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Pollution as a Global Challenge

Pollution is a global environmental problem that diminishes the quality of life of communities across the world. Whereas several initiatives have been made toward environmental contamination management, the limited political will has slowed down the administration processes. Pollution affects the ecosystem by interfering with ecological biodiversity and jeopardizes communities’ health that depends on these resources. The several causes of corruption include industrial activities, fossil fuel combustion in motor vehicles, and mining activities. Previous conventions on the ecosphere’s control have failed to yield significant results because of low commitment by participating countries. Toxic waste is a global problem that affects natural resources and society, and governments can reverse it through community awareness creation and political will development.

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Biosphere contamination contributes immensely to climate change and public and individual health. Air pollution increases particulate matter and penetrates the respiratory system through inhalation exposing individuals to various health complications. Besides breathing and cardiovascular complications, air pollution can adversely affect the central nervous system’s functioning and cause cancer (Manisalidis et al., 2020).

The upsurge in human activity through motor-vehicle combustion, industrialization, and mining has significantly increased particulate matter in the atmosphere. Emissions to the atmosphere also lead to depleting the ozone layer, thus exposing the earth to dangerous ultraviolet radiation. Water pollution affects marine life and jeopardizes human health. A large proportion of global pollution depends on water bodies for livelihood and economic activity. Factory spills, wastewater effluent directed towards water sources, and runoff from agricultural fields are among the leading water pollutants (Singh & Gupta, 2016).

Water pollution introduces harmful substances like zinc, mercury, and petrochemicals that adversely affect human health. Stakeholders in environmental management must appreciate the impact of pollution on the environment and communities and devise lasting solutions.

Governments can build the capacity of communities to manage their resources effectively and reduce the extent of pollution. According to O’Connell et al. (2017), organizations can effectively protect their environments against corruption through capacity building. Conservation efforts by communities can help maintain diversity and improve the quality of life. Capacity building must incorporate awareness creation, change of attitudes, and funding to achieve lasting results. Authorities must be mindful of the reality that societies depend on natural resources for survival. In this connection, they must provide proper incentives to encourage conservation.

Engaging public members in decision-making can help incorporate their expectations in conservation efforts and foster sustainability. Concerted civic initiatives can help deal with pollution triggers, including unplanned construction, misappropriation of resources, and bad governance (O’Connell et al., 2017). Capacity building can also help community members safeguard protected areas like riparian zones. Agencies engaged in conservation can initiate poverty alleviation initiatives as a deterrent to the destruction of these areas. However, governments can play a leading role in pollution management through international agreements.

The international community must pursue cooperation between countries to achieve lasting impacts in pollution control. Previous protocols have yielded little result as governments failed to honor their environmental commitments. Nations under the auspices of the Kyoto protocol ratified the Kyoto protocol that promised far-reaching initiatives in pollution management in 1997. However, participating countries raised questions about distributive justice, reciprocity, and economic rationality. Among other objectives, the Kyoto Protocol sought to reduce the emission of greenhouse gas (GHG) concentration in the atmosphere below 5.2% below levels of the 1990 levels by 2012.

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In this regard, the convention legally bound nations to adhere to the set conventions. While the less developing countries raised objections citing climate justice, the United States, Japan, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand sought an economically viable initiative for the stated emission goals. The more industrialized countries noted that the Kyoto Protocol emission control initiatives’ commitment would have extensive cost implications on the economy.

According to Nwankwo (2018), Kyoto protocol measures would cost the US an estimated 150 billion dollars. Despite being a major polluter, the US did not participate in implementing the Kyoto Protocol agreements. The exclusion of notable pollutants from the developing world, including Brazil, China, and South Africa, also raised objections from other participating nations (Nwankwo, 2018).

China, for instance, recorded high levels of environmental pollution but was excluded from the restriction measures. The differences in opinion about the Kyoto protocol’s ability to deliver significant results in emission controlled to the ratification of the Paris Agreement in 2015 (Streck et al., 2016). As a departure to the legally binding commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris agreement allowed countries to exercise their discretion in meeting the overall climate goal. However, parties to the Paris Agree must exercise the political will to significantly contribute to achieving the climate goal.

Pollution threatens species’ survival, and countries must consider credible initiatives to avert disasters associated with this problem. Human activity through industrial activity and fossil fuel use in transportation increases particulate matter into the atmosphere and diminishes life quality. Agricultural activities and effluent flow into water bodies, on the other hand, destroy marine life and ruins the livelihoods of communities. Countries can achieve significant gains in effluence reduction by empowering publics in ecological conservation. However, contamination is a global problem that requires international resolve for lasting impact. Stakeholders in pollution control must appreciate its adverse effects on the environment and society and cultivate political will among countries for lasting solutions to the problem.

References

Manisalidis, I., Stavropoulou, E., Stavropoulos, A., & Bezirtzoglou, E. (2020). Environmental and health impacts of air pollution: a review. Frontiers in public health, 8.

Nwankwo, C. F. (2018). Global Climate Regime: the challenges from Kyoto Protocol to Paris Agreement. Energy Today, 6(1).

O’Connell, M. J., Nasirwa, O., Carter, M., Farmer, K. H., Appleton, M., Arinaitwe, J., Bhanderi, P., Chimwaza, G, Copsey, J., Dodoo, J., Duthie, A., Gachanja, M., Hunter, N., Karanja, B., Kumu, H., Kosgei, V., Kuria, A., Mgero., C., Manten, M., Mugo., P., Muller, E., Mulonga, J., Niskanen, L., Nzilani, J., Otieno, M., Owen, N., Owuor, N., Paterson, S., Regnaut, S., Rono, R., Rihiu, J., Njoka, J., Waruingi, L., Olewe., B., Wilson., E. (2017). Capacity building for conservation: problems and potential solutions for sub-Saharan Africa. Oryx, 53(2), 273-283. Web.

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Singh, M. R., & Gupta, A. (2016). Water pollution-sources, effects, and control. Centre for Biodiversity, Department of Botany, Nagaland University.

Streck, C., Keenlyside, P., & Von Unger, M. (2016). The Paris agreement: a new beginning. Journal for European Environmental & Planning Law, 13(1), 3-29.

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