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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.
living and anthropological environments. The students. of their actions. water and living environments and the effects of technology thereon. .4 The problems of pollution and wanton degradation of environmental resources cannot be solved without proper understanding of their causes and effects. all have to be sensitive to environmental issues. we need to bring out a comprehensive study which would be useful both for educational institutions and corporate world. measures and programs for environmental studies. it is necessary to build up professional capabilities to develop and adopt policies. Traditionally. the hydrosphere. general public and leaders. For the students of management schools. they have to be fully aware of environmental consequences. such as chemistry. We cannot ignore study of relationship between ecological devastation and deteriorating human conditions. teachers. We must learn how to manage our environment. and place in which living organisms carry out their life cycles. Some of the environmental issues are perplex. Alongside. workers and executives and government as well as non-governmental organizations. habits and attitudes. resource utilization and ecosystem. environmental science has evolved from investigations of the ways by which. air. It is through this perplexity. ‘Environmental studies’ not only represents but also promotes the principles of environmental management. Not only that. it is difficult to think of a timelier introduction of this subject in the matter of study for modern management courses. It includes all the disciplines. biology. who are future managers of business in different sectors of economic growth and social welfare. In broadest sense. It is absolutely the truth that environmental degradation is increasingly undermining over lives. it is appropriate to have an introduction to environmental studies. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE OR STUDIES? Environmental science in its broadest sense is the science of complex interactions that occurs among the terrestrial. environmental science may be defined as the study of the earth. sociology and government that affect or describe these interactions. environmental science is divided among the study of the atmosphere. One of the most urgent tasks of our times to understand the implications of environmental damage and resource depletion that we witness today. This is the discipline of natural history. the study of environmental factors that affect organisms and how organisms interact with these factors and with each other. In such a scenario. To a significant degree. which in recent time has evolved into ecology. atmospheric. the geosphere and the biosphere.
5 Environmental science is now a mature. 2. UK etc. reactions. Availability of resources and the technology to exploit them plays most significant role in economic development or economic environment of a region. particularly in the aquatic and soil environments. So it is economic environment of a region or country that decides its status i. . economic policies. effects. France. Environment and Economics Economic environment refers to all these factors or forces which contribute to economic impact on the man. transport. developed or developing. and fates of chemical species in water. 3. 1. The study of such phenomena forms the basis of environmental biochemistry. Examples of such countries are USA. their degradation. The discipline that deals specifically with the effects of environmental chemical species on life is environmental biochemistry. As the distribution of natural resources. Environmental Science and Biology: The ultimate environmental concern is that of life itself. Resources. and air environments and the effects of technology thereon. Whereas the other regions which had poor resource concentration and which are still in developing stage have come to be known as developing countries. agriculture.e. One of environmental chemistry’s major challenges is the determination of the nature and quantity of specific pollutants in the environments. and even their syntheses. they largely determine the nature of these species. Environmental Science and Chemisty: This relation is known as environmental chemistry. economic system and trade cycle. industrial production. his activities and his region.are major internal and external factors which make up the total economic environment. soil. economic philosophy. Biological processes not only are profoundly influenced by chemical species in the environment. population. 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. due to geographical factor is uneven. It may be defined as the study of the sources. These gifted regions have exploited these resources for their economic developments and have come to be known as developed countries. infrastructure and the various stages in the economic development like economic conditions. economic planning. the resources have become concentrated in some specific regions only. viable discipline.
are some of the main factors responsible for deteriorating the quality of the physical environment. the agricultural development.6 A population factor has its own say as regards economic environment of a region. the extraction of various energy and other resources etc. the extinction of rare species of flaura and fauna. It goes on piling one after another. As the natural environment differs place to place. However. rita cyclones in USA. We may call this cultural environment as a social environment or socio-cultural environment or even social heritage. Culture develops on nature. man as per his knowledge and capacity super-imposes culture on nature. the global warming. his occupation and utilization of the physical resources for his own benefit. As per the passage of time man has acquired technical and scientific knowledge. The main disadvantage of it being its impact on the physical environment. The effects may be of short term or long term in nature. This requires more exploitation of resources which not only hampers the resource reserves but also affects the eco-system of that region. It could be said as both economic and political are interdependent on each other. Cultural Environment: It is the manmade environment or manmade landscape. regional or global environment. The cultural environment is the imprint of man’s activities. are some of the major environmental problems the world is facing on various levels today. The industrialization. Both East Germany and West Germany serve as best example of interdependence of political and economic environment. heavy rainfalls. and grows in size and importance. 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. epidemics such catrina. Through this powerful tool he is changing fast the physical environment into cultural landscape. hence human activities and achievements depend not only upon natural environment also upon manmade environment. Cultural environment have their tools in the natural environment and in the cultural level of the different human groups. floods etc. Sometimes it becomes . In other words. Cultural environment is only human adaptation and adjustment to natural or physical environment. All manmade features such as buildings. roads. cultural environment also should differ from place to place. 4. as more resources are needed to feed more mouths. a stable economic environment does not always help the mankind. earthquakes in Jammu and Kashmir. are called cultural features. it means it has its roots in nature. Every human activity necessary for economic development affects the local. which contribute to economic environment of the region. In the present situation. settlements. It may also be called as humanized landscape. plantation etc. the problems like depletion of forests.
executive and judiciary. specially the size or density of the population. Any change in the form may be counter-productive and may affect the nation from . dictatorial. develop and control many of the human activities including his business antipollution laws. 5. It helps to shape. Majority of the population being poor causes more environmental damage due to mutually reinforcing effect between poverty and environmental damage. 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. direct. is highly alarming. Ecological disorder is the direct result of human action. monarchy etc. Environment and political set up: Political environment refers to the influence exerted by the three main political institutions viz. The various ecosystems are showing signs of progressive deterioration because of man’s hasty. Environmental degradation is greater in advanced rather than in primitive societies. If this trend continues. agricultural or pastoral interiors. This rapid growth will affect both economic and physical environments at regional as well as global level. communist.7 difficult to trace back the link with the physical base.7 per cent per year. unplanned actions which ultimately leads to environmental degradation. Even the government will not be in a position to keep up with the infrastructural and human need of the growing population. At this stage the natural environment quality starts degrading and the question of ecological disorders and natural imbalance crops up. but becomes more complex and indirect as the human society grows up in knowledge and size. negligent. legislature. there will be addition of another 3. The type or the form government may be democratic. Traditional land and resources will be subjected to more and more overuse. Cultural environment is simple and more directly connected with physical base in the early stages. The world population. which is growing at the rate of 1. As an example we have changes in many villages in India. A stable and dynamic political environment is a must for the development of mankind. All actions of men are not wise or far-sighted and hence it leads to environmental crises. function in public interest and within the boundaries of the constitution. partly through his numbers and partly through his skills. implements whatever is decided by legislature and the executive. The poor being both the victim and the agent of environmental damage. The executives also called as government. Population and Environment: Population factors play a most momentous role in socio-economic environment of a country.7 billion (1 billion = 1000 million) or more to the present population level in another three to four decades. more in the industrial and urban than rural. It has its impact on natural environment also.
urbanization. And same is true for public leaders whose sensitization is vital in this regard. In India.air. More and more business executives have now identified environment as issue that affect their companies. It helps us to understand the nature of environment and its components. Human beings are not separate entity. It unfolds environmental issues for those who are directly or indirectly concerned with this discipline. we have been witnessing significant environmental degradation during the last few decades. Industry has significant role in environmental protection. not only that but one cannot think of human . The corporate leaders. 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. 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.8 several angles i. Most of the environmental problems are well known though we may not have found solution for all. The subject is multidisciplinary in nature. Similarly environmental concern has to a part of policy for the various governmental organizations. biomedical waste treatment and fly ash management. They are part of the surrounding. Increasing industrialization. It is believed by the scientists and the leaders in industry that if we do not come to grip with environmental issues. if not more due to environmental problems. soil erosion. (use of fertilizers and pesticides) deforestation. our ecosystem. socio-cultural. transportation and population growth are the major environmental problems and these are likely to increase. sewage and effluent treatment plants. Those who are not economically well off are equally affected. The scope of environmental science and its management has increased from manufacturing pollution control equipment. as all these segments are interdependent. 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. land. The disturbing factors pressurize sustainability and natural living. irreversible process would have been set in that would ultimately lead to human suffering not in the countries of South but also the North. physical etc. economic. then problem would be too acute to be manageable. Issues of environmental protection and “Right for Clean Environment” have already trickled down from educated and affluent people to the general public. water. high-intensity agriculture.e. business. nature of disturbing factors and the various methods to overcome disturbing factors. If the desire to lead higher living standard also increases. Thus environmental concerns have to be on the agenda of all organizations.
rate of consumption and disposal of waste have created problems for manufacturing. Without a suitable habitat neither animals nor plants nor human can survive. plant trees and if you plan for 100 years. If the habit is degraded/damaged. the later have to be conserved and the use of former to be judicious. humans must devise new strategies that mesh environmental progress with economic growth. we have to make all the persons environmentally educated. Natural ecosystem includes both physical and natural science. water table and many other environmental problems.” If we wish to manage our planet earth. Industry not only has to consider issues like profit. the responsibility of industry is of paramount consideration. Since the environment provides all the resources that are used in the process of production of goods or services.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. and perhaps drastic. educate people. life would be adversely affected. In short scope of environmental studies is broad based and it encompasses a large number of areas and aspects. the result will be irreversible damage to the ecological cycles and balances in nature upon which all life depends. air quality. Most environmental scientists agree that if pollution and other environmental deterrents continue at their present rates. Furthermore. To safeguard the healthful environment that is essential to life. Our natural resources are either renewable or non-renewable. Besides the issue of resources. Earth’s limited resources must be conserved and. broadly listed below: • • • • • Natural Resources. where possible. marketing and management of landfills for wasters. legislation and regulatory controls but has to go a step beyond. Environmental scientists warn that fundamental. The . quality standards. humans must learn that Earth does not have infinite resources. our living style.9 survival if the services provided by the environment don’t become available. The study of environmental science makes us understand the scientific basis for establishing a standard which can be considered acceptably safe. plant rice. reused. if you plan for 10 years. changes in human behaviour will be required to avert an ecological crisis. clean and healthy for man and natural ecosystem.
Each issue can be probed more deeply. technological. deplete and pollute the environment. These issues are controversial and need deep study to help us understand the environmental problems. Internal Environment includes people. On the other hand. It is an exploratory description of issues. legal. industrialized and underdeveloped or developing countries. work ethics and attitudes. 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. 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. An environmental study is the subject in which we examine important issues relating to environment as they affect our lives. damage. Therefore. External environment include political. Developing countries want accelerated growth to fulfill their basic needs and real question is should they follow footsteps are their big brothers. social. 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. External and Internal Environment. For the above. international and natural environment. culture. The most important questions that bother every developing country is what should be the ideal combination of pattern of growth and development. It concerns itself with life support system and is very closely related with development and economic growth. national. 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. Both. . economic. Business Environment is divided into two categories viz. We have to choose between environment and development. This subject forms part of Business Environment. Environmental studies is very important but most neglected body of knowledge. we need change at local. Many a time both development and economic growth are not easily reconciled. regional and global levels together with an economic and social transformation at the levels of individuals and communities.
feature films etc.Ministry of Environment and Forest has also launched many campaigns like displaying several hoardings. Government with its separate ministry. Awareness regarding the state of environment is must for every human being living on this planet. Several means are being employed to educate the masses. In fact. especially on World Environment Day which falls on 5th June of every year. Newspapers and other magazines are publishing out of lot of articles on this subject. may it be the people of developing countries or these from the developed ones. the effect of which is directly felt by its inhabitants. almost all nations of world have geared up in creating awareness in their people. The media is playing a leading role in this process. so that they could start understanding the problems that they are facing at present and would have to face in future. posters etc. Already world is surrounded by several environmental problems. The state ministries are also playing important roles in generating awareness in masses. 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. environmental awareness campaign have very often exploited for political propaganda rather than being an integral part of our educational programmes in theory and practice. Plantation of several trees on various occasions. There is always a need to have . There are several environmental problems which have been solved by using environmental studies. the judiciary and now the corporate sector also expresses a great concern on matters relating natural environment and ecosystem. throughout the country. 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. Unfortunately. Today everybody talks of environment. are being made to be telecasted on the video media.11 The government and their agencies. Nobody can escape the wrath if fallen. (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. the non-governmental organizations. Various advertisements. Looking at the present pathetic state of environment and the knowledge people have about it. is undertaken on large scale. it has become evident for every country to educate their masses. documentaries.
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.
(crops and forests). zinc etc. Non-Renewable Resources: The resources that cannot be replenished through natural processes are known as non-renewable resources.g. which cannot be recycled in any way. copper. and animals who are being replaced from time to time because they have the power of reproducing and maintain life cycles. it is gone forever. Non-renewable resources can further be divided into two categories. is considered as a renewable resource in as much as solar stocks are inexhaustible on the human scale. natural rubber. phosphate sock and potassium and minerals used in their natural state (asbestos. which occur in the earth’s crust (e. agriculture. ores of aluminium.g.g. minerals etc. Examples of these are fossil fuels and uranium. mica etc.). . which cannot be increased. forest. a) recycle able and b) non-recyclable a) Recycleale: These are non-renewable resources. which can be collected after they are used and can be recycled. animal wool. Then we have to find a substitute for it or do without it.) b) Non-recyclable: These are non-renewable resources. gold. jute.g. as a special case. silk and synthetic fibers) and leather.) 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. cotton.). These are mainly the non-energy mineral resources. These resources are able to increase their abundance through reproduction and utilization of simple substances. metals (iron. fibers (e. Renewable resources: The resources that can be replenished through rapid natural cycles are known as renewable resource.15 1. pulp products. These resources include fossil fuels (petrol. clay.). petrol. land. which provide 90 per cent of our energy requirements.) and deposits of fertilizer nutrients (e. Solar energy although having a finite life. viz. copper. Once a nonrenewable resource is consumed. lead. nitrates etc. 2. These are available in limited amounts. silver.g. In addition to these resources. minerals and salts (carbonates. fish and wild life) that are able to reproduce or replace them and to increase. b) Abiotic resources: These are non-living resources (e. Some authors prefer to classify resources into biotic and abiotic resources: a) Biotic resources: These are living resources (e. Some examples of renewable resources though they do not have life cycle but can be recycled are wood and wood-products. water and soil are also classified as renewable resources. mercury etc. phosphates. coal etc. Examples of renewable resources are plants.
ground water is renewable only if water continues to percolate in the soil at a rate at which it is removed. atomic energy. Mineral resources 4. Examples are solar energy. we should use the resources in such a way that we always save enough of them for our future generations. 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. Forest resources 2. Land resources 1. 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. they come under non-renewable category. 2. 1. . together with other plants. but also provide several environmental services which are essential for life. wind power. It does not mean that we should stop using most of the natural resources. covering a large area of land. coal. Energy resources 6. For example. power from tides etc. they become extinct.g. Hence.16 Natural resources can be classified as a) inexhaustible and b) exhaustible resources. Most of the renewable resources are classified as inexhaustible. Food resources 5. petrol and some minerals etc. 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. Rather. But if not maintained properly. Exhaustible resources: These resources are limited in nature and they are non-maintainable e. 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. Water resources 3. Covering the earth like a green blanket these forests not only produce innumerable material goods. Forests are one of the most natural resources on this earth. FOREST RESOURCES: Forest Resources: It is a dense growth of trees.
particle board and chipboard. They also act as windbreaks. But it is a matter of concern that almost everywhere the cover of the natural forests has declined over the years. The ecological services provided by our forests may be summed up as follows: 1. fodder. 4. They are rightly called as earth’s lungs.17 About 1/3rd of the world’s land area is forested which includes closed as well as open forests. firewood. pulpwood. Half of the timber cut each year is used as fuel for heating and cooking. bamboo canes. 3. drugs and many more items. 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%. resins. USES OF FORESTS: Commercial Uses: Forests provide us a large number of commercial goods which include timber. grazing. plywood and hardwood.e. agriculture. 5. CO2. The greatest loss occurred in tropical Asia where one third of the forests resources have been destroyed. About 50-80% of the moisture in the air above tropical forests comes from their transpiration which helps in bringing rains. Thus forest canopy acts as a sink for CO2 thereby reducing the problem of global warming caused by greenhouse gas i. lac. and recreation and for development of dams. Soil Conservation: Forests bind the soil particles tightly in their roots and prevent soil erosion. One third of the wood harvest is used for building materials as lumber. Ecological uses: While a typical tree produces commercial goods worth about $ 590 it provides environmental services worth nearly $ 196 to $ 250. Many forest lands are used for mining. 2. gum. 6. Pollution moderators: Forests can absorb many toxic gases and can help in keeping the air pure and clean. Regulation of hydrological cycle: Forested watersheds act like giant sponges. One sixth of the wood harvest is converted into pulp and used for paper industry. rubber. Reducing global warming: The main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed by the forests as a raw material for photosynthesis. . fibers. About 7 million species are found in the tropical forests alone. the total of which is estimated to be more than $ 300 billion per year. They have also been reported to absorb noise and thus help in preventing air and noise pollution. non-edible oils. Wild life habitat: Forests are the homes of millions of wild animals and plants. Production of oxygen: The trees produce oxygen by photosynthesis which is so vital for life on this earth. absorbing the rainfall. medicine. food items. slowing down the runoff and slowly releasing the water for recharge of springs.
27% of our land area (63. With growing civilization the demands for raw material like timber. medicine. plywood. have exerted . pulp. Major causes of Deforestation: 1. minerals. we are still far behind the target of achieving 33% forest areas. humans have depended heavily on forests for food. thereby increasing the pressure on forests. the deforestation rate per unit population in India is the lowest among the major tropical countries. 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. mining. we have this practice of North-East and to some extent in Andhra Pradesh. as per our National Forest Policy. The international timber trade alone is worth over US $ 40 billion per year. 2. wood and fuel. as we are still having only 19. fuel wood etc. agricultural and industrial areas and overgrazing have together led to over exploitation of our forests leading to their rapid degradation.075 ha per capita). 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.44 m hectares of land were brought under afforestation during this period leading to stabilization. Deforestation rate is relatively less in temperate countries.P. However. furniture. FAO (1983) estimated that about 1. Raw materials for industrial use: Wood for making boxes.04% decline annually between 1982-90. Excessive use of fuel wood and charcoal. The forested area in India seems to have stabilized since 1982 with about 0. As per FAO estimates. In India. 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.38m ha) covered by forests based on satellite data (MoFF. expansion of urban. 1998).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. Bihar and M. shooted up resulting in large scale logging. shelter. despite the fact that we have a huge population size and very low per capita forest area (0.18 OVER EXPLOITATION OF FORESTS: Since time immemorial. pulp for paper industry etc. which contribute to nearly half of the forest clearing annually. Our forests contribute substantially to the national economy. match boxes. road-building and clearing of forests. railwaysleepers. 3.
