Cultural safety in environmental management

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Over a long time environmental pollution has been increasing in Australia from the massive industrialization and urbanization in the region. As a result, cultural safety has greatly been compromised by the major capitalistic entrepreneurs whose main objectives are based on the vast profits they get (Allan et al 2001). The government have a role of ensuring that the the cultural safety in Australia is enhanced in all the regions at different levels of environmental management thereby reducing the emergent negative effects (Barbara 2006).

Since the onset of the industrial revolution and massive globalization in the 20th and 21st century, water, land and air pollution has dramatically increased threatening lives and main dependence of the people in the country (Australian State of the Environment Committee 2001). Resources destruction According to Lockwood et al (2006), pollution from industries and the urban setting always find it’s way into the natural resource bases in the country. Industrial effluents contain toxic substances that are harmful to the natural systems.

Once in the water bodies, acidic nitrates, oxides, sulphates and strong basic oxides destroy the water quality for domestic and industrial purposes. Over the years, communities living on the wetlands have culturally relied on the water systems for provision food and other traditional activities (Riad & Marca 2007). Increased pollution therefore greatly reduces the ability of this resource to maximumly serve the people in their regions of occurrence. To add to that, air and land pollution contributes greatly towards the destruction of land, flora and fauna in the country (Martin et al 2008).

Amongst the major agricultural and forest regions, land’s production capacity has been greatly crippled. Large amounts of finances therefore, are needed to fix the problem as the government is also denied part of it’s revenue source. Solid wastes and immediate effluents destroy the soil ability to retain nutrients by destroying it’s structure. Excessive aluminum ions in the soil induce rampant poisoning while encouraging faster leeching of nutrients to layers far below the ability of the plants to get them.

Pollutants such as the nitrogen oxides and brominted phenols greatly retards the growth capacity of the young plants while others literally kill them (Tim & Peter 2007). Poor community health. Richard & Katharine (2008) points out that, due the presence of these environmental chemicals from the industries and other point sources, people’s health is greatly affected. Continued addition of the heavy metals from the pollutant streams enhances accumulation and magnification in the people’s bodies leading to massive poisoning.

Motor vehicle sector and industries use of fossil fuels not only releases carcinogenic particulates, but also emits heavy metals like lead that are extremely toxic at high levels. This poisoning reduces life expectancy of the people thereby compromising the ability to pass their knowledge to the later generations. Due to the presence of the vast number of pollutants in the environment, the local cultural medicines derived from the available resources turns out to be ineffective thereby prompting their abandonment and adoption of the western treatment systems.

This increases the vulnerability of the people to the residual effects of these western chemicals (Ruth 2000). With pollution having greatly contributed to the destruction of the natural resources, indigenous highly nutritious foods ebb out. To ensure sufficient food production, cultural methods are thereby foregone as new systems are adopted. Industrial agrochemicals application requires exemplary care for effective long term sustainability.

As a result, the local highly nutritious food stuffs may be foregone for the new genetically modified and faster developing ones (Society for International Development 2007). Erosion of the cultural beliefs and knowledge of the local people Cultures are usually rich and diverse with enough capacity to handle majority of the emergent problems in their areas of jurisdiction. However, as stated earlier vast destruction of the natural resources upon which the indigenous knowledge is based on, serves as an immediate death trap.

This knowledge should be safeguarded and built upon by the government for local cost effective problem solving solutions. Western cultures easily penetrate and replace the previously rich ones as the westerners come to try and address the pollution problems. Local religion and beliefs are also not spared as there is great tendency to believe the westerners and their superior technologies (Central Intelligence Agency 2007). Destruction of intra and inter-generational equity.

Due to the massive destruction that emanates from pollution’s harmful effects of the natural and the artificial resources the overall sustainability is totally compromised. With increasing pollution of natural resources, loss of biodiversity and adoption of new management systems, the future generations will be denied major chances to enjoy the same resources benefits (Michael, White 2007). Immediate impacts of natural flora and fauna disturbance has seen large conflicts arising from human wildlife conflicts.

Culturally the people were able to live harmoniously with the wildlife at all times. This conflict may be increased by the people as they continuously compete for land with the wild animals after theirs were rendered unproductive by the rising pollution standards (Damian & Lewis 2007). Legislative framework Peter et al (1999) notes that, since the first United Nations Conference on human environment in 1972 in Stockholm Sweden, Australia as a member has ratified different conventions that are meant to ensure sound environmental protection at all levels.

Kyoto protocol, Vienna, Ramser and Biological Diversity conventions have greatly contributed towards the present policies on environmental management. Human beings have been established as the center stage in addressing the environmental issues in all the UN member countries. The government as a major strategy to address the rising problems enacted the Planning and Environmental act of 1987 and the 1978 Environmental effects act which have both been amended severally to include social cultural aspects to be considered before issuing licenses for development of land (Colin & Luise 2004).

Recently the government of Australia has adopted the new environmental management tools of environment impacts assessment and environmental audits for new and existing projects respectively. This policy ensures that all the expected negative impacts are identified well in advance and therefore measures to address them installed on time. Environmental protection procedures of 1993 ensures that all the stages in the process take into consideration the cultural aspects of the people living in the region of project operation (International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management 1999).

With all the 7 major regions in Australia appreciating the need to uphold environmental conservation and strong regards to the cultural safety, stiffer penalties for the offenders should be established (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development 2008). Polluter pays principle and inclusive precautionary measures should be emphasized greatly. Strong focus to the environmental conservation with respect to the people’s culture as part of the production unit and not as factors of production should be encouraged in all levels of management.

Finally, the government should emphasis on establishment of environmental specialists in all the major regions that are bound to have impacts to the cultural environment. Conclusion Cultural diversity should always be safeguarded by individual governments as part of it’s unique asset. Environmental planning and management in Australia have had great concern for the environment but reduced emphasis on the cultural safety of it’s people which later led to it’s great erosion. Increased pollution over years affected the natural resources upon which the entire culture depended on (United States Division of the Federal Register 2004).

Gently but surely reducing the ability of the resources productivity, land, wetlands, forests, culture and wildlife have been greatly compromised. However, all the states in Australia have great desire to ensure that the continued erosion of cultural safety is halted. Increased emphasis on the present legislative framework should guarantee inter and intragenerational equity to all the future generations. Reference list Allan. D. , Nick, T. & Marcus, B. , 2001. Social Assessment in Natural Resource Management Institutions. Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing press.

Australian State of the Environment Committee, 2001. Australia, State of the Environment 2001: Independent Report to the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment and Heritage. Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing press. Barbara, T. , 2006. Art and Cultural Heritage: Law, Policy, and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Central Intelligence Agency, 2007. The CIA World Fact book 2008. New York:Sky horse Publishing Inc. Colin, F. & Luise, V. , 2004. Health and Safety Management: Principles and Best Practice. New York : Prentice Hall. Damian, M. & Lewis, H.

, 2007. Alternative Food Geographies: Representation and Practice. Queensland: Emerald Group Publishing International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management, 1999. Coastal Area Management in Southeast Asia: Policies, Management Strategies, and Case Studies. New York: Sage. Lockwood, M. , Graeme, W, & Ashish, K. , 2006. Protected Areas Management: A Global Guide. New York: Earth scan. Martin, P. & Osvaldo, Canziani. , 2008. Climate Change 2007: Working Group II Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

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