Business is booming.

Raising Environmental Consciousness in Third World Countries

In some of my previous columns, I have emphasised the importance of mass consciousness and the necessity for any human civilisation to optimise its environment. Until environmental care becomes ingrained in the consciousness of citizens, environmental efforts from stakeholders will be futile. Changing behaviours is challenging and time-consuming, especially in third world countries like Nigeria, where unique challenges hinder the adoption of eco-friendly practices and relegate environmental concerns to a secondary position.

Citizens in third world countries grapple with significant obstacles in prioritising environmental concerns. Poverty, limited education, and inadequate infrastructure impede their ability to engage in conservation efforts. Many struggle to meet basic needs, prioritising immediate survival over long-term sustainability.

For instance, discouraging Nigerians from using firewood in the current economic state would be futile, as many are primarily focused on survival. The lack of environmental education exacerbates the problem, as individuals may not recognise the environmental impact of their actions or understand the benefits of eco-friendly practices.

Additionally, inadequate infrastructure aggravates environmental challenges, making it challenging to address issues like water pollution and waste management. Furthermore, the perception that eco-friendly options are expensive or impractical discourages their adoption. Addressing these challenges requires a comprehensive approach, including providing access to education, resources, and incentives to empower citizens to prioritise environmental conservation despite their circumstances. By addressing underlying issues and promoting awareness, stakeholders can foster a culture of environmental consciousness in third world countries.

Education plays a crucial role in promoting environmental consciousness globally. Countries like Sweden and Finland have integrated environmental education into their school curricula, teaching students about sustainability and conservation practices from an early age. In India, organisations like the Centre for Environment Education conduct workshops and seminars to raise awareness about environmental issues and encourage community engagement in conservation efforts.

Similarly, initiatives like the Green Belt Movement in Kenya provide training and resources to empower citizens to act against deforestation and land degradation. By investing in education and providing access to resources, third world countries can empower their citizens to become environmental stewards and drive positive change for the planet.

Another effective strategy for promoting environmental consciousness is incentivising environmentally friendly behaviour through economic rewards. In Africa, initiatives that pay people for recycling, such as those in Kenya, motivate individuals to engage in sustainable practices. I once read about a group of women in Kilifi, Kenya who started a beach clean-up initiative, and now sell the plastics for recycling.

Globally, countries like Germany provide subsidies for purchasing electric vehicles, while microfinance schemes in Bangladesh enable entrepreneurs to start green businesses. Implementing such initiatives can effectively incentivise environmentally conscious behaviour, foster a culture of sustainability, and address pressing environmental challenges. By implementing such initiatives, governments, and organizations in third world countries can effectively incentivize environmentally conscious behaviour, foster a culture of sustainability and address pressing environmental challenges.

Technology also plays a crucial role in addressing environmental challenges in third world countries. Mobile apps provide real-time data on recycling centres, air quality, and eco-friendly products, while digital platforms foster community engagement and collective action.

For example, apps like RecyclePoints in Nigeria reward users for recycling, encouraging sustainable habits. Digital platforms, such as social media and online forums, foster community engagement and collective action.

In India, the website Swechha connects volunteers for tree planting and clean-up drives. These technological tools empower citizens to make informed choices and participate in environmental initiatives. By harnessing technology, individuals can access resources and collaborate effectively, driving positive change in their communities.

Culture also stands in the way of environmental consciousness in third world countries. It doesn’t let many lifestyle-changing initiatives blossom, but we cannot stop now. Encouraging sustainable lifestyles is vital for cultivating environmental consciousness among citizens. For instance, public awareness campaigns like Earth Hour and World Environment Day promote eco-friendly habits such as reducing waste and conserving water. Social media movements like #PlasticFreeJuly and celebrity endorsements further amplify these messages, inspiring individuals to adopt environmentally friendly practices.

Initiatives that showcase the benefits of sustainable living, such as community gardens or renewable energy projects, provide tangible examples of how individuals can make a positive impact on the environment while improving their health and well-being. By highlighting these examples and promoting awareness through various channels, we can empower citizens to embrace sustainable lifestyles and contribute to a greener future.

Furthermore, building collaborative partnerships is essential for elevating people’s environmental consciousness. Effective partnerships between governments, NGOs, businesses, and communities are vital for driving environmental change. For instance, in Kenya, collaboration between the government and NGOs like the Green Belt Movement has led to successful tree planting drives, while corporate partnerships in India have facilitated clean-up campaigns along rivers and beaches.

Engaging local leaders and influencers, such as tribal elders in rural areas or social media influencers in urban centers, can amplify messages of environmental consciousness and mobilize grassroots support. These partnerships foster a sense of ownership and collective responsibility for environmental stewardship, leading to sustainable practices and positive outcomes for both people and the planet.

I will conclude with these: incentivizing environmental consciousness among citizens in third world countries demands a holistic approach involving diverse stakeholders. Educating individuals on environmental issues, offering economic rewards for eco-friendly practices, leveraging technology for sustainable solutions, advocating for green lifestyles, and fostering collaborative partnerships are all integral. Through these strategies, we can catalyse positive behavioural shifts and lay the groundwork for a more sustainable future.

By empowering individuals with knowledge and resources, encouraging responsible choices, and fostering collective action, we can address environmental challenges effectively. Ultimately, promoting environmental consciousness is not just about protecting the planet; it’s also about improving livelihoods, enhancing resilience, and securing a better quality of life for present and future generations in third world countries.

Olamide is a communications professional currently based in London, United Kingdom. He can be reached across social media platforms @olamidefrancis and via


Quality journalism costs money. Today, we’re asking that you support us to do more. Support our work by sending in your donations.

The donation can be made directly into NatureNews Account below

Guaranty Trust Bank, Nigeria


NatureNews Online

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Footer Image