Artillery Gun

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Frequently Asked Questions...

What are the longest ranged artillery guns in the world? and which armies use them?

you know, guns or canons;

not rockets or missiles.


Answer:

Gerald Bull is probably the best known guy for high performance cannons.

He was modifying existing platforms, mostly in the 155mm - 250mm range for longer range deployment. One of his cannons, based on a US 203mm M110 howitzer and used by Iraq, had an unassisted range of 35 miles.

He is also know for his high-altitude work, designing cannons intended to place payloads into space. One of his designs was a 1000mm gun, throwing a 4400 pound projectile into orbit. In terms of cannon, you don't get a whole lot rangier than that.

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Artillery Gun

The 40mm Machine Gun!!!

Linkage between Natural resources Degradation in Somalia and Environmental Education

 

INTRODUCTION

 

Environmental education emerged in the 1960s as the term for the educational dimensions of the environment movement which, at that time, was concerned about air and water quality (pollution), the growth in world population, continuing depletion of natural resources and environmental degradation. Early definitions were framed as being aimed at producing citizens that are knowledgeable about the biophysical environment and its associated problems, aware of how to solve these problems and motivated to work towards their solution.  Environmental education has focused on ecology, environmental issue investigation, and the citizen action skills needed to understand and influence issue outcomes. Emerging awareness of human health and social problems in racial minority and low-income communities resulting from natural resources degradation is expanding the role of environmental education. In order for environmental education to effectively address all populations, it must have simple guidelines that people can follow.

 

Environmental Education is the learning process that increases people's knowledge and awareness about the environment and associated challenges, develops the necessary skills and expertise to address the challenges, and foster attitude, motivations, and commitments to make informed decisions and take responsible action. A basic aim of environmental education is to succeed in making individuals and communities understand the complex nature of the natural and built environments resulting from the interaction of their biological, physical, social, economic, and cultural aspects, and acquire the knowledge, values, attitudes, and practical skills to participate in responsible and effective way in anticipating and solving environmental problems, and in the management of the quality of the environment.

 

Natural Resources are materials from the Earth that are used to support life and meet people's needs. Any natural substance that humans use can be considered a natural resource. Oil, coal, natural gas, metals, stone and sand are natural resources. Other natural resources are air, sunlight, soil and water. Animals, birds, fish and plants are natural resources as well. Natural resources are divided two types Renewable and Non-renewable resources. Renewable resources are those natural resources such as trees, water, sun and wind that can be replenished at about the same rate at which they are used. Renewable resources, however, can be depleted if not properly managed or conserved. Nonrenewable resources are those natural resources that are depleted more quickly than they can regenerate. Fossil fuels like oil and natural gas were formed over millions of years. Once mined and used completely, nonrenewable resources are gone forever.

 

 Mistakes that have resulted Natural resources Degradation in Somalia

 

Somalia is a country that is located in the horn of Africa and ravaged by civil war, around 20 years the country has never seen any administration and people of that country adopted that disorder system. In environmental sector the situation is worse; people can damage the natural resource any time they want because there is lack of systematic government which can handle the resources, there is no effective Environmental institutions and organizations which can monitor the resources, although there is some Non governmental Organizations (NGOs) which exist they do not have financial mechanisms to boost their work. Even before the collapse of the government in 1991, Somalia had no central government body for environmental protection and conservation, although there were several ministries and state agencies in charge of managing the natural environment. The national parks agency, for example, was set up in 1970 to establish nationally protected areas and parks. Further more, around 47% of people are illiterate that makes difficult for NGOs to disseminate the information about the impact of destruction of resources. The country's forest, animal grazing land, coastal resources and the health of whatever is left of its human population is in grave danger.

Also environment in Somalia has been severely degraded due to unsustainable use of natural resources, climate change and substances that deplete ozone layer as well as illegal trafficking of dumping toxic waste chemicals. Consequently the lives and livelihoods of Somali have been impacted. The poverty and illiteracy and civil conflicts have also exacerbated the situation.

Since the outbreak of the Somali civil war in 1990, Somalia political, socio-economic and environmental structures have been disintegrated. Disruption in governance and civil order over the last two decades has left Somalia without effective environmental management interventions. Consequently, environmental resources have experienced continued degradation. Somalia's interest in environmental resources issues beyond its own borders have also been excluded from a large number of international and regional agreements and conventions over this same period. Although Somalia is a signatory to a number of Multilateral Environment Agreements (MEAs), there has been little progress in implementation.

 

 In Somalia anyone with a boat can ship in and out whatever they want as the country possesses numerous natural harbours throughout its long coast. Some are making their living by cutting precious trees and converting them to charcoal, others are growing or selling drugs.

