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Man on Earth Essay Sample

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Basically when we say man, it is a person distinguished from other animals and is representing the human species. It came from the Proto-Germanic word “mannaz” or “manwaz” meaning man, person. The word developed into Old English man, mann which means human being, person (male or female); brave man, hero; servant, vassal. The Earth is a living planet where man lives. Earth is built on delicate balances; life prevails in every spot of this planet, from the atmosphere to the depths of the earth. It came from the Old English world “eorþe” meaning ground, soil, dry land and also from Middle English word “erthe”.

As time passes by man evolves together with the animals, plants and the Earth itself. Man’s earliest true ancestor appeared on earth more than 2 million years ago, but it was not until 10,000 to 15,000 years ago that his descendants had peopled almost the entire globe. The first man known to have roamed beyond the continent of Africa was Homo erectus, who appeared about 500,000 years ago. During the 200,000 years of his existence, he moved around through Ethiopia, Yemen, Oman, South Persia, Pakistan, Central Bharata (India), Burma to reach Kanchanaburi and migrated to Baan Chiang that slowly spread to different directions. Sometime, somewhere – the migration could go back to the same area and changed to the several other directions later on. Migrations depended on several factors – geography, Climate, environment, food, living conditions, and their intelligence development.

Etymology – from Middle French race meaning “people of common descent,” or possibly from Italian razza “race, breed, lineage,” of unknown origin

Major Races

Skull: Dolicephalic(Long-Head),High forehead,Little supraobital development. Face: Mainly Leptoproscopic( Narrow)Sometimes Meso- or even Euryproscopic, Neither Facial nor alveolar prognathism occurs except among some archaic peoples. Nose:Long,narrow,high in both root and bridge.

Skull: High incidence of Brachycephaly(Short Round Head)
American Indians while Mongoloid are often Dolicephalic.
Foreheads slightly lower than that of the Caucasoid.
No Supraobital development.
Face: Wide and short, projecting cheek bones, Prognathism rare. Shovel shaped incisors common especialy in Asia. Nose: Mesorine(Low and Broad in both root and bridge.

Skull: usually Dolicephalic, a small minority are Brachycephalic. Forehead most often high, little supraobital development.
Face: Leproscopic (to a much lesser degree than the Caucasion), Prognathism common in most Negro populations. Nose: Low & broad in root and bridge with characteristic depression at root.

Minor Races

Caucasian races
* Aryans
Tall (around 6ft-ish), Blond hair, Blue eyes. As DNA doesn’t show different races, Its almost impossible to tell if this race even exists, or if its just characteristics. The Aryan race was an expression, or ideal, used by the Nazis in Germany to describe the ultimate race they wanted to restore, or create. The Nordic people were the ideal model. It would be a pure race of white people who would be suited to rule the world. They made up an imaginary history of a pure Aryan origin to which they must return. Their first step was to exterminate all the peoples who might make their ideal race impure. They used the theory of eugenics to improve the Aryan race by strict control of reproduction. They mated beautiful women with beautiful men who possessed the desired physical attributes. * Hamites

The view accepted by many sound ethnologists that a Hamitic (Berber) element forms the substratum of the present populations of southwest Europe and parts of the British Isles. Herodotus spoke of the ancestors of the present Bejas between the Nile and the Red Sea as “the finest of men;” and travellers describe the Galla and Somali peoples as of splendid physique, and many of the full-blood Berbers are greatly superior – taller, more muscular and robust, better proportioned, and scarcely darker – than the average south European. The skin is fair in childhood, though it soon bronzes when exposed to the air; the hair is black, straight, and rather abundant; the eyes dark brown; face somewhat shorter, and its oval outline less regular than that of the Arab; nose larger, almost aquiline, and deeply sunk at the root; forehead high and straight; head distinctly dolichocephalic (long and narrow); features altogether regular and moderately orthognathous.

