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.
To a significant degree. sociology and government that affect or describe these interactions. all have to be sensitive to environmental issues. water and living environments and the effects of technology thereon. such as chemistry. the geosphere and the biosphere. ‘Environmental studies’ not only represents but also promotes the principles of environmental management. it is appropriate to have an introduction to environmental studies. of their actions. and place in which living organisms carry out their life cycles.4 The problems of pollution and wanton degradation of environmental resources cannot be solved without proper understanding of their causes and effects. Not only that. Traditionally. resource utilization and ecosystem. it is difficult to think of a timelier introduction of this subject in the matter of study for modern management courses. One of the most urgent tasks of our times to understand the implications of environmental damage and resource depletion that we witness today. we need to bring out a comprehensive study which would be useful both for educational institutions and corporate world. The students. This is the discipline of natural history. biology. general public and leaders. they have to be fully aware of environmental consequences. atmospheric. It is through this perplexity. environmental science has evolved from investigations of the ways by which. measures and programs for environmental studies. which in recent time has evolved into ecology. it is necessary to build up professional capabilities to develop and adopt policies. We cannot ignore study of relationship between ecological devastation and deteriorating human conditions. Some of the environmental issues are perplex. It includes all the disciplines. environmental science may be defined as the study of the earth. In broadest sense. We must learn how to manage our environment. air. the hydrosphere. the study of environmental factors that affect organisms and how organisms interact with these factors and with each other. who are future managers of business in different sectors of economic growth and social welfare. Alongside. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE OR STUDIES? Environmental science in its broadest sense is the science of complex interactions that occurs among the terrestrial.
. It is absolutely the truth that environmental degradation is increasingly undermining over lives. In such a scenario. teachers. workers and executives and government as well as non-governmental organizations. habits and attitudes. living and anthropological environments. environmental science is divided among the study of the atmosphere. For the students of management schools.
his activities and his region. their degradation. Resources. It may be defined as the study of the sources. economic planning. due to geographical factor is uneven. infrastructure and the various stages in the economic development like economic conditions. they largely determine the nature of these species. reactions. and even their syntheses. and fates of chemical species in water.5 Environmental science is now a mature. agriculture. developed or developing. economic policies. France. These gifted regions have exploited these resources for their economic developments and have come to be known as developed countries. economic system and trade cycle. the resources have become concentrated in some specific regions only. population. Environmental Science and Biology: The ultimate environmental concern is that of life itself. soil. The discipline that deals specifically with the effects of environmental chemical species on life is environmental biochemistry. transport.are major internal and external factors which make up the total economic environment.
. 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. Examples of such countries are USA. particularly in the aquatic and soil environments. effects. 3.e. industrial production. Biological processes not only are profoundly influenced by chemical species in the environment. and air environments and the effects of technology thereon. 2. Whereas the other regions which had poor resource concentration and which are still in developing stage have come to be known as developing countries. Environment and Economics Economic environment refers to all these factors or forces which contribute to economic impact on the man. 1. Availability of resources and the technology to exploit them plays most significant role in economic development or economic environment of a region. viable discipline. One of environmental chemistry’s major challenges is the determination of the nature and quantity of specific pollutants in the environments. So it is economic environment of a region or country that decides its status i. The study of such phenomena forms the basis of environmental biochemistry. economic philosophy. As the distribution of natural resources. Environmental Science and Chemisty: This relation is known as environmental chemistry. UK etc.
It may also be called as humanized landscape. cultural environment also should differ from place to place. The cultural environment is the imprint of man’s activities. floods etc. In other words. roads. This requires more exploitation of resources which not only hampers the resource reserves but also affects the eco-system of that region. are some of the main factors responsible for deteriorating the quality of the physical environment. a stable economic environment does not always help the mankind. We may call this cultural environment as a social environment or socio-cultural environment or even social heritage. As per the passage of time man has acquired technical and scientific knowledge. heavy rainfalls. Through this powerful tool he is changing fast the physical environment into cultural landscape. Both East Germany and West Germany serve as best example of interdependence of political and economic environment. the problems like depletion of forests. plantation etc. and grows in size and importance. It goes on piling one after another. epidemics such catrina. In the present situation. Cultural environment is only human adaptation and adjustment to natural or physical environment. Every human activity necessary for economic development affects the local. hence human activities and achievements depend not only upon natural environment also upon manmade environment. as more resources are needed to feed more mouths. earthquakes in Jammu and Kashmir. the agricultural development. The effects may be of short term or long term in nature. 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. regional or global environment. All manmade features such as buildings. The industrialization. his occupation and utilization of the physical resources for his own benefit. which contribute to economic environment of the region.6
A population factor has its own say as regards economic environment of a region. are called cultural features. the extinction of rare species of flaura and fauna. However. the extraction of various energy and other resources etc. Sometimes it becomes
. are some of the major environmental problems the world is facing on various levels today. Cultural environment have their tools in the natural environment and in the cultural level of the different human groups. The main disadvantage of it being its impact on the physical environment. it means it has its roots in nature. Cultural Environment: It is the manmade environment or manmade landscape. man as per his knowledge and capacity super-imposes culture on nature. As the natural environment differs place to place. settlements. Culture develops on nature. It could be said as both economic and political are interdependent on each other. the global warming. 4. rita cyclones in USA.
direct. but becomes more complex and indirect as the human society grows up in knowledge and size.7 per cent per year. partly through his numbers and partly through his skills. Cultural environment is simple and more directly connected with physical base in the early stages. executive and judiciary. function in public interest and within the boundaries of the constitution. develop and control many of the human activities including his business antipollution laws. implements whatever is decided by legislature and the executive. negligent. 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. It has its impact on natural environment also. dictatorial. At this stage the natural environment quality starts degrading and the question of ecological disorders and natural imbalance crops up. This rapid growth will affect both economic and physical environments at regional as well as global level. Traditional land and resources will be subjected to more and more overuse. The world population. Environmental degradation is greater in advanced rather than in primitive societies. 5. All actions of men are not wise or far-sighted and hence it leads to environmental crises. Population and Environment: Population factors play a most momentous role in socio-economic environment of a country. Environment and political set up: Political environment refers to the influence exerted by the three main political institutions viz. there will be addition of another 3. It helps to shape. Any change in the form may be counter-productive and may affect the nation from
. The poor being both the victim and the agent of environmental damage. Majority of the population being poor causes more environmental damage due to mutually reinforcing effect between poverty and environmental damage. Even the government will not be in a position to keep up with the infrastructural and human need of the growing population. agricultural or pastoral interiors. monarchy etc. is highly alarming. The executives also called as government. legislature. communist. unplanned actions which ultimately leads to environmental degradation.7 billion (1 billion = 1000 million) or more to the present population level in another three to four decades. The various ecosystems are showing signs of progressive deterioration because of man’s hasty. specially the size or density of the population. which is growing at the rate of 1. If this trend continues. A stable and dynamic political environment is a must for the development of mankind. more in the industrial and urban than rural. The type or the form government may be democratic. As an example we have changes in many villages in India.7 difficult to trace back the link with the physical base. Ecological disorder is the direct result of human action.
The subject is multidisciplinary in nature. urbanization. The scope of environmental science and its management has increased from manufacturing pollution control equipment. 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.e. Human beings are not separate entity. our ecosystem. It unfolds environmental issues for those who are directly or indirectly concerned with this discipline. (use of fertilizers and pesticides) deforestation. If the desire to lead higher living standard also increases. as all these segments are interdependent. then problem would be too acute to be manageable. physical etc. land. The disturbing factors pressurize sustainability and natural living. nature of disturbing factors and the various methods to overcome disturbing factors. Those who are not economically well off are equally affected. Most of the environmental problems are well known though we may not have found solution for all. And same is true for public leaders whose sensitization is vital in this regard. sewage and effluent treatment plants. we have been witnessing significant environmental degradation during the last few decades. Issues of environmental protection and “Right for Clean Environment” have already trickled down from educated and affluent people to the general public. 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. In India. business. socio-cultural. irreversible process would have been set in that would ultimately lead to human suffering not in the countries of South but also the North.8 several angles i. Increasing industrialization. water. transportation and population growth are the major environmental problems and these are likely to increase. They are part of the surrounding. It is believed by the scientists and the leaders in industry that if we do not come to grip with environmental issues. biomedical waste treatment and fly ash management. Thus environmental concerns have to be on the agenda of all organizations. not only that but one cannot think of human
. economic. The corporate leaders. high-intensity agriculture. Industry has significant role in environmental protection. if not more due to environmental problems. soil erosion. More and more business executives have now identified environment as issue that affect their companies.air. Similarly environmental concern has to a part of policy for the various governmental organizations. It helps us to understand the nature of environment and its components. 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.
clean and healthy for man and natural ecosystem. The study of environmental science makes us understand the scientific basis for establishing a standard which can be considered acceptably safe. Industry not only has to consider issues like profit. air quality. changes in human behaviour will be required to avert an ecological crisis. Environmental scientists warn that fundamental. plant rice. Natural ecosystem includes both physical and natural science. legislation and regulatory controls but has to go a step beyond. If the habit is degraded/damaged. Furthermore. Most environmental scientists agree that if pollution and other environmental deterrents continue at their present rates. water table and many other environmental problems. broadly listed below: • • • • • Natural Resources. Besides the issue of resources. the later have to be conserved and the use of former to be judicious. if you plan for 10 years. Without a suitable habitat neither animals nor plants nor human can survive. To safeguard the healthful environment that is essential to life. life would be adversely affected. humans must devise new strategies that mesh environmental progress with economic growth. reused. Our natural resources are either renewable or non-renewable. quality standards. humans must learn that Earth does not have infinite resources. educate people.9 survival if the services provided by the environment don’t become available. our living style. and perhaps drastic. the result will be irreversible damage to the ecological cycles and balances in nature upon which all life depends.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. plant trees and if you plan for 100 years.” If we wish to manage our planet earth. where possible. we have to make all the persons environmentally educated. Since the environment provides all the resources that are used in the process of production of goods or services. In short scope of environmental studies is broad based and it encompasses a large number of areas and aspects. rate of consumption and disposal of waste have created problems for manufacturing. The
. the responsibility of industry is of paramount consideration. marketing and management of landfills for wasters. Earth’s limited resources must be conserved and.
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. we need change at local. Each issue can be probed more deeply.
. 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. Internal Environment includes people. Environmental studies is very important but most neglected body of knowledge. On the other hand. Many a time both development and economic growth are not easily reconciled. External and Internal Environment. 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. It concerns itself with life support system and is very closely related with development and economic growth. living habits and attitudinal and ethical questions have now cropped up which are main concerns for Environmental Studies. For the above. deplete and pollute the environment. regional and global levels together with an economic and social transformation at the levels of individuals and communities. industrialized and underdeveloped or developing countries. economic. technological. national. This subject forms part of Business Environment. work ethics and attitudes. damage. It is an exploratory description of issues. An environmental study is the subject in which we examine important issues relating to environment as they affect our lives. legal. These issues are controversial and need deep study to help us understand the environmental problems. The most important questions that bother every developing country is what should be the ideal combination of pattern of growth and development. We have to choose between environment and development. international and natural environment. External environment include political. culture. Developing countries want accelerated growth to fulfill their basic needs and real question is should they follow footsteps are their big brothers. social. Business Environment is divided into two categories viz. Therefore. Both. yes Developed countries? This is a bear fact that both the consumption and life-style of people have direct relations to environmental problems. which Model of development as well as of business should be followed so that we do not ignore the principle that underlie sustainability.
Awareness regarding the state of environment is must for every human being living on this planet. throughout the country. In fact. feature films etc. are being made to be telecasted on the video media. Government with its separate ministry. Already world is surrounded by several environmental problems. the non-governmental organizations. documentaries. Several means are being employed to educate the masses.Ministry of Environment and Forest has also launched many campaigns like displaying several hoardings. Looking at the present pathetic state of environment and the knowledge people have about it. 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. almost all nations of world have geared up in creating awareness in their people. so that they could start understanding the problems that they are facing at present and would have to face in future. Various advertisements. Today everybody talks of environment. (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. especially on World Environment Day which falls on 5th June of every year. The state ministries are also playing important roles in generating awareness in masses. The media is playing a leading role in this process. the effect of which is directly felt by its inhabitants. 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.11 The government and their agencies. posters etc. may it be the people of developing countries or these from the developed ones. Nobody can escape the wrath if fallen. There is always a need to have
. Newspapers and other magazines are publishing out of lot of articles on this subject. the judiciary and now the corporate sector also expresses a great concern on matters relating natural environment and ecosystem. it has become evident for every country to educate their masses. There are several environmental problems which have been solved by using environmental studies. Unfortunately. Plantation of several trees on various occasions. is undertaken on large scale. environmental awareness campaign have very often exploited for political propaganda rather than being an integral part of our educational programmes in theory and practice.
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.
nitrates etc. 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. which provide 90 per cent of our energy requirements. Examples of renewable resources are plants. minerals etc. Non-Renewable Resources: The resources that cannot be replenished through natural processes are known as non-renewable resources. clay. ores of aluminium. phosphates. water and soil are also classified as renewable resources.g.).g. forest. land. minerals and salts (carbonates.
. which cannot be increased. mica etc. petrol. Once a nonrenewable resource is consumed. (crops and forests). Examples of these are fossil fuels and uranium.g. lead.) 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. is considered as a renewable resource in as much as solar stocks are inexhaustible on the human scale. cotton. These resources are able to increase their abundance through reproduction and utilization of simple substances. These are mainly the non-energy mineral resources.). Some examples of renewable resources though they do not have life cycle but can be recycled are wood and wood-products. copper. as a special case. These are available in limited amounts. fish and wild life) that are able to reproduce or replace them and to increase. phosphate sock and potassium and minerals used in their natural state (asbestos. Solar energy although having a finite life.g. fibers (e. mercury etc. which cannot be recycled in any way. zinc etc.) and deposits of fertilizer nutrients (e. animal wool. jute. viz.g. gold.15
1. In addition to these resources. pulp products. coal etc. which occur in the earth’s crust (e. Renewable resources: The resources that can be replenished through rapid natural cycles are known as renewable resource. Some authors prefer to classify resources into biotic and abiotic resources: a) Biotic resources: These are living resources (e. b) Abiotic resources: These are non-living resources (e. Non-renewable resources can further be divided into two categories. and animals who are being replaced from time to time because they have the power of reproducing and maintain life cycles. silk and synthetic fibers) and leather. natural rubber. silver. agriculture. 2.) b) Non-recyclable: These are non-renewable resources. Then we have to find a substitute for it or do without it. These resources include fossil fuels (petrol. copper. metals (iron. it is gone forever.
.g. atomic energy. Examples are solar energy. Following are some examples of the major natural resources: 1. Most of the renewable resources are classified as inexhaustible. 2. together with other plants. they come under non-renewable category. But if not maintained properly. but also provide several environmental services which are essential for life. FOREST RESOURCES: Forest Resources: It is a dense growth of trees. power from tides etc. Covering the earth like a green blanket these forests not only produce innumerable material goods.16 Natural resources can be classified as a) inexhaustible and b) exhaustible resources. covering a large area of land. 1. they become extinct. Hence. Forest resources 2. 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. It does not mean that we should stop using most of the natural resources. petrol and some minerals etc. Mineral resources 4. 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. Rather. It is very important to protect and conserve our natural resources and use them in a judicious manner so that we don’t exhaust them. Land resources 1. wind power. Exhaustible resources: These resources are limited in nature and they are non-maintainable e. coal. ground water is renewable only if water continues to percolate in the soil at a rate at which it is removed. Food resources 5. we should use the resources in such a way that we always save enough of them for our future generations. 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. Forests are one of the most natural resources on this earth. For example. Energy resources 6. Water resources 3.
They are rightly called as earth’s lungs. About 50-80% of the moisture in the air above tropical forests comes from their transpiration which helps in bringing rains. Half of the timber cut each year is used as fuel for heating and cooking. They have also been reported to absorb noise and thus help in preventing air and noise pollution. 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. 4. CO2. pulpwood. One sixth of the wood harvest is converted into pulp and used for paper industry. fodder. About 7 million species are found in the tropical forests alone. 5. 2. agriculture. Former USSR accounts for about a 5th of the world’s forests. food items. the total of which is estimated to be more than $ 300 billion per year. and recreation and for development of dams. They also act as windbreaks. medicine. plywood and hardwood.e. absorbing the rainfall. fibers. bamboo canes. non-edible oils.17
About 1/3rd of the world’s land area is forested which includes closed as well as open forests. Reducing global warming: The main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed by the forests as a raw material for photosynthesis. But it is a matter of concern that almost everywhere the cover of the natural forests has declined over the years. lac. Soil Conservation: Forests bind the soil particles tightly in their roots and prevent soil erosion. Brazil for about a 7th and Canada and USA each for 6-7%. The ecological services provided by our forests may be summed up as follows: 1. 3. USES OF FORESTS: Commercial Uses: Forests provide us a large number of commercial goods which include timber. Many forest lands are used for mining. grazing. resins. Regulation of hydrological cycle: Forested watersheds act like giant sponges. The greatest loss occurred in tropical Asia where one third of the forests resources have been destroyed. Wild life habitat: Forests are the homes of millions of wild animals and plants. rubber. 6. Pollution moderators: Forests can absorb many toxic gases and can help in keeping the air pure and clean. Production of oxygen: The trees produce oxygen by photosynthesis which is so vital for life on this earth.
. firewood. drugs and many more items. Thus forest canopy acts as a sink for CO2 thereby reducing the problem of global warming caused by greenhouse gas i. gum. particle board and chipboard. slowing down the runoff and slowly releasing the water for recharge of springs.
With growing civilization the demands for raw material like timber. shelter. mining. match boxes. expansion of urban. As per FAO estimates. agricultural and industrial areas and overgrazing have together led to over exploitation of our forests leading to their rapid degradation. we are still far behind the target of achieving 33% forest areas. Excessive use of fuel wood and charcoal.44 m hectares of land were brought under afforestation during this period leading to stabilization. despite the fact that we have a huge population size and very low per capita forest area (0. Raw materials for industrial use: Wood for making boxes.04% decline annually between 1982-90. 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. wood and fuel. shooted up resulting in large scale logging. we have this practice of North-East and to some extent in Andhra Pradesh. thereby increasing the pressure on forests. Deforestation rate is relatively less in temperate countries. plywood. which contribute to nearly half of the forest clearing annually. The international timber trade alone is worth over US $ 40 billion per year. road-building and clearing of forests. furniture. In India. The forested area in India seems to have stabilized since 1982 with about 0. pulp for paper industry etc. as per our National Forest Policy. 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. have exerted
. Major causes of Deforestation: 1. 1998). as we are still having only 19.075 ha per capita). railwaysleepers.27% of our land area (63.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. Our forests contribute substantially to the national economy. Bihar and M. fuel wood etc. 3.18 OVER EXPLOITATION OF FORESTS: Since time immemorial. However.P. FAO (1983) estimated that about 1. the deforestation rate per unit population in India is the lowest among the major tropical countries.38m ha) covered by forests based on satellite data (MoFF. pulp. 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. minerals. humans have depended heavily on forests for food. medicine. 2.
