A recent workshop on the role of the media in protecting the environment and raising awareness about all related issues is welcome, if long overdue.

The issue is important and the media can, and should, do much more to educate the public on the many problems related to the environment.

But, as the minister of environment, who attended the workshop, said, protecting the environment remains first and foremost the responsibility of the society. We, as a whole, should behave in a way that does not endanger our surroundings.

Still, the lack of concern for the issue, on the part of the media and even official entities, including those that aim to protect and promote human rights, is obvious; they seldom, if ever, make even the faintest reference to environment and the urgent need to protect it as vital to our existence.

Maybe lack of interest in the environment is a cultural problem. People have “more serious” problems to deal with, they think it is a fight for governments and specialised entities to carry out, and global warming, for example, is a distant possibility that some scientists even deny exists. So why bother?

Unfortunately such thinking is the reason we show no respect for the environment that sustains us.

Why we throw garbage in the streets and in nature, why we use chemicals and additives in our food, why we pollute by using fossil fuel, not recycling, ignoring the danger of discarding used batteries and countless other harmful household products just anywhere. The list could go on.

People have to be made aware of the danger of neglecting the environment.

The issue needs to be tackled, in schools, in the media, in the family, for, our environs are not an abstract, distant notion, but the very milieu in which we could live a healthy life or that could kill us.