Enormous stress has been laid on natural resources since last few decades due to ignorance and carelessness. Due to this stress, a number of environmental problems have emerged on global, national and regional levels. These problems are to be solved by the people on all the different levels through individual and joint efforts. For this, all the different problems concerning natural resources like water, soil, air, forests and others; and their causes are to be understood properly by every one including common people. Those who already understand environment, its manifestations, causes of stress etc. can device programmes for conservation and implement those programmes involving common people. For common people, some sort of stimulation towards conservation of natural resources is necessary which can be done by creating awareness.
The dictionary meaning of awareness – knows or realizing something or knowing and realizing that something exists and that are important. In the context of environment, awareness means; knowing about environment, realizing different types of environmental problems caused by human activities and feeling those problems with a deep sense of responsibility. The public awareness can be generated through different types of programmes. What is a public awareness programme? Well, a programme formulated and designed to make the public know about general processes of environment, its different resources, need and ways of conservation of those resources etc., is known as Public Awareness Programme.
The environmental problems are numerous and these problems vary from place to place on global, national and regional levels. Public Awareness Programmes are designed and conducted to develop proper insights into the basic environmental concepts and issues listed below.
· The Biosphere and its components like plants, animals, and microorganisms,
· Physical resources like water, air, soil etc.
· Energy, its resources and availability,
· Human activities causing stress on environment,
· Nature, extent and impact of human activities and all possible measures to avert the bad impacts of these activities.
Institutions, Organisations and Individuals Concerned With Public Awareness Programmes
The Public Awareness Programmes concerning conservation of resources like water, soil, air, forests, wild animals and others, are being carried on by governments, non- government organizations, local bodies, corporations, educational institutions, village Panchayats etc.Some of these are being mentioned here for you-
· International Organizations like WWF (World Wide Fund for nature), Green Peace, PETA (People for Ethical Treatment to Animals) etc. are running campaigns for the awareness regarding conservation of nature and natural resources.
· Indian Organizations like: the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi; Vigyan Prasar, New Delhi, Govt. of India; Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad; Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai; Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun; Zoo Outreach, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu; several government agencies and non- govt. organizations are running different types of Awareness and Conservation Programmes in most effective ways.
· Film Producers like Jacques Cousteau and David Attenborough have made documentaries on several endangered species of animals so as to stimulate sense of conservation among masses. Zoo 2000, Expedition to the Animal Kingdom, Earth Watch etc. are names of some programmes designed to generate awareness. Besides these, some Television Channels work round the clock for generating awareness regarding everything related to the conservation of environment.
· A number of books and magazines are being brought out by different organizations for the creation of awareness about the conservation of natural resources. Down to Earth (published by the Society for Environmental Communications, New Delhi), Journal of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Hornbill (published by BNHS- Mumbai), and Sanctuary (602, Maker Chamber, Nariman Point, Mumbai) - are names of some important magazines in this regards. The “Silent Spring” – the book authored by Rachel Carson, is a world famous book on the Pesticide Poisoning.
· The Vigyan Prasar, New Delhi (India); has been running various types of programmes for the popularization of science and conservation of environment across the country. The Vigyan Rail is its latest effort to generate awareness about science and environment.
· The Central Pollution Control Board ( Ministry of Environment and Forest, Govt. of India), Vigyan Prasar ( Ministry of Science and Technology, Govt. of India), National Council of Science and Technology Communications (Ministry of Science and Technology, govt. of India), WWF-India etc. organizations are catalyzing different programmes run by other organizations and functioning of various Eco- clubs, Nature clubs etc. in different schools of India for the generation of awareness and development of students as environmentally conscious citizens of the world.
Key Words: awareness, Jacques Cousteau and David Attenborough,silent spring, Hornbill, Vigyan Prasar