The natural environment
comprises all naturally occurring surroundings and conditions in which living things grow and interact on Earth
. These include complete landscape
units that function as natural systems
without major human
intervention, as well as plants
, and natural phenomena
occurring within their boundaries. They also include non-local or universal natural resources
that lack clear-cut boundaries, such as air
The concept of the natural environment can be distinguished by components:
As human population numbers increase and as humans continue to evolve, human activity modifies the natural environment at a rapidly increasing rate, producing what is referred to as the built environment. The potential of the natural environment to sustain these anthropogenic changes while continuing to function as an ecosystem is an issue of major worldwide concern. Key environmental areas of interest include climate change, water supply and waste water, air pollution, waste management and hazardous waste, and land use issues such as deforestation, desertification, and urban sprawl.
The Great Barrier Reef
is the world's largest coral reef
system, composed of roughly 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands that stretch for 2,600 kilometres (1,616 mi) and cover an area of approximately 344,400 km². The reef is located in the Coral Sea
, off the coast of Queensland
in northeast Australia. A large part of the reef is protected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
The Great Barrier Reef's environmental pressures include lowered water quality from runoff including suspended sediment, excess nutrients, pesticides, and fluctuations in salinity. The effects of climate change, including increased temperatures, storms and coral bleaching. Cyclic outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish, overfishing which disrupts food chains, and shipping routes which can result in oil spills or improper ballast discharge also damage the reef.
is a Canadian science broadcaster
activist. Since the mid 1970s, Suzuki has become known for his TV and radio series and books about nature and the environment. He is best known as host of the popular and long-running CBC Television
science magazine, The Nature of Things
, seen in syndication in over 40 nations. He is well known for criticizing governments for their lack of actions to protect the environment.
, originally known as the Greenpeace Foundation, is an international environmental organization
founded in Vancouver
, British Columbia
, in 1971. It is best known for its campaigns against nuclear weapons
and campaigning against whaling
. In later years, the focus of the organization turned to other environmental issues, including bottom trawling
, global warming
, ancient forest destruction
, nuclear power
, and genetic engineering
. Greenpeace uses direct action
to achieve its goals. Greenpeace has national and regional offices in 46 countries worldwide, all of which are affiliated to the Amsterdam
-based Greenpeace International.
The global organization receives its income through the individual contributions of an estimated 3 million financial supporters, as well as from grants from charitable foundations, but does not accept funding from governments or corporations. It is often the subject of criticism and ridicule for supposedly over-the-top protesting.
On its official website, Greenpeace defines its mission as the following:
||Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organisation that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace by:
- Catalysing an energy revolution to address the number one threat facing our planet: climate change.
- Defending our oceans by challenging wasteful and destructive fishing, and creating a global network of marine reserves.
- Protecting the world’s remaining ancient forests which are depended on by many animals, plants and people.
- Working for disarmament and peace by reducing dependence on finite resources and calling for the elimination of all nuclear weapons.
- Creating a toxic free future with safer alternatives to hazardous chemicals in today's products and manufacturing.
- Campaigning for sustainable agriculture by encouraging socially and ecologically responsible farming practices.
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