The Concept Of Environment: Meaning And Impact On Human Development

Explanation Of Environment
The term “Environment” is quite encompassing and includes the physical elements that surround us as well as the socio-cultural and economic aspects of human life.
Environment is human being’s immediate surrounding, such as air, water, land as well as other related living and non-living resources. Environment is that bases of any nation’s economies, on which sustainable development is built.
From the above definitions, the components of the Nigerian environment can be identified as:
1. The physical environment which include: the land, water, air, plants, animals etc ( living and non-living things).
2. The social environment, which is the socio-cultural and economic aspects of human life. It includes things made by man in the course of changing the natural environment to his own use and advantage to wit; structures and amenities like schools, factories, hospitals etc.
The Impact Of The Environment On Human Development
The environment has made positive contributions towards human development right from the beginning of the world.
A logical conclusion is made that; the environment has creates such impact on human development in the following ways:
1. Food
The constituents of the environment like vegetable, plants and animals are sources of food for the survival of man, Also, oxygen from the air and water are all chemical element without which, man cannot survive. With the interaction of man with his environment, man became aware of the importance of Agriculture (farming and animal husbandry) in order to sustain food production to conquer hunger which is a threat among the growing population of the world.
2. Modernization
The environment has made man to be modernized with the natural intelligence, man was able to use the resources provided within his environment to transform himself from crude and nasty to a pleasant man. In other words, environment made an impact of civilization on man, for example, man used the constituents of the environment to make cloths, cars and build houses for himself. These products made human beings modern.
3. Industrialization
Corollary to the above is the establishment of industries by man through discoveries of his intellect. In this regard, the environment serves as a source of raw materiasl for the industries. Such raw materials include, iron, tin, gold, stones, sand, water, plants, animals etc. through the production process, these raw material are converted into finished products for human consumption which has a significant role to play in human development. Infact, the environment is the bases of any nation’s economies on which sustainable human development is built.
4. Recreation
The environment serves as a process or means of refreshing or entertaining oneself. This is an important role in human development, e.g. the game of football and sport have united the people of Nigeria and fostered the relationship of Nigeria with other countries of the world.
5. Occupation
The environment has played a significant role of providing occupation or employment for human development, through environment; Agriculture, mining and industrial productions were possible and people employ themselves in these activities in order to give life a meaning.
In general, the socio-cultural and economic aspect of human life, which is a part of the environment, is in itself human development. Example: the role of education (which Comprises of Arts, Science and Technology) in human development cannot be over emphasized.

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