Module Six, Activity Six

Homework: Human-Environment Interaction

One of the most important themes in geography is the relationship between the natural environment and human beings. Land, natural resources, climate, and vegetation are basic tools necessary to human life. The environment in which people live impacts the way they live and the ways they make a living. So, to give a simple, if extreme, example, people who live in deserts develop societies and ways of making a living that fit with the realities of the desert environment.

However, it is also most important to remember that human-environmental interaction is not a one-way affair. The histories of human societies in Africa, as in all other areas of the world, are in part the story of our use and exploitation of resources in our environment, land, minerals, water, plants, animals, and air. The use of the natural environment through cultivation, hunting, grazing, mining, building villages, cities, roads, and through countless forms of pollution can permanently impact the environment

This important issue will be addressed often throughout this curriculum. As a beginning to this study, please work on this homework activity.

As in your own home areas, a wide variety of environmental issues confront different areas in Africa, including:

  • Soil erosion
  • Water pollution
  • Toxic waste
  • Air pollution
  • Acid rain
  • Waste management
  • Endangered species/wild-life management

As a homework assignment, working with your teacher, you should select an environmental issue to investigate.

Please use the Web to search for information on the assigned issue. You can search African and international newspapers. News

You should also look through the web-resources of web-sites dedicated to environmental issues. Environment


  • Please download (or photocopy/cutout printed sources) all relevant information related to your assigned environmental issue.
  • You should organize these materials into an environmental issue file that you will share with your teacher.
  • You should keep notes on the stories you read. Using these notes, you should summarize, in note form, your findings. This should be handed in in your environmental issue resource file.

Websites on the Environment

This is the last activity in this module. Return to the Curriculum, go on to Module Seven, or go to one of the other activities in this module.