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Today, humans realize that the environment is fragile and can no longer be used in the traditional way. Therefore, many organizations at various levels are looking into environmental problems and means of sustainable development. Union (IUCN) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), produced a World Conservation Strategy that contained key features for sustainable development. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, was a comprehensive meeting and a major media event that focused worldwide public attention on environmental issues; its agenda is given in Fig.
Undoubtedly the growth and location of the world’s population are the key determinants of global environmental change. Therefore the relationship between population and environment and between technology and economics will be highlighted. The scientific methods for assessing and controlling the effect of technology on the environment will be discussed, and issues surrounding international cooperation will be briefly explained. The understanding of this first section is important in that the development and environmental effects of technology are dependent on human behavior, and on the social and economic forces in place.
Because of these locations, large pollution loads in both air and water transport the effects of urban activities over long distances. Cities also cause major alterations to topography, drainage systems, climate, economies, and social systems. For example, while photochemical smog affects the local urban population’s health, damage to vegetation from high concentrations of troposphere ozone is a regional problem, as is the destruction of forests and lakes from acid rain; burning fossil fuels for industrial and domestic energy, largely in urban areas, contributes to the intensification of pollution and enhances the greenhouse effect.