Improved understanding of our environment is indispensable for its rational management. For on one hand it enables us to comprehend the environment’s resilience to Man’s actions and, on the other, it helps us to judge the maximum potential which the environment may offer for sustained development of mankind. Such an understanding will also enable us to predict, better than otherwise, the interrelated efforts of some of the major challenges facing the world today. Among these are demographic changes; economic development; availability of food, energy, and raw materials; development and utilization of new technology, rates of inflation, and availability of investment capital. All these issues have significant impacts on the environment, and the environment, in turn, affects developments in those and other areas.
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