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Be Active Not Passive

Environmental protection and promotion is on a steady rise globally, the incessant rise is due to a variety of factors one of which is environmental activism.

Environmental activism plays an important role in environmental conservation. One of the important functions of environmental activism is raising awareness to persistent and rising issues that affect the environment, in particular human induced issues.

Awareness works in favour of environmental conservation in that it often opens up issues that may be considered sensitive in political circles.

Thus at the very least, activism will ensure that all parties concerned are cognisant of emerging issues, regardless of the inconvenience associated with the exposing such issues.

Activism is also a great tool for effecting legislative reform. Since governments are increasingly subscribing to the international norm of democracy, environmental activists would do well to mobilise community participation in demanding that environmental concerns are effectively addressed in manifestos presented to voters during election season.

Issues such as service delivery, primary education, and primary healthcare were once upon a time not considered to be in the apex of voter concerns. Due to activists who were unrelenting in their approach, such issues are now taken seriously and thus form part of many a campaign to gain votes. The same applies where the environment is concerned, with activism and awareness on the rise politicians and policy makers will at some point deal with the issues as a matter of course.

What is important is that activists be at every campaign, rally, parliamentary session, petition and any suchlike process that has some or other relevance to the natural environment.

Environmental activism, like many tools that have in the past sought to revolutionise the way in which we live or challenged the status quo, may at first be viewed as “radical” or extremist. However this is a label that activist should embrace rather than reject, because this is what the times demand.

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