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STUDY MATERIAL FOR DISTANCE LEARNING STUDENTS By: Prof. Sateeshchandra Joshi Course Title: Environmental Studies Objectives: 1. To understand the environmental aspects and its impacts on human life. 2. To create awareness about the environmental issues having global relevance.
Unit No. 1. 2. Topics The multidisciplinary nature of environmental studies- Definition, scope and importance, Need for public awareness. Natural Resources: a) Renewable and non-renewable resources: Forest resources, Use and over-exploitation, deforestation, case studies. Timber extraction, mining, dams and their efforts on forests and tribal people b) Water resources: Use and over-utilization of surface and ground water, floods, drought, conflicts over water, dams-benefits and problems c) Mineral resources: Use and exploitation, environmental effects of extracting and using mineral resources’, case studies d) Food resources: World foods problems, changes caused by agriculture and overgrazing, effects of modern agriculture, fertilizer – pesticide problems, Water logging, salinity, case studies e) Energy resources: growing energy needs, renewable and renewable energy resources, use of alternate energy sources f) Land resources: land as a resource, land degradation, man induced landslides, desertification. Role of an individual in conservation of natural resources. Equitable use of resources for sustainable lifestyles. Ecosystems- Concept of an ecosystem, Structure and function of an ecosystem, Producers, consumers and decomposers, Energy flow of the ecosystem, Ecological succession, Food chains, food webs and ecological pyramids, Introduction, types, characteristics features, structure and function of the following ecosystem, Forest ecosystem, Grassland ecosystem, Desert ecosystem, Aquatic ecosystems [ponds, Streams, lakes, rivers, estuaries] Biodiversity and its conservation- Introduction, Definition: genetic, species and ecosystem diversity, Biogeographically classification of India, Value of biodiversity, consumptive use, productive use, social, ethical, aesthetic and option values, India as a mega-diversity nation, Hot-spots of biodiversity, Threats to biodiversity, habitat loss, poaching of wildlife, man-wildlife conflicts, Endangered and endemic species of
2 India, Conservation of biodiversity: In-situ and Ex-situ conservation of biodiversity. Environmental Pollution: Definition: causes, effects and control measures of – Air pollution, Water pollution, Soil pollution, Marine pollution, Noise pollution, Thermal pollution, Nuclear hazards, Solid waste management: causes, effects and control measures of urban and industrial water, role of an individual in prevention of pollution, pollution case studies, Disaster management: floods, earthquake, cyclone and landslides. Social Issues and the Environment- from unsustainable to sustainable development, Urban problems related to energy, Water conservation, rain harvesting, watershed management, Resettlement and rehabilitation of people, its problems and concerns Case studies, Environmental ethics, Issues and possible solutions, Wasteland reclamation, Consumerism and waste products, Environmental protection Act- Air(presentation and control of pollution) Act, Water(prevention and control of pollution) Act, Wildlife Protection Act, Issues involved in enforcement of environmental legislation, Public awareness. Human Pollution and the Environment: Population growth, variation among nations, population explosion-family welfare program, Environment and human health, Human rights, Value Education, HIV/AIDS, Women and Child Welfare, Role of Information Technology in Environment and human health, case studies. Field Work: Visit to a local area to document environment assetsriver/forest/grassland/hill/mountain, Visit to a local polluted siteurban/rural/industrial/agricultural, study of common plants, insects, birds, study of simple ecosystems- pond, river, hill slopes etc.
Unit 1: NATURE, SCOPE AND IMPORTANCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES- THE MULTIDISCIPLINARY NATURE OF STUDIES
Topics: Definition, scope and importance, Need for public awareness Objectives: • • • • To know the nature of the subject Environmental Studies To ascertain need and scope the subject To digest as to how the subject is interdisciplinary To learn the need to create awareness for environmental issues
Environment is sum total of water, air and land, inter-relationships among themselves and also with the human beings, other living organisms and property.” In order to study environment one needs knowledge inputs from various disciplines. At the threshold of the 21st century, we are confronted with two conflicting scenario for the future of human kind. On one hand, there are possibilities of a bright future with press button living, space shuttles, information technology, genetic engineering and such other advances in science and technology. On the other hand, a grim scenario is looming large with burgeoning population, starved of resources and choked by pollution. Faced with such imminent threat, there is a growing realization that rational utilization of environmental endowments of life support systems like water, air and soil is a must for sustainable development. Academic disciplines are created to help us understand the universe better. While nature can be understood using the disciplines, it not ‘divided’ into disciplines. For instance, a certain phenomenon may be referred to as a chemical change while another as a physical one. But these categories are only perceptions. ‘Environmental studies’ is about the environment. Not the environment from the point of view of any one particular discipline, but a study and understanding of the interlink-ages- the complex ways in which one phenomenon, one action, is connected to another, how the same thing can be understood from different perspectives, perspectives often rooted in different disciplines.
which in recent time has evolved into ecology. water and living environments and the effects of technology thereon. It is through this perplexity. habits and attitudes. We must learn how to manage our environment. all have to be sensitive to environmental issues. the study of environmental factors that affect organisms and how organisms interact with these factors and with each other. of their actions. workers and executives and government as well as non-governmental organizations. measures and programs for environmental studies. it is necessary to build up professional capabilities to develop and adopt policies. and place in which living organisms carry out their life cycles. For the students of management schools. such as chemistry. general public and leaders. We cannot ignore study of relationship between ecological devastation and deteriorating human conditions. who are future managers of business in different sectors of economic growth and social welfare. the geosphere and the biosphere. it is difficult to think of a timelier introduction of this subject in the matter of study for modern management courses. air. Not only that. living and anthropological environments. This is the discipline of natural history. the hydrosphere. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE OR STUDIES? Environmental science in its broadest sense is the science of complex interactions that occurs among the terrestrial.4 The problems of pollution and wanton degradation of environmental resources cannot be solved without proper understanding of their causes and effects. sociology and government that affect or describe these interactions. Some of the environmental issues are perplex. environmental science has evolved from investigations of the ways by which. atmospheric. . environmental science is divided among the study of the atmosphere. they have to be fully aware of environmental consequences. ‘Environmental studies’ not only represents but also promotes the principles of environmental management. It is absolutely the truth that environmental degradation is increasingly undermining over lives. Alongside. It includes all the disciplines. The students. environmental science may be defined as the study of the earth. biology. In such a scenario. Traditionally. One of the most urgent tasks of our times to understand the implications of environmental damage and resource depletion that we witness today. teachers. resource utilization and ecosystem. we need to bring out a comprehensive study which would be useful both for educational institutions and corporate world. In broadest sense. it is appropriate to have an introduction to environmental studies. To a significant degree.
soil. The past three decades have witnessed a growing awareness of the affects of human activity upon our earth’s resources and during this period environmental study has emerged as a multi-disciplinary field of study to examine the interaction of the people and their environments. infrastructure and the various stages in the economic development like economic conditions. they largely determine the nature of these species. So it is economic environment of a region or country that decides its status i. . economic policies. economic planning. The discipline that deals specifically with the effects of environmental chemical species on life is environmental biochemistry. and air environments and the effects of technology thereon. As the distribution of natural resources.e. These gifted regions have exploited these resources for their economic developments and have come to be known as developed countries. France. reactions. Environmental Science and Biology: The ultimate environmental concern is that of life itself. population. Environmental Science and Chemisty: This relation is known as environmental chemistry. developed or developing. transport. his activities and his region. viable discipline. their degradation. effects. One of environmental chemistry’s major challenges is the determination of the nature and quantity of specific pollutants in the environments. Availability of resources and the technology to exploit them plays most significant role in economic development or economic environment of a region. due to geographical factor is uneven.are major internal and external factors which make up the total economic environment. Examples of such countries are USA. and even their syntheses. 2. Environment and Economics Economic environment refers to all these factors or forces which contribute to economic impact on the man. The study of such phenomena forms the basis of environmental biochemistry. Biological processes not only are profoundly influenced by chemical species in the environment. Resources. agriculture. 1. Whereas the other regions which had poor resource concentration and which are still in developing stage have come to be known as developing countries. and fates of chemical species in water. economic system and trade cycle. particularly in the aquatic and soil environments.5 Environmental science is now a mature. economic philosophy. industrial production. It may be defined as the study of the sources. UK etc. 3. the resources have become concentrated in some specific regions only.
It could be said as both economic and political are interdependent on each other. regional or global environment. In the present situation. The industrialization. the global warming. his occupation and utilization of the physical resources for his own benefit. As the natural environment differs place to place. plantation etc. The cultural environment is the imprint of man’s activities. Cultural Environment: It is the manmade environment or manmade landscape. Cultural environment have their tools in the natural environment and in the cultural level of the different human groups. Sometimes it becomes . are some of the major environmental problems the world is facing on various levels today. Culture develops on nature. We may call this cultural environment as a social environment or socio-cultural environment or even social heritage. Cultural environment is only human adaptation and adjustment to natural or physical environment. The East Germany with her poor economic environment was left with no other alternative other than merging with West Germany which had strong and stable economic environment. a stable economic environment does not always help the mankind. rita cyclones in USA. and grows in size and importance. the problems like depletion of forests. epidemics such catrina. It may also be called as humanized landscape. floods etc. The main disadvantage of it being its impact on the physical environment. it means it has its roots in nature. Both East Germany and West Germany serve as best example of interdependence of political and economic environment. which contribute to economic environment of the region. heavy rainfalls. are some of the main factors responsible for deteriorating the quality of the physical environment. All manmade features such as buildings.6 A population factor has its own say as regards economic environment of a region. the extinction of rare species of flaura and fauna. In other words. hence human activities and achievements depend not only upon natural environment also upon manmade environment. Every human activity necessary for economic development affects the local. roads. man as per his knowledge and capacity super-imposes culture on nature. This requires more exploitation of resources which not only hampers the resource reserves but also affects the eco-system of that region. Through this powerful tool he is changing fast the physical environment into cultural landscape. as more resources are needed to feed more mouths. The effects may be of short term or long term in nature. the agricultural development. cultural environment also should differ from place to place. 4. earthquakes in Jammu and Kashmir. As per the passage of time man has acquired technical and scientific knowledge. It goes on piling one after another. are called cultural features. However. settlements. the extraction of various energy and other resources etc.
If this trend continues. unplanned actions which ultimately leads to environmental degradation. It has its impact on natural environment also. executive and judiciary. Ecological disorder is the direct result of human action. It helps to shape. Environmental degradation is greater in advanced rather than in primitive societies. Any change in the form may be counter-productive and may affect the nation from .7 billion (1 billion = 1000 million) or more to the present population level in another three to four decades. but becomes more complex and indirect as the human society grows up in knowledge and size. As an example we have changes in many villages in India. which is growing at the rate of 1. 5. direct. The world population. function in public interest and within the boundaries of the constitution. The poor being both the victim and the agent of environmental damage. specially the size or density of the population. Population and Environment: Population factors play a most momentous role in socio-economic environment of a country. monarchy etc. develop and control many of the human activities including his business antipollution laws. dictatorial. The various ecosystems are showing signs of progressive deterioration because of man’s hasty. is highly alarming. The type of government plays a significant role in political environment of a country as it is guided by certain firm policies of its own. All actions of men are not wise or far-sighted and hence it leads to environmental crises. Traditional land and resources will be subjected to more and more overuse.7 difficult to trace back the link with the physical base. The type or the form government may be democratic. Environment and political set up: Political environment refers to the influence exerted by the three main political institutions viz. The executives also called as government. At this stage the natural environment quality starts degrading and the question of ecological disorders and natural imbalance crops up. Even the government will not be in a position to keep up with the infrastructural and human need of the growing population. A stable and dynamic political environment is a must for the development of mankind. partly through his numbers and partly through his skills. Majority of the population being poor causes more environmental damage due to mutually reinforcing effect between poverty and environmental damage. there will be addition of another 3. agricultural or pastoral interiors. implements whatever is decided by legislature and the executive. communist. legislature. more in the industrial and urban than rural.7 per cent per year. negligent. Cultural environment is simple and more directly connected with physical base in the early stages. This rapid growth will affect both economic and physical environments at regional as well as global level.
our ecosystem. if not more due to environmental problems. The disturbing factors pressurize sustainability and natural living. More and more business executives have now identified environment as issue that affect their companies. not only that but one cannot think of human . The corporate leaders. Human beings are not separate entity. It unfolds environmental issues for those who are directly or indirectly concerned with this discipline. Most of the environmental problems are well known though we may not have found solution for all. The scope of environmental science and its management has increased from manufacturing pollution control equipment. They are part of the surrounding. And same is true for public leaders whose sensitization is vital in this regard.e. nature of disturbing factors and the various methods to overcome disturbing factors. transportation and population growth are the major environmental problems and these are likely to increase. It is believed by the scientists and the leaders in industry that if we do not come to grip with environmental issues. In India. Those who are not economically well off are equally affected. Thus environmental concerns have to be on the agenda of all organizations. water. we have been witnessing significant environmental degradation during the last few decades. the students of universities and colleges and the student-managers realize that environmental protection and resource conservation have to be considered as a normal part of conducting business and understanding nature. The problems are both global and national and all these pose serious challenges not only to our planet but also to our way of life. (use of fertilizers and pesticides) deforestation. socio-cultural. If the desire to lead higher living standard also increases. sewage and effluent treatment plants. physical etc. Industry has significant role in environmental protection. It helps us to understand the nature of environment and its components. The subject is multidisciplinary in nature.air. high-intensity agriculture.8 several angles i. SCOPE: A study of environmental science is getting lot of attention not only in the field of pollution control but also to sustain the life and nature. land. urbanization. as all these segments are interdependent. biomedical waste treatment and fly ash management. Increasing industrialization. economic. business. irreversible process would have been set in that would ultimately lead to human suffering not in the countries of South but also the North. Issues of environmental protection and “Right for Clean Environment” have already trickled down from educated and affluent people to the general public. Similarly environmental concern has to a part of policy for the various governmental organizations. soil erosion. then problem would be too acute to be manageable.
humans must devise new strategies that mesh environmental progress with economic growth. Natural ecosystem includes both physical and natural science. reused. air quality. rate of consumption and disposal of waste have created problems for manufacturing. The study of environmental science makes us understand the scientific basis for establishing a standard which can be considered acceptably safe. broadly listed below: • • • • • Natural Resources. plant trees and if you plan for 100 years. the result will be irreversible damage to the ecological cycles and balances in nature upon which all life depends. if you plan for 10 years. Environmental scientists warn that fundamental. Since the environment provides all the resources that are used in the process of production of goods or services. the responsibility of industry is of paramount consideration. Our natural resources are either renewable or non-renewable. Industry not only has to consider issues like profit. educate people. Furthermore. Most environmental scientists agree that if pollution and other environmental deterrents continue at their present rates. humans must learn that Earth does not have infinite resources. life would be adversely affected. In short scope of environmental studies is broad based and it encompasses a large number of areas and aspects. plant rice. where possible.” If we wish to manage our planet earth. water table and many other environmental problems. the later have to be conserved and the use of former to be judicious. and perhaps drastic. The . If the habit is degraded/damaged. we have to make all the persons environmentally educated. legislation and regulatory controls but has to go a step beyond. clean and healthy for man and natural ecosystem. changes in human behaviour will be required to avert an ecological crisis. quality standards. To safeguard the healthful environment that is essential to life. Without a suitable habitat neither animals nor plants nor human can survive. marketing and management of landfills for wasters. our living style.their conservation and management Ecology and biodiversity Environmental pollution and control Social issues in relation to development and environment Human population and environment IMPORTANCE: There is a proverb “If you plan for one year.9 survival if the services provided by the environment don’t become available. Besides the issue of resources. Earth’s limited resources must be conserved and.
damage. Each issue can be probed more deeply. It concerns itself with life support system and is very closely related with development and economic growth. legal. Environmental studies is very important but most neglected body of knowledge. We have to choose between environment and development. External environment include political. work ethics and attitudes. social. national. Therefore. Business Environment is divided into two categories viz. we need change at local. It is an exploratory description of issues. yes Developed countries? This is a bear fact that both the consumption and life-style of people have direct relations to environmental problems.10 future growth of developing nations depends upon the development of sustainable conservation methods that protect the environment while also meeting the basic needs of citizens. It has been the reality that the industrial countries have high level of development and decent standard of living at the expense of environment and depletion of natural resources. For the above. These issues are controversial and need deep study to help us understand the environmental problems. . The most important questions that bother every developing country is what should be the ideal combination of pattern of growth and development. technological. External and Internal Environment. On the other hand. This subject forms part of Business Environment. economic. culture. Internal Environment includes people. regional and global levels together with an economic and social transformation at the levels of individuals and communities. which Model of development as well as of business should be followed so that we do not ignore the principle that underlie sustainability. living habits and attitudinal and ethical questions have now cropped up which are main concerns for Environmental Studies. An environmental study is the subject in which we examine important issues relating to environment as they affect our lives. Many a time both development and economic growth are not easily reconciled. The real question is how long is the Mother Earth likely suffer and how long this kind of development will be sustainable? Developing countries on the other hand are still struggling to achieve a minimum standard of living though they are also equally contributing to environmental damage. industrialized and underdeveloped or developing countries. Developing countries want accelerated growth to fulfill their basic needs and real question is should they follow footsteps are their big brothers. deplete and pollute the environment. international and natural environment. Both.
the effect of which is directly felt by its inhabitants. the non-governmental organizations.Ministry of Environment and Forest has also launched many campaigns like displaying several hoardings. Awareness regarding the state of environment is must for every human being living on this planet. Various advertisements. Government with its separate ministry. (Example of stir on the issue of Enron Power Project (Dabhol Power Project) now called Ratnagiri Power Project in Konkan area of Maharashtra was much politicized and the environmental issues were put forth as political propaganda. Nobody can escape the wrath if fallen. documentaries. Already world is surrounded by several environmental problems. Today everybody talks of environment. feature films etc. are being made to be telecasted on the video media. may it be the people of developing countries or these from the developed ones. throughout the country. the judiciary and now the corporate sector also expresses a great concern on matters relating natural environment and ecosystem. Plantation of several trees on various occasions. The state ministries are also playing important roles in generating awareness in masses. is undertaken on large scale. especially on World Environment Day which falls on 5th June of every year. There are several environmental problems which have been solved by using environmental studies. Looking at the present pathetic state of environment and the knowledge people have about it. The media is playing a leading role in this process. Newspapers and other magazines are publishing out of lot of articles on this subject. Unfortunately. There is always a need to have .11 The government and their agencies. almost all nations of world have geared up in creating awareness in their people. environmental awareness campaign have very often exploited for political propaganda rather than being an integral part of our educational programmes in theory and practice. so that they could start understanding the problems that they are facing at present and would have to face in future. In fact. posters etc. but only a few have clear ideas about what needs to be done and still fewer have the actual experience or expertise in the field. Several means are being employed to educate the masses. Some of these are: a) global warming b) population problems c) depletion of ozone layer d) habitat destruction and species extinction e) energy production f) groundwater depletion and contamination NEED FOR AWARENESS: Everybody should know what is happening around them. it has become evident for every country to educate their masses.
12 awareness of the issues and knowledge as to how the environmental ailments are to be avoided and balance is struck between growth and environment. To sum up: Today everybody talks of environment, but only a few have clear ideas about what needs to be done and still fewer have the actual experience or expertise in the field. Unfortunately, environmental awareness campaigns have very often been exploited for political propaganda rather than being an integral part of our educational programmes in theory and practice. “Environment” is very wrongly taken as a “fashion” by all walks of life, hardly realizing that it is our “real-lifesituation” and our sustenance and security are at stake. “What is the use of a beautiful house if you don’t have a decent planet to put it on?” Even if we begin today, the restoration is expected in the next 40-50 years. The complex link between human activities and the loss of biodiversity is rapidly coming to light. Loss of habitats and poaching of wildlife is more obvious now a days. But more complex and unsuspected links are being thrown up as scientists go deeper into the subject. The recent rapid decline of species of vultures in South Asia could be result of a veterinary drug give to cattle which is eventually passed on to vultures when they feed one of the carcasses of these animals. The study therefore requires number of disciplines to establish this relationship. Similarly, while atmospheric science and chemistry may seem distantly related subjects, it was the study of CFCs and their impact on ozone that finally led to an understanding of the ozone ‘hole’ and the Montreal Protocol (a commitment by governments to phase out the use of CFCs), which has been one of the success stories of a global response to a global problem. Questions: Q.1: What is the need for studying environment issues? Q.2: What is the scope of environmental education? Q.3: How would environmental awareness help to protect our environment?
13 Unit 2: NATURAL RESOURCES Topics: a) Renewable and non-renewable resources: Forest resources, Use and over-exploitation, deforestation, case studies. Timber extraction, mining, dams and their efforts on forests and tribal people b) Water resources: Use and overutilization of surface and ground water, floods, drought, conflicts over water, dams-benefits and problems c) Mineral resources: Use and exploitation, environmental effects of extracting and using mineral resources’, case studies d) Food resources: World foods problems, changes caused by agriculture and overgrazing, effects of modern agriculture, fertilizer – pesticide problems, Water logging, salinity, case studies e) Energy resources: growing energy needs, renewable and renewable energy resources, use of alternate energy sources f) Land resources: land as a resource, land degradation, man induced landslides, desertification. Role of an individual in conservation of natural resources. Equitable use of resources for sustainable lifestyles. Objectives: • • • • • • To understand the concept of natural resources To distinguish between renewable and non-renewable resources To know the important natural resources such as Forest, Water, Minerals, food, energy and land resourcesTo study the resources in context of their usage, over utilization issues, factors responsible, environmental effects and remedial measures To ascertain role of an individual in conservation of natural resources To learn the equitable use of the resources for sustainable lifestyles
NATURAL RESOURCES INTRODUCTION: Resources does not refer to a thing or a substance but to a function which a thing or substance may perform or to an operation in which it may take part namely the function or operation of attaining a given end such as satisfying a want. Resource, therefore, means to attain given ends. The aspect of satisfaction is so important that we consider a thing or substance resource so long it meets our needs.
14 Life on this planet depends upon a large number of things and services provided by the nature, which are known as Natural Resources. Thus water, air, soil, minerals, coal, forests, crops and wild life are all examples of natural resources. Any material which is required or used to sustain life or livelihood is termed as a resource. In other words, resources are all these requirements of organisms, population and communities which tend to help in accumulation of energy by their increased availability. Some examples of resources are air for breathing, water for drinking, land for living and growing food, forests for timber and paper, ores for aluminium, copper, iron and other metals and coal, oil and natural gas for producing energy. Natural Resources: A natural resource is defined as a form of energy and/or matter which is essential for the functioning of organisms, populations and ecosystems. In the case of humans, a natural resource, in his words, refers to any form of energy or matter essential for the fulfillment of physiological, socio-economic and cultural needs, both at the individual level and that of the community. Life on our planet earth depends upon a large number of things and services provided by the nature, which are known as natural resources. Water, air, soil, minerals, coal, forests, crops and wild life are all the examples of natural resources. The basic ecological variables- energy, space, time and diversity are sometimes combined called natural resources. These natural are maintaining ecological balance among themselves. Man is the only organisms who have disrupted this duplicate balance. According to Ramade (1984), a natural resource is defined as a form of energy and/or matter, which is essential for the functioning of organisms, populations and ecosystems. In the case of humans, a natural resource, in his words, refers to any form of energy or matter essential for the fulfillment of physiological, socioeconomic and cultural needs, both at the individual level and that of the community. The basic ecological variables- energy, space, time and diversity are sometimes combined called natural resources. These natural resources are maintaining ecological balance among themselves. Man is the only organism who has disrupted this duplicate balance. Classification of natural resources: According to Odum (1971), natural resources can be divided into two categories such as (1) renewable and (2) Non renewable resources.
cotton. 2. is considered as a renewable resource in as much as solar stocks are inexhaustible on the human scale. Non-Renewable Resources: The resources that cannot be replenished through natural processes are known as non-renewable resources. Renewable resources: The resources that can be replenished through rapid natural cycles are known as renewable resource. Non-renewable resources can further be divided into two categories. water and soil are also classified as renewable resources. silk and synthetic fibers) and leather. These are mainly the non-energy mineral resources. copper. which cannot be increased. which cannot be recycled in any way. gold. Once a nonrenewable resource is consumed. Some examples of renewable resources though they do not have life cycle but can be recycled are wood and wood-products. silver. Examples of renewable resources are plants. copper. viz.) that are not able to replace themselves or do so at such a slow rate that they are not useful to consider them in terms of the human life times. ores of aluminium.15 1. phosphates. which can be collected after they are used and can be recycled.g. forest. mercury etc. nitrates etc. and animals who are being replaced from time to time because they have the power of reproducing and maintain life cycles. jute. fish and wild life) that are able to reproduce or replace them and to increase. minerals and salts (carbonates. animal wool. (crops and forests). a) recycle able and b) non-recyclable a) Recycleale: These are non-renewable resources. pulp products. Some authors prefer to classify resources into biotic and abiotic resources: a) Biotic resources: These are living resources (e. Solar energy although having a finite life.g. land. lead. phosphate sock and potassium and minerals used in their natural state (asbestos. which provide 90 per cent of our energy requirements. metals (iron.) b) Non-recyclable: These are non-renewable resources. Examples of these are fossil fuels and uranium.). clay. These are available in limited amounts.). minerals etc. agriculture. b) Abiotic resources: These are non-living resources (e. These resources are able to increase their abundance through reproduction and utilization of simple substances.). In addition to these resources. mica etc.g. which occur in the earth’s crust (e. .g. These resources include fossil fuels (petrol. it is gone forever. zinc etc. Then we have to find a substitute for it or do without it. as a special case. coal etc. natural rubber.g. petrol. fibers (e.) and deposits of fertilizer nutrients (e.