Mining and its associated activities require removal of vegetation along with underlying soil mantle and overlying rock masses. The forested area has declined at an average rate of 33% and the increase in
. To meet the demands of rapidly growing population. 5. big dams. It threatens the existence of many wild life species due to destruction of their natural habitat. 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. Also road construction for making approach to the trees causes further damage to the forests. which may be detailed as below: 1. Major activities in Forests: Timber Extraction: Logging for valuable timber. This results in defacing the topography and destruction of the landscape in the area. Growing food needs: In developing countries this is the main reason for deforestation. mining etc. Biodiversity is lost and along with that genetic diversity is eroded. Overgrazing by the cattle leads to further degradation of these lands. 4. In hilly areas it often leads to landslides. agricultural lands and settlements are created permanently by clearing forests. 3. 5. Development projects: Massive destruction of forests occur for various development projects like hydroelectric projects. Mining from shallow deposits is done by surface mining while that from deep deposits is done by sub-surface mining. Problems of soil erosion and loss of soil fertility increase. Major consequences of deforestation: Deforestation has far reaching consequences.19 tremendous pressure on forests. 6. 2. thereby influencing rainfall. road construction. 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. Hydrological cycle gets affected. 4. 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. Mining: Mining operations for extracting minerals and fossil fuels like coal often involves vast forest areas. More than 80000 ha of land of the country is presently under the stress of mining activities. 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.
Almora. Tamilnadu and Karnataka are posing similar threats of deforestation. The highest one is Tehri dam. Mining of magnesite and soap – stones have destroyed 14 ha of forest in hill slopes of Khirakot.Sunder lal Bahaguna. 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. droughts and landslides become more prevalent in such areas. followed by Gujarat (more than 250) and Madhya Pradesh (130). However. 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.20 non-forest area due to mining activities has resulted in relatively unstable zones leading to landslides. chromite. the leader of Chipko Movement. large scale devastation of forests takes place which breaks the natural ecological balance of the region. Coal mining in Jharia. 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”. on river Bhagirathi in Uttaranchal and the largest in terms of capacity is Bhakra dam on river Satluj in Himachal Pradesh. the tropical rain forests) we are going to
. Mining of radioactive minerals in Kerala. India has more than 1550 large dams. these dams are also responsible for the destruction of vast areas of forests. Floods. For building big dams. Raniganj and Singrauli areas has caused extensive deforestation in Jharkhand. bauxite and magnetite. Forests are the repositories of invaluable gifts of nature in the form of biodiversity and by destroying them (particularly. The cause of Sardar Sarovar Dam related issues have been taken up by the environmental activitist Medha Patkar. the maximum being in the state of Maharashtra (more than 600). Kosi valley. The crusade against the ecological damage and deforestation caused due to Tehri dam was led by Shri.. Indiscriminate mining in forests of Goa since 1961 has destroyed more than 50000 ha of forest land. joined by Arundhati Ray and Baba Amte. The rich forests of Western Ghats are also facing the same threat due to mining projects for excavation of copper.
But it can also easily dissolve various pollutants and become a carrier of pathogenic microorganisms. That’s why it produces a cooling effect as it evaporates. it can serve as a very good carrier of nutrients. It has the highest specific heat. which subsequently return
. which we call as Hydrological Cycle. WATER RESOURCES: Water is an indispensable natural resource on this earth on which all life depends. including oxygen. 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. It is in an excellent solvent for several nutrients.e. It is because of this property that even in extreme cold.
The water we use keeps on cycling endlessly through the environment. Solar energy drives the water cycle by evaporating it from various bodies. which are essential for life. Hence. as it freezes. 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. 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. It has high latent heat of vaporization. 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. Every year about 1.4 inch thick layer of water evaporates from the oceans more than 90% of which returns to the oceans through the hydrological cycle. from 0 to 100 C. can sustain aquatic organisms even in extreme cold. These species could be having marvelous economic or medicinal value and deforestation results in loss of this storehouse of species which have evolved over millions of years in a single stroke. It has anamolous expansion behaviour i. it expands instead of contracting and thus becomes lighter. due to which it warms up and cools down very slowly without causing shocks of temperature jerks to the aquatic life. the lakes freeze only on the surface. Thus. whereas the bottom waters remain at a higher temperature and therefore. Being lighter the ice keeps floating. 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.e.21 lose these species even before knowing them. We have enormous resources of water on earth amounting to 1404 million km³. it takes huge amount energy for getting vaporized.
Global distribution of water resources is quite uneven depending upon several geographic factors. Water is absolutely essential for life. Water use by humans is of two types: 1.22 through rainfall or snow. Water withdrawal: taking water from groundwater or surface water resource and 2. Even this small fraction of fresh water is not available to us most of it is locked up in polar ice caps and just 0.003% is readily available to us in the form of groundwater and surface water. growth in turn has been responsible for pollution of the rivers. descending air (20-40 N and S) and receive very little rainfall. Most of the civilizations have grown and flourished on the banks of rivers. Groundwater: About 9. Overuse of groundwater for drinking. Pollution of many of the groundwater aquifers has made of these wells unfit for consumption. their distribution in the body. Water: A precious Natural Resource: Although water is very abundant on this earth. Tropical rain forest areas receive maximum rainfall while the major world deserts occur in zones of dry. Out of the total water reserves of the world. Rivers and streams have long been used for discharging the wastes. irrigation and domestic purposes has resulted in rapid depletion of groundwater in various regions leading to lowering of water table and drying of wells. yet it is very precious. Most of the life processes take place in water in water contained in the body. Water consumption: the water which is taken up but not returned for reuse. and removal of wastes are all mediated through water. about 97% is salty water (marine) and only 3% is fresh water. regulation of temperature. Uptake of nutrients. 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. but unfortunately. WATER USE AND OVER-EXPLOITATION: Due to its unique properties water is of multiple uses for all living organisms.
generate electricity and reduce water and power shortage. While water disputes between states and nations often resume battle like situations. Tamilnadu.countries involved as Sudan. Saudi Arabia. There are hopes all over from every corner of the region where such dam is planned to be constructed. Such projects have tremendous potential for economic upliftment and growth. Karnataka similarly The Satluj-Yamuna link canal Dispute also involves two Northern states viz. The ‘gram sabhas” approve these plans publicly. raise in the standard of living and improvement in quality of life. Syria. Indispensability of water and its unequal distribution has often led to inter-state or international disputes. lakes. Apart from these there are conflicts over water. Punjab and Haryana. Such projects result providing much employment of opportunities. BIG DAMS. navigation etc. provide drinking water in remote areas and bring out overall development of the region. ponds. Israel and Jordan. industrial use. A country’s economy is largely dependent upon its rivers. our traditional water managers in villages prove to be quite effective.involves two major southern states of India viz. droughts. The problems arising out of water resources are floods. In traditional water management. Egypt. innovative arrangements ensure equitable distribution of water. wetlands or artificial reservoirs known as surface water. assumes the form of streams.
. public water supply.Water logging Surface water: The water coming through precipitation (rainfall. b) The Indus Water treaty-is dispute between India and Pakistan. which are democratically implemented. It can check floods and famines.Lowering of water table 3. These dams are often regarded as a symbol of national development.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. Issues related to sharing of river water have been largely affecting our farmers and also shaking our governments. snow) when does not percolate down into the ground or does not return to the atmosphere as evaporation or transpiration loss. Rajasthan as well as Delhi. Kuwait.it also affects countries who are water starved viz. provide irrigation water to lower areas. Turkey. c) The Cauvery water dispute. Affected states also include UP. The surface water is largely used for irrigation.a) Water conflict in the Middle East.Susidence 2.23 Effects of groundwater usage: 1. India has the distinction of having the largest number of river valley projects. Some major water conflicts are.
That it why now there is a shift towards construction of small dams or min-hydel projects. 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. oxygen. MINERAL RESOURCES: Minerals are naturally occurring. most of the rocks. feldspar. Upstream problems: • • • • • • • • • • Displacement of tribal people Loss of forests. The impacts can be at the upstream as well as downstream levels. These minerals in turn are composed of some elements like silicon. There are thousands of minerals occurring in different parts of the world. we see everyday are just composed of few common minerals like quartz. However.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. inorganic. biotite etc. iron etc.
. but it has several serious side-effects. crystalline solids having definite chemical composition and characteristic physical properties.
Environmental impacts of mineral extraction and use are devegetation and defacing of landscape. silver etc. potato. medical system. 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. The main food resources include wheat. restoration of mined areas by re-vegetating them with appropriate plant species. gradual restoration of flora etc. an estimated 300 million Indians are still undernourished. subsidence of land. Our food problems are directly related to population. stabilization of the mined lands. transportation means. milk. maize. equipments and armament for defence. rice. 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)
. fish and seafood. but it has nearly three times population to feed. India has only half as much land as USA. jewellery.gold. barley. This shows that there is drastic need to increase food production. Although India is the third largest producer of staple crops. air pollution. about twenty or so common fruits and vegetables. meat. occupational health hazards etc. Because of overgrazing the agricultural land gets affected as follows. construction. Remedial measures include adoption of eco-friendly technology. surface water pollution. groundwater contamination. equitably distribute it and also to control population growth.25 Minerals are generally used for development of industrial plants. generation of energy. microbial leaching technique. oats 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. communication.
The very original form of energy technology probably was the fire. salinity problems and such others. This will seek to end the energy crisis which the world is facing today. LAND RESOURCES: Land as a resource: Land is a finite and valuable resource upon which we depend for our food. solar cooker. petroleum. renewable and non-renewable sources. nitrite pollution.26 • Fertilizers related problems include micronutrient imbalance. Renewable energy resources must be preferred over the non-renewable resources.
. Tidal energy. Wind and hydropower has also been used. Energy resources are primarily divided into two categories viz. solar cells. There are wide disparities in per capita energy use between developed and the developing nations. ENERGY RESOURCES: Energy consumption of a nation is usually considered as an index of its development. biomass. Some other problems include water logging. This is because almost all the development activities are directly or indirectly dependent upon energy. biofuels etc. It is inevitable truth that now there is an urgent need of thinking in terms of alternative sources of energy. ocean thermal energy. the basic amenities of life. Invention of steam engineers replaced the burning of wood by coal and coal was further replaced by oil. biological magnification. fiber and fuel wood. solar water heater. 2.made up equipments such has solar heat collectors. Hydropower. solar power plants are must. Wind energy 3. which are also termed as non-conventional energy sources which include: 1. nuclear energy. geothermal energy. 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. biogas. which produced heat and the early man used it for cooking and heating purposes. solar furnace. The non renewable energy sources include coal. natural gas. eutrophication
Pestide related problems include creating resistance in pests and producing new pests. death of non-target organisms. solar energy. Soil is also a valuable resource.
With our small
. mineral and energy resources play a vital role in the development of a nation. In order to prevent soil erosion and conserve the soil the following conservation practices are employed: • • • • • • • • Conservational till farming.27
Land Degradation: Because of increasing of population growth the demands for arable land for producing food and fuel wood is also increasing. It basically of two types viz. water. suspension and surface creep. construction of buildings. Wind is also responsible for the land erosion through saltation. Contour farming Terracing Strip cropping Strip cropping Alley cropping Wind breaks or shelterbelts Water logging
Landslides: Various anthropogenic activities like hydroelectric projects. large dams.climatic agents and water induced erosion. The agents that cause such erosion are. Soil erosion. Soil Erosion: Soil erosion means wearing away of soil. construction of roads and railway lines. soil. biotic agents. salinization and contamination of the soil with industrial wastes like fly-ash. especially surface-litter and top soil from one place to another. Desertification: Desertification is a process whereby the productive potential of arid or semiarid lands falls by ten percent or more. are responsible for clearing of large forested areas. press mud or heavy metals all cause degradation of land. Causes of desertification: 1) Deforestation b) Overgrazing 3) Mining and quarrying. salinization and severe soil erosion. water logging. Hence there is more and more pressure on the limited land resources which are getting degraded due to over-exploitation. It results in the loss of fertility. reservoirs. normal erosion go geologic erosion and accelerated erosion. Desertification is characterized by devegetation and loss of vegetal over. mining etc. food. CONSERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES: Role of an Individual Different natural resources like forests. depletion of groundwater. It defined as the movement of soil components.
5. Water the plants and the lawns in the evening when evaporation losses are minimum. Drive less. Reuse the soapy water of washing from clothes for gardening. Use bicycle or just walk down small distances instead of using vehicle. 2. 7. Conserve energy: 1.28 individual efforts we can together help in conserving our natural resources to a large extent. Control the use of A. Dry the clothes in sun instead of direr if possible. Obtain as much heat as possible from natural sources. Build your house with provision for sunspace which will keep your house warmer and will provide more light. In washing machines fill the machine only to the level required for your clothes. 3. 6. metals and papers. 5. 8. 4. Share a car-pool if possible. 7. Protect the Soil:
. Never water the plants in mid-day. make fewer trips and use public transportations whenever possible. Install a system to capture rain water. 4. washing or bathing. Install water saving toilets that use not more than 6 liters per flush. Don’t keep water taps running while brushing. Recycle and reuse glass. shaving.C. Following are the ways: Conserve Water: 1. Turn off lights fans and other appliances when not in use. Use solar cooker for cooking which will be more nutritious and will save your LPG expenses. Check for water leaks in pipes and toilets and repair them promptly. 2. driveways etc. 3. 6.
1. The rich have gone richer and the poor have stead even poorer. Reduce the use of pesticides. They use only 12% of natural resources. Control pests. 4. haves and have-nots. The solution to this problem is to have more equitable distribution of resources and wealth. 73% of energy and command 85% of income. Better use sprinkling irrigation. 4. more developed countries (MDCs) and Less Developed countries (LDCs). North and South. On the other hand LDCs have very low or moderate industrial growth and have 78% of world’s population. 2. 2. Grow grass in the open areas which will bind the soil and prevent its erosion. herbs and trees in your garden. Make compost from your kitchen waste and use it for your kitchen-garden. 27% of energy and have only 15% of global income. Over population in poor countries and 2.
EQUITABLE USE OF RESOURCES FOR SUSTAINABLE LIFE STYLE There is a big divide in the world viz. 5. There is a huge gap between those two worlds. Do not irrigate the plants using a strong flow of water as it would wash off the soil. in turn they contribute very big proportion to its pollution. Grow different types of ornamental plants. Promote Sustainable Agriculture: 1. 3. Take as much as you can eat. 6. But this is observed that MDCs have only 22% of world’s population but they use 88% of natural resources. A global consensus has to be reached for balanced distribution. Eat local and seasonal vegetables. There are two major causes of unsustainability. Fertilize your crop with organic fertilizers. Do not waste food. This is not sustainable growth.29 1. Use drip irrigation. Over consumption of resources by rich countries. 3.
Briefly discuss droughts and floods with respect to their occurrence and impacts. What are the environmental impacts of ground water usage? 6. What are renewable and non-renewable resources? Give examples. What are major causes for conflicts over water? Discuss one international and one interstate water conflict. What are the major causes and consequences of deforestation? 4. What are the uses of various types of minerals? 10. Discuss with the help of live example around you. 13. 7. Need of the hour is fairer sharing of resources between rich and poor which will bring about sustainable development for all. What is overgrazing? How does it contribute to environmental degradation? 12. How would you justify that ecological uses of forests surpass commercial uses? 3. 5. How can you as an individual conserve different natural resources?
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. 8. how big dams have affected forests and the tribals. Discuss the merits and demerits of wind energy? 14. Should we build big dams? Give arguments in favour of your answer. Discuss the major use of forests. What is soil erosion? How can it be checked? 15. 9. What are the major environmental impacts of mineral extraction? 11. Give brief account of non-renewable energy resources.
fresh water. characteristics features. Aquatic ecosystems [ponds. Ecologists try to predict what will happen to organisms. Forest ecosystem. ecology deals with the presence or absence of particular species and with trends and fluctuations in their numbers. Grassland ecosystem. For example. oceans. or communities under a particular set of habitat. consumers and decomposers. In other words. Energy flow of the ecosystem. The word ecology comes from Greek word Oikos. At the level of the organism. meaning house or place to live. Streams. we can consider ecology as the study of organisms and their environment. lakes. types. 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. rivers. and with the natural resources affected by them. and air. and what are the implications for human life as the earth heats up further. ecology deals with how individuals are affected by and how they affect their environment. Food chains. structure and function of the following ecosystem. Communities are not constant but are continually changing because of
. functions of the ecosystem
INTRODUCTION: It is essential to first grasp the fundamentals of ecology in order to understand the environment. To understand population fluctuations. Ecological succession. Producers. populations. the greenhouse effect is a real danger. food webs and ecological pyramids. Community ecology deals with the composition or structure of communities. Ecology can also be defined as the study of the structure and function of nature. Desert ecosystem. ecology refers to the study of organisms in their natural habitat. Taken literally. Ecology is concerned with the study of organisms in various habitats viz. land. the changes happening to individuals making up the population are analyzed.31 Unit 3: ECOSYSTEM Topics: Structure and function of an ecosystem. 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). At the level of population. Introduction. For practical purposes.
Organisms of the same species can breed with one another and produce fertile offspring under natural conditions.
. It includes all plants and animals. we refer to the lion population. For instance. all human beings (Homo sapiens) resemble one another in their body structure. 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. Population: A population is a group of individuals of the same species occupying a given area at a given time. For example. Species: Group of organisms that resemble one another in appearance. body systems and they all have similar genetic structure. There are certain important concepts of ecology. Group of individual organisms of the same species living within an area is called population. Living organism: An organism is any form of life. behaviour.32 interactions among the populations and because of disturbances caused by climatic and geological events as well as human activities. the cattle population. the Asiatic lions in the Gir National Park. A wide range and variety of organisms is present on the earth from the single celled amoeba to huge sharks. Gujarat. make a population. They are thus grouped together under the species sapiens. Communities: Communities of various species occupying a particular area and interacting with each other make up a community. from microscopic blue-green algae to massive banyan tree. Thus community comprises several species interacting with each other. the grass population and populations of all kinds of life forms present there. For instance. the deer population. when we say ‘the community of the Gir National Park’. chemistry and genetic structure form a species.
and even the solar energy that is captured by the plants. like the soil. rocks. Thus.33 The circulation of the chemical elements in its biosphere from the environment to organisms and back to the environment is called cycle.G.
.Tansley (1935) who defied ecosystem as follows: “Ecosystem is defined as a self-sustained community of plants and animals existing in its own environment.” Odum (1971) defined ecosystem as any unit that includes all the organisms in a given area interacting with the physical environment. The term ecosystem was first proposed by A. Ecosystem/s: An econsystem is a community of organisms involved in a dynamic network of biological. . The sum total of all the ecosystems on planet Earth is called the biosphere.Such interactions sustain the system and allow it to respond to changing conditions. an ecosystem includes the community. the non-living components and their interactions. so that a flow of energy give rise to a clearly defined tropic structure. chemical and physical interactions between themselves and with the non-living components. The Gir ecosystem will thus include the various life forms found in the park (the community) and also the nonliving components of the park. 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. biotic diversity and material cycles within the system” Michael Allaby (1983) defined ecosystem as a community of interdependent organisms together with the environment. Carrying capacity: Maximum population of a particular species that a given habitat can support over a given period of time. 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’. which includes all the earth’s living organisms interacting with the physical environment as a whole to maintain a steady-state ecosystem. water etc.
Decomposers: These are most important group of organisms in the ecosystem. In short. Abiotic (NON-LIVING) Component:
. Hence they consume plants and plant products produced by the autotrophs. These decomposers decompose the dead bodies. ecosystem can be described as “Life Support System”. reproduce. Biotic and Abiotic substances. Ecosystems are also always undergoing alterations to their biotic and abiotic components. The living organisms (biotic community) of an area and their non-living environment function together as one unit called ecological system or ecosystem. The biotic component can be divided into two major groups (basing on food preparation and dependent for food): a) Autotrophs (Producers): Self food producing organisms are known as autotrophs. In absence of decomposers the earth will be packed only with dead bodies. The largest ecosystem of the earth is the biosphere. Some of these alterations begin first with a change in the state of one component of the ecosystem. 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). Each ecosystem has two components i. which is self sufficient and balanced. deserts and so on. An ecosystem may be defined as a dynamic entity composed of a biological community and its associated abiotic environment. They can also be termed as consumers. In the ecosystem. then after old age they die. Thus the system resulting from the integration of all the living and non-living factors is called ecosystem. oceans. 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. Often the dynamic interactions that occur within an ecosystem are numerous and complex. Some examples of natural ecosystems are ponds. They depend on the environment for raw materials and utilize sun light for the production of their own food. mature. grow in size. Ecosystem Structure: A system is an arrangement of matter so related to form a whole (unit). grasslands. The term ecosystem was first introduced in 1935. Plants and animals take birth. lakes. forests.e. Biotic (LIVING) Component: It includes all living organisms of the environment. which then cascades and sometimes amplifies into other components because of relationships.34 The term ecosystem is made up of two words: eco and system. because they do not have chlorophyll. the living organisms and its environment each influencing the properties of the other and both are necessary for the survival and maintenance of life.