People do not understand the cutting of trees can lead into Global warming and destruction of habitat of ecosystem has adverse effect of human life.

 

The absence of an effective legislative, institutional and policy framework lack of technical capacity for monitoring and planning, further compound environmental problems. The environment is severely degraded and threatened with continued degradation unless action is taken to introduce and support environmentally sustainable development and practices.

These leads to repeated mistakes against of natural resources degradation as follows;

 Deforestation

Deforestation is the destruction or clearing of forested lands, usually for the purposes of expanding agricultural land or for timber harvesting. Charcoal plays an important role in both the energy sectors and the economies of most African countries. Charcoal making provides a considerable amount of employment in rural areas; it also allows for a quick return on investments. However, the inefficiencies inherent to the production and use of charcoal place a heavy strain on local wood resources, resulting into severe environmental consequences. In many parts of the world, the use of charcoal has been blamed for deforestation. Deforestation in the drier parts of Africa has led to an even worse problem - desertification and the loss of thousands of species. Deforestation is the product of the interaction of many environmental, social, political, economic and cultural forces at work in any given region.

During the last several years, a new type of business was introduced in Somalia. Cutting of trees to produce charcoal for export to the Gulf States has become a big business with considerable profits. In order to optimize the operation, local businessmen introduced a new technology - battery-powered chain saws for cutting of the forests. Trees are cut down, burn and brought by trucks for export from major ports in the country, particularly Mogadishu, Kismayo and Bosaso. Most of the charcoal is made in southern Somalia, while northern and eastern regions also experience the same problem but to a lesser extent. More than 80% of the trees used for charcoal are types of Acacia, the most dominant species. It is very difficult in the present political climate to investigate and put a stop to deforestation. The lack of strong central government has created opportunities for rival warlords and profit driven businessmen to exploit the land for their own gain without regard for the natural environment. It is unsurprising that the areas with the worst rates of deforestation are in south where the warlords reign.

 Inappropriate Land Use

Inappropriate land use can lead to soil degradation. Bad farming techniques are often responsible for land degradation. Leaving fields bare, or ploughing them up and down the sides of a hill can cause severe soil erosion when it rains heavily as the soil has nothing keeping it in place. When the left over parts of crops and animal manure are ploughed back into the soil they serve to replenish and fertilize it. However, if the crops are cut to be fed to animals and the manure is burnt as a fuel, the soil will have no way of replenishing itself, and decreases in fertility. Sometimes landowners make changes in the way they use the land in an attempt to make the land more productive, but often these changes damage the land and actually make it less productive.

 

In Somalia especially southern where most of productive land has associated, inappropriate land use are common because bad farming system which leads soil degradation, and most farmers they can't afford high technology which can lead them for appropriate allocation the plot of land they have. More to this, planning of land in way which different types of land units compatible for its use its important for farming system, for example around river shabele most farmers plant hillsides that cause soil erosion because at the time of rainfall all minerals may seep down in to the river hence cause adverse effect to the aquatic life. People are continue to settle fragile places such wetland which are very important for live of human and as whole of other living organisms because lack policy which restrict to settle these places.

 

 Desertification

Desertification occurs when productive lands are turned into non-productive desert as a result of poor land-management. Desertification, deforestation and overgrazing retard soil formation. Trees and shrubs are crucial in controlling water runoff and protecting topsoil from the fierce Somali dust storms, especially over the eastern plains. Desertification occurs when trees and shrub do not act as covers, exposing the soil to the elements. The soil then becomes barren and unable to host vegetation or live stock for many years.

 

Desertification is already evident along Somali coast where mangrove trees felled for timber and in the northern Somalia. The charcoal industry is one main culprit responsible for abusing Somali land to the point that it no longer can support much plant life to provide wood and charcoal to satisfy regional needs as well as international demand, bushes and other small plants are sacrificed for burning of large trees. As result, land suitable for grazing is destroyed. Further more, tracks that carry the charcoal for export leave in their week deep land tracks that are transformed in to gullies of rains. If the deforestation is left unchecked much longer, it could severely affect Somali's livelihoods. In long run, nomad's traditional lifestyle may be threatened because of the lack of posture for their livestock for rural Somalis. It would become increasingly difficult to cultivate crops when the land becomes less fertile.

 Poverty

Poverty is considered as a great influence of environmental degradation. In many regions of the world, regional overgrazing has resulted in destruction of grazing lands, forest and soil. Air and water have been degraded. The carrying capacity of the natural environment has been reduced. As the people become poorer, they destroy the resources faster. They tend to overuse the natural resources because they don't have anything to eat or any means of getting money except through the natural resources, they start to depend more on natural resources.

