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STUDY MATERIAL FOR DISTANCE LEARNING STUDENTS By: Prof. Sateeshchandra Joshi Course Title: Environmental Studies Objectives: 1. To understand the environmental aspects and its impacts on human life. 2. To create awareness about the environmental issues having global relevance.
Unit No. 1. 2. Topics The multidisciplinary nature of environmental studies- Definition, scope and importance, Need for public awareness. Natural Resources: a) Renewable and non-renewable resources: Forest resources, Use and over-exploitation, deforestation, case studies. Timber extraction, mining, dams and their efforts on forests and tribal people b) Water resources: Use and over-utilization of surface and ground water, floods, drought, conflicts over water, dams-benefits and problems c) Mineral resources: Use and exploitation, environmental effects of extracting and using mineral resources’, case studies d) Food resources: World foods problems, changes caused by agriculture and overgrazing, effects of modern agriculture, fertilizer – pesticide problems, Water logging, salinity, case studies e) Energy resources: growing energy needs, renewable and renewable energy resources, use of alternate energy sources f) Land resources: land as a resource, land degradation, man induced landslides, desertification. Role of an individual in conservation of natural resources. Equitable use of resources for sustainable lifestyles. Ecosystems- Concept of an ecosystem, Structure and function of an ecosystem, Producers, consumers and decomposers, Energy flow of the ecosystem, Ecological succession, Food chains, food webs and ecological pyramids, Introduction, types, characteristics features, structure and function of the following ecosystem, Forest ecosystem, Grassland ecosystem, Desert ecosystem, Aquatic ecosystems [ponds, Streams, lakes, rivers, estuaries] Biodiversity and its conservation- Introduction, Definition: genetic, species and ecosystem diversity, Biogeographically classification of India, Value of biodiversity, consumptive use, productive use, social, ethical, aesthetic and option values, India as a mega-diversity nation, Hot-spots of biodiversity, Threats to biodiversity, habitat loss, poaching of wildlife, man-wildlife conflicts, Endangered and endemic species of
2 India, Conservation of biodiversity: In-situ and Ex-situ conservation of biodiversity. Environmental Pollution: Definition: causes, effects and control measures of – Air pollution, Water pollution, Soil pollution, Marine pollution, Noise pollution, Thermal pollution, Nuclear hazards, Solid waste management: causes, effects and control measures of urban and industrial water, role of an individual in prevention of pollution, pollution case studies, Disaster management: floods, earthquake, cyclone and landslides. Social Issues and the Environment- from unsustainable to sustainable development, Urban problems related to energy, Water conservation, rain harvesting, watershed management, Resettlement and rehabilitation of people, its problems and concerns Case studies, Environmental ethics, Issues and possible solutions, Wasteland reclamation, Consumerism and waste products, Environmental protection Act- Air(presentation and control of pollution) Act, Water(prevention and control of pollution) Act, Wildlife Protection Act, Issues involved in enforcement of environmental legislation, Public awareness. Human Pollution and the Environment: Population growth, variation among nations, population explosion-family welfare program, Environment and human health, Human rights, Value Education, HIV/AIDS, Women and Child Welfare, Role of Information Technology in Environment and human health, case studies. Field Work: Visit to a local area to document environment assetsriver/forest/grassland/hill/mountain, Visit to a local polluted siteurban/rural/industrial/agricultural, study of common plants, insects, birds, study of simple ecosystems- pond, river, hill slopes etc.
Unit 1: NATURE, SCOPE AND IMPORTANCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES- THE MULTIDISCIPLINARY NATURE OF STUDIES
Topics: Definition, scope and importance, Need for public awareness Objectives: • • • • To know the nature of the subject Environmental Studies To ascertain need and scope the subject To digest as to how the subject is interdisciplinary To learn the need to create awareness for environmental issues
Environment is sum total of water, air and land, inter-relationships among themselves and also with the human beings, other living organisms and property.” In order to study environment one needs knowledge inputs from various disciplines. At the threshold of the 21st century, we are confronted with two conflicting scenario for the future of human kind. On one hand, there are possibilities of a bright future with press button living, space shuttles, information technology, genetic engineering and such other advances in science and technology. On the other hand, a grim scenario is looming large with burgeoning population, starved of resources and choked by pollution. Faced with such imminent threat, there is a growing realization that rational utilization of environmental endowments of life support systems like water, air and soil is a must for sustainable development. Academic disciplines are created to help us understand the universe better. While nature can be understood using the disciplines, it not ‘divided’ into disciplines. For instance, a certain phenomenon may be referred to as a chemical change while another as a physical one. But these categories are only perceptions. ‘Environmental studies’ is about the environment. Not the environment from the point of view of any one particular discipline, but a study and understanding of the interlink-ages- the complex ways in which one phenomenon, one action, is connected to another, how the same thing can be understood from different perspectives, perspectives often rooted in different disciplines.
We must learn how to manage our environment. living and anthropological environments. resource utilization and ecosystem. sociology and government that affect or describe these interactions. of their actions. One of the most urgent tasks of our times to understand the implications of environmental damage and resource depletion that we witness today. Some of the environmental issues are perplex. For the students of management schools. Not only that. ‘Environmental studies’ not only represents but also promotes the principles of environmental management. In broadest sense. 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. environmental science is divided among the study of the atmosphere. environmental science may be defined as the study of the earth. We cannot ignore study of relationship between ecological devastation and deteriorating human conditions. such as chemistry. air. the study of environmental factors that affect organisms and how organisms interact with these factors and with each other. we need to bring out a comprehensive study which would be useful both for educational institutions and corporate world. the geosphere and the biosphere. This is the discipline of natural history. teachers. environmental science has evolved from investigations of the ways by which. the hydrosphere. It is through this perplexity. general public and leaders. habits and attitudes. it is appropriate to have an introduction to environmental studies. all have to be sensitive to environmental issues. water and living environments and the effects of technology thereon. Traditionally. ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE OR STUDIES? Environmental science in its broadest sense is the science of complex interactions that occurs among the terrestrial. Alongside. they have to be fully aware of environmental consequences. measures and programs for environmental studies. biology. it is difficult to think of a timelier introduction of this subject in the matter of study for modern management courses. To a significant degree. The students. it is necessary to build up professional capabilities to develop and adopt policies. workers and executives and government as well as non-governmental organizations. . atmospheric. who are future managers of business in different sectors of economic growth and social welfare. It includes all the disciplines. In such a scenario. which in recent time has evolved into ecology. It is absolutely the truth that environmental degradation is increasingly undermining over lives.
e. infrastructure and the various stages in the economic development like economic conditions. they largely determine the nature of these species. 1.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. As the distribution of natural resources. and air environments and the effects of technology thereon. viable discipline. the resources have become concentrated in some specific regions only. economic policies. his activities and his region. soil. France. 3.5 Environmental science is now a mature. agriculture. developed or developing. Environment and Economics Economic environment refers to all these factors or forces which contribute to economic impact on the man. their degradation. economic system and trade cycle. Resources. effects. The discipline that deals specifically with the effects of environmental chemical species on life is environmental biochemistry. . So it is economic environment of a region or country that decides its status i. Examples of such countries are USA. Availability of resources and the technology to exploit them plays most significant role in economic development or economic environment of a region. industrial production. The study of such phenomena forms the basis of environmental biochemistry. It may be defined as the study of the sources. particularly in the aquatic and soil environments. These gifted regions have exploited these resources for their economic developments and have come to be known as developed countries. and fates of chemical species in water. Whereas the other regions which had poor resource concentration and which are still in developing stage have come to be known as developing countries. economic planning. and even their syntheses. due to geographical factor is uneven. reactions. UK etc. Biological processes not only are profoundly influenced by chemical species in the environment. economic philosophy. 2. Environmental Science and Chemisty: This relation is known as environmental chemistry. transport. population. Environmental Science and Biology: The ultimate environmental concern is that of life itself. One of environmental chemistry’s major challenges is the determination of the nature and quantity of specific pollutants in the environments.
Sometimes it becomes . In other words. As the natural environment differs place to place. All manmade features such as buildings. In the present situation. which contribute to economic environment of the region. rita cyclones in USA.6 A population factor has its own say as regards economic environment of a region. 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. earthquakes in Jammu and Kashmir. as more resources are needed to feed more mouths. Every human activity necessary for economic development affects the local. regional or global environment. it means it has its roots in nature. cultural environment also should differ from place to place. The industrialization. floods etc. hence human activities and achievements depend not only upon natural environment also upon manmade environment. roads. are called cultural features. a stable economic environment does not always help the mankind. the global warming. the extraction of various energy and other resources etc. The cultural environment is the imprint of man’s activities. 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. We may call this cultural environment as a social environment or socio-cultural environment or even social heritage. Cultural Environment: It is the manmade environment or manmade landscape. the extinction of rare species of flaura and fauna. the problems like depletion of forests. This requires more exploitation of resources which not only hampers the resource reserves but also affects the eco-system of that region. Culture develops on nature. The effects may be of short term or long term in nature. settlements. plantation etc. As per the passage of time man has acquired technical and scientific knowledge. It may also be called as humanized landscape. are some of the major environmental problems the world is facing on various levels today. However. and grows in size and importance. Through this powerful tool he is changing fast the physical environment into cultural landscape. Cultural environment is only human adaptation and adjustment to natural or physical environment. Both East Germany and West Germany serve as best example of interdependence of political and economic environment. man as per his knowledge and capacity super-imposes culture on nature. epidemics such catrina. the agricultural development. It could be said as both economic and political are interdependent on each other. 4. It goes on piling one after another. are some of the main factors responsible for deteriorating the quality of the physical environment. his occupation and utilization of the physical resources for his own benefit. heavy rainfalls.