Also road construction for making approach to the trees causes further damage to the forests. 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. 4. road construction. thereby influencing rainfall. To meet the demands of rapidly growing population. In hilly areas it often leads to landslides.19 tremendous pressure on forests. 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. 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. 6. Mining and its associated activities require removal of vegetation along with underlying soil mantle and overlying rock masses. agricultural lands and settlements are created permanently by clearing forests. Hydrological cycle gets affected. Major consequences of deforestation: Deforestation has far reaching consequences. Mining from shallow deposits is done by surface mining while that from deep deposits is done by sub-surface mining. It threatens the existence of many wild life species due to destruction of their natural habitat. 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. big dams. More than 80000 ha of land of the country is presently under the stress of mining activities. The forested area has declined at an average rate of 33% and the increase in . mining etc. Mining: Mining operations for extracting minerals and fossil fuels like coal often involves vast forest areas. Overgrazing by the cattle leads to further degradation of these lands. 2. Growing food needs: In developing countries this is the main reason for deforestation. 3. This results in defacing the topography and destruction of the landscape in the area. Biodiversity is lost and along with that genetic diversity is eroded. 5. 5. Development projects: Massive destruction of forests occur for various development projects like hydroelectric projects. Major activities in Forests: Timber Extraction: Logging for valuable timber. Problems of soil erosion and loss of soil fertility increase. 4. which may be detailed as below: 1.
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. 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”. The highest one is Tehri dam. large scale devastation of forests takes place which breaks the natural ecological balance of the region. on river Bhagirathi in Uttaranchal and the largest in terms of capacity is Bhakra dam on river Satluj in Himachal Pradesh. 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. followed by Gujarat (more than 250) and Madhya Pradesh (130). droughts and landslides become more prevalent in such areas. The cause of Sardar Sarovar Dam related issues have been taken up by the environmental activitist Medha Patkar. Almora. Indiscriminate mining in forests of Goa since 1961 has destroyed more than 50000 ha of forest land. Kosi valley. chromite. The crusade against the ecological damage and deforestation caused due to Tehri dam was led by Shri. Mining of radioactive minerals in Kerala. the maximum being in the state of Maharashtra (more than 600).20 non-forest area due to mining activities has resulted in relatively unstable zones leading to landslides. Coal mining in Jharia. these dams are also responsible for the destruction of vast areas of forests. Floods. Mining of magnesite and soap – stones have destroyed 14 ha of forest in hill slopes of Khirakot. However. Raniganj and Singrauli areas has caused extensive deforestation in Jharkhand. Forests are the repositories of invaluable gifts of nature in the form of biodiversity and by destroying them (particularly. The rich forests of Western Ghats are also facing the same threat due to mining projects for excavation of copper. bauxite and magnetite. India has more than 1550 large dams. the tropical rain forests) we are going to .Sunder lal Bahaguna. the leader of Chipko Movement. Tamilnadu and Karnataka are posing similar threats of deforestation. For building big dams.. joined by Arundhati Ray and Baba Amte.
e. including oxygen. the lakes freeze only on the surface. Thus. • • The water we use keeps on cycling endlessly through the environment. Being lighter the ice keeps floating. It is in an excellent solvent for several nutrients. which are essential for life. 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. 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. as it freezes. due to which it warms up and cools down very slowly without causing shocks of temperature jerks to the aquatic life. from 0 to 100 C. That’s why it produces a cooling effect as it evaporates. It has the highest specific heat. can sustain aquatic organisms even in extreme cold. it takes huge amount energy for getting vaporized. It is because of this property that even in extreme cold. 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. Hence.e. But it can also easily dissolve various pollutants and become a carrier of pathogenic microorganisms. it can serve as a very good carrier of nutrients. WATER RESOURCES: Water is an indispensable natural resource on this earth on which all life depends. 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. which subsequently return .4 inch thick layer of water evaporates from the oceans more than 90% of which returns to the oceans through the hydrological cycle. Every year about 1. Solar energy drives the water cycle by evaporating it from various bodies. We have enormous resources of water on earth amounting to 1404 million km³. It has anamolous expansion behaviour i. It has high latent heat of vaporization. which we call as Hydrological Cycle. 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. it expands instead of contracting and thus becomes lighter.21 lose these species even before knowing them. whereas the bottom waters remain at a higher temperature and therefore. 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.
Water consumption: the water which is taken up but not returned for reuse. Most of the life processes take place in water in water contained in the body.22 through rainfall or snow. yet it is very precious. Water: A precious Natural Resource: Although water is very abundant on this earth.003% is readily available to us in the form of groundwater and surface water. Out of the total water reserves of the world. Plants too play a very vital role by absorbing the groundwater from the soil and releasing it into the atmosphere by process of transpiration.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. and removal of wastes are all mediated through water. Most of the civilizations have grown and flourished on the banks of rivers. Rivers and streams have long been used for discharging the wastes. Tropical rain forest areas receive maximum rainfall while the major world deserts occur in zones of dry. but unfortunately. Global distribution of water resources is quite uneven depending upon several geographic factors. growth in turn has been responsible for pollution of the rivers. irrigation and domestic purposes has resulted in rapid depletion of groundwater in various regions leading to lowering of water table and drying of wells. WATER USE AND OVER-EXPLOITATION: Due to its unique properties water is of multiple uses for all living organisms. Groundwater: About 9. 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. regulation of temperature. descending air (20-40 N and S) and receive very little rainfall. their distribution in the body. about 97% is salty water (marine) and only 3% is fresh water. . Uptake of nutrients. Water is absolutely essential for life. Pollution of many of the groundwater aquifers has made of these wells unfit for consumption. Water withdrawal: taking water from groundwater or surface water resource and 2. Water use by humans is of two types: 1. Overuse of groundwater for drinking.
The problems arising out of water resources are floods. Rajasthan as well as Delhi. These dams are often regarded as a symbol of national development. India has the distinction of having the largest number of river valley projects. snow) when does not percolate down into the ground or does not return to the atmosphere as evaporation or transpiration loss. Some major water conflicts are. provide drinking water in remote areas and bring out overall development of the region. Apart from these there are conflicts over water. It can check floods and famines.Lowering of water table 3.Susidence 2. assumes the form of streams.countries involved as Sudan. . Syria.it also affects countries who are water starved viz. The ‘gram sabhas” approve these plans publicly. In traditional water management. ponds. A country’s economy is largely dependent upon its rivers. Such projects result providing much employment of opportunities. Saudi Arabia.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. which are democratically implemented. lakes. Tamilnadu. Israel and Jordan.a) Water conflict in the Middle East. provide irrigation water to lower areas. generate electricity and reduce water and power shortage. b) The Indus Water treaty-is dispute between India and Pakistan. droughts. Karnataka similarly The Satluj-Yamuna link canal Dispute also involves two Northern states viz. navigation etc.23 Effects of groundwater usage: 1. c) The Cauvery water dispute. raise in the standard of living and improvement in quality of life. wetlands or artificial reservoirs known as surface water. public water supply. Indispensability of water and its unequal distribution has often led to inter-state or international disputes.involves two major southern states of India viz. Egypt. BIG DAMS. innovative arrangements ensure equitable distribution of water. Kuwait. There are hopes all over from every corner of the region where such dam is planned to be constructed. our traditional water managers in villages prove to be quite effective. Turkey. Punjab and Haryana. While water disputes between states and nations often resume battle like situations. Issues related to sharing of river water have been largely affecting our farmers and also shaking our governments.Water logging Surface water: The water coming through precipitation (rainfall. Affected states also include UP. industrial use. Such projects have tremendous potential for economic upliftment and growth. The surface water is largely used for irrigation.
biotite etc. That it why now there is a shift towards construction of small dams or min-hydel projects. The impacts can be at the upstream as well as downstream levels. Upstream problems: • • • • • • • • • • Displacement of tribal people Loss of forests. inorganic. These minerals in turn are composed of some elements like silicon. oxygen. However. 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. crystalline solids having definite chemical composition and characteristic physical properties. we see everyday are just composed of few common minerals like quartz. most of the rocks. feldspar. MINERAL RESOURCES: Minerals are naturally occurring.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. but it has several serious side-effects. iron etc.
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. about twenty or so common fruits and vegetables. This shows that there is drastic need to increase food production. Environmental impacts of mineral extraction and use are devegetation and defacing of landscape. oats etc. barley. construction. generation of energy. gradual restoration of flora etc. silver etc. jewellery. microbial leaching technique. occupational health hazards etc. India has only half as much land as USA. subsidence of land. Remedial measures include adoption of eco-friendly technology. surface water pollution. Although India is the third largest producer of staple crops. milk. potato. transportation means. but it has nearly three times population to feed. meat. equitably distribute it and also to control population growth. stabilization of the mined lands.gold. rice. fish and seafood. Our food problems are directly related to population. 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) . 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. maize. Because of overgrazing the agricultural land gets affected as follows. groundwater contamination. an estimated 300 million Indians are still undernourished. medical system. communication. air pollution.25 Minerals are generally used for development of industrial plants. equipments and armament for defence. restoration of mined areas by re-vegetating them with appropriate plant species. The main food resources include wheat.
Some other problems include water logging. solar power plants are must. which produced heat and the early man used it for cooking and heating purposes. nuclear energy. Wind and hydropower has also been used. geothermal energy. solar furnace. Renewable energy resources must be preferred over the non-renewable resources. biofuels etc. solar water heater. Soil is also a valuable resource. Wind energy 3. solar energy.26 • Fertilizers related problems include micronutrient imbalance. Tidal energy. 2. salinity problems and such others. natural gas. biogas. which are also termed as non-conventional energy sources which include: 1. There are wide disparities in per capita energy use between developed and the developing nations. ocean thermal energy. Energy resources are primarily divided into two categories viz. Invention of steam engineers replaced the burning of wood by coal and coal was further replaced by oil. . the basic amenities of life. It is inevitable truth that now there is an urgent need of thinking in terms of alternative sources of energy. The non renewable energy sources include coal. biological magnification. nitrite pollution. LAND RESOURCES: Land as a resource: Land is a finite and valuable resource upon which we depend for our food. This will seek to end the energy crisis which the world is facing today. The very original form of energy technology probably was the fire. solar cooker. Hydropower. eutrophication Pestide related problems include creating resistance in pests and producing new pests. solar cells. This is because almost all the development activities are directly or indirectly dependent upon energy. renewable and non-renewable sources. petroleum.made up equipments such has solar heat collectors. ENERGY RESOURCES: Energy consumption of a nation is usually considered as an index of its development. fiber and fuel wood. death of non-target organisms. 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. biomass.
water logging. water. It defined as the movement of soil components. Causes of desertification: 1) Deforestation b) Overgrazing 3) Mining and quarrying. construction of buildings. Hence there is more and more pressure on the limited land resources which are getting degraded due to over-exploitation. biotic agents.27 Land Degradation: Because of increasing of population growth the demands for arable land for producing food and fuel wood is also increasing. large dams. Soil Erosion: Soil erosion means wearing away of soil. depletion of groundwater. normal erosion go geologic erosion and accelerated erosion. In order to prevent soil erosion and conserve the soil the following conservation practices are employed: • • • • • • • • Conservational till farming. mineral and energy resources play a vital role in the development of a nation. food. With our small . It basically of two types viz. press mud or heavy metals all cause degradation of land. are responsible for clearing of large forested areas. Desertification is characterized by devegetation and loss of vegetal over. CONSERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES: Role of an Individual Different natural resources like forests.climatic agents and water induced erosion. salinization and contamination of the soil with industrial wastes like fly-ash. Desertification: Desertification is a process whereby the productive potential of arid or semiarid lands falls by ten percent or more. Soil erosion. Contour farming Terracing Strip cropping Strip cropping Alley cropping Wind breaks or shelterbelts Water logging Landslides: Various anthropogenic activities like hydroelectric projects. reservoirs. It results in the loss of fertility. mining etc. salinization and severe soil erosion. soil. suspension and surface creep. The agents that cause such erosion are. construction of roads and railway lines. Wind is also responsible for the land erosion through saltation. especially surface-litter and top soil from one place to another.
28 individual efforts we can together help in conserving our natural resources to a large extent. Install water saving toilets that use not more than 6 liters per flush. Build your house with provision for sunspace which will keep your house warmer and will provide more light. Control the use of A. 2. 3. 7. Obtain as much heat as possible from natural sources. driveways etc. Install a system to capture rain water. make fewer trips and use public transportations whenever possible. Don’t keep water taps running while brushing. Use solar cooker for cooking which will be more nutritious and will save your LPG expenses. 8. metals and papers. Following are the ways: Conserve Water: 1. 6. Protect the Soil: . Never water the plants in mid-day. washing or bathing. 4. 6. shaving. 5. 4. Water the plants and the lawns in the evening when evaporation losses are minimum. 5. 3. Drive less. Dry the clothes in sun instead of direr if possible. Use bicycle or just walk down small distances instead of using vehicle. In washing machines fill the machine only to the level required for your clothes. Conserve energy: 1. 7. Check for water leaks in pipes and toilets and repair them promptly. Reuse the soapy water of washing from clothes for gardening. Turn off lights fans and other appliances when not in use.C. Share a car-pool if possible. Recycle and reuse glass. 2.
Over consumption of resources by rich countries. Fertilize your crop with organic fertilizers. herbs and trees in your garden. They use only 12% of natural resources. Use drip irrigation. Eat local and seasonal vegetables. 4. Reduce the use of pesticides. in turn they contribute very big proportion to its pollution. This is not sustainable growth. . 2. There are two major causes of unsustainability. But this is observed that MDCs have only 22% of world’s population but they use 88% of natural resources. Better use sprinkling irrigation. Make compost from your kitchen waste and use it for your kitchen-garden.29 1. 4. 2. The rich have gone richer and the poor have stead even poorer. 6. Control pests. 3. Do not irrigate the plants using a strong flow of water as it would wash off the soil. Grow different types of ornamental plants. On the other hand LDCs have very low or moderate industrial growth and have 78% of world’s population. Do not waste food. Over population in poor countries and 2. 3. North and South. 27% of energy and have only 15% of global income. Grow grass in the open areas which will bind the soil and prevent its erosion. Promote Sustainable Agriculture: 1. haves and have-nots. A global consensus has to be reached for balanced distribution. 1. more developed countries (MDCs) and Less Developed countries (LDCs). There is a huge gap between those two worlds. 73% of energy and command 85% of income. Take as much as you can eat. 5. EQUITABLE USE OF RESOURCES FOR SUSTAINABLE LIFE STYLE There is a big divide in the world viz. The solution to this problem is to have more equitable distribution of resources and wealth.
7. Should we build big dams? Give arguments in favour of your answer. 2. What are the environmental impacts of ground water usage? 6. Need of the hour is fairer sharing of resources between rich and poor which will bring about sustainable development for all. 8. How would you justify that ecological uses of forests surpass commercial uses? 3. Give brief account of non-renewable energy resources.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. Questions: 1. 13. What is overgrazing? How does it contribute to environmental degradation? 12. How can you as an individual conserve different natural resources? . Briefly discuss droughts and floods with respect to their occurrence and impacts. What are the uses of various types of minerals? 10. 5. Discuss the merits and demerits of wind energy? 14. What is soil erosion? How can it be checked? 15. What are renewable and non-renewable resources? Give examples. 9. Discuss with the help of live example around you. What are the major environmental impacts of mineral extraction? 11. What are major causes for conflicts over water? Discuss one international and one interstate water conflict. how big dams have affected forests and the tribals. Discuss the major use of forests. What are the major causes and consequences of deforestation? 4.
Aquatic ecosystems [ponds. and what are the implications for human life as the earth heats up further. 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. it is study of the interrelations between living organisms and their environment. oceans. lakes. For practical purposes. Streams. consumers and decomposers. structure and function of the following ecosystem. Ecology is concerned with the study of organisms in various habitats viz. fresh water. functions of the ecosystem INTRODUCTION: It is essential to first grasp the fundamentals of ecology in order to understand the environment. ecology deals with how individuals are affected by and how they affect their environment. meaning house or place to live. Grassland ecosystem. populations. or communities under a particular set of habitat. Communities are not constant but are continually changing because of . At the level of the organism. types. food webs and ecological pyramids. Energy flow of the ecosystem. The word ecology comes from Greek word Oikos. For example. At the level of population. ecology refers to the study of organisms in their natural habitat. Ecology can also be defined as the study of the structure and function of nature. we can consider ecology as the study of organisms and their environment. ecology deals with the presence or absence of particular species and with trends and fluctuations in their numbers.31 Unit 3: ECOSYSTEM Topics: Structure and function of an ecosystem. Ecological succession. Ecologists try to predict what will happen to organisms. characteristics features. Desert ecosystem. rivers. land. the greenhouse effect is a real danger. Producers. Introduction. the changes happening to individuals making up the population are analyzed. and with the natural resources affected by them. 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). In other words. Forest ecosystem. Taken literally. and air. Food chains. Community ecology deals with the composition or structure of communities. To understand population fluctuations.
Species: Group of organisms that resemble one another in appearance. body systems and they all have similar genetic structure. For instance. 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. all human beings (Homo sapiens) resemble one another in their body structure. For instance. It includes all plants and animals.32 interactions among the populations and because of disturbances caused by climatic and geological events as well as human activities. Population: A population is a group of individuals of the same species occupying a given area at a given time. the cattle population. make a population. Living organism: An organism is any form of life. Group of individual organisms of the same species living within an area is called population. Gujarat. the grass population and populations of all kinds of life forms present there. Communities: Communities of various species occupying a particular area and interacting with each other make up a community. when we say ‘the community of the Gir National Park’. A wide range and variety of organisms is present on the earth from the single celled amoeba to huge sharks. There are certain important concepts of ecology. from microscopic blue-green algae to massive banyan tree. For example. behaviour. chemistry and genetic structure form a species. we refer to the lion population. 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 deer population. Cycles: . They are thus grouped together under the species sapiens. the Asiatic lions in the Gir National Park.
so that a flow of energy give rise to a clearly defined tropic structure. biotic diversity and material cycles within the system” Michael Allaby (1983) defined ecosystem as a community of interdependent organisms together with the environment. water etc.33 The circulation of the chemical elements in its biosphere from the environment to organisms and back to the environment is called cycle.G. like the soil. The sum total of all the ecosystems on planet Earth is called the biosphere. the non-living components and their interactions. an ecosystem includes the community. 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’. . and even the solar energy that is captured by the plants. The Gir ecosystem will thus include the various life forms found in the park (the community) and also the nonliving components of the park. Thus. . The term ecosystem was first proposed by A.Such interactions sustain the system and allow it to respond to changing conditions. Carrying capacity: Maximum population of a particular species that a given habitat can support over a given period of time. which includes all the earth’s living organisms interacting with the physical environment as a whole to maintain a steady-state ecosystem.” Odum (1971) defined ecosystem as any unit that includes all the organisms in a given area interacting with the physical 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.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. chemical and physical interactions between themselves and with the non-living components. rocks.