Desert Ecosystems. temperate rain forests. Non-living Components are essential for the living world. salinity of water. With no sunlight. nutrients present in soil. Fire and water currents. What is food chain? Give examples and discuss their significance. tropical scrub forests.
. water. temperate grasslands.a partially enclosed coastal area at the mouth of a river where fresh water and salty seawater meet. estuary. Chemical factors: Percentage of water and air in soil.include tropical deserts. Non-living components include all the physical and chemical factors of an ecosystem that affect the living organisms. 4. 2. cold deserts etc. rocks etc. Forest ecosystem. Aquatic ecosystem.include tropical rain forests. oxygen dissolved in water.Sunlight. polar grasslands.35
Non living components of an ecosystem include all the physical and chemical factors that influence living organisms.include pond ecosystem. like air. Temperature. 2. oceans. What are the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem? 3. evergreen coniferous forests. Define ecology and ecosystems. steams. Some examples are: physical factors include. water. soil. temperate deserts.. temperate deciduous forests. Major ecosystem include 1.include tropical grasslands. tropical deciduous forests. Precipitation. life cannot exist. Grassland ecosystems. air and minerals. lake ecosystem. Nature of soil. 3.
India as a megadiversity nation. Species Diversity and Ecosystem Diversity. The genes found in organisms can form enormous number of combinations each of which gives rise to some variability. Biogeographically classification of India. Hot-spots of biodiversity. terrestrial. Biodiversity constitutes the biological wealth. habitat loss. 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. Biodiversity means the variety and variability of all living organisms. ethical. species and ecosystem diversity. 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. Biodiversity refers to the variety and variability among all groups of living organisms and the ecosystem complexes in which they occur. marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part. Endangered and endemic species of India.
. man-wildlife conflicts. Definition: genetic. Genetic Biodiversity: It is basic source of biodiversity. Value of biodiversity.36
Unit 4 BIODIVERSITY
Topics: Introduction. aesthetic and option values. water and air. It is indeed wonderful to see that so much diversity has been created by nature on this earth from so little physical matter. productive use. Threats to biodiversity. poaching of wildlife. social. consumptive use. Biodiversity is at three levels Genetic Diversity. In the Conservation of Biological diversity (1992) biodiversity has been defined as the variability among living organisms from all sources including inter alia.
37 Genes are the basic units of hereditary information transmitted from one generation to other. size. aroma and nutrient content of the grain. temperature. along these gradients. which is supposed to have mainly a dominance of trees. it is called genetic variability. More species biodiversity means more biological wealth. all rice varieties belong to the species Oryza sativa. food-webs. Genetic biodiversity means the variation of genes within a species. tropic structure. But. It is quite likely that a large fraction of these species may become extinct even before they are discovered and enlisted. This is genetic diversity of rice. Species biodiversity means variety of species within a region. a temperate deciduous forest and a boreal forest. When the genes within the same species show different versions due to new combinations. the variations observed are just too many and they are mainly due to variations in the above mentioned physical factors. Species Biodiversity: This is the variability found within the population of a species or between different species of a community. For example. We mainly consider diversity in forest ecosystem. It represents broadly the species richness and their abundance in a community. a tropical deciduous forest. Thus there occurs tremendous diversity within the ecosystems. Diversity of genes within a species increases its ability to adapt to disease. nutrient cycling etc.
. shape.5 million living and 300000 fossil species have been actually described and given scientific names. Such diversity can be measured on the basis of species in a region. The ecosystems also show variations with respect to physical parameters like moisture. Ecosystem Biodiversity: This is the diversity of ecological complexity showing variations in ecological niches. A species have varieties and each variety has its own genes or genetic make up. altitude precipitation etc. but there are thousands of wild and cultivated varieties of rice which show variations at the genetic level and differ in their colour. pollution and other changes in environment. Till now only about 1. genetic diversity gets diminished. When a variety of a species is destroyed. while considering a tropical rainforest.
Desert – Kutch. Thar and Ladakh 4. ecological service. North-East India – Brahmaputra Valley. arid zones. 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. wetlands. Gujarat-Rajwara 5. We are benefited by other organisms in innumerable ways. Very small. Lower Gangetic Plain 8. social and aesthetic value has enormous importance. deserts etc. Nicobar Islands. 1. We cannot replace the diversity of one ecosystem with that of another. Islands – Andaman Islands. North Eastern Hills 9. because ecosystem diversity has evolved with respect to the prevailing environmental conditions with well regulated ecological balance. Deccan Peninsula – Deccan Plateau South. we come to know and do appreciate the value of organism only after it is lost from this earth. India has a rich heritage of biological diversity and occupies the tenth position among the plant rich nations of the world. This diversity has developed over millions of years of evolution. West. evolution. Coasts. Eastern. Chhota Nagpur 7. Central. Ecosystem biodiversity refers to variety of ecosystem in a particular region or zone as for example various ecosystems include forests. It very important to study the distribution.38 The ecosystem diversity is of great value that must be kept intact. Western Ghat Mountains 6.West Coast and East Coast VALUE OF BIODIVERSITY Biodiversity in terms of its commercial utility. The multiple uses of biodiversity is classified as follows:
. Semi-Arid – Central India. Coniferous trees of boreal forests cannot take up the function of the trees of tropical deciduous forest lands and vice versa. All these have their own fauna and flora (biodiversity). Laskhadweep etc. Sometimes. it would disrupt the ecological balance. insignificant. Gangetic Plain – Upper Ganetic Plain. If we destroy this diversity. 10. Himalayan – North-West Himalayas. 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. Western Ghats – Malabar Coast. Trans-Himalayan – Upper regions 2. There are ten different biogeographic habitats in India. Central and East Himalayas 3. dispersal and environmental relationship of plants and animals in time and space.
smuggling of fur. hide. The wonder drug Penicillin used as an antibiotic is derived from a fungus called Penicillium. ivory-works. horns. 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. 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. Food: A large number of wild plants and shrubs are consumed by human beings as food. two anticancer drugs. food. worth millions of dollars are being sold every year. The fossil fuels coal. Likewise. fiber etc. About 80000 edible plants species have been reported from wild.g.39
1. which possesses anticancer alkaloids. Despite international ban on trade in products from endangered species. petroleum and natural gas are also products of fossilized biodiversity. the cure for malaria is obtained from the bark of Cinchona tree. These may include the animal products like tusks of elephants. Firewood collected by individuals are not normally marketed. A large number of wild animals are also our sources of food. tusks. all of which are traded in the market. Wild relatives usually possess better tolerance and hardiness. Silk industry. Railway sleeper industry. Drugs and medicines: About 75% of the world’s population depends upon plants or plant extracts for medicines. pearl industry etc. Fuel: Our forests have been used since ages for fuel wood. live specimen etc. have been obtained from Periwinkle (Catharanthus) plant. Productive use values: These are the commercially usable values where the product is marketed and sold.
. drugs. hence falls under constructive value. lac from lac insects etc. About 90% of present day food crops have been domesticated from wild tropical plants. plywood industry.g. Many industries are dependent upon productive use values of biodiversity e. leather industry. but are directly consumed by tribals and local villagers. Consumptive use value: These include direct use values where the biodiversity product can be harvested and consumed directly e. A large number of marine animals are supposed to possess anti-cancer properties which are yet to be explored systematically. Developing countries in Asia. 2. wool from sheep. silk from silk-worm. Quinine. fuel. paper and pulp industry. fir of many animals. musk from musk deer. 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. while Digitalin is obtained from foxglove (Digitalis) which is an effective cure for heart ailments. we get Tetracyclin from a bacterium. textile industry.
The “willingness to pay” concept on such ecotourism gives us even a monetary estimate for aesthetic value of biodiversity. Ethical value: It is also sometimes known as existence value. but we all strongly feel that these species should exist in nature. the option value of biodiversity suggests that any species may prove to be a miracle species someday. religion and psycho-spiritual aspects of the people. If we want our human race to survive. Owl etc. Thus biodiversity has distinct social value. Ecotourism is estimated to generate about 12 billion dollars of revenue annually that roughly gives the aesthetic value of biodiversity. also have significant place in our psycho-spiritual arena and thus hold special social importance. The biodiversity is like
. Social value: These are the values associated with the social life. No one of us would like to visit vast stretches of barren lands with no signs of visible life. The tribal people are very closely linked with the wild life in the forests. There is a possibility that we may have some potential cure for AIDS or cancer existing within the depths of a marine ecosystem. Snake. We all feel sorry when we learn that “passenger pigeon” or “dodo” is no more on this earth. 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. there is an ethical value or existence value attached to each species. then we must protect all biodiversity. Their social life. but knowing the very fact that this species exists in nature gives us pleasure. dances and customs are closely woven around the wildlife. Thus. attached with different societies. It involves ethical issues like “all life must be preserved”. It is based on the concept of “Live and Let Live”. Zebra or Giraffe. Aesthetic value: Great aesthetic value is attached to biodiversity.40
3. Many animals like Cow. The leaves. 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. Bull. customs. Bael etc. fruits or flowers of these plants are used in workship or the plant itself is worshipped. because biodiversity is valuable. Lotus. Many of the plants are considered holy and sacred in our country like Tulsi( Holy basil). Peepal. 6. Peacock. 4. We are not deriving anything direct from Kangaroo. or a tropical rainforest. Option value: These values include the potential of biodiversity that are presently unknown and need to be explored. The ethical value means that we may or may not use a species. Mango. 5. This means. songs.
their role as carbon sinks. United Nations Conference on Environment and Development at Rio put biological diversity on the international agenda by signing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Different categories of biodiversity value clearly indicate that ecosystem. A legislation was finalized and Indian Parliament passed Biodiversity Bill in 2002. The Government of India has finalized the National Policy and Action Strategy for Biodiversity. Higher plants have also been fairly well studied but it is possible that 15 percent more may still be discovered. ecological and socio-cultural losses. economic and social aspects of biodiversity. Numerous insects. India is a signatory to CBD and ratified it in 1993. agriculture to Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). prevention of floods maintenance of soil fertility. It refers to the services provided by ecosystems like prevention of soil erosion.e. According to the Worldwide Fund for Nature. pollutant absorption and reduction of the threat of global warming etc.4 million having species. The 1992. 7. lower
. The option value also includes the values. rare or endangered species exist. fixation of nitrogen. invertebrates. We should not commit the folly of losing these gifts even before unwrapping them.41 precious gifts of nature presented to us. GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY All the three levels are linked and constitute a gene pool. cycling of water. The success of convention can be evaluated in two main ways: a) By analyzing the changes in biodiversity components (i. scientists have identified about 1. Ecosystem service value: Recently.03 million are animals and 248000 are higher plants. Of these around 1. or specifically some endemic. the sustainable use of its components and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. a non-consumptive use value related to self maintenance of the ecosystem and various important ecosystem services has been recognized. species and genetic diversity all have enormous potential and a decline in biodiversity will lead to huge economic. The objective of the convention was “the conservation of biological diversity.” It also covered the ecological. in terms of the option to visit areas where a variety of flora and fauna. cycling of nutrients. species and ecosystems) and b) by measuring the effectiveness of measures taken to implement the convention. But human knowledge of the world’s biodiversity is still not complete. This convention addresses many issues ranging from forests.
. west. western ghats. coral reefs and mangroves which need to be studied in detail. by the year 2050 up to 60000 plant species will become extinct or threatened. Marine diversity etc. Total number of living species identified in our country is 150000. deccan plateau and the Andaman. 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. Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands. BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY AT NATIONAL LEVEL (Indian Biodiversity): Every country is characterized by its own biodiversity depending mainly on its climate. Indian is also one of the 12 megabiodiversity countries in the world. India has a rich biological diversity of flora and fauna. These estimates show that the current rate of extinction is at least 25000 times greater than extinction that took place during evolutionary times. 11th in terms of number of endemic species of higher vertebrates and 6th among the centers of diversity and origin of agricultural crops. Human impact on nature has reached such high proportions that the world is today witnessing an extraordinary rate of species loss. Overall six percent of the global species are found in India. One recent estimate put this figure as high as 30 million. Due to very diverse climatic conditions there is a complete rainbow spectrum of biodiversity in our country. According to an estimate by the IUCN’s Threatened Plants Unit. Gangetic plains.42 plants and microorganisms exist but have yet to be identified and described. Indian forests cover 64. Govt. north-west. coasts. one in the north-east region and one in the Western Ghats. There are about 93 major wet lands. of India (2000) records 47000 species of plants and 81000 species of animals which is about 7% and 6.5% respectively of global flora and fauna. India possesses two. Many thousands of species will disappear even before they are found and described by biologists. central and eastern Himalayan forests. The Ministry of Environment and Forests.01 million hectares having rich biodiversity of plants in the Trans-Himalayan. Scientists at the Kew Gardens in Britain listed around 20000 plant species as threatened. In 1988. deserts. Center of origin. Those major groups of species include Endemism. Out of a total 25 biodiversity hot-spots in the world. INDIA AS A MEGA-DIVERSITY NATION: India is one of the 12 mega-diversity countries in the world. the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed 4589 threatened animals. A large proportion of the Indian Biodiversity is still unexpected. It is estimated that India ranks 10th among the plant rich countries of the world.
because it means we have already lost a huge proportion of the biodiversity. There are 25 such hot spots of biodiversity on a global level out of which two are present in India. Species which are restricted only to particular areas are known as endemic. The major centers of diversity are Agastyamalai Hills and Silent valley. species have died out and have been replaced by others.5% of the plant species as endemics. 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. Western Ghats are the site of maximum endemism. It is reported that only 6. During evolution. 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. However. the rate of loss of species in geologic past has been a slow process. These hotspots covering less than 2% of the world’s land area are found to have about 50% of the terrestrial biodiversity. Karnataka. keeping in view the vast span of time going back to 444 million years. Out of the world’s recorded flora 30% are endemic to India of which 35000 are in the Himalayas.the new Amambalam Reserve Basin. THREATS TO BIODIVERSITY: Extinction or elimination of a species is a natural process of evolution. The term “Hot spots” was introduced by Myers (1988). b) Western Ghats: It extends along a 17000 km² strip of forests in Maharashtra. Over the last 150 years the rate of extinction has escalated more dramatically. In the geologic period the earth has experienced mass extinctions. One of the estimates by the noted ecologist puts figure of extinction at 10000 species per year or 27 per day. If the present
. a) Eastern Himalayas: They display an ultra-varies topography that fosters species diversity and endemism. namely the Eastern Himalayas and Western Ghats. These amazing figures raise an alarm regarding the serious threat to biodiversity. which raises a serious cause of alarm. India shows a good number of endemic species. In the century the human impact has been so severe that thousands of species and varieties are becoming extinct annually. According to Myers an area is designated as a hotspot when it contains at least 0. The process of extinction has become particularly fast in the recent years of civilization.43 HOT SPOTS OF BIODIVERSITY Areas which exhibit high species richness as well as high species endemism are termed as hot spots of biodiversity. Tamilnadu and Kerala and has 40% of the the total endemic plant species.
These natural forests and grasslands were the natural homes of thousands of species which perished due to loss of their natural habitat. 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. pastures. The wetlands are destroyed due to draining.
. The worst part is that for every live animal that actually gets into the market about 50 additional animals are caught and killed. at a rate of about 0. The developing nations in Asia. settlement areas or development projects. They get badly threatened as they breed only in the interiors of the forests. it is estimated that 20-25% of the global flora would be lost within few years. as a result of human intervention. Taiwan and Hong Kong are the major importers of the wildlife products or wildlife itself. There are many wild life species such as bears and large cats that require large territories so subsist. Billions of hectares of forests and grasslands have been cleared over the past 10000 years for conservation into agriculture lands. live specimens and herbal products worth millions of dollars per year continues. 2. Despite international ban on trade in products from endangered species. horns. 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.e. estuaries and mangroves are under the most serious threat today. tusks. Due to habitat fragmentation many song birds are vanishing.44 trend continues we would lose 1/3rd to 2/3rd of our current biodiversity by the middle of twenty first century. Severe damage has been caused to wetlands thinking them to be useless ecosystems. Latin America and Africa are the richest source of biodiversity and have enormous wealth of wildlife. a phenomenon known as habitat fragmentation. There has been a rapid disappearance of tropical forests in our country also. filling and pollution thereby causing huge biodiversity loss. Loss of habitat: Destruction and loss of natural habitat is the single largest cause of biodiversity loss.6% per year. smuggling of wildlife items like furs. With the current rate of loss of forest habitat. The rich countries in Europe and North America and some affluent countries in Asia like Japan. Following are the major causes and issues related to threats to biodiversity: 1. hides. Sometimes the loss of habitat is in installments so that the habitat is divided into small and scattered patches. poaching is another threat to wildlife. Poaching: Illegal trade of wildlife products by killing prohibited endangered animals i. The unique rich biodiversity of the wetlands.
Also do not purchase fur coat. In Sambalpur. a man-eating tiger reported to kill 16 Nepalese people and one 4 year old child inside the Royal Chitwan National Part. MAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICTS We have discussed about the need to preserve and protect wildlife. elephants. This is because the conflicts between man and the wildlife have increased since it is an issue of survival of both. purse or bag. Dudhwa. please make sure that you are not going to the endangered species or wild-caught species. Recently. Similar incidents were reported near Sanjay Gandhi National Park. A total of 14 persons were killed during 19 attacks since January by the leopards from the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Borivali. Instances of man animal conflicts keep on coming to lime light from several states in our country. 240 Km South-west of Kathmandu. In fact. 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. The agonized villagers electrocute the elephants and sometimes hide explosives in the sugarcane fields. In retaliation the villagers killed 95 elephants in the border region of Kote-Chamarajanagar belt in Mysore have been reported recently.
. 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. You will certainly help in preserving biodiversity by doing so. or items made of crocodile skin or python skin. Palamau and Ranthambore National Parks in our country as well. Dwindling habitats of tigers. Orissa 195 humans were killed in the last 5 years by elephants. Mumbai where similar incidents of human killings especially small children was reported. 2004 two men were killed by leopards in Powai. Doing so will help in checking further decline of these species. such conflicting situations have been reported from the border regions of Corbett. However. Mumbai. Causes of Man-animal conflicts: 1. Mumbai which has triggered a panic among the local residents. rhinos and bears due to shrinking forests cover are compelled to move outside the forests and attack the field or sometimes even humans. At times.45 If you are fond of rare plants. The park renowned for its wildlife conservation effort has become a zone of terror for the locals. Human encroachment into the forest areas has rendered all forest living animals to trespass the borders of human civilizations. more killings are done by locals than by poachers. Very recently in June. in early 2004. fish or birds. which explode as the elephants intrude into their fields.
It may be noted that. In Mysore. 2. binoculars and radio sets etc. The cash compensation paid by the government in lieu of the damage caused to the farmers crop is not enough. Cropping pattern should be changed near the forest borders and adequate fodder.46 2. suffer in pain and turn violent. within the sanctuaries when the favourite staple food of elephants i.