It is very important to protect and conserve our natural resources and use them in a judicious manner so that we don’t exhaust them. Land resources 1. For example. Energy resources 6. Mineral resources 4. Examples of Renewable and Non-renewable resources: Even our renewable resources can become non-renewable if we exploit them to such extent that their rate of consumption exceeds their rate of regeneration. FOREST RESOURCES: Forest Resources: It is a dense growth of trees. Exhaustible resources: These resources are limited in nature and they are non-maintainable e. Covering the earth like a green blanket these forests not only produce innumerable material goods. ground water is renewable only if water continues to percolate in the soil at a rate at which it is removed. wind power. Examples are solar energy. Inexhaustible resources: The resources which are not changed or exhausted by man’s activities and are abundantly available for ever are said to be inexhaustible. Following are some examples of the major natural resources: 1. Hence. Forests are one of the most natural resources on this earth. Rather. they come under non-renewable category. together with other plants. 2. covering a large area of land. For example if a species is exploited so much that its population size declines below the threshold level then it is not able to sustain itself and gradually the species becomes endangered or extinct. Water resources 3. Food resources 5. 1. Most of the renewable resources are classified as inexhaustible. . Forest resources 2.g. coal. but also provide several environmental services which are essential for life. It does not mean that we should stop using most of the natural resources. atomic energy.16 Natural resources can be classified as a) inexhaustible and b) exhaustible resources. But if not maintained properly. power from tides etc. we should use the resources in such a way that we always save enough of them for our future generations. petrol and some minerals etc. they become extinct.
pulpwood. The ecological services provided by our forests may be summed up as follows: 1. and recreation and for development of dams. bamboo canes. particle board and chipboard. The greatest loss occurred in tropical Asia where one third of the forests resources have been destroyed. fodder. food items. Half of the timber cut each year is used as fuel for heating and cooking. grazing. 5. But it is a matter of concern that almost everywhere the cover of the natural forests has declined over the years. lac. resins.17 About 1/3rd of the world’s land area is forested which includes closed as well as open forests. One sixth of the wood harvest is converted into pulp and used for paper industry. Production of oxygen: The trees produce oxygen by photosynthesis which is so vital for life on this earth. firewood. One third of the wood harvest is used for building materials as lumber. 3. Regulation of hydrological cycle: Forested watersheds act like giant sponges. Ecological uses: While a typical tree produces commercial goods worth about $ 590 it provides environmental services worth nearly $ 196 to $ 250. absorbing the rainfall. plywood and hardwood. USES OF FORESTS: Commercial Uses: Forests provide us a large number of commercial goods which include timber. CO2. medicine. agriculture.e. 4. the total of which is estimated to be more than $ 300 billion per year. non-edible oils. 6. . Soil Conservation: Forests bind the soil particles tightly in their roots and prevent soil erosion. Many forest lands are used for mining. About 7 million species are found in the tropical forests alone. Former USSR accounts for about a 5th of the world’s forests. Brazil for about a 7th and Canada and USA each for 6-7%. gum. 2. drugs and many more items. slowing down the runoff and slowly releasing the water for recharge of springs. Thus forest canopy acts as a sink for CO2 thereby reducing the problem of global warming caused by greenhouse gas i. They have also been reported to absorb noise and thus help in preventing air and noise pollution. rubber. They are rightly called as earth’s lungs. fibers. Pollution moderators: Forests can absorb many toxic gases and can help in keeping the air pure and clean. Wild life habitat: Forests are the homes of millions of wild animals and plants. Reducing global warming: The main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed by the forests as a raw material for photosynthesis. They also act as windbreaks. About 50-80% of the moisture in the air above tropical forests comes from their transpiration which helps in bringing rains.
fuel wood etc. FAO (1983) estimated that about 1.04% decline annually between 1982-90. 3. humans have depended heavily on forests for food. pulp for paper industry etc. agricultural and industrial areas and overgrazing have together led to over exploitation of our forests leading to their rapid degradation. Major causes of Deforestation: 1. Excessive use of fuel wood and charcoal.Shifting cultivation: There are an estimated 300 million people living as shifting cultivators who practice slash and burn agriculture and are supported so clear more than 5 lakh ha of forests for shifting cultivation annually. Fuel requirements: Increasing demands for fuel wood by the growing population in India alone has shooted up to 300-500 million tons in 2001 as compared to just 65 million tons during independence. minerals. DEFORESTATION: The total forest area of the world in 1990 was estimated to be 7000 million hectares which was reduced to 2890 million hectares in 1975 and fell down to just 2300 million hectares by 2000. shooted up resulting in large scale logging. As per FAO estimates. shelter. plywood.18 OVER EXPLOITATION OF FORESTS: Since time immemorial. we are still far behind the target of achieving 33% forest areas. have exerted . the deforestation rate per unit population in India is the lowest among the major tropical countries. as we are still having only 19. 1998).44 m hectares of land were brought under afforestation during this period leading to stabilization. we have this practice of North-East and to some extent in Andhra Pradesh. Deforestation rate is relatively less in temperate countries.P. as per our National Forest Policy. With growing civilization the demands for raw material like timber. medicine. thereby increasing the pressure on forests. railwaysleepers. expansion of urban. which contribute to nearly half of the forest clearing annually. pulp. wood and fuel.27% of our land area (63. The international timber trade alone is worth over US $ 40 billion per year. but it is very alarming in tropical countries where it is as high as 40-50 percent and at the present rate is it estimated that in the next 60 years we would lose more than 90 percent of our tropical forests. Raw materials for industrial use: Wood for making boxes. 2. furniture. Our forests contribute substantially to the national economy. despite the fact that we have a huge population size and very low per capita forest area (0. In India. The forested area in India seems to have stabilized since 1982 with about 0. match boxes.075 ha per capita). Bihar and M. However.38m ha) covered by forests based on satellite data (MoFF. mining. road-building and clearing of forests.
Problems of soil erosion and loss of soil fertility increase. Plywood is in great demand for packing tea for Tea industry of Assam while fir tree wood is exploited greatly for packing apples in J & K. 5. 3. Mining and its associated activities require removal of vegetation along with underlying soil mantle and overlying rock masses. which may be detailed as below: 1. Major consequences of deforestation: Deforestation has far reaching consequences. 2. Growing food needs: In developing countries this is the main reason for deforestation. Overgrazing by the cattle leads to further degradation of these lands. This results in defacing the topography and destruction of the landscape in the area. agricultural lands and settlements are created permanently by clearing forests. It threatens the existence of many wild life species due to destruction of their natural habitat. road construction. Major activities in Forests: Timber Extraction: Logging for valuable timber. Biodiversity is lost and along with that genetic diversity is eroded. Also road construction for making approach to the trees causes further damage to the forests. More than 80000 ha of land of the country is presently under the stress of mining activities. Mining from shallow deposits is done by surface mining while that from deep deposits is done by sub-surface mining. 4. In hilly areas it often leads to landslides. The forested area has declined at an average rate of 33% and the increase in . Mining: Mining operations for extracting minerals and fossil fuels like coal often involves vast forest areas. mining etc.19 tremendous pressure on forests. thereby influencing rainfall. Hydrological cycle gets affected. big dams. 6. 5. Overgrazing: The poor in the tropics mainly rely on wood as a source of fuel leading to loss of tree cover and the cleared lands are turned into the grazing lands. To meet the demands of rapidly growing population. such as teak and Mahogany not only involves a few large trees per hectare but about a dozen more trees since they are strongly interlocked with each other a by vines etc. Large scale deforestation has been reported in Mussorie and Dehradun valley due to indiscriminating mining of various minerals over a length of about 40 Km. 4. Development projects: Massive destruction of forests occur for various development projects like hydroelectric projects.
For building big dams. Raniganj and Singrauli areas has caused extensive deforestation in Jharkhand. Coal mining in Jharia. large scale devastation of forests takes place which breaks the natural ecological balance of the region. DAMS AND THEIR EFFECTS ON FORESTS AND PEOPLE: Big dams and rivers valley projects have multi-purpose uses and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru used to refer to these dams and valley projects as “Temples of modern India”. India has more than 1550 large dams. chromite. bauxite and magnetite. Almora. The highest one is Tehri dam. these dams are also responsible for the destruction of vast areas of forests.Sunder lal Bahaguna. Kosi valley. on river Bhagirathi in Uttaranchal and the largest in terms of capacity is Bhakra dam on river Satluj in Himachal Pradesh. the tropical rain forests) we are going to . Mining of magnesite and soap – stones have destroyed 14 ha of forest in hill slopes of Khirakot. Tamilnadu and Karnataka are posing similar threats of deforestation. The crusade against the ecological damage and deforestation caused due to Tehri dam was led by Shri. Forests are the repositories of invaluable gifts of nature in the form of biodiversity and by destroying them (particularly. joined by Arundhati Ray and Baba Amte. followed by Gujarat (more than 250) and Madhya Pradesh (130). The Silent valley hydroelectric project was one of the first such projects situated in the tropical rain forest area of Western Ghats which attracted much concern of the people. the maximum being in the state of Maharashtra (more than 600). the leader of Chipko Movement. droughts and landslides become more prevalent in such areas. Mining of radioactive minerals in Kerala. Floods. Indiscriminate mining in forests of Goa since 1961 has destroyed more than 50000 ha of forest land.20 non-forest area due to mining activities has resulted in relatively unstable zones leading to landslides.. Big dams have been in sharp focus of various environmental groups all over the world which is mainly because of several ecological problems including deforestation and socio-economic problems related to tribal or native people associated with them. The cause of Sardar Sarovar Dam related issues have been taken up by the environmental activitist Medha Patkar. However. The rich forests of Western Ghats are also facing the same threat due to mining projects for excavation of copper.
It has anamolous expansion behaviour i. These species could be having marvelous economic or medicinal value and deforestation results in loss of this storehouse of species which have evolved over millions of years in a single stroke. it expands instead of contracting and thus becomes lighter. It has the highest specific heat. it takes huge amount energy for getting vaporized. which we call as Hydrological Cycle. But it can also easily dissolve various pollutants and become a carrier of pathogenic microorganisms. due to which it warms up and cools down very slowly without causing shocks of temperature jerks to the aquatic life.e. • • The water we use keeps on cycling endlessly through the environment. can sustain aquatic organisms even in extreme cold. the lakes freeze only on the surface. It is in an excellent solvent for several nutrients. from 0 to 100 C. We have enormous resources of water on earth amounting to 1404 million km³. It has high latent heat of vaporization. Due to high surface tension and cohesion it can only easily rise through great heights through the trunk even in the tallest of the trees like Sequoia. as it freezes. It is because of this property that even in extreme cold.e.21 lose these species even before knowing them. it can serve as a very good carrier of nutrients. Every year about 1. Solar energy drives the water cycle by evaporating it from various bodies. WATER RESOURCES: Water is an indispensable natural resource on this earth on which all life depends. About 97% of the earth’s surface is covered by water and most of the animals and plants have 60-65% water in their body. The water from various moist surfaces evaporates and fall again on the earth in the form of rain or snow and passes through living organisms and ultimately returns to oceans. which are essential for life. That’s why it produces a cooling effect as it evaporates.4 inch thick layer of water evaporates from the oceans more than 90% of which returns to the oceans through the hydrological cycle. which subsequently return . Being lighter the ice keeps floating. Hence. whereas the bottom waters remain at a higher temperature and therefore. Thus. Water is characterized by certain unique features which make it a marvelous resource: • • • • It exists as a liquid over a wide range of temperature i. including oxygen. Case study includes Sardar Sarovar Dam (Uprooted forests and tribals) is the most current issue on the dams and their effects on forests and people.
Even this small fraction of fresh water is not available to us most of it is locked up in polar ice caps and just 0. their distribution in the body. Uptake of nutrients. Water consumption: the water which is taken up but not returned for reuse. Pollution of many of the groundwater aquifers has made of these wells unfit for consumption. Plants too play a very vital role by absorbing the groundwater from the soil and releasing it into the atmosphere by process of transpiration. Groundwater: About 9. Water: A precious Natural Resource: Although water is very abundant on this earth. irrigation and domestic purposes has resulted in rapid depletion of groundwater in various regions leading to lowering of water table and drying of wells. yet it is very precious. Tropical rain forest areas receive maximum rainfall while the major world deserts occur in zones of dry. about 97% is salty water (marine) and only 3% is fresh water. regulation of temperature. Out of the total water reserves of the world. Water use by humans is of two types: 1. Overuse of groundwater for drinking.22 through rainfall or snow. Global distribution of water resources is quite uneven depending upon several geographic factors. WATER USE AND OVER-EXPLOITATION: Due to its unique properties water is of multiple uses for all living organisms. Water withdrawal: taking water from groundwater or surface water resource and 2. and removal of wastes are all mediated through water. Rivers and streams have long been used for discharging the wastes. but unfortunately. Most of the civilizations have grown and flourished on the banks of rivers.86% of the total fresh water resources is in the form of groundwater and it is about 35-50 times that of surface water supplies. Water is absolutely essential for life.003% is readily available to us in the form of groundwater and surface water. descending air (20-40 N and S) and receive very little rainfall. Most of the life processes take place in water in water contained in the body. . growth in turn has been responsible for pollution of the rivers.
Apart from these there are conflicts over water.Water logging Surface water: The water coming through precipitation (rainfall. lakes. Punjab and Haryana.it also affects countries who are water starved viz. Karnataka similarly The Satluj-Yamuna link canal Dispute also involves two Northern states viz. industrial use. Egypt. navigation etc. raise in the standard of living and improvement in quality of life. In traditional water management. our traditional water managers in villages prove to be quite effective. which are democratically implemented.involves two major southern states of India viz.23 Effects of groundwater usage: 1. provide drinking water in remote areas and bring out overall development of the region. . Such projects result providing much employment of opportunities. Kuwait. snow) when does not percolate down into the ground or does not return to the atmosphere as evaporation or transpiration loss. Tamilnadu. BIG DAMS. innovative arrangements ensure equitable distribution of water. Indispensability of water and its unequal distribution has often led to inter-state or international disputes. provide irrigation water to lower areas. c) The Cauvery water dispute. Such projects have tremendous potential for economic upliftment and growth. The problems arising out of water resources are floods. The surface water is largely used for irrigation.Lowering of water table 3. Syria. Rajasthan as well as Delhi. A country’s economy is largely dependent upon its rivers. Saudi Arabia. The ‘gram sabhas” approve these plans publicly. Some major water conflicts are. droughts. Israel and Jordan. assumes the form of streams. ponds. Affected states also include UP. Issues related to sharing of river water have been largely affecting our farmers and also shaking our governments.a) Water conflict in the Middle East. public water supply. wetlands or artificial reservoirs known as surface water. These dams are often regarded as a symbol of national development. India has the distinction of having the largest number of river valley projects. It can check floods and famines. generate electricity and reduce water and power shortage.Susidence 2.countries involved as Sudan. While water disputes between states and nations often resume battle like situations. b) The Indus Water treaty-is dispute between India and Pakistan. There are hopes all over from every corner of the region where such dam is planned to be constructed. Turkey.BENEFITS AND PROBLEMS Benefits: River valley projects with big dams have usually been considered a key role in the development process due to their multiple uses.
most of the rocks.24 Environmental problems: The environmental impacts of big dams are also too many due to which very often big dams become an issue of controversy. There are thousands of minerals occurring in different parts of the world. MINERAL RESOURCES: Minerals are naturally occurring. but it has several serious side-effects. iron etc. . we see everyday are just composed of few common minerals like quartz. However. The impacts can be at the upstream as well as downstream levels. feldspar. biotite etc. inorganic. These minerals in turn are composed of some elements like silicon. oxygen. That it why now there is a shift towards construction of small dams or min-hydel projects. crystalline solids having definite chemical composition and characteristic physical properties. Upstream problems: • • • • • • • • • • Displacement of tribal people Loss of forests. flora and fauna Changes in fisheries and the spawning grounds Siltation and sedimentation of reservoirs Loss of non-forest land Stagnation and water logging near reservoir Breeding of vectors and spread of vector-borne diseases Reservoir induced seismicity (RIS) causing earthquakes Growth of aquatic weeds Microclimatic changes Downstream impacts: • • • • • • • Water logging and salinity due to over irrigation Micro-climatic changes Reduced water flow and silt deposition river Flash floods Salt water intrusion at river mouth Loss of land fertility along the river since the sediments carrying nutrients get deposited in the reservoir Outbreak of vector-borne diseases like malaria Thus dams are built to serve the society with multiple uses.
Our food problems are directly related to population. Environmental impacts of mineral extraction and use are devegetation and defacing of landscape.25 Minerals are generally used for development of industrial plants. Remedial measures include adoption of eco-friendly technology. occupational health hazards etc. restoration of mined areas by re-vegetating them with appropriate plant species. fish and seafood. surface water pollution. Because of overgrazing the agricultural land gets affected as follows. rice. an estimated 300 million Indians are still undernourished. construction. stabilization of the mined lands. communication. This shows that there is drastic need to increase food production. equipments and armament for defence. silver etc. Although India is the third largest producer of staple crops. maize. India has only half as much land as USA. microbial leaching technique. generation of energy. gradual restoration of flora etc. air pollution. subsidence of land. FOOD RESOURCES: There are thousands of edible plants and animals over the world out of which only about three dozen types constitute major food of humans. but it has nearly three times population to feed. about twenty or so common fruits and vegetables. barley. meat. transportation means. World food problems: Every year food problem is killing as many people as were killed by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima during World War II. groundwater contamination. it results into: • • • Land degradation Soil erosion Loss of useful species Agriculture also makes impact on the usage of land generally as follows: • • • Deforestation Soil Erosion Depletion of nutrients Impact of modern agriculture is as follows: There is • Impact related to high yielding varieties (HYV) . potato.gold. jewellery. oats etc. equitably distribute it and also to control population growth. milk. medical system. The main food resources include wheat.
made up equipments such has solar heat collectors. ocean thermal energy. death of non-target organisms. solar energy. . solar power plants are must. The very original form of energy technology probably was the fire. The non renewable energy sources include coal. There are wide disparities in per capita energy use between developed and the developing nations. Wind energy 3. natural gas. Invention of steam engineers replaced the burning of wood by coal and coal was further replaced by oil. eutrophication Pestide related problems include creating resistance in pests and producing new pests.26 • Fertilizers related problems include micronutrient imbalance. which produced heat and the early man used it for cooking and heating purposes. which are also termed as non-conventional energy sources which include: 1. This will seek to end the energy crisis which the world is facing today. It is inevitable truth that now there is an urgent need of thinking in terms of alternative sources of energy. petroleum. Tidal energy. biological magnification. Some other problems include water logging. Energy resources are primarily divided into two categories viz. biomass. the basic amenities of life. salinity problems and such others. biogas. solar cells. Wind and hydropower has also been used. The oil producing have started twisting arms of the developed as well as developing countries by dictating the prices of oil and other petroleum products. Soil is also a valuable resource. solar cooker. This is because almost all the development activities are directly or indirectly dependent upon energy. ENERGY RESOURCES: Energy consumption of a nation is usually considered as an index of its development. fiber and fuel wood. solar furnace. geothermal energy. Renewable energy resources must be preferred over the non-renewable resources. renewable and non-renewable sources. Hydropower. 2. LAND RESOURCES: Land as a resource: Land is a finite and valuable resource upon which we depend for our food. solar water heater. nuclear energy. biofuels etc. nitrite pollution.
The agents that cause such erosion are. It results in the loss of fertility. mineral and energy resources play a vital role in the development of a nation. biotic agents.climatic agents and water induced erosion. especially surface-litter and top soil from one place to another. press mud or heavy metals all cause degradation of land. Soil erosion. mining etc. water logging. Desertification: Desertification is a process whereby the productive potential of arid or semiarid lands falls by ten percent or more. Causes of desertification: 1) Deforestation b) Overgrazing 3) Mining and quarrying. In order to prevent soil erosion and conserve the soil the following conservation practices are employed: • • • • • • • • Conservational till farming. construction of buildings. It basically of two types viz. CONSERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES: Role of an Individual Different natural resources like forests. water. Desertification is characterized by devegetation and loss of vegetal over. suspension and surface creep. Contour farming Terracing Strip cropping Strip cropping Alley cropping Wind breaks or shelterbelts Water logging Landslides: Various anthropogenic activities like hydroelectric projects. food. salinization and contamination of the soil with industrial wastes like fly-ash.27 Land Degradation: Because of increasing of population growth the demands for arable land for producing food and fuel wood is also increasing. are responsible for clearing of large forested areas. depletion of groundwater. Wind is also responsible for the land erosion through saltation. Soil Erosion: Soil erosion means wearing away of soil. With our small . It defined as the movement of soil components. large dams. construction of roads and railway lines. normal erosion go geologic erosion and accelerated erosion. Hence there is more and more pressure on the limited land resources which are getting degraded due to over-exploitation. soil. salinization and severe soil erosion. reservoirs.
C. 3.28 individual efforts we can together help in conserving our natural resources to a large extent. Install a system to capture rain water. Recycle and reuse glass. Never water the plants in mid-day. Following are the ways: Conserve Water: 1. 4. 7. In washing machines fill the machine only to the level required for your clothes. driveways etc. 2. Use solar cooker for cooking which will be more nutritious and will save your LPG expenses. Install water saving toilets that use not more than 6 liters per flush. 5. Obtain as much heat as possible from natural sources. Drive less. shaving. 6. Turn off lights fans and other appliances when not in use. make fewer trips and use public transportations whenever possible. 7. 4. Conserve energy: 1. Protect the Soil: . 5. Use bicycle or just walk down small distances instead of using vehicle. 2. Check for water leaks in pipes and toilets and repair them promptly. metals and papers. 8. Reuse the soapy water of washing from clothes for gardening. Don’t keep water taps running while brushing. Water the plants and the lawns in the evening when evaporation losses are minimum. Share a car-pool if possible. Control the use of A. 6. washing or bathing. 3. Dry the clothes in sun instead of direr if possible. Build your house with provision for sunspace which will keep your house warmer and will provide more light.
There is a huge gap between those two worlds. 3. Do not waste food. 73% of energy and command 85% of income. Promote Sustainable Agriculture: 1. 1. Make compost from your kitchen waste and use it for your kitchen-garden. 4. The rich have gone richer and the poor have stead even poorer. 2. herbs and trees in your garden. The solution to this problem is to have more equitable distribution of resources and wealth. A global consensus has to be reached for balanced distribution. Control pests. Fertilize your crop with organic fertilizers. more developed countries (MDCs) and Less Developed countries (LDCs). Do not irrigate the plants using a strong flow of water as it would wash off the soil. Eat local and seasonal vegetables. Over consumption of resources by rich countries. Over population in poor countries and 2. They use only 12% of natural resources. . 3. This is not sustainable growth. There are two major causes of unsustainability. 2. 4. Grow different types of ornamental plants.29 1. North and South. But this is observed that MDCs have only 22% of world’s population but they use 88% of natural resources. Grow grass in the open areas which will bind the soil and prevent its erosion. 5. Reduce the use of pesticides. Take as much as you can eat. Use drip irrigation. 6. in turn they contribute very big proportion to its pollution. Better use sprinkling irrigation. 27% of energy and have only 15% of global income. haves and have-nots. On the other hand LDCs have very low or moderate industrial growth and have 78% of world’s population. EQUITABLE USE OF RESOURCES FOR SUSTAINABLE LIFE STYLE There is a big divide in the world viz.
