1.1 DEFINITION OF ENVIRONMENT
Environment, according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English means surrounding. This definition fails to mention the extent of the surrounding is made up of. The environment, in fact, includes everything living and non living: air, water, land animals and plants among others. The environment also involves the ways living and non-living objects interact as well as what result from such interactions. Birds, for example, interact with rocks either by perching on them, or the building of nests in rock crevices. The environment and humanity are inseparable; this underscores the need for the conservation of the environment and sustainable development. From the above definition of ‘Environment’, one can see clearly that environment means much, much more than one’s compound or school premises or one’s village.
What does pollution means? Pollution is simply defined as the poisoning of the air, the land and the seas.
Now, degradation. The degradation of the environment means the wearing down of the environment by various processes such as the action of water, wind, ice or erosion.
By conservation of the environment we mean the preservation and protection of the environment against pollution and degradation.
In its report “Our Common Future”, the World Commission on Environment and Development, defined economic growth as necessary for sustainable development. But commission noted that growth alone is not enough, since high levels of productivity and widespread poverty do coexist and endanger the environment. Agenda 21 recognized that the private sector plays a major role in achieving sustainable development, both by fostering economic growth and by reducing environmental impact. The challenges for business and industries is to provide environmentally sustainable growth; they must devise strategies to maximize added value while minimizing resources and energy use. The need for clean, equitable economic growth remains the biggest single difficulty within the larger challenge of sustainable development.