Some of these alterations begin first with a change in the state of one component of the ecosystem. These decomposers decompose the dead bodies. The living organisms (biotic community) of an area and their non-living environment function together as one unit called ecological system or ecosystem. grow in size. Hence they consume plants and plant products produced by the autotrophs. 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. grasslands. Biotic (LIVING) Component: It includes all living organisms of the environment. which is self sufficient and balanced. lakes. the living organisms and its environment each influencing the properties of the other and both are necessary for the survival and maintenance of life. Some examples of natural ecosystems are ponds. 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). In short. In the ecosystem. which then cascades and sometimes amplifies into other components because of relationships. 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. forests. Decomposers: These are most important group of organisms in the ecosystem.34 The term ecosystem is made up of two words: eco and system. reproduce. Thus the system resulting from the integration of all the living and non-living factors is called ecosystem. Each ecosystem has two components i. deserts and so on. Ecosystem Structure: A system is an arrangement of matter so related to form a whole (unit). They can also be termed as consumers. Often the dynamic interactions that occur within an ecosystem are numerous and complex. ecosystem can be described as “Life Support System”.e. Ecosystems are also always undergoing alterations to their biotic and abiotic components. Biotic and Abiotic substances. because they do not have chlorophyll. An ecosystem may be defined as a dynamic entity composed of a biological community and its associated abiotic environment. oceans. Plants and animals take birth. then after old age they die. In absence of decomposers the earth will be packed only with dead bodies. The largest ecosystem of the earth is the biosphere. mature. They depend on the environment for raw materials and utilize sun light for the production of their own food. The term ecosystem was first introduced in 1935. Abiotic (NON-LIVING) Component: .
a partially enclosed coastal area at the mouth of a river where fresh water and salty seawater meet. Define ecology and ecosystems. tropical scrub forests. Aquatic ecosystem. lake ecosystem. 2. Non-living Components are essential for the living world. oceans. Non-living components include all the physical and chemical factors of an ecosystem that affect the living organisms.include tropical deserts. What are the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem? 3. With no sunlight.include pond ecosystem. Major ecosystem include 1. nutrients present in soil. cold deserts etc. air and minerals. steams. Some examples are: physical factors include. Temperature. Forest ecosystem. water. 4. soil. 3. rocks etc. tropical deciduous forests. temperate deciduous forests.. evergreen coniferous forests. polar grasslands. salinity of water. like air.include tropical rain forests. estuary. oxygen dissolved in water. temperate grasslands. temperate rain forests. Desert Ecosystems. life cannot exist.include tropical grasslands. 2. Fire and water currents. water. . Questions: 1. What is food chain? Give examples and discuss their significance. Grassland ecosystems. Chemical factors: Percentage of water and air in soil.Sunlight. temperate deserts. Nature of soil. Precipitation.35 Non living components of an ecosystem include all the physical and chemical factors that influence living organisms.
36 Unit 4 BIODIVERSITY Topics: Introduction. water and air. Species Diversity and Ecosystem Diversity. poaching of wildlife. Definition: genetic. man-wildlife conflicts. 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. India as a megadiversity nation. consumptive use. The genes found in organisms can form enormous number of combinations each of which gives rise to some variability. . Biodiversity means the variety and variability of all living organisms. social. species and ecosystem diversity. Endangered and endemic species of India. Value of biodiversity. 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. habitat loss. Genetic Biodiversity: It is basic source of biodiversity. marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part. In the Conservation of Biological diversity (1992) biodiversity has been defined as the variability among living organisms from all sources including inter alia. Hot-spots of biodiversity. Biogeographically classification of India. terrestrial. It is indeed wonderful to see that so much diversity has been created by nature on this earth from so little physical matter. Biodiversity is at three levels Genetic Diversity. aesthetic and option values. Threats to biodiversity. ethical. Biodiversity refers to the variety and variability among all groups of living organisms and the ecosystem complexes in which they occur. productive use. Biodiversity constitutes the biological wealth.
More species biodiversity means more biological wealth. while considering a tropical rainforest. Ecosystem Biodiversity: This is the diversity of ecological complexity showing variations in ecological niches. . nutrient cycling etc. Thus there occurs tremendous diversity within the ecosystems. For example. altitude precipitation etc. But. food-webs. When the genes within the same species show different versions due to new combinations. which is supposed to have mainly a dominance of trees. temperature. size. tropic structure.37 Genes are the basic units of hereditary information transmitted from one generation to other. it is called genetic variability. We mainly consider diversity in forest ecosystem. all rice varieties belong to the species Oryza sativa.5 million living and 300000 fossil species have been actually described and given scientific names. a tropical deciduous forest. Diversity of genes within a species increases its ability to adapt to disease. It represents broadly the species richness and their abundance in a community. 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. Species biodiversity means variety of species within a region. Such diversity can be measured on the basis of species in a region. It is quite likely that a large fraction of these species may become extinct even before they are discovered and enlisted. shape. pollution and other changes in environment. A species have varieties and each variety has its own genes or genetic make up. Species Biodiversity: This is the variability found within the population of a species or between different species of a community. genetic diversity gets diminished. When a variety of a species is destroyed. Genetic biodiversity means the variation of genes within a species. along these gradients. Till now only about 1. a temperate deciduous forest and a boreal forest. This is genetic diversity of rice. aroma and nutrient content of the grain. but there are thousands of wild and cultivated varieties of rice which show variations at the genetic level and differ in their colour.
wetlands. Semi-Arid – Central India. social and aesthetic value has enormous importance. We are benefited by other organisms in innumerable ways. we come to know and do appreciate the value of organism only after it is lost from this earth.38 The ecosystem diversity is of great value that must be kept intact. Nicobar Islands. 10. Central. insignificant. evolution. There are ten different biogeographic habitats in India. Gangetic Plain – Upper Ganetic Plain. because ecosystem diversity has evolved with respect to the prevailing environmental conditions with well regulated ecological balance. 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. Himalayan – North-West Himalayas. 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. 1. Laskhadweep etc. Very small. North Eastern Hills 9. Lower Gangetic Plain 8. deserts etc. ecological service.West Coast and East Coast VALUE OF BIODIVERSITY Biodiversity in terms of its commercial utility. Desert – Kutch. All these have their own fauna and flora (biodiversity). Gujarat-Rajwara 5. Western Ghats – Malabar Coast. dispersal and environmental relationship of plants and animals in time and space. arid zones. Sometimes. The multiple uses of biodiversity is classified as follows: . it would disrupt the ecological balance. India has a rich heritage of biological diversity and occupies the tenth position among the plant rich nations of the world. Central and East Himalayas 3. We cannot replace the diversity of one ecosystem with that of another. Islands – Andaman Islands. If we destroy this diversity. This diversity has developed over millions of years of evolution. Coasts. West. Coniferous trees of boreal forests cannot take up the function of the trees of tropical deciduous forest lands and vice versa. Chhota Nagpur 7. Eastern. Thar and Ladakh 4. Ecosystem biodiversity refers to variety of ecosystem in a particular region or zone as for example various ecosystems include forests. Deccan Peninsula – Deccan Plateau South. Western Ghat Mountains 6. North-East India – Brahmaputra Valley. It very important to study the distribution. Trans-Himalayan – Upper regions 2.
textile industry. Wild relatives usually possess better tolerance and hardiness. have been obtained from Periwinkle (Catharanthus) plant. petroleum and natural gas are also products of fossilized biodiversity. About 90% of present day food crops have been domesticated from wild tropical plants. two anticancer drugs.g. but are directly consumed by tribals and local villagers. A large number of wild animals are also our sources of food. Food: A large number of wild plants and shrubs are consumed by human beings as food. Developing countries in Asia. Firewood collected by individuals are not normally marketed. the cure for malaria is obtained from the bark of Cinchona tree. 2. paper and pulp industry. ivory-works. fuel. musk from musk deer. 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. all of which are traded in the market. hence falls under constructive value. Recently vinblastin and vincristine. 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. leather industry. These may include the animal products like tusks of elephants. fiber etc. wool from sheep. food. Many industries are dependent upon productive use values of biodiversity e. fir of many animals. while Digitalin is obtained from foxglove (Digitalis) which is an effective cure for heart ailments. Consumptive use value: These include direct use values where the biodiversity product can be harvested and consumed directly e. The wonder drug Penicillin used as an antibiotic is derived from a fungus called Penicillium. Fuel: Our forests have been used since ages for fuel wood. Drugs and medicines: About 75% of the world’s population depends upon plants or plant extracts for medicines. Silk industry.g. horns. Likewise. hide. The fossil fuels coal. live specimen etc. pearl industry etc. Despite international ban on trade in products from endangered species. smuggling of fur. About 80000 edible plants species have been reported from wild. plywood industry. Quinine. Productive use values: These are the commercially usable values where the product is marketed and sold. worth millions of dollars are being sold every year. Railway sleeper industry. tusks. which possesses anticancer alkaloids. A large number of marine animals are supposed to possess anti-cancer properties which are yet to be explored systematically. silk from silk-worm. 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. we get Tetracyclin from a bacterium.39 1. drugs. . lac from lac insects etc.
attached with different societies. songs. but we all strongly feel that these species should exist in nature. It involves ethical issues like “all life must be preserved”. Lotus. Many of the plants are considered holy and sacred in our country like Tulsi( Holy basil). Social value: These are the values associated with the social life. then we must protect all biodiversity. Bael etc. The tribal people are very closely linked with the wild life in the forests. fruits or flowers of these plants are used in workship or the plant itself is worshipped. Ecotourism is estimated to generate about 12 billion dollars of revenue annually that roughly gives the aesthetic value of biodiversity. The leaves. This means. Snake. There is a possibility that we may have some potential cure for AIDS or cancer existing within the depths of a marine ecosystem. because biodiversity is valuable. 4. Option value: These values include the potential of biodiversity that are presently unknown and need to be explored. dances and customs are closely woven around the wildlife. but knowing the very fact that this species exists in nature gives us pleasure. Their social life. The “willingness to pay” concept on such ecotourism gives us even a monetary estimate for aesthetic value of biodiversity. Owl etc. The biodiversity is like . Thus biodiversity has distinct social value. 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. It is based on the concept of “Live and Let Live”. Aesthetic value: Great aesthetic value is attached to biodiversity. the option value of biodiversity suggests that any species may prove to be a miracle species someday. Peepal. or a tropical rainforest. Many animals like Cow. 6. Bull. Zebra or Giraffe. Thus. 5. also have significant place in our psycho-spiritual arena and thus hold special social importance. We all feel sorry when we learn that “passenger pigeon” or “dodo” is no more on this earth. customs. The ethical value means that we may or may not use a species. Peacock. religion and psycho-spiritual aspects of the people. No one of us would like to visit vast stretches of barren lands with no signs of visible life. If we want our human race to survive. Ethical value: It is also sometimes known as existence value. We are not deriving anything direct from Kangaroo.40 3. 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. Mango. there is an ethical value or existence value attached to each species.
a non-consumptive use value related to self maintenance of the ecosystem and various important ecosystem services has been recognized. species and ecosystems) and b) by measuring the effectiveness of measures taken to implement the convention. A legislation was finalized and Indian Parliament passed Biodiversity Bill in 2002. cycling of nutrients. species and genetic diversity all have enormous potential and a decline in biodiversity will lead to huge economic. Of these around 1.03 million are animals and 248000 are higher plants. Numerous insects. pollutant absorption and reduction of the threat of global warming etc. lower . invertebrates. agriculture to Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs).e. ecological and socio-cultural losses. their role as carbon sinks. cycling of water. the sustainable use of its components and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.” It also covered the ecological. GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY All the three levels are linked and constitute a gene pool. The objective of the convention was “the conservation of biological diversity. According to the Worldwide Fund for Nature.41 precious gifts of nature presented to us. economic and social aspects of biodiversity. The Government of India has finalized the National Policy and Action Strategy for Biodiversity. or specifically some endemic. The option value also includes the values. fixation of nitrogen. The 1992. Higher plants have also been fairly well studied but it is possible that 15 percent more may still be discovered. United Nations Conference on Environment and Development at Rio put biological diversity on the international agenda by signing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). in terms of the option to visit areas where a variety of flora and fauna. This convention addresses many issues ranging from forests. 7. prevention of floods maintenance of soil fertility. rare or endangered species exist. The success of convention can be evaluated in two main ways: a) By analyzing the changes in biodiversity components (i. Different categories of biodiversity value clearly indicate that ecosystem. scientists have identified about 1.4 million having species. It refers to the services provided by ecosystems like prevention of soil erosion. Ecosystem service value: Recently. But human knowledge of the world’s biodiversity is still not complete. India is a signatory to CBD and ratified it in 1993. We should not commit the folly of losing these gifts even before unwrapping them.
One recent estimate put this figure as high as 30 million.01 million hectares having rich biodiversity of plants in the Trans-Himalayan. deccan plateau and the Andaman. Center of origin. Total number of living species identified in our country is 150000. Marine diversity etc. India has a rich biological diversity of flora and fauna. Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands. According to an estimate by the IUCN’s Threatened Plants Unit. Indian is also one of the 12 megabiodiversity countries in the world. by the year 2050 up to 60000 plant species will become extinct or threatened. A large proportion of the Indian Biodiversity is still unexpected. the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed 4589 threatened animals. one in the north-east region and one in the Western Ghats. deserts. of India (2000) records 47000 species of plants and 81000 species of animals which is about 7% and 6. Out of a total 25 biodiversity hot-spots in the world. Gangetic plains. north-west.5% respectively of global flora and fauna. The Ministry of Environment and Forests. BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY AT NATIONAL LEVEL (Indian Biodiversity): Every country is characterized by its own biodiversity depending mainly on its climate. coral reefs and mangroves which need to be studied in detail. Scientists at the Kew Gardens in Britain listed around 20000 plant species as threatened. These estimates show that the current rate of extinction is at least 25000 times greater than extinction that took place during evolutionary times. India possesses two. Many thousands of species will disappear even before they are found and described by biologists. 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. INDIA AS A MEGA-DIVERSITY NATION: India is one of the 12 mega-diversity countries in the world. It is estimated that India ranks 10th among the plant rich countries of the world.42 plants and microorganisms exist but have yet to be identified and described. Indian forests cover 64. Human impact on nature has reached such high proportions that the world is today witnessing an extraordinary rate of species loss. 11th in terms of number of endemic species of higher vertebrates and 6th among the centers of diversity and origin of agricultural crops. Due to very diverse climatic conditions there is a complete rainbow spectrum of biodiversity in our country. west. Those major groups of species include Endemism. western ghats. . There are about 93 major wet lands. coasts. central and eastern Himalayan forests. Overall six percent of the global species are found in India. In 1988. Govt.
Tamilnadu and Kerala and has 40% of the the total endemic plant species. In the century the human impact has been so severe that thousands of species and varieties are becoming extinct annually. THREATS TO BIODIVERSITY: Extinction or elimination of a species is a natural process of evolution. In the geologic period the earth has experienced mass extinctions. These hotspots covering less than 2% of the world’s land area are found to have about 50% of the terrestrial biodiversity. the rate of loss of species in geologic past has been a slow process. About 62% of amphibians and 50% of lizards are endemic to India.8% of the original forests are existing today while the rest has been deforested or degraded. The major centers of diversity are Agastyamalai Hills and Silent valley. According to Myers an area is designated as a hotspot when it contains at least 0. India shows a good number of endemic species. The term “Hot spots” was introduced by Myers (1988). 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.5% of the plant species as endemics. because it means we have already lost a huge proportion of the biodiversity. a) Eastern Himalayas: They display an ultra-varies topography that fosters species diversity and endemism. The process of extinction has become particularly fast in the recent years of civilization. However. species have died out and have been replaced by others. Over the last 150 years the rate of extinction has escalated more dramatically. b) Western Ghats: It extends along a 17000 km² strip of forests in Maharashtra. keeping in view the vast span of time going back to 444 million years. Species which are restricted only to particular areas are known as endemic. namely the Eastern Himalayas and Western Ghats. Out of the world’s recorded flora 30% are endemic to India of which 35000 are in the Himalayas. There are 25 such hot spots of biodiversity on a global level out of which two are present in India. Karnataka. It is reported that only 6. During evolution. These amazing figures raise an alarm regarding the serious threat to biodiversity. One of the estimates by the noted ecologist puts figure of extinction at 10000 species per year or 27 per day. If the present .the new Amambalam Reserve Basin. Western Ghats are the site of maximum endemism. which raises a serious cause of alarm.43 HOT SPOTS OF BIODIVERSITY Areas which exhibit high species richness as well as high species endemism are termed as hot spots of biodiversity.
filling and pollution thereby causing huge biodiversity loss. 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. They get badly threatened as they breed only in the interiors of the forests. Due to habitat fragmentation many song birds are vanishing. Severe damage has been caused to wetlands thinking them to be useless ecosystems. smuggling of wildlife items like furs. The developing nations in Asia. Billions of hectares of forests and grasslands have been cleared over the past 10000 years for conservation into agriculture lands. Taiwan and Hong Kong are the major importers of the wildlife products or wildlife itself. Loss of habitat: Destruction and loss of natural habitat is the single largest cause of biodiversity loss. settlement areas or development projects. The wetlands are destroyed due to draining. it is estimated that 20-25% of the global flora would be lost within few years. horns. 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. tusks. a phenomenon known as habitat fragmentation. Sometimes the loss of habitat is in installments so that the habitat is divided into small and scattered patches. Despite international ban on trade in products from endangered species. Poaching: Illegal trade of wildlife products by killing prohibited endangered animals i. The unique rich biodiversity of the wetlands.6% per year. live specimens and herbal products worth millions of dollars per year continues.44 trend continues we would lose 1/3rd to 2/3rd of our current biodiversity by the middle of twenty first century. 2. Latin America and Africa are the richest source of biodiversity and have enormous wealth of wildlife. poaching is another threat to wildlife.e. These natural forests and grasslands were the natural homes of thousands of species which perished due to loss of their natural habitat. Following are the major causes and issues related to threats to biodiversity: 1. There are many wild life species such as bears and large cats that require large territories so subsist. as a result of human intervention. The rich countries in Europe and North America and some affluent countries in Asia like Japan. There has been a rapid disappearance of tropical forests in our country also. pastures. estuaries and mangroves are under the most serious threat today. at a rate of about 0. With the current rate of loss of forest habitat. hides. The worst part is that for every live animal that actually gets into the market about 50 additional animals are caught and killed. .