. Tiger Conservation Project (TCP) has made provisions for making available vehicles. Very often the villagers put electric wiring around their ripe crop fields. Earlier there used to be wild-life corridors through which the wild animals used to migrate seasonally in groups to other areas. The elephants get injured. fruit and water should be made available for the elephants within forest zones. along with substantial cash compensation for loss of human life. 4.e. 6. 4. tranquillizer guns. weak and injured animals have a tendency to attack man. At the same time. Solar powered fencing should be provided along with electric current proof trenches to prevent the animals from straying into fields. to tactfully deal with any imminent danger. one adult elephant needs 2 quintals of green fodder and 150 kg of clean water daily and if it is not available. 3.per quintal of expected yield while the market price is Rs.2400/. The agonized farmer therefore gets revengeful and kills the wild animals. 3. it is very difficult to trace and cull the man-eating tiger and in the process many innocent tigers are also killed. the path of wildlife has been disrupted and the animals attack the settlements. 5. forest department used to cultivate paddy. the animal strays out.400/. Due to development of human settlements in these corridors. the female tigress attacks the human if she feels that her newborn cubs are in danger. a farmer gets compensation of Rs.per quintal. Remedial Measures to Curb the Conflict: 1. Earlier. Also. Now due to lack of such practices the animals move out of the forest in search of food. Adequate crop compensation and cattle compensation scheme must be started. bamboo leaves were not available. Usually the ill. sugarcane etc. But the biggest problem is that if human-flesh is tested once then the tiger does not eat any other animal.
What are the main causes of man-wildlife conflicts? Discuss the remedial steps that can curb the conflict. seed banks. ecological and optional importance emphasizes the need to conserve biodiversity. Explain genetic. What is meant by in situ and ex situ conservation of biodiversity?
. Gradually we are realizing that wildlife is not just ‘a game to be hunted’. culture collection etc. zoos. Reserve Forests etc b) Ex situ conservation (outside habitats): This is done by establishment of gene banks. About 300 km² area is required for elephant corridors for their seasonal migration. aesthetic. What are the major threats to biodiversity? 4. In Similipal Sanctuary. 6. 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. 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. productive use value. ethical value and option value of biodiversity? 3. rather it is a gift of nature to be nurtured and enjoyed. 5. Wild life corridors should be provided for mass migration of big animals during unfavourable periods.47 5. Questions: 1. species and ecosystem diversities. What are hotspots of biodiversity? Which are the hotspots found in India? Discuss salient features. medical. social value. Biosphere Reserves. 6.
CONSERVATION OF BIODIVERSITY: The enormous value of biodiversity due to their genetic. Sanctuaries. Due to massive hunting by people. 2.g. commercial. botanical gardens. What do you mean by consumptive use value. there is a decline in prey of tigers and they start coming out of the forest in search of prey. Define biodiversity. Now there is WWF-TCP initiative to curb this ritual of “Akhand Shikar” in Orissa. National Parks.
The reference point of pollution is the ambient quality of the environment which means environment in its natural state. cyclone and landslides Objectives: • To learn the definition. water and land result in the change in the ambient quality
. Thermal pollution. Presence of sulphar oxides. are exposed to such levels of atmospheric pollution that cause serious hazard to public health and hygiene. Pollution refers to the presence of substances air. Noise pollution. Soil pollution. other living creatures. earthquake. water resource management etc. nitrogen oxides. water and land. The atmosphere is being polluted by the discharge of emissions originating from industrial plants. Introduction: According to Environment Protection Act (1986). plants and micro-organisms. hydro carbons and toxic particulate substances in atmosphere has caused harmful influence on man and other living things. Disaster management: floods. The human activities whether industrial production or other like sewage and their impact on air.48
Unit 5: Environmental Pollution
Environmental Pollution: Definition: causes. Water pollution. mobile vehicles and thermal power plants. effects and control measures of urban and industrial water. Both in the developed and developing countries. Nuclear hazards. Environment includes water. domestic sources. role of an individual in prevention of pollution.g. pollution case studies. Pollution refers to substances (pollutants) which are released into the environment because of anthropogenic (human) activities that can be either deliberate or accidental (e. carbon monoxide. The contamination of air occurs because the contaminants cannot be absorbed by natural environmental cycles. 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. effects and control measures of – Air pollution. whether they result from human activity or occur naturally which have adverse effects on human and on environment. Bhopal gas leak or radioactive material released from Chernobyl nuclear power plant is accidental. the urban areas in particular. air. Solid waste management: causes. land and their inter relationship with human beings. Marine pollution. 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.
Approximately 95 per cent of earth’s air occurs in the lower levels. sea salt sprays. But these natural pollutants don’t stay long in the atmosphere since they can be recycled in the biological or chemical cycles. biological decay. carbon monoxide (all formed from the combustion of fossil fuels). CFC and particulate matter Secondary pollutants are acid rain and ozone. the stratosphere together with gases like ozone.4% carbon dioxide plus small amounts of other gases and water vapours. 0.49 of the latter. liquid or gaseous substance coming out of any chimney. Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide combine with water in the atmosphere and react with sunlight forming acid droplets. the troposphere. extra
. they pose only a short-term problem and that too localized. Rest 05% of the planet air occurs in the upper levels. radio active substances etc. Air pollution means the presence in the atmosphere of any air pollutant. forest fires. These are substances released from volcano eruptions or forest fires. 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. Air pollutants can be primary or secondary. sulphur dioxide. These acid droplets constitute Acid Rain. duct or any other outlet. nitrogen oxides. AIR POLLUTION The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. “Emission” means any solid. 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. These are ‘standards’ and legislation that exist for emissions. These include gases. particulate matter. Hence. 21% oxygen. The company manager must be familiar with these. It is an atmospheric in which certain substances are present in concentrations which can cause undesirable effects on man and his environment. Primary pollutants are carbon dioxide. In this connection definition of “Emission” is also relevant. In the production process. It may be worthwhile to note that there are natural sources of pollution too. “Air Pollutant” means any solid. photochemical oxidation. 1981. In natural state this air contains 78% nitrogen. defines “Air Pollutant” and in reference to them defines air pollution. Sources of Air Pollution: The sources of Air pollution are natural and man-made (anthropogenic). Natural resources: The natural sources of air pollution are volcanic eruptions.
asthma. These could be emitted from building materials like bricks. The main pollutants emitted are fly ash and SO2. Thermal power plants have become the major sources for generating electricity in India as the nuclear power plants could be installed as planned. industrial units. Effects on aquatic life: Air pollutants mixing up with rain can cause high acidity in fresh water lakes. Control of Air Pollution: Air pollution can be minimized by the following methods:
. concrete. Effects on human health: Affects respiratory system. years of exposure to air pollutants including cigarette smoke adversely affect these natural defenses and can result in lung cancer. incomplete combustion produces toxic gas carbon monoxide. Automobile exhaust is another major source of air pollution Indoor Air pollution: The most important indoor air pollution is radon gas. Man-made: Man made sources include thermal power plants.50 terrestrial bodies. Many houses in the underdeveloped countries including India use fuels like coal. Effects on plants: These pollutants affect plants by entering through stomata. fossil fuel burning. Many other pollutants may have toxic metals which can cause mutations. however. tiles etc. This is responsible for a large number of lung cancer deaths each year. Some of the freshwater lakes have experienced total fish death. Radioactive minerals present in the earth crust are the sources of radioactivity in the atmosphere. chemical industries. Effects on materials: Because of their corrosiveness particulates can cause damage to exposed surfaces. 2. dung-cakes. 4. wood and kerosene in their kitchens. agricultural activities etc. paper and pulp mills are other sources of air pollution. Effects of Air pollution: 1. Completion combustion of fuel produces carbon dioxide which may be toxic. smelters. 3. vehicular emissions. The damage results in death of the plant. pollen grains of flowers etc. textile mills. this affects aquatic life especially fish. Metallurgical plants also consume coal and produce similar pollutants Fertilizer plants. chronic bronchitis etc. reproductive problems or even cancer.
Removing particulate from stack exhaust gases by employing electrostatic precipitators. Sound pressure is expressed in Hertz (Hz) and is equal to the number of cycles per second.
. Removing NOx during the combustion process. Sound is mechanical energy from a vibrating source. Effects of Noise: 1. 5. Using mass transport system. 10. Shifting to less polluting fuels (hydrogen gas) 9. 8. 2. Sound can propagate through a medium like air.51 1. Interfaces with man’s communication: In a noisy area communication is severely affected. Using biological filters and bio-scrubbers 11. liquid or solid. converters. Setting up of industries after proper Environmental Impact Assessment studies. bag-house filters. Vehicular pollution can be checked by regular tune-up of engines. Removing sulphar from coal (by washing or with the help of bacteria) 4. 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. Sound wave is a pressure perturbation in the medium through which sound travels. The unpleasant and unwanted sound is called noise. A type of sound may be pleasant to someone and at the same time unpleasant to others. 6. scrubbers etc. The CPCB committee has recommended permissible noise levels for different locations. bicycles etc. NOISE POLLUTION: We hear various types of sounds everyday. cyclone separators. Using low sulphar coal in industries 3. Planting more trees. Using non-conventional sources of energy.
Pollution of water can be caused by point sources or non-point sources . underground coal mines. For this purpose various types of fibrous material could be used. Planting more trees having board leaves. We need water for drinking. Sources of water pollution: Water is an essential commodity for survival. Use of sound absorbing silencers: Silencers can reduce noise by absorbing sound. washing. insomnia (sleeplessness). 3. Auditory sensitivity is reduced with noise level of over 90 dB in the midhigh frequency for more than a few minutes. Water has the property to dissolve many substances in it. gastro-intestinal and digestive disorders etc. offshore oil wells etc. chemical or biological characteristics of water making it unsuitable for designated use in its natural state. Physiological and psychological changes: Continuous exposure to noise affects the functioning of various systems of the body. Unnecessary horn blowing should be restricted especially in vehicle-congested areas. Noise making machines should be kept in containers with sound absorbing media.
WATER POLLUTION Water pollution can be defined as alteration in physical. bathing. Reduction in sources of noise 2. Through Law: Legislation can ensure that sound production is minimized at various social functions. Hearing damage: Noise can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss. irrigation and for industrial operations. 6. It depends on intensity and duration of sound level. cooking. It may result in hypertension.Major point sources of water pollution are industries. The noise path will be interrupted and will not reach the workers.52
2. power plants. 3. Proper oiling will reduce the noise from the machinery. Control of noise pollution: 1. 4.
. 5. Therefore it can easily get polluted.
have therefore. Surface water pollution: The major sources of surface water pollution are: 1 . DDT. Industrial effluents 3.Sewage 2. Waste heat Effects of Water Pollution: Following are some important effects of various types of water pollutants: 1. Synthetic detergents 4. streams. industry (textile. Agrochemicals 5. been banned. Use of nitrogen fixing plants to supplement the use of fertilizers. Toxic Compounds Pesticides in drinking water ultimately reach humans and are known to cause various health problems. 1. Recently in Andhra Pradesh people suffered from various abnormalities due to consumption of endosulphan contaminated cashew nuts. 3. deep well injection. Judicious use of agrochemicals like pesticides and fertilizers which will reduce their surface urn-off and leaching. dieldrin etc. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Compounds (Nutrients) 3.53
Ground water pollution: Ground water forms about 6. Pathogens 4.e. Adopting integrated pest management to reduce reliance on pesticides. Oxygen demanding wastes 2. Septic tanks. Avoid use of these on sloped lands. 2. tanneries). The following points may help to reduce water pollution from non-point sources. are mainly responsible for ground water pollution which is irreversible. chemical. mining etc. Ground water pollution with arsenic. Control of Water Pollution It is easy to reduce water pollution from point sources by legislation. lakes and estuaries. fluoride and nitrate are posing serious health hazards. However due to absence of defined strategies it becomes difficult to prevent water pollution from non-point sources. Oil 6. aldrin.
.2% of the total water available on planet earth and is about 30 times more than surface water i.
Divert such run-off to basin for settlement. Cooling towers
.Fish migrations are affected due to formation of various thermal zones. Prevent run-off of manure. 4. Control of Thermal Pollution: The following methods can be employed for control of thermal pollution 1 Cooling ponds 2 Spray Ponds 3. The nutrient rich water can be used as fertilizer in the fields. 3. steel mills etc are the major sources of thermal pollution. Effects of Thermal Pollution: 1 The dissolved oxygen content of water is decreased as the solubility of oxygen in water is decreased high temperature.54 4. 7 . detergents and chemicals in the effluents increases with increase in temperature. Metabolic activities of aquatic organisms increase at high temperature and require more oxygen level falls under thermal pollution. 5. Separate drainage of sewage and rain water should be provided. High temperature becomes a barrier for oxygen penetration into deep cold waters. Heat producing industries like thermal power plants. Plantation of trees would reduce pollution and will also prevent soil erosion. 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. THERMAL POLLUTION Thermal pollution can be defined as presence of waste heat in the water which can cause undesirable changes in the natural environment. 5. 6. nuclear power plants. Toxicity of pesticides. Discharge of heated water near the shores can disturb spawning and can even kill young fishes. 2. refineries. 6.
Developmental l activities on coastal areas should be minimized. These include sewage sludge. 7. Ecologically sensitive coastal areas should be protected by not allowing drilling.e. Dumping of toxic. 4. metals and waste heat released by industries as discussed earlier. 6. Toxic pollutants from industries and sewage treatment plants should not be discharged in coastal waters. Tankers and other shipping means industries like petroleum. Oil in sea water can spread over a large area of the sea remain dispersed or get adsorbed on sediments. Oil and grease from service stations should be processed for reuse. Still many pollutants specially the recalcitrant ones remain unchanged or are partially degraded causing marine pollution. agricultural practices have been established and 3) oil drilling and shipment.55
MARINE POLLUTION The main sources of marine pollution are 1) rivers. Most of the rivers ultimately join the ocean. Oil ballast should not be dumped into sea. metal industry. agrochemicals. synthetic detergents. 8. It can cause adverse effects on marine life. paint industry etc automotive wastes refineries. Run off from non-point sources should be prevented to reach coastal areas. lubrication oil using industry. plastics. 2. which bring pollutants from their drainage basins 2) catchment are i. industrial effluents. 3. industry. In the sea the pollutants get diluted and the organic matter is further broken down as in river water. refinery. Control of Marine Pollution 1. ship-accidents and off shore production add to marine pollution.
. solid wastes. coastline where human settlements in the form of hotels. hazardous wastes and sewage sludge should be banned. 5. Sewer overflows should be prevented by having separate sewer and rain water pipes. The pollutants which these rivers carry from their drainage basins are finally poured into the sea.
paper. Industrial wastes also contain some organic and inorganic compounds that are refractory and non-biodegradable. cloth rags. 4. chemical and biological properties. Control of Soil Pollution 1 . Biodegradable organic waste should be used for generation of biogas. plastics. 5. Domestic wastes include garbage. containers. fibres. Dumping of various types of materials especially domestic and industrial wastes causes soil pollution. Effects of Soil Pollution Sewage and industrial effluents which pollute the soil ultimately affect human health. Night soil can also be used in the biogas plant to produce inflammable methane gas. recovery of useful products should be done. Organic matter in the soil makes it suitable for living organisms. The sewage sludge contains many pathogenic organisms. Some of the persistent toxic chemicals accumulate in food chain and ultimately affect human health.Huge quantities of these wastes are dumped on soils. Soil also receives excreta from animals and humans. Various types of chemicals like acids. paints varnishes etc. Thermal power plants generate a large quantity of ‘fly ash’ . Leachates from dumping sites and sewage tanks are harmful and toxic which pollute the soil. thus contaminating them. metallic cans. 3. Cattle dung should be used for methane generation.56
SOIL POLLUTION Soil is the upper layer of the earth curst which is formed by weathering of rocks. From the wastes. 2. Solid wastes should be properly collected and disposed off by appropriate method. pesticides.Effluents should be properly treated before discharging them on the soil. insecticides etc. in the industrial discharges affect soil fertility by causing changes in physical. viruses and intestinal worms which may cause various types of diseases. Sewage sludge has many types of bacteria.
. alkalis. rubbish material like glass. bacteria. viruses and intestinal worms which cause pollution in the soil.
tea leaves.57 6. markets (commercial waste) small cottage units. and horticulture waste from parks. Microbial degradation of biodegradable substances is also one of the scientific approaches for reducing soil pollution. Proper disposal of wastes from laboratory involving the use of radioisotopes should be done. 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. For example these types of waste are vegetable wastes. It is now realized that if waste generation continues indiscriminately then very soon it would be beyond rectification. These particles and its rays pass through paper and wood but can be stopped by concrete wall. lead slabs or water. They undergo natural radioactive decay in which unstable isotopes spontaneously give out fast moving particles. Management of solid waste has therefore become very important in order to minimize the adverse effects of solid wastes. municipal solid waste from homes. egg shells. stale food. industrial. Damage caused by different types of radiations depends on the penetration power and presence of the source inside or outside body. high energy radiations or both. NUCLEAR HAZARDS Radioactive substances are present in nature. The urban solid waste materials that can be degraded by microorganisms are called biodegradable wastes. at a fixed rate until a new stable isotope is formed. dry leaves etc.
. peanut shells. mining waste and sewage sludge. Sources of Urban and Industrial wastes: These wastes consists of medical waste from hospitals. gardens and orchards etc. offices. agricultural. Control of Nuclear Pollution: 1. Solid waste (waste other than liquid or gaseous) can be classified as municipal. medical. 2.
Toxic substances may leach or percolate to contaminate the ground water. There are large quantities of hazardous and toxic materials are also produced during industrial processing. Industrial solid wastes are sources of toxic metals and hazardous wastes. Recently Government of Maharshtra is the process of passing legislation on usage of polyethylene bags.Reduce. Reduction in use of raw materials 2. glass bottles etc.58 Wastes that cannot be degraded by microorganisms are called nonbiodegradable waste e. polyethylene bags. Sanitary landfill 2. packaging material. Government had put a ban on use of these bags. Recycling of materials For discarding wastes the following methods could be used: 1. which may spread on land and can cause changes in physicochemical and biological characteristics thereby affecting productivity of soils. People clean their own houses and litter their immediate surroundings which affect the community including themselves. acids etc. Effects of solid wastes: Municipal solid waste heap up on the roads due to improper disposal system.g. This type of dumping allows biodegradable materials to decompose under uncontrolled and unhygienic conditions. organic waste. Composting 3. Industrial waste consists of large number of materials including factory rubbish. Reuse of waste materials 3. This produces foul smell and breeds various types of insects and infectious organisms besides spoiling the aesthetics of the site. Incineration
. Management of solid waste: For waste management we must focus on three ‘Rs’. Reuse and Recycle before destruction and safe storage of wastes. scrap metal. 1.
e. Hydrogen for that matter should not be produced by passing current in water as for generation of this current. Use eco-friendly products 3.” Each individual should change his or her lifestyle in such a way as to reduce environmental pollution. 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. again the environment will be polluted. Do not use polystyrene cups that have CFC molecules in them which destroy ozone layerHon’ble Mr. 4. hydrogen fuel. city. Help more in pollution prevention than pollution control 2. Use the chemicals derived from peaches and plums to clean computer chips and circuit boards instead of CFCs. It can be done through following suggestions: 1. So solar hydrogen fuel is the need of the hour. Following are the practical hints for an individual to prevent pollution: • Reduce your dependency on fossil fuel especially coal or oil
. A small effort made by each individual at his own place will have pronounced effect at the global level. state or national level but also at the global level as environment has no boundaries. Use CFC free Refrigerators The manufacture and operation of such devices should be encouraged that don’t pollute. Cut down the use of CFCs as they destroy the ozone layer.59 ROLE OF AN INDIVIDUAL IN PREVENTION OF POLLUTION The role of every individual in preventing pollution is of paramount importance because if every individual contributes substantially the effect will be visible not only at the community. It is appropriately said “Think globally act locally. Air pollution can be prevented by using really clean fuel i. 5.Railway Minister has initiated use of earthen pots for tea serving in Railway which is a commendable decision in this regard. 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.Laluprasad Yadav.
