Environmental Health is a Global Issue

As the environmental health of countries around the world continues to be threatened, steps taken locally can no longer be counted on to alleviate the issues involved. Rather, global initiatives are necessary, as conditions that constitute a threat in one region will invariably affect other regions as well. That suggests members of the various communities must cooperate in efforts to mitigate environmental health issues. However, communication between different areas is often compromised due to language differences. Learning new languages is a virtual necessity if real cooperation is to develop.

Because of the complexities of the global environment, clear communication related to existing issues, as well as rapidly developing problems, can only occur when all shareholders are able to express their concerns in a way that others can grasp. Different languages compound communication issues, and relying on interpreters is not always an ideal solution, especially in written materials, as nuances are easily lost during the translations.

Other significant concerns that often develop are cultural and geographical differences, which often lead to miscommunications. Here again, having more than a rudimentary grasp of another language is crucial for understanding others who share the concern for environmental issues. Nuances that are easily understood within a specific community are lost when attempting to communicate with someone who is not fluent in local dialects. Truly grasping a different culture is difficult even when the language used is understood, but not being fluent in the language can quickly damage a relationship. People attempting to bridge the gap would do well to brush up on their language skills with learn at home programs as well as traditional classes.

With the current environmental issues threatening entire hemispheres, global initiatives are imperative if solutions are to be discussed and agreed upon. That will require efforts by a wide variety of participants to learn a new language. As many languages are used in even small geographic areas, it may become necessary for participants to agree on a handful of languages to be used by participants in global initiatives. The challenges facing all countries must be addressed cooperatively if solutions are to be agreed upon.

Learning a different language is, in itself, not extremely difficult. However, the nuances are far more difficult to learn and understand. Participants in efforts to achieve global level agreements must be willing to invest their time and effort in learning more than a language, they must learn to communicate at a cultural level as well. This is because different cultures have different opinions on how to treat the environment. Some cultures do not even think twice about abusing natural resources for their personal gain, and other cultures stay more green as a whole. It’s incredibly important to be sensitive to the culture at large, and to take steps to ease into eco consciousness if a culture is not already like that. Forcing ecological restraints on a culture without first educating them can be counterproductive.

All in all it’s extremely important to consider global health first and foremost, but to also pay attention to the small steps you can make even in your own home. The longest journeys start with a single step, and sometimes that first step can simply be encouraging your friends to shut their lights off when they leave a room.

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