rhinos and bears due to shrinking forests cover are compelled to move outside the forests and attack the field or sometimes even humans. Instances of man animal conflicts keep on coming to lime light from several states in our country. which explode as the elephants intrude into their fields. elephants. This is because the conflicts between man and the wildlife have increased since it is an issue of survival of both. 240 Km South-west of Kathmandu. 2004 two men were killed by leopards in Powai. Palamau and Ranthambore National Parks in our country as well. fish or birds. Also do not purchase fur coat. Recently. . At times. In Sambalpur. 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. in early 2004. Mumbai. Borivali. The park renowned for its wildlife conservation effort has become a zone of terror for the locals. Dudhwa. Orissa 195 humans were killed in the last 5 years by elephants. Mumbai which has triggered a panic among the local residents. please make sure that you are not going to the endangered species or wild-caught species. MAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICTS We have discussed about the need to preserve and protect wildlife. In fact.45 If you are fond of rare plants. or items made of crocodile skin or python skin. Human encroachment into the forest areas has rendered all forest living animals to trespass the borders of human civilizations. a man-eating tiger reported to kill 16 Nepalese people and one 4 year old child inside the Royal Chitwan National Part. However. In retaliation the villagers killed 95 elephants in the border region of Kote-Chamarajanagar belt in Mysore have been reported recently. The agonized villagers electrocute the elephants and sometimes hide explosives in the sugarcane fields. more killings are done by locals than by poachers. A total of 14 persons were killed during 19 attacks since January by the leopards from the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Similar incidents were reported near Sanjay Gandhi National Park. 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. Very recently in June. Doing so will help in checking further decline of these species. Causes of Man-animal conflicts: 1. Mumbai where similar incidents of human killings especially small children was reported. such conflicting situations have been reported from the border regions of Corbett. You will certainly help in preserving biodiversity by doing so. purse or bag. Dwindling habitats of tigers.
along with substantial cash compensation for loss of human life. Very often the villagers put electric wiring around their ripe crop fields. forest department used to cultivate paddy. one adult elephant needs 2 quintals of green fodder and 150 kg of clean water daily and if it is not available. the path of wildlife has been disrupted and the animals attack the settlements. Adequate crop compensation and cattle compensation scheme must be started. sugarcane etc. .46 2. It may be noted that.e. At the same time. the female tigress attacks the human if she feels that her newborn cubs are in danger. Now due to lack of such practices the animals move out of the forest in search of food. 3. Earlier. 5. Solar powered fencing should be provided along with electric current proof trenches to prevent the animals from straying into fields. Cropping pattern should be changed near the forest borders and adequate fodder. weak and injured animals have a tendency to attack man. 2. Earlier there used to be wild-life corridors through which the wild animals used to migrate seasonally in groups to other areas. bamboo leaves were not available. The cash compensation paid by the government in lieu of the damage caused to the farmers crop is not enough. In Mysore.per quintal of expected yield while the market price is Rs. to tactfully deal with any imminent danger. within the sanctuaries when the favourite staple food of elephants i. The elephants get injured.400/. Tiger Conservation Project (TCP) has made provisions for making available vehicles. binoculars and radio sets etc. 3. 4. But the biggest problem is that if human-flesh is tested once then the tiger does not eat any other animal. 6. a farmer gets compensation of Rs. it is very difficult to trace and cull the man-eating tiger and in the process many innocent tigers are also killed. Also. The agonized farmer therefore gets revengeful and kills the wild animals. Remedial Measures to Curb the Conflict: 1. 4. Due to development of human settlements in these corridors. the animal strays out. suffer in pain and turn violent.2400/.per quintal. tranquillizer guns. Usually the ill. fruit and water should be made available for the elephants within forest zones.
2. 6. species and ecosystem diversities. 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. culture collection etc. What are hotspots of biodiversity? Which are the hotspots found in India? Discuss salient features. About 300 km² area is required for elephant corridors for their seasonal migration. What are the major threats to biodiversity? 4. Now there is WWF-TCP initiative to curb this ritual of “Akhand Shikar” in Orissa. aesthetic. What do you mean by consumptive use value. Sanctuaries.g. productive use value. 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. Define biodiversity.47 5. botanical gardens. Questions: 1. Explain genetic. What is meant by in situ and ex situ conservation of biodiversity? . seed banks. In Similipal Sanctuary. Due to massive hunting by people. ethical value and option value of biodiversity? 3. commercial. Wild life corridors should be provided for mass migration of big animals during unfavourable periods. ecological and optional importance emphasizes the need to conserve biodiversity. social value. National Parks. CONSERVATION OF BIODIVERSITY: The enormous value of biodiversity due to their genetic. Biosphere Reserves. medical. 6. Reserve Forests etc b) Ex situ conservation (outside habitats): This is done by establishment of gene banks. there is a decline in prey of tigers and they start coming out of the forest in search of prey. 5. rather it is a gift of nature to be nurtured and enjoyed. What are the main causes of man-wildlife conflicts? Discuss the remedial steps that can curb the conflict. zoos. Gradually we are realizing that wildlife is not just ‘a game to be hunted’.
Water pollution. mobile vehicles and thermal power plants. Both in the developed and developing countries.48 Unit 5: Environmental Pollution Environmental Pollution: Definition: causes. role of an individual in prevention of pollution. Presence of sulphar oxides. domestic sources. water and land. Thermal pollution. plants and micro-organisms. pollution case studies. Pollution refers to the presence of substances air. Solid waste management: causes. Marine pollution. carbon monoxide. land and their inter relationship with human beings. 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.g. Bhopal gas leak or radioactive material released from Chernobyl nuclear power plant is accidental. whether they result from human activity or occur naturally which have adverse effects on human and on environment. 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. other living creatures. The reference point of pollution is the ambient quality of the environment which means environment in its natural state. air. nitrogen oxides. water resource management etc. water and land result in the change in the ambient quality . Introduction: According to Environment Protection Act (1986). Environment includes water. earthquake. are exposed to such levels of atmospheric pollution that cause serious hazard to public health and hygiene. The human activities whether industrial production or other like sewage and their impact on air. Soil pollution. The contamination of air occurs because the contaminants cannot be absorbed by natural environmental cycles. Disaster management: floods. Pollution refers to substances (pollutants) which are released into the environment because of anthropogenic (human) activities that can be either deliberate or accidental (e. hydro carbons and toxic particulate substances in atmosphere has caused harmful influence on man and other living things. Noise pollution. The atmosphere is being polluted by the discharge of emissions originating from industrial plants. effects and control measures of – Air pollution. the urban areas in particular. Nuclear hazards. cyclone and landslides Objectives: • To learn the definition. effects and control measures of urban and industrial water.
21% oxygen. carbon monoxide (all formed from the combustion of fossil fuels). Air pollution means the presence in the atmosphere of any air pollutant. sulphur dioxide. 0. Approximately 95 per cent of earth’s air occurs in the lower levels. radio active substances etc. 1981. Primary pollutants are carbon dioxide. Sources of Air Pollution: The sources of Air pollution are natural and man-made (anthropogenic). particulate matter. In the production process. In natural state this air contains 78% nitrogen. photochemical oxidation. Air pollutants can be primary or secondary. Hence. biological decay. These acid droplets constitute Acid Rain. CFC and particulate matter Secondary pollutants are acid rain and ozone. But these natural pollutants don’t stay long in the atmosphere since they can be recycled in the biological or chemical cycles. nitrogen oxides. These are ‘standards’ and legislation that exist for emissions. extra . forest fires. sea salt sprays. they pose only a short-term problem and that too localized.49 of the latter. The company manager must be familiar with these.4% carbon dioxide plus small amounts of other gases and water vapours. AIR POLLUTION The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. Natural resources: The natural sources of air pollution are volcanic eruptions. It is an atmospheric in which certain substances are present in concentrations which can cause undesirable effects on man and his environment. Rest 05% of the planet air occurs in the upper levels. the troposphere. “Emission” means any solid. defines “Air Pollutant” and in reference to them defines air pollution. “Air Pollutant” means any solid. 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. They should also ensure that emissions stay within legal limits. In this connection definition of “Emission” is also relevant. duct or any other outlet. It may be worthwhile to note that there are natural sources of pollution too. liquid or gaseous substance coming out of any chimney. These include gases. the stratosphere together with gases like ozone. 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. Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide combine with water in the atmosphere and react with sunlight forming acid droplets. These are substances released from volcano eruptions or forest fires.
textile mills. this affects aquatic life especially fish. 3. 2. Effects on aquatic life: Air pollutants mixing up with rain can cause high acidity in fresh water lakes. paper and pulp mills are other sources of air pollution. Many other pollutants may have toxic metals which can cause mutations. industrial units. agricultural activities etc. chronic bronchitis etc. fossil fuel burning. Metallurgical plants also consume coal and produce similar pollutants Fertilizer plants. Effects on plants: These pollutants affect plants by entering through stomata. wood and kerosene in their kitchens. incomplete combustion produces toxic gas carbon monoxide. This is responsible for a large number of lung cancer deaths each year. Automobile exhaust is another major source of air pollution Indoor Air pollution: The most important indoor air pollution is radon gas. reproductive problems or even cancer. smelters. vehicular emissions. Many houses in the underdeveloped countries including India use fuels like coal. 4. Some of the freshwater lakes have experienced total fish death. pollen grains of flowers etc. concrete. Thermal power plants have become the major sources for generating electricity in India as the nuclear power plants could be installed as planned. Effects on materials: Because of their corrosiveness particulates can cause damage to exposed surfaces. years of exposure to air pollutants including cigarette smoke adversely affect these natural defenses and can result in lung cancer. These could be emitted from building materials like bricks. chemical industries. asthma. Effects on human health: Affects respiratory system. Man-made: Man made sources include thermal power plants. Completion combustion of fuel produces carbon dioxide which may be toxic.50 terrestrial bodies. however. The damage results in death of the plant. Control of Air Pollution: Air pollution can be minimized by the following methods: . dung-cakes. The main pollutants emitted are fly ash and SO2. Radioactive minerals present in the earth crust are the sources of radioactivity in the atmosphere. Effects of Air pollution: 1. tiles etc.
51 1. 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. cyclone separators. Interfaces with man’s communication: In a noisy area communication is severely affected. Removing sulphar from coal (by washing or with the help of bacteria) 4. Using non-conventional sources of energy. Sound pressure is expressed in Hertz (Hz) and is equal to the number of cycles per second. 10. Removing particulate from stack exhaust gases by employing electrostatic precipitators. Using low sulphar coal in industries 3. . Setting up of industries after proper Environmental Impact Assessment studies. converters. 2. Vehicular pollution can be checked by regular tune-up of engines. The unpleasant and unwanted sound is called noise. bag-house filters. Shifting to less polluting fuels (hydrogen gas) 9. bicycles etc. Planting more trees. A type of sound may be pleasant to someone and at the same time unpleasant to others. Removing NOx during the combustion process. Sound can propagate through a medium like air. Effects of Noise: 1. Using mass transport system. Using biological filters and bio-scrubbers 11. The CPCB committee has recommended permissible noise levels for different locations. Sound wave is a pressure perturbation in the medium through which sound travels. liquid or solid. 8. NOISE POLLUTION: We hear various types of sounds everyday. Sound is mechanical energy from a vibrating source. 6. 5. scrubbers etc.
The noise path will be interrupted and will not reach the workers.Major point sources of water pollution are industries. Planting more trees having board leaves. chemical or biological characteristics of water making it unsuitable for designated use in its natural state. offshore oil wells etc. bathing. Noise making machines should be kept in containers with sound absorbing media. underground coal mines. cooking. Physiological and psychological changes: Continuous exposure to noise affects the functioning of various systems of the body. 4. Water has the property to dissolve many substances in it. washing. It depends on intensity and duration of sound level. Unnecessary horn blowing should be restricted especially in vehicle-congested areas. power plants. . It may result in hypertension. For this purpose various types of fibrous material could be used. Reduction in sources of noise 2. Through Law: Legislation can ensure that sound production is minimized at various social functions. Auditory sensitivity is reduced with noise level of over 90 dB in the midhigh frequency for more than a few minutes. Sources of water pollution: Water is an essential commodity for survival. Therefore it can easily get polluted. Use of sound absorbing silencers: Silencers can reduce noise by absorbing sound. insomnia (sleeplessness). 3. 6. gastro-intestinal and digestive disorders etc. We need water for drinking. WATER POLLUTION Water pollution can be defined as alteration in physical.52 2. Proper oiling will reduce the noise from the machinery. Hearing damage: Noise can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss. 3. Pollution of water can be caused by point sources or non-point sources . Control of noise pollution: 1. 5. irrigation and for industrial operations.
lakes and estuaries. fluoride and nitrate are posing serious health hazards.Sewage 2. Ground water pollution with arsenic. are mainly responsible for ground water pollution which is irreversible. Pathogens 4. chemical. aldrin.53 Ground water pollution: Ground water forms about 6. The following points may help to reduce water pollution from non-point sources. Surface water pollution: The major sources of surface water pollution are: 1 . DDT.2% of the total water available on planet earth and is about 30 times more than surface water i. Oil 6. 1. Toxic Compounds Pesticides in drinking water ultimately reach humans and are known to cause various health problems. Septic tanks. been banned. Industrial effluents 3.e. Use of nitrogen fixing plants to supplement the use of fertilizers. Agrochemicals 5. Waste heat Effects of Water Pollution: Following are some important effects of various types of water pollutants: 1. mining etc. have therefore. 3. 2. Recently in Andhra Pradesh people suffered from various abnormalities due to consumption of endosulphan contaminated cashew nuts. deep well injection. Judicious use of agrochemicals like pesticides and fertilizers which will reduce their surface urn-off and leaching. Avoid use of these on sloped lands. tanneries). Adopting integrated pest management to reduce reliance on pesticides. . streams. dieldrin etc. Oxygen demanding wastes 2. industry (textile. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Compounds (Nutrients) 3. Control of Water Pollution It is easy to reduce water pollution from point sources by legislation. Synthetic detergents 4. However due to absence of defined strategies it becomes difficult to prevent water pollution from non-point sources.
54 4. Plantation of trees would reduce pollution and will also prevent soil erosion. 6. Prevent run-off of manure. nuclear power plants. 2. THERMAL POLLUTION Thermal pollution can be defined as presence of waste heat in the water which can cause undesirable changes in the natural environment. Heat producing industries like thermal power plants. 7 . Separate drainage of sewage and rain water should be provided. Discharge of heated water near the shores can disturb spawning and can even kill young fishes. 4. refineries. 5. 6. Toxicity of pesticides. Divert such run-off to basin for settlement. steel mills etc are the major sources of thermal pollution. Cooling towers . detergents and chemicals in the effluents increases with increase in temperature. 5. 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.Fish migrations are affected due to formation of various thermal zones. High temperature becomes a barrier for oxygen penetration into deep cold waters. The nutrient rich water can be used as fertilizer in the fields. Control of Thermal Pollution: The following methods can be employed for control of thermal pollution 1 Cooling ponds 2 Spray Ponds 3. Effects of Thermal Pollution: 1 The dissolved oxygen content of water is decreased as the solubility of oxygen in water is decreased high temperature. 3. Metabolic activities of aquatic organisms increase at high temperature and require more oxygen level falls under thermal pollution.
refinery. 2. The pollutants which these rivers carry from their drainage basins are finally poured into the sea. Oil ballast should not be dumped into sea. These include sewage sludge. 4. coastline where human settlements in the form of hotels. ship-accidents and off shore production add to marine pollution.e. industrial effluents. 8. It can cause adverse effects on marine life. Toxic pollutants from industries and sewage treatment plants should not be discharged in coastal waters. Still many pollutants specially the recalcitrant ones remain unchanged or are partially degraded causing marine pollution. metals and waste heat released by industries as discussed earlier. solid wastes. Oil and grease from service stations should be processed for reuse. agrochemicals. plastics. industry. Run off from non-point sources should be prevented to reach coastal areas. Tankers and other shipping means industries like petroleum. 7. Most of the rivers ultimately join the ocean. Dumping of toxic. 6. Ecologically sensitive coastal areas should be protected by not allowing drilling. In the sea the pollutants get diluted and the organic matter is further broken down as in river water. which bring pollutants from their drainage basins 2) catchment are i. 5. metal industry. lubrication oil using industry. Developmental l activities on coastal areas should be minimized. Sewer overflows should be prevented by having separate sewer and rain water pipes. agricultural practices have been established and 3) oil drilling and shipment.55 MARINE POLLUTION The main sources of marine pollution are 1) rivers. 3. Control of Marine Pollution 1. paint industry etc automotive wastes refineries. Oil in sea water can spread over a large area of the sea remain dispersed or get adsorbed on sediments. hazardous wastes and sewage sludge should be banned. . synthetic detergents.
Domestic wastes include garbage. Industrial wastes also contain some organic and inorganic compounds that are refractory and non-biodegradable. bacteria. in the industrial discharges affect soil fertility by causing changes in physical. containers. alkalis. thus contaminating them. The sewage sludge contains many pathogenic organisms.Effluents should be properly treated before discharging them on the soil. Various types of chemicals like acids. Some of the persistent toxic chemicals accumulate in food chain and ultimately affect human health. viruses and intestinal worms which may cause various types of diseases. Dumping of various types of materials especially domestic and industrial wastes causes soil pollution. viruses and intestinal worms which cause pollution in the soil. cloth rags. Night soil can also be used in the biogas plant to produce inflammable methane gas. 4. Soil also receives excreta from animals and humans. From the wastes. pesticides. Sewage sludge has many types of bacteria. 3. Control of Soil Pollution 1 . metallic cans. Leachates from dumping sites and sewage tanks are harmful and toxic which pollute the soil. Cattle dung should be used for methane generation. Organic matter in the soil makes it suitable for living organisms. chemical and biological properties. Effects of Soil Pollution Sewage and industrial effluents which pollute the soil ultimately affect human health. 2. fibres. 5. recovery of useful products should be done. insecticides etc. Thermal power plants generate a large quantity of ‘fly ash’ . rubbish material like glass. paper. paints varnishes etc. . Biodegradable organic waste should be used for generation of biogas.56 SOIL POLLUTION Soil is the upper layer of the earth curst which is formed by weathering of rocks. Solid wastes should be properly collected and disposed off by appropriate method. plastics.Huge quantities of these wastes are dumped on soils.
gardens and orchards etc. 2. egg shells. medical. lead slabs or water. Damage caused by different types of radiations depends on the penetration power and presence of the source inside or outside body. These particles and its rays pass through paper and wood but can be stopped by concrete wall. They undergo natural radioactive decay in which unstable isotopes spontaneously give out fast moving particles. and horticulture waste from parks. offices. at a fixed rate until a new stable isotope is formed. agricultural. stale food. NUCLEAR HAZARDS Radioactive substances are present in nature. Microbial degradation of biodegradable substances is also one of the scientific approaches for reducing soil pollution. industrial. The urban solid waste materials that can be degraded by microorganisms are called biodegradable wastes. tea leaves. peanut shells. SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT Higher standard of living of ever increasing population has resulted in an increase in the quantity and variety of waste generated. Setting up of nuclear power plants should be carefully done after studying long and term effects. municipal solid waste from homes. Management of solid waste has therefore become very important in order to minimize the adverse effects of solid wastes. high energy radiations or both. Control of Nuclear Pollution: 1. mining waste and sewage sludge.57 6. dry leaves etc. . markets (commercial waste) small cottage units. Sources of Urban and Industrial wastes: These wastes consists of medical waste from hospitals. It is now realized that if waste generation continues indiscriminately then very soon it would be beyond rectification. For example these types of waste are vegetable wastes. Solid waste (waste other than liquid or gaseous) can be classified as municipal. Proper disposal of wastes from laboratory involving the use of radioisotopes should be done.