Should we build big dams? Give arguments in favour of your answer. 7. 8. What are renewable and non-renewable resources? Give examples. What are major causes for conflicts over water? Discuss one international and one interstate water conflict. Give brief account of non-renewable energy resources. Questions: 1. 9.30 The rich countries will have to lower down their consumption levels and bare minimum needs of the poor must be satisfied by providing them resources. What is soil erosion? How can it be checked? 15. How can you as an individual conserve different natural resources? . What is overgrazing? How does it contribute to environmental degradation? 12. Briefly discuss droughts and floods with respect to their occurrence and impacts. 2. Discuss the major use of forests. Discuss with the help of live example around you. What are the environmental impacts of ground water usage? 6. How would you justify that ecological uses of forests surpass commercial uses? 3. how big dams have affected forests and the tribals. What are the major environmental impacts of mineral extraction? 11. Need of the hour is fairer sharing of resources between rich and poor which will bring about sustainable development for all. What are the major causes and consequences of deforestation? 4. What are the uses of various types of minerals? 10. Discuss the merits and demerits of wind energy? 14. 5. 13.
ecology deals with how individuals are affected by and how they affect their environment. The word ecology comes from Greek word Oikos. ecology deals with the presence or absence of particular species and with trends and fluctuations in their numbers. In other words. types. Ecologists try to predict what will happen to organisms. Ecology is concerned with the study of organisms in various habitats viz. To understand population fluctuations. the changes happening to individuals making up the population are analyzed. meaning house or place to live. Communities are not constant but are continually changing because of . oceans. land. Community ecology deals with the composition or structure of communities. populations. Energy flow of the ecosystem. Ecology can also be defined as the study of the structure and function of nature. and air. Ecological succession. it is study of the interrelations between living organisms and their environment. and what are the implications for human life as the earth heats up further.31 Unit 3: ECOSYSTEM Topics: Structure and function of an ecosystem. Desert ecosystem. At the level of population. and with the natural resources affected by them. Producers. Grassland ecosystem. characteristics features. Streams. Ecology proceeds at three levels: 1) the individual organism 2) the population (consisting of individuals of the same species) and 3) the community (consisting of number of populations). food webs and ecological pyramids. Forest ecosystem. estuaries] Objectives: • • • • To understand the concept of Ecosystem To learn about the elements of an Ecosystem To distinguish between different types of ecosystems To understand the characteristics. Taken literally. ecology refers to the study of organisms in their natural habitat. fresh water. Introduction. Aquatic ecosystems [ponds. structure and function of the following ecosystem. functions of the ecosystem INTRODUCTION: It is essential to first grasp the fundamentals of ecology in order to understand the environment. consumers and decomposers. For example. lakes. or communities under a particular set of habitat. Food chains. At the level of the organism. we can consider ecology as the study of organisms and their environment. the greenhouse effect is a real danger. For practical purposes. rivers.
For example. They are thus grouped together under the species sapiens. the Asiatic lions in the Gir National Park. Any assemblage of populations living in a prescribed area or physical habitat that has characteristics in addition to its individual and population components can be called as community. the cattle population. It includes all plants and animals. all human beings (Homo sapiens) resemble one another in their body structure. we refer to the lion population. the grass population and populations of all kinds of life forms present there. Gujarat. There are certain important concepts of ecology. Living organism: An organism is any form of life. For instance. A wide range and variety of organisms is present on the earth from the single celled amoeba to huge sharks. Organisms of the same species can breed with one another and produce fertile offspring under natural conditions. Thus community comprises several species interacting with each other. Population: A population is a group of individuals of the same species occupying a given area at a given time.32 interactions among the populations and because of disturbances caused by climatic and geological events as well as human activities. the deer population. body systems and they all have similar genetic structure. make a population. when we say ‘the community of the Gir National Park’. Group of individual organisms of the same species living within an area is called population. Communities: Communities of various species occupying a particular area and interacting with each other make up a community. from microscopic blue-green algae to massive banyan tree. Species: Group of organisms that resemble one another in appearance. chemistry and genetic structure form a species. Cycles: . behaviour. For instance.
Such interactions sustain the system and allow it to respond to changing conditions.G. and even the solar energy that is captured by the plants. rocks. which includes all the earth’s living organisms interacting with the physical environment as a whole to maintain a steady-state ecosystem. so that a flow of energy give rise to a clearly defined tropic structure. The term ecosystem was first proposed by A.33 The circulation of the chemical elements in its biosphere from the environment to organisms and back to the environment is called cycle. The sum total of all the ecosystems on planet Earth is called the biosphere.Tansley (1935) who defied ecosystem as follows: “Ecosystem is defined as a self-sustained community of plants and animals existing in its own environment. Ecosystem/s: An econsystem is a community of organisms involved in a dynamic network of biological. Thus. chemical and physical interactions between themselves and with the non-living components. like the soil. water etc. the non-living components and their interactions. The Gir ecosystem will thus include the various life forms found in the park (the community) and also the nonliving components of the park. The community of organisms and populations that are interacting with one another and with the chemical and physical components of their environment is called ‘ecosystem’.” Odum (1971) defined ecosystem as any unit that includes all the organisms in a given area interacting with the physical environment. . Carrying capacity: Maximum population of a particular species that a given habitat can support over a given period of time. an ecosystem includes the community. . biotic diversity and material cycles within the system” Michael Allaby (1983) defined ecosystem as a community of interdependent organisms together with the environment. Food chain: The transfer of food energy from its source in plants through a series of organisms where eating and being eaten is repeated a number of times are called food chain.
Thus the system resulting from the integration of all the living and non-living factors is called ecosystem. Ecosystem Structure: A system is an arrangement of matter so related to form a whole (unit). lakes. Biotic (LIVING) Component: It includes all living organisms of the environment. reproduce. An ecosystem may be defined as a dynamic entity composed of a biological community and its associated abiotic environment. Decomposers: These are most important group of organisms in the ecosystem. deserts and so on. The living organisms (biotic community) of an area and their non-living environment function together as one unit called ecological system or ecosystem. which then cascades and sometimes amplifies into other components because of relationships. They depend on the environment for raw materials and utilize sun light for the production of their own food. the living organisms and its environment each influencing the properties of the other and both are necessary for the survival and maintenance of life. They can also be termed as consumers. In the ecosystem. Some examples of natural ecosystems are ponds.34 The term ecosystem is made up of two words: eco and system. In absence of decomposers the earth will be packed only with dead bodies. mature. The largest ecosystem of the earth is the biosphere. oceans. The term ecosystem was first introduced in 1935. which is self sufficient and balanced. Plants and animals take birth. Each ecosystem has two components i. then after old age they die. Hence they consume plants and plant products produced by the autotrophs. Eco means ecological sphere or region of space where living things can exist while system mean interacting organisms living in a particular habitat (living space). The biotic component can be divided into two major groups (basing on food preparation and dependent for food): a) Autotrophs (Producers): Self food producing organisms are known as autotrophs. In short. hence called as producers and b) Heterotrophs (Consumers): These are the organisms mostly animals that cannot utilize sun light directly like autotrophs for their food preparation. forests. because they do not have chlorophyll.e. These decomposers decompose the dead bodies. Abiotic (NON-LIVING) Component: . Ecosystems are also always undergoing alterations to their biotic and abiotic components. Often the dynamic interactions that occur within an ecosystem are numerous and complex. Some of these alterations begin first with a change in the state of one component of the ecosystem. ecosystem can be described as “Life Support System”. Biotic and Abiotic substances. grasslands. grow in size.
like air. Some examples are: physical factors include. life cannot exist. temperate grasslands. Non-living Components are essential for the living world.include pond ecosystem. oceans. tropical deciduous forests. Desert Ecosystems. 3.include tropical grasslands. 4. polar grasslands. Precipitation. 2. water. tropical scrub forests. steams.a partially enclosed coastal area at the mouth of a river where fresh water and salty seawater meet. cold deserts etc.Sunlight. Nature of soil.include tropical deserts. Aquatic ecosystem. What is food chain? Give examples and discuss their significance. evergreen coniferous forests. soil. estuary. Non-living components include all the physical and chemical factors of an ecosystem that affect the living organisms. What are the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem? 3.include tropical rain forests. salinity of water. lake ecosystem. nutrients present in soil. temperate deciduous forests. oxygen dissolved in water.. air and minerals. Grassland ecosystems. Major ecosystem include 1. temperate deserts. Temperature. Questions: 1. 2.35 Non living components of an ecosystem include all the physical and chemical factors that influence living organisms. temperate rain forests. With no sunlight. Chemical factors: Percentage of water and air in soil. rocks etc. Forest ecosystem. Define ecology and ecosystems. . water. Fire and water currents.
Biodiversity is at three levels Genetic Diversity. Biodiversity constitutes the biological wealth. aesthetic and option values. species and ecosystem diversity. Biodiversity refers to the variety and variability among all groups of living organisms and the ecosystem complexes in which they occur. Conservation of biodiversity: In-situ and Ex-situ conservation of biodiversity Objectives: • To learn the concept of Biodiversity • To understand various types of biodiversity • To ascertain the value and importance of biodiversity • To know the Indian context of Biodiversity • To absorb various threat perceptions to the biodiversity • To know the remedial measures for preserving the biodiversity Introduction: It is really amazing if we divide the whole mother earth into 10 billion parts. It is indeed wonderful to see that so much diversity has been created by nature on this earth from so little physical matter. habitat loss. social. productive use. . Biodiversity means the variety and variability of all living organisms. terrestrial. In the Conservation of Biological diversity (1992) biodiversity has been defined as the variability among living organisms from all sources including inter alia. poaching of wildlife. man-wildlife conflicts. Threats to biodiversity. marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part.36 Unit 4 BIODIVERSITY Topics: Introduction. consumptive use. The genes found in organisms can form enormous number of combinations each of which gives rise to some variability. ethical. Definition: genetic. Species Diversity and Ecosystem Diversity. Genetic Biodiversity: It is basic source of biodiversity. Value of biodiversity. Hot-spots of biodiversity. Endangered and endemic species of India. Biogeographically classification of India. water and air. India as a megadiversity nation. it is only one part where life exists and the surprising variety of living organisms which could be about 50 million species are all restricted to just about a kilometer-thick layer of soil.
But. temperature. When a variety of a species is destroyed. Species biodiversity means variety of species within a region. Diversity of genes within a species increases its ability to adapt to disease.5 million living and 300000 fossil species have been actually described and given scientific names. all rice varieties belong to the species Oryza sativa. . size. a temperate deciduous forest and a boreal forest. but there are thousands of wild and cultivated varieties of rice which show variations at the genetic level and differ in their colour.37 Genes are the basic units of hereditary information transmitted from one generation to other. It is quite likely that a large fraction of these species may become extinct even before they are discovered and enlisted. which is supposed to have mainly a dominance of trees. shape. food-webs. Thus there occurs tremendous diversity within the ecosystems. For example. Such diversity can be measured on the basis of species in a region. Species Biodiversity: This is the variability found within the population of a species or between different species of a community. We mainly consider diversity in forest ecosystem. It represents broadly the species richness and their abundance in a community. Genetic biodiversity means the variation of genes within a species. aroma and nutrient content of the grain. This is genetic diversity of rice. along these gradients. Till now only about 1. nutrient cycling etc. genetic diversity gets diminished. When the genes within the same species show different versions due to new combinations. altitude precipitation etc. The ecosystems also show variations with respect to physical parameters like moisture. the variations observed are just too many and they are mainly due to variations in the above mentioned physical factors. More species biodiversity means more biological wealth. it is called genetic variability. while considering a tropical rainforest. pollution and other changes in environment. a tropical deciduous forest. A species have varieties and each variety has its own genes or genetic make up. tropic structure. Ecosystem Biodiversity: This is the diversity of ecological complexity showing variations in ecological niches.
10. Trans-Himalayan – Upper regions 2. deserts etc. Very small. There are ten different biogeographic habitats in India. Sometimes. Gujarat-Rajwara 5. The multiple uses of biodiversity is classified as follows: . Central.West Coast and East Coast VALUE OF BIODIVERSITY Biodiversity in terms of its commercial utility. insignificant. West. Coniferous trees of boreal forests cannot take up the function of the trees of tropical deciduous forest lands and vice versa. Eastern.38 The ecosystem diversity is of great value that must be kept intact. Deccan Peninsula – Deccan Plateau South. Chhota Nagpur 7. wetlands. social and aesthetic value has enormous importance. Himalayan – North-West Himalayas. Central and East Himalayas 3. We are benefited by other organisms in innumerable ways. India has a rich heritage of biological diversity and occupies the tenth position among the plant rich nations of the world. ecological service. Gangetic Plain – Upper Ganetic Plain. Lower Gangetic Plain 8. Islands – Andaman Islands. we come to know and do appreciate the value of organism only after it is lost from this earth. North-East India – Brahmaputra Valley. Laskhadweep etc. evolution. dispersal and environmental relationship of plants and animals in time and space. BIOGEOPORAHICAL CLASSIFICATION OF INDIA India has different types of climate and topography in different parts of the country and these variations have induced enormous variability in flora and fauna. Coasts. We cannot replace the diversity of one ecosystem with that of another. 1. Ecosystem biodiversity refers to variety of ecosystem in a particular region or zone as for example various ecosystems include forests. because ecosystem diversity has evolved with respect to the prevailing environmental conditions with well regulated ecological balance. arid zones. it would disrupt the ecological balance. useless looking organism may play crucial role in the ecological balance of the ecosystem or may be a potential source of some invaluable drug for dreaded diseases like cancer or AIDS. North Eastern Hills 9. Semi-Arid – Central India. All these have their own fauna and flora (biodiversity). If we destroy this diversity. Western Ghats – Malabar Coast. Thar and Ladakh 4. Desert – Kutch. Nicobar Islands. This diversity has developed over millions of years of evolution. Western Ghat Mountains 6. It very important to study the distribution.
g. Likewise. pearl industry etc. It may include lumber or wild gene resources that can be traded for use by scientists for introducing desirable traits in the crops and domesticated animals. Despite international ban on trade in products from endangered species. we get Tetracyclin from a bacterium. have been obtained from Periwinkle (Catharanthus) plant. fuel. paper and pulp industry. two anticancer drugs. all of which are traded in the market. tusks. but are directly consumed by tribals and local villagers.39 1. musk from musk deer. ivory-works. Firewood collected by individuals are not normally marketed. These may include the animal products like tusks of elephants. Drugs and medicines: About 75% of the world’s population depends upon plants or plant extracts for medicines. Many industries are dependent upon productive use values of biodiversity e. Productive use values: These are the commercially usable values where the product is marketed and sold. textile industry. Food: A large number of wild plants and shrubs are consumed by human beings as food. Quinine. Africa and Latin America are the richest biodiversity centers and wild life products are smuggled and marketed in large quantities to some rich western countries and also to China and Hong Kong where export of at skins and snake skins fetches a booming business. fir of many animals. The wonder drug Penicillin used as an antibiotic is derived from a fungus called Penicillium. hence falls under constructive value. Silk industry. A large number of wild animals are also our sources of food. Railway sleeper industry. The fossil fuels coal. . A large number of marine animals are supposed to possess anti-cancer properties which are yet to be explored systematically. About 90% of present day food crops have been domesticated from wild tropical plants. worth millions of dollars are being sold every year. Recently vinblastin and vincristine. fiber etc. hide. 2. while Digitalin is obtained from foxglove (Digitalis) which is an effective cure for heart ailments. wool from sheep. smuggling of fur. horns. Developing countries in Asia. the cure for malaria is obtained from the bark of Cinchona tree. silk from silk-worm. leather industry. live specimen etc. About 80000 edible plants species have been reported from wild.g. Wild relatives usually possess better tolerance and hardiness. lac from lac insects etc. food. petroleum and natural gas are also products of fossilized biodiversity. which possesses anticancer alkaloids. drugs. plywood industry. Even now our agricultural scientists make us of the existing wild species of plants that are closely related to our crop plants for developing new hardy strains. Consumptive use value: These include direct use values where the biodiversity product can be harvested and consumed directly e. Fuel: Our forests have been used since ages for fuel wood.
Many animals like Cow. It is based on the concept of “Live and Let Live”. Thus biodiversity has distinct social value. Ecotourism is estimated to generate about 12 billion dollars of revenue annually that roughly gives the aesthetic value of biodiversity. Bael etc. dances and customs are closely woven around the wildlife. Their social life. Option value: These values include the potential of biodiversity that are presently unknown and need to be explored. 6. Thus. Many of the plants are considered holy and sacred in our country like Tulsi( Holy basil). there is an ethical value or existence value attached to each species. The biodiversity is like . Thus option value is the knowing that there are biological resources existing on this biosphere that may on day prove to be an effective option for something important in the future. songs. but knowing the very fact that this species exists in nature gives us pleasure. Lotus.40 3. The “willingness to pay” concept on such ecotourism gives us even a monetary estimate for aesthetic value of biodiversity. Mango. then we must protect all biodiversity. There is a possibility that we may have some potential cure for AIDS or cancer existing within the depths of a marine ecosystem. Snake. The tribal people are very closely linked with the wild life in the forests. attached with different societies. but we all strongly feel that these species should exist in nature. Aesthetic value: Great aesthetic value is attached to biodiversity. This means. customs. It involves ethical issues like “all life must be preserved”. or a tropical rainforest. fruits or flowers of these plants are used in workship or the plant itself is worshipped. Peepal. Bull. Ethical value: It is also sometimes known as existence value. Owl etc. Zebra or Giraffe. Social value: These are the values associated with the social life. No one of us would like to visit vast stretches of barren lands with no signs of visible life. also have significant place in our psycho-spiritual arena and thus hold special social importance. If we want our human race to survive. 4. We all feel sorry when we learn that “passenger pigeon” or “dodo” is no more on this earth. We are not deriving anything direct from Kangaroo. 5. The leaves. The ethical value means that we may or may not use a species. the option value of biodiversity suggests that any species may prove to be a miracle species someday. religion and psycho-spiritual aspects of the people. because biodiversity is valuable. Peacock. People from far and wide spend a lot of time and money to visit wilderness areas where they can enjoy the aesthetic value of biodiversity and this type of tourism is now known as eco-tourism.
Numerous insects. fixation of nitrogen. The objective of the convention was “the conservation of biological diversity. their role as carbon sinks. According to the Worldwide Fund for Nature. a non-consumptive use value related to self maintenance of the ecosystem and various important ecosystem services has been recognized. in terms of the option to visit areas where a variety of flora and fauna. rare or endangered species exist.4 million having species. or specifically some endemic. pollutant absorption and reduction of the threat of global warming etc. Of these around 1. species and genetic diversity all have enormous potential and a decline in biodiversity will lead to huge economic. India is a signatory to CBD and ratified it in 1993. Ecosystem service value: Recently. ecological and socio-cultural losses. The success of convention can be evaluated in two main ways: a) By analyzing the changes in biodiversity components (i. economic and social aspects of biodiversity. lower .03 million are animals and 248000 are higher plants.41 precious gifts of nature presented to us. cycling of nutrients.” It also covered the ecological. The option value also includes the values. the sustainable use of its components and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. agriculture to Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). A legislation was finalized and Indian Parliament passed Biodiversity Bill in 2002. United Nations Conference on Environment and Development at Rio put biological diversity on the international agenda by signing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Different categories of biodiversity value clearly indicate that ecosystem. The Government of India has finalized the National Policy and Action Strategy for Biodiversity. The 1992. It refers to the services provided by ecosystems like prevention of soil erosion. cycling of water. scientists have identified about 1. invertebrates. But human knowledge of the world’s biodiversity is still not complete. Higher plants have also been fairly well studied but it is possible that 15 percent more may still be discovered. GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY All the three levels are linked and constitute a gene pool. This convention addresses many issues ranging from forests. species and ecosystems) and b) by measuring the effectiveness of measures taken to implement the convention. We should not commit the folly of losing these gifts even before unwrapping them. prevention of floods maintenance of soil fertility.e. 7.
42 plants and microorganisms exist but have yet to be identified and described. India has a rich biological diversity of flora and fauna. Center of origin. A large proportion of the Indian Biodiversity is still unexpected. The rate of extinction of mammals alone has risen from one species every five years in the 17th century to one every two years in the 20th century. Out of a total 25 biodiversity hot-spots in the world. BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY AT NATIONAL LEVEL (Indian Biodiversity): Every country is characterized by its own biodiversity depending mainly on its climate. central and eastern Himalayan forests. Gangetic plains. Total number of living species identified in our country is 150000. . Overall six percent of the global species are found in India. It is estimated that India ranks 10th among the plant rich countries of the world. Indian is also one of the 12 megabiodiversity countries in the world. Those major groups of species include Endemism. by the year 2050 up to 60000 plant species will become extinct or threatened. Due to very diverse climatic conditions there is a complete rainbow spectrum of biodiversity in our country. In 1988. These estimates show that the current rate of extinction is at least 25000 times greater than extinction that took place during evolutionary times. Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands. Govt.01 million hectares having rich biodiversity of plants in the Trans-Himalayan. coral reefs and mangroves which need to be studied in detail. Marine diversity etc. of India (2000) records 47000 species of plants and 81000 species of animals which is about 7% and 6.5% respectively of global flora and fauna. Human impact on nature has reached such high proportions that the world is today witnessing an extraordinary rate of species loss. Scientists at the Kew Gardens in Britain listed around 20000 plant species as threatened. INDIA AS A MEGA-DIVERSITY NATION: India is one of the 12 mega-diversity countries in the world. There are about 93 major wet lands. Indian forests cover 64. north-west. Many thousands of species will disappear even before they are found and described by biologists. deccan plateau and the Andaman. The Ministry of Environment and Forests. 11th in terms of number of endemic species of higher vertebrates and 6th among the centers of diversity and origin of agricultural crops. west. One recent estimate put this figure as high as 30 million. the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed 4589 threatened animals. western ghats. deserts. According to an estimate by the IUCN’s Threatened Plants Unit. one in the north-east region and one in the Western Ghats. coasts. India possesses two.
There are 25 such hot spots of biodiversity on a global level out of which two are present in India. The term “Hot spots” was introduced by Myers (1988). The process of extinction has become particularly fast in the recent years of civilization. These hotspots covering less than 2% of the world’s land area are found to have about 50% of the terrestrial biodiversity. THREATS TO BIODIVERSITY: Extinction or elimination of a species is a natural process of evolution. These amazing figures raise an alarm regarding the serious threat to biodiversity. The major centers of diversity are Agastyamalai Hills and Silent valley.the new Amambalam Reserve Basin. Western Ghats are the site of maximum endemism. In the century the human impact has been so severe that thousands of species and varieties are becoming extinct annually. Species which are restricted only to particular areas are known as endemic. Tamilnadu and Kerala and has 40% of the the total endemic plant species. India shows a good number of endemic species. which raises a serious cause of alarm. One of the estimates by the noted ecologist puts figure of extinction at 10000 species per year or 27 per day. However. because it means we have already lost a huge proportion of the biodiversity. It is reported that only 6. species have died out and have been replaced by others. a) Eastern Himalayas: They display an ultra-varies topography that fosters species diversity and endemism. Out of the world’s recorded flora 30% are endemic to India of which 35000 are in the Himalayas.43 HOT SPOTS OF BIODIVERSITY Areas which exhibit high species richness as well as high species endemism are termed as hot spots of biodiversity. Recent studies have shown that North East India along with its contiguous regions of Burma and Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Schezwan is an active center of organic evolution and is considered to be the cradle of flowering plants. About 62% of amphibians and 50% of lizards are endemic to India.5% of the plant species as endemics. During evolution. Over the last 150 years the rate of extinction has escalated more dramatically. the rate of loss of species in geologic past has been a slow process. namely the Eastern Himalayas and Western Ghats. b) Western Ghats: It extends along a 17000 km² strip of forests in Maharashtra. According to Myers an area is designated as a hotspot when it contains at least 0. keeping in view the vast span of time going back to 444 million years.8% of the original forests are existing today while the rest has been deforested or degraded. In the geologic period the earth has experienced mass extinctions. Karnataka. If the present .
poaching is another threat to wildlife. it is estimated that 20-25% of the global flora would be lost within few years. The developing nations in Asia. 2. as a result of human intervention. The worst part is that for every live animal that actually gets into the market about 50 additional animals are caught and killed. a phenomenon known as habitat fragmentation. at a rate of about 0. smuggling of wildlife items like furs. Taiwan and Hong Kong are the major importers of the wildlife products or wildlife itself. There has been a rapid disappearance of tropical forests in our country also. Latin America and Africa are the richest source of biodiversity and have enormous wealth of wildlife. Loss of habitat: Destruction and loss of natural habitat is the single largest cause of biodiversity loss. Billions of hectares of forests and grasslands have been cleared over the past 10000 years for conservation into agriculture lands.e. With the current rate of loss of forest habitat. They get badly threatened as they breed only in the interiors of the forests. The wetlands are destroyed due to draining. Sometimes the loss of habitat is in installments so that the habitat is divided into small and scattered patches. hides.44 trend continues we would lose 1/3rd to 2/3rd of our current biodiversity by the middle of twenty first century. Despite international ban on trade in products from endangered species. estuaries and mangroves are under the most serious threat today. Due to habitat fragmentation many song birds are vanishing. These natural forests and grasslands were the natural homes of thousands of species which perished due to loss of their natural habitat. The rich countries in Europe and North America and some affluent countries in Asia like Japan. There are many wild life species such as bears and large cats that require large territories so subsist. live specimens and herbal products worth millions of dollars per year continues.6% per year. The trading of such wild life products is highly profit making for the poachers who just hunt these prohibited wild lives and smuggle it to other countries mediated through mafia. Severe damage has been caused to wetlands thinking them to be useless ecosystems. Marine diversity is also under serious threat due to large scale destruction of the fragile breeding and feeding grounds of our oceanic fish and other species. . horns. tusks. The unique rich biodiversity of the wetlands. pastures. Following are the major causes and issues related to threats to biodiversity: 1. Poaching: Illegal trade of wildlife products by killing prohibited endangered animals i. settlement areas or development projects. filling and pollution thereby causing huge biodiversity loss.
