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Updated: Jul 13, 2021

Meaning and Definition of Environment

world environment day 5 june

You must have heard the term "environment," but have you ever thought exactly what "environment" means? The term "environment" does not have a single dimension, but has several aspects - besides the physical and biological aspects, the environment has multiple other aspects, including social, political, economic, cultural and religious, to name a few. At' the fundamental level, environment means the three basic elements of the earth - air, water and land - and the inter-relationships that these elements share with human beings and, in fact, all living organisms. The elements and their interaction with living beings constitute the physical and biological aspects of the environment. All these aspects surround every organism and interact not only with the organism, but also among them selves. Thus, the environment is a blend of all factors, and constitutes all the external conditions that influence the life and development of living organisms, including plants, animals and human beings.

Let's look at some other definitions of the term "environment" in the statutes of various countries.

According to the Indian Environment (Protection) Act, '1986, the "environment" includes water, air and land, and the inter-relationship that exists among and between water, air and land, and human beings, other living creatures, plants, micro-organisms, and property.

The Canadian statute defines "environment" as components of the earth and includes air, land and water, all layers of the atmosphere, all organic and inorganic matter and living organisms, and the interacting natural systems that include these components.

The European Economic Community defines environment as water, air, land and the inter-relationship between them and any organisms.

The Australian Environment Protection defines "environment" as aspects of the surroundings of human beings, whether affecting them as individuals or in their social groups.

The definition of the term "environment" establishes the philosophical basis of any legislation drafted and implemented to protect it. Besides, Way that environment is defined indicates the value placed on its various a e is and the perceptions that policy-makers have of the environment, particularly human's place in it. Such a definition also reflects the focus of the environment legislation and the commitment of the State towards protecting it.

Some other terms related to the environment are ecosystem ,ecology and biodiversity. Ecosystem means a system in whit nature interact with each other and survive and such system may exist at a highly localized level. For example, a lake or a forest Ecology means the study of such intricate web of relationships .A biome means a larger ecosystem or a combination of several ecosystems that hive similar climates and share similar characteristics and nature vegetation. For example, grassland or a desert .The biosphere consists of the' earth, the water and air that surround the earth and give it life, and all living things within .Biodiversity, or biological diversity, means the variety of species of living beings plants, animals and microorganisms - within an ecosystem or ecological process.


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