Industrial solid wastes are sources of toxic metals and hazardous wastes. Industrial waste consists of large number of materials including factory rubbish. acids etc. This type of dumping allows biodegradable materials to decompose under uncontrolled and unhygienic conditions. Composting 3. Reduction in use of raw materials 2. which may spread on land and can cause changes in physicochemical and biological characteristics thereby affecting productivity of soils. 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. packaging material. Reuse of waste materials 3. Incineration . There are large quantities of hazardous and toxic materials are also produced during industrial processing. Government had put a ban on use of these bags. Reuse and Recycle before destruction and safe storage of wastes. People clean their own houses and litter their immediate surroundings which affect the community including themselves. 1.Reduce. Management of solid waste: For waste management we must focus on three ‘Rs’. scrap metal. This produces foul smell and breeds various types of insects and infectious organisms besides spoiling the aesthetics of the site. organic waste.g.58 Wastes that cannot be degraded by microorganisms are called nonbiodegradable waste e. Toxic substances may leach or percolate to contaminate the ground water. Effects of solid wastes: Municipal solid waste heap up on the roads due to improper disposal system. glass bottles etc. polyethylene bags.
city. 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. Air pollution can be prevented by using really clean fuel i.e. It can be done through following suggestions: 1.Railway Minister has initiated use of earthen pots for tea serving in Railway which is a commendable decision in this regard. again the environment will be polluted.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. Following are the practical hints for an individual to prevent pollution: • Reduce your dependency on fossil fuel especially coal or oil . So solar hydrogen fuel is the need of the hour. 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. Help more in pollution prevention than pollution control 2. Use CFC free Refrigerators The manufacture and operation of such devices should be encouraged that don’t pollute. state or national level but also at the global level as environment has no boundaries. 4. It is appropriately said “Think globally act locally. Use eco-friendly products 3.Laluprasad Yadav. Cut down the use of CFCs as they destroy the ozone layer. Hydrogen for that matter should not be produced by passing current in water as for generation of this current. Use the chemicals derived from peaches and plums to clean computer chips and circuit boards instead of CFCs. Do not use polystyrene cups that have CFC molecules in them which destroy ozone layerHon’ble Mr. 5. A small effort made by each individual at his own place will have pronounced effect at the global level.” Each individual should change his or her lifestyle in such a way as to reduce environmental pollution. hydrogen fuel.
Plant more trees as trees can absorb many toxic gases and can purify the air. The solid waste generated during one manufacturing process can be used as a raw material for some other processes. They are however disastrous in their impact when they affect human settlements. Use rechargeable batteries. Use mass transport system. volcanoes. Do not put pesticides. 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.60 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Save electricity by not washing it when not required because electricity saved electricity generated without polluting the environment. For short visits use bicycle or go on foot. . Check population growth so that demand of materials is under controls. Adopt and popularize renewable energy sources. it will reduce metal pollution. Use only the minimum and required quantity of water for various activities When building a home save (don’t cut) trees. Improve energy efficiency. Decrease the use of automobiles. DISASTER MANAGEMENT: Geological processes like earthquakes. oils or other harmful chemicals into the drain or ground water. floods and landslides are normal natural events which have resulted in the formation of the earth that we have today. Use less hazardous chemicals wherever possible. solvents. paints. 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.
Koyna Dam in Maharashtra have created few incidence of minor and major earthquakes.No.. Due to heavy rainfalls or sudden snow melt can swell the rivers disproportionately. 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. Earth-quake generated water waves called Tsunamis caused tremendous damage in Tamilnadu and Kerala. There are several causes for such disasters which include: 1. 3. Pokharan II testing at desert of Rajasthan.61 Frequently occurring natural disasters in India Sr. 2. Damage of property and life can be prevented by constructing earth-quake resistant buildings in the earthquake prone zones. Following care should be taken as set of measures for Disaster Management: 1.g. Wooden houses are preferred in earthquake prone areas as in Japan. under ground nuclear testing e. 2.g. Landslides occur when coherent rock of soil masses move down slope due to gravitational pull. 4.Anthropogenic activities such as Impoundment of huge quantities of water in the lake behind a big dam e. Deep well disposal of liquid waste. 3.causes a great economic loss and health related problems. 1. Chemical action of water gradually causes chemical weathering of rocks making them prone to landslides. 5. Water and vegetation influence landslides. .
vibrations. 4. Define pollution. 6. What are the sources of soil pollution? How does soil pollution affect soil productivity? What are the remedies for the same? 8. 2. build check-dams on small streams. Some long term defence measures can help to protect us from devastation. 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? . construction of dams. How can we control it? 3. providing slope support like gabions (Wired stone blocks) and concrete support at the base of a slope. effects and control of noise pollution. Write a short note on Water Pollution. What are the sources of urban and industrial solid waste? 9. How can you as an individual prevent environmental pollution? Why such effort is necessary? 10. Name various atmospheric pollutants. 4. proper drainage and wide roads for quick evacuation etc. Such measures include planting of more trees on the coastal belt. replace ground cover on water-courses.62 2. disturbances in resistant rock overlying rock of low resistance etc. Classify solid waste. These landslides could be minimized by stabilizing the slope by draining the surface and surface water. storm shelter. Briefly describe the sources. What are the adverse effects and measures to control water pollution? 7. 5. Questions: 1. Write note on Air Pollution. Flood plains should be used for wildlife habitat. recreational areas etc. 3. efforts need to be made to restore wetlands. embarkments. To check the flood. These landslides should be masked by many other exerting factors like earthquakes. Differentiate between sound and noise. move buildings off the flood plains etc. parks. It is difficult to stop the recurrence of cyclones.
Public awareness. Consumerism and waste products. Environmental protection Act. Water conservation.without undermining the interest of future generations. We have to realize now that Nature today is very fragile. Issues and possible solutions. 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. its problems and concerns Case studies.63 Unit 6: SOCIAL ISSUES AND THE ENVIRONMENT Social Issues and the Environment. . Countries of North (Developed) use too many natural resources and such practice cannot continue long. Wildlife Protection Act. They should keep in view the principle of equity and those principles that determine the intergenerational inequities. Resettlement and rehabilitation of people. Environmental ethics. 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”. Therefore.from unsustainable to sustainable development. Water(prevention and control of pollution) Act. 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. 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. economic and others. These experts are strong advocates of “limits to growth” philosophy. rain harvesting. It also requires that a nation or society should be able to satisfy its requirements. Wasteland reclamation. Issues involved in enforcement of environmental legislation. Urban problems related to energy. Nature is finite. economic and environmental issues. watershed management. the national as well as international leaders and institutions respectively have major responsibility for sound developmental.Air(presentation and control of pollution) Act.social.
that is to say. how economic. who feel that blame has to be on economic development. 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. It can be expressed with following equation: I=PxAxT I= Impact of environment = Population = Affluence (consumption) T= Technology coefficient . To summarize. industrial growth and unsustainable economic development are the matters of cause for concern especially in development.64 Another aspect of sustainable development is related to System Analysis. resource depletion/environmental damage has been debated. and there are opposite thinkers are also. environmental damage and social instability. High population growth causes stress on environment. social and environmental systems interact at various scales of operation to lead sustainable development that will strike optimal balance among the three subsystems. It must ultimately lead to reducing poverty of people in developing countries by minimizing resources depletion. The interaction between population growth.
this much and not beyond it. This can only happen if principle of sufficiency is ignored. Ecology of means has to be accompanied by an ecology of ends. Since efficiency grew.e. environmental concerns and social responsibilities vis-à-vis population regardless of time or location. only after that the limitations of environments concerns posed by a carbon energy economy would get lessened. Question is whether we have devised adequate developmental programs that can match the increase in population. consumption patterns. For example. • Limits to Growth: We will need to change attitudes. This will be possible only if it is promoted through changes in the fiscal system which supports appropriate technological improvements. more consumption of energy. Growth has been treated as an infinite variable. it is not legitimate to ignore the equity occurring in the present populations in different parts of the globe. climate change (global warming). But if future equity is of great concern. But this can happen for a certain time. We can save nature by using our resources more efficiently. There is a difference between ecology of means and ecology of ends. and hence efficiency revolution will remain counterproductive if its not . We will need to set a level of sufficiency i. the number of cars and the power of cars also grew. And such world has to desperately try to keep pace with the environmental problems because of such incorrect assumptions. This is not a correct assumption. 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. more production of wastes including greenhouse gases. 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. Sustainablity should reflect equity.65 More people means more pressure on resources. India’s population has crossed hundred crores mark. We are adding more than Australia in terms of population each year. can be combated only if the world transits to a non-carbon energy economy.all having adverse effects on environment. The “earth’s carrying capacity” is not seriously thought about. If not population factor itself would be sufficient contribution toward degradation of environment and resource depletion. There is considerable scope for dematerialization and de-energisation without a decrease in living standards. Just improvement of efficiency alone is not going to be enough. Sustainable development is about integrational equity.
is really irrational. Therefore. Such increase however is based on high rate of consumption of natural resources of which depletion of environmental resources is significant. Developing countries have yet to undertake more developmental programs and yet to attain reasonable standards of living. It is important to also achieve good rate of regeneration of natural resources. Long term ecological costs are to be taken into account. • Economy: Rate o f Gross National Product (GNP) is one of the most important indicators of economic performance of any nation. The world faces an enormous challenge in the coming years. Economic growth has to be environmentally sustainable. Global agreement is still a distant possibility. Sufficiency will be possible only if one day the world is prepared to reach an international agreement on limits to growth and to say. Increase GNP indicates economic health of the country. GNP must increase in these countries. Ever since India had adopted the Economic Reforms Models via liberalization globalization. In our effort to increase the GNP. there are significant advantages from the above transition. 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. Running with high speed and with utmost efficiency and without direction. a separate set of policies would have to be adopted. we may not like to liquidate ecological assets. Elements of resource generation and positive approach to environment have to be incorporated in developmental programs. ecological disadvantages are required to be taken into account. Economic growth comes in conflict with issues of environmental concerns.66 supplemented by a sufficiency revolution. For sustainable use of global common systems. • Poverty: In order to properly manage environment and resources. Economic growth can not take place without sustaining ecological costs. that we have fixed our level of greed and no more. due consideration should be given to the fact that poor people directly depend upon natural . transformation and utilization of non-renewable resources. High economic growth results into high rate of extraction. However.
sewage and solid waste 3. cattle.water. Sustainable forest development. education. Integrated approach is necessary for management of land. hunting or some cottage industry. These components provide varieties of services are essential for life support system. soil. A phenomenon known as urban sprawl. commercial and residential facilities within a limited municipal boundary. trade. The human settlement program should concentrate on following aspects: 1. The urban growth is so fast that it is becoming difficult to accommodate all the industrial. In developing countries too urban growth is very fast and in most of the cases it is uncontrollable and unplanned growth. 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. fishing. It was some two hundred years ago with the dawn of industrial era the cities showed rapid development. • Forests: There should be a rational approach adopted for management of forests and forests lands. It will be necessary to give priority to the needs of urban as well as rural poor. URBAN PROBLEMS RELATED TO ENERGY Cities are the main centers of economic growth. • Human Settlement Issues: The environmental implications of urban development and other human (slums) must be recognized. innovations and employment. Land is infinite resource. rearing. 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. As a result there is spreading of the cities into the sub-urban or rural areas too. Providing shelter to all 2.67 resources for their livelihood. Promotion of sustainable energy and transport system 4. the urban . minerals and biota. 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. In contrast to the rural set up. production of forest products and forest services require institutional approach at government level. Investment in infrastructure. Until recently a big majority of human population lived in rural areas and their economic activities centered around agriculture.
the water flow is controlled by a series of diversions with vertical intervals. 1. Terracing constructed on deep soils have large water-storage capacity. water spreading. WATER CONSERVATION: Water being one of the most precious and indispensable resources needs to be conserved. . small depressions are dug in the area so that there is temporary storage water. Due to high population density and high energy demanding activities. In channeling. terrace framing. chemical treatment or improved water-storage system. 4. On gentle slopes trapped run off is spread over a large area for better infiltration. A large amount of waste generation which has to be disposed off properly using energy based techniques. Decreasing run-off losses: Huge water-loss occurs due to run-off on most of the soils. consumes a lot of energy and materials and generates a lot of waste. The energy requirement of urban population are much higher than that of rural ones. The following strategies can be adopted for conservation of water. Control and prevention of air and water pollution which need energy dependent technologies. the urban problems related to energy are much more magnified as compared to rural population. c) Water spreading is done by channeling or lagoon-leveling. a) Contour cultivation: on small furrows and ridges across the slopes trap rainwater and allow more time for infiltration. Residential and commercial lighting 2. This can be achieved by using contour cultivation. Transportation means including automobiles and public transport for moving from residence to workplace 3. 6. The energy demanding activities include. Industrial plants using a big proportion of energy 5. b) Conservation-bench terracing: It involves construction of a series of benches for catching the run off water. which can be reduced by allowing most of the water to infiltrate into the soil. Modern life-style using a large number of electrical gadgets in everyday life. 1. In lagoon leveling. This is because urban people have a higher standard of life and their life style demands more energy inputs in every sphere of life.68 set up is densely populated.
Preventing wastage of water: This can be done in households. 3. for watering gardens. commercial buildings and public places. 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. 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. 5. a) Closing taps when not in use b) repairing any leakage from pipes c) using small capacity flush in toilets. help in reducing run-off by allowing more time for water to penetrate into the land. 6. dug-outs etc. Another useful conditioner is HPAN (hydrolyzed poyacrylonitrile) g) Water-storage structures like farm ponds. animal residues etc.Reuse of water: a) treated wastewater can be used for ferti-irrigation b) using grey water from washings.69 d) Chemical wetting agents (Surfactants): These seem to increase the water intake rates when added to normal irrigated soil. bath-tubs etc. 4.2H2O) when applied to sodic soils improve soil permeability and reduce run off. washing cars or paths help in saving fresh water. Reducing evaporation losses: This is more relevant in humid regions. tillage. . The chemical has been found to be useful for sandy soils. This is more effective on sandy soil but less effective on loamy sand soils. build by individual farmers can be useful measures for conserving water through reduction of runoff. 2. e) Surface crop residues.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. f) Chemical conditioners like gypsum (CaSO4. Horizontal barriers of asphalt placed below the soil surface increase water availability and increase crop yield by 35-40%. mulch. A co-polymer of starch and acrylonitrile called ‘super slumper’ has been reported to absorb water up to 1400 times its weight. 7. Increasing block pricing: The consumer has to pay a proportionately higher bill with higher use of water.
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 crop plantation play a very important role. strip cropping etc. They help to prevent soil erosion and retention of moisture. no-till farming. Successful watershed management has been done at Sukhomajri Panchkula. 2. the hills lose stability and get disturbed resulting in landslides. Contour trenching at an interval of one meter on overburdened dump. rapid erosion etc. Haryana through active participation of the local people. In Dehradun trees like Eucalyptus. 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. Afforestation and agro-forestry: In watershed development. contour cropping. Various measures taken up for management include the following: 1. Scientific mining and quarrying: Due to improper mining. Public participation: People’s involvement including the farmers and tribals is the key to the success of any watershed management program. particularly the soil and water conservation. Mechanical measures for reducing soil erosion and runoff losses: Several mechanical measures like terracing. 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. Woody trees grown successfully in such agro-forestry programs include Sheesham. peak discharge and soil loss in Dehradun and Siwaliks 4. bunding. Several anthropogenic activities accelerate its slope instability which need to be prevented and efforts should be made to project the watershed by preventing overgrazing. bench terracing. are used to minimize runoff and soil erosion particularly on the slopes of watersheds. 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. Teak and Keekar which have been used in watershed areas of river Yamuna. People’s cooperation as well as participation has to be ensured for the same. terracing and contour . In high rainfall areas. It also helps in moderation of floods. 5. Properly educating the people about the campaign and its benefits or sometimes paying certain incentives to them can help in effective people’s participation.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. Water harvesting: Proper storage of water is done with provision for use in dry seasons in low rainfall areas. Bunding has proved to be a very useful method in reducing runoff. Watershed management in Himalayan region is of vial importance since most of the watersheds of our country lie there.
A major portion of the forest is declared as core-area. it also has a social aspect associated with it which is often neglected. which causes displacement of the native people. underprivileged tribal people.three states people and many villages get affected. On steeper slopes with sliding faces. 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.74 farming to check runoff and erosion etc. it is a welcome step for conservation of the natural resources. When these villagers are deprived of their ancestral right or access to forests. as the socio economic and ecological base of the local community is disturbed. There is a need to look into their problems and provide them some employment. Several thousands of hectares of land area is covered in mining operation and the native people are displaced. where the entry of local dwellers or tribals is prohibited. various mines are predominant in Jharkhand. very often there is over-exploitation of natural resources and degradation of the environment. 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.g. the native people of the project site are directly affected.g. Besides this. Bhakra Nangal Dam. c) Displacement due to creation of National park: When some forests are covered under a National Park.One more stir is currently on is Sardar Sarovar Project. These native people are generally the poorest of the poor. However. However.movement called Chipko Movement. they usually retaliate by starting destructive activities. . Hirakum Dam. Tehri Dam are the examples where many people and their villages in the vicinity got affected. Developmental projects are planned to bring benefits to the society. straw mulching tied with thin wires and ropes helps in establishing the vegetation and stabilizing the slopes. b) Displacement due to mining: Mining is another developmental activity. in the process of development. quite often. 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. RESETTLEMENT AND REHABILITATION ISSUES: Problems and concerns: Economic development raises the quality and standard of living of the people of a country. Sometimes displacement of local people is due to accidents occurring in mined areas like subsidence of land that often leads to shifting people e. these mines had displaced many people.
gets lost. their folk-songs. 1894 which empowers it to serve notice to the people to vacate their lands if there is a need as per government planning. They feel like fish out of water. food insecurity. social and cultural functions. the government has the Land Acquisition Act. which has been inherited and experienced by them about the flora. it is individual-based resettlement. which totally ignores communal settlement. Different states are following different practices in this regard. dances and activities vanish with their displacement. increased morbidity and mortality and social isolation. For this purpose. 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. Even if they get cash compensation. Provision of cash compensation in lieu of the land vacated exists in the Act. Even when they are resettled. d) The land acquisition laws ignore the communal ownership of property. Rehabilitation policy: There is a need for a comprehensive National Rehabilitation Policy. In India. Thus the tribals lose their communitarian basis of economic and cultural existence. marriages. jobs. fauna. they get alienated in the modern economic set up.75 REHABILITATION ISSUES: The United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights has declared that right to housing is a basic human right. The age-long indigenous knowledge. their uses etc. home. 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. . most of the displacements have resulted due to land acquisition by the government for various reasons. c) The tribals are not familiar with the market policies and trends. f) Loss of identity and loss of the intimate link between the people and the environment is one of the biggest loss. Displacement further increases their poverty due to loss of land. loss of access to common property assets. e) Kinship systems. which is an inbuilt system amongst the tribals.
