A New Threat to Environmental protection


A New threat to Environmental Protection

As part of a collective approach to tackling global environmental problems, the UN Millennium summit recognised the need to include environmental sustainability among the eight millennium Development goals. This declaration provides a platform for international Cooperation on the threat of global degradation.

But in as much as this is a welcome development, there is still a lot to be done to ensure that the environment is really protected. The international corporations whose activities, are exacerbating global degradation, must first take responsibility, and cut down the very activities
that are affecting the environment and livelihoods. Furthermore, governments around the world must take decisive actions not only in making policies and legislations, but also to provide the mechanism to implement them.

The demand for natural resources has put increased pressureon the forest.  In addition to the impact of mining and oil exploration on the environment, illegal logging is one of the biggest threats to environmental sustainability. As a result, the work of protecting these forests must be a priority to individuals, communities and governments alike. In recent years, this has been left largely in the hands of community volunteers and Conservation groups. These groups work with little or no government protection, which has exposed them to brutal attacks, leading to deaths and displacement, from agents of illegal logging.  Incidents like this have the potential to trample on common Rights, which are not protected by Human right.  The real tragedy for the commons is the conflict between those wanting to protect the environment and those exploiting it.

Progress towards reducing illegal logging in Brazil, for instance, has been hampered by the brutal murder of environmental campaigners.
This in itself is an enclosure of the commons.  Brazil had made considerable progress in halting the destruction of the world’s largest tropical rainforest. The area of forest lost has been reduced from 10,500 square miles in 2005 to 2,300 miles in2010 (1.The Guardian, Thursday, 29/09/11, p.27).

Protecting the world’s forest remains one of the daunting challenges of environmental sustainability. The reason being that the majority of these
forests remain out of reach to most environmentalists and conservationists. Government environmental officers only visit these areas, as part of armed operations, escorted with helicopter. Those who venture to live in these forests to protect them face the daily threat of been killed or kidnapped.

As part of the overall strategy for environmental sustainability, Governments all over the world must create appropriate policy and legislative frame work to provide robust forest patrol and protection for those who volunteer to protect the environment. In order  to carry out our mission to protect the environment,  greed and capitalism has to be kept out of our forests.


1. ‘Death in the Forest: Brazil accused of protecting trees but not people’, The Guardian, Thursday, 29th September, 2011. p.27


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