The Hamite is fairly intelligent, superior perhaps in this respect to the Arab, he is less fanatical and narrow-minded, equally brave, and fond of personal freedom; imbued with the democratic Spirit substituting the commune for the Arab sheikh; by nature sedentary and agricultural, but in steppe lands necessarily pastoral and nomadic. There are three main divisions: (1) the Berbers or Western Hamites, along the Mediterranean seaboard from the Siwah oasis near the Nile delta to Morocco, and throughout Central and Western Sahara, but nearly everywhere intermingled with Arabs, and in many places Arabised; (2) The Ethiopians or Eastern Hamites, mainly from about the equator to Upper Egypt, and from the coast inland to the Nile, but broken by an intruding wedge of Himyaritic Semites (South Arabians) in Abyssinia; (3) the Egyptians (Copts and Fellahin) all now assimilated in speech to the Arabs. * Semites

Some recent genetic studies found that analysis of the DNA of Semitic-speaking peoples suggests that they have some common ancestry. Though no significant common mitochondrial results have been yielded, Y-chromosomal links between Semitic-speaking Near-Eastern peoples like Arabs, Hebrews and Assyrians have proved fruitful, despite differences contributed from other groups (see Y-chromosomal Aaron). The studies attribute this correlation to a common Near Eastern origin, since Semitic-speaking Near Easterners from the Fertile Crescent (including Jews) were found to be more closely related to non-Semitic speaking Near Easterners (such as Iranians, Anatolians, and Caucasians) than to other Semitic-speakers (such as Gulf Arabs, Ethiopian Semites, and North African Arabs).

Mongolian races
* Northern Mongolian
The Northern Mongolian, also known as the Buryat, are believed to be the descendants of the western Mongols and the northern Siberians. Of the 560,000 Northern Mongolian, only 60,000 live in Mongolia. There, they primarily inhabit the forested lowland regions along the Russia-Mongolia border. * Chinese and Indo-Chinese

Indo-Chinese are native inhabitant of Indochina; a peninsula of Southeast Asia comprising Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), and the mainland territory of Malaysia. The area was influenced in early times by India (particularly the Hindu culture) and China. * Japanese and Korean

* Tibetan
The traditional, or mythological, explanation of the Tibetan people’s origin is that they are the descendants of the monkey Pha Trelgen Changchup Sempa and rock ogress Ma Drag Sinmo. * Malayan
The concept of a Malay race was originally proposed by the German scientist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach (1752–1840), and classified as thebrownHYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_people” race.[1] Since Blumenbach, many anthropologists have rejected his theory of five races, citing the enormous complexity of classifying races. * Polynesian

The Polynesian people are a collection of various ethnic groups that speak Polynesian languages, a branch of the Oceanic languages within theAustronesianHYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austronesian_languages” languages, and inhabit Polynesia. * Maori

In physical form the Maori possesses a stature above the average, but as he is usually more heavily built than Europeans this is not very noticeable. He is heavier-limbed than our own folk, and this is specially so in regard to his legs, which, according to Thomson, are shorter than those of Englishmen of the same stature. This was very noticeable in the case of five hundred troops who marched through Wellington in the early days of the late war. Obesity is common among natives as they advance in years, and indeed is seen in young people. * Micronesian

* Eskimo
The Inuit people are the most widely dispersed people in the world according to the information found at the Houston Family website. The areas where they live include Greenland, the northern part of North America and an area of eastern Siberia. The Inuit are racially related to the Mongolian groups in eastern Asia. Their languages are not related to any North American language groups. You can read more about these interesting people at the link provided below. * American Indian

A person of mixed Black and American Indian ancestry was also to be recorded as “Neg” (for “Negro”) unless he was considered to be “predominantly” American Indian and accepted as such within the community. A person with both White and American Indian ancestry was to be recorded as an Indian, unless his American Indian ancestry was small, and he was accepted as White within the community. In all situations in which a person had White and some other racial ancestry, he was to be reported as that other race. Persons who had minority interracial ancestry were to be reported as the race of their father. Negroid races