Poor people harvest natural resources for their survival or in order to meet their basic needs such as firewood, agricultural productions (such as maize), and water and wild plants for their medicine. All people regardless of being poor or rich depend on natural resources; the concern with poor people is that they are utilizing the resources directly. The rich people do depend on these resource but they do not go to the forest directly and harvest the resources.

Due to the lack of sufficient income people start to use and overuse every resource available to them when their survival is at stake. As desperate hunger leads to desperate strategies for survival, many trees are harvested for fire wood, timber and art craft. Most of the poor people use this fire wood as their source of income by selling them, and art craft products are also used for income generation. The roots of the trees are dug out for medicinal purpose. This leaves the soil exposed as the grasses are also grazed by animals and also collected for roofing the houses. When it rains the entire top and good soil are eroded which makes it difficult for that soil to produce better agricultural products.

They have no quality drinking water as they pollute the rivers by washing inside them and by also using a river as a dumping site for the bins. The lack of education also prohibits them from practicing environmentally sustainable agriculture; protect natural resources against degradation or rehabilitate degraded resources like rivers.

Poverty in Somalia can be attributed to a number of factors. The prominent ones being absence of an active central government, civil disputes, natural calamities like floods and droughts. Poverty in Somalia has increased manifold since 1990. Somalia, witnessed many inhibiting factors like downfall of the government, outbreak of the civil war, which further aggravated the problem of poverty in Somalia. Approximately, 45% of Somalia's population lives below the poverty line. Poverty in Somalia is more pronounced in the rural areas than in the urban regions.

In Somalia, more than seven in ten poor people live in ru­ral regions, with most engaged in resource-dependent activities such as small-scale farming, livestock pro­duction, fishing, hunting, artisanal mining, and logging. These people rely on related harvests as a primary source of income and fall back on natural resources when other sources of income fail. Natural ecosystems have several char­acteristics that make them attractive and accessible as a source of income to the rural poor. Environmental resources are renewable, widely dis­persed, and often found in common property areas where the poor can ac­cess them without owning the land. Ecosystem goods and services can act as community assets, whose benefits reach beyond household cash in­comes. In addition there is no government agencies which help of these poor people and most of UN agencies they are effective in Somalia because high risk of security.

Hazardous waste dumping in Somalia

World's chemical industries and nuclear energy plants have already generated millions of tons of hazardous wastes. Industrialized countries generate over 90% of the world's hazardous wastes (WCED, 1987). The high growth of industries in developed countries was accompanied by an equally high increase in the production of toxic hazardous wastes. But the technological capacity to handle these by-products - wastes, was not developing by the same level. This is the reason why problem of these wastes, particularly nuclear wastes, still remains unsolved.

Taking advantage of political instability and high level of corruption but lured by the potential financial gains, poor African nations have been used as the dumping sites for hazardous toxic waste materials from developed countries. In some cases, the income generated from this trade of importing hazardous waste from the West, have exceeded the Gross National Production (GNP) of many poor countries. Poverty is the reason of accepting importation of toxic wastes. Bearing the cost of the damage caused by the hazardous wastes, Africa dis-benefits the entire attempt of generating revenue to alleviate poverty. This do-or-die method becomes an alternative solution to the desperate search for revenue for some African countries, which are ill-equipped to dispose these health and environment threatening wastes. Both the exporting and importing counterparts violated international treaties to which most countries in the world are signatories.

 

During the Somali civil war, hazardous wastes were dumped in industrialized countries. In the fall of 1992 reports began to appear in the international media concerning unnamed European firms that were illegally dumping hazardous waste in Somalia. For years faceless companies that have links to various mafia groups have been using the Somali coast as a cheap waste dump. Anything from industrial heavy metals to radioactive nuclear waste and WMDs is being dumped along this wretched coast.

Taking advantages the political atmosphere in Somalia many warlords have entered contracts to these European farms as black market leading Somalia become as international waste dumping place. This causes severe damage for aquatic life by destruction of some important places such as coral reefs which are habitat of keystones species, and also human being specially fishers who depend on coastal areas for survival and leads for dangerous diseases such as respiratory lung, cancer and others.

