Citizen Groups Shaping Environmental Policy
The environmental issues have of late been a subject of concern to many people and many organizations. Governments all over the world have been under persistent pressure to implement policies and also enact laws that are friendly to the environment or are intentionally formulated to safeguard the environment. The Kyoto protocol was a pace setter in many aspects concerning the environmental care and conservation, hence many bodies borrow from it and help in the implantation of the guidelines that were outlined in that particular meeting of the global bodies and economic giants of the world. These groups that act as custodians of the environment include the citizen groups of diverse measures and backgrounds.
The citizen groups in this aspect include the industry groups, trade associations and the not-for-profit organizations. These are the renowned groups that use their influences to shape the perspectives that the government has or forms about the environment and the measures that it takes to protect the environment. This step of influencing the government becomes possible for these citizen groups since they have the economic resources and the political influence as well as the backing of the large numbers of citizens that they use as a rider to influence the policies of the governments, including the policies on environment.
Before the 1970s, environmental issues remained to be predominantly a concern of the individual states and the federal government played a very docile...
In the late 1960s, there was an abrupt and significant change in the national political agenda and the environment came up as a significant issue and it was during this time that there was a significant rise in citizen concerns about the environment. The number of environmental groups increased significantly and the membership also was at an all time high during this period. There were increased memberships in national environmental groups such as the national Audubon Society, Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Wilderness Society were among the most renowned citizen groups. The expansion of such groups also meant that their political influence and the financial base also became stronger. These changes brought about greater visibility of the environmental problems, supported by the scientific researches and discoveries, the citizen groups were able to put more pressure on the governments towards entrenching policies that were environmentally sensitive and also to put to task governments that came into power over the promises they made on environmental issues and hence the citizen contribution through such citizen groups became important since then (Micehael E.K., 2002: Pp32).
These citizen groups are also known to significantly posses the technical know how and the skills that are needed in discussion of matters to do with environmental issues. The citizen groups will hence make contributions using the diverse…
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