This report presents information on a particular neighborhoods awareness about the conservation of natural resources and the issues which this problem entails. It has been discovered that such dimension as age does not affect the results significantly, while gender does. Thus, women have shown higher rates of awareness about the conservation of natural resources, which helped to compile a program for further instruction of the population.
Conservation can be considered in several contexts, but its meaning in the context of public health is more related to environmental protection. The first phrase associated with world conservation is natural resources, an issue which the world started to be preoccupied with once it tackled the problem of the scarceness of natural resources (Robb, Porges, & Bethlehem, 2001). While conservation seems to be a global issue, it can still be considered on a personal level because every citizen can contribute greatly to preserving nature thus improving his/her health and giving an example to follow for the others. Concerning this, conservation should be considered as choosing to not use up or contaminate the planets natural resources. It is working to protect, restore and sustain our development (Conservation, 2006, p. 4). This report is going to present research on the particular community populations awareness about natural resources conservation and their effect on public health. Qualitative data will be collected based on questionnaires and then carefully evaluated. After this, the population will be instructed on how to conserve natural resources to improve their health.
Program Rationale and Logic
Conservation of natural resources is directly connected with human health. It is known that conservation can contribute to achieving numerous health objectives (World Trade Organization, 2007). Firstly, it can promote human health through creating a healthier environment for instance, through and air or through the planting of greenery. And secondly, it helps to preserve genetic resources which later can be used for the production of medicaments (Kloppenburg, 2004). This is why the importance of the issue of natural resources conservation is evident. This issue becomes even more vital if its connection with public health is realized. This is why namely this problem has been selected for consideration. This report is going to deal with conservation as related to natural resources. It aims to raise the awareness of the population about the necessity of natural resources conservation. Reaching this aim will result in increasing the integrity between natural resources conservation and global health. The literature on this topic which has been reviewed shows that it is practically impossible to create the situations which would both develop the community and help in the conservation process; instead, it is more beneficial to concentrate on understanding how trade-offs and equitable compromises could be attained (Chopra, 2005, p. 142). This is why there is an assumption that the approach presented in this program is likely to work because no specific policies will be imposed on the population; instead, the experiment will call for the peoples conscience.
Description of the Program
A separate neighborhood has been chosen for the implementation of this program. The neighborhood is rather small for the results of the experiment to be more precise. In general, 100 people took part in the research. The overall goal of the program was to raise the populations awareness of natural resources conservation and its connection with public health. More specific objectives are as follows:
To measure the current level of the populations awareness of the issue in question
To give the population recommendations on how to achieve better natural resources conservation and, thus, improve the public health
The target population of the program was the adult population of the neighborhood. The benefit of targeting namely adult population consists in their ability to adequately evaluate the perceived information and then share it with their family members (who might not have participated in the research). The activities which took place were the interviewing (first structured, then unstructured), the course of lectures (3 lectures), and the distribution of commemorative booklets among the participants. These services were provided by 3 interviewers, 1 lecturer, and 1 person distributing the booklets. A local environmental protection organization had to be involved in the program; its main task consisted in informing the population about the program, thus, involving the community people into it. The general costs of the program were quite low; they included only the costs for printing the booklets because the staff members were volunteers. Participation in the research was voluntary with all the population having equal access to services.
The participants of the program were selected randomly. To minimize bias, each of the participants submitted the form anonymously and later was assigned a separate number (according to which this particular participant was later interviewed). The interviews took place in two stages. Firstly, were conducted to define the general knowledge of the participants about the issue in question. There were no specific questions for the unstructured interviews; the interviewees themselves were directing the conversation into a definite course. Secondly, based on the unstructured interviews, the questions for the structured interviews have been compiled (Appendix 1). To facilitate the interview process, the questions were either Yes/No or multiple-choice questions. This stage consisted in dividing the participants into two smaller groups (50 people each) and conducting the interviews simultaneously, which saved time and effort.