The executives also called as government. develop and control many of the human activities including his business antipollution laws. which is growing at the rate of 1. It helps to shape.7 per cent per year.7 billion (1 billion = 1000 million) or more to the present population level in another three to four decades.7 difficult to trace back the link with the physical base. direct. agricultural or pastoral interiors. Ecological disorder is the direct result of human action. 5. is highly alarming. Even the government will not be in a position to keep up with the infrastructural and human need of the growing population. The world population. implements whatever is decided by legislature and the executive. communist. Cultural environment is simple and more directly connected with physical base in the early stages. A stable and dynamic political environment is a must for the development of mankind. partly through his numbers and partly through his skills. The poor being both the victim and the agent of environmental damage. more in the industrial and urban than rural. executive and judiciary. dictatorial. but becomes more complex and indirect as the human society grows up in knowledge and size. At this stage the natural environment quality starts degrading and the question of ecological disorders and natural imbalance crops up. The type or the form government may be democratic. As an example we have changes in many villages in India. there will be addition of another 3. This rapid growth will affect both economic and physical environments at regional as well as global level. legislature. monarchy etc. 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. Any change in the form may be counter-productive and may affect the nation from . function in public interest and within the boundaries of the constitution. The various ecosystems are showing signs of progressive deterioration because of man’s hasty. negligent. Population and Environment: Population factors play a most momentous role in socio-economic environment of a country. Environmental degradation is greater in advanced rather than in primitive societies. unplanned actions which ultimately leads to environmental degradation. specially the size or density of the population. All actions of men are not wise or far-sighted and hence it leads to environmental crises. It has its impact on natural environment also. Traditional land and resources will be subjected to more and more overuse. If this trend continues. Environment and political set up: Political environment refers to the influence exerted by the three main political institutions viz. Majority of the population being poor causes more environmental damage due to mutually reinforcing effect between poverty and environmental damage.
They are part of the surrounding.air. Human beings are not separate entity. 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. And same is true for public leaders whose sensitization is vital in this regard. It is believed by the scientists and the leaders in industry that if we do not come to grip with environmental issues. socio-cultural. It helps us to understand the nature of environment and its components. The disturbing factors pressurize sustainability and natural living. urbanization. not only that but one cannot think of human .e. Those who are not economically well off are equally affected. nature of disturbing factors and the various methods to overcome disturbing factors. The scope of environmental science and its management has increased from manufacturing pollution control equipment. physical etc. economic. biomedical waste treatment and fly ash management.8 several angles i. as all these segments are interdependent. 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. then problem would be too acute to be manageable. 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. water. high-intensity agriculture. The corporate leaders. our ecosystem. soil erosion. Most of the environmental problems are well known though we may not have found solution for all. If the desire to lead higher living standard also increases. Similarly environmental concern has to a part of policy for the various governmental organizations. transportation and population growth are the major environmental problems and these are likely to increase. land. Increasing industrialization. irreversible process would have been set in that would ultimately lead to human suffering not in the countries of South but also the North. we have been witnessing significant environmental degradation during the last few decades. Industry has significant role in environmental protection. if not more due to environmental problems. More and more business executives have now identified environment as issue that affect their companies. Thus environmental concerns have to be on the agenda of all organizations. business. (use of fertilizers and pesticides) deforestation. sewage and effluent treatment plants. In India. Issues of environmental protection and “Right for Clean Environment” have already trickled down from educated and affluent people to the general public. It unfolds environmental issues for those who are directly or indirectly concerned with this discipline. The subject is multidisciplinary in nature.
Most environmental scientists agree that if pollution and other environmental deterrents continue at their present rates. The . the result will be irreversible damage to the ecological cycles and balances in nature upon which all life depends. Our natural resources are either renewable or non-renewable. Earth’s limited resources must be conserved and. To safeguard the healthful environment that is essential to life. the later have to be conserved and the use of former to be judicious. In short scope of environmental studies is broad based and it encompasses a large number of areas and aspects. Since the environment provides all the resources that are used in the process of production of goods or services. changes in human behaviour will be required to avert an ecological crisis. If the habit is degraded/damaged. plant rice. humans must devise new strategies that mesh environmental progress with economic growth. life would be adversely affected. if you plan for 10 years. broadly listed below: • • • • • Natural Resources.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. water table and many other environmental problems. the responsibility of industry is of paramount consideration. Without a suitable habitat neither animals nor plants nor human can survive. legislation and regulatory controls but has to go a step beyond. marketing and management of landfills for wasters. The study of environmental science makes us understand the scientific basis for establishing a standard which can be considered acceptably safe.9 survival if the services provided by the environment don’t become available. our living style. Environmental scientists warn that fundamental. we have to make all the persons environmentally educated. Furthermore. humans must learn that Earth does not have infinite resources. Besides the issue of resources. Industry not only has to consider issues like profit. where possible. reused. plant trees and if you plan for 100 years. air quality.” If we wish to manage our planet earth. educate people. rate of consumption and disposal of waste have created problems for manufacturing. quality standards. and perhaps drastic. clean and healthy for man and natural ecosystem. Natural ecosystem includes both physical and natural science.
It is an exploratory description of issues. international and natural environment. For the above. yes Developed countries? This is a bear fact that both the consumption and life-style of people have direct relations to environmental problems. technological. An environmental study is the subject in which we examine important issues relating to environment as they affect our lives. Environmental studies is very important but most neglected body of knowledge. Each issue can be probed more deeply. legal. living habits and attitudinal and ethical questions have now cropped up which are main concerns for Environmental Studies. national. Therefore. 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. Many a time both development and economic growth are not easily reconciled. It concerns itself with life support system and is very closely related with development and economic growth. damage. We have to choose between environment and development. The most important questions that bother every developing country is what should be the ideal combination of pattern of growth and development. Both. External environment include political. work ethics and attitudes. External and Internal Environment. regional and global levels together with an economic and social transformation at the levels of individuals and communities. social. These issues are controversial and need deep study to help us understand the environmental problems. Business Environment is divided into two categories viz.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. On the other hand. deplete and pollute the environment. . Internal Environment includes people. culture. which Model of development as well as of business should be followed so that we do not ignore the principle that underlie sustainability. This subject forms part of Business Environment. economic. Developing countries want accelerated growth to fulfill their basic needs and real question is should they follow footsteps are their big brothers. industrialized and underdeveloped or developing countries. we need change at local. 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.
Looking at the present pathetic state of environment and the knowledge people have about it. Unfortunately. it has become evident for every country to educate their masses. the judiciary and now the corporate sector also expresses a great concern on matters relating natural environment and ecosystem. are being made to be telecasted on the video media. so that they could start understanding the problems that they are facing at present and would have to face in future. 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. Various advertisements. Nobody can escape the wrath if fallen. the effect of which is directly felt by its inhabitants. There is always a need to have . Several means are being employed to educate the masses. (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. posters etc. documentaries. The state ministries are also playing important roles in generating awareness in masses. especially on World Environment Day which falls on 5th June of every year. may it be the people of developing countries or these from the developed ones. 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. Government with its separate ministry. the non-governmental organizations. feature films etc. Already world is surrounded by several environmental problems. is undertaken on large scale. Plantation of several trees on various occasions. almost all nations of world have geared up in creating awareness in their people.Ministry of Environment and Forest has also launched many campaigns like displaying several hoardings. Today everybody talks of environment. Newspapers and other magazines are publishing out of lot of articles on this subject. The media is playing a leading role in this process. environmental awareness campaign have very often exploited for political propaganda rather than being an integral part of our educational programmes in theory and practice. There are several environmental problems which have been solved by using environmental studies. Awareness regarding the state of environment is must for every human being living on this planet. throughout the country. In fact.
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.
