Summary

In this Study Session, you have learned that:

  • Humans and the environment have been interacting since humans first walked the Earth. Humans change their environment both positively and negatively and the environment affects how humans live in many different ways.
  • The main interactions between humans and our environment can be grouped into the use of resources and the production of wastes.
  • Resources can be classified as renewable (e.g. water) or non-renewable (e.g. fossil fuels).
  • Humans are extracting increasing quantities of natural resources from the Earth which is causing problems of over-exploitation, for example through overfishing and deforestation.
  • Water is used for domestic, industrial and agricultural purposes. Some countries are classed as ‘water stressed’ or ‘water scarce’ because available supply does not meet demand.
  • Human activities produce many different types of waste which can pollute the environment. One example is e-waste from discarded electronic gadgets such as mobile phones contain many toxic substances that can pollute groundwater, soil and air unless their disposal is well-managed.
  • Agriculture is the dominant economic activity in Ethiopia and has a significant impact on the use of resources, especially water and soil. It also contributes to climate change through the release of greenhouse gases (e.g. methane from cattle) into the atmosphere.

Last modified: Tuesday, 2 August 2016, 4:35 PM