This will reduce the amount of waste energy Promote reuse and recycling whatever possible and reduce the production of wastes. 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. Use less hazardous chemicals wherever possible. Check population growth so that demand of materials is under controls. Do not put pesticides. it will reduce metal pollution. volcanoes. paints. solvents.
. Improve energy efficiency. Adopt and popularize renewable energy sources. The solid waste generated during one manufacturing process can be used as a raw material for some other processes. floods and landslides are normal natural events which have resulted in the formation of the earth that we have today. Use only the minimum and required quantity of water for various activities When building a home save (don’t cut) trees. For short visits use bicycle or go on foot. Use rechargeable batteries. Use pesticides only when absolutely necessary that too in right amounts. Plant more trees as trees can absorb many toxic gases and can purify the air.60 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Save electricity by not washing it when not required because electricity saved electricity generated without polluting the environment.
DISASTER MANAGEMENT: Geological processes like earthquakes. oils or other harmful chemicals into the drain or ground water. Decrease the use of automobiles. They are however disastrous in their impact when they affect human settlements. Use mass transport system.
g.Anthropogenic activities such as Impoundment of huge quantities of water in the lake behind a big dam e. 3. There are several causes for such disasters which include: 1. 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. 4.
. 3. Damage of property and life can be prevented by constructing earth-quake resistant buildings in the earthquake prone zones. 1.g. Wooden houses are preferred in earthquake prone areas as in Japan.61
Frequently occurring natural disasters in India Sr. Chemical action of water gradually causes chemical weathering of rocks making them prone to landslides. Pokharan II testing at desert of Rajasthan. under ground nuclear testing e. 5. Earth-quake generated water waves called Tsunamis caused tremendous damage in Tamilnadu and Kerala. Water and vegetation influence landslides. Koyna Dam in Maharashtra have created few incidence of minor and major earthquakes. Following care should be taken as set of measures for Disaster Management: 1..causes a great economic loss and health related problems. Deep well disposal of liquid waste. Landslides occur when coherent rock of soil masses move down slope due to gravitational pull. 2. 2.No. Due to heavy rainfalls or sudden snow melt can swell the rivers disproportionately.
It is difficult to stop the recurrence of cyclones. build check-dams on small streams. move buildings off the flood plains etc. Classify solid waste. embarkments.62 2. How can you as an individual prevent environmental pollution? Why such effort is necessary? 10. These landslides should be masked by many other exerting factors like earthquakes. What are the sources of urban and industrial solid waste? 9. replace ground cover on water-courses. disturbances in resistant rock overlying rock of low resistance etc. 2. wind breaks. 6. Questions: 1. providing slope support like gabions (Wired stone blocks) and concrete support at the base of a slope. Briefly describe the sources. storm shelter. Such measures include planting of more trees on the coastal belt. effects and control of noise pollution. What are various types of disasters? How could they be controlled? What are the steps to be borne in mind in Disaster Management?
. parks. Write a short note on Water Pollution. Define pollution. construction of dams. 4. Flood plains should be used for wildlife habitat. vibrations. These landslides could be minimized by stabilizing the slope by draining the surface and surface water. 4. 5. What are the adverse effects and measures to control water pollution? 7. To check the flood. Write note on Air Pollution. recreational areas etc. Name various atmospheric pollutants. What are the sources of soil pollution? How does soil pollution affect soil productivity? What are the remedies for the same? 8. efforts need to be made to restore wetlands. Some long term defence measures can help to protect us from devastation. Differentiate between sound and noise. 3. How can we control it? 3. proper drainage and wide roads for quick evacuation etc.
Issues involved in enforcement of environmental legislation. 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”.without undermining the interest of future generations. They should keep in view the principle of equity and those principles that determine the intergenerational inequities.Air(presentation and control of pollution) Act. Therefore. the national as well as international leaders and institutions respectively have major responsibility for sound developmental. Wasteland reclamation. Countries of North (Developed) use too many natural resources and such practice cannot continue long. Water conservation. 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. Consumerism and waste products. We have to realize now that Nature today is very fragile. Resettlement and rehabilitation of people. its problems and concerns Case studies. Environmental protection Act.
. Environmental ethics. It also requires that a nation or society should be able to satisfy its requirements.from unsustainable to sustainable development.63
Unit 6: SOCIAL ISSUES AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Social Issues and the Environment. Issues and possible solutions. economic and environmental issues. rain harvesting. watershed management. economic and others. Public awareness. 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. Wildlife Protection Act. These experts are strong advocates of “limits to growth” philosophy. Water(prevention and control of pollution) Act. Urban problems related to energy. Nature is finite.social. 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.
It can be expressed with following equation: I=PxAxT I= Impact of environment = Population = Affluence (consumption) T= Technology coefficient
. To summarize. High population growth causes stress on environment. environmental damage and social instability.64 Another aspect of sustainable development is related to System Analysis. and there are opposite thinkers are also. how economic. social and environmental systems interact at various scales of operation to lead sustainable development that will strike optimal balance among the three subsystems. who feel that blame has to be on economic development. industrial growth and unsustainable economic development are the matters of cause for concern especially in development. The interaction between population growth. that is to say. 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. resource depletion/environmental damage has been debated. It must ultimately lead to reducing poverty of people in developing countries by minimizing resources depletion.
environmental concerns and social responsibilities vis-à-vis population regardless of time or location. 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. Since efficiency grew. If not population factor itself would be sufficient contribution toward degradation of environment and resource depletion. For example. climate change (global warming). This will be possible only if it is promoted through changes in the fiscal system which supports appropriate technological improvements. There is considerable scope for dematerialization and de-energisation without a decrease in living standards. India’s population has crossed hundred crores mark.e. more production of wastes including greenhouse gases. Ecology of means has to be accompanied by an ecology of ends. 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. • Limits to Growth:
We will need to change attitudes. it is not legitimate to ignore the equity occurring in the present populations in different parts of the globe. We will need to set a level of sufficiency i. We are adding more than Australia in terms of population each year.all having adverse effects on environment. This can only happen if principle of sufficiency is ignored. only after that the limitations of environments concerns posed by a carbon energy economy would get lessened. We can save nature by using our resources more efficiently. Just improvement of efficiency alone is not going to be enough. But this can happen for a certain time. Growth has been treated as an infinite variable. and hence efficiency revolution will remain counterproductive if its not
. can be combated only if the world transits to a non-carbon energy economy. But if future equity is of great concern. Sustainablity should reflect equity. The “earth’s carrying capacity” is not seriously thought about. consumption patterns. more consumption of energy. There is a difference between ecology of means and ecology of ends. this much and not beyond it. Question is whether we have devised adequate developmental programs that can match the increase in population.65 More people means more pressure on resources. Sustainable development is about integrational equity. This is not a correct assumption. And such world has to desperately try to keep pace with the environmental problems because of such incorrect assumptions. the number of cars and the power of cars also grew.
66 supplemented by a sufficiency revolution. • Poverty:
In order to properly manage environment and resources. Long term ecological costs are to be taken into account. Sufficiency will be possible only if one day the world is prepared to reach an international agreement on limits to growth and to say. Developing countries have yet to undertake more developmental programs and yet to attain reasonable standards of living. ecological disadvantages are required to be taken into account. Global agreement is still a distant possibility. Elements of resource generation and positive approach to environment have to be incorporated in developmental programs. due consideration should be given to the fact that poor people directly depend upon natural
. It is important to also achieve good rate of regeneration of natural resources.is really irrational. GNP must increase in these countries. Such increase however is based on high rate of consumption of natural resources of which depletion of environmental resources is significant. Therefore. a separate set of policies would have to be adopted. The world faces an enormous challenge in the coming years. Economic growth comes in conflict with issues of environmental concerns. transformation and utilization of non-renewable resources. 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. However. For sustainable use of global common systems. In our effort to increase the GNP. Ever since India had adopted the Economic Reforms Models via liberalization globalization. that we have fixed our level of greed and no more. High economic growth results into high rate of extraction. Economic growth can not take place without sustaining ecological costs. Economic growth has to be environmentally sustainable. Running with high speed and with utmost efficiency and without direction. • Economy:
Rate o f Gross National Product (GNP) is one of the most important indicators of economic performance of any nation. Increase GNP indicates economic health of the country. we may not like to liquidate ecological assets.
• Forests: There should be a rational approach adopted for management of forests and forests lands. Now about 50% of the world population lives in urban areas and there is increasing movement of rural folk to cities in search of employment. Land is infinite resource. Promotion of sustainable energy and transport system 4. education.67 resources for their livelihood. The human settlement program should concentrate on following aspects: 1.water. Investment in infrastructure. Providing shelter to all 2. In developing countries too urban growth is very fast and in most of the cases it is uncontrollable and unplanned growth. trade. the urban
. Integrated approach is necessary for management of land. Sustainable forest development. Sustainable development must address the issue of eradication of poverty which is linked with employment both of women and youth and other income generation programs. innovations and employment. cattle. It was some two hundred years ago with the dawn of industrial era the cities showed rapid development. It will be necessary to give priority to the needs of urban as well as rural poor. These components provide varieties of services are essential for life support system. hunting or some cottage industry. production of forest products and forest services require institutional approach at government level. The urban growth is so fast that it is becoming difficult to accommodate all the industrial. Until recently a big majority of human population lived in rural areas and their economic activities centered around agriculture. fishing. minerals and biota. • Human Settlement Issues:
The environmental implications of urban development and other human (slums) must be recognized. In contrast to the rural set up. soil. commercial and residential facilities within a limited municipal boundary. 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. rearing. A phenomenon known as urban sprawl. sewage and solid waste 3.
URBAN PROBLEMS RELATED TO ENERGY Cities are the main centers of economic growth. As a result there is spreading of the cities into the sub-urban or rural areas too.
Decreasing run-off losses: Huge water-loss occurs due to run-off on most of the soils. a) Contour cultivation: on small furrows and ridges across the slopes trap rainwater and allow more time for infiltration. Due to high population density and high energy demanding activities.
. 1. In channeling. Modern life-style using a large number of electrical gadgets in everyday life. water spreading. terrace framing. c) Water spreading is done by channeling or lagoon-leveling. the urban problems related to energy are much more magnified as compared to rural population. the water flow is controlled by a series of diversions with vertical intervals. Residential and commercial lighting 2. This can be achieved by using contour cultivation. chemical treatment or improved water-storage system. The following strategies can be adopted for conservation of water. WATER CONSERVATION: Water being one of the most precious and indispensable resources needs to be conserved. 1. Terracing constructed on deep soils have large water-storage capacity. consumes a lot of energy and materials and generates a lot of waste. In lagoon leveling. 6. small depressions are dug in the area so that there is temporary storage water. Industrial plants using a big proportion of energy 5. Transportation means including automobiles and public transport for moving from residence to workplace 3. A large amount of waste generation which has to be disposed off properly using energy based techniques. This is because urban people have a higher standard of life and their life style demands more energy inputs in every sphere of life. On gentle slopes trapped run off is spread over a large area for better infiltration. The energy demanding activities include. b) Conservation-bench terracing: It involves construction of a series of benches for catching the run off water. 4. Control and prevention of air and water pollution which need energy dependent technologies. The energy requirement of urban population are much higher than that of rural ones.68 set up is densely populated. which can be reduced by allowing most of the water to infiltrate into the soil.
5. The chemical has been found to be useful for sandy soils. A co-polymer of starch and acrylonitrile called ‘super slumper’ has been reported to absorb water up to 1400 times its weight.
.69 d) Chemical wetting agents (Surfactants): These seem to increase the water intake rates when added to normal irrigated soil. tillage. commercial buildings and public places. 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.2H2O) when applied to sodic soils improve soil permeability and reduce run off. By leaving the soil fallow for one season water can be made available for the crop grown in next season. 3.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. Horizontal barriers of asphalt placed below the soil surface increase water availability and increase crop yield by 35-40%. f) Chemical conditioners like gypsum (CaSO4. for watering gardens. Another useful conditioner is HPAN (hydrolyzed poyacrylonitrile) g) Water-storage structures like farm ponds.Reuse of water: a) treated wastewater can be used for ferti-irrigation b) using grey water from washings. 6. 4. 2. Preventing wastage of water: This can be done in households. mulch. bath-tubs etc. e) Surface crop residues. animal residues etc. This helps in economic use of water by the consumers. Increasing block pricing: The consumer has to pay a proportionately higher bill with higher use of water. a) Closing taps when not in use b) repairing any leakage from pipes c) using small capacity flush in toilets. 7. dug-outs etc. 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. help in reducing run-off by allowing more time for water to penetrate into the land. washing cars or paths help in saving fresh water. Reducing evaporation losses: This is more relevant in humid regions.
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.
Contour trenching at an interval of one meter on overburdened dump. no-till farming. 2. Woody trees grown successfully in such agro-forestry programs include Sheesham. Scientific mining and quarrying: Due to improper mining. particularly the soil and water conservation. Bunding has proved to be a very useful method in reducing runoff. Afforestation and agro-forestry: In watershed development. In high rainfall areas. Various measures taken up for management include the following: 1. bunding. peak discharge and soil loss in Dehradun and Siwaliks 4. rapid erosion etc. afforestation and crop plantation play a very important role. 3. woody trees are grown in between crops to substantially reduce the runoff and loss of fertile soil. Water harvesting: Proper storage of water is done with provision for use in dry seasons in low rainfall areas. Watershed management in Himalayan region is of vial importance since most of the watersheds of our country lie there. strip cropping etc. People’s cooperation as well as participation has to be ensured for the same. Properly educating the people about the campaign and its benefits or sometimes paying certain incentives to them can help in effective people’s participation. are used to minimize runoff and soil erosion particularly on the slopes of watersheds. Successful watershed management has been done at Sukhomajri Panchkula. 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. 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. It also helps in moderation of floods. contour cropping. terracing and contour
. They help to prevent soil erosion and retention of moisture. Several anthropogenic activities accelerate its slope instability which need to be prevented and efforts should be made to project the watershed by preventing overgrazing. Public participation: People’s involvement including the farmers and tribals is the key to the success of any watershed management program. In Dehradun trees like Eucalyptus. the hills lose stability and get disturbed resulting in landslides. bench terracing. Leucaena and grasses like chrysopogon are grown along with maize or wheat to achieve the objectives.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. Haryana through active participation of the local people. 5. Teak and Keekar which have been used in watershed areas of river Yamuna. Mechanical measures for reducing soil erosion and runoff losses: Several mechanical measures like terracing.
Developmental projects are planned to bring benefits to the society. There is a need to look into their problems and provide them some employment. they usually retaliate by starting destructive activities. It also resulted in movement lead by Sunderlal Bahuguna. various mines are predominant in Jharkhand. Several thousands of hectares of land area is covered in mining operation and the native people are displaced. underprivileged tribal people. However. these mines had displaced many people. When these villagers are deprived of their ancestral right or access to forests. However. These native people are generally the poorest of the poor. Bhakra Nangal Dam. it is a welcome step for conservation of the natural resources. 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.three states people and many villages get affected. Hirakum Dam. Tehri Dam are the examples where many people and their villages in the vicinity got affected. quite often. it also has a social aspect associated with it which is often neglected. Various types of projects result in the displacement of the native people who undergo tremendous economic and psychological distress. Sometimes displacement of local people is due to accidents occurring in mined areas like subsidence of land that often leads to shifting people e. On steeper slopes with sliding faces.74 farming to check runoff and erosion etc. Besides this.g.
. 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. b) Displacement due to mining: Mining is another developmental activity. A major portion of the forest is declared as core-area. straw mulching tied with thin wires and ropes helps in establishing the vegetation and stabilizing the slopes. which causes displacement of the native people.One more stir is currently on is Sardar Sarovar Project. the native people of the project site are directly affected. very often there is over-exploitation of natural resources and degradation of the environment. as the socio economic and ecological base of the local community is disturbed. where the entry of local dwellers or tribals is prohibited. in the process of development. c) Displacement due to creation of National park: When some forests are covered under a National Park.movement called Chipko Movement. RESETTLEMENT AND REHABILITATION ISSUES: Problems and concerns: Economic development raises the quality and standard of living of the people of a country.
social and cultural functions. For this purpose. jobs. Displacement further increases their poverty due to loss of land. Even when they are resettled. which totally ignores communal settlement. their folk-songs. which is an inbuilt system amongst the tribals. most of the displacements have resulted due to land acquisition by the government for various reasons. d) The land acquisition laws ignore the communal ownership of property. e) Kinship systems. marriages. Thus the tribals lose their communitarian basis of economic and cultural existence. they get alienated in the modern economic set up. loss of access to common property assets. fauna. 1894 which empowers it to serve notice to the people to vacate their lands if there is a need as per government planning. which has been inherited and experienced by them about the flora. 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. In India. c) The tribals are not familiar with the market policies and trends. home. the government has the Land Acquisition Act.75 REHABILITATION ISSUES: The United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights has declared that right to housing is a basic human right. Even if they get cash compensation. their uses etc. f) Loss of identity and loss of the intimate link between the people and the environment is one of the biggest loss.
. increased morbidity and mortality and social isolation. Rehabilitation policy: There is a need for a comprehensive National Rehabilitation Policy. it is individual-based resettlement. dances and activities vanish with their displacement. food insecurity. gets lost. The age-long indigenous knowledge. They feel like fish out of water. Different states are following different practices in this regard. Provision of cash compensation in lieu of the land vacated exists in the Act. 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.
principles and guidelines relating to human interactions with their environment. would transform our deeds. It puts human beings in the center giving them the highest status. These two world-views are discussed in here in relation to environmental protection: a) Anthropocentric Worldview: This view is guiding most industrial societies. The guiding principles of this view are: 1. Man is the planet’s most important species and is in the in-charge of the rest of the nature.
. If we want to check the environmental crisis. On the other hand. ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS: Environmental ethics refers to the issues. Economic growth is very good and more the growth. 3. if we think “Nature has provided us with all the resources for leading a beautiful life and she nourishes us like a mother. “The environmental crisis is an outward manifestation of the crisis of mind and spirit. It is rightly said. So. because it raises our quality of life and the potential for economic growth is unlimited. leading to a better environment and better future. the better it is. like any other creation of Nature and live sustainably. we will have to transform our thinking and attitude. 2. we can see that our acts will follow what we think. That in turn. this is an earth-centric thinking. 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”. 4. The second view urges us to live on this earth as a part of it. it reflects our human-centric thinking. we should respect her and nurture her”. Man is considered to be most capable for managing the planet earth. The first view urges us to march ahead gloriously to conquer the nature and establish our supremacy over nature through technological innovations.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 all depends on how do we think and act. A healthy environment depends upon a healthy economy. Earth has an unlimited supply of resources and it all belongs to us. economic growth and development without much botheration to care for the damage done to the planet earth.
One should not conceal from others the effects you have caused by your actions on earth. One should be grateful to the plants and animals which nourish you by giving you food. Nature exists not for human beings alone. One should keep each day sacred to earth and celebrate the turning of its seasons. One should not run after gains at the cost of nature rather should strive to restore its damaged majesty. 2. The basic beliefs are as follows: 1. b) Eco-centric Worldview: This is based on earth-wisdom. 4. but for all the species. 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. 3. One should not waste your resources on destructive weapons. Economic growth is good till it encourages earth-sustaining development and discourages earth-degrading development. One should not hold yourself above other living things and have no right to drive them to extinction.77 5. The success of mankind depends upon how good managers we are for deriving benefits for us from nature. A healthy economy depends upon a healthy environment. One should limit your offsprings because too many people will overburden the earth. 5. The earth resources are limited and they do not belong only to human beings. 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.
• • • • • •
. 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.