In addition to these resources. pulp products. mica etc. fibers (e. agriculture.15 1. phosphates. jute. lead. These resources are able to increase their abundance through reproduction and utilization of simple substances.g. 2. Non-Renewable Resources: The resources that cannot be replenished through natural processes are known as non-renewable resources. Once a nonrenewable resource is consumed. zinc etc. which provide 90 per cent of our energy requirements. .). Renewable resources: The resources that can be replenished through rapid natural cycles are known as renewable resource. silk and synthetic fibers) and leather. viz. copper. metals (iron. phosphate sock and potassium and minerals used in their natural state (asbestos.g. clay. which cannot be recycled in any way. petrol.g. ores of aluminium.) b) Non-recyclable: These are non-renewable resources. coal etc. nitrates etc.) 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 include fossil fuels (petrol. Examples of renewable resources are plants. Then we have to find a substitute for it or do without it. it is gone forever.). Some examples of renewable resources though they do not have life cycle but can be recycled are wood and wood-products. Some authors prefer to classify resources into biotic and abiotic resources: a) Biotic resources: These are living resources (e. land.) and deposits of fertilizer nutrients (e. minerals and salts (carbonates. which cannot be increased. These are mainly the non-energy mineral resources. copper. which can be collected after they are used and can be recycled. silver. natural rubber. animal wool. water and soil are also classified as renewable resources.g. fish and wild life) that are able to reproduce or replace them and to increase. These are available in limited amounts. and animals who are being replaced from time to time because they have the power of reproducing and maintain life cycles. a) recycle able and b) non-recyclable a) Recycleale: These are non-renewable resources. Solar energy although having a finite life. Non-renewable resources can further be divided into two categories. forest. gold. Examples of these are fossil fuels and uranium. mercury etc. which occur in the earth’s crust (e. as a special case.g. minerals etc. (crops and forests).). b) Abiotic resources: These are non-living resources (e.
atomic energy. Examples are solar energy. Food resources 5. It does not mean that we should stop using most of the natural resources. Most of the renewable resources are classified as inexhaustible. . 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. ground water is renewable only if water continues to percolate in the soil at a rate at which it is removed. they come under non-renewable category. Following are some examples of the major natural resources: 1. FOREST RESOURCES: Forest Resources: It is a dense growth of trees. wind power. 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. they become extinct. Exhaustible resources: These resources are limited in nature and they are non-maintainable e. covering a large area of land. power from tides etc. we should use the resources in such a way that we always save enough of them for our future generations. Hence. 2.g. Rather.16 Natural resources can be classified as a) inexhaustible and b) exhaustible resources. Forest resources 2. Energy resources 6. Land resources 1. together with other plants. Water resources 3. 1. Forests are one of the most natural resources on this earth. 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. For example. coal. Covering the earth like a green blanket these forests not only produce innumerable material goods. But if not maintained properly. petrol and some minerals etc. Mineral resources 4. but also provide several environmental services which are essential for life. 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.
The ecological services provided by our forests may be summed up as follows: 1. 2. absorbing the rainfall. 3. firewood. Production of oxygen: The trees produce oxygen by photosynthesis which is so vital for life on this earth. Ecological uses: While a typical tree produces commercial goods worth about $ 590 it provides environmental services worth nearly $ 196 to $ 250. Many forest lands are used for mining. gum. non-edible oils. They are rightly called as earth’s lungs. Soil Conservation: Forests bind the soil particles tightly in their roots and prevent soil erosion. lac. medicine. and recreation and for development of dams. pulpwood. agriculture. Brazil for about a 7th and Canada and USA each for 6-7%. About 50-80% of the moisture in the air above tropical forests comes from their transpiration which helps in bringing rains. fibers.e. They have also been reported to absorb noise and thus help in preventing air and noise pollution. fodder. plywood and hardwood. the total of which is estimated to be more than $ 300 billion per year. Thus forest canopy acts as a sink for CO2 thereby reducing the problem of global warming caused by greenhouse gas i. grazing. One third of the wood harvest is used for building materials as lumber. slowing down the runoff and slowly releasing the water for recharge of springs. particle board and chipboard. CO2. 6. The greatest loss occurred in tropical Asia where one third of the forests resources have been destroyed. Reducing global warming: The main greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed by the forests as a raw material for photosynthesis. One sixth of the wood harvest is converted into pulp and used for paper industry.17 About 1/3rd of the world’s land area is forested which includes closed as well as open forests. resins. Regulation of hydrological cycle: Forested watersheds act like giant sponges. USES OF FORESTS: Commercial Uses: Forests provide us a large number of commercial goods which include timber. 4. Pollution moderators: Forests can absorb many toxic gases and can help in keeping the air pure and clean. They also act as windbreaks. About 7 million species are found in the tropical forests alone. bamboo canes. Half of the timber cut each year is used as fuel for heating and cooking. food items. Wild life habitat: Forests are the homes of millions of wild animals and plants. drugs and many more items. rubber. Former USSR accounts for about a 5th of the world’s forests. But it is a matter of concern that almost everywhere the cover of the natural forests has declined over the years. . 5.
2. Raw materials for industrial use: Wood for making boxes. The forested area in India seems to have stabilized since 1982 with about 0. furniture. expansion of urban. we are still far behind the target of achieving 33% forest areas. 1998). shooted up resulting in large scale logging. railwaysleepers. mining. 3. Deforestation rate is relatively less in temperate countries.38m ha) covered by forests based on satellite data (MoFF.P. With growing civilization the demands for raw material like timber. In India. Excessive use of fuel wood and charcoal. Bihar and M. despite the fact that we have a huge population size and very low per capita forest area (0. agricultural and industrial areas and overgrazing have together led to over exploitation of our forests leading to their rapid degradation. fuel wood etc. wood and fuel. FAO (1983) estimated that about 1. 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. have exerted . 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. thereby increasing the pressure on forests. as we are still having only 19. road-building and clearing of forests.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. pulp. 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. medicine. shelter. As per FAO estimates. However. Our forests contribute substantially to the national economy.18 OVER EXPLOITATION OF FORESTS: Since time immemorial. plywood.27% of our land area (63. minerals. which contribute to nearly half of the forest clearing annually. we have this practice of North-East and to some extent in Andhra Pradesh. humans have depended heavily on forests for food.075 ha per capita). The international timber trade alone is worth over US $ 40 billion per year.04% decline annually between 1982-90.44 m hectares of land were brought under afforestation during this period leading to stabilization. Major causes of Deforestation: 1. match boxes. the deforestation rate per unit population in India is the lowest among the major tropical countries. pulp for paper industry etc. as per our National Forest Policy.
Also road construction for making approach to the trees causes further damage to the forests. thereby influencing rainfall. To meet the demands of rapidly growing population. Biodiversity is lost and along with that genetic diversity is eroded. 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. The forested area has declined at an average rate of 33% and the increase in . Mining and its associated activities require removal of vegetation along with underlying soil mantle and overlying rock masses. 5. mining etc. 5. Growing food needs: In developing countries this is the main reason for deforestation. Development projects: Massive destruction of forests occur for various development projects like hydroelectric projects. 4. Hydrological cycle gets affected. It threatens the existence of many wild life species due to destruction of their natural habitat. 2. which may be detailed as below: 1. Major activities in Forests: Timber Extraction: Logging for valuable timber. In hilly areas it often leads to landslides. Problems of soil erosion and loss of soil fertility increase. 3.19 tremendous pressure on forests. Major consequences of deforestation: Deforestation has far reaching consequences. 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. Mining from shallow deposits is done by surface mining while that from deep deposits is done by sub-surface mining. This results in defacing the topography and destruction of the landscape in the area. big dams. agricultural lands and settlements are created permanently by clearing forests. 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. road construction. 4. 6. 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. More than 80000 ha of land of the country is presently under the stress of mining activities. Overgrazing by the cattle leads to further degradation of these lands.
The crusade against the ecological damage and deforestation caused due to Tehri dam was led by Shri. Mining of radioactive minerals in Kerala. The highest one is Tehri dam. Kosi valley. Floods. However.20 non-forest area due to mining activities has resulted in relatively unstable zones leading to landslides. The rich forests of Western Ghats are also facing the same threat due to mining projects for excavation of copper. these dams are also responsible for the destruction of vast areas of forests. For building big dams. droughts and landslides become more prevalent in such areas. Indiscriminate mining in forests of Goa since 1961 has destroyed more than 50000 ha of forest land.. bauxite and magnetite. Raniganj and Singrauli areas has caused extensive deforestation in Jharkhand. Mining of magnesite and soap – stones have destroyed 14 ha of forest in hill slopes of Khirakot. Coal mining in Jharia. Big dams have been in sharp focus of various environmental groups all over the world which is mainly because of several ecological problems including deforestation and socio-economic problems related to tribal or native people associated with them. the maximum being in the state of Maharashtra (more than 600). the leader of Chipko Movement. Forests are the repositories of invaluable gifts of nature in the form of biodiversity and by destroying them (particularly. Almora. 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”.Sunder lal Bahaguna. on river Bhagirathi in Uttaranchal and the largest in terms of capacity is Bhakra dam on river Satluj in Himachal Pradesh. chromite. followed by Gujarat (more than 250) and Madhya Pradesh (130). joined by Arundhati Ray and Baba Amte. Tamilnadu and Karnataka are posing similar threats of deforestation. large scale devastation of forests takes place which breaks the natural ecological balance of the region. the tropical rain forests) we are going to . The Silent valley hydroelectric project was one of the first such projects situated in the tropical rain forest area of Western Ghats which attracted much concern of the people. The cause of Sardar Sarovar Dam related issues have been taken up by the environmental activitist Medha Patkar. India has more than 1550 large dams.