However. A total of 14 persons were killed during 19 attacks since January by the leopards from the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. You will certainly help in preserving biodiversity by doing so. Human encroachment into the forest areas has rendered all forest living animals to trespass the borders of human civilizations. in early 2004. Very recently in June. This is because the conflicts between man and the wildlife have increased since it is an issue of survival of both. Mumbai which has triggered a panic among the local residents. Orissa 195 humans were killed in the last 5 years by elephants. a man-eating tiger reported to kill 16 Nepalese people and one 4 year old child inside the Royal Chitwan National Part.45 If you are fond of rare plants. Mumbai. 240 Km South-west of Kathmandu. Causes of Man-animal conflicts: 1. Dudhwa. purse or bag. MAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICTS We have discussed about the need to preserve and protect wildlife. Mumbai where similar incidents of human killings especially small children was reported. Borivali. Instances of man animal conflicts keep on coming to lime light from several states in our country. more killings are done by locals than by poachers. Dwindling habitats of tigers. please make sure that you are not going to the endangered species or wild-caught species. The park renowned for its wildlife conservation effort has become a zone of terror for the locals. elephants. In retaliation the villagers killed 95 elephants in the border region of Kote-Chamarajanagar belt in Mysore have been reported recently. At times. Also do not purchase fur coat. The man-elephant conflict in this region has arisen because of massive damage done by the elephants to the farmer’s cotton and sugarcane crops. Recently. In Sambalpur. such conflicting situations have been reported from the border regions of Corbett. fish or birds. rhinos and bears due to shrinking forests cover are compelled to move outside the forests and attack the field or sometimes even humans. Similar incidents were reported near Sanjay Gandhi National Park. which explode as the elephants intrude into their fields. . 2004 two men were killed by leopards in Powai. sometimes we come across conflicting situations when wildlife starts causing immense damage and danger to man and under such conditions it becomes very difficult for the forest department to pacify the affected villages and gain local support for wildlife conservation. Doing so will help in checking further decline of these species. or items made of crocodile skin or python skin. In fact. The agonized villagers electrocute the elephants and sometimes hide explosives in the sugarcane fields. Palamau and Ranthambore National Parks in our country as well.
. the female tigress attacks the human if she feels that her newborn cubs are in danger.46 2. Now due to lack of such practices the animals move out of the forest in search of food. weak and injured animals have a tendency to attack man. 2. a farmer gets compensation of Rs. 3. fruit and water should be made available for the elephants within forest zones. Very often the villagers put electric wiring around their ripe crop fields.per quintal. Also. But the biggest problem is that if human-flesh is tested once then the tiger does not eat any other animal. it is very difficult to trace and cull the man-eating tiger and in the process many innocent tigers are also killed. Adequate crop compensation and cattle compensation scheme must be started. The elephants get injured. bamboo leaves were not available. tranquillizer guns. Solar powered fencing should be provided along with electric current proof trenches to prevent the animals from straying into fields. 3. 6. 4.e. The cash compensation paid by the government in lieu of the damage caused to the farmers crop is not enough. binoculars and radio sets etc. suffer in pain and turn violent. 4. the path of wildlife has been disrupted and the animals attack the settlements. to tactfully deal with any imminent danger. The agonized farmer therefore gets revengeful and kills the wild animals. the animal strays out. forest department used to cultivate paddy. At the same time. Remedial Measures to Curb the Conflict: 1.per quintal of expected yield while the market price is Rs. one adult elephant needs 2 quintals of green fodder and 150 kg of clean water daily and if it is not available. Tiger Conservation Project (TCP) has made provisions for making available vehicles. Cropping pattern should be changed near the forest borders and adequate fodder. It may be noted that. Usually the ill. Due to development of human settlements in these corridors. Earlier there used to be wild-life corridors through which the wild animals used to migrate seasonally in groups to other areas. along with substantial cash compensation for loss of human life. sugarcane etc. In Mysore.400/.2400/. within the sanctuaries when the favourite staple food of elephants i. Earlier. 5.
medical. Explain genetic. Due to massive hunting by people. ethical value and option value of biodiversity? 3. Sanctuaries. Wild life corridors should be provided for mass migration of big animals during unfavourable periods. What are the major threats to biodiversity? 4. 2. there is a decline in prey of tigers and they start coming out of the forest in search of prey. species and ecosystem diversities. ecological and optional importance emphasizes the need to conserve biodiversity. Now there is WWF-TCP initiative to curb this ritual of “Akhand Shikar” in Orissa. aesthetic. Reserve Forests etc b) Ex situ conservation (outside habitats): This is done by establishment of gene banks. zoos.47 5. rather it is a gift of nature to be nurtured and enjoyed. National Parks. 5. culture collection etc. In Similipal Sanctuary. seed banks. productive use value. About 300 km² area is required for elephant corridors for their seasonal migration. There are two approaches to biodiversity conservation: a) In situ conservation (within habitat) : This is achieved by protection of wild flora and fauna in nature itself e. Gradually we are realizing that wildlife is not just ‘a game to be hunted’. What are hotspots of biodiversity? Which are the hotspots found in India? Discuss salient features. What is meant by in situ and ex situ conservation of biodiversity? . Biosphere Reserves. 6. Orissa there is a ritual of wild animal hunting during the month of April-May for which forest is burnt to flush out the animals. What are the main causes of man-wildlife conflicts? Discuss the remedial steps that can curb the conflict. CONSERVATION OF BIODIVERSITY: The enormous value of biodiversity due to their genetic. botanical gardens. Define biodiversity. commercial. What do you mean by consumptive use value.g. social value. Questions: 1. 6.
mobile vehicles and thermal power plants. land and their inter relationship with human beings. are exposed to such levels of atmospheric pollution that cause serious hazard to public health and hygiene. causes and effects of various types of pollutions • To evaluate the problem of pollution and understanding various remedies • To ascertain need for disaster management • To understand the need for solid management. Both in the developed and developing countries. hydro carbons and toxic particulate substances in atmosphere has caused harmful influence on man and other living things. whether they result from human activity or occur naturally which have adverse effects on human and on environment. effects and control measures of urban and industrial water. Bhopal gas leak or radioactive material released from Chernobyl nuclear power plant is accidental. Environment includes water. air. Presence of sulphar oxides. water and land result in the change in the ambient quality .48 Unit 5: Environmental Pollution Environmental Pollution: Definition: causes. role of an individual in prevention of pollution. cyclone and landslides Objectives: • To learn the definition. The reference point of pollution is the ambient quality of the environment which means environment in its natural state. Air pollution is thus the state of environment in which the outer atmosphere gets contaminated with gases and other materials in concentration which are harmful to man and environment. Introduction: According to Environment Protection Act (1986). Marine pollution. earthquake. pollution case studies. Thermal pollution. Water pollution. Disaster management: floods. other living creatures. water resource management etc. effects and control measures of – Air pollution. the urban areas in particular. Pollution refers to the presence of substances air. Noise pollution. The contamination of air occurs because the contaminants cannot be absorbed by natural environmental cycles. Pollution refers to substances (pollutants) which are released into the environment because of anthropogenic (human) activities that can be either deliberate or accidental (e. carbon monoxide. nitrogen oxides. Solid waste management: causes. plants and micro-organisms. water and land. The atmosphere is being polluted by the discharge of emissions originating from industrial plants.g. The human activities whether industrial production or other like sewage and their impact on air. Soil pollution. Nuclear hazards. domestic sources.
the troposphere. They should also ensure that emissions stay within legal limits. In the production process. These include gases. In this connection definition of “Emission” is also relevant. “Air Pollutant” means any solid. Sources of Air Pollution: The sources of Air pollution are natural and man-made (anthropogenic). liquid or gaseous substance (including noise) present in the atmosphere in such concentration as may be or tend to be injurious to human beings or other living creatures or plants or property or environment. 1981. duct or any other outlet. radio active substances etc. the stratosphere together with gases like ozone. The company manager must be familiar with these. photochemical oxidation. Air pollutants can be primary or secondary. CFC and particulate matter Secondary pollutants are acid rain and ozone. Approximately 95 per cent of earth’s air occurs in the lower levels. forest fires.4% carbon dioxide plus small amounts of other gases and water vapours. These acid droplets constitute Acid Rain. they pose only a short-term problem and that too localized. But these natural pollutants don’t stay long in the atmosphere since they can be recycled in the biological or chemical cycles. In natural state this air contains 78% nitrogen. sea salt sprays. certain substances (wastes) are recycled or produced in the form of emissions/ effluents and they impact the environment leading to damage to humans and ecosystem.49 of the latter. biological decay. nitrogen oxides. “Emission” means any solid. Primary pollutants are carbon dioxide. particulate matter. sulphur dioxide. 0. Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide combine with water in the atmosphere and react with sunlight forming acid droplets. AIR POLLUTION The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. carbon monoxide (all formed from the combustion of fossil fuels). liquid or gaseous substance coming out of any chimney. It is an atmospheric in which certain substances are present in concentrations which can cause undesirable effects on man and his environment. Air pollution means the presence in the atmosphere of any air pollutant. defines “Air Pollutant” and in reference to them defines air pollution. Rest 05% of the planet air occurs in the upper levels. These are substances released from volcano eruptions or forest fires. These are ‘standards’ and legislation that exist for emissions. Natural resources: The natural sources of air pollution are volcanic eruptions. It may be worthwhile to note that there are natural sources of pollution too. Hence. 21% oxygen. extra .
pollen grains of flowers etc. agricultural activities etc. Effects on plants: These pollutants affect plants by entering through stomata. paper and pulp mills are other sources of air pollution. Effects of Air pollution: 1. this affects aquatic life especially fish. vehicular emissions. asthma. Effects on human health: Affects respiratory system. Effects on aquatic life: Air pollutants mixing up with rain can cause high acidity in fresh water lakes. industrial units.50 terrestrial bodies. Control of Air Pollution: Air pollution can be minimized by the following methods: . Radioactive minerals present in the earth crust are the sources of radioactivity in the atmosphere. dung-cakes. Man-made: Man made sources include thermal power plants. The damage results in death of the plant. Completion combustion of fuel produces carbon dioxide which may be toxic. Some of the freshwater lakes have experienced total fish death. This is responsible for a large number of lung cancer deaths each year. smelters. concrete. incomplete combustion produces toxic gas carbon monoxide. Thermal power plants have become the major sources for generating electricity in India as the nuclear power plants could be installed as planned. chronic bronchitis etc. Automobile exhaust is another major source of air pollution Indoor Air pollution: The most important indoor air pollution is radon gas. fossil fuel burning. The main pollutants emitted are fly ash and SO2. 2. Metallurgical plants also consume coal and produce similar pollutants Fertilizer plants. These could be emitted from building materials like bricks. wood and kerosene in their kitchens. years of exposure to air pollutants including cigarette smoke adversely affect these natural defenses and can result in lung cancer. tiles etc. Effects on materials: Because of their corrosiveness particulates can cause damage to exposed surfaces. 4. textile mills. Many other pollutants may have toxic metals which can cause mutations. chemical industries. Many houses in the underdeveloped countries including India use fuels like coal. however. 3. reproductive problems or even cancer.
Using low sulphar coal in industries 3. Sound is mechanical energy from a vibrating source. Shifting to less polluting fuels (hydrogen gas) 9. Using non-conventional sources of energy. Sound can propagate through a medium like air. 5. liquid or solid. Removing sulphar from coal (by washing or with the help of bacteria) 4. 2. Sound wave is a pressure perturbation in the medium through which sound travels. cyclone separators. scrubbers etc. bag-house filters. 8. Removing NOx during the combustion process. The CPCB committee has recommended permissible noise levels for different locations. Planting more trees. by engine modification to have fuel effective (lean) mixtures to reduce CO and hydrocarbon emissions and slow and cooler burning of fuels to reduce NOx emission (Honda Technology) 7. Setting up of industries after proper Environmental Impact Assessment studies. . Using mass transport system. converters. Effects of Noise: 1. Sound pressure is expressed in Hertz (Hz) and is equal to the number of cycles per second. Interfaces with man’s communication: In a noisy area communication is severely affected. A type of sound may be pleasant to someone and at the same time unpleasant to others. bicycles etc. Using biological filters and bio-scrubbers 11. 10. Vehicular pollution can be checked by regular tune-up of engines. The unpleasant and unwanted sound is called noise. Removing particulate from stack exhaust gases by employing electrostatic precipitators.51 1. NOISE POLLUTION: We hear various types of sounds everyday. 6.
Auditory sensitivity is reduced with noise level of over 90 dB in the midhigh frequency for more than a few minutes. offshore oil wells etc. The noise path will be interrupted and will not reach the workers.52 2. underground coal mines. power plants. gastro-intestinal and digestive disorders etc. washing. 3. Unnecessary horn blowing should be restricted especially in vehicle-congested areas. Planting more trees having board leaves.Major point sources of water pollution are industries. Therefore it can easily get polluted. Noise making machines should be kept in containers with sound absorbing media. WATER POLLUTION Water pollution can be defined as alteration in physical. Sources of water pollution: Water is an essential commodity for survival. 3. Reduction in sources of noise 2. cooking. chemical or biological characteristics of water making it unsuitable for designated use in its natural state. Control of noise pollution: 1. Hearing damage: Noise can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss. 6. We need water for drinking. Physiological and psychological changes: Continuous exposure to noise affects the functioning of various systems of the body. Use of sound absorbing silencers: Silencers can reduce noise by absorbing sound. For this purpose various types of fibrous material could be used. . Proper oiling will reduce the noise from the machinery. Water has the property to dissolve many substances in it. Through Law: Legislation can ensure that sound production is minimized at various social functions. It depends on intensity and duration of sound level. 4. Pollution of water can be caused by point sources or non-point sources . irrigation and for industrial operations. 5. bathing. insomnia (sleeplessness). It may result in hypertension.
chemical.e. Pathogens 4.2% of the total water available on planet earth and is about 30 times more than surface water i. have therefore. lakes and estuaries.Sewage 2. Synthetic detergents 4. Control of Water Pollution It is easy to reduce water pollution from point sources by legislation. aldrin.53 Ground water pollution: Ground water forms about 6. Judicious use of agrochemicals like pesticides and fertilizers which will reduce their surface urn-off and leaching. . been banned. fluoride and nitrate are posing serious health hazards. Ground water pollution with arsenic. Oil 6. deep well injection. Septic tanks. However due to absence of defined strategies it becomes difficult to prevent water pollution from non-point sources. Toxic Compounds Pesticides in drinking water ultimately reach humans and are known to cause various health problems. Recently in Andhra Pradesh people suffered from various abnormalities due to consumption of endosulphan contaminated cashew nuts. Surface water pollution: The major sources of surface water pollution are: 1 . Waste heat Effects of Water Pollution: Following are some important effects of various types of water pollutants: 1. 3. tanneries). 1. Agrochemicals 5. dieldrin etc. DDT. streams. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Compounds (Nutrients) 3. industry (textile. Oxygen demanding wastes 2. Use of nitrogen fixing plants to supplement the use of fertilizers. Industrial effluents 3. 2. mining etc. Adopting integrated pest management to reduce reliance on pesticides. The following points may help to reduce water pollution from non-point sources. Avoid use of these on sloped lands. are mainly responsible for ground water pollution which is irreversible.
Cooling towers . The nutrient rich water can be used as fertilizer in the fields. 4. Separate drainage of sewage and rain water should be provided. Divert such run-off to basin for settlement. THERMAL POLLUTION Thermal pollution can be defined as presence of waste heat in the water which can cause undesirable changes in the natural environment. High temperature becomes a barrier for oxygen penetration into deep cold waters. nuclear power plants. detergents and chemicals in the effluents increases with increase in temperature. 6. Effects of Thermal Pollution: 1 The dissolved oxygen content of water is decreased as the solubility of oxygen in water is decreased high temperature. 5. steel mills etc are the major sources of thermal pollution. Plantation of trees would reduce pollution and will also prevent soil erosion. 5. Toxicity of pesticides. The composition of flora and fauna changes because the species sensitive to increased temperature due to thermal shock will be replaced by temperature tolerant species. Prevent run-off of manure. Heat producing industries like thermal power plants.54 4. Discharge of heated water near the shores can disturb spawning and can even kill young fishes. 7 .Fish migrations are affected due to formation of various thermal zones. 2. Metabolic activities of aquatic organisms increase at high temperature and require more oxygen level falls under thermal pollution. refineries. Control of Thermal Pollution: The following methods can be employed for control of thermal pollution 1 Cooling ponds 2 Spray Ponds 3. 6. 3.
In the sea the pollutants get diluted and the organic matter is further broken down as in river water. Toxic pollutants from industries and sewage treatment plants should not be discharged in coastal waters. industry. metal industry. Oil in sea water can spread over a large area of the sea remain dispersed or get adsorbed on sediments. paint industry etc automotive wastes refineries. coastline where human settlements in the form of hotels.55 MARINE POLLUTION The main sources of marine pollution are 1) rivers. metals and waste heat released by industries as discussed earlier. Still many pollutants specially the recalcitrant ones remain unchanged or are partially degraded causing marine pollution. industrial effluents. lubrication oil using industry. Control of Marine Pollution 1. 5. Dumping of toxic. These include sewage sludge. Oil and grease from service stations should be processed for reuse. Ecologically sensitive coastal areas should be protected by not allowing drilling.e. The pollutants which these rivers carry from their drainage basins are finally poured into the sea. agricultural practices have been established and 3) oil drilling and shipment. Developmental l activities on coastal areas should be minimized. 7. hazardous wastes and sewage sludge should be banned. refinery. 8. ship-accidents and off shore production add to marine pollution. . 4. It can cause adverse effects on marine life. Run off from non-point sources should be prevented to reach coastal areas. solid wastes. Sewer overflows should be prevented by having separate sewer and rain water pipes. 3. Oil ballast should not be dumped into sea. 2. synthetic detergents. Tankers and other shipping means industries like petroleum. plastics. Most of the rivers ultimately join the ocean. 6. agrochemicals. which bring pollutants from their drainage basins 2) catchment are i.
56 SOIL POLLUTION Soil is the upper layer of the earth curst which is formed by weathering of rocks. recovery of useful products should be done. Night soil can also be used in the biogas plant to produce inflammable methane gas. Sewage sludge has many types of bacteria.Huge quantities of these wastes are dumped on soils. viruses and intestinal worms which cause pollution in the soil. Domestic wastes include garbage. Solid wastes should be properly collected and disposed off by appropriate method. paper. Various types of chemicals like acids. 3. plastics. Thermal power plants generate a large quantity of ‘fly ash’ . metallic cans. bacteria. 2. chemical and biological properties. Cattle dung should be used for methane generation. .Effluents should be properly treated before discharging them on the soil. paints varnishes etc. Industrial wastes also contain some organic and inorganic compounds that are refractory and non-biodegradable. containers. Soil also receives excreta from animals and humans. Dumping of various types of materials especially domestic and industrial wastes causes soil pollution. pesticides. Biodegradable organic waste should be used for generation of biogas. thus contaminating them. 5. viruses and intestinal worms which may cause various types of diseases. insecticides etc. fibres. Control of Soil Pollution 1 . The sewage sludge contains many pathogenic organisms. cloth rags. rubbish material like glass. in the industrial discharges affect soil fertility by causing changes in physical. Effects of Soil Pollution Sewage and industrial effluents which pollute the soil ultimately affect human health. alkalis. From the wastes. Leachates from dumping sites and sewage tanks are harmful and toxic which pollute the soil. Some of the persistent toxic chemicals accumulate in food chain and ultimately affect human health. Organic matter in the soil makes it suitable for living organisms. 4.
NUCLEAR HAZARDS Radioactive substances are present in nature. offices. For example these types of waste are vegetable wastes. egg shells. dry leaves etc. mining waste and sewage sludge. Sources of Urban and Industrial wastes: These wastes consists of medical waste from hospitals. They undergo natural radioactive decay in which unstable isotopes spontaneously give out fast moving particles. Microbial degradation of biodegradable substances is also one of the scientific approaches for reducing soil pollution. at a fixed rate until a new stable isotope is formed. Setting up of nuclear power plants should be carefully done after studying long and term effects. industrial. lead slabs or water.57 6. tea leaves. gardens and orchards etc. peanut shells. agricultural. 2. Solid waste (waste other than liquid or gaseous) can be classified as municipal. SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT Higher standard of living of ever increasing population has resulted in an increase in the quantity and variety of waste generated. and horticulture waste from parks. high energy radiations or both. The urban solid waste materials that can be degraded by microorganisms are called biodegradable wastes. . It is now realized that if waste generation continues indiscriminately then very soon it would be beyond rectification. Proper disposal of wastes from laboratory involving the use of radioisotopes should be done. municipal solid waste from homes. markets (commercial waste) small cottage units. stale food. Management of solid waste has therefore become very important in order to minimize the adverse effects of solid wastes. medical. Control of Nuclear Pollution: 1. These particles and its rays pass through paper and wood but can be stopped by concrete wall. Damage caused by different types of radiations depends on the penetration power and presence of the source inside or outside body.
Management of solid waste: For waste management we must focus on three ‘Rs’. This type of dumping allows biodegradable materials to decompose under uncontrolled and unhygienic conditions. This produces foul smell and breeds various types of insects and infectious organisms besides spoiling the aesthetics of the site. organic waste. Industrial solid wastes are sources of toxic metals and hazardous wastes. Sanitary landfill 2. Recycling of materials For discarding wastes the following methods could be used: 1. Recently Government of Maharshtra is the process of passing legislation on usage of polyethylene bags.Reduce. Government had put a ban on use of these bags. There are large quantities of hazardous and toxic materials are also produced during industrial processing. glass bottles etc. acids etc. Toxic substances may leach or percolate to contaminate the ground water. packaging material. Reuse of waste materials 3. Reuse and Recycle before destruction and safe storage of wastes. Reduction in use of raw materials 2. Industrial waste consists of large number of materials including factory rubbish. Effects of solid wastes: Municipal solid waste heap up on the roads due to improper disposal system. polyethylene bags.g. Composting 3. 1. Incineration . scrap metal. People clean their own houses and litter their immediate surroundings which affect the community including themselves.58 Wastes that cannot be degraded by microorganisms are called nonbiodegradable waste e. which may spread on land and can cause changes in physicochemical and biological characteristics thereby affecting productivity of soils.
e.” Each individual should change his or her lifestyle in such a way as to reduce environmental pollution. Air pollution can be prevented by using really clean fuel i. Use CFC free Refrigerators The manufacture and operation of such devices should be encouraged that don’t pollute. city. 5.Laluprasad Yadav. state or national level but also at the global level as environment has no boundaries. Cut down the use of CFCs as they destroy the ozone layer.59 ROLE OF AN INDIVIDUAL IN PREVENTION OF POLLUTION The role of every individual in preventing pollution is of paramount importance because if every individual contributes substantially the effect will be visible not only at the community. It is the responsibility of the human race which has occupied the commanding positions on this earth to protect the earth and provide conducive environment for itself an innumerable other species which evolved oh this earth. It is appropriately said “Think globally act locally. If they cost more than their higher prices may be offset by including environmental and the social costs of pollution in the price of such products which pollute environment. It can be done through following suggestions: 1. hydrogen fuel. Help more in pollution prevention than pollution control 2. Use the chemicals derived from peaches and plums to clean computer chips and circuit boards instead of CFCs. Following are the practical hints for an individual to prevent pollution: • Reduce your dependency on fossil fuel especially coal or oil . A small effort made by each individual at his own place will have pronounced effect at the global level. Do not use polystyrene cups that have CFC molecules in them which destroy ozone layerHon’ble Mr.Railway Minister has initiated use of earthen pots for tea serving in Railway which is a commendable decision in this regard. Use eco-friendly products 3. 4. again the environment will be polluted. So solar hydrogen fuel is the need of the hour. Hydrogen for that matter should not be produced by passing current in water as for generation of this current.