* African
They are natives or inhabitants of Africa and people of African descent. * Hottentots
* Melanesians/Papua
Melanesians are an ethnic group in Melanesia. The original inhabitants of the group of islands now named Melanesia were likely the ancestors of the present-day Papuan-speaking people. Some recent studies suggest that all humans outside of Africa have inherited some genes from Neanderthals, and that Melanesians are the only known modern humans whose prehistoric ancestors interbred with the Denisova hominin, sharing 4%–6% of their genome with this ancient cousin of the Neanderthal. In the world, blond hair is exceptionally rare outside Europe. However, Melanesians of some islands are one of the few non-European peoples and the only dark-skinned group of humans known to have blond hair. This has been traced to an allele of TYRP1 unique to these people. * “Negrito”

In the pure type of Negritos, spindle legs, large turned-in feet, weak bodies, and large heads are noticeable. Shifting eyes, flat noses, kinky hair, and teeth irregularly set,–these are Negrito characteristics, though they frequently occur in the mestizo types. * Australian Aborigine

Also referred to as Aboriginal people, are people who are indigenous to most of the Australian continent—that is, to mainland Australia and the island of Tasmania. Since 1995 the Australian Aboriginal Flag (right), designed in 1971 by the Aboriginal artist Harold Thomas, has been one of the official “Flags of Australia” under section 5 of the Flags Act 1953. * Dravidians

Dravidian people or peoples is a term used to refer to the diverse groups of people who natively speak languages belonging to the Dravidian language family. Populations of speakers of around 220 million are found mostly in Southern India. Other Dravidian people are found in parts of centralIndia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal. The most populous Dravidian people are the Tamils, Telugus, Kannadigas, and the Malayalis. Smaller Dravidian communities with 1–5 million speakers are the Tuluvas, Gonds and Brahui. * Sinhalese

The Sinhalese are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group native to the island of Sri Lanka. They constitute 74.88% of the Sri Lankan population and number greater than 15 million. The Sinhalese identity is based on language, historical heritage and religion. The Sinhalese speak Sinhala, an Indo-Aryan language, and are predominantly Theravada Buddhists, although a small but significant percentage of Sinhalese follow branches of Christianity. The Sinhalese are mostly found in North central, Central, South and West Sri Lanka. According to legend they are the descendants of the exiled Prince HYPERLINK “http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Vijaya”Vijaya who arrived from North-East India to Sri Lanka in 543 BCE.

Cultural Regions
Culture is the full range of learned human behavior patterns. It came from the Middle French term culture which means “the tilling of land,” and directly from Latin word cultura meaning “a cultivating, agriculture,” figuratively “care, culture, an honoring,” And no matter where people live in the world, they share these universal traits. Examples of such “human cultural” traits include:

1. | communicating with a verbal language consisting of a limited set of sounds and grammatical rules for constructing sentences
2.| using age and gender to classify people (e.g., teenager, senior citizen, woman, man)
3.| classifying people based on marriage and descent relationships and having kinship terms to refer to them (e.g., wife, mother, uncle, cousin)|
4.| raising children in some sort of family setting|
5.| having a sexual division of labor (e.g., men’s work versus women’s work)|
6.| having a concept of privacy|
7.| having rules to regulate sexual behavior|
8.| distinguishing between good and bad behavior|
9.| having some sort of body ornamentation|
10.| making jokes and playing games|
11.| having art|
12.| having some sort of leadership roles for the implementation of community decisions|

The seven elements of culture are (1) social organization, (2) customs and traditions, (3) religion, (4) language, (5) arts and literature, (6) form of government, and (7) economic systems.

