How are these environmental problems being tackled?

Brazil's President Rousseff speaking at UN Conference on Sustainable Development
Brazil's President Rousseff speaking at UN Conference on Sustainable Development

  • Conservation - because the Earth's resources are limited, they must be protected and supported wherever possible. Conservation aims to reduce the amount of resources used by human activity. It protects endangered species, eg by placing a limit on the amount of fish that can be caught and making areas of natural importance into national parks so that they cannot be exploited.
  • International action and legislation – through international treaties, governments across the world can agree to regulate the use of harmful chemicals, or to reduce the output of greenhouse emissions. One such agreement was the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.
  • Sustainable development - the needs of future generations should have equal weight to the needs of people today, meaning we should try to prevent long-lasting damage to the environment, conserve resources or replace those we use up.
  • Recycling - some waste products can be broken down and turned back into new products. This reduces the amount of waste going into landfill sites or being incinerated. Glass, paper, metal and some plastics are common materials that can be recycled.