This chapter attempts to provide an understanding of the relationships between beings and the environment within which they exist. The effects of environmental degradation on the lives and the helth of people are discussed.
Section I discusses the relationships between our environment, our development policies and our technological choices. The encouragement given to the industry and commercial interests for natural resources is at the expense of the local people, who are dependent on the various products of the environment. Various examples are listed to illustrate this. Examples showing the exploitation of the Third World countries by the developed Western countries are also mentioned in this section.
Section II considers separately each aspect of the environment - Land, Water, Atmosphere - and analyzes the various ways in which the pooer and deprived sections of our society are marginalised even further. The health hazards inherent in various occupations and work environments are also listed.
Section III covers the environmental changes and their impact with refererence to forests. It is a report of a group discussion that took place during a training programme on environmental reconstruction. The participants -- all of rural origin discussed how changes in environment with regard to forests, have affected the lives of local people, and explored what can be done to remedy the situation.
Appendix 1 is a sample list of endangered medical species.
Appendix 2 is a list of legislations related to the environment.