Improve energy efficiency. paints. Plant more trees as trees can absorb many toxic gases and can purify the air. This will reduce the amount of waste energy Promote reuse and recycling whatever possible and reduce the production of wastes. Use pesticides only when absolutely necessary that too in right amounts. The solid waste generated during one manufacturing process can be used as a raw material for some other processes. Use less hazardous chemicals wherever possible. it will reduce metal pollution. floods and landslides are normal natural events which have resulted in the formation of the earth that we have today. Use only the minimum and required quantity of water for various activities When building a home save (don’t cut) trees. Adopt and popularize renewable energy sources. For short visits use bicycle or go on foot. volcanoes. Human societies have witnessed a large number of such natural hazards in different parts of the world and have tried to learn to control these processes to some extent. DISASTER MANAGEMENT: Geological processes like earthquakes. Do not put pesticides. Check population growth so that demand of materials is under controls.60 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Save electricity by not washing it when not required because electricity saved electricity generated without polluting the environment. solvents. They are however disastrous in their impact when they affect human settlements. Decrease the use of automobiles. Use rechargeable batteries. Use mass transport system. oils or other harmful chemicals into the drain or ground water. .
3.. Due to heavy rainfalls or sudden snow melt can swell the rivers disproportionately. Wooden houses are preferred in earthquake prone areas as in Japan. under ground nuclear testing e. Following care should be taken as set of measures for Disaster Management: 1. Pokharan II testing at desert of Rajasthan. Landslides occur when coherent rock of soil masses move down slope due to gravitational pull. 5. Deep well disposal of liquid waste. 2. Koyna Dam in Maharashtra have created few incidence of minor and major earthquakes.61 Frequently occurring natural disasters in India Sr. Type Floods Droughts Earthquakes Cyclones Landslides Location/area 8 major river valleys spread over 40 million hectares of area in the entire country Spread in 14 states Nearly 55% of the total area of the country falling in the seismic zone IV and V Entire 5700 km long coastline of Southern Peninsular India covering 9 states Entire Sub-Himalayan Regions and Western Ghats Affected pollution(in million) 260 86 400 10 10 Major such disasters include a devastating earthquake which hit Bhuj Town in Gujarat caused massive damage. Damage of property and life can be prevented by constructing earth-quake resistant buildings in the earthquake prone zones. 2.g.g. . 3. 1. There are several causes for such disasters which include: 1. 4. Earth-quake generated water waves called Tsunamis caused tremendous damage in Tamilnadu and Kerala.Anthropogenic activities such as Impoundment of huge quantities of water in the lake behind a big dam e.No. Chemical action of water gradually causes chemical weathering of rocks making them prone to landslides.causes a great economic loss and health related problems. Water and vegetation influence landslides.
Briefly describe the sources. recreational areas etc. Some long term defence measures can help to protect us from devastation. How can we control it? 3. Classify solid waste. efforts need to be made to restore wetlands. Write note on Air Pollution. replace ground cover on water-courses. Define pollution. 4. 3. storm shelter. construction of dams. Such measures include planting of more trees on the coastal belt. parks. Questions: 1. proper drainage and wide roads for quick evacuation etc. These landslides could be minimized by stabilizing the slope by draining the surface and surface water. 5. vibrations. disturbances in resistant rock overlying rock of low resistance etc. What are the sources of urban and industrial solid waste? 9. To check the flood. embarkments. 4. These landslides should be masked by many other exerting factors like earthquakes. How can you as an individual prevent environmental pollution? Why such effort is necessary? 10. What are the adverse effects and measures to control water pollution? 7. wind breaks. What are various types of disasters? How could they be controlled? What are the steps to be borne in mind in Disaster Management? . Differentiate between sound and noise. providing slope support like gabions (Wired stone blocks) and concrete support at the base of a slope. effects and control of noise pollution. 6. build check-dams on small streams. What are the sources of soil pollution? How does soil pollution affect soil productivity? What are the remedies for the same? 8. Name various atmospheric pollutants. It is difficult to stop the recurrence of cyclones. move buildings off the flood plains etc.62 2. 2. Write a short note on Water Pollution. Flood plains should be used for wildlife habitat.
watershed management. Mother Nature has been making available its resources and services as well it is also serving as receptacle for absorbing wastes for too long a time. Therefore. Issues and possible solutions.63 Unit 6: SOCIAL ISSUES AND THE ENVIRONMENT Social Issues and the Environment. Wasteland reclamation. This concept of sustainable development can be further extended with the principle of justice and equity (equal distribution) between the peoples of North and South. Environmental protection Act. economic and others. We have to realize now that Nature today is very fragile. its problems and concerns Case studies. Water conservation. Countries of North (Developed) use too many natural resources and such practice cannot continue long. Urban problems related to energy. Objectives: • To understand the concept of sustainable development • To diagnose the urban problems related to energy • To evaluate various initiatives for solutions to problems related to environment • To know various legal initiatives taken by government in the form of various legislations FROM UNSUSTAINABLE TO SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Sustainable Development is such a concept that signifies that rate of consumption or use of natural resources should be approximate the rate at which these resources can be substituted or replaced. Nature is finite. Wildlife Protection Act. Consumerism and waste products.without undermining the interest of future generations.social. Water(prevention and control of pollution) Act. They should keep in view the principle of equity and those principles that determine the intergenerational inequities. These experts are strong advocates of “limits to growth” philosophy. And experts have warned that it has reached to a critical threshold beyond which it would lead to Ecological Decline that would further lead to nothing but “DISASTER”. rain harvesting. Public awareness. economic and environmental issues.Air(presentation and control of pollution) Act. It also requires that a nation or society should be able to satisfy its requirements. Issues involved in enforcement of environmental legislation. Environmental ethics.from unsustainable to sustainable development. Resettlement and rehabilitation of people. the national as well as international leaders and institutions respectively have major responsibility for sound developmental. .
It must ultimately lead to reducing poverty of people in developing countries by minimizing resources depletion. It can be expressed with following equation: I=PxAxT I= Impact of environment = Population = Affluence (consumption) T= Technology coefficient . and there are opposite thinkers are also. how economic. social and environmental systems interact at various scales of operation to lead sustainable development that will strike optimal balance among the three subsystems. The interaction between population growth. that is to say. resource depletion/environmental damage has been debated. environmental damage and social instability. who feel that blame has to be on economic development. To summarize.64 Another aspect of sustainable development is related to System Analysis. Sustainable Development (Following aspects are to be highlighted) *Protecting environment *Avoiding depletion of non-renewable resources *Seek reliance on alternative sources *Equal access to resources *Principle of Intergenerational distribution of resources-Important *Systems thinking Fundamentals of Environment and Sustainable Development • Population and its implication: There are two aspects that affect environment: a) Population growth and b) economic development. High population growth causes stress on environment. industrial growth and unsustainable economic development are the matters of cause for concern especially in development.
Sustainable development is about integrational equity. more production of wastes including greenhouse gases. climate change (global warming). Question is whether we have devised adequate developmental programs that can match the increase in population. Growth has been treated as an infinite variable. And such world has to desperately try to keep pace with the environmental problems because of such incorrect assumptions. If not population factor itself would be sufficient contribution toward degradation of environment and resource depletion.65 More people means more pressure on resources. We will need to set a level of sufficiency i. and hence efficiency revolution will remain counterproductive if its not . can be combated only if the world transits to a non-carbon energy economy. But this can happen for a certain time. There is a difference between ecology of means and ecology of ends. Ecology of means has to be accompanied by an ecology of ends. • Limits to Growth: We will need to change attitudes. the number of cars and the power of cars also grew. manufacturing and marketing practices and get into technological world that it is less intensive in its use of materials and energy to be able to manage the environmental crisis. it is not legitimate to ignore the equity occurring in the present populations in different parts of the globe. There is considerable scope for dematerialization and de-energisation without a decrease in living standards.all having adverse effects on environment. This will be possible only if it is promoted through changes in the fiscal system which supports appropriate technological improvements. This can only happen if principle of sufficiency is ignored. We are adding more than Australia in terms of population each year. We can save nature by using our resources more efficiently. For example. India’s population has crossed hundred crores mark. consumption patterns. Just improvement of efficiency alone is not going to be enough. The world needs an international mechanism that not only provides incentives to all nations to live within their entitled norms (amounts) but also help to promote a rapid transition to a non-carbon energy economy.e. only after that the limitations of environments concerns posed by a carbon energy economy would get lessened. Sustainablity should reflect equity. But if future equity is of great concern. environmental concerns and social responsibilities vis-à-vis population regardless of time or location. This is not a correct assumption. this much and not beyond it. more consumption of energy. The “earth’s carrying capacity” is not seriously thought about. Since efficiency grew.
we may not like to liquidate ecological assets. It is important to also achieve good rate of regeneration of natural resources. GNP must increase in these countries. Increase GNP indicates economic health of the country. Global agreement is still a distant possibility. Running with high speed and with utmost efficiency and without direction. High economic growth results into high rate of extraction. a separate set of policies would have to be adopted. For sustainable use of global common systems. In our effort to increase the GNP. However. Ever since India had adopted the Economic Reforms Models via liberalization globalization. ecological disadvantages are required to be taken into account. The world faces an enormous challenge in the coming years. transformation and utilization of non-renewable resources. • Poverty: In order to properly manage environment and resources. Sufficiency will be possible only if one day the world is prepared to reach an international agreement on limits to growth and to say. due consideration should be given to the fact that poor people directly depend upon natural .is really irrational. • Economy: Rate o f Gross National Product (GNP) is one of the most important indicators of economic performance of any nation. Economic growth has to be environmentally sustainable. It has to be a system that provides for the establishment of equitable entitlements or property rights to provide economic incentives to those who use this environment space in a sustainable manner and disincentives to those who use it in an unsustainable manner. Therefore. Economic growth comes in conflict with issues of environmental concerns. there are significant advantages from the above transition. Economic growth can not take place without sustaining ecological costs. Long term ecological costs are to be taken into account. Such increase however is based on high rate of consumption of natural resources of which depletion of environmental resources is significant.66 supplemented by a sufficiency revolution. Developing countries have yet to undertake more developmental programs and yet to attain reasonable standards of living. that we have fixed our level of greed and no more. Elements of resource generation and positive approach to environment have to be incorporated in developmental programs.
hunting or some cottage industry. • Forests: There should be a rational approach adopted for management of forests and forests lands. fishing. In developing countries too urban growth is very fast and in most of the cases it is uncontrollable and unplanned growth. Promotion of sustainable land use management • Land Resources: Land not only includes a physical entity in terms of topography but it also includes natural resources. It was some two hundred years ago with the dawn of industrial era the cities showed rapid development. Sustainable development must address the issue of eradication of poverty which is linked with employment both of women and youth and other income generation programs. In contrast to the rural set up. rearing. Promotion of sustainable energy and transport system 4. Investment in infrastructure. production of forest products and forest services require institutional approach at government level. As a result there is spreading of the cities into the sub-urban or rural areas too.67 resources for their livelihood. minerals and biota. soil. Providing shelter to all 2. The human settlement program should concentrate on following aspects: 1. A phenomenon known as urban sprawl. the urban . commercial and residential facilities within a limited municipal boundary. These components provide varieties of services are essential for life support system. trade. sewage and solid waste 3. URBAN PROBLEMS RELATED TO ENERGY Cities are the main centers of economic growth. Now about 50% of the world population lives in urban areas and there is increasing movement of rural folk to cities in search of employment. Land is infinite resource. cattle. Sustainable forest development. It will be necessary to give priority to the needs of urban as well as rural poor. Integrated approach is necessary for management of land.water. The urban growth is so fast that it is becoming difficult to accommodate all the industrial. Until recently a big majority of human population lived in rural areas and their economic activities centered around agriculture. • Human Settlement Issues: The environmental implications of urban development and other human (slums) must be recognized. education. innovations and employment.
On gentle slopes trapped run off is spread over a large area for better infiltration. In lagoon leveling. c) Water spreading is done by channeling or lagoon-leveling. the water flow is controlled by a series of diversions with vertical intervals. Industrial plants using a big proportion of energy 5. consumes a lot of energy and materials and generates a lot of waste. Residential and commercial lighting 2. WATER CONSERVATION: Water being one of the most precious and indispensable resources needs to be conserved. which can be reduced by allowing most of the water to infiltrate into the soil. chemical treatment or improved water-storage system. Due to high population density and high energy demanding activities. . Decreasing run-off losses: Huge water-loss occurs due to run-off on most of the soils. The energy requirement of urban population are much higher than that of rural ones. This can be achieved by using contour cultivation. The energy demanding activities include. 6. This is because urban people have a higher standard of life and their life style demands more energy inputs in every sphere of life. 1. water spreading. Transportation means including automobiles and public transport for moving from residence to workplace 3. b) Conservation-bench terracing: It involves construction of a series of benches for catching the run off water.68 set up is densely populated. Modern life-style using a large number of electrical gadgets in everyday life. A large amount of waste generation which has to be disposed off properly using energy based techniques. 1. The following strategies can be adopted for conservation of water. a) Contour cultivation: on small furrows and ridges across the slopes trap rainwater and allow more time for infiltration. Terracing constructed on deep soils have large water-storage capacity. In channeling. terrace framing. the urban problems related to energy are much more magnified as compared to rural population. Control and prevention of air and water pollution which need energy dependent technologies. 4. small depressions are dug in the area so that there is temporary storage water.
build by individual farmers can be useful measures for conserving water through reduction of runoff. commercial buildings and public places. 3. f) Chemical conditioners like gypsum (CaSO4. help in reducing run-off by allowing more time for water to penetrate into the land. 4. for watering gardens. A co-polymer of starch and acrylonitrile called ‘super slumper’ has been reported to absorb water up to 1400 times its weight. Horizontal barriers of asphalt placed below the soil surface increase water availability and increase crop yield by 35-40%. dug-outs etc. Reducing evaporation losses: This is more relevant in humid regions. Storing water in soil: Storage of water takes place in the soil root zone in humid regions when the soil is wetted to field capacity. . 6. 2.Reuse of water: a) treated wastewater can be used for ferti-irrigation b) using grey water from washings.Reducing irrigation losses: a) use of lined or covered canals to reduce seepage b) irrigation in early morning or late evening to reduce evaporation losses c) sprinkling irrigation and drip irrigation to conserve water by 30-50% d) growing hybrid crop varieties with less water requirements and tolerance to saline water help conserve water. washing cars or paths help in saving fresh water. bath-tubs etc. animal residues etc. This is more effective on sandy soil but less effective on loamy sand soils. e) Surface crop residues. 5. The chemical has been found to be useful for sandy soils. 7. Another useful conditioner is HPAN (hydrolyzed poyacrylonitrile) g) Water-storage structures like farm ponds.69 d) Chemical wetting agents (Surfactants): These seem to increase the water intake rates when added to normal irrigated soil. mulch. Increasing block pricing: The consumer has to pay a proportionately higher bill with higher use of water.2H2O) when applied to sodic soils improve soil permeability and reduce run off. Preventing wastage of water: This can be done in households. This helps in economic use of water by the consumers. By leaving the soil fallow for one season water can be made available for the crop grown in next season. a) Closing taps when not in use b) repairing any leakage from pipes c) using small capacity flush in toilets. tillage.
70 RAINWATER HARVESTING: Rainwater harvesting is a technique of increasing the recharge of groundwater by capturing and storing rainwater. This is done by constructing special waterharvesting structures like dug wells, percolation pits, lagoons, check dams etc. Rainwater, wherever it falls, is captured and pollution of this water is prevented. Rainwater harvesting is not only proving useful for poor and scanty rainfall regions but also for the rich ones. The annual average rainfall in India is 1200 mm; however, in most places it is concentrated over the rainy season, from June to September. It is an astonishing fact that Cherapunji, the place receiving the second highest annual rainfall as 11000 mm still suffers from water scarcity. The water flows with run off and there is little vegetation to check the run off and allow infiltration. Till now there is hardly any rain-water harvesting being done in this region, thereby losing all the water that comes through rainfall. Rainwater harvesting has the following objectives: 1. To reduce run off loss 2. To avoid flooding of roads 3. To meet the increasing demands of water 4. To raise the water table by recharging ground water 5. To reduce ground water contamination 6. To supplement ground water supplies during lean seasons Rainwater can be mainly harvested by anyone of the following methods: 1. By storing in tanks or reservoirs above or below ground 2. By constructing pits, dug wells, lagoons, trench or check dams on small rivulets 3. By recharging the ground water. Before adopting a rainwater harvesting system, the soil characteristics, topography, rainfall pattern and climatic conditions should be understood. Traditional Rainwater Harvesting:
In India, it is an old practice in high rainfall areas to collect rainwater from roof tops into storage tanks. In foot-hills water flowing from springs are collected by embankment type water storage. In Himalayan foot-hills people use the hollow bamboos as pipelines to transport the water of natural springs. Rajasthan is known for its “Tankas” (underground tanks) and “Khadins” (Embankments) for harvesting rainwater. In our ancient times, we had adequate Taalaabs, Baawaris, Johars, Hauz etc. in every cities, village and capital cities of our Kings and Lords which were used to collect rainwater and ensure adequate water supply in dry periods. Modern Techniques of Rainwater Harvesting: In arid and semi-arid regions artificial ground water recharging is done by constructing shallow percolation tanks. Check-dams made of any suitable native material (brush, polls, rocks, plants, loose rocks, wire nets, stones, slabs, sacks etc.) are constructed for harvesting runoff from large catchment areas. Rajendrasingh of Rajasthan popularly known as “Waterman” has been doing a commendable job for harvesting rainwater by building check-dams in Rajasthan and he was honoured with the prestigious Megsaysay Award for his work. Ground water flow can be intercepted by building ground water dams or storing water underground. As compared to surface dams, ground water dams have several advantages like minimum evaporation loss, reduced chances of contamination etc. In roof top rainwater harvesting which is a low cost and effective technique for urban houses and buildings, the rainwater from the top of the roofs is diverted to some surface tank or pit through a delivery system which can be later used for several purposes. Also it can be used to recharge underground aquifers by diverting the stored water to some abandoned dug well or by using a hand pump. All the above techniques of rainwater harvesting are low cost methods with little maintenance expenses. Rainwater harvesting helps in recharging the aquifers, improves ground water quality by dilution, improves soil moisture and reduces soil erosion by minimizing run-off water. WATERSHED MANAGEMENT:
The land area drained by a river is known as the river basin. The watershed is defined as the land area from which water drains under gravity to a common drainage channel. Thus watershed is a delineated area with a well defined topographic boundary and one water outlet. The watershed can range from a few square kilometers to few thousand square kilometers in size. In the watershed
72 the hydrological conditions are such that water becomes concentrated within a particular location like a river or a reservoir, by which the watershed is drained. The watershed comprises complex interactions of soil, landform, vegetation, land use activities and water. People and animals are an integral part of a watershed having mutual impacts on each other. We may live anywhere we would be living in some watershed. A watershed affects as it is directly involved in sustained food production, water supply for irrigation, power generation, transportation as well as for influencing sedimentation and erosion, vegetation growth, floods and droughts. Thus management of watersheds treating them as a basic functional unit is extremely important and the first such Integrated Watershed Management was adopted in 1949 by the Damodar Valley Corporation. Watershed degradation: The watersheds are very often found to be degraded due to uncontrolled, unplanned and unscientific land use activities. Organizing, deforestation, mining, construction activities, industrialization, shifting cultivation, natural and artificial fires, soil erosion and ignorance of local people have been responsible for degradation of various watersheds. Objectives of Watershed Management: Rational utilization of land and water sources for optimum production causing minimum damage to the natural resources is known as watershed management. The objectives of watershed management are as follows: 1. To rehabilitate the watershed through proper land use adopting conservation strategies for minimizing soil erosion and moisture retention so as to ensure good productivity of the land for the farmers. 2. To manage the watershed for beneficial developmental activities like domestic water supply, irrigation, hydropower generation etc. 3. To minimize the risks of floods, droughts and land slides. 4. To develop rural areas in the region with clear plans for improving the economy of the regions. Watershed management practices: In the fifth year plan, watershed management approach was included with a number of programs for it and a national policy was developed. In watershed management the aspects of development are considered with regard to availability of the resources.
Afforestation and agro-forestry: In watershed development. terracing and contour . the hills lose stability and get disturbed resulting in landslides. Various measures taken up for management include the following: 1. bunding. peak discharge and soil loss in Dehradun and Siwaliks 4. Teak and Keekar which have been used in watershed areas of river Yamuna. afforestation and crop plantation play a very important role. Contour trenching at an interval of one meter on overburdened dump. In Dehradun trees like Eucalyptus. contour cropping. planting some soil binding plants land draining of water courses in the mined area are recommended for minimizing the destructive effects of mining in watershed areas. 3. Properly educating the people about the campaign and its benefits or sometimes paying certain incentives to them can help in effective people’s participation. Scientific mining and quarrying: Due to improper mining. Successful watershed management has been done at Sukhomajri Panchkula. 2. 5. Several anthropogenic activities accelerate its slope instability which need to be prevented and efforts should be made to project the watershed by preventing overgrazing. Bunding has proved to be a very useful method in reducing runoff. are used to minimize runoff and soil erosion particularly on the slopes of watersheds. rapid erosion etc. They help to prevent soil erosion and retention of moisture. Mechanical measures for reducing soil erosion and runoff losses: Several mechanical measures like terracing. People’s cooperation as well as participation has to be ensured for the same. no-till farming. woody trees are grown in between crops to substantially reduce the runoff and loss of fertile soil. Leucaena and grasses like chrysopogon are grown along with maize or wheat to achieve the objectives. Haryana through active participation of the local people. strip cropping etc. The communities are to be motivated for protecting a freshly planted areas and maintaining a water harvesting structure implemented by the government or some external agency (NGO) independently or by involving the locale people. In high rainfall areas. bench terracing. Public participation: People’s involvement including the farmers and tribals is the key to the success of any watershed management program. It also helps in moderation of floods. Woody trees grown successfully in such agro-forestry programs include Sheesham.73 The practices of conservation and development of land and water are taken up with respect to their suitability for people’s benefit as well as sustainability. Watershed management in Himalayan region is of vial importance since most of the watersheds of our country lie there. Water harvesting: Proper storage of water is done with provision for use in dry seasons in low rainfall areas. particularly the soil and water conservation.
Sometimes displacement of local people is due to accidents occurring in mined areas like subsidence of land that often leads to shifting people e. it is a welcome step for conservation of the natural resources. These native people are generally the poorest of the poor. However. in the process of development.74 farming to check runoff and erosion etc. Several thousands of hectares of land area is covered in mining operation and the native people are displaced. b) Displacement due to mining: Mining is another developmental activity. where the entry of local dwellers or tribals is prohibited. quite often. A major portion of the forest is declared as core-area. However. underprivileged tribal people. the native people of the project site are directly affected. c) Displacement due to creation of National park: When some forests are covered under a National Park. RESETTLEMENT AND REHABILITATION ISSUES: Problems and concerns: Economic development raises the quality and standard of living of the people of a country.three states people and many villages get affected. There is a need to look into their problems and provide them some employment. When these villagers are deprived of their ancestral right or access to forests. Various types of projects result in the displacement of the native people who undergo tremendous economic and psychological distress. It also resulted in movement lead by Sunderlal Bahuguna. Bhakra Nangal Dam. they usually retaliate by starting destructive activities. On steeper slopes with sliding faces. as the socio economic and ecological base of the local community is disturbed. straw mulching tied with thin wires and ropes helps in establishing the vegetation and stabilizing the slopes. Besides this.g. Tehri Dam are the examples where many people and their villages in the vicinity got affected.One more stir is currently on is Sardar Sarovar Project. a) Displacement problems due to dams: The big river valley projects have one of the most serious socio-economic impacts due to large scale displacement of local people from their ancestral home and loss of their traditional profession or occupation. Hirakum Dam. Developmental projects are planned to bring benefits to the society. which causes displacement of the native people. very often there is over-exploitation of natural resources and degradation of the environment.movement called Chipko Movement. . India is one of the countries in the world leading in big dam construction and in the last 50 years more than 20 million people are estimated to have directly or indirectly affected by these dams e. it also has a social aspect associated with it which is often neglected. various mines are predominant in Jharkhand.g. these mines had displaced many people.