Even small changes in climatic conditions may disturb agriculture that would lead to migration of animals including humans. Satyanarayana Pooja. Anthropogenic activities are upsetting the delicate balance that has been established between various components of the environment. during the past 10000 years of the current interglacial period. the mean average temperature has fluctuated by 0. Our teachings on “having fewer wants” ensure to put “limits to growth” and thus guide us to have an eco-centric life style. the green house effect and recent changes in global temperature. Ganesh Festival. Baishakhi. Our Vedas also have glorified each every component of nature as gods or goddesses so that people have a feeling of reverence for them. (Nisarga Pooja is what we perform during celebrations of our festivals e. It is observed that earth’s temperature has changed considerably during the geological times. Dassara etc. Our religious and cultural rituals make us perform such actions that would help in the conservation of nature and natural resources. thereby keeping the ecological balance of the earth intact. Such conditions which average over a long period at least 30 years is called climate. One should consume the material goods in moderate amounts so that all may share the earth’s precious treasure of resources.g. Even the various festivals envisaged by Hinduism also prescribe the participation of humans in the celebrations through nature.78
One should not steal from future generations their right to live in a clean and safe planet by impoverishing or polluting it. The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) in 1990 and 1992 published best available evidence about past climate change.51˚ c over 100 to 200 year period. CLIMATE CHANGE: Climate is the average weather of an area.
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. Vatapournitma. We have relatively stable climate for thousands of years due to which we have practiced agriculture and increased population. However. It is the general weather conditions. seasonal variations and extremes of weather in region. It has experienced several glacial and interglacial periods.) The concept of Ahimsa in Buddhism and Jainism ensure the protection and conservation of all forms of life. Green house
and water vapours. famines and death of humans as well as livestock. the lower most layer of the atmosphere traps heat by natural process due to the presence of certain gases. cause sea level rise.
GREEN HOUSE GASES:
. Other gases whose levels have increased due to human activities are methane. Therefore. While the levels of water vapour in the troposphere have relatively remained constant the levels of carbon dioxide have increased. 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. 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. greenhouse effect contributes a temperature rise to the tune of 33˚ c. Deforestation has further resulted in elevated levels of carbon dioxide due to non removal of carbon dioxide by plants through photosynthesis. This effect is called Green House Effect as it is similar to the warming effect observed in the horticultural Green House made of glass. Heat trapped by green house gases in the atmosphere keeps the planet warm enough to allow us and other species to exist. methane. The average global temperature is 15˚c. ozone. nitrous oxide etc.
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. This may upset the hydrological cycle.79 gases are increasing in atmosphere resulting in increase in the average global temperature. 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. changes in agricultural productivity. result in floods and droughts in different regions of the world. nitrous oxide. Some areas will become inhabitable because of droughts or floods following rise in average sea level.
5 to 5. the Nile. estuaries and coral reefs.2-1.5 ˚ c by 2050 if input of greenhouse gases continues to rise at the present rate. Effects on human health: The global warming will lead to changes in the rainfall pattern in many areas. Cairo. India. 2. Current models indicate that an increase in the average atmospheric temperature of 3˚ c would raise the average global sea level by 0. Global temperature increase: It is estimated that the earth’s mean temperature will rise between 1. elephantiasis etc. Even at the lower value. methane and nitrous oxide etc. Bangkok. Chlorofluorocarbons. One meter rise in sea level will inundate low lying areas of cities like Shanghai. In India. Hamburg and Venice as well as agricultural lowlands and deltas in Egypt.
. filariasis. Sydney. Bangladesh. 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. Some of the most beautiful cities like Mumbai may be saved by heavy investment on embankment to prevent inundation.5 meters over the next 50-100 years. earth would be warmer that it has been for 10000 years. thereby affecting the distribution of vector-borne diseases like malaria. Heating will melt the polar ice sheets and glaciers resulting in further rise in sea level. Life of millions of people will be affected. 3. These are the green house gases present in the troposphere and resulting in an increase in the temperature of air and the earth.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. 1. Rise in Sea Level: With the increase in global temperature sea water will expand. The green house gases include Carbon dioxide. the Lakshadweep Islands with a maximum height of 4 meters above the level may be vulnerable. thereby increasing the average surface temperature beyond 15˚ c. China and will affect rice productivity. the Mekong. 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. the Yangtze and the Mississippi rivers. This will also disturb many commercially important spawning grounds. by the sea level rise who have build homes in the deltas of Ganges.
It may show positive or negative effects on various types of crops in different regions of the world. Tropical and subtropical regions will be more affected since the average temperature in these regions is already on the higher side. Increase in temperature and humidity will increase pest growth like the growth of vectors for various diseases. Soil moisture will decrease and evapo-transpiration will increase. Shift to renewable energy resources 4. Higher temperature and humidity will increase/aggravate respiratory and skin diseases. Use energy more efficiently 3. Increase in nuclear power plants for electricity production 5. Warmer temperature and more water stagnation would favour breeding of mosquitoes. snails and some insects. Pests will adapt to such changes better than the crops. To cope up with the changing situation drought resistant. which may drastically affect wheat and maize production. The areas likely to be affected in this manner are Ethiopia. which are the vectors of such diseases. Effects on Agriculture: There are different views regarding the effect of global warming on agriculture. Adopt sustainable agriculture 9. Stabilize population growth
. Reduce beef production.81
Areas which are presently free from diseases like malaria may become the breeding grounds for the vectors of such diseases. heat resistant and pest resistant varieties of crops have to be developed. Trap and use methane as a fuel 7. 4. 2. 8. Kenya and Indonesia. Cut down the current rate of use of CFCs and fossil fuel. Shift from coal to natural gas 6. Even a rise of 2˚ c may be quite harmful to crops. Measures to check global warming: To slow down enhanced global warming the following steps will be important: 1.
Effects of acid rain: Acid rain causes a number of harmful effects below pH 5.6 at 20˚ c because of formation of carbonic acid due to dissolution of CO2 in water.g. dry deposition of acid may occur.6. In the atmosphere these gases are ultimately converted into sulfuric and nitric acids. Remove atmospheric carbon dioxide by utilizing photosynthetic algae. monuments like Taj Mahal. 4. On moist surfaces or in liquids these acid forming gases can dissolve an form acids similar to that formed in acid rain. It causes deterioration of buildings especially made of marble e. These acids cause acidic rain. The effects are visible in the aquatic even at pH less than 5.1. In absence of rain. soil and other materials.
. Hydrogen chloride emission forms hydrochloric acid. 3.5. Crystals of calcium and magnesium sulphate are formed as a result of corrosion caused by acid rain. Acid rain is only one component of acidic deposition. 12. 1.82
10. Efficiently remove carbon dioxide from smoke stacks 11. Rain water is turned acidic when its pH falls below 5. It damages stone statues. Plant more trees. Acid forming gases are oxidized over several days by which time they travel several thousand kilometers. 2. In fact clean or natural rain water has a pH of 5. Acid forming gases like oxides of sulphur and nitrogen and acid aerosols get deposited on the surface of water bodies. Acidic decomposition is the total wet acidic deposition (acid rain) and dry deposition. Aquatic life especially fish are badly affected by lake acidification. ACID RAIN Oxides of sulfur and nitrogen originating from industrial operations and fossil fuel combustion are the major sources of acid forming gases. Priceless stone statues in Greece and Italy have been partially dissolved by acid rain. It damages metals and car finishes. vegetation.
Wastelands are formed by natural processes. Many insects and fungi are more tolerant to acidic conditions and hence they can attack the susceptible trees and cause diseases. It makes trees more susceptible to stresses like cold temperature. undulating uplands. or by anthropogenic (man-made) activities leading to eroded. saline or waterlogged lands. and Andhra Pradesh. 6. Liming of lakes and soils should be done to correct the adverse effects of acid rain. Emission of SO2 and NO2 from industries and power plants should be reduced by using pollution control equipments. thus indicating the seriousness of the problem for a country like ours which has to support 1/6th of the world’s population. which include undulating uplands. etc. Aquatic animals suffer from toxicity of metals such as aluminium. Control of Acid Rain: 1. Many lakes of Sweden. Snow covered areas.83 5. sandy areas etc.
. 3. It results in reproductive failure. Maximum wasteland areas in our country lie Rajasthan (36 million ha) followed by M. 7. WASTELAND RECLAMATION Economically unproductive lands suffering from environmental deterioration are known as wastelands. 8. The wastelands include salt-affected lands.4% of the total land area and most of it comprises saline. In Harayana the wastelands cover about 8. Canada have become fishless due to acid rain. 2. coastal saline areas. It damages foliage and weakens trees. A coating of protective layer of inert polymer should be given in the interior of water pipes for drinking water. gullied areas.P. barren hill-ridge etc. glacial areas and areas rendered barren after Jhum cultivation are also included in wastelands. snow-covered lands. mercury. drought. manganese. 9. More than half of our country’s geographical area (about 175 million ha) is estimated to be wasteland. sandy areas. Norway. sodic or sandy land areas. zinc and lead which leak from the surrounding rocks due to acid rain. and killing of fish.
1980. environment was first discussed as an item of international agenda in the U. followed by the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. 1981 and subsequently the Environment (Protection) Act. lakes. 1974. To prevent soil erosion. flooding and landslides 4. Some of the important Acts passed by the Government of India are discussed as follows:
. To improve the availability of good quality water for irrigating these lands 3. To improve the physical structure and quality of marginal soils 2. 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. 1986. Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. which works to fulfill following objectives: 1.N. Conference on Human Environment in Stockholm and thereafter 5th June is celebrated all over the world as World Environment Day.” Article 51A (g) provides: “It shall be the duty of the every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests.84 Wasteland Reclamation Practices: Wasteland reclamation and development in our country falls under the purview of Wasteland Development Board. On 5th June. The Wildlife (Protection) Act was passed in 1972. 1972. 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.” Thus our constitution includes environmental protection and conservation as one of our fundamental duties. the Forest (Conservation) Act. rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures. Soon after the conference our country took substantive legislative steps for environmental protection.
FOREST (CONSERVATION) ACT. 7. transfer etc. It provides for the appointment of wildlife advisory Board. The Act covers under it all types of forests
. Several Conservation Projects for individual endangered species like Lion (1972). The act imposes a ban on the trade or commerce in scheduled animals. The Act provides for setting up of National Parks. comprehensive listing of endangered wild life species was done for the first time and prohibition of hunting of the endangered species was mentioned. Except J & K. Wildlife warden. 8. The Act is adopted by all states in India except J & K. There is provision for trade and commerce in some wildlife species with license for sale. It provides for legal powers to officers and punishment to offenders. Crocodile (1974) and Brown antlered Deer (1981) were stated under this Act. no coverage of foreign endangered wildlife. It provides for captive breeding programme for endangered species. their powers. possession. 2. 4. 3. Protection to some endangered plants. 5. 10. The Act provides for the constitution of Central Zoo Authority. illegal wild life trade in J & K.85 WILDLIFE (PROTECTION) ACT. Some of the major drawbacks of the Act include mild penalty to offenders. It defines the wild-life related terminology. Tiger (1973). 9. 6. personal ownership certificate for animal articles like tiger and leopard skins. the act is adopted all over India. Under the Act. 1980 This act deals with the conservation of forests and related aspects. pitiable condition of wildlife in mobile zoos and little emphasis on protection of plant genetic resources. 1972 The major activities and provisions in the act can be summed up as follows: 1. which has it own Act. Wildlife Sanctuaries etc. duties etc.
making water-holes. oil-yielding plants or plants of medicinal value in forest area need to be first approved by the Central Government. Cultivation of tea. National Parks etc. The salient features of the Act are as follows: 1. are included under non-forestry activity and not allowed in reserve forests. This is because newly introduced species in the forest area may cause an imbalance in the ecology of the forest.g. In 1992.g. Wildlife sanctuaries. 3. then no prior clearance is required. drilling and hydroelectric projects. Even cultivation of fruit-bearing trees. The State Government has been empowered under this Act to use the forests only for forestry purposes. mining) or for clearing some naturally growing trees and replacing them by economically important trees (reforestation).86 including reserved forests. fencing. for which prior approval of the Center is necessary. pipelines. some amendment was made in the Act which made provisions for allowing some non-forest activities in forests. These activities are setting of transmission lines. 4.
.) 1992 Amendment in the Forest Act 1. rubber and plants which are cash-crops. it has to take prior approval of Central Government. coffee. without cutting trees or limited cutting with prior approval of Central Government. wireless communication etc. If the species to be planted is a native species. If at all it wants to use it in any other way. seismic surveys. Any illegal non-forest activity within a forest area can be immediately stopped under this Act. 2. spices. However. after which it can pass orders for declaring some part of reserve forest for non-forest purposes (e. some construction work in the forest for wildlife or forest management is exempted from non-forest activity (e. protected forests or any forested land irrespective of its ownership. Non-forest activities include clearing of forest land for cultivation of any type of plants/crops or any other purpose (except re-afforestation). check posts. The last activity involves large scale destruction of forest. 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. 3. 2. exploration. are totally prohibited for any exploration or survey under this Act without prior approval of Central Government even if no tree-felling is involved. trench.
It provides for maintenance and restoration of quality of all types of surface and ground water. 7. The salient features and provisions of the Act are summed up as follows: 1.N. Pollution is defined as such contamination of water. Plantation of mulberry for rearing silkworm is considered a non-forest activity. 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. 6. The Supreme Court in a case T.Godavarman Thirumulkpad Vs. or such alteration of the physical. The definition of water pollution has thus encompassed the entire probable agents in water that may cause any harm or have a potential to harm any kind of in any way. The reason is same as described above.
. the Forests (Conservation) Act has made ample provisions for conservation and protection of forests and prevents deforestation. from river-beds located within the forest area fall under non-forest activity. 9. 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. This is done in order to discourage monoculture practices in the forests which are otherwise rich in biodiversity. 8.87
5. 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. bajri. 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. 1974 It provides for maintaining restoring the wholesomeness of water by preventing and controlling its pollution. boulder etc. Thus. Removal of stones. Mining is a non-forestry activity and prior approval of Central Government is mandatory. WATER (PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF POLLUTION) ACT.
conferred the following duties and powers: Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB): The board is supposed to: 1. sewage or trade effluent sample. 9. Organize comprehensive programs on pollution related issues through mass media. Advise the central government in matters related to prevention and control of water pollution. The Act makes provisions for various penalties for the defaulters and procedure for the same. 6. accounts and audit of the Central and State Pollution Control Boards. It confers them with powers and functions to control pollution. 5. control or abatement of pollution. The Central and State Pollution Control Boards are widely represented and are given comprehensive powers to advise. Lay down standards for water quality parameters. budgets. 2. 8. It provides for the establishment of Central and State Boards for pollution control. Prepare manuals for treatment and disposal of sewage and trade effluents. 4.88 2. 3. 5. which have been. Organize training programs for prevention and control of pollution. Collect and compile and publish technical and statistical data related to pollution. coordinate and provide technical assistance for prevention and control of pollution of water. 7. 4. Coordinate the activities of State Pollution Control Boards and provides them technical assistance and guidance. The main regulatory bodies are the Pollution Control Boards.
. Plan nation-wide programs for prevention. Establish and recognize laboratories for analysis of water. 3. The Act has provisions for funds.
89 The State Pollution Control Boards also have similar functions to be executed at state level and are governed by the directions of CPCB. 1. The board advises the state government with respect to the location of any industry that might pollute a stream or well. 2. It lays down standards for effluents and is empowered to take samples from any stream, well or trade effluent or sewage passing through an industry. 3. The State Board is empowered to take legal samples of trade effluent in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Act, The sample taken in the presence of the occupier or his agent is divided into two parts, sealed, signed by both the parties and sent for analysis to some recognized lab. If the samples do not conform to the prescribed water quality standards (crossing maximum permissible limits), then ‘consent’ is refused to the unit. 4. Every industry has to obtain consent from the Board (granted for a fixed duration) by applying on a prescribed Proforma providing all technical details, along with a prescribed fee following which analysis of the effluent is carried out. 5. The Board suggests efficient methods of utilization, treatment and disposal of trade effluents. The Act has made detailed provisions regarding the power of the Boards to obtain information, take trade samples, restrict new outlets, restrict expansion, enter and inspect the units and sanction or refuse consent to the industry after effluent analysis. While development is necessary it is all the more important to prevent pollution which can jeopardize the lives of people. Installation and proper functioning of effluent treatment plants in all polluting industries is a must for checking pollution of water and land. Despite certain weaknesses in the Act, the Water Act has ample provisions for preventing and controlling water pollution through legal measures. THE AIR (PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF POLLUTION) ACT, 1981 Salient features of the act are as follows: 1. It provides for prevention control and abatement of air pollution. 2. Air pollution has been defined as the presence of any solid, liquid or gaseous substance (including noise) in the atmosphere in such concentration as may be or tend to be harmful to human beings or any other living creatures or plants or property or environment.
3. Noise pollution has been inserted as pollution in the Act in 1987. 4. Pollution control boards at the central or state level have the regulatory authority to implement the Air Act. Just parallel to the functions related to Water (Prevention and control of pollution) Act, the boards perform similar to functions related to improvement of air quality. The boards have to check whether or not the industry strictly follows the norms or standards laid down by the board under section 17 regarding the discharge of emission of any air pollutant. Based upon analysis report, consent is granted or refused to the industry. 5. Just like the Water Act, the Air Act has provisions for defining the constitution, power and function of Pollution Control Boards, funds, accounts, audit, penalties and procedures. 6. Section 20 of the Act has provision for insuring emission standards for automobiles. Based upon it the state government is empowered to issue instructions to the authorities in charge of registration of motor vehicles (under Motor Vehicle Act, 1939) that is bound to comply with such instructions. 7. As per section 19 in consultation with the state pollution control board the state government may declare an area within the state as “Air Pollution Control Area” and can prohibit the use of any fuel other than approved fuel in the area causing air pollution. No person shall without prior consent of State Board operate or establish any industrial unit in the “Air Pollution Control Area”. The Water and Air Acts have also made special provisions for appeals. Under Section 28 of Water Act and Section 31 of Air Act, a provision for appeals has been made. An appellate authority consisting of a single person or three persons appointed by the head of the State, Governor is constituted to hear such appeals as filed by some aggrieved parties due to some order made by the State Board within 30 days of passing the orders. The Appellate Authority after giving the appellant and the State Board, an opportunity of being heard, disposes off the appeal as expeditiously as possible.
THE ENVIRONMENT (PROTECTION) ACT, 1986
91 The Act came into force on November 19, 1986. The Act extends to whole of India. Some terms related to environment have been described as follows in the Act: 1. Environment includes water, air and land and the interrelationship that exist among and between them and human beings, all other living organisms and property. 2. The environmental pollution means the presence of any solid, liquid or gases substance present in such concentration as may be or tend to be injurious to environment. 3. Hazardous substance means any substance or preparation which by its physico-chemical properties or handling is liable to cause harm to human beings, other living organisms, property or environment. The Act has given powers to the central government to take measures to protect and improve environment while the state government coordinate the actions. The most important function of central government under this act includes: Setting up of a) The standards of quality of air, water or soil for various areas and purposes. b) The maximum permissible limits of concentration of various environmental pollutants for different areas. c) The procedures and safeguards for the handling of hazardous substances. d) The prohibition and restrictions on the handling of hazardous substances in different areas. e) The prohibition and restriction on the location of the industries and to carry on process and operations in different areas. f) The procedures and safeguards for the prevention of accidents which may cause environmental pollution and providing for remedial measures for such accidents. The power of entry and inspection, power to take sample etc. under this act lies with the Central Government or any officer empowered by it. For the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of the environment and preventing and abating pollution, standards have been specified under Schedule I-IV of Environment (Protection) Rules 1986 for emission of gaseous pollutants and discharge of effluents/waste water from industries.
