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Sunday, October 24, 2010


APES - AIESEC project on environmental sustainability

Climate change is becoming a major issue in the world today. Sri Lanka is a vulnerable island of its effects on the globe because the country is an island, hence is in a verge of getting drowned in the deep blue sea. It’s a proven fact that most of the causes of climate change are due to human activities that are harmful to the environment. This is because of the lack of the awareness among the people. This project will be a starting point of making a difference in a rather practical way. We plan to get closer to the society to make the society aware about the cause of Climate change and also its effects over the human kind.

The scope

The project addresses the issue of climate change and lack of sustainability in human activities on the environment. The project aims to create sufficient awareness among social entities regarding the negative effects of their harmful activities over the environment and the causes of climate change.

The target audience

  1. Students in government and private schools of Sri Lanka

  2. University Undergraduates

  3. Students of other higher education institutes

How does the project work?

AIESEC’s global internship Program enables young undergraduates and recent graduates to go overseas and get a working experience. This Internship program facilitates the interns to get an International experience which will be a life changing point for them.
The project will be run with the involvement of these interns who are willing to come to Sri Lanka and help us with the Project activities. The Interns will be trained to go to the planned target audiences and make them aware by conducting awareness sessions. In addition to this, the interns will involve in organizing some special activities to make this project much visible and interesting.

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Environmental sustainability - An introduction

Living in the present????How to have a better life.The environmental concerns on our planet have expanded dramatically in recent decades and are now among the most serious challenges affecting people’s well- being around the globe. All nations are affected, but often the poorest countries and the least privileged populations bear the greatest burden. They are hit hardest by environmental destruction and climate change and have the fewest resources available to adapt to changing situations.

What exactly is the meaning of SUSTAINABILITY ?

• • Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. ...
  • • Creating a life-sustaining Earth, a future in which prosperity and opportunity increase while life flourishes and pressures on the oceans, Earth and atmosphere diminish.
  • • Improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting eco-systems.
  • • The "long-term, cultural, economic and environmental health and vitality" with emphasis on long-term, "together with the importance of linking our social, financial, and environmental well-being.
  • • Using, developing and protecting resources at a rate and in a manner that enables people to meet their current needs and also provides that future generations can meet their own needs.
  • • The using of products of nature in a way that will not permanently destroy them for future use.

It is time for us to pay attention towards..

  • • human life.
  • • the capabilities that the natural environment has to maintain the living conditions for people and other species (eg. clean water and air, a suitable climate).
  • • the aspects of the environment that produce renewable resources such as water, timber, fish, solar energy.
  • • the functioning of society, despite non-renewable resource depletion.
  • • the quality of life for all people, the livability and beauty of the environment.
Threats to these aspects of the environment mean that there is a risk that these things For example, the large-scale extraction of non-renewable resources (such as minerals, coal and oil) or damage done to the natural environment can create threats of serious decline in quality or destruction or extinction. Traditionally, when environmental problems arise environmental managers work out how to reduce the damage or wastage. But it is not always easy to work out exactly when and where threats will have their effects and often the impacts are hard to reverse. So increasingly environmental managers adopt strategies aimed to prevent damage being done in the first place. A full sustainability program needs to include actions to prevent threats and impacts from arising, actions to protect the environment from threats and damage, and restoration to reverse damage already done.
Sustainability issues arise wherever there is a risk of difficult or irreversible loss of the things or qualities of the environment that people value. And whenever there are such risks there is a degree of urgency to take action. Environmental sustainability programs include actions to reduce the use of physical resources, the adoption of a ‘recycle everything/buy recycled’ approach, the use of renewable rather than depletable resources, the redesign of production processes and products to eliminate the production of toxic materials, and the protection and restoration of natural habitats and environments valued for their livability or beauty. These sustainability programs need to operate on an adequate scale and need tocontinue operating reliably for as long as the threats continue.

Some of the issues that pose major environmental sustainability problems include:

  • • destruction of the living environments (habitats) of native species
  • • discharge of polluting chemicals and other materials into the environment
  • • emission of greenhouses gases into the atmosphere than can cause climate change
  • • depletion of low cost oil and other fossil fuels
Some environmental issues are largely of local significance while others have regional or even global relevance. At the personal or household level, there are a host of actions that people can take to contribute to environmental sustainability at home, when travelling or accessing services or goods, at work, or when acting as a community member or citizen or as an investor of personal funds. Some useful examples are include living close to work where possible and walking,using a bike or using public transport. These are good options to save energy and reduce greenhouse gases. If these options are not possible then using an ultra efficient hybrid petrol/electric vehicle can cut greenhouse gases and petrol consumption by about 50% and cut other toxic pollutants by about 90%. Buying products made of recycled materials will generally save materials and energy, cut greenhouse gases and toxic pollution, and reduce impacts on living things in the wild. Installing a water tank and low flow shower can save water.
Using food in season or from local sources and organically grown can cut impacts from chemicals, save energy and reduce greenhouse gases.Involvement in or donations to community environmental groups can help with practical projects like revegetation or by building support for effective government policies. And investing savings in ethical investments can help accelerate the creation of an environmentally sustainable economy.