Western culture
The term Western culture has come to define the culture of European countries as well as those such as the United States that have been heavily influenced by European immigration. Western culture has its roots in the Classical Period of the Greco-Roman era and the rise of Christianity in the fourteenth century. Other drivers of the Western culture include Latin, Celtic, Germanic and Hellenic ethnic and linguistic groups. Today, the influences of Western culture can be seen in almost every country in the world. Eastern culture

Eastern culture generally refers to the societal norms of countries in Far East Asia (including China, Japan, Vietnam, North Korea and South Korea) and the Indian subcontinent. Like the West, Eastern culture was heavily influenced by religion during its early development. In general, in Eastern culture there is less of a distinction between secular society and religious philosophy than there is in the West. Latin culture

Many of the Spanish-speaking nations are considered part of the Latin culture, while the geographic region is widespread. Latin America is typically defined as those parts of the Central America, South America and Mexico where Spanish or Portuguese are the dominant languages. While Spain and Portugal are on the European continent, they are considered the key influencers of what is known as Latin culture, which denotes people using languages derived from Latin, also known as Romance languages. Middle Eastern culture

The countries of the Middle East have some but not all things in common, including a strong belief in Islam and religion is a very strong pillar of this society. The Arabic language is also common throughout the region; however, the wide variety of dialect can sometimes make communication difficult. African culture

The continent of Africa is essential two cultures—North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. The continent is comprised of a number of tribes, ethnic and social groups. One of the key features of this culture is the large number of ethnic groups—some countries can have 20 or more—and the diversity of their beliefs Northwest Africa in particular has strong ties to European and Southwestern Asia. The area also has a heavy Islamic influence and is a major player in the Arab world. The harsh environment has been a large factor in the development of Sub-Saharan Africa culture, as there are a number of languages, cuisines, art and musical styles that have sprung up among the far-flung populations. Culture of Asia

Religions of Asia

Buddhism Hinduism Shamanism
Jainism Confucianism Animism
Sikhism Roman Catholicism Vajrayana Buddhism
Taoism Muslims Theravada Buddhism
Zen Buddhism Shinto Mahayana Buddhism

Asian Clothing
Because of the many different cultures which came into contact with each other in West Asia, clothing became very important as a way to tell to which group of people a stranger belonged. So there was no one West Asian way to dress. Instead, there were many different ways, and all of the differences were very important to people, because they helped people know who you were.

Asian Languages
Asia is home to several language families and many language isolates. Most Asian countries have more than one language that is natively spoken. For instance, according to Ethnologue, more than 600 languages are spoken in Indonesia, more than 415 languages spoken in India, and more than 100 are spoken in the Philippines. The People’s Republic of China has many languages and dialects in different provinces. Asian people use different type of languages. Asia is a continent with great linguistic diversity, and is home to various language families and many language isolates. The main languages are

Austro-Asiatic: Khasi, Khmer, Mundari, Vietnamese
Austronesian: Atayal, Cebuano, Cham, Ilokano, Indonesian, Javanese, Malay, Paiwan, Sundanese, Tagalog, Tetum Dravidian: Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu
Indo-European: Armenian, Bengali, English, Gujarati, Marathi, Hindi, Kurdish, Nepali, Pashto, Persian, Portuguese, Punjabi, Russian, Sanskrit, Tajik, Urdu Japonic: Japanese, Okinawan
Sino-Tibetan: Burmese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Tibetan
Tai-Kadai: Lao, Thai
Turkic: Azeri, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Uzbek

Asian Cuisine
Asian cuisine is a term used in the West as an umbrella term for the various cuisines of South Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia and for fusion dishes based on combining them. It does not usually include Polynesian, Central Asian or Middle Eastern cuisine.

Asian’s Habits
In many parts of Asia, rice is a staple food. China is the world largest producer and consumer of rice. In India, people often eat food with their hands, and many spices are used in every dish. Most spices originated around India or neighboring countries such as Sri Lanka.

