The ecological crisis has now become an important topic throughout the years. Even so, toward the end of the last century, the issues of such crises became a focal talking point of governments, international organisations and scholars. This most likely is, as Leigh (2005) discusses, an increasing acceptance that such ecological disasters affecting mankind has been one of “the most critical turning points” that the world has ever encountered.
Such crises are experienced when our environment is modified in ways which undermine our continued existence. As the environment and its ecosystems are in a constant state of being damaged, its quality is vastly ruined and this has major effects on the lives that are dependent on it. Magdoff and Foster (2011) suggest that for the ecological crisis to be understood, it must be looked at in the sense of the boundaries of the planet. They go on to indicate that ultimately the Earth has several thresholds which it must remain in in order to preserve the gentle conditions that the Earth has experienced in the past century. These thresholds include loss of biodiversity, climate change, a depleting ozone layer, world-wide freshwater and chemical pollution. Unfortunately, the planet has already passed two of these, including loss of biodiversity and climate change due to our damaging activities that cause environmental disparities.
Until recently, the ecological crisis and its subsequent effects have been discussed mainly in the scientific disciplines as merely an environmental issue. It has also been made into an economic concern. However, it is now more than ever in the 21st century being debated and referred to as a subject for human rights. This essay seeks to examine the issue of the impact of the ecological crisis, its human rights implications, and how it has come to be considered the human rights concern of the century.
The Ecological Crisis
The end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st has seen a remarkable increase in the number of environmental catastrophes that the Earth has experienced. These disasters have not been just limited to one geographic region but they have affected nearly every single part of the planet. Some have included climate change, which in turn has been affected by the greenhouse effect and gases ; the advent of peak oil; loss of biodiversity and therefore diminished quantities and quality of food supplies; plus deforestation, chemical pollution and oil spills. These in turn have had a knock-on effect on the way of living for man and caused such issues as rising sea levels, floods, reduced food resources, droughts, and polluted air and water supply. As mentioned, the Earth’s threshold for climate change and biodiversity loss has been passed and this has already been causing irreparable harm to the planet’s ecosystems and the environment. It is still possible, however, to stop such effects from permanent harm to the environment, which is why the ecological crisis has become such an important matter for discussion today.
“Of all the environmental issues that have emerged in the past decades, global climate change has been the most serious and most difficult to manage” (Dessler and Parson, 2006). Like with the above quote, it is thought by many scientists and scholars that climate change is and will be the biggest threat to the environment mainly because of its potential to bring about such brutal destruction. Oxfam International (2008) stated that some of the 23 richest countries in the world (comprising Canada, Australia and USA) where just fourteen percent of the entire world population inhabits, produced almost sixty percent of the planet’s carbon emissions since the 1800s.
The Earth’s climate is changing. In fact, it has always been varying from time to time. However, the degree of change is now the big worry. The Great Warming (2006) defines climate change as an alteration in the “long-term climate”...
..."environment" does not only only consists of place and surroundings which shape the human individual but it also has varied ranges of flora and fauna as well as several biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem in its fold .The word "scope" means coverage, end aimed at purpose, intention, outlook, purview and sphere of observation. For scope of environment sky is its limit and ocean is its depth. As cited in Rig Veda "sky is like father earth is like mother, and all creatures that live in between constitutes a family . Any disturbance to any one of them will disturb the entire system".
Importance of environment in human life:-
There is an inescapable link between the human existence and the environment whether it's is biological, physical or social it doesn't matter . It is inevitable and its importance can't be denied. The variety of life on earth it's biological diversity is commonly referred to as biodiversity. It consists of species of plants, microorganisms, animals, the enormous diversity of these genes in these species, the different ecosystem on the planet such as deserts, rainforests and coral reefs are all part of a biologically diverse earth. All living creatures on this earth depends upon nature and its resources for their existence. We depends upon plants for our food, medicinal purposes life for us won't be feasible without water. We cannot breathe fresh air without plants. This human race...
An environmental impact assessment (EIA) is an assessment of the possible positive or negative impact that a proposed project may have on the environment, together consisting of the environmental, social and economic aspects.
The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that decision makers consider the ensuing environmental impacts when deciding whether to proceed with a project. The International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) defines an environmental impact assessment as "the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social, and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made." EIAs are unique in that they do not require adherence to a predetermined environmental outcome, but rather they require decision makers to account for environmental values in their decisions and to justify those decisions in light of detailed environmental studies and public comments on the potential environmental impacts of the proposal.
EIAs began to be used in the 1960s as part of a rational decision making process. It involved a technical evaluation that would lead to objective decision making. EIA was made legislation in the US in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 1969. It has since evolved as it has been used increasingly in many countries around the world. As per Jay et al.(2006), EIA as it is practiced today, is being used as a...
...Are humanrights innate and universal?
