• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Environmental Protection

  • By: Julia A. Gamas
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Environmental protection is the set of actions or measures that societies take to ensure the health of their life support systems: air, water, land, and biomass. The measures can take many forms, such as passing laws that limit or forbid the use of a certain resource or the performance of some activities in specific areas (e.g., offshore oil drilling, agricultural practices on certain lands), fines for discharging pollutants into the air or water, subsidies for purchasing energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling technologies, encouraging recycling and waste reduction, emissions trading, and smart growth of human settlements, among others.

Human beings obtain food, energy, and materials from the Earth's ecosphere and lithosphere, water from the hydrosphere, and oxygen from the atmosphere. These resources are termed environmental goods and ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles