10 Environment protection, natural resources
The protection of the environment and the preservation of the natural resources are crucial for all humans. The development of mankind and their survival depends largely on their natural habitat, their environment and the natural resources at their disposal. The development of the environment is thus closely linked to the economic and social development. That is why it is important to promote sustainable development, which includes and considers all three areas. Situations that cause conflicts or famines, or those that hinder sustainable development, are often linked to environmental problems and lacking natural resources.
Concrete measures as well as education and sensitisation of the youth are necessary in the struggle for keeping our environment safe and preserving the natural resources. When implementing such projects, it is important to show the negative effects of both environmental degradation and insufficient access to vital resources.
When planning a new project, it is important to promote the use of renewable instead of non-renewable resources. Only a limited amount of non-renewable resources is available; also, they are consumed much more quickly than nature can provide reconstitution. Renewable resources, however, are available endlessly. They are constantly and quickly reconstituted. That is why the latter should have precedence over the first.
Water: Lack of water or bad water are responsible for 80% of the diseases in the developing countries; lack of water or bad water cause more casualties than armed conflicts. The causes are closely linked to water management and distribution. Solutions lie in the sustainable management of this resource, partly in improving the infrastructure and efficiency of the distribution system, partly also in the efficient usage of water. Agricultural production depends directly on the amount and quality of the available water.
Solidarity Water Europe, youth projects
European Youth and Environment
Air: The air is a vitally important resource for humans; its pollution can have global consequences for all living beings. The sources of the pollution of the air are generally linked to human activity.
Environment for Young Europeans - Air: the breath of life
Soil: The soil has four essential functions: growing food; storing coal and nitrate; gathering the water from rain and creeks; harbouring ecosystems.
The Soil Science Society of Switzerland - Soil Protection
The forest: Forests contribute to regulating diversity, controlling the hydrologic system, recycling nutrients, storing carbon, preventing soil erosion, etc. The destruction caused by human activities, migration or climate change can therefore have a disastrous effect on the local as well as regional levels.
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation: The Russian-Swiss project for sustainable forest management in Northern Russia
The climate: Climate change has a direct negative impact on the water, air, soil, forests, diversity, etc. It is always useful to realise all the effects that can cause the climate to change, and then promote reducing greenhouse gases and the protection of the environment.
WWF, Pandaction - climate (in German, French or Italian)
Energy: can be produced using various substances, such as coal, oil, gas, nuclear power, hydrogen, hydro power, sun, wind, etc. When using one of these resources, five factors need to be considered: capacity, costs, reserves, regeneration capacity and possible impact on the environment.
Greenpeace, youth solar project (in German or French)
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