We all know about the strides that are being made in the developed world with regards to environmental protection. After all, we have all heard of the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency and the World Wildlife Fund had its start in Switzerland. This does not mean that underdeveloped countries can’t take action. In fact, many of them can find ways to bring about real changes and further protect the environment. One strategy that has taken hold in some countries in Asia is the reduction in their use of plastic. Countries in Africa are also doing their part, especially in South Africa where plastic straws have already been largely replaced by paper ones in restaurants and fast food establishments.
Another major initiative in many of the underdeveloped countries is recycling of materials. This has become much more prevalent and many schools in South Africa, for instance, have active recycling programs. This actually serves two functions; the first is to educate young people about the importance of recycling to help protect the environment, and the second to raise funds to help the school or to provide funds for charities associated with the school in question.
Highly determined individuals in underdeveloped countries can also have a large impact in influencing the attitude and approach of such countries to the environment. For instance, Fatima Jabrell of Somalia was the driving force behind the African Development Solutions organization, which focuses on environmental work. She was also instrumental in encouraging people to use solar powered cookers instead of charcoal. Central and South American countries have recognized that protecting the environment is of paramount importance. Argentina uses a bike share program to reduce peoples’ use of motor vehicles and, therefore, decrease vehicle emissions. In Brazil, people are encouraged to use public transportation which also helps lower pollution within the city. In recent times African and Latin American countries have been diligent in setting up protected nature reserves and wildlife sanctuaries. This trend has lessened the harmful effects of poaching and mass tourism.
Underdeveloped countries can continue to take the following steps to help the environment:
1. Educate people about the importance of environmental protection;
2. Recycle materials and reduce dependence on plastics;
3. Reduce reliance on fossil fuels by encouraging carpooling, public transport and use of alternative sources of power;
4. Designate land as wildlife parks and continue to protect such lands from poaching and other human impacts.
Underdeveloped countries can also enact laws and regulations that protect the environment. This has aided more developed countries in effort to protect the environment, however, more needs to be done in terms of laws and regulations in underdeveloped parts of the world. Another issue is law enforcement; those who break the rules should be punished, and although some countries may recognize and punish those who harm wildlife (i.e. poachers), they often forget about other important aspects of the environment that need to be protected. For example, these countries often fail to provide a means of recycling harmful materials, such as motor oil.