Due to high surface tension and cohesion it can only easily rise through great heights through the trunk even in the tallest of the trees like Sequoia. It is in an excellent solvent for several nutrients. 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.e. Being lighter the ice keeps floating. 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. 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. can sustain aquatic organisms even in extreme cold. We have enormous resources of water on earth amounting to 1404 million km³. it expands instead of contracting and thus becomes lighter. from 0 to 100 C. It is because of this property that even in extreme cold.21 lose these species even before knowing them. Solar energy drives the water cycle by evaporating it from various bodies. the lakes freeze only on the surface. Every year about 1. 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. it can serve as a very good carrier of nutrients. It has high latent heat of vaporization.4 inch thick layer of water evaporates from the oceans more than 90% of which returns to the oceans through the hydrological cycle. as it freezes. • • The water we use keeps on cycling endlessly through the environment. including oxygen. it takes huge amount energy for getting vaporized. due to which it warms up and cools down very slowly without causing shocks of temperature jerks to the aquatic life. WATER RESOURCES: Water is an indispensable natural resource on this earth on which all life depends. It has anamolous expansion behaviour i. which are essential for life. But it can also easily dissolve various pollutants and become a carrier of pathogenic microorganisms. 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. Thus. It has the highest specific heat. That’s why it produces a cooling effect as it evaporates. whereas the bottom waters remain at a higher temperature and therefore.e. which we call as Hydrological Cycle. Hence. which subsequently return .
003% is readily available to us in the form of groundwater and surface water. Most of the life processes take place in water in water contained in the body. Groundwater: About 9. Most of the civilizations have grown and flourished on the banks of rivers. Water use by humans is of two types: 1. Global distribution of water resources is quite uneven depending upon several geographic factors. . their distribution in the body. descending air (20-40 N and S) and receive very little rainfall. Pollution of many of the groundwater aquifers has made of these wells unfit for consumption. yet it is very precious.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. about 97% is salty water (marine) and only 3% is fresh water. Plants too play a very vital role by absorbing the groundwater from the soil and releasing it into the atmosphere by process of transpiration. and removal of wastes are all mediated through water. 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. Overuse of groundwater for drinking. Water is absolutely essential for life. Rivers and streams have long been used for discharging the wastes. Water: A precious Natural Resource: Although water is very abundant on this earth. irrigation and domestic purposes has resulted in rapid depletion of groundwater in various regions leading to lowering of water table and drying of wells. Water withdrawal: taking water from groundwater or surface water resource and 2. Water consumption: the water which is taken up but not returned for reuse. regulation of temperature. but unfortunately. Uptake of nutrients. Tropical rain forest areas receive maximum rainfall while the major world deserts occur in zones of dry.22 through rainfall or snow. WATER USE AND OVER-EXPLOITATION: Due to its unique properties water is of multiple uses for all living organisms. growth in turn has been responsible for pollution of the rivers. Out of the total water reserves of the world.
The problems arising out of water resources are floods. droughts. Punjab and Haryana. Such projects result providing much employment of opportunities. These dams are often regarded as a symbol of national development.involves two major southern states of India viz. Rajasthan as well as Delhi. Apart from these there are conflicts over water. our traditional water managers in villages prove to be quite effective. While water disputes between states and nations often resume battle like situations. raise in the standard of living and improvement in quality of life. b) The Indus Water treaty-is dispute between India and Pakistan.23 Effects of groundwater usage: 1. Saudi Arabia. wetlands or artificial reservoirs known as surface water. The ‘gram sabhas” approve these plans publicly. snow) when does not percolate down into the ground or does not return to the atmosphere as evaporation or transpiration loss. Indispensability of water and its unequal distribution has often led to inter-state or international disputes. navigation etc.Lowering of water table 3. There are hopes all over from every corner of the region where such dam is planned to be constructed. In traditional water management. c) The Cauvery water dispute. which are democratically implemented. India has the distinction of having the largest number of river valley projects. Karnataka similarly The Satluj-Yamuna link canal Dispute also involves two Northern states viz. Turkey. ponds.Water logging Surface water: The water coming through precipitation (rainfall. public water supply. provide drinking water in remote areas and bring out overall development of the region. innovative arrangements ensure equitable distribution of water. The surface water is largely used for irrigation. Issues related to sharing of river water have been largely affecting our farmers and also shaking our governments. Such projects have tremendous potential for economic upliftment and growth. generate electricity and reduce water and power shortage. . industrial use.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. Affected states also include UP. Kuwait. Syria. Tamilnadu.a) Water conflict in the Middle East.Susidence 2. lakes. Israel and Jordan.countries involved as Sudan. Egypt. BIG DAMS. It can check floods and famines. provide irrigation water to lower areas.it also affects countries who are water starved viz. assumes the form of streams. A country’s economy is largely dependent upon its rivers. Some major water conflicts are.
. There are thousands of minerals occurring in different parts of the world. MINERAL RESOURCES: Minerals are naturally occurring. we see everyday are just composed of few common minerals like quartz. However. inorganic. crystalline solids having definite chemical composition and characteristic physical properties. Upstream problems: • • • • • • • • • • Displacement of tribal people Loss of forests. feldspar. 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. most of the rocks. These minerals in turn are composed of some elements like silicon. iron etc. oxygen. biotite etc. but it has several serious side-effects.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. The impacts can be at the upstream as well as downstream levels. That it why now there is a shift towards construction of small dams or min-hydel projects.
meat. about twenty or so common fruits and vegetables. Although India is the third largest producer of staple crops. oats etc. fish and seafood. milk. construction. restoration of mined areas by re-vegetating them with appropriate plant species. an estimated 300 million Indians are still undernourished. 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) . Remedial measures include adoption of eco-friendly technology. silver etc. air pollution. gradual restoration of flora etc. Because of overgrazing the agricultural land gets affected as follows. This shows that there is drastic need to increase food production. surface water pollution. stabilization of the mined lands.25 Minerals are generally used for development of industrial plants. The main food resources include wheat. 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. India has only half as much land as USA. communication. jewellery. 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. microbial leaching technique. but it has nearly three times population to feed. rice. medical system. barley. Our food problems are directly related to population. transportation means. generation of energy. maize. potato. Environmental impacts of mineral extraction and use are devegetation and defacing of landscape. equitably distribute it and also to control population growth. occupational health hazards etc. groundwater contamination. subsidence of land. equipments and armament for defence.gold.
ENERGY RESOURCES: Energy consumption of a nation is usually considered as an index of its development.made up equipments such has solar heat collectors. This is because almost all the development activities are directly or indirectly dependent upon energy. geothermal energy. biomass. Wind and hydropower has also been used. nitrite pollution. natural gas. ocean thermal energy. The very original form of energy technology probably was the fire. Tidal energy. nuclear 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. This will seek to end the energy crisis which the world is facing today. Hydropower. Energy resources are primarily divided into two categories viz. biogas. The non renewable energy sources include coal. LAND RESOURCES: Land as a resource: Land is a finite and valuable resource upon which we depend for our food. renewable and non-renewable sources. solar energy. Renewable energy resources must be preferred over the non-renewable resources. which produced heat and the early man used it for cooking and heating purposes. It is inevitable truth that now there is an urgent need of thinking in terms of alternative sources of energy. solar furnace. solar water heater. Invention of steam engineers replaced the burning of wood by coal and coal was further replaced by oil. solar cooker. fiber and fuel wood. petroleum. death of non-target organisms. . 2. which are also termed as non-conventional energy sources which include: 1. There are wide disparities in per capita energy use between developed and the developing nations. the basic amenities of life. solar cells. biological magnification. Soil is also a valuable resource.26 • Fertilizers related problems include micronutrient imbalance. solar power plants are must. salinity problems and such others. eutrophication Pestide related problems include creating resistance in pests and producing new pests. biofuels etc. Wind energy 3. Some other problems include water logging.
It basically of two types viz. Soil erosion. are responsible for clearing of large forested areas. depletion of groundwater. It results in the loss of fertility. Soil Erosion: Soil erosion means wearing away of soil. Desertification is characterized by devegetation and loss of vegetal over. Desertification: Desertification is a process whereby the productive potential of arid or semiarid lands falls by ten percent or more. large dams.climatic agents and water induced erosion. biotic agents. especially surface-litter and top soil from one place to another. food. construction of buildings. water. It defined as the movement of soil components. With our small . The agents that cause such erosion are. CONSERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES: Role of an Individual Different natural resources like forests. Contour farming Terracing Strip cropping Strip cropping Alley cropping Wind breaks or shelterbelts Water logging Landslides: Various anthropogenic activities like hydroelectric projects. Hence there is more and more pressure on the limited land resources which are getting degraded due to over-exploitation. salinization and contamination of the soil with industrial wastes like fly-ash.27 Land Degradation: Because of increasing of population growth the demands for arable land for producing food and fuel wood is also increasing. Wind is also responsible for the land erosion through saltation. suspension and surface creep. press mud or heavy metals all cause degradation of land. reservoirs. mineral and energy resources play a vital role in the development of a nation. water logging. In order to prevent soil erosion and conserve the soil the following conservation practices are employed: • • • • • • • • Conservational till farming. normal erosion go geologic erosion and accelerated erosion. Causes of desertification: 1) Deforestation b) Overgrazing 3) Mining and quarrying. mining etc. construction of roads and railway lines. soil. salinization and severe soil erosion.
