Global environment is a common factor that affects all the countries of the world. The consequences of change in global environmental conditions are therefore also global in nature and hence a cause of worldwide concern.
The rapid economic and industrial growth since the last century has caused degradation in global environment to a considerable extent. Release of huge amount of industrial, domestic and nuclear pollutants and rising population have contaminated earth, water and air. The effects are manifest in ozone layer depletion, global warming, change in global biochemical cycle, clearing of rain forests, coral reef degradation and an unprecedented rate of species extinction (GEO-1).
In the wake of an impending crisis the world responded with a meeting of governments in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992 (GEO-1) and adopted an action plan called Agenda 21 to stop global environmental degradation. Since then a large number of NGOs, headed by United Nations Environment Program, are working to minimize the negative human impact on global environment and spreading awareness on the economic, political and ethical dimensions of the issue. The thrust of present action on restoring the global environment back to its normal health is on energy conservation and use of renewable energy sources.
Despite the increased awareness and a number of action plans, the degradation of global environment has continued unabated in the previous as well as present decade. This presents possibly critical challenges for safety of regional, local and global communities. The world should realize that it cannot prosper in an impaired global environment.
GEO-1. Global Environment Outlook-1. United States Environment Programme. Global State of the Environment Report 1997. Retrieve from the web 10/28/2006. http://www.grid.unep.ch/geo1/exsum/ex2.htm