Human Beings and Environment [Archives:1999/41/Health]

October 11 1999

By: Yasser M. Ahmed,
Yemen Times
Biologists have recognized that environment is the soft stratum on the planet, which extends under the surface of the earth. It includes the atmosphere which surrounds the earth up to the height of ten Kilometers. Scientists call it ‘the biological atmosphere’. In other words it means the atmosphere in which we live . All the animals that live on this earth affect and are affected by this environment.

Pollution of environment will be a grave source of danger for men and animals. This is one of the most important problems that the world will suffer from in the future. All nations in this world have to instill the environmental consciousness in the minds of the growing generations.
Pollution of environment will help spread different diseases amongst humans and animals. Human beings live in three main systems; biological, technical and social. These systems also have different branches, which form other systems.
Most of the problems of environment are being caused by the failure of interactions between the aforementioned systems. Hence, we can say that the human being is the main source of the environmental degradation, but his consciousness is the unique solution to those interactions. Hence, we do not point out to the common man, but to the man who administrates the different industrial corporations.
The problem of environment began in the advanced countries during the last part of the 1960s. The Non-governmental Organizations and Youth Associations began to deal with this problem, while the international governments did not show a serious interest in this field at that time.
In 1969, preparation was going on to held a conference on the environment in the United Nations. However, it was held in Stockholm in 1972. The conference evolved a strategy of coordinating between the different factors of development; human beings, money and the natural wealth resources. All points of view stressed that environment is a n inalienable affair, not a separate one.
The countries which participated in Stockholm conference were only 11, and there were no developing countries taking part. But now there are about 112 countries which have different means for protecting environment. The Non-governmental Organizations, which are interested in the environment affairs, were about 2500 in 1972. About two or three organizations were from the developing countries. But now, there are more than 2000 Non-governmental Organizations in the developing countries. The importance of the environment problem came from the industrial countries because of the rapid proliferation of industries. The problem of environment is a universal problem; so it means that the whole world must look to this problem cutting across political boundaries. The big industrial companies must take this problem into consideration.
The nuclear radiation will cause danger for human beings and animals in the whole world. In spite of cautions, the production of atomic energy is still going on. Reports indicate that the world will get half of the total requirement of energy in 2000. The hiding of the atomic offal which has a long radiation is being put in a giant masses of concrete cement and is thrown into the depth of seas and oceans, but the nuclear radiation comes from this to pollute the environment.
In our country, the Vice Minister had issued a resolution No. ( 94/1990) concerning the foundation of Environment Protection Council as a governmental wing in the Cabinet. The objectives of that council were as follows:-
1- suggesting a general policy for protecting environment, and taking the research of environmental planning as a means for the solution of problems of pollution in the rural, urban and sea areas.
2- putting the qualitative standards and protecting environment from pollution, and working to get the modern scientific strategies. It also works to control the industrial pollution, and protect the animal and botanical wealth.
3- Mounting active programs to secure the international cooperation for protecting the environment properly.
4- observing the environmental and natural resources changes which happen in the Republic of Yemen.
5- organizing local symposiums and lectures concerning the protection of the environment, and representing Yemen in the regional conferences.
Sana’a and Aden Universities began researches and training programs on this field, in spite of the modesty of experiences and equipment that they have. A number of Non-governmental Organizations participate in this field, and highlight the level of the environmental consciousness for people.
The problem of the environmental administration in Yemen can be summarized as follows :
– there is not an actual organization for the environmental and informative sides in the Environment Protection Council.
– Weakness of the environmental legislation; There is no connection between the different systems.
– Resorting to the environmental standards and to the local specialized people, and the required equipment.
– Absence of control and environmental consciousness.
– Weakness of the Non-governmental Organizations, which are specialized in the environmental sides, and the disconnection between these organizations and society.
– Lack of financing for augmenting the environmental reconstruction which is necessary to be put in use.
Finally, preserving and protecting our environment is the guarantee for a promising future, and for establishing a strong generation. Now, do we perceive the volume of dangers ? we hope so.