Still we are losing our Wild Life. technology. Our courses in Science. but incomplete knowledge information and ignorance about many aspects has often led to misconceptions. some awareness has taken place related to environmental degradation. 4. 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. politicians and administrators have not been trained so as to consider the environmental aspects associated with their plans. Off late. In a zeal to go ahead with some ambitious development projects. 2. quite often there is a purposeful concealment of information about environmental aspects. economics etc. PUBLIC ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS: Public awareness about environment is at a stage of infancy.
. pollution etc. There is greater consideration of economic gains and issues related to eliminating poverty by providing employment that overshadows the basic environmental issues. Development has paved the path for rise in the levels or standards of living but it has simultaneously led to serious environmental disasters. Our planners. The wisdom lies in maintaining a balance between our needs and supplies so that the delicate ecological balance is not disrupted. The rivers have been turned into open sewers in many places and the air in our big cities is badly polluted. 3. Issues related to environment have been often been branded as anti-development. Some of the main reasons responsible for widespread environmental ignorance can be detailed below: 1. The status of environment shows that there are drawback in environmental legislations and problems in their effective implementation.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. ENFORCEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION: MAJOR ISSUES We have seen that there are a number of important environmental laws in the form of Acts for safeguarding our environmental quality. decision-makers. have so far failed to integrate the knowledge in environmental aspects as an essential component of the curriculum.
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.
. street plays. rallies. the World Wide Fund for NatureIndia (WWF-India). They can act as effective and viable link between the two. The recent report by CSE on more than permissible limits of pesticides in the cola drinks sensitized the people all over the country. 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. Among the masses through mass-media: Media can play an important role to educate the masses through articles. 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. 2. They can be very effective organizing public movements for the protection of environment through creation of awareness. TV serials etc.
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. Among students through education: Such education should be imparted to the students right from the childhood age.93 Methods to Propagate Environmental Awareness There is immense need for Environmental awareness. Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad. 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. Among the planners. 3. campaigns. decision makers and leaders: It is very important to give these classes of people necessary orientation and training through specially organized workshops and training programs. These studies are now being incorporated at all stages in schools. Everyone needs to understand it because ‘environment belongs to all’ and ‘every individual matters’ when it comes to conservation and protection of environment. colleges as per the directives of the Supreme Court. The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS).
Discuss the measures to conserve water. first think green. Discuss the major implications of enhanced global warming. we have to be environmentally educated and aware. 13. What is a watershed? Critically discuss the objectives and practices of watershed management. Discuss salient features of various environmental legislations. 11. Why is urban requirement of energy more than rural requirement? 3.” Questions: 1. It can therefore said “If you want to act green. What do we mean by “Environmental Refugees” or “outs tees”? What are the major causes for displacement of native tribal people? Discuss with examples. 8. What are the major issues and problems related to rehabilitation of the displaced tribals? Discuss with examples. 4. Write notes on various authorities established by various laws for prevention and control of environmental pollution.
. Discuss various measures for Wasteland reclamation. What is rainwater harvesting? What are the purposes served by it? 5.94 Before we can all take up the task of environmental protection and conservation. Write an essay on Acid Rain. 12. What do you understand by sustainable development? What are the major measures to attain sustainability? 2. 6. 10. 7. What are greenhouse gases and greenhouse effects? How do they contribute to the global warming? 9.
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 14th Century A. accounting for about 90-95% of total population growth of the world in the last 50 years. This trend of human population growth has definite reasons. Environment and human health. population explosion-family welfare program. life expectancy of humans improved. Objectives: • To understand the impact of pollution growth on the environment • To learn about various governmental initiatives for human health. POPULATION EXPLOSION:
. Value Education. food and medical facilities. experienced large scale mortality due to bubonic plague when about 50% of people in Asia and Europe died due to the disease. We have already crossed 6 billion and may reach 11 billion by 2045 as per the World Bank estimates. In 1800. at the rate of 3-4% per year. human rights. Victory over famine-related deaths and infant mortality became instrumental for a rapid increase in population size. Droughts and outbreak of diseases used to be quite common leading to mass deaths. Environmental conditions were hostile and humans had not yet developed adequate artificial means for adaptations to these stresses. And it might take a span of few decades to double the same. Human rights. the earth was home to about 1 billion people. In the beginning of human civilization.D. People started living in definite settlements leading a more stable life with better sanitation. value education and overall welfare
The population of the earth has always been a critical question unanswered for decades and hundreds of years. The dramatic way in which global human population grew is really alarming. HIV/AIDS. With scientific and technological advancement. Women and Child Welfare. Role of Information Technology in Environment and human health. case studies.95
Human Pollution and the Environment
Human Pollution and the Environment: Population growth. population growth climbed to unthought-of heights. 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. variation among nations. population was quite stable. during the Stone Age.
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. There are two important views on population growth which we need to understand:
. minerals etc.5 person every second. so that the problem of crossing the carrying capacity of the earth will never actually come. As a result.63 billion people by 2050 and will become the most populous country surpassing China. in just 40 years the population crossed 5 billion mark with current addition about 92 million every year. grasslands etc. the ecological life-support systems are getting jeopardized. If the current growth rates continue.3 billion and it is predicted to grow four times in next 100 years. In the 20th Century. Do we have the resources and provisions for feeding.96
There has been a dramatic reduction in the doubling time of the global human population. Industrial and economic growth are raising our quality of life but adding toxic pollutants into the air. On 11th May 2000 we became 1 Billion and now we can say that every 6th person in this world is an Indian. Our resources like land. Population explosion is causing severe resource depletion and environmental degradation. This is unprecedented growth of human population at an alarming rate is referred to as population explosion. human population has grown much faster than ever before. are limited and due to over exploitation these resources are getting exhausted. the world population was 6. as we have already discussed. In the year 2000. water. it will have 1. Even many of the renewable resources like forests. Between 1950-90. water and soil. are under tremendous pressure. thus resulting in net gain of nearly 2. So we are heading for very serious ramifications of the population explosion problem. on average 4-5 children are born and 2 people die. 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. This means that every hour we are growing by about 9000 and everyday by about 214000. fossil fuels. The Indian scenario: India is the second most populous country of the world with 1 billion people. The Population Clock: Every second. housing. so to say adding a new Mexico every year.
poverty. More than a hundred contraceptive methods are on trial. the increasing population is going to deplete all the resources beyond their regeneration capacity. chemical pills and physical barriers to implantation.97 1.e. population growth is a symptom rather the cause of poverty. pollution and other social ills. taboos and folk medicine. He believes “positive checks” like famines. disease. resource depletion. Malthusian Theory: According to Malthus. The population must be kept much below the carrying capacity and stabilized. 2. surgical methods. The United Nations Family Planning Agency provides funds to 135 countries. He believed that social exploitation and oppression of the less privileged people leads to poverty. so that the aftermath of explosion could be avoided. 25 billion. overcrowding. causes over population.
FAMILY PLANNING: Family planning allows couples to decide their family size and also the time spacing of their offspring. Many of these countries include abortion as part of the population control programme which very often encourages female infanticide thereby disturbing the optimal
. Almost every culture in the past used to practice some traditional fertility control methods through some traditions. crime and misery are invariably associated with population explosion. Modern science has provided several birth control techniques including mechanical barriers. 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. unemployment. disease outbreak and violence as well as “preventive checks” like birth control need to stabilize population growth. human populations tend to grow at an exponential or compound rate whereas food production increases very slowly or remains stable. environmental degradation that in turn. A catastrophic doomsday model warns us that the earth cannot sustain more than two more doublings i. Therefore. Marxian Theory: According to Karl Marx. starvation. FAMILY WELFARE PROGRAMMES Population explosion is like a time bomb that must be diffused well in time. We are getting warning signals that if not controlled. Equity and social justice to all. A compromise between the two views is required because all these factors seem to be interdependent and interrelated. allowing everyone to enjoy good standard of living is the need of the hour that can voluntarily help in achieving a stabilized global population.
Biological factors 3. Nutritional factors 2. housing. the population has been stabilized with a focus on social justice as already discussed. educational and economic status for women. The poor class was encouraged to be sterilized after two children by paying cash incentives.5%). Since then funding for family planning programmes has been increased further. Chemical factors
. the state governments in 2000 were allowed to adopt their own approach. proper awareness and confidence building along with accessibility and effectivity of the birth control measures. Nonetheless. In 1978. Still some 300 million couples do not have access to family planning.98 male: female ratio in a society. proper stability. Andhra Pradesh has also just achieved the target of ZPG in 2001. Unable to reach a consensus regarding population policy. In contrast. Successful family planning programs need significant societal changes including social. The birth control programmes have often faced strong opposition from religious groups. better land. In Kerala. wells and subsidized loans. 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. The Indian Context: India started the family planning programme in 1952 while its population was nearly 400 million. Bihar and UP have shown increase in their growth rates (more than 2.
ENVIRONMENT AND HUMAN HEALTH:
Health is “a state of complete physical. political stability. Even in 1981 census no drop in population growth was observed. mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. the government raised the legal minimum age of marriage from 18 to 21 for men and 15 to 18 years for women.” Health is influenced by many factors such as: 1. social security. World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that today about 50 percent of the world’s married couples adopt some family planning measures as compared to just 10% about 30 years back. forced family planning campaign by the Government resulted in a turmoil all over the country. but it has been done with a different approach. In 1970’s.
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. Such diseases include malaria. Some of the chemicals cause abnormality in growth and development while others also sometimes affect the nervous system and the reproductive system. yet if sound levels beyond permissible level exist for certain duration. b) Chemicals: A large number of chemicals are introduced in the environment by anthropogenic activities. High temperature and moisture along with malnutrition help many diseases to spread in these countries. c) Noise: Although human ear is capable of tolerating a range of sound levels. Infectious organisms can also cause respiratory diseases. These chemical could be divided into categories i. Cosmic rays and ultra-violet rays cause harmful effects on human health which may include cancer. Some chemicals/pesticides like DDT and other industrial pollutants may act as hormone analogs in humans and other species. Besides hearing damage various types of physiological and psychological changes are induced by noise pollution.99 4. it becomes painful and sometimes irreparable damage occurs.e. Most of these infections take place when the environmental conditions are unclean and unhygienic. hazardous and toxic chemicals.
. Industrial effluents containing various chemicals are of major concern. development and cause various types of ailments including tumors. These environmental hormones affect reproduction. Psychological factors These factors may cause harmful changes in the body’s conditions are called disease. schistosomiasis. filariasis etc. d) Radiations: Radiations are known to cause short-term and long term changes in various organs.
However. dignified and secure living conditions were raised with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) by the UNO on December 10. foul smelling polluted air.100
e) Diet: Diet has a very important role in maintaining health. oils etc. It is quite painful to look at the environmental inequalities. Housing is very important from security point of view. 1948. as they export such wastes to many developing countries who have to face the toxic impacts of the hazardous wastes. sanitation etc.g. condiments. 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. The worker class and the poor are the main victims and sufferers of adverse effects of industrial toxins. occupational health hazards etc. socio-economic restraints and scientific dogmas resulted in some revolts mainly due to the liberal thoughts of some philosophers.
HUMAN RIGHTS Human rights are the rights that a human being must enjoy on this earth since he or she is a human being. are essential for health living. Sardar Sarvor Narmada Nigam projecthampered tribal and many others. unhealthy working conditions. Every year 40 million people are dying due to consumption of contaminated drinking water. Malnutrition makes human prone to other diseases. 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. availability of basic necessities of life like water. Various adulterated pulses. f) Settlement: Proper environment. (e. There is strong correlation between cardiovascular diseases and the amount of salt and fat in one’s diet. sold in the market to earn profit affect human health. true hopes for all people for happy. Although the foundation of human rights was laid in the 13th Century when resistance to religious intolerance. lacks proper hygienic conditions and adequate health facilities. 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. Food contamination can cause various ill effects.their rehabilitation is still a burning issue-
. unclean and unsafe drinking water. Improper settlement and poor physical environment may cause various psychological problems which affect various vital physiological processes in the body. lacks clean drinking water. The World Health Organization estimates indicate that one out every five persons in this world is malnourished.
Secondly. Today children are born in hospital. In big towns we find today a number of Infant-Care centers. it is physically exceedingly difficult if not impossible to retain the joint family system. Most of the people have to content themselves with a single or two room accommodations. In these circumstances the function of a modern family are more formal than real. 2) Breaking up of Joint Family: Traditionally most of the Indian families were joint families. The children used to get training in the ancestral profession. which used to be performed by families in the past.101 activists such as Ms.
.but very little yielded from the stir so far. used to be performed by the family. As a result of all these conditions joint family is all but finished in industrial towns. as a sequel to industrialization family trades and professions have been eliminated. But in the industrialized society of today family is not required to fulfill these roles. In almost all big cities people rarely take lunch at home except on Sunday and holidays. The sense of the same parents differs widely in respect of economic and social levels. too. In many families both husband and wife go out for work.)
FAMILY VALUES: 1) Difference regarding function of family: As a result of industrialization and restructure of pay packets. have been taken over by other institutions. Compared to today the family had much more function in the past. In these circumstances. Baba Amte are still fighting the unending battle with the respective governments. The function of socialization of children. This has given rise to individualization. the function of family has changed considerably. nurture and care of the children there are today a number of official and non-official institutions. The education of children today is done in schools and not in homes. As result of industrialization. Now a number of functions. The professional training also is no longer the obligation of the family. There are a number of reasons for this. Traditionally an Indian family used to be a center of birth. Firstly. in industrial town there is acute shortage of residential accommodation.Medha Patkar. 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 these joint families are breaking up and are being replaced by nuclear families. homes for orphaned and children homes. rearing and education of children. Even for the Protection.
people these days want to keep small families.102
3) Small families: As a result of industrialization. They are therefore becoming independent all walks of life. Nobody these days appreciates the need for adjustment and give and take. even superior. Thus we find in modern society. In Indian homes Ram and Sita were ideals of paternal devotion and wife’s dedication to husband respectively. the cost of living has gone up. Without husband the condition of a woman was miserable. to man.
. were spiritual and religious. In modern industrial society there is no room for such ideals. The prevalence of contraceptives and abortion had made this goal easily attainable. From economic and social points of view woman was subject to man. Their status and respect in society has therefore improved considerably. which nourished the traditional Indian family. The father no longer holds away over family members. The father was regarded to be head of the family and his command was rarely defied. 6) Difference in family goals: The goals and ideals. Now-a-days women consider themselves equal. Everybody wants good clothes. The willingly subjected themselves to each and every whim of their husbands. Thus we find that there is a strong trend towards small families in industrialized towns. families breaking up under last strain. Obviously. 5) Disintegration of Family: As a result of industrialization the outlook of intense individualism has grown. regarded sacred duty and ideals are now considered acceptable only from utilitarian point of view. In the past the functions. no one likes to be subject to anybody. houses and other comforts of life. 4) Change in the status of Women: In past the status enjoyed by women in Indian society was rather low. Even children used to give unqualified respect to their parents. As a result of industrialization there has been much improvement in the status of women. which were. children now have more say in the family affairs. For a modern wife. The housewives used to regard their husbands as a goal or divine beings. Women were shut up in the four walls of the home. the husband can be at best a honorable colleague and under no circumstances. Everyone wants to have his own way. As a consequence of this situation it is small wonder that families are breaking up fast in urban society. The status of father in a family is being lowered as a result of industrialization. The women enjoyed no independence. They wish to assert their independence by defying the laws of society. As a result of this feeling many women today do not like to marry. At the same time standard of living has also gone up considerably. Compared to parents. Therefore. a God. it is not possible to maintain the standard within a big family. There is continuous tension and conflict in the minds of family members.
In such society those who have jobs and reasonable salary or wage are now not worrying about the money in their pockets. given his/her religion. Those with jobs and those with-outs have been reality of the rat race of daily life. Since the matters of religion is neglected while selling certain items.103
Because of rapid industrialization. that the habits of spending have undergone change. house. Goods are produced on large-scale basis. The shopkeepers change their style of selling. The value system changes. Domination of machines: In this society machine dominates man. 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. car. The tendencies of buying the articles. which he would never. had. luxury items. so that the importance of man and manual work very much decreases. Exploitation of workers: In this society. The ideals change and immoral things are pretended to be sound and worth following. and two-wheelers on installments have also been impact of changing pay structures. It is because unless society is in a position to feed the machines. It’s the impact of the continuous increase in salaries and wages every year. banks. there will be no industrialization. The whole society undergoes the change in approach to life. The savings habits have been getting converted into spending habits. misappropriations etc. embezzlement. 2. There are increasing tendencies of resorting to availing loans from financial institutions. Main features of such society are: 1. there is naked exploitation of workers. Landlords change their rate of rents. Even the Grocer start selling items. articles beyond their buying capacity. Such persons are willing to buy things. Every thing is done with the help of machines.
Society: The members of society have direct impact of such changes in pay structures. They are paid basis minimum wages so that they survive and work for
. 3. Such society is called industrial society. The society also becomes money minded. Mass production: In industrialization there is always mass production. the comparative gap between rich and poor is widening. corruption and dreaming for unrealistic dreams brings about the change in every member of the society.
In fact outlook of these nations is purely materialistic and those weigh every thing in terms of money. The owner of the industry is interested only in getting his goods and making his brand popular in the market. It is unavoidable because so many goods are produced
. It is now considered a friendship and not religious institution. rather than bring workers on the forefront. start migrating from rural areas. Many religious practices are now questioned. There are always employment opportunities in the industries. which does not come under strain with industrialization. family rural life. 11. which are industrially advanced. Scientific advancement: In modern era. 8. 5. Every effort is made to have scientific inventions so that new machines can do maximum work within minimum time. This can be possible only when more attention is paid to scientific advancement. In this way trend towards urbanization starts. Smoke of chimney of factories. Awakening has started coming in the rural areas where people are not prepared to accept every thing blindly. They live in slums in miserable conditions. 4. Even their wages are increased after a lot of agitation. They are not given any share in profits. Material prosperity: Industrialization has brought with it material prosperity. The people therefore. No identification with the work: Another feature is that the worker is not identified with the work. Single-family system is replacing old joint family system. In fact three is no existing social institution. These nations. 10. Envirnomental Pollution: Industry bring with it pollution in the environments. are economically rich. noise of the machines. 9. Colonialism: Industrialization has brought with it colonialism and evils which this system brings with it. With industrialization the institutions of marriage has come under heavy strains. educational system and so on. Once industries had been set up a town develops around that. there is always keen desire of society to have new inventions. Trend towards urbanization: Industries are set abound places where communication and other facilities are easily available.104 industry. So is the case of religion. Poor working conditions: The workers are not paid adequately with the result that they cannot afford to live in good houses. This is a continuing feature of the industry. 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. which he is doing. Pressure on existing institutions: Industrialization exerts heavy pressure on existing institutions like marriage. Working conditions in which labourers are required to work too are not good. 7.
Value-based education thus has a very significant role in providing proper direction to our youth. with access to very information sitting in one corner over the internet. Value education helps in arriving at value-based judgment in life based on practical understanding of various natural principles rather than acquiring certain prejudices. But. social values. in this frenzy for development and mad race for progress perhaps man has become too materialistic. national pride. However. religious values. national values. helpful. professional values.e. 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. constitutional rights and duties. industrial societies have its own advantages and disadvantages but fact remains that today every nation is in a race to industrialize itself. value orientation. The basic aim is to create and develop awareness about the values.105 with the help of machines that unless these are quickly marketed these will create many problems. generous and tolerant so that they can move towards more harmonious. The rapid strides of scientific and technological advancement have no doubt. enjoyable and sustainable future. national integration. Value education has different phases i. value awareness. 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. value commitment and value action. self-centered and over-ambitious and the desired ideals of a real good life have been pushed to the background. brought revolutionary changes in our every day life and information technology has shrunk the whole world into a “global village”. community development and environment. It teaches them to be compassionate. 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. to inculcate a positive attitude in them and to teach them the distinction between right and wrong. Value education increases awareness about our national history. Value education encompasses human values. their significance and role. value appraisal. aesthetic values and environmental values.