 Loss of biodiversity

Loss of biodiversity is a reduction in the variety of plant and animal species. In areas where environmental degradation has occurred there is often a loss of biodiversity as a result of the disruption to the ecosystem. However the loss of biodiversity itself can be considered a form of environmental degradation. The range of genetic make-up (plant and animal varieties) in a particular area can be considered to be a natural resource and is important in maintaining a healthy environment. The loss of biodiversity mostly responsible by human activity such as settlement of wetland, Deforestation, Poaching, Dumping wastes in to the oceans and also as well as Natural factors such as Earthquakes, Floods, and volcanic activities. 

 

In Somalia dozens of wildlife have been killed and are still under death and displacement day by day in across Somalia. There is also an estimated number of animals had been shot illegally for almost two decade And uncontrolled number of this were run to neighboring countries while many number is also exported illegally to abroad monthly. These caused by the lack of central government since the collapse of President Siad Barre (Ex president) regime in 1991. Somalia is also suffering from foreign helicopters that are hunting and stealing wildlife on the outskirts of the villages in coastal areas. The most targeted areas by the flying poachers are Nugal, Karkar and Mudug regions.

 War

Somalia has characterized continues war which have affected human life as well as other living organisms. This war have contributed for degradation of natural resources in term of using heavy weapons such as artillery guns which can killed huge of wildlife and destruct around one hectare of land that have lead to extinct or migrate of keystones organisms. Also these weapons they have loud noise which also caused for some species to migrate in to neighbor countries such as Kenya, and Ethiopia. More to this, warlords also have begun to deport some wildlife into the abroad for the sake to get income for war such as elephants, rhinos, hippopotamus, and others.

Some analyses say that around 85% of Somali wildlife has disappeared for the illegal poaching, effects of the war weapons and others. Also these weapons have lead for modification of landscape which is necessary for species diversity.  

 

How can we correct of that mistakes through Environmental Education

Environmental education is the process involving recognizing values and clarifying concepts and values in order to develop skills and attitudes necessary to understand and appreciate the interrelatedness among man and his culture and the biophysical surrounding. The degradation of Somalia's environment is linked to continuing problems of Deforestation, Desertification, solid waste disposal, Inappropriate land use, war, Poverty and issues related to economic productivity, and as well as political instability. The increasing levels of global warming, depletion of the ozone layer and a serious loss of biodiversity have also increased environmental concerns.Environmental education is thus concerned with attitude towards and decisions about environment quality, with informed management of resources, and with the ethical considerations that relate to these above mistakes.

In Somalia is very difficult to talk about environmental educations because without basic security of citizens, as well as lack Environmental institutions which are the basics of environmental education. There are many things that come first into mind  before environmental issue in Somalia, people concern their lives and how they can survive tomorrow, they are not concern about the destruction of natural resource can finally affect their live and future generation to come. So it's very hard to implement of environmental education concepts of such country where his people have nervy seen a system working efficiency more than 20 years. The only system which exists in Somalia which can monitor the environmental issues is NGOs which most of them are community based and struggling for getting of funds. Some of these NGOs such as Natural Resources and Environmental Development Agency (NERDA), and Somali Center of water and Environment (SCWE), have established Somali community out side the country especially USA, and UK.

NERDA has contributed a lot of campaign which has results for some regions of the country such as North Eastern region to make people aware that deforestation of trees may lead shortage of rainfall because they experienced of such as shortage. But such Organizations they can not go ahead their work without finance as well as some other challenges such as cultural and religious beliefs. These NGOs also gets some support financial from UN agencies which is rare in Somalia especially the south where the most fighting is centered, and such as finances may also go hiding hands ( corruption), which ravaged most of these organizations.

For above challenges in Somalia, it's hard to correct for each mistake against  natural resources degradation through Environmental Education, but there are some strategies that can at least do a fundamental role to correct these mistakes such as NGOs if they get enough capital as follows;

AWARENESS

Environmental Education involving Community Awareness about the complexity of interactions of different components of environment such as lithosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere, and atmosphere, Environmental education is a process of providing learning experiences, knowledge of natural and artificial environment to win.

Environmentally aware population makes better-informed decisions and choices on complex environmental issues. Ecologically sustainable development requires an informed society that can make balanced decisions based on its economic, social and environmental welfare for current and future generations.

Measuring the level of environmental awareness in Somalia can be very difficult. However, direct exposure to the natural environment or a particular place is a strong factor in determining concern for that environment or place. This level of exposure or opportunities for increased environmental awareness can be measured by a series of indicators such as floods, earthquake, landslides, and droughts. Similarly, environmental programs can help us reduce the impacts of human actions on the environment can also be measured as a proxy for changes in environmental awareness.

