see that it is making a difference, or they will begin to lose their enthusiasm for and commitment to it.
  35. 35. • Ways to encourage public participation include: – Distribute flyers and other information • E.g. Fact sheets on local environmental issues written by local experts, minutes of planning team meetings, or information about important team decisions. • can be given at public meetings, through mailings (such as with utility bills), at local stores, and publish them as notices or articles in the local newspaper. – Talk to local groups, such as volunteer organizations and business associations. – Publicize the meetings of the planning team, or hold special meetings to get community input – Ask for volunteers for tasks such as conducting surveys, taking minutes at team meetings, organizing public meetings, and reviewing information. – Do a survey. – Organize activities on local environmental issues. • E.g.:workshop, classroom program, or festival on water conservation, recycling, or other environmental issues.
  36. 36. Steps in planning process6. Priorities for practicable action• The issues and their proposed solutions always exceeds the resources available to address them.• Decisions must therefore set priorities and allocate resources to make the best impact on health and the quality of life.• As a guidance, priority should be given if:• the problem has very significant effects on the environment or environmental health; and• Immediate or urgent intervention is necessary to avoid irreparable damage
  37. 37. Steps in planning process• Another factors that need consideration for prioritization: – Values exceeding environmental quality cut-offs. How often and to what extent do pollution levels exceed specified permitted values? – Nature and extent of deviation from the norms and indices for the environmental condition. – Number of people or size of the area affected by the environmental problems
  38. 38. Steps in planning process• The Environmental Health Action Plan for Europe divides types of action into 3 groups to help set priorities:Group Description of action PriorityGroup 1 Addresses the basic requirements for environmental health. It aims at Most preventing or mitigating conditions whose environmental causes are well important established and that can give rise to widespread and often acute health effects.Group 2 Concerns the prevention and control of medium and long term Less environmental hazards. Causal relationships for these hazards may be important difficult to establish at existing levels of environmental exposure, but their potential for adverse effects on health is recognizedGroup 3 Concerns the promotion of human wellbeing and mental health, rather Almost an than the prevention of diseases. optional extra
  39. 39. Steps in planning process7. Drafting the environmental plan• The project team produces a first draft of the plan for a process of wide-ranging consultation with the public and relevant partners.• The draft should be distributed to community stakeholders, national and neighboring authorities for consultations, contributions and comments.• Benefits of wide consultation: – It improves the document – Prepares people for action – Makes the actions and processes more workable
  40. 40. Steps in planning process8. Securing support from other levels• National governments and international organizations can facilitate and support the processes and resultant action.• National frameworks provide inspiration and encouragement for local communities to begin their own planning processes.• Support in the form of national guidance, technical resource centres, legislation and financial resources can help communities in their own activities
  41. 41. Environmental Protection And Sustainable Development In Malaysia• “We are here to seek ways of achieving sustainable development and of establishing a solid foundation for world-wide co-operation on the environment and development. We appreciate that if anything is to be done towards sustainable development, all countries everywhere must work together” (Mahathir, 1992).• At the national level, sustainable development is addressed in the Development Plan.
  42. 42. Environmental Protection And Sustainable Development In Malaysia• The development planning usually starts with the discussions and deliberations among the technical working groups based on various sectors such as health, education, housing, public works, utilities, agriculture, environment, natural resources and others.• The technical working groups are normally made up of all the relevant stakeholders such as government agencies, private companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), institutions of higher learning and local communities
  43. 43. Environmental Protection And Sustainable Development In Malaysia• The proposal from the technical working groups will further be tabled and discussed at the inter-agency planning group (IAPG) for review and then further taken up to the national development planning committee, national development council, and finally to the Parliament for consideration and approval.
  44. 44. THaNK YoU

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