The impact of civilization is now imprinted upon the environment – the environment which is fast deteriorating in its ability to support life forms. With every large stride taken in towards development, we take ten strides back in our failure to protect our environment, to save rare species from serious danger of extinction.
Environment impact can be gauged in the risk to human and ecological health and in the subtle but horrifyingly altering course of nature.
Human health is the most obvious aspect which is taken into consideration in every study of environment impact. It includes the dangers and changes to the quality of life, that are determined by physical, chemical, biological and psychosocial factors which in turn shows how far the damage can go. Environmental pollution in its many forms has affected human health - Cancer, asthma, skin diseases, neuro and coronary problems, vision and even foetal illnesses. And all are fatal.
Ecological health impact points to the increasing misbalance of the ecological pyramid. While waste material and the proliferation of simpler life forms (bacteria, insects) that thrive on it are on the rise, there is no population growth in those species that normally prey on them due to predation, climate, and even food scarcity for them due to deforestation. The fast receding balance in the animal planet is causing more and more smaller carnivores to proliferate, very often overstressing herbivore populations, thereby shaking the very foundations of the ecology on which we rest.
Ecological damage is also evident in nature’s inability to perform nature's services, or a pending ecocide, due to cumulative causes such as pollution.
Measures that depend on biodiversity are valid indicators of ecological health as stability and productivity (good indicators of ecological health) are two ecological effects of biodiversity. Increasing pollution is in its sinister and multiple aspects is crippling our planet. The natural ways man could benefit from nature are no longer viable. Even the simplest of herbs picked for medication cannot be taken in its raw form.
Organizations and governments around the globe are taking up the issue in arms. The simplest global phenomenon is called the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA). Environmental impact assessment is a planning tool and a formal process that is now generally regarded as an integral component of sound assessment and decision making which will determine the potential environmental, social and health effects of a proposed development. The EIA is thus one of the forerunning tools to study, identify and improve on past, present and future environment hazards.