Following are the ways: Conserve Water: 1. Don’t keep water taps running while brushing. washing or bathing. Share a car-pool if possible. In washing machines fill the machine only to the level required for your clothes. Water the plants and the lawns in the evening when evaporation losses are minimum.C. Conserve energy: 1. 7. 3. Drive less. 4. 4. Reuse the soapy water of washing from clothes for gardening. Turn off lights fans and other appliances when not in use. 5. Install a system to capture rain water. driveways etc. 6. Install water saving toilets that use not more than 6 liters per flush. Use bicycle or just walk down small distances instead of using vehicle. Obtain as much heat as possible from natural sources.28 individual efforts we can together help in conserving our natural resources to a large extent. 3. make fewer trips and use public transportations whenever possible. Build your house with provision for sunspace which will keep your house warmer and will provide more light. Protect the Soil: . shaving. 2. Control the use of A. metals and papers. Dry the clothes in sun instead of direr if possible. 2. 6. Recycle and reuse glass. 5. Never water the plants in mid-day. 8. 7. 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.
North and South. Make compost from your kitchen waste and use it for your kitchen-garden. Over consumption of resources by rich countries. herbs and trees in your garden. 6. There are two major causes of unsustainability. Fertilize your crop with organic fertilizers. There is a huge gap between those two worlds. This is not sustainable growth. . 2. 1. Control pests. in turn they contribute very big proportion to its pollution. 73% of energy and command 85% of income. The rich have gone richer and the poor have stead even poorer. 3. Better use sprinkling irrigation. haves and have-nots. A global consensus has to be reached for balanced distribution. 5. Eat local and seasonal vegetables. Reduce the use of pesticides. On the other hand LDCs have very low or moderate industrial growth and have 78% of world’s population.29 1. Over population in poor countries and 2. Grow grass in the open areas which will bind the soil and prevent its erosion. Promote Sustainable Agriculture: 1. more developed countries (MDCs) and Less Developed countries (LDCs). Take as much as you can eat. But this is observed that MDCs have only 22% of world’s population but they use 88% of natural resources. 2. Use drip irrigation. They use only 12% of natural resources. 4. 3. 4. The solution to this problem is to have more equitable distribution of resources and wealth. Do not irrigate the plants using a strong flow of water as it would wash off the soil. 27% of energy and have only 15% of global income. EQUITABLE USE OF RESOURCES FOR SUSTAINABLE LIFE STYLE There is a big divide in the world viz. Grow different types of ornamental plants. Do not waste food.
What are the environmental impacts of ground water usage? 6. Discuss the merits and demerits of wind energy? 14. Give brief account of non-renewable energy resources. What is soil erosion? How can it be checked? 15.30 The rich countries will have to lower down their consumption levels and bare minimum needs of the poor must be satisfied by providing them resources. How can you as an individual conserve different natural resources? . 8. Discuss with the help of live example around you. Need of the hour is fairer sharing of resources between rich and poor which will bring about sustainable development for all. What are the uses of various types of minerals? 10. Should we build big dams? Give arguments in favour of your answer. What is overgrazing? How does it contribute to environmental degradation? 12. 7. Questions: 1. 9. What are the major environmental impacts of mineral extraction? 11. What are the major causes and consequences of deforestation? 4. How would you justify that ecological uses of forests surpass commercial uses? 3. What are major causes for conflicts over water? Discuss one international and one interstate water conflict. 5. Discuss the major use of forests. how big dams have affected forests and the tribals. What are renewable and non-renewable resources? Give examples. 2. Briefly discuss droughts and floods with respect to their occurrence and impacts. 13.
the greenhouse effect is a real danger. Energy flow of the ecosystem. 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. ecology deals with how individuals are affected by and how they affect their environment. meaning house or place to live. we can consider ecology as the study of organisms and their environment. and with the natural resources affected by them. Ecology proceeds at three levels: 1) the individual organism 2) the population (consisting of individuals of the same species) and 3) the community (consisting of number of populations). ecology deals with the presence or absence of particular species and with trends and fluctuations in their numbers. Producers. characteristics features. For example.31 Unit 3: ECOSYSTEM Topics: Structure and function of an ecosystem. and what are the implications for human life as the earth heats up further. Community ecology deals with the composition or structure of communities. Forest ecosystem. The word ecology comes from Greek word Oikos. lakes. types. In other words. structure and function of the following ecosystem. Ecology is concerned with the study of organisms in various habitats viz. Ecologists try to predict what will happen to organisms. land. it is study of the interrelations between living organisms and their environment. Ecological succession. Streams. rivers. For practical purposes. oceans. or communities under a particular set of habitat. and air. Introduction. Communities are not constant but are continually changing because of . At the level of the organism. populations. Ecology can also be defined as the study of the structure and function of nature. Food chains. Grassland ecosystem. Desert ecosystem. Aquatic ecosystems [ponds. the changes happening to individuals making up the population are analyzed. ecology refers to the study of organisms in their natural habitat. fresh water. food webs and ecological pyramids. 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. At the level of population. consumers and decomposers. Taken literally.
Cycles: .32 interactions among the populations and because of disturbances caused by climatic and geological events as well as human activities. the cattle population. For instance. Gujarat. They are thus grouped together under the species sapiens. Organisms of the same species can breed with one another and produce fertile offspring under natural conditions. For example. Group of individual organisms of the same species living within an area is called population. from microscopic blue-green algae to massive banyan tree. behaviour. the grass population and populations of all kinds of life forms present there. the deer population. body systems and they all have similar genetic structure. when we say ‘the community of the Gir National Park’. A wide range and variety of organisms is present on the earth from the single celled amoeba to huge sharks. Population: A population is a group of individuals of the same species occupying a given area at a given time. make a population. Living organism: An organism is any form of life. Any assemblage of populations living in a prescribed area or physical habitat that has characteristics in addition to its individual and population components can be called as community. the Asiatic lions in the Gir National Park. There are certain important concepts of ecology. chemistry and genetic structure form a species. Communities: Communities of various species occupying a particular area and interacting with each other make up a community. Species: Group of organisms that resemble one another in appearance. we refer to the lion population. For instance. Thus community comprises several species interacting with each other. all human beings (Homo sapiens) resemble one another in their body structure. It includes all plants and animals.
and even the solar energy that is captured by the plants. Thus. water etc.Tansley (1935) who defied ecosystem as follows: “Ecosystem is defined as a self-sustained community of plants and animals existing in its own environment. Ecosystem/s: An econsystem is a community of organisms involved in a dynamic network of biological.” Odum (1971) defined ecosystem as any unit that includes all the organisms in a given area interacting with the physical environment. the non-living components and their interactions. 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. an ecosystem includes the community.Such interactions sustain the system and allow it to respond to changing conditions.33 The circulation of the chemical elements in its biosphere from the environment to organisms and back to the environment is called cycle. biotic diversity and material cycles within the system” Michael Allaby (1983) defined ecosystem as a community of interdependent organisms together with the environment. The sum total of all the ecosystems on planet Earth is called the biosphere. Carrying capacity: Maximum population of a particular species that a given habitat can support over a given period of time. so that a flow of energy give rise to a clearly defined tropic structure. which includes all the earth’s living organisms interacting with the physical environment as a whole to maintain a steady-state ecosystem. like the soil. rocks. . 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’.G. The Gir ecosystem will thus include the various life forms found in the park (the community) and also the nonliving components of the park. chemical and physical interactions between themselves and with the non-living components. The term ecosystem was first proposed by A. .
e.34 The term ecosystem is made up of two words: eco and system. forests. The largest ecosystem of the earth is the biosphere. Hence they consume plants and plant products produced by the autotrophs. These decomposers decompose the dead bodies. Plants and animals take birth. 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. oceans. mature. Often the dynamic interactions that occur within an ecosystem are numerous and complex. Decomposers: These are most important group of organisms in the ecosystem. Ecosystem Structure: A system is an arrangement of matter so related to form a whole (unit). reproduce. grasslands. They can also be termed as consumers. then after old age they die. Biotic and Abiotic substances. They depend on the environment for raw materials and utilize sun light for the production of their own food. 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. The living organisms (biotic community) of an area and their non-living environment function together as one unit called ecological system or ecosystem. because they do not have chlorophyll. Abiotic (NON-LIVING) Component: . 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. Some examples of natural ecosystems are ponds. In the ecosystem. lakes. the living organisms and its environment each influencing the properties of the other and both are necessary for the survival and maintenance of life. An ecosystem may be defined as a dynamic entity composed of a biological community and its associated abiotic environment. grow in size. Some of these alterations begin first with a change in the state of one component of the ecosystem. which is self sufficient and balanced. In short. ecosystem can be described as “Life Support System”. Thus the system resulting from the integration of all the living and non-living factors is called ecosystem. which then cascades and sometimes amplifies into other components because of relationships. deserts and so on. In absence of decomposers the earth will be packed only with dead bodies. Ecosystems are also always undergoing alterations to their biotic and abiotic components. The term ecosystem was first introduced in 1935. Biotic (LIVING) Component: It includes all living organisms of the environment.