In India. marriages. which totally ignores communal settlement. it is individual-based resettlement. e) Kinship systems. Displacement further increases their poverty due to loss of land. most of the displacements have resulted due to land acquisition by the government for various reasons. 1894 which empowers it to serve notice to the people to vacate their lands if there is a need as per government planning. the government has the Land Acquisition Act.75 REHABILITATION ISSUES: The United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights has declared that right to housing is a basic human right. c) The tribals are not familiar with the market policies and trends. loss of access to common property assets. d) The land acquisition laws ignore the communal ownership of property. dances and activities vanish with their displacement. which is an inbuilt system amongst the tribals. They feel like fish out of water. Provision of cash compensation in lieu of the land vacated exists in the Act. For this purpose. The major issues related to displacement and rehabilitation are as follows: a) Tribals are usually the most affected amongst the displaced who are already poor. home. gets lost. Rehabilitation policy: There is a need for a comprehensive National Rehabilitation Policy. Even if they get cash compensation. The age-long indigenous knowledge. jobs. social and cultural functions. fauna. increased morbidity and mortality and social isolation. their folk-songs. their uses etc. food insecurity. b) Break up of families in an important social issue arising due to displacement in which the women are the worst affected and they are not even given cash/land compensation. Different states are following different practices in this regard. f) Loss of identity and loss of the intimate link between the people and the environment is one of the biggest loss. Even when they are resettled. . they get alienated in the modern economic set up. which has been inherited and experienced by them about the flora. Thus the tribals lose their communitarian basis of economic and cultural existence.
3. ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS: Environmental ethics refers to the issues. If we want to check the environmental crisis. economic growth and development without much botheration to care for the damage done to the planet earth. principles and guidelines relating to human interactions with their environment.76 There is a need to raise public awareness on these issues to bring the resettlement and rehabilitation plans on a humane footing and to honour the human rights of the oustees. would transform our deeds. That in turn. 2. The guiding principles of this view are: 1. “The environmental crisis is an outward manifestation of the crisis of mind and spirit. A healthy environment depends upon a healthy economy. Man is considered to be most capable for managing the planet earth. On the other hand. If we think “Man is all powerful and the supreme creature on this earth and man is the master of nature and can harness it at his will”. The second view urges us to live on this earth as a part of it. Economic growth is very good and more the growth. It is rightly said. . like any other creation of Nature and live sustainably. The first view urges us to march ahead gloriously to conquer the nature and establish our supremacy over nature through technological innovations.’ It all depends on how do we think and act. So. this is an earth-centric thinking. we should respect her and nurture her”. These two world-views are discussed in here in relation to environmental protection: a) Anthropocentric Worldview: This view is guiding most industrial societies. it reflects our human-centric thinking. if we think “Nature has provided us with all the resources for leading a beautiful life and she nourishes us like a mother. we will have to transform our thinking and attitude. the better it is. leading to a better environment and better future. 4. Earth has an unlimited supply of resources and it all belongs to us. we can see that our acts will follow what we think. It puts human beings in the center giving them the highest status. because it raises our quality of life and the potential for economic growth is unlimited. Man is the planet’s most important species and is in the in-charge of the rest of the nature.
A healthy economy depends upon a healthy environment. One should keep each day sacred to earth and celebrate the turning of its seasons. The basic beliefs are as follows: 1. but for all the species. The success of mankind depends upon how best we can cooperate with the rest of the nature while trying to use the resources of nature for our benefit. Some important ethical guidelines known as Earth ethics or Environmental Ethics are as follows: • • One should love and honour the earth since it has blessed you with life and governs your survival. The earth resources are limited and they do not belong only to human beings. One should not waste your resources on destructive weapons. • • • • • • • . 5. b) Eco-centric Worldview: This is based on earth-wisdom.77 5. One should not hold yourself above other living things and have no right to drive them to extinction. One should not run after gains at the cost of nature rather should strive to restore its damaged majesty. 3. Environmental ethics can provide us the guidelines for putting our beliefs into action and help us decide what to do when faced with crucial situations. Nature exists not for human beings alone. 2. One should limit your offsprings because too many people will overburden the earth. 4. Economic growth is good till it encourages earth-sustaining development and discourages earth-degrading development. One should not conceal from others the effects you have caused by your actions on earth. The success of mankind depends upon how good managers we are for deriving benefits for us from nature. One should be grateful to the plants and animals which nourish you by giving you food.
It is the general weather conditions. the mean average temperature has fluctuated by 0. Our Vedas also have glorified each every component of nature as gods or goddesses so that people have a feeling of reverence for them. thereby keeping the ecological balance of the earth intact. It is observed that earth’s temperature has changed considerably during the geological times. The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) in 1990 and 1992 published best available evidence about past climate change. (Nisarga Pooja is what we perform during celebrations of our festivals e. Vatapournitma. One should consume the material goods in moderate amounts so that all may share the earth’s precious treasure of resources. Such conditions which average over a long period at least 30 years is called climate. Anthropogenic activities are upsetting the delicate balance that has been established between various components of the environment. during the past 10000 years of the current interglacial period.51˚ c over 100 to 200 year period.) The concept of Ahimsa in Buddhism and Jainism ensure the protection and conservation of all forms of life. Even the various festivals envisaged by Hinduism also prescribe the participation of humans in the celebrations through nature. Our religious and cultural rituals make us perform such actions that would help in the conservation of nature and natural resources. We have relatively stable climate for thousands of years due to which we have practiced agriculture and increased population. seasonal variations and extremes of weather in region. However.78 • • One should not steal from future generations their right to live in a clean and safe planet by impoverishing or polluting it. the green house effect and recent changes in global temperature. It has experienced several glacial and interglacial periods. Dassara etc. CLIMATE CHANGE: Climate is the average weather of an area. Our teachings on “having fewer wants” ensure to put “limits to growth” and thus guide us to have an eco-centric life style. Green house . Even small changes in climatic conditions may disturb agriculture that would lead to migration of animals including humans. If we critically go through the above ten commandments for earth ethics and reflect upon the same we will find that various religions teach us the same things in one form or the other. Ganesh Festival. Baishakhi. Satyanarayana Pooja.g.
greenhouse effect contributes a temperature rise to the tune of 33˚ c. GLOBAL WARMING: Troposphere.79 gases are increasing in atmosphere resulting in increase in the average global temperature. GREEN HOUSE GASES: . nitrous oxide etc. changes in agricultural productivity. and water vapours. nitrous oxide. Warming or cooling by more than 2˚ c over the past few decades may prove to be disastrous for various ecosystems on the earth including humans as it would alter the conditions faster than some species could adapt or migrate. This may upset the hydrological cycle. ozone. The amount of heat trapped in the atmosphere depends mostly upon the concentration of heat trapping or green house gases and length of time they stay in the atmosphere. Heat trapped by green house gases in the atmosphere keeps the planet warm enough to allow us and other species to exist. This effect is called Green House Effect as it is similar to the warming effect observed in the horticultural Green House made of glass. The two predominant green house gases are water vapours which are controlled by hydrological cycle and carbon dioxide which is controlled mostly by the global carbon cycle. famines and death of humans as well as livestock. Some areas will become inhabitable because of droughts or floods following rise in average sea level. Therefore. The average global temperature is 15˚c. In the absence of green house gases this temperature would have been 18˚ c. The major green house gases are carbon dioxide. the lower most layer of the atmosphere traps heat by natural process due to the presence of certain gases. methane. result in floods and droughts in different regions of the world. cause sea level rise. While the levels of water vapour in the troposphere have relatively remained constant the levels of carbon dioxide have increased. Deforestation has further resulted in elevated levels of carbon dioxide due to non removal of carbon dioxide by plants through photosynthesis. Other gases whose levels have increased due to human activities are methane.
1. 3. Hamburg and Venice as well as agricultural lowlands and deltas in Egypt. Impacts of enhanced green house effect: The enhanced greenhouse effect will not only cause global warming but will also affect various other climatic and natural processes. India. The green house gases include Carbon dioxide. Heating will melt the polar ice sheets and glaciers resulting in further rise in sea level.80 The phenomenon that worries the environmental scientists is that due to anthropogenic activities there is an increase in the concentration of the green house gases in the air that absorbs infra-red light containing heat and results in the re-radiation of even more of the outgoing thermal infra-red energy. and would probably increase the frequency of storm damage to lagoons. thereby affecting the distribution of vector-borne diseases like malaria. China and will affect rice productivity. Life of millions of people will be affected. Bangladesh.5 ˚ c by 2050 if input of greenhouse gases continues to rise at the present rate. Cairo. Effects on human health: The global warming will lead to changes in the rainfall pattern in many areas. earth would be warmer that it has been for 10000 years. . the Yangtze and the Mississippi rivers. These are the green house gases present in the troposphere and resulting in an increase in the temperature of air and the earth. filariasis. One meter rise in sea level will inundate low lying areas of cities like Shanghai. Bangkok. Current models indicate that an increase in the average atmospheric temperature of 3˚ c would raise the average global sea level by 0. the Nile.2-1.5 to 5. by the sea level rise who have build homes in the deltas of Ganges. the Lakshadweep Islands with a maximum height of 4 meters above the level may be vulnerable. Global temperature increase: It is estimated that the earth’s mean temperature will rise between 1. The phenomenon is referred to as the enhanced green house effect to distinguish its effect from the one that has been operating naturally for millennia. Even at the lower value. elephantiasis etc. estuaries and coral reefs. methane and nitrous oxide etc. Sydney. Rise in Sea Level: With the increase in global temperature sea water will expand. This will also disturb many commercially important spawning grounds. 2. In India. thereby increasing the average surface temperature beyond 15˚ c. Chlorofluorocarbons. Some of the most beautiful cities like Mumbai may be saved by heavy investment on embankment to prevent inundation. the Mekong.5 meters over the next 50-100 years.
8. Pests will adapt to such changes better than the crops. 4. which may drastically affect wheat and maize production. Cut down the current rate of use of CFCs and fossil fuel. Increase in temperature and humidity will increase pest growth like the growth of vectors for various diseases. Soil moisture will decrease and evapo-transpiration will increase. heat resistant and pest resistant varieties of crops have to be developed. Adopt sustainable agriculture 9. Higher temperature and humidity will increase/aggravate respiratory and skin diseases. Measures to check global warming: To slow down enhanced global warming the following steps will be important: 1.81 Areas which are presently free from diseases like malaria may become the breeding grounds for the vectors of such diseases. Even a rise of 2˚ c may be quite harmful to crops. Kenya and Indonesia. To cope up with the changing situation drought resistant. Tropical and subtropical regions will be more affected since the average temperature in these regions is already on the higher side. which are the vectors of such diseases. Reduce beef production. snails and some insects. 2. Increase in nuclear power plants for electricity production 5. The areas likely to be affected in this manner are Ethiopia. Effects on Agriculture: There are different views regarding the effect of global warming on agriculture. Stabilize population growth . Shift to renewable energy resources 4. Trap and use methane as a fuel 7. Shift from coal to natural gas 6. Use energy more efficiently 3. Warmer temperature and more water stagnation would favour breeding of mosquitoes. It may show positive or negative effects on various types of crops in different regions of the world.
Remove atmospheric carbon dioxide by utilizing photosynthetic algae. 12.1.6. It causes deterioration of buildings especially made of marble e. Acid rain is only one component of acidic deposition. 3. Acidic decomposition is the total wet acidic deposition (acid rain) and dry deposition.6 at 20˚ c because of formation of carbonic acid due to dissolution of CO2 in water. Acid forming gases are oxidized over several days by which time they travel several thousand kilometers. vegetation. On moist surfaces or in liquids these acid forming gases can dissolve an form acids similar to that formed in acid rain. In fact clean or natural rain water has a pH of 5. . Acid forming gases like oxides of sulphur and nitrogen and acid aerosols get deposited on the surface of water bodies. 2. Effects of acid rain: Acid rain causes a number of harmful effects below pH 5. 1. Aquatic life especially fish are badly affected by lake acidification. Rain water is turned acidic when its pH falls below 5. Hydrogen chloride emission forms hydrochloric acid. 4.5.82 10. ACID RAIN Oxides of sulfur and nitrogen originating from industrial operations and fossil fuel combustion are the major sources of acid forming gases. The effects are visible in the aquatic even at pH less than 5. These acids cause acidic rain. dry deposition of acid may occur. Efficiently remove carbon dioxide from smoke stacks 11. soil and other materials. Plant more trees.g. Priceless stone statues in Greece and Italy have been partially dissolved by acid rain. monuments like Taj Mahal. In the atmosphere these gases are ultimately converted into sulfuric and nitric acids. In absence of rain. Crystals of calcium and magnesium sulphate are formed as a result of corrosion caused by acid rain. It damages metals and car finishes. It damages stone statues.
Snow covered areas. sandy areas.P. It makes trees more susceptible to stresses like cold temperature. and killing of fish. mercury. saline or waterlogged lands. 6. manganese. coastal saline areas. Canada have become fishless due to acid rain. Wastelands are formed by natural processes. barren hill-ridge etc. drought. Liming of lakes and soils should be done to correct the adverse effects of acid rain.4% of the total land area and most of it comprises saline. gullied areas. sodic or sandy land areas. A coating of protective layer of inert polymer should be given in the interior of water pipes for drinking water. which include undulating uplands. Maximum wasteland areas in our country lie Rajasthan (36 million ha) followed by M. Aquatic animals suffer from toxicity of metals such as aluminium. thus indicating the seriousness of the problem for a country like ours which has to support 1/6th of the world’s population. 2. It damages foliage and weakens trees. More than half of our country’s geographical area (about 175 million ha) is estimated to be wasteland. 8. snow-covered lands. In Harayana the wastelands cover about 8. glacial areas and areas rendered barren after Jhum cultivation are also included in wastelands. 7. . Many insects and fungi are more tolerant to acidic conditions and hence they can attack the susceptible trees and cause diseases. 3. zinc and lead which leak from the surrounding rocks due to acid rain. The wastelands include salt-affected lands.83 5. It results in reproductive failure. 9. sandy areas etc. Emission of SO2 and NO2 from industries and power plants should be reduced by using pollution control equipments. WASTELAND RECLAMATION Economically unproductive lands suffering from environmental deterioration are known as wastelands. Many lakes of Sweden. etc. or by anthropogenic (man-made) activities leading to eroded. Norway. undulating uplands. and Andhra Pradesh. Control of Acid Rain: 1.
Conference on Human Environment in Stockholm and thereafter 5th June is celebrated all over the world as World Environment Day. On 5th June. environment was first discussed as an item of international agenda in the U. To prevent soil erosion. lakes. 1972. 1980.N. Some of the important Acts passed by the Government of India are discussed as follows: . which works to fulfill following objectives: 1. 1981 and subsequently the Environment (Protection) Act. To improve the availability of good quality water for irrigating these lands 3. the Forest (Conservation) Act. 1974. Constitutional Provisions: The provisions for environmental protection in the constitution were made through the 42nd amendment as follows: Article 48-A of the constitution provides: “The state shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard forests and wildlife of the country. To improve the physical structure and quality of marginal soils 2.” Article 51A (g) provides: “It shall be the duty of the every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests.” Thus our constitution includes environmental protection and conservation as one of our fundamental duties.84 Wasteland Reclamation Practices: Wasteland reclamation and development in our country falls under the purview of Wasteland Development Board. followed by the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. 1986. flooding and landslides 4. To conserve the biological resources of land for sustainable use ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATIONS India is the first country in the world to have made provisions for the protection and conservation of environment in its constitution. Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. Soon after the conference our country took substantive legislative steps for environmental protection. The Wildlife (Protection) Act was passed in 1972. rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.
There is provision for trade and commerce in some wildlife species with license for sale. 3. personal ownership certificate for animal articles like tiger and leopard skins. 8. transfer etc. It defines the wild-life related terminology. 10. 7. comprehensive listing of endangered wild life species was done for the first time and prohibition of hunting of the endangered species was mentioned. It provides for captive breeding programme for endangered species. 2. Several Conservation Projects for individual endangered species like Lion (1972). 6. 1980 This act deals with the conservation of forests and related aspects. The Act covers under it all types of forests . Crocodile (1974) and Brown antlered Deer (1981) were stated under this Act. The Act provides for setting up of National Parks. possession. their powers. It provides for legal powers to officers and punishment to offenders. Some of the major drawbacks of the Act include mild penalty to offenders. duties etc. illegal wild life trade in J & K. 9. The Act is adopted by all states in India except J & K. It provides for the appointment of wildlife advisory Board. which has it own Act. Under the Act. Tiger (1973). 4. pitiable condition of wildlife in mobile zoos and little emphasis on protection of plant genetic resources. The act imposes a ban on the trade or commerce in scheduled animals. no coverage of foreign endangered wildlife. 1972 The major activities and provisions in the act can be summed up as follows: 1. FOREST (CONSERVATION) ACT. Wildlife Sanctuaries etc. Protection to some endangered plants. the act is adopted all over India. Except J & K.85 WILDLIFE (PROTECTION) ACT. Wildlife warden. The Act provides for the constitution of Central Zoo Authority. 5.
spices. fencing. These activities are setting of transmission lines. Wildlife sanctuaries.86 including reserved forests. The salient features of the Act are as follows: 1. for which prior approval of the Center is necessary. In 1992. Non-forest activities include clearing of forest land for cultivation of any type of plants/crops or any other purpose (except re-afforestation). exploration. Any illegal non-forest activity within a forest area can be immediately stopped under this Act. protected forests or any forested land irrespective of its ownership. are included under non-forestry activity and not allowed in reserve forests. without cutting trees or limited cutting with prior approval of Central Government. coffee. it has to take prior approval of Central Government. 3. some amendment was made in the Act which made provisions for allowing some non-forest activities in forests. The last activity involves large scale destruction of forest. some construction work in the forest for wildlife or forest management is exempted from non-forest activity (e. check posts. The State Government has been empowered under this Act to use the forests only for forestry purposes.) 1992 Amendment in the Forest Act 1.g. wireless communication etc. Cultivation of tea. 2. trench. are totally prohibited for any exploration or survey under this Act without prior approval of Central Government even if no tree-felling is involved. If at all it wants to use it in any other way. drilling and hydroelectric projects. Even cultivation of fruit-bearing trees. It makes provision for conservation of all types of forests and for this purpose there is any Advisory committee which recommends funding for it to the Central Government. 4. If the species to be planted is a native species. pipelines. seismic surveys. 2. making water-holes. This is because newly introduced species in the forest area may cause an imbalance in the ecology of the forest. then no prior clearance is required. 3. . oil-yielding plants or plants of medicinal value in forest area need to be first approved by the Central Government. rubber and plants which are cash-crops. However. National Parks etc. after which it can pass orders for declaring some part of reserve forest for non-forest purposes (e. mining) or for clearing some naturally growing trees and replacing them by economically important trees (reforestation).g.
bajri. Any proposal sent to central government for non-forest activity must have a cost-benefit analysis and Environmental Impact statement (EIS) of the proposed activity with reference to its ecological and socio-economic impacts. 7. It provides for maintenance and restoration of quality of all types of surface and ground water. 9. Plantation of mulberry for rearing silkworm is considered a non-forest activity.Godavarman Thirumulkpad Vs. Union of India (1997) directed all on-going mining activity to be ceased immediately in any forest area of India if it not got prior approval of Central Government.N. .87 5. Tusser cultivation (a type of silk-yielding insect) in forest areas by tribals as a means of their livelihood is treated as a forestry activity as long as it does not involve some specific host tree like Asan or Arjun. from river-beds located within the forest area fall under non-forest activity. boulder etc. WATER (PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF POLLUTION) ACT. 1974 It provides for maintaining restoring the wholesomeness of water by preventing and controlling its pollution. This is done in order to discourage monoculture practices in the forests which are otherwise rich in biodiversity. or such alteration of the physical. Thus. Removal of stones. The salient features and provisions of the Act are summed up as follows: 1. Pollution is defined as such contamination of water. the Forests (Conservation) Act has made ample provisions for conservation and protection of forests and prevents deforestation. chemical or biological properties of water or such discharge as is likely to cause a nuisance or render the water harmful or injurious to public health and safety or harmful for any other use or to aquatic plants and other organisms or animal life. The Supreme Court in a case T. 8. Mining is a non-forestry activity and prior approval of Central Government is mandatory. 6. The definition of water pollution has thus encompassed the entire probable agents in water that may cause any harm or have a potential to harm any kind of in any way. The reason is same as described above.
It provides for the establishment of Central and State Boards for pollution control. Organize training programs for prevention and control of pollution. 6. Plan nation-wide programs for prevention. 3. Lay down standards for water quality parameters. 7. Coordinate the activities of State Pollution Control Boards and provides them technical assistance and guidance. Prepare manuals for treatment and disposal of sewage and trade effluents. 3. sewage or trade effluent sample. accounts and audit of the Central and State Pollution Control Boards. The Act has provisions for funds. conferred the following duties and powers: Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB): The board is supposed to: 1. It confers them with powers and functions to control pollution. 9. coordinate and provide technical assistance for prevention and control of pollution of water. Organize comprehensive programs on pollution related issues through mass media. budgets. Advise the central government in matters related to prevention and control of water pollution. control or abatement of pollution. Establish and recognize laboratories for analysis of water. 8. . 5. 5. which have been. 2. 4. The main regulatory bodies are the Pollution Control Boards. The Act makes provisions for various penalties for the defaulters and procedure for the same.88 2. Collect and compile and publish technical and statistical data related to pollution. 4. The Central and State Pollution Control Boards are widely represented and are given comprehensive powers to advise.
89 The State Pollution Control Boards also have similar functions to be executed at state level and are governed by the directions of CPCB. 1. The board advises the state government with respect to the location of any industry that might pollute a stream or well. 2. It lays down standards for effluents and is empowered to take samples from any stream, well or trade effluent or sewage passing through an industry. 3. The State Board is empowered to take legal samples of trade effluent in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Act, The sample taken in the presence of the occupier or his agent is divided into two parts, sealed, signed by both the parties and sent for analysis to some recognized lab. If the samples do not conform to the prescribed water quality standards (crossing maximum permissible limits), then ‘consent’ is refused to the unit. 4. Every industry has to obtain consent from the Board (granted for a fixed duration) by applying on a prescribed Proforma providing all technical details, along with a prescribed fee following which analysis of the effluent is carried out. 5. The Board suggests efficient methods of utilization, treatment and disposal of trade effluents. The Act has made detailed provisions regarding the power of the Boards to obtain information, take trade samples, restrict new outlets, restrict expansion, enter and inspect the units and sanction or refuse consent to the industry after effluent analysis. While development is necessary it is all the more important to prevent pollution which can jeopardize the lives of people. Installation and proper functioning of effluent treatment plants in all polluting industries is a must for checking pollution of water and land. Despite certain weaknesses in the Act, the Water Act has ample provisions for preventing and controlling water pollution through legal measures. THE AIR (PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF POLLUTION) ACT, 1981 Salient features of the act are as follows: 1. It provides for prevention control and abatement of air pollution. 2. Air pollution has been defined as the presence of any solid, liquid or gaseous substance (including noise) in the atmosphere in such concentration as may be or tend to be harmful to human beings or any other living creatures or plants or property or environment.
3. Noise pollution has been inserted as pollution in the Act in 1987. 4. Pollution control boards at the central or state level have the regulatory authority to implement the Air Act. Just parallel to the functions related to Water (Prevention and control of pollution) Act, the boards perform similar to functions related to improvement of air quality. The boards have to check whether or not the industry strictly follows the norms or standards laid down by the board under section 17 regarding the discharge of emission of any air pollutant. Based upon analysis report, consent is granted or refused to the industry. 5. Just like the Water Act, the Air Act has provisions for defining the constitution, power and function of Pollution Control Boards, funds, accounts, audit, penalties and procedures. 6. Section 20 of the Act has provision for insuring emission standards for automobiles. Based upon it the state government is empowered to issue instructions to the authorities in charge of registration of motor vehicles (under Motor Vehicle Act, 1939) that is bound to comply with such instructions. 7. As per section 19 in consultation with the state pollution control board the state government may declare an area within the state as “Air Pollution Control Area” and can prohibit the use of any fuel other than approved fuel in the area causing air pollution. No person shall without prior consent of State Board operate or establish any industrial unit in the “Air Pollution Control Area”. The Water and Air Acts have also made special provisions for appeals. Under Section 28 of Water Act and Section 31 of Air Act, a provision for appeals has been made. An appellate authority consisting of a single person or three persons appointed by the head of the State, Governor is constituted to hear such appeals as filed by some aggrieved parties due to some order made by the State Board within 30 days of passing the orders. The Appellate Authority after giving the appellant and the State Board, an opportunity of being heard, disposes off the appeal as expeditiously as possible.
