Environmental Awareness and Human Activity

Martti Takala
Published Online:
27 Sep 2007
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 26 Issue 5

Additional Options

The historical and societal background of the Framework for Research on Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change is described in the first part of the paper. Increasing global risks and the destruction of the environment have driven international organisations to take initiatives for research programmes which are both cross‐disciplinary and cross‐national. The main portion of the article examines the psychological problems of the prerequisites for sustainable development. A part of them is concerned with various aspects of risk perception. Another part is described in terms of environmental awareness and human activity. Awareness includes both cognitive and affective components. Human activity should be examined at different levels, including decision making, choice behaviour, consumption patterns and the general way of life. Examples of both descriptive and analytic studies are presented. They indicate individual inconsistencies of various aspects of awareness and activity and discrepancies between them. Ways of decreasing the discrepancies are essential for sustainable development.

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