Environmental study is an interdisciplinary area of study. When we say interdisciplinary field of knowledge, the study include many disciplines of knowledge such as earth sciences/ agriculture, economics, biology, physics, chemistry, sociology, engineering and politics. Environmental science therefore is a mixture of traditional science, social values and political awareness.
Environmental science is by nature an interdisciplinary field. Environment means the surrounding conditions that affect people and organisms.
In fact environment is everything that affects an organism during its life-time. Solving environmental problems is not an easy task. For example, air pollution problems of Juarez, Mexico are also air pollution problems of El Paso, Texas. But it is more than an air-quality and human health issue.
Some industries have moved to Mexico due to lower wage rates and less strict environmental laws. Similarly, Mexico and many other developing nations are struggling hard to improve their environmental conditions.
Air-pollutants produced in the major industrial regions of United States of America drift across the border into Canada, where acid rain damages lakes and forests. So a long standing dispute exists between the United States and Canada over this matter.
Similarly, using water from the Colradu River for irrigation purpose reduces the quality and quantity of water entering Mexico and causes political friction between Mexico and the United States.
In modern agriculture, intensive use of chemicals and high technology is causing severe ecological damage worldwide leading to the destruction of rainforests, erosion of invaluable top soils, increasing salination of soils, desertification (barren), contamination of water resources, and worsening water scarcity.
Awareness of catastrophic consequences of continued destruction of the earth's rainforests has finally become a focus of world attention. World opinion demands an end to the destruction and for the restoration of as much land as possible to its original diversity.
One place to look for these root causes is the deadly connection between United States agricultural policies and rain forest destruction. Under the farm bill, the United States government deliberately drives world commodity prices down, causing a tremendous increase in the debt of commodity exporting.
Third World nations (under developed economies/nations) have their income from these export falls. In a desperate attempt to service this debt, millions of acres of rainforests are destroyed to boost agricultural and hard-wood exports. Are they not economic and political reasons with which environmental science has deep concern?
Because of all these political, economic and ethical reasons, solving environmental problems is a complex task. Such problems seldom have a simple solution. International Organizations have major bearing on the quality of environment of the world.
The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), South America in 1992 took place as the Earth Summit was the first worldwide conference at which heads of state were asked to commit their countries to specific environmental policies.
Most countries signed agreements on sustainable development and biodiversity. Previous agreements of global warming and depletion of the Ozone layer had been signed by many nations.
A recent undertaking is the International Environmental Education Programme. This programme recognize the need for environmental education at all levels of society and suggest the permissible limits non-hazardous to man and ecosystem.