Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations. - Earl Nightingale
In the modern age of science and technology, our thrust is more on development and the importance of environment is generally ignored. It is an established fact that the environment problem in the development countries is due to the advancement of scientific and technological development, whereas the environmental problems of developing countries have the lack of development. Environment and development are complimentary and supplementary to each other and should go hand in hand. In fact, there is a need to maintain a proper balance between the two.
Today environment has moved into the main stream of issue that concern the entire international community. Such terms as eco development, ecological security, sustainable development and environmentally sound development have came into widespread use of focusing of our understanding of relationship between environment and development, that without conservation we cannot have development and without development we cannot have conservation.
Industries indispensable for the growth and economy of a modern society have been identified as the chief contributor to the environment degradation. With the environmental issues being brought to the forefront of political and economic agendas, industry is forced to react to two challenges: a growing awareness of the need for environmental protection and the unrelenting competition in the global market. Waste from industries can take the form of atmospheric emission, solid waste and liquid discharges. Waste is inherent to the process adopted but its quality can be controlled by optimal usage of quantities of raw material, suitable temperature and pressure etc.
In Pakistan, water borne discharge from industries has been recognized as most hazardous. As broad estimate based on KWSB supply figure 250 million gallons of untreated water is thrown into the Arabian Sea every day. In the vicinity of Karachi, industrial pollution discharges combined with mangrove destruction and over fishing have resulted in a sharp decrease in shrimp production, which translated into lower foreign exchange earnings. SITE, the largest center of wide range of industries, is responsible for more than 80 percent of the pollution carried by Lyari to Sea. The Malir River receives industrial effluents from Landhi and Korangi where the leather tanneries, the major polluters, are located.
Unregulated industrial emissions also give rise to severe health and environmental problems, especially when these factories are located in our near human settlements. Severe draughts are likely to occur frequently in the earth’s lower and middle latitudes over the next century if man continues to increase, the amount of polluting gases sent into atmosphere. Sea level around the world has risen about 30 centimeters over the past century due to global warming. The depleting Ozone layer poses serious threat to human health and environment. Medical scientists translate that every one percent drop in Ozone leads to two percent increase in skin cancer, as a result of great exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Consequently, in the developing countries including Pakistan, industrialization must continue to meet social and economic needs and to close the gap between rich and poor. But the nature and quality of growth need not to follow the path taken by industrialized counties. Learning from the disastrous mistakes of those nations, developing countries have the opportunity to produce more goods from few inputs, using clear and suitable methods. To avoid rapid increase in pollution and resource degradation that can accompany industrialization, waste recycling and reuse need to be adopted as the standard practice. Or we may end up in the kingdom of spiders where every creature will be forced to move up the food chain resulting in the ultimate destruction of life as we know it.