. peace loving. our cultural heritage. 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. In this way. value selection. peaceful. VALUE EDUCATION Education is one of the most important tools in bringing about socio-economic and cultural progress of a country.
Environmental education should encompass the ethical values of earth-centric rather than human-centric world-view. Instead of considering human being as supreme we have to think of the welfare of the earth. These are the values to be matured so that the forms of life and the biodiversity on this earth are protected.
. earth.e.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. Cultural and religious values enshrined in Vedas like “Dehi me dadami te” i. 2. 3. be it rivers. The basic human value ‘man in nature’ rather than ‘nature for man’ needs to be infused through the same. 5. Social values like love. tolerance and justice which are the basic teachings of most of our religions need to be woven into environmental education. treating them as sacred. Preparation of text books and resource materials about environmental education can play an important role in building positive attitudes about the environment. compassion. The principles of ecology and fundamentals of environment can really help create sense of earth-citizenship and a sense of duty to care for the earth and its resources and to manage them in a sustainable way so that our children and grand children too inherit a safe and clean planet to live on. “you give me and I give you” (Yajurveda) emphasize that man should not exploit nature without nurturing her. Following is the various ways in which we can make environmental education value based: 1. mountains or forests.106 Value based Environmental Education: Environmental education or environmental literacy is something that every person should be well versed with. 4. 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. The educational system should promote the earth-citizenship thinking. If we disturb this harmony anywhere there will be an ecological imbalance leading to catastrophic results.
self-discipline. freedom from greed and austerity. socio-cultural. HIV. toilet seats or insect bite like that of mosquito or bed bug.
. towels.107 6. doesn’t spread through tears. Spiritual values highlight the principles of self-restraint. our attitudes and our life-styles. however. loss of mental peace and merciless destruction of nature’s beauty and natural resources. About 3 million people died due to HIV/AIDS in 2003. The value elements in environmental education alone can succeed in achieving the real goals of environmental literacy. urine. sweat. It is expected that in the coming decades there will be sharp increase in HIV/AIDS cases in Russia. AIDS is rapidly spreading in Eastern Europe and Asia. faeces or saliva during normal kissing. Although sufficient knowledge has been gained about the disease yet a definite source of this virus could not be identified. It also does not spread by sharing utensils. HIV/AIDS has been identified as the forth largest cause of mortality. According to a recent estimate about 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide and 70% of them in Sub Saharan Africa. The above mentioned human values. AIDS was discovered in 1983. delivery or breast feeding. “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. China and India. ethical. clothing. HIV/AIDS AIDS. the Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome is not a hereditary disease but is caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). All these values promote conservationism and transform our consumerist approach. reduction of wants. 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 can also pass from infected mothers to their babies during pregnancy. contentment. spiritual and global values incorporated into environmental education can go a long way in attaining the goals of sustainable development and environmental conservation. Valuebased environmental education can bring in a total transformation of our mindset. health hazards.
There is decline in T-cells which are the key infection fighters in the immune system. especially if there are deaths of professional forest workers. With fewer adults. 2. Consumption of alcohol is understood to increase the susceptibility to infection and progression of AIDS. Los Angeles and San Francisco. Due to large number of deaths there is loss of labour and the level of production decreases. Demand of easily accessible fuel wood increases. 3.
. AIDS itself does not kill humans. More water is required for maintaining hygiene in AIDS affected locality. 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.HIV has spread in Africa through HIV contaminated polio vaccine prepared by using monkey’s kidney. It has spread through small pox vaccine programme of Africa. It had spread through hepatitis B viral vaccine in New York. HIV destroys or disables these cells as a result of which various types of infectious diseases due to microbial invasion occur. forestry conservation. It is also hypothesized that AIDS is a man made epidemic produced by genetically engineered laboratory produced virus. 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. The HIV carriers are also not able to perform well due to lack of energy and frequent fever and sweating. The deaths occur due to attack by other diseases because of the weakening of immune system. They devote less time for soil conservation. More timber is required for making coffins or for pyre making.108
Most evidences have suggested that AIDS has spread from Africa. Even dreaded disease like cancer can easily develop in the HIV infected persons. According to another theory HIV has spread through vaccine programmes in various parts of the world in the following manner: 1. It is believed that the virus has been transferred to humans from primates like African Monkey (White sooty mangabeys) or chimpanzees.
who suffer in a number of ways mainly because they are weaker. Men can still work in the mines or migrate to towns after getting compensation
. race or nation. 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. cultural and family life of women. particularly in developing countries.109 WOMEN AND CHILD WELFARE Women and children are usually the soft targets. There is a need for complete transformation and reorientation of social ethos for restoring dignity. victimization and harassment take many forms across culture. in matrimony. development and environment. in public life and power. Women are also the victims of capitalism. After losing the forests and getting dehabitlitated from their native places. Women Welfare Women usually suffer gender discrimination and devaluation at home. men folk usually migrate to towns in search of household with little resources. The gender violence. 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. status. The statistical data provided by the Ministry of Women and Child Development is an eye opener that deglorifies the celebrated culture of our country. education and awareness. Women are often the worst victims of communal enmities. helpless and economically dependent. The human rights of women are violated too often in a male dominated patriarchal society. in inheritance. Development projects like mining very often play havoc with the life of women. equality and respect for women. Thus. dowry deaths. social. 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. at workplace. health care. The exceptionally high number of cases of abduction. domestic violence. The exploitative nature of capitalist development not only affects the natural environment but the traditional. criminal offences and mental torture to women is something that needs immediate attention and reforms in interest of the women. rape.
Issues related to their dignity and honour have not received any attention. 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. resettlement and compensation issues.
. in the mainstream. some of them in various hazardous industries like the match industry. Around 20 million children in our country are estimated to be working as child labours. what to talk of educational and recreational facilities. On the international level. unhealthy conditions and yet they do not get the minimum nutritive food. 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. tribal. out of 21 million born every year in India are abandoned soon after their birth due to different socio economic reasons. most important for all women. train them.110 from the government. 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. Child Welfare: Children are considered to be the assets of a society. The CEDAW (International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women. Poverty is the main reason to drive these children into long hours of work in miserable. The displaced women are the worst affected as they do not get any compensation and are totally dependent upon the males for wages. It is however. 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. brassware industry and pottery industry. refugees and the down-trodden to be educated about these issues. the statistical figures depict that about a million babies. firework industries. The NNWM is now working for rights of women over natural resources. the United Nations Decade for Women (1975-85) witnessed inclusion of several women welfare related issues on international agenda. But ironically. which are their childhood rights. educate them and help them to become economically self-dependent.
Hence more susceptible to any environmental contamination. consisting of 54 articles and a set of international standards and measures to promote and protect the well being of children in a society. Government of India in which a strategic plan has been formulated for children welfare in the priority areas of health. Protection and Development of Children. sanitation and environment. good nutrition and health. Water diseases are the biggest threat to children. The right of development ensures access to education. A national plan for action for children has been formulated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). After the UN convention on Rights of Child. The law defines right of the child to survival. abuse. Children are also most affected due to environmental pollution. social security and right to leisure and recreation. Primary education must be free and easily available to one and every child in the country. The right of protection means freedom from exploitation.111 The UN General Assembly in 1959 adopted the Declaration of the Rights of a child. expansion of earlier childhood development activities including low cost family based involvements are some of the important actions envisaged. protection.” says one of the scientific reports of Center for Science and Environment (CSE. Childhood cancer rates are also increasing by 6% every year. It is high time to work together for a secure and cleaner environment so as to give our children a cleaner and safer planet. The World Summit on Children held on September 30. The right to participation means freedom of thought. India is also a signatory to the World Declaration on Survival. upgradation of home based skills.
. inhuman treatment and neglect. it became International Law in the year 1990. special emphasis on girl child’s education including health and nutrition. nutrition. development and participation. food and air than adults. education. conscience and religion and appropriate information to the child. The right of survival emphasizes on adequately good standards of living. New Delhi). “They consume more water. early childhood care and support. Even the growing foetus in the mother’s womb is not safe and free from the adverse effects of environmental toxins. clean and safe drinking water. affecting around 6 million children in India. 1990 had a focus agenda for the wellbeing of the children targeted be achieved in the beginning of the new millennium. Universalization of effective access to at least primary level schooling. mid-day meals scheme.
Media Related to Environment. 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. Database Database is collection of interrelated data on various subjects. World Wide Web (WWW). Environmental Information System (ENVIS): The Ministry of Environment and Forests. Mining etc. Fluorosis etc.
. 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. Coastal Ecology. Government of India has created an Information System. Mangroves. Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats. Database is also available for diseases like HIV/AIDS. Remote Sensing. The National Institute of Occupational Health provides computerized information on occupational health i. conservation database. economics. Environmental Management. Biodiversity. called Environmental Information System(ENVIS). Government of India has taken up the task of compiling a database on various biotic communities. With its Head Quarters in Delhi it functions in 25 different centers all over the country. politics or culture. Wild life. the health aspects of people working various hazardous and non-hazardous industries. Clean Technologies.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. The Ministry of Environment and Forests. Malaria. safety measures etc. The comprehensive database includes wild life database. Himalayan Ecology. geographical information system (GIS) and information through satellites has generated a wealth of up to date information on various aspects of environment and health. Renewable Energy. It is usually in computerized form and can be retrieved whenever required. The ENVIS work for generating a network of database in areas like pollution control. Desertification.e. forest cover database etc. Development of internet facilities. In the computer the information of the database is arranged in a systematic manner that is easily manageable and can be very quickly retrieved.
We are able to gather digital information on environmental aspects like water logging. mineral and energy reserves and so on. Several useful softwares have been developed for working in the field of GIS. human settlements. road network. GIS is technique of superimposing various thematic maps using digital data on a large number of interrelated or interdependent aspects. Planning for locating suitable areas for industrial growth is now being done using GIS by preparing zoning Atlas. ozone layer depletion. success of conservation efforts etc.com/environmentalscience and multimedia Digital Content Manager (DCM\) in the form CD-ROM provides most current and relevant information on
.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. river and canal network. Thus Remote Sensing and GIS play a key role in resource mapping. World Wide Web: A vast quantum of current data is available on World Wide Web. inversion phenomenon.mhhe. management. environmental conservation. deforestation. forest land. minerals etc with the help of information generated by remote sensing satellites. It also helps in identifying several disease infected areas which are prone to some vector born diseases like malaria. We are able to discover many new reserves of oil. schistosomiasis etc based upon mapping of such areas. 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. One of the most important online learning centers with power web is www. reliable and verifiable information about forest cover. urban sprawl. Different thematic maps containing digital information on a number of aspects like water resources. planning and environmental impact assessment. Even interpretation of polluted zones. Such information is very useful for future land use planning. Geographical Information System (GIS) has proved to be a very effective tool in environmental management. crop land or grass land etc are superimposed in a layer form in computer using softwares. desertification. degraded lands or diseased cropland etc can be made based on GIS. industrial growth. GIS serves to check unplanned growth and related environmental problems. Our satellite data also helps in providing correct. smog etc. They also provide information of atmospheric phenomenon like approach of monsoon. soil type.
Questions: 1. solution to critical thinking questions. classroom activities. web exercises. power point lecture presentations. Student friendly features: These include practice quiz. justice and sustainability?
. answer to web exercises. web exercises and quiz has proved to be extremely useful both for the students and the teachers of environmental studies.Teacher friendly features: These include in addition to above supplement resource charts. applications and solutions. additional case studies. What do you mean by Population clock? How is it related to the concept of Zero population growth and Life expectancy? 2. animations. What is Universal Declaration of Human Rights? What is its importance in achieving the goals of equity. Discuss the influence of environmental parameters and pollution on human health. Information technology is expanding rapidly with increasing applications and new avenues are being opened with effective role in education. how to study tips. various problems. The World Wide Web with resource material on every aspect. editing facilities to add or delete questions and create multiple versions same test etc. hyperlinks on every chapter’s topic with detailed information. 2. What is meant by “Population Explosion”? Discuss the Indian scenario. management and planning in the field of environment and health. What is meant by “population stabilization”? Discuss the family welfare and family planning programmes in Indian context. current articles and interactive encyclopedia and how to contact your elected officials. environment maps. case studies.114 principals of environmental science. career information. key terms. The role of online learning center website has the following distinguishing features: 1. 5. 3. 6. digital files or photos. 4. How can you trace history of population growth? How can you predict the population growth trends of a nation? Explain with examples. queries.
Briefly discuss HIV/AIDS mode of its spread and its effect on environment. What is the role of NMIS. 11.115 7. Discuss the salient features of Draft Declaration of Human Rights and Environment. 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?
. 10. Discuss various issues and measures for women and child welfare at international and national level. 8.
ecological. VISIT TO A LOCAL AREA TO DOCUMENT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSETS Visit may be planned to any nearby river.study river environment.if it is clear. its place of origin and its course of route. forests. grassland. grassland. objects in the vicinity they come from and the utility it has for the human being such as commercial. mountain/hilly area. A) STUDY OF RIVER ENVIRONMENT: 1. 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. Background data-Note down the name of the river or tributary. The contents of this study material provide the required information for the study and for arriving at some important conclusions about the system. depending upon the easy access and importance.116
Unit 8 FIELD WORK Topics: Visits to a local area to document environmental assets. water-logged/saline land. Water quality observations: a) Note down whether the water of the river is clear or turbid. what do you expect? Penetration of light into the water would be more therefore green
. hill or mountain. . forest. Find out whether the river is perennial or seasonal in nature. insects and birds Objectives: • To make students plan the visits to various environmental assets • To make them note down the variety of organisms. Visit to some local polluted site: an industrially polluted area. experimentation and formulation of implemental plans to achieve sustainable development I. 2. Write a report based on your observations and understanding about various aspects of environment. Study of common plants. medicinal utilities • To cultivate habits of observations.
e) Determine the pH of water using a portable pH. 4. Is your river water of good quality or it is polluted? 3. c) Do you observe any froth and foam or dark coloured or greasy substances in the river? If yes. b) Note the temperature of water with a thermometer or thermo probe. tortoise.scan.? What are the important aquatic birds seen by you? b) Draw food chain diagram that would be present in the river. Uses: How is the river water used? Prepare a list of its uses. alkaline. 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.e. Observations on aquatic life: a) look for different types of life forms. The pH would normally range between 6. If the pH is quite low i. 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.117 quatic plants will be growing better.
B) STUDY OF A FOREST:
. acidic waters. it indicates pollution by industries. crocodile. If pH is quite high i.5. The primary productivity will be high.5 to 8. 5. water snake etc.e.e.-if it turbid. it indicates contamination by municipal sewage. 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. then look for the visual differences in the water quality at the upstream and downstream sides. 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. skin problems to human being consuming the water? Try to interpret the same. massive fish death. then what are these? Find out the likely sources of these pollutants. cattle death.how would it affect the primary productivity of the river? You know that sunlight penetration is obstructed by turbidity.
dam building.? What is the use of stratified structure i. multi-layered structure of vegetation in the forest? 3.e. then what are the special features associated with it? 2.118 1. herbs and grasses of lower height? d) Is there a thick or thin forest floor consisting of leaf litter (dry dead leaves) algae. Grassland quality observations: a) Try to identify the names of the dominant grasses or plants. animals or insects do you see around? Make a list of the ecological uses of the forest based on your observations.e. 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. juicy nature with green colour showing good palatability? OR the dominant plants shave a coarse. Forest Structure: Note down the salient features of the forest. long tap root? c) if roots are adventitious. (adventitious roots).e. 5. Are these dominant plants having soft. grazing. quarrying. Commercial uses: Prepare a list of the various uses of the present forest. they tend to bind the soil particles firmly and help in conserving soil. then it cannot help in binding the
. fenced or disturbed? 2.? Is the present forest.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. If the root is tap root. mining. What type a forest is it? . 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.? What would be their probable impacts?
C) ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS OF GRASSLAND: 1. deforestation. having rhizomes or there is a single. a tropical rain forest/ deciduous forest etc. timber extraction etc. Human impacts: Do you observe any anthropogenic activities in the forest e. delicate. are there numerous fibrous roots in a bunch. runner-type. 4. Background data: Note down the name of the forest.g. a part of some Biosphere reserve or National park or Sanctuary? If yes. fungi etc.i. hard texture with spines/thorns? b) Take out a few plants to see what type of roots do they have.
Note down the altitude of the region. Gather some information about the water shed in the study area. Overgrazing has several far reaching consequences.e. whether it is well managed or degraded/
. Landslides: You will come across some regions. Find out the average annul rainfall and temperature in the area. What is the condition dominant in the present grassland? Do you observe soil erosion? 3. rivers and channels coming out from the mountains.
D) STUDY OF MOUTAIN/HILLY AREA: 1.119 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. Normal grazing is useful for increasing the overall productivity/yield of the grassland.e. Uses: Prepare a list of the utilities of the grassland. 4. Observations on natural vegetation: Make your observations on the forests present on the hill slopes.e. 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. 2. Make your own observations in the present grassland i. Background data: Note down the name of the mountain ranges or the hills. it indicates degradation of the grassland due to overgrazing. The land area from which water drains under gravity to a common drainage channel is called watershed. its uses and its status i. hard. prickly plants occupying some areas. 3. 4.Grazing and Overgrazing: Find out if there is managed grazing on the grassland i. where landslide would have occurred recently or in the past. Water-sheds: Try to look for some springs. only a limited number of livestock (cattle) is being allowed to graze OR there is unmanaged grazing.
water logging and salinization.g. 2. A visit to some industrial area or degraded land area will be very useful to obtain first hand information about the same. Salinity and crop growth: a) Find out the salinity level (Electrical conductivity..
. construction. Background information: Visit a water logged or salt-affected land in some rural agricultural area. 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. it is saline. What major impacts do you observe or predict in future?
II. If the EC exceeds 4. EC) of the soil. tea plantation) or farming (e. 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. tourism. quarrying.a) what type of farming is done? Is it shifting cultivation. The EC can be as high as 20-40 dS/m also.g. hydroelectric projects etc. For this you can take 10 grams of soil and dissolve it in 20ml water in a beaker.120 5. Agricultural practices have also led to pesticide pollution. Gather information from the farmers about its historical background i. traditional or modernized? What would be their impacts? b) Do you observe farming. d) How much anthropogenic activities do you observe on the mountain/hill? These activities usually include mining. An area having permanently standing water on the soil is a water logged soil. Dip in EC probe into it which will indicate the EC of the soil. VISIT TO SOME LOCAL POLLUTED SITE Human activities related to urbanization and industrialization has led to large scale pollution of the environment. 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. You can observe crusts of white salts on the soil surface making it barren that is a saline soil. A) STUDY OF AN INDUSTRIALLY POLLUTED AREA: 1.e. contour or strip cropping? Why is such cropping helpful in hills? c) Find out the water and nutrient requirements of these crops. maize. Plantations/farming: Look for the type of plantations (e. wheat) done artificially on the hill slops.
Remediation: Find out what remedial measures are being taken by the farmer to deal with the problem. Find out how some of them are useful to us and some cause damage to our crops/fruits. 3.
. rubber. INSECTS AND BIRDS Biodiversity or the variability among plants. productive. including trees. It is worthwhile to know about some common plants. 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. Plants: Study the common plants of your locality. 2. c) Miscellaneous: Note down the names of plants which have other uses like producing gum. You can study them mainly in relation to their value.121 3. fiber etc. tannin. resins. Observe the birds in the plough-fields eating insects/leaves. a) Medicinal plants: Local people often have indigenous knowledge about the medicinal value of various plants. What measures can you suggest? STUDY OF COMMON PLANTS. Birds: Identify some common birds of your locality. 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. dye. shrubs and herbs. Observe small birds with long beaks pollinating flowers. 1. animals and microbes found on this earth is just remarkable and has tremendous potential in terms of its consumptive. insects and birds of our locality. social and ecological value.