The public awareness of environmental problems is of great importance in today’s societies. It is somehow more important than the governmental privileges. In Iranian society, this awareness is in shadow of political, economic and social issues, which look more substantial to people. In a World Bank report, which were given out in 2007, the environmental awareness of the residents of Tehran were analyzed. This report was provided three years ago but still can show the reality of the Iranian urban culture. It, as can be predicted, confirms that the first things that are important for people are the issues that directly affects on their lives. Politics is the main one. Also social and culture problems are important but the main factor that adjusts every thing is still politics.
According to the report, environment is not the priority of most of the people. Thirty percent of the respondents of the questionnaires (34 percent men and 29 percent women) think that the political problems are important or very important. This can be compared with the low percentage that was obtained from the same question about economic development, inflation, and environment.
Six percent think that economic development is important or very important (6.4 percent men and 5.3 percent women). Inflation is rated by 6.4 percent (5.8 percent of men and 6.5 percent of women). It seems that the respondents have rated the environmental issues as the least important problem. Only 4 percent have chosen important or very important for the environment (4.4 percent men and 3.3 percent women).
The worst part of the findings is that one third of the respondents (34 percent) believe that the environmental problems are not important at all and 53 percent do not have any opinion.
When the people are questioned more clearly about the problems, it becomes clear that they have some concerns about the environment. Air pollution and water quality are the biggest concerns of them. Some 62.3 percent of men and 61.3 percent of women believe that the water quality is worrying. Also 59.8 percent of men and 60.1 percent of women are worried about the air pollution produced by cars. Similarly the percentages for industrial pollutions are 41.5 for men and 47.1 for women. In the same way, 39.5 percent of men and 41.8 percent of women have declared great worry about the sound pollution.
Similar percentages are obtained from the survey about continuous reduction of green areas, disposal of industrial waste, and household garbage.
Other answers show that people are disappointed of the present situation of the urban environment. For example, just 8.7 percent of men and 10.5 of women strongly agree that “the environmental situation will be better in the future,” while 31.3 percent of men and 26.8 percent of women disagree.
The main bodies in the country that have the ability to improve the People’s responsibility about the environment are the public media, be it governmental or private. The present situation of the effects of the media like newspapers, TV, radio, books, internet, magazines, etc. are analyzed.
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Photo by Christine K.