Solutions at regional and local levels
· Incorporating biological and landscape diversity considerations into urban planning documents (planning permission and building regulations) and Environmental impact assessments.
Environmental impact assessment (EIA) –a study which precedes or accompanies projects or works (such as a road or industrial plant), the realization of which could affect the environment and the aim of which is to show the consequences that they may have on the environment.
· Taking action with regard to land-use, such as measures to acquire land or buildings, i.e. by public expropriation, in order to ensure the protection of natural areas. Such acquisitions could be entrusted to public bodies or bodies operating in the public interest (foundations, etc).
· Fostering genuine public participation by ensuring access to information on the environment and establishing dialogue with different local figures: local decision-makers, environmental users such as farmers, hunters, fishers and foresters, environmental protection organizations and professional and trade associations. The promotion of public participation requires public action.
· Resorting to financial measures in order to change the behavior and practices of certain local bodies and local figures where biodiversity is being damaged. Measures could take the form tax rebates, subsidies, help for those who promote sustainable development and payment of compensation for damage caused by wild animals.
5. Solutions at individual level:
· An active and informed citizen:
- By participating in voluntary activities such as introducing groups of children to nature, clearing forests, cleaning river banks, observing birds, installing way marks on hiking tracks, etc.
- By joining an environmental protection organization which promotes a cause such as the protection of nature, animals or a living environment.
- By participating in public inquiries when dams, tunnels, motorways or tourist complexes are going to be built in a region and will entail the destruction of a nature environment to which one feels an affinity.
· A user who respects nature and its balance:
- Foresters can diversify the species of trees that they plant.
- Farmers can implement sustainable farming methods such as crop rotation, minimum use of fertilizers compatible with sustainable production, and crop diversification.
- Land-owners can ensure the survival of entire ecosystems by introducing elements such as hedgerows, grasslands, water reservoirs in fields, wetland areas and strips of vegetation on banks.
· A n informed consumers:
- Consumers have been guided in their purchases by eco-labels or products for which the processes of production, use or disposal have been designed so as not to harm our health or our environment. By choosing products with eco-labels, consumers force industry to modify its production methods. Lists of such eco-labels are often made available to the public by consumer protection organizations.
- Many consumers do not realize that the product they buy can be the end-result of illegal trade, which depletes natural resources. Boycotting products, which come from endangered species of wild flora and fauna such as ivory, crocodile-skin bags and objects made of tropical wood, helps to stop this type of trafficking.
- Being an “ecological” consumer also means buying products with re-using containers and recycled products. Other ways: choosing to take public transport whenever possible; limiting the wasteful consumption of water and energy that results from excessive use household appliances; sensible use of detergents, cleaning and home maintenance products and batteries.
· A nature-lover:
- Pulling up plants, turning over rocks which protect marine fauna and flora, leaving the beaten track and making noise or disturbing nature generally can result in unintentional destruction of plants and animals, with harmful long-term consequences.
Questions for review:
1. How do you understand the Concept of Sustainable Development?
2. Name the main documents adopted on the Earth Summit in Rio-de-Janeiro, 1992.
3. Name the main strategies adopted on the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, 2002.
4. What is convention? Give some examples of solutions at international level.
5. Give some examples of solutions at regional and local levels.
6. Give some examples of solutions at individual level.
7. What is Environmental Impact Assessment?
1. What does it mean to be an active and informed citizen? Give examples.