The Environment Essay

871 words - 3 pages

"The environment is all external conditions and factors, living and non-living, which affect an organism or other specified system during its lifetime," (Miller, 1992:144). It can also be defined as the natural conditions, such as air, water, and land in which people, animals and plants live.Conservation is the protection of natural things or resources such as animals, plants, soils, minerals and other important natural resources to prevent them being spoiled: environmental conservation.We live on the water planet, with a precious film of water covering the earth's surface. Water help regulate the planets climate, dilute and degrade some of our wastes, and are a major habitat for many of the environment living creatures. "The earth's organisms are made up mostly of water, a tree is about 60% water by weight, and most animals are about 50-65% water," (Miller, 2000:280). Each of us needs so cupfuls of water per day to survive, but huge amounts of water are needed to supply us with food, shelter, and our other needs and wants. In fact, without water the earth would have oceans, no life as we know it, and no people.Forests have crucial role to play in protecting the physical environment from damage of different levels. Forests help regulate climate extremes, in areas which are too hot, for example, through the release of moisture they may help in keeping temperatures low and cool. This is part of good microclimates due to forests. They protect human settlements as well as crops and animals against strong winds. Smith, (1992) believes that trees can help in the maintenance of soil fertility to facilitate good agricultural output by drawing up nutrients through their roots and recycling it to topsoil by leaf fall through a process called the carbon cycle.Forests also have an aesthetic value in addition to cultural and spiritual functions for which they are put to use by local communities. They are important as the home of wildlife especially the protection of endangered species of plants and animals. "People often find relief to physical and emotional stress emanating from over-crowding and all forms of pollution by getting out of their homes in to the forests" (Atlhopheng, 1998:192).Wildlife provides quite a number of benefits to the majority of the people in terms of meat products, aesthetic and cultural values. They bring revenue and employment to the country through tourism. "They are at present more than fifty safari operators in Botswana providing 40% of all employment in the relatively undeveloped north" (Ndondo, 1992:116). It can also be used for consumptive uses which include by-products processing and trade in wildlife products, such as hides, skins, trophies, feathers and others. Animal species provide food, game and aesthetic beauty and may even help control pests in the environment.Our...

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