Environmental awareness creation         

 Environmental education must be encouraged for student become aware of environment. Then, they recognize or review the relationship between humans and nature. The students get knowledge and skills from the teachers to solve the environmental problems. The teachers motivate to develop the student's attitudes to participate various environmental protection programs in favor of environment. The teacher and parents try to inculcate the knowledge about environment and develop positive and healthy attitude towards environment from the beginning of life. There is essential need to organize and conduct educational programmes backing by these NGOs, and focus on environmental issues, problems, attitude, towards preservation and conservation of environment.

COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

The education institutes conduct the various programmes to making awareness of environment protection among all people in the society. They can arrange social service camps and community service camps for environment preservation that will be led by the teachers and students for the benefit of society. For example, clean village, clean city, Dustless city, Awareness camps and Healthcare camps etc. Especially the students are coming from Primary and Secondary schools, to take responsibility for creating awareness and conservation of the environment among the public.

Contributions of communities towards environmental issues

 In Somalia, the population level is increasing rapidly, among these 70% of the people are living in the village areas. Each village has certain community of people. They can contribute their participation towards the environmental protection and preservation programmes. Here the educated people can lead the awareness camps, preservation programmes. For examples, Rainwater savings, recycling the usage water, Mass environment programmes etc.  On the other hand the wealth community people are conducting various awareness programmes frequently, conservation programme. They will create interest among public to preserve to conserve the environment. Above this awareness programme are possible when the people have adequate education. Hence we inculcate the child's environment education. We will initiate the environment awareness from primary to higher education to the public.

Role of media creating environmental awareness

We have seen that mass media, especially Radio in its different formats can prove to be almost the panacea for spreading awareness about environment to the concerns to the optimum level. A very significant recent development, in the Somalia Radio has been the shift towards utilizing the huge scope of Community Radio (CR). This concept is about doing something for its own benefit by the community. The aim and objective of the CR Channels include –preservation of their culture and languages, launch publicity or awareness creating campaign for the benefit of the community about the environment.

KNOWLEDGE AND EDUCATIONAL NEEDS IN RURAL COMMUNITY

The main aim of the environmental education is to make people in the society to be aware , knowledgeable and in inculcate positive attitudes towards protection of environment and make them skilled to  solve environmental problems so as to enable them to participate in the activities undertaken for the protection of environment the rural people have to learn about the environmental concern so that they are enable to protect the environment because we not been gifted the environment  our ancestors and also we have not borrowed it from our off spring . Instead we have to handover the environment to the posterity both in terms quality and quantity.

 

Role of NGO's in environmental activities

The environmental NGO's such as NERDA, and SCWE have played a major role in environmental protection and development by linking the local with the global. The collaborative work of these NGO's lead to fulfillment of local needs, some of the NGO's are working for environmental awareness while some are working in research field, the complementary work of the NGO's deals more specifically with how the NGO community impacts issues of the environment.

CHANGE OF ATTITUDES

Environmental education also involves behavior and attitude change, that can contribute to correction of misconception of the people about the consumption of natural resources for example some society in Somalia believe that resources are abundant and they will not deplete and others also believe that God is the provider and always will provide hence there is no depletion of resources. Such society there is urgent need to change their misconception and to acquire a set of values and feelings of concern for the environment and its system. We need for large campaign in rural areas where such that people live, in order to understanding their role the changes in the environment and thus their responsibility on environmental management.

CONCLUSION

"If you plan for one year, plan rice, if you plan for ten years plant trees , and if you plan for hundred years educate people". So if we want to save our mother earth we have to make our man king flourish, there is a strong need to conserve our natural recourses and make judicious use of them. We must think earth as a habitat, not of today but of distant tomorrow where there will be place and means for every being alive. All of us living on this planet, whether rich or poor, industrialist or workman, farmers or laborers, office goers or house wife, VIP or common men, as individuals or groups, are responsible for the present dismal state of our environment and each one of us has to contribute towards its rehabilitation, preservation and conservation.

REFERENCES

Michel L. Mckinney, (1998), System and Solution 3rd edition, Published by

               Bantana Company USA.

Enger & Smith,(2006), Environmental science 10th edition, Published by

                McGraw-Hill.

G. Tyler Miller, (2004), Environmental Sciences 10th edition, published by

              Jack carey USA.

Raven, Berg, & Johnson, (1998), Environmental Science, 2nd edition, Published by       

             saunder college.

William P. cunningham, (2002), Principle Environmental Science 1st edition, published

                 By McGrawhill

www.SCWE.net

 

           

About the Author

Name: Haykal Dahir Omar

Natiionality: Somali

Marial Status: Single

Sex: Male

Birth: 2/3/1985

Occupation: Student, Becholar Of Environmental Science

University: Kampala International University

 

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