Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education

2019 Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho

Multidisciplinary Approach to Environmental Problems and Sustainability

  • Glory Ikponmwosa EdwardsEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-11352-0_241


The environment is defined as the complex of physical, biotic, and chemical factors (such as living things, climate, and soil) that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its survival and form (Merriam-Webster’s dictionary). It is derived from the French word environ, meaning external conditions or surroundings that favor the growth of flora and fauna, human beings, and their properties and protect them from the effects of pollution. According to Douglas and Holland (1947), the environment describes, in the aggregate, all of the extrinsic (external) forces, influences, and conditions, which affect the life, nature, behavior, and the growth, development, and maturation of living organisms. The “environment” includes land, water, air, and the interrelationship which exists between these elements and human beings, other living creatures, microorganism, plants, and property (Environmental Protection Act 1986).

The natural environment comprises...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wageningen University and ResearchWageningenNetherlands

Section editors and affiliations

  • Izael da Silva
    • 1
  1. 1.Strathmore UniversityNairobiKenya