THE ENVIRONMENT (PROTECTION) ACT, 1986
91 The Act came into force on November 19, 1986. The Act extends to whole of India. Some terms related to environment have been described as follows in the Act: 1. Environment includes water, air and land and the interrelationship that exist among and between them and human beings, all other living organisms and property. 2. The environmental pollution means the presence of any solid, liquid or gases substance present in such concentration as may be or tend to be injurious to environment. 3. Hazardous substance means any substance or preparation which by its physico-chemical properties or handling is liable to cause harm to human beings, other living organisms, property or environment. The Act has given powers to the central government to take measures to protect and improve environment while the state government coordinate the actions. The most important function of central government under this act includes: Setting up of a) The standards of quality of air, water or soil for various areas and purposes. b) The maximum permissible limits of concentration of various environmental pollutants for different areas. c) The procedures and safeguards for the handling of hazardous substances. d) The prohibition and restrictions on the handling of hazardous substances in different areas. e) The prohibition and restriction on the location of the industries and to carry on process and operations in different areas. f) The procedures and safeguards for the prevention of accidents which may cause environmental pollution and providing for remedial measures for such accidents. The power of entry and inspection, power to take sample etc. under this act lies with the Central Government or any officer empowered by it. For the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of the environment and preventing and abating pollution, standards have been specified under Schedule I-IV of Environment (Protection) Rules 1986 for emission of gaseous pollutants and discharge of effluents/waste water from industries.
Still we are losing our Wild Life. Some of the main reasons responsible for widespread environmental ignorance can be detailed below: 1. The rivers have been turned into open sewers in many places and the air in our big cities is badly polluted.92 These standard vary from industry to industry and also vary with the medium into which the effluent is discharged or the area of emission. politicians and administrators have not been trained so as to consider the environmental aspects associated with their plans. quite often there is a purposeful concealment of information about environmental aspects. There is greater consideration of economic gains and issues related to eliminating poverty by providing employment that overshadows the basic environmental issues. Our courses in Science. 4. . PUBLIC ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS: Public awareness about environment is at a stage of infancy. pollution etc. have so far failed to integrate the knowledge in environmental aspects as an essential component of the curriculum. Development has paved the path for rise in the levels or standards of living but it has simultaneously led to serious environmental disasters. Our planners. The status of environment shows that there are drawback in environmental legislations and problems in their effective implementation. but incomplete knowledge information and ignorance about many aspects has often led to misconceptions. The wisdom lies in maintaining a balance between our needs and supplies so that the delicate ecological balance is not disrupted. 2. Issues related to environment have been often been branded as anti-development. Off late. economics etc. But in spite of these acts we find that we are not able to achieve the target of bringing 33% of our land cover under forests. some awareness has taken place related to environmental degradation. 3. In a zeal to go ahead with some ambitious development projects. ENFORCEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION: MAJOR ISSUES We have seen that there are a number of important environmental laws in the form of Acts for safeguarding our environmental quality. decision-makers. technology.
93 Methods to Propagate Environmental Awareness There is immense need for Environmental awareness. They can be very effective organizing public movements for the protection of environment through creation of awareness. This will appeal all age groups at the same time. Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad. campaigns. . They can act both as an action group or a pressure group. Among the masses through mass-media: Media can play an important role to educate the masses through articles. 3. 2. TV serials etc. Everyone needs to understand it because ‘environment belongs to all’ and ‘every individual matters’ when it comes to conservation and protection of environment. Among the planners. They can act as effective and viable link between the two. Various stages and methods that can be useful for raising environmental awareness in different sections of the society are given below: 1. Among students through education: Such education should be imparted to the students right from the childhood age. It is to be created through formal and informal education to all sections of the society. the World Wide Fund for NatureIndia (WWF-India). street plays. The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). The Chipko movement for conservation of trees by Dasholi Gram Swarajya Mandal in Gopeshwar or the “Narmada Bachao Andolan organized by Kalpvariksh are some of the instances where NGOs have played a landmark role in the society for conservation of environment. rallies. colleges as per the directives of the Supreme Court. ROLE OF NON-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS (NGOs) : Voluntary organizations can help by advising the government about some local environmental issues and at the same time interacting at the grass-root levels. Center for Science and Environment (CSE) and many others are playing a significant role in creating environmental awareness through research as well as extension work. The recent report by CSE on more than permissible limits of pesticides in the cola drinks sensitized the people all over the country. decision makers and leaders: It is very important to give these classes of people necessary orientation and training through specially organized workshops and training programs. These studies are now being incorporated at all stages in schools.
4. first think green. What are greenhouse gases and greenhouse effects? How do they contribute to the global warming? 9. 13. 11.” Questions: 1. What is a watershed? Critically discuss the objectives and practices of watershed management. Why is urban requirement of energy more than rural requirement? 3. Discuss salient features of various environmental legislations.94 Before we can all take up the task of environmental protection and conservation. It can therefore said “If you want to act green. we have to be environmentally educated and aware. Discuss various measures for Wasteland reclamation. What is rainwater harvesting? What are the purposes served by it? 5. Discuss the major implications of enhanced global warming. 12. Discuss the measures to conserve water. What do you understand by sustainable development? What are the major measures to attain sustainability? 2. What are the major issues and problems related to rehabilitation of the displaced tribals? Discuss with examples. 10. Unit 7: . Write an essay on Acid Rain. 6. What do we mean by “Environmental Refugees” or “outs tees”? What are the major causes for displacement of native tribal people? Discuss with examples. 7. 8. Write notes on various authorities established by various laws for prevention and control of environmental pollution.
Value Education. POPULATION EXPLOSION: . case studies. In agriculture based societies children were considered as economic assets who would help the parents in the fields and that is why in the developing countries. at the rate of 3-4% per year. population was quite stable. Objectives: • To understand the impact of pollution growth on the environment • To learn about various governmental initiatives for human health. And it might take a span of few decades to double the same. Human rights. Role of Information Technology in Environment and human health. Women and Child Welfare. With scientific and technological advancement. human rights. Droughts and outbreak of diseases used to be quite common leading to mass deaths. This trend of human population growth has definite reasons. the earth was home to about 1 billion people. population explosion-family welfare program.D. Environmental conditions were hostile and humans had not yet developed adequate artificial means for adaptations to these stresses. HIV/AIDS. variation among nations. food and medical facilities. life expectancy of humans improved. experienced large scale mortality due to bubonic plague when about 50% of people in Asia and Europe died due to the disease. The 14th Century A. value education and overall welfare Population Growth: The population of the earth has always been a critical question unanswered for decades and hundreds of years. It is amazing to note that it took about 39000 years of human history to reach 1 billion and 130 years to reach the second billion and 45 years to reach 4 billion. The dramatic way in which global human population grew is really alarming. accounting for about 90-95% of total population growth of the world in the last 50 years.95 Human Pollution and the Environment Human Pollution and the Environment: Population growth. People started living in definite settlements leading a more stable life with better sanitation. In the beginning of human civilization. We have already crossed 6 billion and may reach 11 billion by 2045 as per the World Bank estimates. population growth climbed to unthought-of heights. during the Stone Age. Victory over famine-related deaths and infant mortality became instrumental for a rapid increase in population size. In 1800. Environment and human health.
The Indian scenario: India is the second most populous country of the world with 1 billion people.3 billion and it is predicted to grow four times in next 100 years. the world population was 6. water. This is unprecedented growth of human population at an alarming rate is referred to as population explosion. Even many of the renewable resources like forests. minerals etc. There are two important views on population growth which we need to understand: . it will have 1. Do we have the resources and provisions for feeding. This means that every hour we are growing by about 9000 and everyday by about 214000. grasslands etc. So we are heading for very serious ramifications of the population explosion problem.63 billion people by 2050 and will become the most populous country surpassing China. Industrial and economic growth are raising our quality of life but adding toxic pollutants into the air. as we have already discussed. the ecological life-support systems are getting jeopardized. housing. Population explosion is causing severe resource depletion and environmental degradation. Our resources like land.5 person every second. educating and employing all those people being added every year? If we look at the population statistics of our country we find that in just 35 years after independence we added another India in terms of population. are limited and due to over exploitation these resources are getting exhausted. In the 20th Century. in just 40 years the population crossed 5 billion mark with current addition about 92 million every year. fossil fuels. human population has grown much faster than ever before. There is a fierce debate on this issue as to whether we should immediately reduce fertility rates through world wide birth control programs in order to stabilize or even shrink the population or whether human beings will devise new technologies for alternate resources. The Population Clock: Every second. In the year 2000. so to say adding a new Mexico every year. so that the problem of crossing the carrying capacity of the earth will never actually come. If the current growth rates continue. water and soil. on average 4-5 children are born and 2 people die. As a result. On 11th May 2000 we became 1 Billion and now we can say that every 6th person in this world is an Indian. are under tremendous pressure. Between 1950-90. thus resulting in net gain of nearly 2.96 There has been a dramatic reduction in the doubling time of the global human population.
Modern science has provided several birth control techniques including mechanical barriers. population growth is a symptom rather the cause of poverty. FAMILY WELFARE PROGRAMMES Population explosion is like a time bomb that must be diffused well in time. crime and misery are invariably associated with population explosion. allowing everyone to enjoy good standard of living is the need of the hour that can voluntarily help in achieving a stabilized global population. overcrowding. causes over population. The United Nations Family Planning Agency provides funds to 135 countries. environmental degradation that in turn. the increasing population is going to deplete all the resources beyond their regeneration capacity.e. resource depletion. starvation. 25 billion. surgical methods. Therefore. Equity and social justice to all. The population must be kept much below the carrying capacity and stabilized. It is not precisely known as to how long we can continue our exponential growth in population and resource use without suffering overshoot or dieback. He believes “positive checks” like famines. Malthusian Theory: According to Malthus. pollution and other social ills. Almost every culture in the past used to practice some traditional fertility control methods through some traditions. FAMILY PLANNING: Family planning allows couples to decide their family size and also the time spacing of their offspring. taboos and folk medicine.97 1. Many of these countries include abortion as part of the population control programme which very often encourages female infanticide thereby disturbing the optimal . A catastrophic doomsday model warns us that the earth cannot sustain more than two more doublings i. 2. We are getting warning signals that if not controlled. so that the aftermath of explosion could be avoided. human populations tend to grow at an exponential or compound rate whereas food production increases very slowly or remains stable. poverty. disease. He believed that social exploitation and oppression of the less privileged people leads to poverty. disease outbreak and violence as well as “preventive checks” like birth control need to stabilize population growth. unemployment. A compromise between the two views is required because all these factors seem to be interdependent and interrelated. More than a hundred contraceptive methods are on trial. chemical pills and physical barriers to implantation. Marxian Theory: According to Karl Marx.
proper awareness and confidence building along with accessibility and effectivity of the birth control measures. Since then funding for family planning programmes has been increased further. Successful family planning programs need significant societal changes including social. Andhra Pradesh has also just achieved the target of ZPG in 2001. In contrast. social security. Nonetheless. The Indian Context: India started the family planning programme in 1952 while its population was nearly 400 million. proper stability. the population has been stabilized with a focus on social justice as already discussed. ENVIRONMENT AND HUMAN HEALTH: Health is “a state of complete physical. the state governments in 2000 were allowed to adopt their own approach. Biological factors 3. better land. political stability. The birth control programmes have often faced strong opposition from religious groups.5%). In Kerala. Nutritional factors 2. but it has been done with a different approach. In 1978. Unable to reach a consensus regarding population policy. housing.98 male: female ratio in a society. World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that today about 50 percent of the world’s married couples adopt some family planning measures as compared to just 10% about 30 years back. forced family planning campaign by the Government resulted in a turmoil all over the country. Bihar and UP have shown increase in their growth rates (more than 2. The poor class was encouraged to be sterilized after two children by paying cash incentives. Still some 300 million couples do not have access to family planning. wells and subsidized loans. Chemical factors . mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. the government raised the legal minimum age of marriage from 18 to 21 for men and 15 to 18 years for women. It is now comparable to many industrialized nations including USA and it has proved that wealth is not a pre-requisite for zero population growth. educational and economic status for women. Even in 1981 census no drop in population growth was observed. In 1970’s.” Health is influenced by many factors such as: 1.
b) Chemicals: A large number of chemicals are introduced in the environment by anthropogenic activities. filariasis etc. Cosmic rays and ultra-violet rays cause harmful effects on human health which may include cancer. Infectious organisms can also cause respiratory diseases. Besides hearing damage various types of physiological and psychological changes are induced by noise pollution.99 4. yet if sound levels beyond permissible level exist for certain duration. schistosomiasis. c) Noise: Although human ear is capable of tolerating a range of sound levels. Psychological factors These factors may cause harmful changes in the body’s conditions are called disease. Such diseases include malaria. The following aspects contribute to the disease and impact on human health: a) b) c) d) e) f) Infectious organisms Chemicals Noise Radiations Diet Settlement Let us explain the above aspects in details: a) Infectious organisms: Disease causing organisms pose great environmental threats to health more severely in the developing countries especially the tropical ones. Most of these infections take place when the environmental conditions are unclean and unhygienic.e. These chemical could be divided into categories i. hazardous and toxic chemicals. d) Radiations: Radiations are known to cause short-term and long term changes in various organs. High temperature and moisture along with malnutrition help many diseases to spread in these countries. . Industrial effluents containing various chemicals are of major concern. These environmental hormones affect reproduction. Some chemicals/pesticides like DDT and other industrial pollutants may act as hormone analogs in humans and other species. it becomes painful and sometimes irreparable damage occurs. development and cause various types of ailments including tumors. Some of the chemicals cause abnormality in growth and development while others also sometimes affect the nervous system and the reproductive system.
There is strong correlation between cardiovascular diseases and the amount of salt and fat in one’s diet. HUMAN RIGHTS Human rights are the rights that a human being must enjoy on this earth since he or she is a human being. occupational health hazards etc. lacks proper hygienic conditions and adequate health facilities. Every year 40 million people are dying due to consumption of contaminated drinking water. The developed nations utilizing most of the natural resources and reaping the benefits of industrial development are not bearing the burden of their hazardous wastes. However. Housing is very important from security point of view. availability of basic necessities of life like water. are essential for health living. The worker class and the poor are the main victims and sufferers of adverse effects of industrial toxins. true hopes for all people for happy. Malnutrition makes human prone to other diseases.100 e) Diet: Diet has a very important role in maintaining health. one out of three persons does not have enough fuel to cook or keep warm and one of five persons is desperately poor for whom life is nothing but struggle for survival. Sardar Sarvor Narmada Nigam projecthampered tribal and many others. It is quite painful to look at the environmental inequalities. lacks clean drinking water.g. oils etc. The World Health Organization estimates indicate that one out every five persons in this world is malnourished. socio-economic restraints and scientific dogmas resulted in some revolts mainly due to the liberal thoughts of some philosophers. unhealthy working conditions. sold in the market to earn profit affect human health.their rehabilitation is still a burning issue- . Various adulterated pulses. Food contamination can cause various ill effects. 1948. dignified and secure living conditions were raised with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) by the UNO on December 10. (e. The indigenous people and tribal people are the worst victims of development who lose their homes and lands to dams and reservoirs and are deprived of their human rights to native homes. as they export such wastes to many developing countries who have to face the toxic impacts of the hazardous wastes. foul smelling polluted air. Improper settlement and poor physical environment may cause various psychological problems which affect various vital physiological processes in the body. f) Settlement: Proper environment. Although the foundation of human rights was laid in the 13th Century when resistance to religious intolerance. sanitation etc. condiments. unclean and unsafe drinking water.
Even for the Protection. In big towns we find today a number of Infant-Care centers. The professional training also is no longer the obligation of the family. What is even more serious and disgusting that even feeding is no longer the exclusive obligation of the family! Many people in metropolis eat out of homes. in industrial town there is acute shortage of residential accommodation. used to be performed by the family. most of these joint families are breaking up and are being replaced by nuclear families. The function of socialization of children. There are a number of reasons for this. . the function of family has changed considerably. rearing and education of children. Now a number of functions. it is physically exceedingly difficult if not impossible to retain the joint family system. This has given rise to individualization. as a sequel to industrialization family trades and professions have been eliminated. As a result of all these conditions joint family is all but finished in industrial towns. Secondly. Compared to today the family had much more function in the past. Most of the people have to content themselves with a single or two room accommodations. have been taken over by other institutions.but very little yielded from the stir so far. As result of industrialization. The children used to get training in the ancestral profession.) FAMILY VALUES: 1) Difference regarding function of family: As a result of industrialization and restructure of pay packets. But in the industrialized society of today family is not required to fulfill these roles. 2) Breaking up of Joint Family: Traditionally most of the Indian families were joint families. homes for orphaned and children homes.Medha Patkar. nurture and care of the children there are today a number of official and non-official institutions. The sense of the same parents differs widely in respect of economic and social levels. Firstly. which used to be performed by families in the past. In these circumstances. The education of children today is done in schools and not in homes. In many families both husband and wife go out for work. Traditionally an Indian family used to be a center of birth. too. In almost all big cities people rarely take lunch at home except on Sunday and holidays. Today children are born in hospital.101 activists such as Ms. In these circumstances the function of a modern family are more formal than real. Baba Amte are still fighting the unending battle with the respective governments.
which nourished the traditional Indian family. families breaking up under last strain. In modern industrial society there is no room for such ideals. a God. even superior. Consumerism: . There is continuous tension and conflict in the minds of family members. Compared to parents. the cost of living has gone up. Now-a-days women consider themselves equal. In the past the functions. The prevalence of contraceptives and abortion had made this goal easily attainable. From economic and social points of view woman was subject to man. For a modern wife. 5) Disintegration of Family: As a result of industrialization the outlook of intense individualism has grown. Obviously. Therefore. As a result of industrialization there has been much improvement in the status of women. people these days want to keep small families. children now have more say in the family affairs. Thus we find in modern society. The father no longer holds away over family members. As a result of this feeling many women today do not like to marry. regarded sacred duty and ideals are now considered acceptable only from utilitarian point of view. 4) Change in the status of Women: In past the status enjoyed by women in Indian society was rather low. the husband can be at best a honorable colleague and under no circumstances. The father was regarded to be head of the family and his command was rarely defied. no one likes to be subject to anybody. houses and other comforts of life. As a consequence of this situation it is small wonder that families are breaking up fast in urban society. 6) Difference in family goals: The goals and ideals. Thus we find that there is a strong trend towards small families in industrialized towns. were spiritual and religious. Everybody wants good clothes. Their status and respect in society has therefore improved considerably. Everyone wants to have his own way. In Indian homes Ram and Sita were ideals of paternal devotion and wife’s dedication to husband respectively. Nobody these days appreciates the need for adjustment and give and take. The women enjoyed no independence.102 3) Small families: As a result of industrialization. Without husband the condition of a woman was miserable. Women were shut up in the four walls of the home. Even children used to give unqualified respect to their parents. The willingly subjected themselves to each and every whim of their husbands. The housewives used to regard their husbands as a goal or divine beings. The status of father in a family is being lowered as a result of industrialization. They are therefore becoming independent all walks of life. At the same time standard of living has also gone up considerably. which were. it is not possible to maintain the standard within a big family. They wish to assert their independence by defying the laws of society. to man.
Since the matters of religion is neglected while selling certain items. The whole society undergoes the change in approach to life. corruption and dreaming for unrealistic dreams brings about the change in every member of the society. Society: The members of society have direct impact of such changes in pay structures. so that the importance of man and manual work very much decreases. misappropriations etc. The value system changes. banks. Such persons are willing to buy things. embezzlement. Every thing is done with the help of machines. The ideals change and immoral things are pretended to be sound and worth following. The savings habits have been getting converted into spending habits. They are paid basis minimum wages so that they survive and work for . Mass production: In industrialization there is always mass production. house. Such society is called industrial society.103 Because of rapid industrialization. It’s the impact of the continuous increase in salaries and wages every year. The shopkeepers change their style of selling. The issues like consumerism. There are increasing tendencies of resorting to availing loans from financial institutions. there is naked exploitation of workers. 2. Exploitation of workers: In this society. The society also becomes money minded. Even the Grocer start selling items. In such society those who have jobs and reasonable salary or wage are now not worrying about the money in their pockets. that the habits of spending have undergone change. articles beyond their buying capacity. Those with money are willing to spend it for their comforts and those with-outs are resorting to unsocial elements resulting in increase in crimes especially financial crimes like dacoits. there will be no industrialization. car. Goods are produced on large-scale basis. the comparative gap between rich and poor is widening. It is because unless society is in a position to feed the machines. luxury items. Main features of such society are: 1. The tendencies of buying the articles. which he would never. Landlords change their rate of rents. had. and two-wheelers on installments have also been impact of changing pay structures. 3. Those with jobs and those with-outs have been reality of the rat race of daily life. given his/her religion. Domination of machines: In this society machine dominates man.
104 industry. Many religious practices are now questioned. The people therefore. Material prosperity: Industrialization has brought with it material prosperity. This can be possible only when more attention is paid to scientific advancement. 10. 11. There are always employment opportunities in the industries. The owner of the industry is interested only in getting his goods and making his brand popular in the market. which he is doing. there is always keen desire of society to have new inventions. are economically rich. chemical water flowing out of factories and residue of factory raw materials and dust all create problems of environment pollution and that is unavoidable in the factory situation. 7. family rural life. No identification with the work: Another feature is that the worker is not identified with the work. 9. educational system and so on. Colonialism: Industrialization has brought with it colonialism and evils which this system brings with it. They are not given any share in profits. which are industrially advanced. 8. This is a continuing feature of the industry. Every effort is made to have scientific inventions so that new machines can do maximum work within minimum time. It is now considered a friendship and not religious institution. In fact outlook of these nations is purely materialistic and those weigh every thing in terms of money. With industrialization the institutions of marriage has come under heavy strains. Scientific advancement: In modern era. 6. In this way trend towards urbanization starts. They live in slums in miserable conditions. Smoke of chimney of factories. start migrating from rural areas. Poor working conditions: The workers are not paid adequately with the result that they cannot afford to live in good houses. Awakening has started coming in the rural areas where people are not prepared to accept every thing blindly. Envirnomental Pollution: Industry bring with it pollution in the environments. Pressure on existing institutions: Industrialization exerts heavy pressure on existing institutions like marriage. So is the case of religion. In fact three is no existing social institution. noise of the machines. Single-family system is replacing old joint family system. It is unavoidable because so many goods are produced . These nations. Working conditions in which labourers are required to work too are not good. Once industries had been set up a town develops around that. Trend towards urbanization: Industries are set abound places where communication and other facilities are easily available. rather than bring workers on the forefront. 4. Even their wages are increased after a lot of agitation. which does not come under strain with industrialization. 5.
Value education encompasses human values. It teaches them to be compassionate. VALUE EDUCATION Education is one of the most important tools in bringing about socio-economic and cultural progress of a country.e. national integration. Education does not simply mean acquiring a lot of information but also its righteousness and use within the framework of a spectrum of ethical values. Value education helps in arriving at value-based judgment in life based on practical understanding of various natural principles rather than acquiring certain prejudices. constitutional rights and duties. the objective of education should not merely be imparting coaching to the students that they get through examinations with good results and get some good job. This will be followed by commitment that needs to be re-affirmed over and over again so that every action is taken keeping those values in view.105 with the help of machines that unless these are quickly marketed these will create many problems. peaceful. community development and environment. our cultural heritage. The basic aim is to create and develop awareness about the values. Value education increases awareness about our national history. . Value-based education thus has a very significant role in providing proper direction to our youth. value commitment and value action. with access to very information sitting in one corner over the internet. enjoyable and sustainable future. helpful. in this frenzy for development and mad race for progress perhaps man has become too materialistic. their significance and role. value orientation. generous and tolerant so that they can move towards more harmonious. value selection. industrial societies have its own advantages and disadvantages but fact remains that today every nation is in a race to industrialize itself. national pride. value appraisal. The rapid strides of scientific and technological advancement have no doubt. However. professional values. self-centered and over-ambitious and the desired ideals of a real good life have been pushed to the background. religious values. to inculcate a positive attitude in them and to teach them the distinction between right and wrong. In this way. social values. value awareness. After knowing them the student’s mindset would get oriented towards those values and he will try to critically analyze the same and then select the values which really appeal to him. aesthetic values and environmental values. Value education has different phases i. peace loving. brought revolutionary changes in our every day life and information technology has shrunk the whole world into a “global village”. national values. But.
