Approaches of Environmental education

1)An approach is a way of getting closer. The study of relationships between man and the environment has always been, in one way or another, a focal theme in environmental study. But the facets of the man-environment relationship change through time with the development of human society and the dimension of the environment.

2) Environmental deterministic approach of Environmental Education

This approach is based on the basic tenet of ‘earth-made man’ and pays more attention to the complete control of the physical environment on man and his activities. In fact, according to deterministic perspectives of man-environment relationships, man is subordinate to the natural environment as all aspects of human life viz. Physical (health and comfort), social, economic, political, ethical and aesthetic etc. Not only depend on but are dominantly controlled by the physical environment.

Though this deterministic or environmentalist approach blossomed in the writings of E.C. Semple (1910) in the second decade of the 20th century its seeds were already sown in the second half of the nineteenth century. The publication of ‘The Origin of Species’ by Charles Darwin in 1859 laid the foundation stone for the concept of environmental influences on man and other organisms.

3)Teleological approach of Environmental Education

The teleological approach is based on the religious faith of man is superior to nature and all other creatures. This approach to the man-environment relationship led to the excessive and rapid rate of exploitation of natural resources in North America and Western Europe as well as in other parts of the world which were their colonies. A host of scientists and environmentalists have held this religious tradition responsible for the present-day ecological crisis.

3. Possibilistic approach of Environmental Education

Right from the inception of the school of environmental determinism, there was a dissenting voice raised by those who believed that ‘no doubt physical environment influences man and his activities but there is an ample scope for man to change the environment so much so that it becomes suitable for man and his society.

This concept of possibilism was founded by Febvre who has remarked, ‘man is a geographic agent and not the least.

4. Economic deterministic approach of Environmental Education

 This approach is based on the basic ideology of man’s mastery over the environment and continued economic and industrial expansion through the application of modern technologies.

5. Ecological approach of Environmental Education

An ecological approach to the study of man-environment relationships is based on the basic principles of ecology which is the study of mutual interactions between organisms and the physical environment on the one hand and interactions among the organisms on the other hand in a given ecosystem. Thus, man is considered an integral part of the environment.

6. Geographical Approach of Environmental Education

The Geographic Approach refers to using geographic science supported by GIS as a framework for understanding our world and applying geographic knowledge to solve problems and guide human behaviour. This science provides us with awareness of what’s going on, predictions of what may happen, and systematic information for planning and decision-making.  For example the relationships between land use change, surficial hydrology, flooding, biodiversity, etc. These understandings are helping society become more conscious and aware of the interrelatedness of our world and how our cumulative behaviour is affecting the evolution of the planet.

Role of Environment and natural resources in sustainable development

1)Sustainable utilization of natural resources is the proper management of natural resources for the benefit of the entire human community. 

2)The main aim of sustainable development is to provide resources for present generations without compromising the needs of future generations.

3)The environment performs some crucial functions: Supplying Resources: The environment contains both renewable (air, water, land) and non-renewable (fossil fuels) resources. While the former are reusable and do not get depleted soon, non-renewable resources come with the fear of depletion.

4)An abundance of natural resources should accelerate economic development because it increases exports so that more capital goods can be imported to build up the economy, and also because the natural resource rents (returns over those required by an efficient producer) can be used to boost capital investment.

5) sustainable development aims at raising the societies’ standard of living using fulfilling the basic needs of the product and the economic resources generated, particularly; the natural resources.