Government Types:

* orange – parliamentary republics
* green – presidential republics, executive presidency linked to a parliament * yellow – presidential republics, semi-presidential system * blue – presidential republics full presidential system * red – parliamentary constitutional monarchies in which the monarch does not personally exercise power * magenta – constitutional monarchies in which the monarch personally exercises power, often (but not always) alongside a weak parliament * purple – absolute monarchies

* brown – republics where the dominant role of a single party is codified in the constitution * dark green – countries where constitutional provisions for government have been suspended * gray – countries that do not fit in any of the above listed systems Note that this chart aims to represent de jure systems of government, not the de facto degree of democracy. Several states constitutionally deemed to be multiparty republics may also be broadly described as authoritarian states.

Resource Management
In Asia
ASIA AND PACIFIC DEVELOPMENT BANK’s (ADB) main objective is to fight poverty in Asia. ADB forges links with organizations and governments to identify, develop and implement programs and projects needed to help address national and regional environmental issues. Through environmental initiatives, regional cooperation programs, and partnerships, ADB continues to promote environmentally sustainable growth in Asia and the Pacific. Initiatives

Climate Change Program
ADB provides support to DMCs by mainstreaming climate change into its operations, mobilizing finance, and building capacity and knowledge. ADB established its own Climate Change Fund and works with partners such as the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Climate Investment Fund (CIF) to help its DMCs access grant resources for adaptation and mitigation programs and investments. MORE Clean Energy Program

ADB’s Clean Energy Program targets an annual investment for clean energy projects of $2 billion by 2013. The program seeks to increase regional energy efficiency in energy, transport and urban sectors; to adopt renewable energy sources; and to improve access to energy for the poor and remote. MORE Sustainable Transport Initiative (STI)

ADB approved in 2010 the Sustainable Transport Initiative-Operational Plan (STI-OP), that guides ADB investments in low-carbon, safe, accessible, and affordable transport systems and develop inclusive, clean, and energy-efficient transport policies and projects. Cities Development Initiative for Asia

The initiative assists Asian cities to identify the development of urban investment projects that emphasize one or more of the following impact areas: urban environment improvement, urban poverty reduction, and climate change mitigation or adaptation. MORE Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia)

Started in 2001 by ADB, the US-Asia Environmental Partnership, and the World Bank as a flagship initiative for improved air quality, CAI-Asia has become the leading convener on air quality management (AQM) through the Better Air Quality (BAQ) Workshops, the largest regional gathering of AQM stakeholders in Asia. MORE Mainstreaming Environment for Poverty Reduction (MEPR)

MEPR is an accelerated learning program to understand the links between poverty reduction and the promotion of environmental sustainability. It implements subprojects that focus on three key areas: sustainable livelihoods, pollution and health, and environmental vulnerability. Asian Environment Outlook

The Asian Environment Outlook (AEO) series reviews key environmental issues and trends facing Asia and the Pacific, and identifies investments, institutional and policy measures to advance the green growth agenda. It supports decision makers and stakeholders working in the region. MORE Regional and Subregional Programs

Greater Mekong Subregion – Core Environment Program
The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Core Environment Program (CEP) and its flagship Biodiversity Conservation Corridor Initiative (BCI) focus on integrating environmental considerations into key GMS development sectors, such as tourism, transport, and energy, and promoting local livelihood and conservation activities with high-value biodiversity landscapes. MORE Coral Triangle Initiative

The Coral Triangle, which is the center of the world’s coral reef biological diversity, covers areas of Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Solomon Islands, and Timor-Leste. The Coral Triangle Initiative launched by the six countries in 2007, aims to preserve and manage the region’s marine resources. International partners include ADB, which is coordinating the mobilization of financial support for the plan of action. ADB has been playing a key role in helping to promote the Initiative and serving as the lead agency to mobilize financial resources for the area. MORE Heart of Borneo Initiative