If we disturb this harmony anywhere there will be an ecological imbalance leading to catastrophic results.Global values stress upon the concept of the human civilization is a part of the planet as a whole and similarity nature and various natural phenomena over the earth are interconnected and inter-linked with special bonds of harmony. 5. The basic human value ‘man in nature’ rather than ‘nature for man’ needs to be infused through the same. compassion. The principles of ecology and fundamentals of environment can really help create sense of earth-citizenship and a sense of duty to care for the earth and its resources and to manage them in a sustainable way so that our children and grand children too inherit a safe and clean planet to live on. 2. mountains or forests. earth. Social values like love. Preparation of text books and resource materials about environmental education can play an important role in building positive attitudes about the environment. Following is the various ways in which we can make environmental education value based: 1. Cultural and religious values enshrined in Vedas like “Dehi me dadami te” i. 4. tolerance and justice which are the basic teachings of most of our religions need to be woven into environmental education. The educational system should promote the earth-citizenship thinking. “you give me and I give you” (Yajurveda) emphasize that man should not exploit nature without nurturing her. be it rivers. These are the values to be matured so that the forms of life and the biodiversity on this earth are protected. treating them as sacred.106 Value based Environmental Education: Environmental education or environmental literacy is something that every person should be well versed with. Our cultural customs and rituals in many ways teach us to perform such functions as would protect and nurture nature and respect every aspect of nature. Instead of considering human being as supreme we have to think of the welfare of the earth.e. 3. . Environmental education should encompass the ethical values of earth-centric rather than human-centric world-view.
urine. our attitudes and our life-styles. China and India. self-discipline. loss of mental peace and merciless destruction of nature’s beauty and natural resources. freedom from greed and austerity. According to a recent estimate about 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide and 70% of them in Sub Saharan Africa. HIV. It is expected that in the coming decades there will be sharp increase in HIV/AIDS cases in Russia. faeces or saliva during normal kissing. Spiritual values highlight the principles of self-restraint. the Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome is not a hereditary disease but is caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). towels. spiritual and global values incorporated into environmental education can go a long way in attaining the goals of sustainable development and environmental conservation. It also does not spread by sharing utensils. . health hazards. The value elements in environmental education alone can succeed in achieving the real goals of environmental literacy. however.107 6. Although sufficient knowledge has been gained about the disease yet a definite source of this virus could not be identified. doesn’t spread through tears. AIDS is rapidly spreading in Eastern Europe and Asia. AIDS was discovered in 1983. The above mentioned human values. sweat. HIV from an infected person can pass to a normal person through blood contact generally during unprotected sex with infected person and sharing needles or syringes contaminated with small quantities of blood from HIV positive person. socio-cultural. HIV/AIDS AIDS. HIV/AIDS has been identified as the forth largest cause of mortality. About 3 million people died due to HIV/AIDS in 2003. “What is the use of building a beautiful house if you don’t have a decent planet to place it on?” perhaps this single question can answer the main burning question-“What is real development and progress?” We certainly do not want development in exchange of environmental disasters. HIV can also pass from infected mothers to their babies during pregnancy. reduction of wants. ethical. toilet seats or insect bite like that of mosquito or bed bug. Valuebased environmental education can bring in a total transformation of our mindset. delivery or breast feeding. contentment. All these values promote conservationism and transform our consumerist approach. clothing.
young members with limited resources like land and lack of experience and knowledge find it difficult to look after the perennial crops and prefer crops requiring less labour and time. Los Angeles and San Francisco. According to another theory HIV has spread through vaccine programmes in various parts of the world in the following manner: 1. 3. It had spread through hepatitis B viral vaccine in New York. HIV destroys or disables these cells as a result of which various types of infectious diseases due to microbial invasion occur.108 Most evidences have suggested that AIDS has spread from Africa. Due to large number of deaths there is loss of labour and the level of production decreases. AIDS itself does not kill humans. It is believed that the virus has been transferred to humans from primates like African Monkey (White sooty mangabeys) or chimpanzees. 2. Consumption of alcohol is understood to increase the susceptibility to infection and progression of AIDS. They devote less time for soil conservation.HIV has spread in Africa through HIV contaminated polio vaccine prepared by using monkey’s kidney. Demand of easily accessible fuel wood increases. Effects of HIV/AIDS on Environment: When there is an AIDS epidemic large number of deaths occurs which adversely affect local environment and natural resources. It is also hypothesized that AIDS is a man made epidemic produced by genetically engineered laboratory produced virus. Even dreaded disease like cancer can easily develop in the HIV infected persons. There is decline in T-cells which are the key infection fighters in the immune system. . With fewer adults. The HIV carriers are also not able to perform well due to lack of energy and frequent fever and sweating. More water is required for maintaining hygiene in AIDS affected locality. forestry conservation. especially if there are deaths of professional forest workers. It has spread through small pox vaccine programme of Africa. More timber is required for making coffins or for pyre making. The deaths occur due to attack by other diseases because of the weakening of immune system.
Women are often the worst victims of communal enmities. The statistical data provided by the Ministry of Women and Child Development is an eye opener that deglorifies the celebrated culture of our country. Development projects like mining very often play havoc with the life of women. men folk usually migrate to towns in search of household with little resources. at workplace. The human rights of women are violated too often in a male dominated patriarchal society. There is a need for complete transformation and reorientation of social ethos for restoring dignity. There are now many ‘women groups’ who actively take up women welfare issues and legally constituted ‘women cells’ that exist almost everywhere and fight for protection of women rights and dignity. status. After losing the forests and getting dehabitlitated from their native places. in matrimony. The exploitative nature of capitalist development not only affects the natural environment but the traditional. Thus. cultural and family life of women. there is an urgent need for policy reforms and more stringent legislation as well as educational and legal awareness amongst women for checking the atrocities and injustice towards her.109 WOMEN AND CHILD WELFARE Women and children are usually the soft targets. domestic violence. rape. Women are also the victims of capitalism. education and awareness. The exceptionally high number of cases of abduction. dowry deaths. particularly in developing countries. health care. in public life and power. Women Welfare Women usually suffer gender discrimination and devaluation at home. who suffer in a number of ways mainly because they are weaker. victimization and harassment take many forms across culture. development and environment. criminal offences and mental torture to women is something that needs immediate attention and reforms in interest of the women. race or nation. Men can still work in the mines or migrate to towns after getting compensation . The gender violence. equality and respect for women. helpless and economically dependent. There is full-fledged Ministry for Women and Child Development whose sole aim is to work for the welfare and upliftment of women encompassing family planning. social. in inheritance.
what to talk of educational and recreational facilities.110 from the government. which are their childhood rights. It is however. train them. The displaced women are the worst affected as they do not get any compensation and are totally dependent upon the males for wages. The NNWM is now working for rights of women over natural resources. the statistical figures depict that about a million babies. some of them in various hazardous industries like the match industry. The displaced women driven out from their land-based work are forced to take up marginalized work which is highly un-organized and often socially humiliating. 1979) has been a landmark outcome of the decade to be accepted as an international standard for the protection of women’s human rights and socio-economic upliftment. unhealthy conditions and yet they do not get the minimum nutritive food. . The CEDAW (International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women. in the mainstream. most important for all women. educate them and help them to become economically self-dependent. tribal. out of 21 million born every year in India are abandoned soon after their birth due to different socio economic reasons. brassware industry and pottery industry. But ironically. On the international level. Around 20 million children in our country are estimated to be working as child labours. Besides the government initiatives there are now a number of non-government (NGOs) mostly as “Mahila mandals” to create awareness amongst women of remote villages even to empower them. refugees and the down-trodden to be educated about these issues. the United Nations Decade for Women (1975-85) witnessed inclusion of several women welfare related issues on international agenda. The National Network for Women and Mining (NNWM) with about 20 groups in different mining states of India is rightly fighting for a “gender audit” of India’s mining companies. firework industries. resettlement and compensation issues. Poverty is the main reason to drive these children into long hours of work in miserable. Issues related to their dignity and honour have not received any attention. Child Welfare: Children are considered to be the assets of a society.
111 The UN General Assembly in 1959 adopted the Declaration of the Rights of a child. Even the growing foetus in the mother’s womb is not safe and free from the adverse effects of environmental toxins. affecting around 6 million children in India. The right to participation means freedom of thought. development and participation. food and air than adults. Children are also most affected due to environmental pollution. clean and safe drinking water. Hence more susceptible to any environmental contamination. nutrition. It is high time to work together for a secure and cleaner environment so as to give our children a cleaner and safer planet.” says one of the scientific reports of Center for Science and Environment (CSE. it became International Law in the year 1990. abuse. The World Summit on Children held on September 30. sanitation and environment. mid-day meals scheme. Childhood cancer rates are also increasing by 6% every year. 1990 had a focus agenda for the wellbeing of the children targeted be achieved in the beginning of the new millennium. . upgradation of home based skills. Primary education must be free and easily available to one and every child in the country. After the UN convention on Rights of Child. India is also a signatory to the World Declaration on Survival. A national plan for action for children has been formulated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). The right of survival emphasizes on adequately good standards of living. expansion of earlier childhood development activities including low cost family based involvements are some of the important actions envisaged. early childhood care and support. inhuman treatment and neglect. The law defines right of the child to survival. The right of development ensures access to education. “They consume more water. social security and right to leisure and recreation. consisting of 54 articles and a set of international standards and measures to promote and protect the well being of children in a society. good nutrition and health. New Delhi). Protection and Development of Children. special emphasis on girl child’s education including health and nutrition. Universalization of effective access to at least primary level schooling. Government of India in which a strategic plan has been formulated for children welfare in the priority areas of health. education. protection. The right of protection means freedom from exploitation. Water diseases are the biggest threat to children. conscience and religion and appropriate information to the child.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests. Database Database is collection of interrelated data on various subjects. The ENVIS work for generating a network of database in areas like pollution control. forest cover database etc. Wild life. Mangroves. Fluorosis etc. Malaria. Environmental Management. A number of softwares have been developed for environment and health studies which are user friendly and can help an early learner in knowing and understanding the subject. called Environmental Information System(ENVIS). It is usually in computerized form and can be retrieved whenever required. Himalayan Ecology. National Management Information System (NMIS) of the Department of Science and Technology has compiled a database on Research and Development Projects along with information about Research Scientists and Personnel involved. the health aspects of people working various hazardous and non-hazardous industries. The comprehensive database includes wild life database. Mining etc. Government of India has created an Information System.e. Database is also available for diseases like HIV/AIDS. Government of India has taken up the task of compiling a database on various biotic communities. World Wide Web (WWW). Media Related to Environment.112 ROLE OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY IN ENVIRONMENT AND HUMAN HEALTH: Information technology has tremendous potential in the field of environmental education and health as in any other field like business. Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats. conservation database. economics. geographical information system (GIS) and information through satellites has generated a wealth of up to date information on various aspects of environment and health. Biodiversity. safety measures etc. With its Head Quarters in Delhi it functions in 25 different centers all over the country. In the computer the information of the database is arranged in a systematic manner that is easily manageable and can be very quickly retrieved. Clean Technologies. Environmental Information System (ENVIS): The Ministry of Environment and Forests. Remote Sensing. Development of internet facilities. Coastal Ecology. . Desertification. politics or culture. Renewable Energy. The National Institute of Occupational Health provides computerized information on occupational health i.
We are able to discover many new reserves of oil.113 REMOTE SENSING AND GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SYSTEM (GIS) The satellite imageries provide us actual information about various physical and biological resources and also to some extent about their state of degradation in a digital form through remote sensing. Thus Remote Sensing and GIS play a key role in resource mapping. Planning for locating suitable areas for industrial growth is now being done using GIS by preparing zoning Atlas. Even interpretation of polluted zones. desertification. Several useful softwares have been developed for working in the field of GIS. deforestation. mineral and energy reserves and so on. river and canal network. management. They also provide information of atmospheric phenomenon like approach of monsoon. industrial growth. Geographical Information System (GIS) has proved to be a very effective tool in environmental management. It also helps in identifying several disease infected areas which are prone to some vector born diseases like malaria. degraded lands or diseased cropland etc can be made based on GIS. There are several Distribution Information Centers (DICs) in our country they are linked with each other and with the central information network having access to international database. human settlements. Our satellite data also helps in providing correct. GIS is technique of superimposing various thematic maps using digital data on a large number of interrelated or interdependent aspects. World Wide Web: A vast quantum of current data is available on World Wide Web. One of the most important online learning centers with power web is www. GIS serves to check unplanned growth and related environmental problems. forest land. crop land or grass land etc are superimposed in a layer form in computer using softwares. soil type. Such information is very useful for future land use planning. planning and environmental impact assessment. success of conservation efforts etc. ozone layer depletion. We are able to gather digital information on environmental aspects like water logging.com/environmentalscience and multimedia Digital Content Manager (DCM\) in the form CD-ROM provides most current and relevant information on .mhhe. schistosomiasis etc based upon mapping of such areas. urban sprawl. reliable and verifiable information about forest cover. Different thematic maps containing digital information on a number of aspects like water resources. smog etc. road network. minerals etc with the help of information generated by remote sensing satellites. inversion phenomenon. environmental conservation.
The role of online learning center website has the following distinguishing features: 1. additional case studies. case studies. 6. power point lecture presentations. Student friendly features: These include practice quiz. What is meant by “Population Explosion”? Discuss the Indian scenario. career information. solution to critical thinking questions.Teacher friendly features: These include in addition to above supplement resource charts. digital files or photos. justice and sustainability? . applications and solutions. how to study tips. Questions: 1. key terms. 4. How can you trace history of population growth? How can you predict the population growth trends of a nation? Explain with examples. current articles and interactive encyclopedia and how to contact your elected officials. Information technology is expanding rapidly with increasing applications and new avenues are being opened with effective role in education. hyperlinks on every chapter’s topic with detailed information. environment maps. web exercises and quiz has proved to be extremely useful both for the students and the teachers of environmental studies.114 principals of environmental science. Discuss the influence of environmental parameters and pollution on human health. various problems. queries. What is meant by “population stabilization”? Discuss the family welfare and family planning programmes in Indian context. editing facilities to add or delete questions and create multiple versions same test etc. classroom activities. management and planning in the field of environment and health. 5. 3. animations. What is Universal Declaration of Human Rights? What is its importance in achieving the goals of equity. What do you mean by Population clock? How is it related to the concept of Zero population growth and Life expectancy? 2. web exercises. answer to web exercises. 2. The World Wide Web with resource material on every aspect.
What is the role of NMIS. 11. Discuss various issues and measures for women and child welfare at international and national level. Discuss the salient features of Draft Declaration of Human Rights and Environment. ENVIS and GIS in dissemination of environmental information and environmental management? . 10. Briefly discuss HIV/AIDS mode of its spread and its effect on environment. What are the objectives and elements of value education? How can the same be achieved? 9.115 7. 8.
if it is clear. grassland. hill or mountain.116 Unit 8 FIELD WORK Topics: Visits to a local area to document environmental assets. Background data-Note down the name of the river or tributary. Study of common plants. 2. water-logged/saline land.study river environment. forest. experimentation and formulation of implemental plans to achieve sustainable development I. Visit to some local polluted site: an industrially polluted area. mountain/hilly area. A) STUDY OF RIVER ENVIRONMENT: 1. insects and birds Objectives: • To make students plan the visits to various environmental assets • To make them note down the variety of organisms. experimentation and noting down the observations • To think about the problems arising out of the polluted sites • To understand these problems in order to suggest remedial measures • To create overall awareness about the environment they belong to and also inculcate habit of observations. ecological. what do you expect? Penetration of light into the water would be more therefore green . Water quality observations: a) Note down whether the water of the river is clear or turbid. Find out whether the river is perennial or seasonal in nature. . grassland. VISIT TO A LOCAL AREA TO DOCUMENT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSETS Visit may be planned to any nearby river. its place of origin and its course of route. medicinal utilities • To cultivate habits of observations. objects in the vicinity they come from and the utility it has for the human being such as commercial. The contents of this study material provide the required information for the study and for arriving at some important conclusions about the system. depending upon the easy access and importance. Write a report based on your observations and understanding about various aspects of environment. forests.
B) STUDY OF A FOREST: . crocodile. Uses: How is the river water used? Prepare a list of its uses. The pH would normally range between 6. 5. acidic waters. Do you find free floating small plants or small animals? Are there some rooted plants seen underneath? Do you observe aquatic animals like different fish. cattle death. Is your river water of good quality or it is polluted? 3. skin problems to human being consuming the water? Try to interpret the same. water snake etc.how would it affect the primary productivity of the river? You know that sunlight penetration is obstructed by turbidity.5. d) Is there any along the river stretch under study from where discharge of waste water (industrial/municipal sewage) is being done into the river? If yes. Also note the temperature of the air-If the temperature of the river water is quite high (greater than 5˚ than the ambient water temperature) what can be the reason? Find out if any thermal pollution is occurring in the river due to discharge of effluents from some industry-Write down the probable impacts of thermal pollution on aquatic life. 4.? What are the important aquatic birds seen by you? b) Draw food chain diagram that would be present in the river. then look for the visual differences in the water quality at the upstream and downstream sides. alkaline.e. e) Determine the pH of water using a portable pH. it indicates contamination by municipal sewage. massive fish death. c) Do you observe any froth and foam or dark coloured or greasy substances in the river? If yes.e.-if it turbid. it indicates pollution by industries. The primary productivity will be high.117 quatic plants will be growing better.e.scan.5 to 8. If pH is quite high i. Human impacts: What are the major impacts caused by human beings in your area on the river? Have you learnt of any major incident i. b) Note the temperature of water with a thermometer or thermo probe. If the pH is quite low i. tortoise. then what are these? Find out the likely sources of these pollutants. Observations on aquatic life: a) look for different types of life forms.
dam building. long tap root? c) if roots are adventitious. deforestation. juicy nature with green colour showing good palatability? OR the dominant plants shave a coarse.? What would be their probable impacts? C) ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS OF GRASSLAND: 1. are there numerous fibrous roots in a bunch. runner-type. (adventitious roots). herbs and grasses of lower height? d) Is there a thick or thin forest floor consisting of leaf litter (dry dead leaves) algae. Grassland quality observations: a) Try to identify the names of the dominant grasses or plants. Ecological utility: Do you feel cooler in the forest? Is it more humid? Is the air fresher than that in the city? How many types of birds. 5. quarrying. Background information: What type of grassland is this? Is it perennial or annual? Are there tall grasses or short grasses? Is it dominated by just a few species or is it a mixed type of grassland? Is it protected i.e. grazing. 4. timber extraction etc. a tropical rain forest/ deciduous forest etc.e.? What is the use of stratified structure i. Are these dominant plants having soft. Human impacts: Do you observe any anthropogenic activities in the forest e.g. a part of some Biosphere reserve or National park or Sanctuary? If yes. then what are the special features associated with it? 2. multi-layered structure of vegetation in the forest? 3.e. delicate. What type a forest is it? . mining.a) what are the dominant trees? Are there any herbaceous climbers or woody climbers? Is the forest having a close canopy or has open spaces? b) Does the forest show a thick/dense growth or it is degraded? c) Is there an under story of shrubs.? Is the present forest. fungi etc. Background data: Note down the name of the forest. Commercial uses: Prepare a list of the various uses of the present forest.i. they tend to bind the soil particles firmly and help in conserving soil. Forest Structure: Note down the salient features of the forest. then it cannot help in binding the . having rhizomes or there is a single. fenced or disturbed? 2. If the root is tap root.118 1. hard texture with spines/thorns? b) Take out a few plants to see what type of roots do they have. animals or insects do you see around? Make a list of the ecological uses of the forest based on your observations.
its uses and its status i.119 soil particles firmly. where landslide would have occurred recently or in the past. only a limited number of livestock (cattle) is being allowed to graze OR there is unmanaged grazing. prickly plants occupying some areas. Normal grazing is useful for increasing the overall productivity/yield of the grassland.e. hard. Landslides: You will come across some regions. whether it is well managed or degraded/ . Gather some information about the water shed in the study area. 3. Overgrazing has several far reaching consequences.e. Uses: Prepare a list of the utilities of the grassland. Do you find dense forests on the hills or deforestation is observed in some areas? Look for some dominant tree species and find out their names and uses from local people. rivers and channels coming out from the mountains. Background data: Note down the name of the mountain ranges or the hills. whether there is limited grazing or overgrazing? a) If you find that good quality grasses/herbs are growing then it is rightly grazed b) If you see denuded areas with little grass cover it shows overgrazing c) If you observe thorny. Find out the average annul rainfall and temperature in the area. Observations on natural vegetation: Make your observations on the forests present on the hill slopes. Note down the altitude of the region. What is the condition dominant in the present grassland? Do you observe soil erosion? 3. Water-sheds: Try to look for some springs. it indicates degradation of the grassland due to overgrazing. Do you observe any major anthropogenic activity there? What is the condition of forest growth in the region? Can you establish some links between these aspects? You can gather some information about such aspects from the native people.Grazing and Overgrazing: Find out if there is managed grazing on the grassland i. D) STUDY OF MOUTAIN/HILLY AREA: 1. The land area from which water drains under gravity to a common drainage channel is called watershed. 4. 4. 2.e. Make your own observations in the present grassland i.
Dip in EC probe into it which will indicate the EC of the soil. You can observe crusts of white salts on the soil surface making it barren that is a saline soil. If the EC exceeds 4. Do you find these crops/plantations well suited to hill environment OR do you think they can have some damaging effects later on? Discuss with local people. 2. traditional or modernized? What would be their impacts? b) Do you observe farming.a) what type of farming is done? Is it shifting cultivation. VISIT TO SOME LOCAL POLLUTED SITE Human activities related to urbanization and industrialization has led to large scale pollution of the environment. Plantations/farming: Look for the type of plantations (e.g. how much irrigation was being done in these areas and for how long? Was the area fertile some years ago and has gradually become water-logged and saline? What was the crop grown earlier? Try to correlate the problem with the irrigation practices followed there.g. Background information: Visit a water logged or salt-affected land in some rural agricultural area. d) How much anthropogenic activities do you observe on the mountain/hill? These activities usually include mining. For this you can take 10 grams of soil and dissolve it in 20ml water in a beaker. EC) of the soil. contour or strip cropping? Why is such cropping helpful in hills? c) Find out the water and nutrient requirements of these crops. it is saline. tourism. Gather information from the farmers about its historical background i. Agricultural practices have also led to pesticide pollution. water logging and salinization. What major impacts do you observe or predict in future? II.120 5. A visit to some industrial area or degraded land area will be very useful to obtain first hand information about the same. construction. But then it would hardly support any vegetation b) Do such soil support any crops? Note down the names of the salt-tolerant and salt-sensitive crops. quarrying. tea plantation) or farming (e. A) STUDY OF AN INDUSTRIALLY POLLUTED AREA: 1.e. Salinity and crop growth: a) Find out the salinity level (Electrical conductivity. The EC can be as high as 20-40 dS/m also.. maize. . An area having permanently standing water on the soil is a water logged soil. hydroelectric projects etc. wheat) done artificially on the hill slops.
social and ecological value. What measures can you suggest? STUDY OF COMMON PLANTS. You can study them mainly in relation to their value. dye. shrubs and herbs. animals and microbes found on this earth is just remarkable and has tremendous potential in terms of its consumptive. Observe the birds in the plough-fields eating insects/leaves. Remediation: Find out what remedial measures are being taken by the farmer to deal with the problem. 3. resins. fiber etc. Find out which of the plants in your locality have medicinal value? b) Timber wood trees: Note down the important trees of your locality which yield timber wood. a) Medicinal plants: Local people often have indigenous knowledge about the medicinal value of various plants. productive. Observe small birds with long beaks pollinating flowers. c) Miscellaneous: Note down the names of plants which have other uses like producing gum. . 2. 1. INSECTS AND BIRDS Biodiversity or the variability among plants. Insects: Identify some common insects of your locality a) which may be spreading diseases b) which are crop-pests or animal pests c) which help in pollination of ornamental/crop flowers. tannin. Find out how some of them are useful to us and some cause damage to our crops/fruits. including trees. Plants: Study the common plants of your locality. rubber.121 3. It is worthwhile to know about some common plants. Birds: Identify some common birds of your locality. insects and birds of our locality.
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