The guiding principles of this view are: 1. Economic growth is very good and more the growth. Man is considered to be most capable for managing the planet earth. we can see that our acts will follow what we think. Earth has an unlimited supply of resources and it all belongs to us. These two world-views are discussed in here in relation to environmental protection: a) Anthropocentric Worldview: This view is guiding most industrial societies. leading to a better environment and better future. “The environmental crisis is an outward manifestation of the crisis of mind and spirit. The first view urges us to march ahead gloriously to conquer the nature and establish our supremacy over nature through technological innovations. If we want to check the environmental crisis. A healthy environment depends upon a healthy economy. So. because it raises our quality of life and the potential for economic growth is unlimited. That in turn. 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”. It is rightly said. ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS: Environmental ethics refers to the issues. 2. we will have to transform our thinking and attitude.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. it reflects our human-centric thinking. would transform our deeds. if we think “Nature has provided us with all the resources for leading a beautiful life and she nourishes us like a mother. this is an earth-centric thinking. we should respect her and nurture her”.’ It all depends on how do we think and act. It puts human beings in the center giving them the highest status. principles and guidelines relating to human interactions with their environment. 3. The second view urges us to live on this earth as a part of it. Man is the planet’s most important species and is in the in-charge of the rest of the nature. like any other creation of Nature and live sustainably. 4. On the other hand. . economic growth and development without much botheration to care for the damage done to the planet earth. the better it is.
5. One should be grateful to the plants and animals which nourish you by giving you food. One should keep each day sacred to earth and celebrate the turning of its seasons. Nature exists not for human beings alone. Economic growth is good till it encourages earth-sustaining development and discourages earth-degrading development. The success of mankind depends upon how good managers we are for deriving benefits for us from nature. 4. One should not waste your resources on destructive weapons. One should limit your offsprings because too many people will overburden the earth. but for all the species. 2. 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. The basic beliefs are as follows: 1. One should not run after gains at the cost of nature rather should strive to restore its damaged majesty.77 5. One should not conceal from others the effects you have caused by your actions on earth. 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. • • • • • • • . A healthy economy depends upon a healthy environment. b) Eco-centric Worldview: This is based on earth-wisdom. One should not hold yourself above other living things and have no right to drive them to extinction. 3.
Vatapournitma. However. Even small changes in climatic conditions may disturb agriculture that would lead to migration of animals including humans. seasonal variations and extremes of weather in region. Our teachings on “having fewer wants” ensure to put “limits to growth” and thus guide us to have an eco-centric life style. the mean average temperature has fluctuated by 0. Even the various festivals envisaged by Hinduism also prescribe the participation of humans in the celebrations through nature. It is observed that earth’s temperature has changed considerably during the geological times. during the past 10000 years of the current interglacial period. We have relatively stable climate for thousands of years due to which we have practiced agriculture and increased population. Our religious and cultural rituals make us perform such actions that would help in the conservation of nature and natural resources. It is the general weather conditions. CLIMATE CHANGE: Climate is the average weather of an area. One should consume the material goods in moderate amounts so that all may share the earth’s precious treasure of resources. Green house . the green house effect and recent changes in global temperature. (Nisarga Pooja is what we perform during celebrations of our festivals e. Baishakhi.g.) The concept of Ahimsa in Buddhism and Jainism ensure the protection and conservation of all forms of life. thereby keeping the ecological balance of the earth intact.78 • • One should not steal from future generations their right to live in a clean and safe planet by impoverishing or polluting it.51˚ c over 100 to 200 year period. Anthropogenic activities are upsetting the delicate balance that has been established between various components of the environment. Ganesh Festival. Dassara etc. Our Vedas also have glorified each every component of nature as gods or goddesses so that people have a feeling of reverence for them. Such conditions which average over a long period at least 30 years is called climate. The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) in 1990 and 1992 published best available evidence about past climate change. Satyanarayana Pooja. 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. It has experienced several glacial and interglacial periods.
nitrous oxide etc. Some areas will become inhabitable because of droughts or floods following rise in average sea level. 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. The average global temperature is 15˚c. Deforestation has further resulted in elevated levels of carbon dioxide due to non removal of carbon dioxide by plants through photosynthesis. This may upset the hydrological cycle. GLOBAL WARMING: Troposphere. In the absence of green house gases this temperature would have been 18˚ c. The major green house gases are carbon dioxide. famines and death of humans as well as livestock.79 gases are increasing in atmosphere resulting in increase in the average global temperature. This effect is called Green House Effect as it is similar to the warming effect observed in the horticultural Green House made of glass. ozone. While the levels of water vapour in the troposphere have relatively remained constant the levels of carbon dioxide have increased. GREEN HOUSE GASES: . Heat trapped by green house gases in the atmosphere keeps the planet warm enough to allow us and other species to exist. methane. greenhouse effect contributes a temperature rise to the tune of 33˚ c. Other gases whose levels have increased due to human activities are methane. 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. result in floods and droughts in different regions of the world. cause sea level rise. 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. nitrous oxide. the lower most layer of the atmosphere traps heat by natural process due to the presence of certain gases. changes in agricultural productivity. Therefore. and water vapours.
1. thereby affecting the distribution of vector-borne diseases like malaria. India. Cairo.5 ˚ c by 2050 if input of greenhouse gases continues to rise at the present rate. In India. the Nile. . Even at the lower value. Life of millions of people will be affected. elephantiasis etc. The green house gases include Carbon dioxide.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. Some of the most beautiful cities like Mumbai may be saved by heavy investment on embankment to prevent inundation. Hamburg and Venice as well as agricultural lowlands and deltas in Egypt. the Yangtze and the Mississippi rivers. Bangkok. Effects on human health: The global warming will lead to changes in the rainfall pattern in many areas. This will also disturb many commercially important spawning grounds. Current models indicate that an increase in the average atmospheric temperature of 3˚ c would raise the average global sea level by 0. 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.5 meters over the next 50-100 years. Heating will melt the polar ice sheets and glaciers resulting in further rise in sea level. One meter rise in sea level will inundate low lying areas of cities like Shanghai. China and will affect rice productivity. earth would be warmer that it has been for 10000 years. Global temperature increase: It is estimated that the earth’s mean temperature will rise between 1. by the sea level rise who have build homes in the deltas of Ganges. These are the green house gases present in the troposphere and resulting in an increase in the temperature of air and the earth. estuaries and coral reefs.5 to 5. methane and nitrous oxide etc. Bangladesh. the Lakshadweep Islands with a maximum height of 4 meters above the level may be vulnerable. Rise in Sea Level: With the increase in global temperature sea water will expand. filariasis. 2. 3. Sydney. thereby increasing the average surface temperature beyond 15˚ c. the Mekong. Chlorofluorocarbons.2-1. 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. and would probably increase the frequency of storm damage to lagoons.
which may drastically affect wheat and maize production. Warmer temperature and more water stagnation would favour breeding of mosquitoes. heat resistant and pest resistant varieties of crops have to be developed. Shift to renewable energy resources 4. Cut down the current rate of use of CFCs and fossil fuel. Use energy more efficiently 3. Trap and use methane as a fuel 7. To cope up with the changing situation drought resistant. which are the vectors of such diseases. Tropical and subtropical regions will be more affected since the average temperature in these regions is already on the higher side.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. Effects on Agriculture: There are different views regarding the effect of global warming on agriculture. Soil moisture will decrease and evapo-transpiration will increase. snails and some insects. Kenya and Indonesia. Adopt sustainable agriculture 9. 4. Stabilize population growth . It may show positive or negative effects on various types of crops in different regions of the world. 2. 8. Increase in nuclear power plants for electricity production 5. Shift from coal to natural gas 6. Reduce beef production. Pests will adapt to such changes better than the crops. Higher temperature and humidity will increase/aggravate respiratory and skin diseases. The areas likely to be affected in this manner are Ethiopia. Measures to check global warming: To slow down enhanced global warming the following steps will be important: 1. Increase in temperature and humidity will increase pest growth like the growth of vectors for various diseases.
Priceless stone statues in Greece and Italy have been partially dissolved by acid rain. These acids cause acidic rain. Remove atmospheric carbon dioxide by utilizing photosynthetic algae. Aquatic life especially fish are badly affected by lake acidification. 3. 2. dry deposition of acid may occur. It damages stone statues. In absence of rain. Crystals of calcium and magnesium sulphate are formed as a result of corrosion caused by acid rain. The effects are visible in the aquatic even at pH less than 5. Plant more trees.6. In fact clean or natural rain water has a pH of 5. 12. Effects of acid rain: Acid rain causes a number of harmful effects below pH 5. It damages metals and car finishes.5. . 1. 4. Acid rain is only one component of acidic deposition. It causes deterioration of buildings especially made of marble e. Acid forming gases are oxidized over several days by which time they travel several thousand kilometers. monuments like Taj Mahal. vegetation. Acidic decomposition is the total wet acidic deposition (acid rain) and dry deposition. In the atmosphere these gases are ultimately converted into sulfuric and nitric acids. On moist surfaces or in liquids these acid forming gases can dissolve an form acids similar to that formed in acid rain.g. Rain water is turned acidic when its pH falls below 5. Hydrogen chloride emission forms hydrochloric acid. Acid forming gases like oxides of sulphur and nitrogen and acid aerosols get deposited on the surface of water bodies.6 at 20˚ c because of formation of carbonic acid due to dissolution of CO2 in water.1. soil and other materials.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. Efficiently remove carbon dioxide from smoke stacks 11.
7. 6. It makes trees more susceptible to stresses like cold temperature. 3. barren hill-ridge etc. WASTELAND RECLAMATION Economically unproductive lands suffering from environmental deterioration are known as wastelands. Aquatic animals suffer from toxicity of metals such as aluminium. Norway. sodic or sandy land areas. etc.83 5. zinc and lead which leak from the surrounding rocks due to acid rain. Liming of lakes and soils should be done to correct the adverse effects of acid rain. or by anthropogenic (man-made) activities leading to eroded. snow-covered lands. sandy areas etc. Emission of SO2 and NO2 from industries and power plants should be reduced by using pollution control equipments. The wastelands include salt-affected lands. 8. coastal saline areas. It results in reproductive failure.P. Snow covered areas. More than half of our country’s geographical area (about 175 million ha) is estimated to be wasteland. drought. manganese. 9. Many lakes of Sweden. and killing of fish. mercury. . In Harayana the wastelands cover about 8. It damages foliage and weakens trees. thus indicating the seriousness of the problem for a country like ours which has to support 1/6th of the world’s population. gullied areas. undulating uplands. sandy areas. 2. Wastelands are formed by natural processes.4% of the total land area and most of it comprises saline. glacial areas and areas rendered barren after Jhum cultivation are also included in wastelands. which include undulating uplands. Canada have become fishless due to acid rain. Control of Acid Rain: 1. Many insects and fungi are more tolerant to acidic conditions and hence they can attack the susceptible trees and cause diseases. saline or waterlogged lands. and Andhra Pradesh. A coating of protective layer of inert polymer should be given in the interior of water pipes for drinking water. Maximum wasteland areas in our country lie Rajasthan (36 million ha) followed by M.
1981 and subsequently the Environment (Protection) Act. 1972. lakes. To prevent soil erosion. Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. 1980. which works to fulfill following objectives: 1.N. 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. Soon after the conference our country took substantive legislative steps for environmental protection. 1986. followed by the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. 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. rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures. 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. To improve the availability of good quality water for irrigating these lands 3.” Thus our constitution includes environmental protection and conservation as one of our fundamental duties. flooding and landslides 4. The Wildlife (Protection) Act was passed in 1972. Some of the important Acts passed by the Government of India are discussed as follows: .84 Wasteland Reclamation Practices: Wasteland reclamation and development in our country falls under the purview of Wasteland Development Board. environment was first discussed as an item of international agenda in the U. the Forest (Conservation) Act. 1974. Conference on Human Environment in Stockholm and thereafter 5th June is celebrated all over the world as World Environment Day. On 5th June.
Several Conservation Projects for individual endangered species like Lion (1972). duties etc. It defines the wild-life related terminology. It provides for legal powers to officers and punishment to offenders. illegal wild life trade in J & K.85 WILDLIFE (PROTECTION) ACT. 4. Crocodile (1974) and Brown antlered Deer (1981) were stated under this Act. pitiable condition of wildlife in mobile zoos and little emphasis on protection of plant genetic resources. Some of the major drawbacks of the Act include mild penalty to offenders. The Act provides for the constitution of Central Zoo Authority. their powers. 10. 1972 The major activities and provisions in the act can be summed up as follows: 1. transfer etc. Wildlife warden. Protection to some endangered plants. 5. 8. The act imposes a ban on the trade or commerce in scheduled animals. 3. the act is adopted all over India. 2. Under the Act. no coverage of foreign endangered wildlife. Wildlife Sanctuaries etc. It provides for the appointment of wildlife advisory Board. The Act provides for setting up of National Parks. personal ownership certificate for animal articles like tiger and leopard skins. 7. Except J & K. Tiger (1973). 9. 1980 This act deals with the conservation of forests and related aspects. The Act covers under it all types of forests . The Act is adopted by all states in India except J & K. FOREST (CONSERVATION) ACT. There is provision for trade and commerce in some wildlife species with license for sale. comprehensive listing of endangered wild life species was done for the first time and prohibition of hunting of the endangered species was mentioned. 6. possession. It provides for captive breeding programme for endangered species. which has it own Act.
trench. 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. The State Government has been empowered under this Act to use the forests only for forestry purposes. rubber and plants which are cash-crops.) 1992 Amendment in the Forest Act 1. it has to take prior approval of Central Government. National Parks etc. exploration. spices. are included under non-forestry activity and not allowed in reserve forests. Any illegal non-forest activity within a forest area can be immediately stopped under this Act. 3. mining) or for clearing some naturally growing trees and replacing them by economically important trees (reforestation). pipelines. . 2. If the species to be planted is a native species. wireless communication etc. The salient features of the Act are as follows: 1. check posts. coffee. after which it can pass orders for declaring some part of reserve forest for non-forest purposes (e. then no prior clearance is required. fencing. 3. The last activity involves large scale destruction of forest. are totally prohibited for any exploration or survey under this Act without prior approval of Central Government even if no tree-felling is involved. Wildlife sanctuaries. If at all it wants to use it in any other way. oil-yielding plants or plants of medicinal value in forest area need to be first approved by the Central Government. Even cultivation of fruit-bearing trees. In 1992. These activities are setting of transmission lines. without cutting trees or limited cutting with prior approval of Central Government.g. 2. 4.86 including reserved forests. However. Cultivation of tea. drilling and hydroelectric projects. This is because newly introduced species in the forest area may cause an imbalance in the ecology of the forest. seismic surveys. protected forests or any forested land irrespective of its ownership.g. for which prior approval of the Center is necessary. making water-holes. some amendment was made in the Act which made provisions for allowing some non-forest activities in forests. Non-forest activities include clearing of forest land for cultivation of any type of plants/crops or any other purpose (except re-afforestation). some construction work in the forest for wildlife or forest management is exempted from non-forest activity (e.
from river-beds located within the forest area fall under non-forest activity. the Forests (Conservation) Act has made ample provisions for conservation and protection of forests and prevents deforestation. boulder etc. The Supreme Court in a case T. The salient features and provisions of the Act are summed up as follows: 1. 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. 8. 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. Removal of stones. WATER (PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF POLLUTION) ACT. Mining is a non-forestry activity and prior approval of Central Government is mandatory. It provides for maintenance and restoration of quality of all types of surface and ground water. Thus. or such alteration of the physical. 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. 7. 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. bajri. This is done in order to discourage monoculture practices in the forests which are otherwise rich in biodiversity. 9. 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. 1974 It provides for maintaining restoring the wholesomeness of water by preventing and controlling its pollution. The reason is same as described above. Plantation of mulberry for rearing silkworm is considered a non-forest activity.N.87 5. 6. Pollution is defined as such contamination of water. .Godavarman Thirumulkpad Vs.
4. 7. It provides for the establishment of Central and State Boards for pollution control. sewage or trade effluent sample. Collect and compile and publish technical and statistical data related to pollution. Lay down standards for water quality parameters. The main regulatory bodies are the Pollution Control Boards. Establish and recognize laboratories for analysis of water. 8. Advise the central government in matters related to prevention and control of water pollution. 3. control or abatement of pollution.88 2. The Act makes provisions for various penalties for the defaulters and procedure for the same. budgets. 9. . conferred the following duties and powers: Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB): The board is supposed to: 1. Prepare manuals for treatment and disposal of sewage and trade effluents. Organize training programs for prevention and control of pollution. 5. 5. accounts and audit of the Central and State Pollution Control Boards. It confers them with powers and functions to control pollution. The Central and State Pollution Control Boards are widely represented and are given comprehensive powers to advise. which have been. The Act has provisions for funds. Organize comprehensive programs on pollution related issues through mass media. coordinate and provide technical assistance for prevention and control of pollution of water. 2. 4. 3. Coordinate the activities of State Pollution Control Boards and provides them technical assistance and guidance. Plan nation-wide programs for prevention. 6.
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.
Issues related to environment have been often been branded as anti-development. There is greater consideration of economic gains and issues related to eliminating poverty by providing employment that overshadows the basic environmental issues. The status of environment shows that there are drawback in environmental legislations and problems in their effective implementation. 4. Development has paved the path for rise in the levels or standards of living but it has simultaneously led to serious environmental disasters. 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. economics etc. pollution etc. Our planners. Our courses in Science. politicians and administrators have not been trained so as to consider the environmental aspects associated with their plans.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. 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. 3. . quite often there is a purposeful concealment of information about environmental aspects. 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. PUBLIC ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS: Public awareness about environment is at a stage of infancy. 2. Still we are losing our Wild Life. some awareness has taken place related to environmental degradation. Some of the main reasons responsible for widespread environmental ignorance can be detailed below: 1. In a zeal to go ahead with some ambitious development projects. The rivers have been turned into open sewers in many places and the air in our big cities is badly polluted. decision-makers. Off late. have so far failed to integrate the knowledge in environmental aspects as an essential component of the curriculum. technology.