. Non-living Components are essential for the living world. oceans. temperate deserts. salinity of water. 2. . cold deserts etc. 2. temperate rain forests. Nature of soil. lake ecosystem. 3. life cannot exist. Define ecology and ecosystems. Questions: 1. Some examples are: physical factors include. like air.include pond ecosystem. estuary. Desert Ecosystems.Sunlight. What are the biotic and abiotic components of an ecosystem? 3.a partially enclosed coastal area at the mouth of a river where fresh water and salty seawater meet. water. Non-living components include all the physical and chemical factors of an ecosystem that affect the living organisms.include tropical deserts.include tropical grasslands. tropical scrub forests. water. With no sunlight. soil. temperate deciduous forests. steams. temperate grasslands.35 Non living components of an ecosystem include all the physical and chemical factors that influence living organisms. Precipitation.include tropical rain forests. Chemical factors: Percentage of water and air in soil. Temperature. Grassland ecosystems. tropical deciduous forests. Aquatic ecosystem. evergreen coniferous forests. rocks etc. oxygen dissolved in water. air and minerals. 4. Major ecosystem include 1. Forest ecosystem. Fire and water currents. What is food chain? Give examples and discuss their significance. nutrients present in soil. polar grasslands.
aesthetic and option values. Threats to biodiversity. terrestrial. Value of biodiversity. 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. habitat loss. 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. poaching of wildlife. . marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part. In the Conservation of Biological diversity (1992) biodiversity has been defined as the variability among living organisms from all sources including inter alia. Biodiversity constitutes the biological wealth. consumptive use. water and air. Biodiversity refers to the variety and variability among all groups of living organisms and the ecosystem complexes in which they occur. Biogeographically classification of India. man-wildlife conflicts. Definition: genetic. social. It is indeed wonderful to see that so much diversity has been created by nature on this earth from so little physical matter. Genetic Biodiversity: It is basic source of biodiversity. ethical. 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. productive use. Biodiversity means the variety and variability of all living organisms. Hot-spots of biodiversity. species and ecosystem diversity.36 Unit 4 BIODIVERSITY Topics: Introduction. Biodiversity is at three levels Genetic Diversity. Endangered and endemic species of India.
Such diversity can be measured on the basis of species in a region. a temperate deciduous forest and a boreal forest. but there are thousands of wild and cultivated varieties of rice which show variations at the genetic level and differ in their colour. Ecosystem Biodiversity: This is the diversity of ecological complexity showing variations in ecological niches. a tropical deciduous forest. genetic diversity gets diminished. Diversity of genes within a species increases its ability to adapt to disease. temperature. But. it is called genetic variability.5 million living and 300000 fossil species have been actually described and given scientific names. aroma and nutrient content of the grain. Genetic biodiversity means the variation of genes within a species. shape. pollution and other changes in environment. size. Thus there occurs tremendous diversity within the ecosystems. Species biodiversity means variety of species within a region. the variations observed are just too many and they are mainly due to variations in the above mentioned physical factors. We mainly consider diversity in forest ecosystem. along these gradients. This is genetic diversity of rice. all rice varieties belong to the species Oryza sativa. altitude precipitation etc. More species biodiversity means more biological wealth. A species have varieties and each variety has its own genes or genetic make up. It is quite likely that a large fraction of these species may become extinct even before they are discovered and enlisted. while considering a tropical rainforest. Species Biodiversity: This is the variability found within the population of a species or between different species of a community. which is supposed to have mainly a dominance of trees. food-webs. It represents broadly the species richness and their abundance in a community. When a variety of a species is destroyed. When the genes within the same species show different versions due to new combinations. For example.37 Genes are the basic units of hereditary information transmitted from one generation to other. Till now only about 1. nutrient cycling etc. . The ecosystems also show variations with respect to physical parameters like moisture. tropic structure.
Western Ghat Mountains 6. it would disrupt the ecological balance. Laskhadweep etc. Gangetic Plain – Upper Ganetic Plain. wetlands. North-East India – Brahmaputra Valley. because ecosystem diversity has evolved with respect to the prevailing environmental conditions with well regulated ecological balance.38 The ecosystem diversity is of great value that must be kept intact. There are ten different biogeographic habitats in India. 10. Himalayan – North-West Himalayas. The multiple uses of biodiversity is classified as follows: . We cannot replace the diversity of one ecosystem with that of another. Deccan Peninsula – Deccan Plateau South. Chhota Nagpur 7. Thar and Ladakh 4. Semi-Arid – Central India. Eastern. Western Ghats – Malabar Coast. deserts etc. social and aesthetic value has enormous importance. Desert – Kutch. evolution. we come to know and do appreciate the value of organism only after it is lost from this earth. 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. North Eastern Hills 9. dispersal and environmental relationship of plants and animals in time and space. ecological service. Ecosystem biodiversity refers to variety of ecosystem in a particular region or zone as for example various ecosystems include forests. arid zones. Very small. India has a rich heritage of biological diversity and occupies the tenth position among the plant rich nations of the world. It very important to study the distribution. Lower Gangetic Plain 8. 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. insignificant. Central. Central and East Himalayas 3. Islands – Andaman Islands. West.West Coast and East Coast VALUE OF BIODIVERSITY Biodiversity in terms of its commercial utility. We are benefited by other organisms in innumerable ways. Coasts. Nicobar Islands. Trans-Himalayan – Upper regions 2. All these have their own fauna and flora (biodiversity). This diversity has developed over millions of years of evolution. 1. Sometimes. Gujarat-Rajwara 5. If we destroy this diversity. Coniferous trees of boreal forests cannot take up the function of the trees of tropical deciduous forest lands and vice versa.
wool from sheep. Railway sleeper industry. two anticancer drugs. These may include the animal products like tusks of elephants. The wonder drug Penicillin used as an antibiotic is derived from a fungus called Penicillium.g. Fuel: Our forests have been used since ages for fuel wood. worth millions of dollars are being sold every year. live specimen etc. silk from silk-worm. Productive use values: These are the commercially usable values where the product is marketed and sold. musk from musk deer. we get Tetracyclin from a bacterium. A large number of marine animals are supposed to possess anti-cancer properties which are yet to be explored systematically. fiber etc. 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.39 1. Likewise. Wild relatives usually possess better tolerance and hardiness. Quinine. textile industry. while Digitalin is obtained from foxglove (Digitalis) which is an effective cure for heart ailments. hence falls under constructive value. petroleum and natural gas are also products of fossilized biodiversity. pearl industry etc. fuel. It may include lumber or wild gene resources that can be traded for use by scientists for introducing desirable traits in the crops and domesticated animals. Despite international ban on trade in products from endangered species. Food: A large number of wild plants and shrubs are consumed by human beings as food. but are directly consumed by tribals and local villagers. leather industry. the cure for malaria is obtained from the bark of Cinchona tree. Recently vinblastin and vincristine. 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. . Silk industry. hide. About 80000 edible plants species have been reported from wild. horns. food. paper and pulp industry.g. Consumptive use value: These include direct use values where the biodiversity product can be harvested and consumed directly e. which possesses anticancer alkaloids. 2. Firewood collected by individuals are not normally marketed. A large number of wild animals are also our sources of food. tusks. plywood industry. all of which are traded in the market. Developing countries in Asia. drugs. lac from lac insects etc. smuggling of fur. The fossil fuels coal. have been obtained from Periwinkle (Catharanthus) plant. Many industries are dependent upon productive use values of biodiversity e. About 90% of present day food crops have been domesticated from wild tropical plants. ivory-works. fir of many animals. Drugs and medicines: About 75% of the world’s population depends upon plants or plant extracts for medicines.
Bull. 6. Peacock. Aesthetic value: Great aesthetic value is attached to biodiversity. The biodiversity is like . Bael etc. or a tropical rainforest. 4. This means. It involves ethical issues like “all life must be preserved”. there is an ethical value or existence value attached to each species. Lotus. 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. The ethical value means that we may or may not use a species. If we want our human race to survive. 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. Snake. It is based on the concept of “Live and Let Live”. 5. Mango. but knowing the very fact that this species exists in nature gives us pleasure. the option value of biodiversity suggests that any species may prove to be a miracle species someday. fruits or flowers of these plants are used in workship or the plant itself is worshipped.40 3. Thus. 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. Their social life. attached with different societies. Option value: These values include the potential of biodiversity that are presently unknown and need to be explored. but we all strongly feel that these species should exist in nature. The “willingness to pay” concept on such ecotourism gives us even a monetary estimate for aesthetic value of biodiversity. Zebra or Giraffe. Many animals like Cow. Ecotourism is estimated to generate about 12 billion dollars of revenue annually that roughly gives the aesthetic value of biodiversity. religion and psycho-spiritual aspects of the people. We are not deriving anything direct from Kangaroo. 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. Ethical value: It is also sometimes known as existence value. The leaves. We all feel sorry when we learn that “passenger pigeon” or “dodo” is no more on this earth. Peepal. Thus biodiversity has distinct social value. customs. Many of the plants are considered holy and sacred in our country like Tulsi( Holy basil). songs. then we must protect all biodiversity. also have significant place in our psycho-spiritual arena and thus hold special social importance. because biodiversity is valuable. Owl etc. dances and customs are closely woven around the wildlife.