Post WWII on the 10 December 1948, the Universal Declaration of HumanRights (UDHR) was espoused by the General Assembly of the United Nations in order to agree on the notion that such atrocities that occurred throughout the Great War and the Second World War would not ever be reciprocated. The document that was drawn up in less than two years by the UN and Western states, and although ambitious it would guarantee a premise for life and living for every individual all over the world. The UDHR are founded on nobility, equality and reverence, and are said to be aimed at all cultures and religions within the West and East of the globe. However there is great discrepancy regarding the justification and practicality of humanrights all over the world due to political, economic and cultural differences and limitations. Universal means that ‘something’ affects, applies or is completed by everyone all over the world – there is no distinctive bias shown and equal policies are applied. Innate, in relation to humanrights, means that people are given natural rights purely based on the fact that he/she is human and alive. Therefore, are humanrights universal and innate or is the Universal Declaration of Human...
...Humanrights in today’s world have become pivotal to the functioning of our society as a whole, largely due to the increased occurrences which in turn have led to greater awareness and repudiation of the same in the world community. In present times the humanrights field encompasses a broad range of civil, political, economic and social rights which shows its all pervasive nature, and the accountability for the violation of these rights by state and non-state actors alike. The scope of humanrights in today’s day and age has thus widened considerably as gradually the individual becomes an end in himself and is recognized as being of primordial concern.
Humanrights law is a subset in the field of humanrights. Humanrights are what define a society; hence the humanrights law takes primacy over all the laws. There is nothing more important than the development of humanrights in an evolving society
Humanrights and criminal law are closely inter - related. My personal interest lies towards humanrights as under the criminal law. Today we see all kinds of crimes being committed- state or non-state, say torture of prisoners, child labour, or most...
...HRV1601: HumanRights, Values and Social Transformation
Semester 01/ Assignment 01
The Historical Background and Development of HumanRights
Table of Contents
2) The Development of HumanRights
3) Historical Documents of HumanRights
3.1) The English Bill ofRights (1689)
3.2) The American War of Independence (1775-1783)
4) Developing and Maintaining a HumanRights Culture in South Africa
5) The South African Constitution
6) The South African Bill of Rights
A right is an inherent, irrevocable entitlement held by all human beings from the moment of birth. According to Ndungane (as stated in Slater 2010:19), “A humanright is a right that a human person has simply by virtue of being a human person, irrespective of his or her social status, cultural accomplishments, moral merits, religious beliefs, class membership or cultural relationships”. Basic humanrights are not earned or deserved, and should not be considered a privilege, but an imperative implement for the well-being and peacefulness of mankind. This...
...Humanrights in Pakistan:-
Pakistan’s humanrights situation is a complex one, as a result of the country's diversity, large population, its status as a developing country and a sovereign, Islamic republic as well as an Islamic democracy with a mixture of both Islamic and colonial secular laws. The Constitution of Pakistan provides for fundamental rights, which include freedom of speech, freedom of thought, freedom of information, freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly and the right to bear arms. These clauses are generally respected in practice. Clauses also provide for an independent Supreme Court, separation of executive and judiciary, an independent judiciary, independent HumanRights commission and freedom of movement within the country and abroad.
Although the government has enacted measures to counter any problems, abuses remain. Furthermore, courts suffer from lack of funds, outside intervention, and deep case backlogs that lead to long trial delays and lengthy pretrial detentions. Many observers inside and outside Pakistan contend that Pakistan’s legal code is largely concerned with crime, national security, and domestic tranquility and less with the protection of individual rights.
In May 2012, President Asif Ali Zardari signed the National Commission for Human...
...slavery, sickness and other arbitrary executions. To prevent such atrocities in the future, there are legal responses and non-legal responses to deal with the contemporary humanrights issues which is genocide.
First of all, legal responses refer to the UN humanright treaties and Genocide Convention that were adopted in 1948 and approved the Universal Declaration of HumanRight (UDHR) by the United Nation.
The Genocide Convention (1948) outlaws genocide, crime against humanity and crime under international law . All participating countries that ratified the convention will be prevented and punished the genocide in the war or a peace of time.
The Declarations defines the civil and political rights ( including the right to life, the right of liberty, and a fair trial) as well as the economic social and cultural rights( including the right to social security and participating in cultural right in one’s community).
In this case, Cambodia was a party that ratified the Genocide Convention on 14.10.1950. It was enforceable where the Senior Leader of Khmer Rouge between1975 -1979 under the definition of Convention. In contradiction, it was enforceable but it could not desist the massacre that happened in the 1975-1979.
Next, Cambodia was ratified the UDHR and International Convention on Civil and...
...Humanrights are universal, indivisible and interdependent. Humanrights are what make us human. When we speak of the right to life, or development, or to dissent and diversity, we are speaking of tolerance. Tolerance will ensure all freedoms. Without it, we can be certain of none.
<br>The raging ethnic cleansing in Kosovo is an example of intolerance. The Serbians will not tolerate the Albanians at any cost. They are forcing them from their homes, turning the streets into killing fields. This civil war seems unstoppable because of the intolerance of one race against another. No respect for individual rights, basic humanrights.
<br>Another example is right in our own back yard. I am speaking of hate crimes which plague our society. They are no different today than centuries ago when slavery was allowed. One race against another. One religion against another, it is all the same. Hate is the opposite of tolerance. We can only live together through an expression of tolerance of the differences each of us brings into this world. We should embrace the differences and share the differences. For this is how we learn, through each others' differences. Tolerance in all cultures is the basis of peace and progress.
<br>Our country was founded on the basic idea that all man and women are created equal with liberty...