Scanning the Constitution, environmental laws and election manifestos of major political parties in Bangladesh: Is “Green Party (Germany)” model a solution? -03

শুক্রবার, ফেব্রুয়ারী ১৪, ২০২০ ৩:০২ AM | বিভাগ : English



Use of political models in west in the spectrum of environment movement:

The environmental movement (sometimes mentioned as the ecology movement), also connoting conservation and green politics, is a corpus of scientific, social, and political movement regarding the environmental issues. Environmentalists campaign for the sustainable management of resources and protecting environment through changes in public policy and individual behavior. In its acknowledgement of humanity as a participant in (not rival of) ecosystems, the movement highlights ecology, health, and human rights.

The environmental movement is a global movement, presented by scores of organizations, from the wide to grassroots.

Early Awareness:

Early curiosity and awareness in the environment was a characteristic of the Romantic movement in the early 19th century. The poet William Wordsworth had travelled widely in the Lake District and mentioned that it is a "sort of national property in which every man has a right and interest who has an eye to perceive and a heart to enjoy".

In fact environmental movement emanated from response to rising levels of smoke pollution in the atmosphere by the epoch of Industrial Revolution. Introduction of great factories and the subsequent huge growth in coal consumption caused an unprecedented level of air pollution; since after 1900 the large volume of industrial chemical discharges had augmented the enhancing load of untreated human waste. Under mounting political pressure from the urban middle-class, the first large-scale, modern environmental laws named Britain's Alkali Acts, was enacted in 1863.

Conservation Movement:

The modern conservation movement first commenced in the forests of India, with the practical implication of scientific conservation doctrines. The conservation ethic that started to grow encompassed three basic doctrines: that the human activity destroyed the environment, that there was a civic responsibility to safeguard the environment for next generations, and that scientific, empirically based methods should be used to guarantee that this duty was observed. James Ranald Martin was one of the pioneer preachers of this ideology, publishing many medico-topographical reports that revealed the scale of damage ensued through large-scale deforestation and desiccation, and negotiating widely for the institutionalization of forest conservation activities in British India through building the Forest Departments.

Formation of environmental protection societies

The late 19th century witnessed the establishment of the first wildlife conservation societies. The zoologist Alfred Newton published a series of investigations into the Desirability of establishing a 'Close-time' for the preservation of indigenous animals between 1872 and 1903. His consistent advocacy work for enacting legislation safeguard animals from hunting during the mating season made possible the formation of the Plumage League (later the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) in 1889. The Society endorsed increasing collaboration and assistance from the suburban middle-classes, and helped in the passage of the Sea Birds Preservation Act in 1869 as the first environment protection law in the world.

For majority of the states from 1850 to 1950, however, the primary environmental cause was resolving the air pollution crisis. The Coal Smoke Abatement Society was established in 1898 making it one of the oldest environmental NGOs. Though there were earlier pieces of legislation, the Public Health Act 1875 sought for all furnaces and fireplaces to consume their own smoke.

Systematic and general efforts on behalf of the environment only started in the late 19th century; it came out of the amenity movement in Britain in the 1870s, which was a response to industrialization, the development of cities, and deteriorating air and water pollution. Beginning with the establishment of the Commons Preservation Society in 1865, the movement upheld rural preservation against the illegal usurpation of industrialization. Robert Hunter, advocated of the society, acted together with Hardwicke Rawnsley, Octavia Hill, and John Ruskin to unleash a successful campaign to desist the construction of railways to carry slate from the quarries, which would have destroyed the unpolluted valleys of Newlands and Ennerdale. This success led to the establishment of the Lake District Defense Society.

In 1893 Hill, Hunter and Rawnsley had consensus to set up a national body to coordinate environmental preservation endeavors across the country; the "National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty" was officially launched in 1894. The organization achieved safe footing through the 1907 National Trust Bill, which provided the trust the status of a statutory corporation and the bill was enacted in August 1907.

20th century

In the 20th century, environmental ideas persisted to flourish in terms of popularity and acknowledgement. Endeavors were beginning to be made to protect the wildlife, specially the American bison. The demise of the last passenger pigeon as well as the endangerment of the American bison helped to focus the minds of conservationists and popularize their tension. In 1916 the National Park Service was established by US President Woodrow Wilson. Pioneers of the movement made emphatic call for more capable and skilled management of natural resources. They waged war for reform as they believed that degeneration of forests, fertile soil, minerals, wildlife and water resources would gradually lead to a disaster. The group that has been the most active and enterprising in recent time is the climate movement.

The U.S movement started to take off after World War II as people began to acknowledge the costs of environmental negligence, disease, and the extension of air and water pollution through a handful of environmental disasters that took place in post-World War II phase. Aldo Leopold authored "A Sand County Almanac" in the 1940s. He had faith in a land ethics that acknowledged that guaranteeing the "beauty, integrity, and health of natural systems" as a moral and ethical dictum.

Another cardinal literary impetus in the promotion of the environmental movement was Rachel Carson's Silent Spring about gradually extinction of bird populations due to DDT, an insecticide. In 1958 Carson began working on her last book, with a conception that nature requires human protection. Her influence was radioactive fallout, smog, food additives, and pesticide use.

Starting in 1969 and continuing until the 1970s, Illinois-based environmental activist James F. Phillips was involved in a number of anti-pollution campaigns using the pseudonym "the Fox".

The first Earth Day was observed on 22 April 1970. Its founder, former Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, was encouraged to hold this day of environmental education and awareness after witnessing the oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara in 1969. 1980 noticed the establishment of Earth First!, a group with an eco-centric view of the world – believing in equality between the rights of humans to prosper, the rights of all other species to prosper and the rights of life-sustaining systems to prosper.

In 1972, the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment was organized in Stockholm. This conference helped in establishing government environmental agencies and the UN Environment Program.

By the mid-1970s anti-nuclear activism had surpassed the level of local protests and politics to win a wider attraction and impact.

Since the 1970s, public sensitization, environmental sciences, ecology, and technology have marched forward to connote modern core issues like ozone depletion, global climate change, acid rain, mutation breeding, genetically modified crops and genetically modified livestock.


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