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. campaigns. Among students through education: Such education should be imparted to the students right from the childhood age. Among the planners. 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. colleges as per the directives of the Supreme Court. the World Wide Fund for NatureIndia (WWF-India).93 Methods to Propagate Environmental Awareness There is immense need for Environmental awareness. The recent report by CSE on more than permissible limits of pesticides in the cola drinks sensitized the people all over the country. These studies are now being incorporated at all stages in schools. 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. Everyone needs to understand it because ‘environment belongs to all’ and ‘every individual matters’ when it comes to conservation and protection of environment. They can be very effective organizing public movements for the protection of environment through creation of awareness. Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad. The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). 3. TV serials etc. Among the masses through mass-media: Media can play an important role to educate the masses through articles. They can act as effective and viable link between the two. They can act both as an action group or a pressure group. Various stages and methods that can be useful for raising environmental awareness in different sections of the society are given below: 1. rallies. 2. 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. . street plays. This will appeal all age groups at the same time. It is to be created through formal and informal education to all sections of the society.
What are greenhouse gases and greenhouse effects? How do they contribute to the global warming? 9. Discuss salient features of various environmental legislations. Unit 7: . What are the major issues and problems related to rehabilitation of the displaced tribals? Discuss with examples. What do you understand by sustainable development? What are the major measures to attain sustainability? 2. 8. It can therefore said “If you want to act green. Discuss the major implications of enhanced global warming. 10. What is a watershed? Critically discuss the objectives and practices of watershed management. Discuss the measures to conserve water. What do we mean by “Environmental Refugees” or “outs tees”? What are the major causes for displacement of native tribal people? Discuss with examples. Discuss various measures for Wasteland reclamation. 4.94 Before we can all take up the task of environmental protection and conservation. 12. first think green. 7. 11. 6. Write an essay on Acid Rain.” Questions: 1. What is rainwater harvesting? What are the purposes served by it? 5. Write notes on various authorities established by various laws for prevention and control of environmental pollution. 13. we have to be environmentally educated and aware. Why is urban requirement of energy more than rural requirement? 3.
And it might take a span of few decades to double the same. The dramatic way in which global human population grew is really alarming. People started living in definite settlements leading a more stable life with better sanitation. food and medical facilities. at the rate of 3-4% per year. 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 earth was home to about 1 billion people. population growth climbed to unthought-of heights. The 14th Century A. during the Stone Age. POPULATION EXPLOSION: . population was quite stable. HIV/AIDS. With scientific and technological advancement. population explosion-family welfare program. Environmental conditions were hostile and humans had not yet developed adequate artificial means for adaptations to these stresses. Environment and human health. Droughts and outbreak of diseases used to be quite common leading to mass deaths. This trend of human population growth has definite reasons. experienced large scale mortality due to bubonic plague when about 50% of people in Asia and Europe died due to the disease. Objectives: • To understand the impact of pollution growth on the environment • To learn about various governmental initiatives for human health. We have already crossed 6 billion and may reach 11 billion by 2045 as per the World Bank estimates. Human rights. Women and Child Welfare. life expectancy of humans improved. Value Education. variation among nations. human rights. 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. In the beginning of human civilization. Role of Information Technology in Environment and human health.95 Human Pollution and the Environment Human Pollution and the Environment: Population growth. In 1800. case studies. accounting for about 90-95% of total population growth of the world in the last 50 years. Victory over famine-related deaths and infant mortality became instrumental for a rapid increase in population size. 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.D.
minerals etc.3 billion and it is predicted to grow four times in next 100 years. Industrial and economic growth are raising our quality of life but adding toxic pollutants into the air. water and soil. On 11th May 2000 we became 1 Billion and now we can say that every 6th person in this world is an Indian. on average 4-5 children are born and 2 people die. fossil fuels. 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. the world population was 6. Between 1950-90. The Population Clock: Every second. in just 40 years the population crossed 5 billion mark with current addition about 92 million every year. Population explosion is causing severe resource depletion and environmental degradation. are under tremendous pressure. are limited and due to over exploitation these resources are getting exhausted. housing.5 person every second. it will have 1. There are two important views on population growth which we need to understand: . So we are heading for very serious ramifications of the population explosion problem. 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. water. thus resulting in net gain of nearly 2. The Indian scenario: India is the second most populous country of the world with 1 billion people. as we have already discussed.63 billion people by 2050 and will become the most populous country surpassing China. the ecological life-support systems are getting jeopardized. grasslands etc. This is unprecedented growth of human population at an alarming rate is referred to as population explosion.96 There has been a dramatic reduction in the doubling time of the global human population. so that the problem of crossing the carrying capacity of the earth will never actually come. human population has grown much faster than ever before. This means that every hour we are growing by about 9000 and everyday by about 214000. As a result. In the 20th Century. Our resources like land. Even many of the renewable resources like forests. Do we have the resources and provisions for feeding. If the current growth rates continue. so to say adding a new Mexico every year. In the year 2000.
More than a hundred contraceptive methods are on trial. disease. Almost every culture in the past used to practice some traditional fertility control methods through some traditions. environmental degradation that in turn. 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. Many of these countries include abortion as part of the population control programme which very often encourages female infanticide thereby disturbing the optimal . The United Nations Family Planning Agency provides funds to 135 countries. population growth is a symptom rather the cause of poverty. surgical methods. FAMILY PLANNING: Family planning allows couples to decide their family size and also the time spacing of their offspring. A compromise between the two views is required because all these factors seem to be interdependent and interrelated. starvation. unemployment. We are getting warning signals that if not controlled. Marxian Theory: According to Karl Marx. pollution and other social ills. poverty. chemical pills and physical barriers to implantation. allowing everyone to enjoy good standard of living is the need of the hour that can voluntarily help in achieving a stabilized global population.97 1.e. The population must be kept much below the carrying capacity and stabilized. the increasing population is going to deplete all the resources beyond their regeneration capacity. Modern science has provided several birth control techniques including mechanical barriers. He believed that social exploitation and oppression of the less privileged people leads to poverty. crime and misery are invariably associated with population explosion. resource depletion. overcrowding. Therefore. taboos and folk medicine. 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. FAMILY WELFARE PROGRAMMES Population explosion is like a time bomb that must be diffused well in time. 25 billion. Equity and social justice to all. 2. disease outbreak and violence as well as “preventive checks” like birth control need to stabilize population growth. A catastrophic doomsday model warns us that the earth cannot sustain more than two more doublings i. Malthusian Theory: According to Malthus. causes over population.
Nonetheless. Since then funding for family planning programmes has been increased further. Unable to reach a consensus regarding population policy. social security. Nutritional factors 2. 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. In 1978. ENVIRONMENT AND HUMAN HEALTH: Health is “a state of complete physical. proper awareness and confidence building along with accessibility and effectivity of the birth control measures. but it has been done with a different approach. In 1970’s. Chemical factors . The Indian Context: India started the family planning programme in 1952 while its population was nearly 400 million.” Health is influenced by many factors such as: 1. the government raised the legal minimum age of marriage from 18 to 21 for men and 15 to 18 years for women. Andhra Pradesh has also just achieved the target of ZPG in 2001. the population has been stabilized with a focus on social justice as already discussed. The birth control programmes have often faced strong opposition from religious groups. wells and subsidized loans. forced family planning campaign by the Government resulted in a turmoil all over the country. mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. better land. In contrast. The poor class was encouraged to be sterilized after two children by paying cash incentives. 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. Bihar and UP have shown increase in their growth rates (more than 2.5%). Still some 300 million couples do not have access to family planning. Successful family planning programs need significant societal changes including social. proper stability. housing. Even in 1981 census no drop in population growth was observed. Biological factors 3. political stability.98 male: female ratio in a society. In Kerala. the state governments in 2000 were allowed to adopt their own approach. educational and economic status for women.
Some chemicals/pesticides like DDT and other industrial pollutants may act as hormone analogs in humans and other species. yet if sound levels beyond permissible level exist for certain duration. High temperature and moisture along with malnutrition help many diseases to spread in these countries. b) Chemicals: A large number of chemicals are introduced in the environment by anthropogenic activities. . development and cause various types of ailments including tumors. Such diseases include malaria. d) Radiations: Radiations are known to cause short-term and long term changes in various organs. These environmental hormones affect reproduction. Industrial effluents containing various chemicals are of major concern. Cosmic rays and ultra-violet rays cause harmful effects on human health which may include cancer. it becomes painful and sometimes irreparable damage occurs. c) Noise: Although human ear is capable of tolerating a range of sound levels. Some of the chemicals cause abnormality in growth and development while others also sometimes affect the nervous system and the reproductive system. Psychological factors These factors may cause harmful changes in the body’s conditions are called disease. Most of these infections take place when the environmental conditions are unclean and unhygienic. Infectious organisms can also cause respiratory diseases.e.99 4. 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. These chemical could be divided into categories i. hazardous and toxic chemicals. schistosomiasis. filariasis etc. Besides hearing damage various types of physiological and psychological changes are induced by noise pollution.
HUMAN RIGHTS Human rights are the rights that a human being must enjoy on this earth since he or she is a human being. lacks proper hygienic conditions and adequate health facilities. The worker class and the poor are the main victims and sufferers of adverse effects of industrial toxins. Although the foundation of human rights was laid in the 13th Century when resistance to religious intolerance. oils etc. Improper settlement and poor physical environment may cause various psychological problems which affect various vital physiological processes in the body. availability of basic necessities of life like water. There is strong correlation between cardiovascular diseases and the amount of salt and fat in one’s diet.g. unhealthy working conditions. It is quite painful to look at the environmental inequalities. 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. condiments. are essential for health living.100 e) Diet: Diet has a very important role in maintaining health. Malnutrition makes human prone to other diseases. Food contamination can cause various ill effects. Every year 40 million people are dying due to consumption of contaminated drinking water. sanitation etc. socio-economic restraints and scientific dogmas resulted in some revolts mainly due to the liberal thoughts of some philosophers. f) Settlement: Proper environment. Sardar Sarvor Narmada Nigam projecthampered tribal and many others. The World Health Organization estimates indicate that one out every five persons in this world is malnourished. true hopes for all people for happy. foul smelling polluted air. Various adulterated pulses. (e. 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. as they export such wastes to many developing countries who have to face the toxic impacts of the hazardous wastes.their rehabilitation is still a burning issue- . unclean and unsafe drinking water. lacks clean drinking water. sold in the market to earn profit affect human health. occupational health hazards etc. However. Housing is very important from security point of view. 1948. dignified and secure living conditions were raised with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) by the UNO on December 10. 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.
In these circumstances the function of a modern family are more formal than real. In many families both husband and wife go out for work. In these circumstances. which used to be performed by families in the past. As result of industrialization. Today children are born in hospital. Even for the Protection. The education of children today is done in schools and not in homes. There are a number of reasons for this.Medha Patkar. the function of family has changed considerably. 2) Breaking up of Joint Family: Traditionally most of the Indian families were joint families.) FAMILY VALUES: 1) Difference regarding function of family: As a result of industrialization and restructure of pay packets. The function of socialization of children. too.101 activists such as Ms. The children used to get training in the ancestral profession.but very little yielded from the stir so far. rearing and education of children. used to be performed by the family. most of these joint families are breaking up and are being replaced by nuclear families. Compared to today the family had much more function in the past. as a sequel to industrialization family trades and professions have been eliminated. in industrial town there is acute shortage of residential accommodation. homes for orphaned and children homes. Firstly. This has given rise to individualization. As a result of all these conditions joint family is all but finished in industrial towns. have been taken over by other institutions. But in the industrialized society of today family is not required to fulfill these roles. it is physically exceedingly difficult if not impossible to retain the joint family system. Baba Amte are still fighting the unending battle with the respective governments. In big towns we find today a number of Infant-Care centers. Traditionally an Indian family used to be a center of birth. nurture and care of the children there are today a number of official and non-official institutions. Secondly. 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. . Most of the people have to content themselves with a single or two room accommodations. Now a number of functions. The sense of the same parents differs widely in respect of economic and social levels. In almost all big cities people rarely take lunch at home except on Sunday and holidays.
In the past the functions. Obviously. Their status and respect in society has therefore improved considerably. Women were shut up in the four walls of the home. Thus we find in modern society. For a modern wife. children now have more say in the family affairs. Now-a-days women consider themselves equal. As a result of industrialization there has been much improvement in the status of women. From economic and social points of view woman was subject to man. The women enjoyed no independence. Everybody wants good clothes. which were. As a consequence of this situation it is small wonder that families are breaking up fast in urban society. The prevalence of contraceptives and abortion had made this goal easily attainable. At the same time standard of living has also gone up considerably. The father no longer holds away over family members. families breaking up under last strain. Thus we find that there is a strong trend towards small families in industrialized towns. They are therefore becoming independent all walks of life. In modern industrial society there is no room for such ideals. 4) Change in the status of Women: In past the status enjoyed by women in Indian society was rather low. Therefore. In Indian homes Ram and Sita were ideals of paternal devotion and wife’s dedication to husband respectively. The willingly subjected themselves to each and every whim of their husbands. Everyone wants to have his own way. even superior. it is not possible to maintain the standard within a big family. The housewives used to regard their husbands as a goal or divine beings. the cost of living has gone up. Consumerism: . to man. people these days want to keep small families. regarded sacred duty and ideals are now considered acceptable only from utilitarian point of view. Nobody these days appreciates the need for adjustment and give and take. Compared to parents. The father was regarded to be head of the family and his command was rarely defied. were spiritual and religious. The status of father in a family is being lowered as a result of industrialization. 6) Difference in family goals: The goals and ideals. no one likes to be subject to anybody. There is continuous tension and conflict in the minds of family members. the husband can be at best a honorable colleague and under no circumstances.102 3) Small families: As a result of industrialization. a God. As a result of this feeling many women today do not like to marry. which nourished the traditional Indian family. Without husband the condition of a woman was miserable. They wish to assert their independence by defying the laws of society. 5) Disintegration of Family: As a result of industrialization the outlook of intense individualism has grown. houses and other comforts of life. Even children used to give unqualified respect to their parents.
The savings habits have been getting converted into spending habits. there will be no industrialization. 2. embezzlement. Main features of such society are: 1. that the habits of spending have undergone change. Exploitation of workers: In this society. Since the matters of religion is neglected while selling certain items. so that the importance of man and manual work very much decreases. Goods are produced on large-scale basis. Every thing is done with the help of machines. articles beyond their buying capacity. The value system changes. corruption and dreaming for unrealistic dreams brings about the change in every member of the society. Even the Grocer start selling items. and two-wheelers on installments have also been impact of changing pay structures. Landlords change their rate of rents. car. Such persons are willing to buy things. misappropriations etc.103 Because of rapid industrialization. The ideals change and immoral things are pretended to be sound and worth following. Mass production: In industrialization there is always mass production. banks. which he would never. the comparative gap between rich and poor is widening. Domination of machines: In this society machine dominates man. The tendencies of buying the articles. The issues like consumerism. 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. The shopkeepers change their style of selling. luxury items. The whole society undergoes the change in approach to life. Society: The members of society have direct impact of such changes in pay structures. The society also becomes money minded. Such society is called industrial society. It is because unless society is in a position to feed the machines. house. given his/her religion. Those with jobs and those with-outs have been reality of the rat race of daily life. there is naked exploitation of workers. It’s the impact of the continuous increase in salaries and wages every year. had. In such society those who have jobs and reasonable salary or wage are now not worrying about the money in their pockets. There are increasing tendencies of resorting to availing loans from financial institutions. 3. They are paid basis minimum wages so that they survive and work for .
This is a continuing feature of the industry. 7. 5.104 industry. are economically rich. Single-family system is replacing old joint family system. The owner of the industry is interested only in getting his goods and making his brand popular in the market. Pressure on existing institutions: Industrialization exerts heavy pressure on existing institutions like marriage. They are not given any share in profits. They live in slums in miserable conditions. In fact outlook of these nations is purely materialistic and those weigh every thing in terms of money. family rural life. These nations. This can be possible only when more attention is paid to scientific advancement. There are always employment opportunities in the industries. Envirnomental Pollution: Industry bring with it pollution in the environments. The people therefore. noise of the machines. Awakening has started coming in the rural areas where people are not prepared to accept every thing blindly. Every effort is made to have scientific inventions so that new machines can do maximum work within minimum time. which are industrially advanced. 8. Once industries had been set up a town develops around that. In fact three is no existing social institution. 9. 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. 6. So is the case of religion. No identification with the work: Another feature is that the worker is not identified with the work. Scientific advancement: In modern era. 10. Many religious practices are now questioned. Working conditions in which labourers are required to work too are not good. which he is doing. rather than bring workers on the forefront. In this way trend towards urbanization starts. 11. Material prosperity: Industrialization has brought with it material prosperity. Smoke of chimney of factories. Poor working conditions: The workers are not paid adequately with the result that they cannot afford to live in good houses. which does not come under strain with industrialization. 4. start migrating from rural areas. With industrialization the institutions of marriage has come under heavy strains. Trend towards urbanization: Industries are set abound places where communication and other facilities are easily available. It is unavoidable because so many goods are produced . Even their wages are increased after a lot of agitation. Colonialism: Industrialization has brought with it colonialism and evils which this system brings with it. educational system and so on. It is now considered a friendship and not religious institution. there is always keen desire of society to have new inventions.
Value education has different phases i. value awareness. industrial societies have its own advantages and disadvantages but fact remains that today every nation is in a race to industrialize itself. value appraisal. 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. . The rapid strides of scientific and technological advancement have no doubt. national integration. helpful. aesthetic values and environmental values. national values.e. national pride. Value education increases awareness about our national history. value selection. community development and environment. Value education helps in arriving at value-based judgment in life based on practical understanding of various natural principles rather than acquiring certain prejudices. social values. 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. value commitment and value action. VALUE EDUCATION Education is one of the most important tools in bringing about socio-economic and cultural progress of a country. enjoyable and sustainable future. to inculcate a positive attitude in them and to teach them the distinction between right and wrong. professional values. In this way. 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. It teaches them to be compassionate. The basic aim is to create and develop awareness about the values. value orientation. in this frenzy for development and mad race for progress perhaps man has become too materialistic. But. self-centered and over-ambitious and the desired ideals of a real good life have been pushed to the background. peaceful. Value education encompasses human values. brought revolutionary changes in our every day life and information technology has shrunk the whole world into a “global village”. peace loving. our cultural heritage. constitutional rights and duties. their significance and role. 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. with access to very information sitting in one corner over the internet. religious values. However. Value-based education thus has a very significant role in providing proper direction to our youth. generous and tolerant so that they can move towards more harmonious.
