Mankind long believed that, whatever we did, the Earth would remain much the same. We know now that it is untrue. Nature is under threat. One country’s pollution can be every country’s problem. So we all need to work together to safeguard our environment.
There are many consequences of damaging the environment. One of them is acid rain. Another one is water shortage resulting from abuse of arable lands in agriculture. The third one is destroying the ozone layer of the Earth through pollution from factories and plants. The fourth problem is damage to water and soils. The fifth one is damage to wildlife; numerous species of animals and plants can disappear.
We have a moral duty to look after our planet and to hand it on in good order to future generations. That does not mean trying to halt economic growth. We need growth to give us the means to live better and healthier lives. We must not sacrifice our future well-being for short-term gains, nor pile up environmental debts which will burden our children. Where there are real threats to our planet we have to take great care. Prevention can often be better and cheaper than cure.
By the decision of the United Nations General Assembly a special organ for dealing with the problem of environmental protection was set up - the United Nations Environmental Program. The main trends of this organisation are:
• combating air and water pollution;
• development of technological systems producing little or no waste;
• making the environment healthier.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection was founded in Ukraine. Its task is to control the state of environment, to prevent the pollution of fresh water, the air and the seas, to search for methods of combating the main pollutants.
If we are unable to learn to use the environment carefully and protect it from damage caused by man’s activities, very soon we’ll have no world to live in.
ECOLOGICAL RIGHTS OF UKRAINIAN CITIZENS
According to Ukrainian Law on Environmental Protection adopted on June 26, 1995, each citizen of Ukraine shall enjoy the right
- to an environment that is safe for his/her life and health;
- to take part in the discussion of draft legislation, building and reconstructing objects which might negatively affect the condition of the environment, and to submit proposals to state and economic bodies, institutions and organizations on these questions;
- to take part in the development and implementation of measures on environmental protection, rational and comprehensive utilization of natural resources;
- to effect general and special utilization of natural resources;
- to associate in non-governmental environmental organizations;
- to receive by established procedure complete and trustworthy information on the condition of the environment and its effect on the health of the population;
- to take part in conducting public ecological examinations;
- to gain an ecological education;
To bring action against state bodies, enterprises, institutions, organizations and citizens on compensation for damage caused to the health and property of citizens in consequence of the negative effects of the environment.