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Environmental Management; Plus a free student handout from McGraw Hill's AccessScience

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The agents of environmental management include foresters, soil conservationists, policy-makers, engineers, and resource planners. The main link between these diverse groups of peo- ple is the need for accountability in the use of nature's riches. However, although there is much collaboration, relationships are often adversarial as objectives differ among the groups. Some common themes of environmental management are as follows: 1. Bilateral and multilateral environmental treaties (transboundary ecological management) 2. Design and use of decision-support systems (practical utilization of environmental data and expert systems for environmental management) 3. Environmental policy formulation, enactment, and policing of compliance (participatory planning and public consultation regarding environmental programs) 4. Estimation, analysis, and management of environmental risk (risk perception and communication studies) 5. Management of recreation and tourism (design and implementation of environmentally friendly ecotourism programs) 6. Natural resource evaluation and conservation (designation and management of parks, preserves, and other protected areas, and designation and protection of wilderness areas) 7. Positive environmental economics (economic justifications for investment in environmental protection) 8. Promotion of positive environmental values by education, debate, and information dissemination 9. Reduction of adverse environmental impacts 10. Strategies for the rehabilitation of damaged environments (post pollution clean-up processes) Management techniques The need to improve management of the environment has given rise to several techniques. There is environmental impact analysis, which was first formulated in California and is codified in the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Through the environmental impact statement, it prescribes the investi- gatory and remedial measures that must be taken in order to mitigate the adverse effects of new development. In this sense, it is intended to act in favor of both prudent conservation and participatory democracy. Another technique is environmental auditing, which uses the model of the financial audit to examine the processes and out- comes of environmental impacts. It requires value judgments, which are usually set by public preference, ideology, and policy, to define what are regarded as acceptable outcomes. Audits use techniques such as life-cycle analysis and environmental burden analysis to assess the impact of, for example, manufac- turing processes that consume resources and create waste. Environmental challenges All of the main environmental problems of today's world fall under the environmental management field. Most problems are controversial. Tropical deforestation, ozone depletion, and global warming have fueled debate over strategies for the management of the global environment. Transboundary pollution and the international exploitation of resources (for example, the appropriation of raw materials in one country and the patenting of their genetic derivatives in another) have underlined the need for bilateral, and often multilateral, agree- ments about sharing responsibilities. Radiation emissions, toxic waste issues, hazardous material spills, and other catastrophic pollution episodes have emphasized the need for secure and standardized methods of treating pollutants. Environmental management has risen to meet many of these challenges. The field has expanded from a purely governmen- tal preserve to one that encompasses the private sector as well. Indeed, the manufacture of pollution control equipment and the institutional management of environmental hazards have turned into growth areas. Yet the successes must be seen against a backdrop of deepening environmental crisis. Relent- less population pressure, the unfettered nature of international capital, and the numerous cases of significant environmental mismanagement are examples of remaining problems. Environmental Management (continued) + ward ' s science 5100 West Henrietta Road • PO Box 92912 • Rochester, New York 14692-9012 • p: 800 962-2660 • wardsci.com This article was originally published by McGraw Hill's AccessScience. Click here to view and find more articles like this.

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