Ecosystem service value: Recently.4 million having species. agriculture to Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs). or specifically some endemic.” It also covered the ecological. A legislation was finalized and Indian Parliament passed Biodiversity Bill in 2002. species and genetic diversity all have enormous potential and a decline in biodiversity will lead to huge economic. Higher plants have also been fairly well studied but it is possible that 15 percent more may still be discovered. But human knowledge of the world’s biodiversity is still not complete. The success of convention can be evaluated in two main ways: a) By analyzing the changes in biodiversity components (i. fixation of nitrogen. The option value also includes the values. Of these around 1. a non-consumptive use value related to self maintenance of the ecosystem and various important ecosystem services has been recognized. species and ecosystems) and b) by measuring the effectiveness of measures taken to implement the convention. cycling of nutrients. We should not commit the folly of losing these gifts even before unwrapping them. scientists have identified about 1. pollutant absorption and reduction of the threat of global warming etc.e. Different categories of biodiversity value clearly indicate that ecosystem. invertebrates. The Government of India has finalized the National Policy and Action Strategy for Biodiversity. lower . United Nations Conference on Environment and Development at Rio put biological diversity on the international agenda by signing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The 1992. 7. India is a signatory to CBD and ratified it in 1993. cycling of water.03 million are animals and 248000 are higher plants. prevention of floods maintenance of soil fertility. Numerous insects. in terms of the option to visit areas where a variety of flora and fauna.41 precious gifts of nature presented to us. their role as carbon sinks. the sustainable use of its components and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources. GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY All the three levels are linked and constitute a gene pool. It refers to the services provided by ecosystems like prevention of soil erosion. According to the Worldwide Fund for Nature. ecological and socio-cultural losses. rare or endangered species exist. This convention addresses many issues ranging from forests. economic and social aspects of biodiversity. The objective of the convention was “the conservation of biological diversity.
Scientists at the Kew Gardens in Britain listed around 20000 plant species as threatened. western ghats. INDIA AS A MEGA-DIVERSITY NATION: India is one of the 12 mega-diversity countries in the world. coral reefs and mangroves which need to be studied in detail. Overall six percent of the global species are found in India.42 plants and microorganisms exist but have yet to be identified and described. Out of a total 25 biodiversity hot-spots in the world. coasts. Due to very diverse climatic conditions there is a complete rainbow spectrum of biodiversity in our country. Nicobar and Lakshadweep islands. BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY AT NATIONAL LEVEL (Indian Biodiversity): Every country is characterized by its own biodiversity depending mainly on its climate. A large proportion of the Indian Biodiversity is still unexpected. India has a rich biological diversity of flora and fauna. north-west. by the year 2050 up to 60000 plant species will become extinct or threatened. Marine diversity etc. deserts. the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed 4589 threatened animals. Govt. west. one in the north-east region and one in the Western Ghats. deccan plateau and the Andaman. . It is estimated that India ranks 10th among the plant rich countries of the world. Center of origin. India possesses two. One recent estimate put this figure as high as 30 million. Gangetic plains. 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. Human impact on nature has reached such high proportions that the world is today witnessing an extraordinary rate of species loss. These estimates show that the current rate of extinction is at least 25000 times greater than extinction that took place during evolutionary times. central and eastern Himalayan forests. Indian forests cover 64. of India (2000) records 47000 species of plants and 81000 species of animals which is about 7% and 6. Total number of living species identified in our country is 150000.5% respectively of global flora and fauna. The Ministry of Environment and Forests. Many thousands of species will disappear even before they are found and described by biologists. Those major groups of species include Endemism. Indian is also one of the 12 megabiodiversity countries in the world.01 million hectares having rich biodiversity of plants in the Trans-Himalayan. 11th in terms of number of endemic species of higher vertebrates and 6th among the centers of diversity and origin of agricultural crops. According to an estimate by the IUCN’s Threatened Plants Unit. In 1988. There are about 93 major wet lands.
THREATS TO BIODIVERSITY: Extinction or elimination of a species is a natural process of evolution. However.43 HOT SPOTS OF BIODIVERSITY Areas which exhibit high species richness as well as high species endemism are termed as hot spots of biodiversity. keeping in view the vast span of time going back to 444 million years. These hotspots covering less than 2% of the world’s land area are found to have about 50% of the terrestrial biodiversity. India shows a good number of endemic species. namely the Eastern Himalayas and Western Ghats. The term “Hot spots” was introduced by Myers (1988). If the present . In the geologic period the earth has experienced mass extinctions.the new Amambalam Reserve Basin. During evolution. The major centers of diversity are Agastyamalai Hills and Silent valley. Out of the world’s recorded flora 30% are endemic to India of which 35000 are in the Himalayas. It is reported that only 6. because it means we have already lost a huge proportion of the biodiversity. In the century the human impact has been so severe that thousands of species and varieties are becoming extinct annually. Karnataka. About 62% of amphibians and 50% of lizards are endemic to India. species have died out and have been replaced by others. These amazing figures raise an alarm regarding the serious threat to biodiversity. Species which are restricted only to particular areas are known as endemic. a) Eastern Himalayas: They display an ultra-varies topography that fosters species diversity and endemism. Recent studies have shown that North East India along with its contiguous regions of Burma and Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Schezwan is an active center of organic evolution and is considered to be the cradle of flowering plants.5% of the plant species as endemics. Over the last 150 years the rate of extinction has escalated more dramatically. Western Ghats are the site of maximum endemism. The process of extinction has become particularly fast in the recent years of civilization. According to Myers an area is designated as a hotspot when it contains at least 0.8% of the original forests are existing today while the rest has been deforested or degraded. One of the estimates by the noted ecologist puts figure of extinction at 10000 species per year or 27 per day. There are 25 such hot spots of biodiversity on a global level out of which two are present in India. b) Western Ghats: It extends along a 17000 km² strip of forests in Maharashtra. the rate of loss of species in geologic past has been a slow process. which raises a serious cause of alarm. Tamilnadu and Kerala and has 40% of the the total endemic plant species.
at a rate of about 0.e. live specimens and herbal products worth millions of dollars per year continues. The developing nations in Asia. With the current rate of loss of forest habitat. Loss of habitat: Destruction and loss of natural habitat is the single largest cause of biodiversity loss. it is estimated that 20-25% of the global flora would be lost within few years. The unique rich biodiversity of the wetlands. . Due to habitat fragmentation many song birds are vanishing. There has been a rapid disappearance of tropical forests in our country also. pastures. filling and pollution thereby causing huge biodiversity loss. settlement areas or development projects. 2. as a result of human intervention. Taiwan and Hong Kong are the major importers of the wildlife products or wildlife itself. tusks. Despite international ban on trade in products from endangered species. a phenomenon known as habitat fragmentation. They get badly threatened as they breed only in the interiors of the forests. Following are the major causes and issues related to threats to biodiversity: 1. Poaching: Illegal trade of wildlife products by killing prohibited endangered animals i. estuaries and mangroves are under the most serious threat today. There are many wild life species such as bears and large cats that require large territories so subsist. hides. Billions of hectares of forests and grasslands have been cleared over the past 10000 years for conservation into agriculture lands.6% per year.44 trend continues we would lose 1/3rd to 2/3rd of our current biodiversity by the middle of twenty first century. smuggling of wildlife items like furs. Latin America and Africa are the richest source of biodiversity and have enormous wealth of wildlife. The wetlands are destroyed due to draining. Severe damage has been caused to wetlands thinking them to be useless ecosystems. These natural forests and grasslands were the natural homes of thousands of species which perished due to loss of their natural habitat. Sometimes the loss of habitat is in installments so that the habitat is divided into small and scattered patches. 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. The worst part is that for every live animal that actually gets into the market about 50 additional animals are caught and killed. 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. poaching is another threat to wildlife. The rich countries in Europe and North America and some affluent countries in Asia like Japan.
please make sure that you are not going to the endangered species or wild-caught species. Mumbai which has triggered a panic among the local residents. In fact. 2004 two men were killed by leopards in Powai. Human encroachment into the forest areas has rendered all forest living animals to trespass the borders of human civilizations. At times. rhinos and bears due to shrinking forests cover are compelled to move outside the forests and attack the field or sometimes even humans. A total of 14 persons were killed during 19 attacks since January by the leopards from the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Doing so will help in checking further decline of these species. The agonized villagers electrocute the elephants and sometimes hide explosives in the sugarcane fields. Dwindling habitats of tigers. 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. purse or bag. Orissa 195 humans were killed in the last 5 years by elephants. such conflicting situations have been reported from the border regions of Corbett. In Sambalpur. . Instances of man animal conflicts keep on coming to lime light from several states in our country.45 If you are fond of rare plants. MAN-WILDLIFE CONFLICTS We have discussed about the need to preserve and protect wildlife. in early 2004. This is because the conflicts between man and the wildlife have increased since it is an issue of survival of both. or items made of crocodile skin or python skin. 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. a man-eating tiger reported to kill 16 Nepalese people and one 4 year old child inside the Royal Chitwan National Part. elephants. more killings are done by locals than by poachers. You will certainly help in preserving biodiversity by doing so. The park renowned for its wildlife conservation effort has become a zone of terror for the locals. In retaliation the villagers killed 95 elephants in the border region of Kote-Chamarajanagar belt in Mysore have been reported recently. which explode as the elephants intrude into their fields. fish or birds. Mumbai. Also do not purchase fur coat. Dudhwa. Borivali. Very recently in June. Recently. Causes of Man-animal conflicts: 1. Palamau and Ranthambore National Parks in our country as well. Mumbai where similar incidents of human killings especially small children was reported. However. Similar incidents were reported near Sanjay Gandhi National Park. 240 Km South-west of Kathmandu.
