Environmental assessment of Human Well-being in South Asian and Southeast Asian Countries
Human relationship with their living environment has been major focus of several researchers, government institutions, and individuals. Different disciplines have expressed their solidarity in assessing this relationship through the notion of human well-being. An understanding of well-being of human life has numerous benefits and it is important for developing sustainable environmental policy as ‘’ensuring well-being at all ages’’ is the third goal of sustainable development. Many global institutions developed standard measurement approach to comprehend the well-being-environment relation in context of sustainable development. The main objective of well-being measurement is to provide objective information about requirements of having satisfied life and how it is affected by availability of financial resources, human-environment congruence, and evaluation of humankind. Therefore, this study measures the relationship among environmental quality indicators, and well-being in SA and SEA for 10 years, from 2006 to 2016. Four major dimensions of environmental quality have been used for this study, which are: environmentally responsible behaviour, rebuilt natural capital, quality of physical environment, and environmental services consumption. The subjective perception of human well-being is developed from satisfaction to life surveyed by GALLUP. Moreover, this research also includes some control variable derived from demographic, economic and social dimensions. The results showed that dimensions of environmental quality affect well-being only to some extent; being the major outcomes concerning its association are fish consumption and well-being depending on rebuilt natural capital, environmentally responsible human behaviour, and air quality. In particular, the indicator “rebuilt natural capital” (described by the reforested amount of lands), has remained positively significant to the well-being. It infers that if people are aware of their living environment, the responsible human actions towards environment will increase. Also, environmentally responsible human behaviour (described by the use of clean cooking fuel) remained significant with well-being since it contributes to good quality of air. The quality of physical environment was also indicated by air quality, which remains significant to well-being because of the potential reduction of pollutant intake to river water, consequently improving quality of water that contributes to well-being. This air- water quality nexus is explained by acid rain which causes absorption of toxic air pollutant into the soil which then finally drain into the water bodies. Finally, environmental services consumption was indicated by consumption of fresh fish, was significant as higher consumption of fresh fish can increase human well-being, although it can contribute to ecosystems degradation. However, some adaptive measures and policies taken to protect fish species in several countries of SA and SEA are found to be effective towards minimizing the adverse effect on ecosystem. These adaptation actions including increase in terrestrial protected area, mangrove reforestation, aquaculture are protecting fish species and ensure sustainable consumption of fish and thereby contribute to human well-being. Environmental assessment of human well-being in South Asian and Southeast Asian countries. iv In summary, the overall findings indicate that interrelationship among environmental quality indicators can improve well-being of human life. In terms of significance, the relationship is well expressed within the nexus linking reforested area, improving quality of air, which significantly impact the accessibility of clean water eventually contributing to human well- being. The research proposed collaboration among governments of the respective countries of the study area to increase reforested area as well as to encourage use of clean cooking fuel, municipal waste recycling activities, and rooftop rain water harvesting. Furthermore, the study also recommended to mainstreaming the concept of well-being into the national development strategy for achieving ecologically sustainable development since it proved to have impact on countries well-being.
|Keywords||Environmentally responsible human behaviour, Environmental Quality, Environmental Services Consumption, Human Well-being, atmospheric teleconnection|
|Thesis Advisor||Stavropoulos, S. (Spiros)|
|Note||UMD 13 Report number:992|
Noor, A. (Ayesha). (2017, September). Environmental assessment of Human Well-being in South Asian and Southeast Asian Countries. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/42361