The environmental problems that the world faces today are unprecedented in the history of our planet. Pollution, water depletion, deforestation, land degradation, loss of biodiversity and climatic changes are some of the recurrent elements which have made the environmental challenge a veritable crisis. The living and nonliving systems of the earth have interacted over the years to create a congenial human habitat. But excessive exploitation of natural resources by humans on a planet with finite resources has created a situation where our overriding faith in unlimited natural resources is under question. While there is a tremendous strain on the natural systems which provide humans with the habitat to generate the kind of society, culture and political structures ideal for humans, there is also a threat to the social, economic and political fabric humans have evolved over the years. At a social level, the different kinds of webs that bring people together, like the extended family, have been thinning out over time. The fact that these threatening trends are not evenly distributed throughout the world has also led to important issues of ecopolitics at an international level.
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