Posted 24 August 2011, by Amna Sultan Al Malki, The Peninsula News Paper, thepeninsulaqatar.com
The environmental activists in the developed countries focus on making women aware of the environment and focus on their effective role in the management of the house and the promotion of positive thinking and behaviour in children.
If we managed to achieve a satisfactory level of environmental awareness among the most important segment of community (women), it will be beneficial for the country and its citizens in terms of the economy, environment, health and society, which deserve attention and care.
If we started with the smallest things such as how to deal with chemicals and household cleaners, economy in the use of electricity, water and food, and establishment of gardens, it will bring multiple benefits to the environment and the family, and will be a commendable achievement.
Some may find it difficult to achieve, but we know very well that the environmentally developed countries began their journey from zero. The secret of their success was strict government policies to force the citizens to actively participate in maintaining the environment through simple practices of everyday life, beginning with the house and the neighbourhood street.
There is no doubt that the reflection of environmental awareness in our behaviour is the object we aspire to. Every institution, employer, housewife and the manager of a mosque and school must start issuing environmental regulations and implementing them. I point out here the US city of New York, where cleaners in schools are obliged to use safe non-contaminated cleaning products such as chlorine. In New Jersey, the electric switches are installed in such a way that the lights go off if there is no movement in the room. In our environment we require the efforts, awareness and a genuine partnership between the citizen and the government in order to make a difference and, most importantly, the issuance of binding legislation to limit damage to the environment. More than 100,000 chemical products that leaked into the air, soil and water during the last century have been linked with health problems such as breast cancer, infertility, autism and learning difficulties in children.
G H Brundtland, the former prime minister of Norway and the Director General of the World Health Organisation, says “we must find out the long-term plans to address the changes in our world and we must not overlook the women, as they are, especially in the developing countries, suffering perhaps more than men from the deterioration of environmental conditions. The women represent 50 percent of the total world population and one-third of the workforce, but they do not have the force parallel to their share in the census and we must participate in the production and economic activities. There is no one who is more sensitive than a working woman or housewife to the importance of environmental health and we must not ignore their experience in saving our common future”.
In spite of the difference of the reports on the environmental impacts on the land is between pessimistic and optimistic and the value and nature of the damage that will occur and its expected dates. All agree that the planet is going towards old age thanks to the early futility of human being and his apathy.
In spite of the decisions taken by the Kyoto conference to reduce carbon emissions by five percent until 2012 and the pledge of the European Commission to reduce 30 percent of it by 2020 and the pledge of the international community to reduce it up to 50 percent by 2050 the acceleration of the negative effects of climate on the land may be greater than those actions to be taken reluctantly.
Finally, I would like to point out what Einstein said (that the environment is another myself). If the conviction generates in us that this safe environment is what must surround us with safety in all circles of our movement, the universe will be a safer and cleaner place.