What is meant by “Environmental Reform Planning”?
In an era where disasters and diseases induced by climate change are increasingly recurring and becoming common; changes need to be made. These changes that should focus on improving our environment by cutting down emissions, being more resourceful and mindful of our activities in general.
Thus, Environmental reform planning means the various steps taken in order to bring change in human lifestyles for a better environment. Reform planning can include focusing on sustainable development, resilient land use, healthy agricultural practices and developing strong infrastructure and buildings. All these steps taken can aid in environmental recovery due to degradation and improve human quality of life.
More consideration given to environmental matters while making policies, laws and quality standards will help humans achieve sustainable development.
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Benefits of Environmental Reform Planning:
As we can already see how the overuse and exploitation of natural resources has caused severe degradation of land, water and air, the resultant climate change will further negatively impact it. Thus, the best way to combat it is by engaging in planning and seeking active reforms. Some benefits of this for Earth would be:
1. Environmental Planning– It will allow us to formulate new and stricter standards and its implementation would be seen to for the sake of mitigating climate change. This will ultimately lead to better life quality and human health since air, water and land quality would significantly improve.
2. Improving Cost Control– This will help us expedite climate change mitigating efforts as reducing cost of the technologies that can help emit less pollutants or just generally provide a safer environment than without it. Environmental policies can play a crucial role in improving and setting costs.
3. Conserving Energy and Resources– a ban/restriction or limit being set on the amount of energy one can generate or resources one can utilize will greatly enhance responsibility as well as help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste generation.
4. New Markets– as a result of various environmental reform policies and increased awareness about the environmental issues; an entirely new market has been generated. People now want to do their part in reducing their carbon emissions and footprint and this leads to seeking better alternatives than the regular ones. Thus, a new sustainability focused market is created that aims to be eco-friendly.
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Importance of Including Local Communities in Environmental Reform Planning:
The question of why environmental reform planning should be important is not one that needs to be asked. Truthfully we are beyond asking what needs to be done and how and we are at the stage where we need to be actively doing something. The most important thing in environmental reform planning or efforts is one factor that often gets overlooked and that is: Locals.
The involvement of local communities as well as native/indigenous populations is crucial for developing a sustainable, resilient and long lasting civilization. Local people possess valuable knowledge passed from generation to generation that can greatly help policy makers at a government level. These people often live there for decades and have tremendous knowledge that has no equivalent to recent discoveries in the area. This is because locals can almost always add on to what has been newly discovered or thought to be newly discovered yet has been known for centuries by the local community.
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Even in Pakistan, the indigenous population of the North and the various tribes living there had the knowledge of what plants are edible and which are toxic. They may even know about the patterns of various species and navigate the mountains accordingly. The local people have folklore and other traditional knowledge passed down from their ancestors that can help outsiders make wise decisions for the collective benefit as well.
It is also important to listen to the local concerns as the issues they raise are very valid since they know best about the environment they live in for so long. They are people of nature in the era of modernization. Hence, they should be listened to in matters concerning the very environment they have been protecting and calling home before making nay drastic changes or unwanted development.
In short, the indigenous people can greatly help decision makers make correct decisions that can prevent further harm to the environment. Sometimes local knowledge can greatly aid in making even more environmental friendly decisions since these people have been living on their homelands for far longer duration than the newly arrived people or always changing government and policy makers. Thus, the most important role in environmental protection across the globe is that of each area’s local population.
For the best kind of environmental planning and combating climate change on a global as well as regional level, people, especially the community who have been living there since decades are the best pillars of every policy made regarding these issues. They have the power to shape a sustainable future everywhere. This includes each and everyone of us. Back in our hometowns but not necessarily just there, even in our current neighborhoods we can adopt better, eco-friendly practices and push for changes in society by raising awareness and refusing to use products or engage in activities that harm the environment.
Also read: International and National Environmental Organizations in Pakistan
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