The Heart of Borneo (HoB), which straddles Indonesia and Malaysia (and parts of Brunei), contains the largest contiguous forest area remaining in Southeast Asia and is one of the most biologically diverse habitats on Earth. ADB in partnership with WWF and GEF, is supporting the Heart of Borneo Initiative which addresses the threats to this area, namely forest conversion into rubber and palm oil plantations, logging for timber and pulp production, forest fires, oil and mining industries, and illegal wildlife trade. These contribute to the considerable loss in forest biodiversity and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, which result from deforestation and forest degradation. PRC-GEF Partnership on Land Degradation for Dryland Ecosystems Initiated in 2002, the partnership between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) aims to facilitate the long-term cooperation between national and international organizations to introduce and support integrated ecosystem management (IEM) approaches in combating land degradation, reducing poverty, and restoring dryland ecosystems in the western region of PRC. Partnerships

ADB and the Global Environment Facility
The partnership between ADB and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) is anchored on the recognition that the drive for global sustainability should be rooted in strong links between environment and development—a clean environment is essential for both sustainable development and poverty reduction. MORE Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) The network, established in 2005 with support from ADB, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and other development partners, aims to improve compliance with environmental laws in Asia through a regional exchange of innovative policies and practices. MORE ADB and UNEP

ADB and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) cooperate for the promotion of sustainable development and environmental management throughout the Asia Pacific Region. MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ADB and IUCN

ADB and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) collaborate in the fields of environmental law, poverty and environment linkages, biodiversity, environmental impact assessment, project monitoring, and coastal resources management. The partnership aims to support poverty reduction at the regional and subregional levels in Asia and the Pacific, and other development goals, including the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals at the regional and subregional levels. MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ADB and WWF

The partnership builds on ADB and the World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) shared vision of poverty reduction and environmentally sustainable development, with activities focusing on joint projects and programs, information sharing and knowledge management, capacity building, and the development of sustainable development policies and strategies.ADB and WWF are collaborating on a number of high profile environment initiatives such as the Coral Triangle Initiative, the Greater Mekong Subregion – Core Environment Program and the Heart of Borneo Initiative. MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING ADB and UNESCAP

Since 1990, ADB has been a close partner of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) in organizing Asia-Pacific ministerial conferences on environment and development, and in preparing the State of the Environment in Asia and the Pacific report and more recently the Asian Environment Outlook series of reports. ADB and IGES

ADB and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) cooperate to support environmentally sustainable growth throughout Asia and the Pacific. The cooperation includes capacity building on Clean Development Mechanism, Asia Pacific Adaptation Network, Regional Study on Economics of Climate Change, Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network, and 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycling).

In North America

The COMMISION ON ENVIRONMENTAL COOPERATION’s (CEC) Operational Plan for 2011–2012 presents how the CEC’s goals and objectives will be implemented through project activities and other initiatives in 2011 and 2012. CEC Operational Plans are updated every year for budget purposes, with project planning focused on a two-year horizon within the CEC’s 2010–2015 Strategic Plan.

As this is the first year of full implementation of that five-year plan, 2011 project-level work is largely focused on foundational and baseline efforts, upon which we expect to see significant environmental results over the next five years.

The strategic framework for the regular project activity described in this plan stems from the CEC Council’s adoption, in 2009, of three broad priorities for the cooperative work program of the Commission:

Climate Change – Low-Carbon Economy
Canada, Mexico and the United States recognize that incremental trilateralcollaboration, consistent with national circumstances and capacities brings addedvalue to respective efforts to address climate change and support the transitionto a low-carbon economy. Therefore, the Parties could undertake a set of keyinitiatives to work towards aligning domestic standards, regulations, and policies and to support this transition in a manner that is consistent with respective-national plans and priorities.

Greening the Economy in North America
Canada, Mexico and the United States intend to focus cooperative work through the CEC on positive steps towards building a North American economy that minimizes the potential negative environmental impacts of economic growth, while enhancing the competitiveness of key industrial sectors in North America.

Healthy Communities and Ecosystems
Canada, Mexico and the United States recognize that our wellbeing in North
America—both environmental and economic—is grounded in healthy communities and ecosystems.