2. 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. . treating them as sacred. Cultural and religious values enshrined in Vedas like “Dehi me dadami te” i. be it rivers.e.106 Value based Environmental Education: Environmental education or environmental literacy is something that every person should be well versed with. mountains or forests. tolerance and justice which are the basic teachings of most of our religions need to be woven into environmental education. 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. These are the values to be matured so that the forms of life and the biodiversity on this earth are protected. Environmental education should encompass the ethical values of earth-centric rather than human-centric world-view. 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. “you give me and I give you” (Yajurveda) emphasize that man should not exploit nature without nurturing her. If we disturb this harmony anywhere there will be an ecological imbalance leading to catastrophic results. The educational system should promote the earth-citizenship thinking. Instead of considering human being as supreme we have to think of the welfare of the earth. 3. 5. compassion.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. 4. earth. Social values like love. The basic human value ‘man in nature’ rather than ‘nature for man’ needs to be infused through the same.
toilet seats or insect bite like that of mosquito or bed bug. . faeces or saliva during normal kissing. “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. however. self-discipline. contentment. China and India. doesn’t spread through tears. HIV. reduction of wants. delivery or breast feeding. HIV/AIDS AIDS.107 6. HIV can also pass from infected mothers to their babies during pregnancy. health hazards. All these values promote conservationism and transform our consumerist approach. Spiritual values highlight the principles of self-restraint. It also does not spread by sharing utensils. According to a recent estimate about 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide and 70% of them in Sub Saharan Africa. clothing. About 3 million people died due to HIV/AIDS in 2003. loss of mental peace and merciless destruction of nature’s beauty and natural resources. our attitudes and our life-styles. AIDS is rapidly spreading in Eastern Europe and Asia. socio-cultural. It is expected that in the coming decades there will be sharp increase in HIV/AIDS cases in Russia. ethical. The above mentioned human values. urine. towels. AIDS was discovered in 1983. The value elements in environmental education alone can succeed in achieving the real goals of environmental literacy. Although sufficient knowledge has been gained about the disease yet a definite source of this virus could not be identified. freedom from greed and austerity. sweat. spiritual and global values incorporated into environmental education can go a long way in attaining the goals of sustainable development and environmental conservation. the Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome is not a hereditary disease but is caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). Valuebased environmental education can bring in a total transformation of our mindset. 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. HIV/AIDS has been identified as the forth largest cause of mortality.
2. It had spread through hepatitis B viral vaccine in New York. It is also hypothesized that AIDS is a man made epidemic produced by genetically engineered laboratory produced virus. More water is required for maintaining hygiene in AIDS affected locality. There is decline in T-cells which are the key infection fighters in the immune system. forestry conservation. Los Angeles and San Francisco. They devote less time for soil conservation. HIV destroys or disables these cells as a result of which various types of infectious diseases due to microbial invasion occur. More timber is required for making coffins or for pyre making. 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. Demand of easily accessible fuel wood increases. The deaths occur due to attack by other diseases because of the weakening of immune system. With fewer adults. It has spread through small pox vaccine programme of Africa.HIV has spread in Africa through HIV contaminated polio vaccine prepared by using monkey’s kidney. Due to large number of deaths there is loss of labour and the level of production decreases. Consumption of alcohol is understood to increase the susceptibility to infection and progression of AIDS. AIDS itself does not kill humans. The HIV carriers are also not able to perform well due to lack of energy and frequent fever and sweating. 3. especially if there are deaths of professional forest workers. Even dreaded disease like cancer can easily develop in the HIV infected persons. 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 believed that the virus has been transferred to humans from primates like African Monkey (White sooty mangabeys) or chimpanzees. According to another theory HIV has spread through vaccine programmes in various parts of the world in the following manner: 1.108 Most evidences have suggested that AIDS has spread from Africa.
victimization and harassment take many forms across culture. The exploitative nature of capitalist development not only affects the natural environment but the traditional. Women are often the worst victims of communal enmities. at workplace. men folk usually migrate to towns in search of household with little resources. domestic violence. The human rights of women are violated too often in a male dominated patriarchal society. rape. Development projects like mining very often play havoc with the life of women. development and environment. The exceptionally high number of cases of abduction. cultural and family life of women. dowry deaths. health care. Women Welfare Women usually suffer gender discrimination and devaluation at home. social. After losing the forests and getting dehabitlitated from their native places. race or nation. 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. education and awareness. in inheritance. who suffer in a number of ways mainly because they are weaker. particularly in developing countries. Men can still work in the mines or migrate to towns after getting compensation . status. 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. There is a need for complete transformation and reorientation of social ethos for restoring dignity. in matrimony. Women are also the victims of capitalism.109 WOMEN AND CHILD WELFARE Women and children are usually the soft targets. criminal offences and mental torture to women is something that needs immediate attention and reforms in interest of the women. equality and respect for women. Thus. The gender violence. 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. helpless and economically dependent. in public life and power. The statistical data provided by the Ministry of Women and Child Development is an eye opener that deglorifies the celebrated culture of our country.
Around 20 million children in our country are estimated to be working as child labours. But ironically. unhealthy conditions and yet they do not get the minimum nutritive food. some of them in various hazardous industries like the match industry. refugees and the down-trodden to be educated about these issues. in the mainstream. the United Nations Decade for Women (1975-85) witnessed inclusion of several women welfare related issues on international agenda. tribal. Child Welfare: Children are considered to be the assets of a society. firework industries. On the international level. . Poverty is the main reason to drive these children into long hours of work in miserable. most important for all women. The CEDAW (International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women. It is however. what to talk of educational and recreational facilities. educate them and help them to become economically self-dependent. The NNWM is now working for rights of women over natural resources. which are their childhood rights. 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. 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. train them. 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. out of 21 million born every year in India are abandoned soon after their birth due to different socio economic reasons. the statistical figures depict that about a million babies. resettlement and compensation issues. Issues related to their dignity and honour have not received any attention. 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. brassware industry and pottery industry. The displaced women are the worst affected as they do not get any compensation and are totally dependent upon the males for wages.110 from the government.
special emphasis on girl child’s education including health and nutrition. The right to participation means freedom of thought. expansion of earlier childhood development activities including low cost family based involvements are some of the important actions envisaged. It is high time to work together for a secure and cleaner environment so as to give our children a cleaner and safer planet. protection. food and air than adults. Even the growing foetus in the mother’s womb is not safe and free from the adverse effects of environmental toxins. education. After the UN convention on Rights of Child. Hence more susceptible to any environmental contamination. abuse. The right of protection means freedom from exploitation. mid-day meals scheme. Children are also most affected due to environmental pollution. conscience and religion and appropriate information to the child. “They consume more water. inhuman treatment and neglect. Government of India in which a strategic plan has been formulated for children welfare in the priority areas of health. The right of survival emphasizes on adequately good standards of living. it became International Law in the year 1990. development and participation. The right of development ensures access to education. Universalization of effective access to at least primary level schooling. early childhood care and support. The law defines right of the child to survival. Water diseases are the biggest threat to children. The World Summit on Children held on September 30. clean and safe drinking water. 1990 had a focus agenda for the wellbeing of the children targeted be achieved in the beginning of the new millennium. social security and right to leisure and recreation. sanitation and environment. Childhood cancer rates are also increasing by 6% every year.” says one of the scientific reports of Center for Science and Environment (CSE.111 The UN General Assembly in 1959 adopted the Declaration of the Rights of a child. nutrition. affecting around 6 million children in India. Primary education must be free and easily available to one and every child in the country. India is also a signatory to the World Declaration on Survival. New Delhi). 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. Protection and Development of Children. . upgradation of home based skills. A national plan for action for children has been formulated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).
Database is also available for diseases like HIV/AIDS. Biodiversity. Media Related to Environment. The comprehensive database includes wild life database. Fluorosis etc. called Environmental Information System(ENVIS). Government of India has created an Information System. forest cover database etc. conservation database. Renewable Energy. Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats.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. . With its Head Quarters in Delhi it functions in 25 different centers all over the country. Mangroves. Environmental Management. Government of India has taken up the task of compiling a database on various biotic communities. World Wide Web (WWW). Environmental Information System (ENVIS): The Ministry of Environment and Forests. Himalayan Ecology. Coastal Ecology. The National Institute of Occupational Health provides computerized information on occupational health i. 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 Ministry of Environment and Forests. In the computer the information of the database is arranged in a systematic manner that is easily manageable and can be very quickly retrieved. safety measures etc. geographical information system (GIS) and information through satellites has generated a wealth of up to date information on various aspects of environment and health. Desertification. Remote Sensing. Mining etc. 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. economics. Development of internet facilities. Clean Technologies. the health aspects of people working various hazardous and non-hazardous industries. politics or culture. The ENVIS work for generating a network of database in areas like pollution control. Wild life. Malaria. It is usually in computerized form and can be retrieved whenever required. Database Database is collection of interrelated data on various subjects.e.
GIS serves to check unplanned growth and related environmental problems. 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. Planning for locating suitable areas for industrial growth is now being done using GIS by preparing zoning Atlas. inversion phenomenon. industrial growth. Even interpretation of polluted zones. They also provide information of atmospheric phenomenon like approach of monsoon. reliable and verifiable information about forest cover. GIS is technique of superimposing various thematic maps using digital data on a large number of interrelated or interdependent aspects. We are able to discover many new reserves of oil. mineral and energy reserves and so on. We are able to gather digital information on environmental aspects like water logging. management. degraded lands or diseased cropland etc can be made based on GIS. deforestation. urban sprawl. human settlements. Different thematic maps containing digital information on a number of aspects like water resources. smog etc. environmental conservation. Our satellite data also helps in providing correct. desertification. minerals etc with the help of information generated by remote sensing satellites. One of the most important online learning centers with power web is www.com/environmentalscience and multimedia Digital Content Manager (DCM\) in the form CD-ROM provides most current and relevant information on . schistosomiasis etc based upon mapping of such areas. Such information is very useful for future land use planning. forest land. success of conservation efforts etc. river and canal network. Thus Remote Sensing and GIS play a key role in resource mapping. soil type. It also helps in identifying several disease infected areas which are prone to some vector born diseases like malaria.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. planning and environmental impact assessment.mhhe. ozone layer depletion. Geographical Information System (GIS) has proved to be a very effective tool in environmental management. road network. crop land or grass land etc are superimposed in a layer form in computer using softwares. Several useful softwares have been developed for working in the field of GIS. World Wide Web: A vast quantum of current data is available on World Wide Web.
management and planning in the field of environment and health. current articles and interactive encyclopedia and how to contact your elected officials. key terms. 3. environment maps. The World Wide Web with resource material on every aspect. applications and solutions. various problems. queries. 2. Student friendly features: These include practice quiz. 4. 5. How can you trace history of population growth? How can you predict the population growth trends of a nation? Explain with examples. power point lecture presentations. Questions: 1. hyperlinks on every chapter’s topic with detailed information. 6. digital files or photos. answer to web exercises. solution to critical thinking questions. career information. What is Universal Declaration of Human Rights? What is its importance in achieving the goals of equity. web exercises. web exercises and quiz has proved to be extremely useful both for the students and the teachers of environmental studies. animations. The role of online learning center website has the following distinguishing features: 1. case studies. What is meant by “Population Explosion”? Discuss the Indian scenario. editing facilities to add or delete questions and create multiple versions same test etc. Information technology is expanding rapidly with increasing applications and new avenues are being opened with effective role in education. What do you mean by Population clock? How is it related to the concept of Zero population growth and Life expectancy? 2. additional case studies.Teacher friendly features: These include in addition to above supplement resource charts. classroom activities. What is meant by “population stabilization”? Discuss the family welfare and family planning programmes in Indian context. how to study tips.114 principals of environmental science. Discuss the influence of environmental parameters and pollution on human health. justice and sustainability? .
What are the objectives and elements of value education? How can the same be achieved? 9. ENVIS and GIS in dissemination of environmental information and environmental management? . Discuss various issues and measures for women and child welfare at international and national level. 11. Briefly discuss HIV/AIDS mode of its spread and its effect on environment. 10.115 7. Discuss the salient features of Draft Declaration of Human Rights and Environment. 8. What is the role of NMIS.
Find out whether the river is perennial or seasonal in nature. Background data-Note down the name of the river or tributary. forest. experimentation and formulation of implemental plans to achieve sustainable development I. A) STUDY OF RIVER ENVIRONMENT: 1. Study of common plants. Water quality observations: a) Note down whether the water of the river is clear or turbid. Write a report based on your observations and understanding about various aspects of environment. VISIT TO A LOCAL AREA TO DOCUMENT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSETS Visit may be planned to any nearby river. . medicinal utilities • To cultivate habits of observations.study river environment. water-logged/saline land. grassland. depending upon the easy access and importance. what do you expect? Penetration of light into the water would be more therefore green . The contents of this study material provide the required information for the study and for arriving at some important conclusions about the system. its place of origin and its course of route. mountain/hilly area. insects and birds Objectives: • To make students plan the visits to various environmental assets • To make them note down the variety of organisms. 2. 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. grassland.if it is clear. ecological. hill or mountain.116 Unit 8 FIELD WORK Topics: Visits to a local area to document environmental assets. Visit to some local polluted site: an industrially polluted area. forests. objects in the vicinity they come from and the utility it has for the human being such as commercial.
If the pH is quite low i.e. skin problems to human being consuming the water? Try to interpret the same. it indicates contamination by municipal sewage. then look for the visual differences in the water quality at the upstream and downstream sides.scan. e) Determine the pH of water using a portable pH. The pH would normally range between 6. 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. 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. b) Note the temperature of water with a thermometer or thermo probe. Uses: How is the river water used? Prepare a list of its uses. 4. B) STUDY OF A FOREST: . crocodile.e. Observations on aquatic life: a) look for different types of life forms. 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. If pH is quite high i. water snake etc. cattle death.117 quatic plants will be growing better. massive fish death.? What are the important aquatic birds seen by you? b) Draw food chain diagram that would be present in the river.how would it affect the primary productivity of the river? You know that sunlight penetration is obstructed by turbidity. c) Do you observe any froth and foam or dark coloured or greasy substances in the river? If yes. then what are these? Find out the likely sources of these pollutants. tortoise.e.-if it turbid. alkaline. 5. 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.5 to 8.5. it indicates pollution by industries. Is your river water of good quality or it is polluted? 3. The primary productivity will be high.
Grassland quality observations: a) Try to identify the names of the dominant grasses or plants. they tend to bind the soil particles firmly and help in conserving soil.e. fungi etc. animals or insects do you see around? Make a list of the ecological uses of the forest based on your observations.i.? What would be their probable impacts? C) ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS OF GRASSLAND: 1.g. What type a forest is it? . then it cannot help in binding the . dam building. (adventitious roots).118 1. a part of some Biosphere reserve or National park or Sanctuary? If yes. deforestation. a tropical rain forest/ deciduous forest etc. juicy nature with green colour showing good palatability? OR the dominant plants shave a coarse. Human impacts: Do you observe any anthropogenic activities in the forest e. Background data: Note down the name of the forest. mining. 4. having rhizomes or there is a single. If the root is tap root. then what are the special features associated with it? 2. are there numerous fibrous roots in a bunch.e.? What is the use of stratified structure i.? Is the present forest. Commercial uses: Prepare a list of the various uses of the present forest. 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. multi-layered structure of vegetation in the forest? 3. Forest Structure: Note down the salient features of the forest. long tap root? c) if roots are adventitious. runner-type.e.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. hard texture with spines/thorns? b) Take out a few plants to see what type of roots do they have. grazing. 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. herbs and grasses of lower height? d) Is there a thick or thin forest floor consisting of leaf litter (dry dead leaves) algae. delicate. timber extraction etc. 5. fenced or disturbed? 2. Are these dominant plants having soft. quarrying.
D) STUDY OF MOUTAIN/HILLY AREA: 1. The land area from which water drains under gravity to a common drainage channel is called watershed. Make your own observations in the present grassland i.e. Overgrazing has several far reaching consequences. only a limited number of livestock (cattle) is being allowed to graze OR there is unmanaged grazing.e. 2. Water-sheds: Try to look for some springs. where landslide would have occurred recently or in the past. it indicates degradation of the grassland due to overgrazing. 3. Landslides: You will come across some regions. whether it is well managed or degraded/ . Observations on natural vegetation: Make your observations on the forests present on the hill slopes. Note down the altitude of the region. Uses: Prepare a list of the utilities of the grassland. rivers and channels coming out from the mountains. its uses and its status i. Background data: Note down the name of the mountain ranges or the hills. hard. 4. 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. 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. 4. prickly plants occupying some areas. Normal grazing is useful for increasing the overall productivity/yield of the grassland. Find out the average annul rainfall and temperature in the area. Gather some information about the water shed in the study area.e. What is the condition dominant in the present grassland? Do you observe soil erosion? 3.119 soil particles firmly. 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.Grazing and Overgrazing: Find out if there is managed grazing on the grassland i.
a) what type of farming is done? Is it shifting cultivation. Agricultural practices have also led to pesticide pollution. For this you can take 10 grams of soil and dissolve it in 20ml water in a beaker. 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.e. A) STUDY OF AN INDUSTRIALLY POLLUTED AREA: 1. water logging and salinization. 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. 2. construction. If the EC exceeds 4. quarrying. Dip in EC probe into it which will indicate the EC of the soil. maize. traditional or modernized? What would be their impacts? b) Do you observe farming. You can observe crusts of white salts on the soil surface making it barren that is a saline soil. d) How much anthropogenic activities do you observe on the mountain/hill? These activities usually include mining. .g.120 5. it is saline. Salinity and crop growth: a) Find out the salinity level (Electrical conductivity. Background information: Visit a water logged or salt-affected land in some rural agricultural area. Plantations/farming: Look for the type of plantations (e. contour or strip cropping? Why is such cropping helpful in hills? c) Find out the water and nutrient requirements of these crops. wheat) done artificially on the hill slops. 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. A visit to some industrial area or degraded land area will be very useful to obtain first hand information about the same.g. An area having permanently standing water on the soil is a water logged soil. The EC can be as high as 20-40 dS/m also. Gather information from the farmers about its historical background i. tea plantation) or farming (e. What major impacts do you observe or predict in future? II.. tourism. EC) of the soil. hydroelectric projects etc. VISIT TO SOME LOCAL POLLUTED SITE Human activities related to urbanization and industrialization has led to large scale pollution of the environment.
Remediation: Find out what remedial measures are being taken by the farmer to deal with the problem. productive. tannin. 1. 3. Find out how some of them are useful to us and some cause damage to our crops/fruits.121 3. Birds: Identify some common birds of your locality. dye. Plants: Study the common plants of your locality. fiber etc. shrubs and herbs. INSECTS AND BIRDS Biodiversity or the variability among plants. Observe small birds with long beaks pollinating flowers. including trees. resins. You can study them mainly in relation to their value. 2. What measures can you suggest? STUDY OF COMMON PLANTS. It is worthwhile to know about some common 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. Observe the birds in the plough-fields eating insects/leaves. insects and birds of our locality. 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. rubber. c) Miscellaneous: Note down the names of plants which have other uses like producing gum. a) Medicinal plants: Local people often have indigenous knowledge about the medicinal value of various plants. social and ecological value. animals and microbes found on this earth is just remarkable and has tremendous potential in terms of its consumptive.