The sample undertaken consisted of 100 participants. The number of male and female participants was equal. Most of the participants were aged 45-60 (70%), while the remaining 30% consisted of the younger people (18-25). Since the participation was voluntary, there was no need to follow up with people who did not respond to the methods of data collection. The participants who have already been registered were asked to notify in advance if they could not take part in the interviews. In such cases, the participants were replaced with the corresponding changes to the participants profile being introduced.
The data has been evaluated in three stages. First, the responses on the unstructured interviews were compared and contrasted with the questions which the interviewees mentioned most often organized into the structured interviews. Secondly, the results of the structured interviews were processed and analyzed. The results were then arranged into a table that showed the general awareness of the participants about the problem under consideration, as well as whether this awareness depended on the age and gender of the participants.
The strength of the abovementioned methods consists in their giving reliable and valid results. The interviews were anonymous, which excludes the possibility of bias; moreover, the questions for the interviews were indirectly formed by the participants themselves, which proves their relevance, at least for the sample in question. The weakness of the methods, however, lies in their not covering all the aspects of the problem. This created limitations for the program and gave an idea for future research on this topic.
The structured interviews have shown that most of the respondents are aware of the scarceness of natural resources and admit that the population should be additionally instructed on the conservation of the natural resources. Discussing the results in more detail, it is worth mentioning that 70% of all the participants were aware of the natural resources scarceness, and, thus, their conservation. Among these, 50 respondents were female, while 20 were male; 30 respondents of this number were aged 18-25 and 40 aged 45-60. 30% of the respondents knew nothing about the scarceness of natural resources. The number of male and female respondents was equal among these; 10 people of these belonged to the group of 18-25, while 20 were between the ages 45-60. Furthermore, 70% of people wished to study the conservation of natural resources; 20 of these were males and 50 females; 30 respondents of the total number were aged 18-25 and 40 aged 45-60. Finally, 80% of all the respondents admitted the necessity of the program; 30 of them were male and 40 female; an equal number belonged to the first and the second age groups.
Table 1 Awareness of the Population about the Natural Resources Conservation
Attitude towards issue/program Male Female Age groups (no gender subdivision)
Aware (70) 20 50 30 40
Unaware (30) 15 15 10 20
Ready to study (70) 20 50 30 40
Admit the necessity of the program (80) 30 40 35 35
Female respondents have shown a higher level of awareness than the male ones, while the level of unawareness in the rest of the respondents was equal between males and females. Among these, the group of older respondents showed a higher level of awareness, while among those who were unaware of the problem the older group was still leading. This shows that age is not a determining characteristic in defining the awareness of the population about the conservation of the natural resources (since the difference between the groups of 18-25 and 45-60 is only 10% in the level of awareness). In addition, the difference in numbers between different population groups was insignificant when replying to the question about the willingness to study natural resources conservation. This means that the age of the population hardly plays any role in their attitude towards conservation. As far as gender is concerned, the results create an idea that the awareness of the female part of the participants is higher than that of the male one; moreover, more women are ready to study this problem (again, with no age difference, which proves that this dimension should not be taken into account). These results made it possible to compile the program for further lecturing of the respondents.
Basing on these results, I strongly recommend researching several other neighborhoods to compare the results. In addition, I also advise doing extra research which would re-measure the populations opinions about the issue in question after the course of lectures. And finally, I recommend carrying out such programs more often. This will help to raise the awareness of the population about the conservation of natural resources.
The results obtained from the interview show that, though the biggest part of the respondents is aware of the problem of conservation of natural resources, they still need to be instructed on this topic. Judging from the sample interviewed, females are more aware of this issue than males, while age does not play any role. This information was of great value when further instructing the population on how the conservation of natural resources should take place. Therefore, this program has contributed greatly to not only instructing the population about conservation but into improving their health since, as discovered from the previous research, natural resources conservation can improve the health of the population.