"When the well's dry, we know the worth of water."
- Benjamin Franklin, (1706-1790), Poor Richard's Almanac.
Public service employees and volunteers serve on the front lines in efforts to protect the environment. The United States Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for protecting human health and the environment. The Agency is accountable for environmental protection as it relates to various aspects of the national environment, such as: air pollution, chemicals and toxins, climate change, promoting greener living, pesticides, waste management, and water safety. Public service employees and volunteers working toward the protection of human health and the environment include administrators, biologists, conservationists, ecologists and other natural scientists. Government officials are working in the political arena to legislate environmental protection policy. Many committed individuals are donating time and effort as volunteers, to local conservation causes, toward safeguarding the future wellbeing of life on earth.
Environmental protection is an international issue. Cooperation is necessary from each country, and their organizations in every sector, which all have a vested interest in safeguarding the planet. In the international arena, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) was established in 1972, mandated to "be the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, that promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimensions of sustainable development within the United Nations system and that serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment." UNEP has offices in each world region and its priorities include assisting countries, in particular developing countries in managing responses to climate change, as well as the holistic management of the ecosystem.
We all have a role to play in influencing the decision-making processes, so as to ensure that adequate legal and institutional measures are put in place to support environmental protection and sustainability. Without ample legislation we run the risk of reversing our hard earned development accomplishments.