Therefore, the Parties commit to build upon and renew collaborative efforts within the CEC to protect, sustain and restore the health of people, communities and ecosystems using integrated and comprehensive approaches and partnerships In Africa:

Environmental Protection Agency EPA programs in Africa are designed to protect human health, particularly vulnerable populations such as children and the poor. Addressing Good Environmental Governance, EPA programs in Africa: support the development of environmental laws, regulations and standards; strengthen capacity for enforcement of and compliance with environmental laws, environmental inspections, and environmental impact assessments; promote public participation; and support development of improved management approaches in African environmental agencies.

In Australia:

The Australia: Sustainability and Environmental Action program is designed to empower students to make a positive contribution in building more sustainable societies. Students gain critical knowledge necessary to make informed judgments about environmental issues. They learn how to apply the principles of sustainability, not only in their personal lives, but in any career they choose from accounting to fine arts.

Join students of different majors committed to addressing environmental problems. The program is based on the philosophy that environmental issues, such as global climate change, are so important in today’s world that all students, irrespective of major, should be ecologically literate. Typically, just over half of the students on the program are environmental studies majors; the program also draws students from diverse fields such as fine arts, business, sociology, anthropology, economics, and political science who are inspired to believe they can make a difference and are motivated to act on environmental challenges.

Learn from academics, practitioners, and Aboriginal elders in extraordinary settings. The program includes numerous field excursions and workshops with leading practitioners. Learning is conducted within remote wilderness areas, national parks, and onsite sustainable housing projects. The program spends a week on the beautiful and sparsely populated island-state of Tasmania. Students also undertake a camping trip with Aboriginal elders.

The emphasis on environmental policy and action is what distinguishes this program from other SIT environmental programs, which place more emphasis on natural ecology.

In Europe:

The Regional Environmental Center (REC) for Central and Eastern Europe provides assistance in solving environmental problems in Central and Eastern Europe by promoting cooperation among governments, non-governmental organizations, businesses and other environmental stakeholders; and by supporting the free exchange of information and public participation in environmental decision-making. Established in 1990, the REC is a non-partisan, non-advocacy, not-for-profit international organization. The REC was created after the fall of the Berlin Wall, as the result of a 1989 U.S. Presidential Initiative to assist the emerging democracies of Central and Eastern Europe in addressing significant environmental challenges, while enhancing regional cooperation. As part of this effort, EPA managed a robust program of environmental technical assistance in the region throughout the 1990s with financial support from USAID.

EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs, Shalini Vajjhala, speaks at REC 20th Anniversary event. The REC is legally based on a Charter that has been signed by the governments of 31 countries and the European Commission. The Charter officially confirms the institutional support of all Signatories for the REC’s mission and programs. U.S. support for the REC was provided through the Support for East European Democracy (SEED) Act of 1989, which designated EPA as the U.S. Government lead in establishing the REC. More than twenty years later, EPA – through its Office of International and Tribal Affairs – remains the REC’s primary U.S. partner. To date, the U.S. has provided more than $12 million in direct funding for the REC as well as significant in-kind technical support. In addition to the U.S., the other official REC Founders are Hungary and the European Commission. The REC maintains its headquarters in Szentendre, Hungary (outside of Budapest), and also has country offices and field offices in 17 beneficiary countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey.

REC programs focus on four major topic areas:

Strengthening institutions for sustainable development;
Capacity-building and partnership support;
Sustainable management and use of natural resources; and
Integration of environmental concerns such as climate change and environmental health into relevant policy sectors such as energy and transportation. Ministers and other dignitaries from Central and Eastern Europe and around the world gathered in Hungary on June 18th, 2010 to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the founding of the REC in 1990. At the 20th Anniversary event, EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator for International and Tribal Affairs, Shalini Vajjhala, and U.S. Ambassador to Hungary Eleni Tsakapoulos Kounalakis represented the United States. Among the celebration highlights:

The United Kingdom and Sweden became the newest Signatories to the REC Charter, confirming the REC’s continued importance and relevance as it enters its third decade of work. An official reception was hosted by the Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament H.E. Pal Schmitt at the historic Parliament building in Budapest.

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