1. Definition of Environment

“Environment is the complex of physical, chemical and biotic factors (as climate, soil, and living things) that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form and survival; the aggregate of social and cultural conditions that influence the life of an individual or community.”

The environment is the natural condition and circumstances in which people, animals and plants live, and in turn, they are referred to as the natural environment, social environment and political environment. Therefore, environment means those conditions and circumstances, which surround a particular thing.

The natural environment is a natural surrounding, and it refers to the natural conditions, atmosphere and circumstances which relate to man, and this includes plants, forests, water, air, sea, animals and other living things, the nature of the earth and what it contains, like mountains, rivers, swamps, deserts, and also includes hot and cold weather, rain and clouds, rays of the sun… etc.

All creatures and entities are interrelated and have reciprocal effects, some having an effect on the conditions of others, and it has its positive, as well as negative effects on the life of man, especially in our present day after industrial advancement and the increase of man’s interference in the natural condition and changing its direction.

Other scientific sources have defined environment as “the condition in which man lives and obtains the components of his life, like food, shelter and medicine and conducts his relations with his fellow human beings in it.”1 So, this is the definition of environment considering man being the pivotal point in it.

  • 1. Al-Bi’ah Wa Mishkilatuha (Environment and its Problems) by Rashid Hamad and Muhammad Sa‘id Sabarini, pg.14, reported from book “Insan Wa Bi’ah” (Man and the Environment) by Dr. Abdullah Atawi, Dar Izzuddeen, pg. 14.