the path of wildlife has been disrupted and the animals attack the settlements. The agonized farmer therefore gets revengeful and kills the wild animals. The cash compensation paid by the government in lieu of the damage caused to the farmers crop is not enough. tranquillizer guns.400/. The elephants get injured. suffer in pain and turn violent. the female tigress attacks the human if she feels that her newborn cubs are in danger. a farmer gets compensation of Rs. binoculars and radio sets etc.per quintal. within the sanctuaries when the favourite staple food of elephants i. sugarcane etc. 2. Cropping pattern should be changed near the forest borders and adequate fodder. the animal strays out. forest department used to cultivate paddy. 6. Earlier. Earlier there used to be wild-life corridors through which the wild animals used to migrate seasonally in groups to other areas. it is very difficult to trace and cull the man-eating tiger and in the process many innocent tigers are also killed. 3. 3. 5. to tactfully deal with any imminent danger.e. Also. fruit and water should be made available for the elephants within forest zones. Remedial Measures to Curb the Conflict: 1. 4. 4.per quintal of expected yield while the market price is Rs. Now due to lack of such practices the animals move out of the forest in search of food. . along with substantial cash compensation for loss of human life. bamboo leaves were not available. At the same time. Solar powered fencing should be provided along with electric current proof trenches to prevent the animals from straying into fields. Tiger Conservation Project (TCP) has made provisions for making available vehicles. Usually the ill. But the biggest problem is that if human-flesh is tested once then the tiger does not eat any other animal. In Mysore.46 2. weak and injured animals have a tendency to attack man. Due to development of human settlements in these corridors.2400/. It may be noted that. Very often the villagers put electric wiring around their ripe crop fields. one adult elephant needs 2 quintals of green fodder and 150 kg of clean water daily and if it is not available. Adequate crop compensation and cattle compensation scheme must be started.
g. What is meant by in situ and ex situ conservation of biodiversity? . What are the main causes of man-wildlife conflicts? Discuss the remedial steps that can curb the conflict. What are the major threats to biodiversity? 4. species and ecosystem diversities. zoos. aesthetic. Gradually we are realizing that wildlife is not just ‘a game to be hunted’. Explain genetic. CONSERVATION OF BIODIVERSITY: The enormous value of biodiversity due to their genetic. botanical gardens. productive use value. medical. 6. there is a decline in prey of tigers and they start coming out of the forest in search of prey. rather it is a gift of nature to be nurtured and enjoyed. 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. National Parks. Sanctuaries. Biosphere Reserves. In Similipal Sanctuary. seed banks. 5. Due to massive hunting by people. culture collection etc. Define biodiversity. commercial. 2. Questions: 1. About 300 km² area is required for elephant corridors for their seasonal migration. 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. Now there is WWF-TCP initiative to curb this ritual of “Akhand Shikar” in Orissa. Reserve Forests etc b) Ex situ conservation (outside habitats): This is done by establishment of gene banks. Wild life corridors should be provided for mass migration of big animals during unfavourable periods. 6. What do you mean by consumptive use value. ethical value and option value of biodiversity? 3. ecological and optional importance emphasizes the need to conserve biodiversity. social value.47 5. What are hotspots of biodiversity? Which are the hotspots found in India? Discuss salient features.
Disaster management: floods. earthquake. pollution case studies. effects and control measures of urban and industrial water. Marine pollution. carbon monoxide. Pollution refers to substances (pollutants) which are released into the environment because of anthropogenic (human) activities that can be either deliberate or accidental (e. Solid waste management: causes. water and land result in the change in the ambient quality . hydro carbons and toxic particulate substances in atmosphere has caused harmful influence on man and other living things. Both in the developed and developing countries. other living creatures.g. nitrogen oxides. The reference point of pollution is the ambient quality of the environment which means environment in its natural state. whether they result from human activity or occur naturally which have adverse effects on human and on environment. Thermal pollution. Soil pollution.48 Unit 5: Environmental Pollution Environmental Pollution: Definition: causes. Bhopal gas leak or radioactive material released from Chernobyl nuclear power plant is accidental. role of an individual in prevention of pollution. 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. 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. The human activities whether industrial production or other like sewage and their impact on air. effects and control measures of – Air pollution. Environment includes water. The contamination of air occurs because the contaminants cannot be absorbed by natural environmental cycles. Water pollution. domestic sources. the urban areas in particular. water and land. plants and micro-organisms. Pollution refers to the presence of substances air. are exposed to such levels of atmospheric pollution that cause serious hazard to public health and hygiene. Noise pollution. Nuclear hazards. Presence of sulphar oxides. air. cyclone and landslides Objectives: • To learn the definition. mobile vehicles and thermal power plants. Introduction: According to Environment Protection Act (1986). land and their inter relationship with human beings. water resource management etc. The atmosphere is being polluted by the discharge of emissions originating from industrial plants.
Natural resources: The natural sources of air pollution are volcanic eruptions. In the production process. liquid or gaseous substance coming out of any chimney. 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 acid droplets constitute Acid Rain. Air pollutants can be primary or secondary. photochemical oxidation. duct or any other outlet. defines “Air Pollutant” and in reference to them defines air pollution. These are substances released from volcano eruptions or forest fires. forest fires. Sources of Air Pollution: The sources of Air pollution are natural and man-made (anthropogenic). Air pollution means the presence in the atmosphere of any air pollutant. sea salt sprays. nitrogen oxides. It may be worthwhile to note that there are natural sources of pollution too. These are ‘standards’ and legislation that exist for emissions.4% carbon dioxide plus small amounts of other gases and water vapours. It is an atmospheric in which certain substances are present in concentrations which can cause undesirable effects on man and his environment. Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide combine with water in the atmosphere and react with sunlight forming acid droplets. the stratosphere together with gases like ozone.49 of the latter. In natural state this air contains 78% nitrogen. “Air Pollutant” means any solid. radio active substances etc. The company manager must be familiar with these. the troposphere. extra . In this connection definition of “Emission” is also relevant. biological decay. Rest 05% of the planet air occurs in the upper levels. 0. 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. Hence. carbon monoxide (all formed from the combustion of fossil fuels). CFC and particulate matter Secondary pollutants are acid rain and ozone. AIR POLLUTION The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. sulphur dioxide. particulate matter. These include gases. Primary pollutants are carbon dioxide. But these natural pollutants don’t stay long in the atmosphere since they can be recycled in the biological or chemical cycles. they pose only a short-term problem and that too localized. 1981. Approximately 95 per cent of earth’s air occurs in the lower levels. “Emission” means any solid. They should also ensure that emissions stay within legal limits. 21% oxygen.
years of exposure to air pollutants including cigarette smoke adversely affect these natural defenses and can result in lung cancer. Effects on plants: These pollutants affect plants by entering through stomata. wood and kerosene in their kitchens. 4. Effects of Air pollution: 1. This is responsible for a large number of lung cancer deaths each year. chemical industries. chronic bronchitis etc. fossil fuel burning. Man-made: Man made sources include thermal power plants. however. reproductive problems or even cancer. agricultural activities etc. asthma. 2. Effects on aquatic life: Air pollutants mixing up with rain can cause high acidity in fresh water lakes.50 terrestrial bodies. pollen grains of flowers etc. The main pollutants emitted are fly ash and SO2. Automobile exhaust is another major source of air pollution Indoor Air pollution: The most important indoor air pollution is radon gas. concrete. Control of Air Pollution: Air pollution can be minimized by the following methods: . Thermal power plants have become the major sources for generating electricity in India as the nuclear power plants could be installed as planned. Radioactive minerals present in the earth crust are the sources of radioactivity in the atmosphere. Many houses in the underdeveloped countries including India use fuels like coal. this affects aquatic life especially fish. These could be emitted from building materials like bricks. Some of the freshwater lakes have experienced total fish death. dung-cakes. textile mills. smelters. paper and pulp mills are other sources of air pollution. tiles etc. Completion combustion of fuel produces carbon dioxide which may be toxic. 3. Effects on materials: Because of their corrosiveness particulates can cause damage to exposed surfaces. vehicular emissions. incomplete combustion produces toxic gas carbon monoxide. industrial units. Effects on human health: Affects respiratory system. Metallurgical plants also consume coal and produce similar pollutants Fertilizer plants. Many other pollutants may have toxic metals which can cause mutations. The damage results in death of the plant.
Using low sulphar coal in industries 3. Sound pressure is expressed in Hertz (Hz) and is equal to the number of cycles per second. 8. A type of sound may be pleasant to someone and at the same time unpleasant to others. NOISE POLLUTION: We hear various types of sounds everyday. Interfaces with man’s communication: In a noisy area communication is severely affected. . Using biological filters and bio-scrubbers 11. The unpleasant and unwanted sound is called noise. Using mass transport system. converters. Removing particulate from stack exhaust gases by employing electrostatic precipitators. Removing NOx during the combustion process. Effects of Noise: 1. The CPCB committee has recommended permissible noise levels for different locations. Shifting to less polluting fuels (hydrogen gas) 9. 10. bag-house filters. Setting up of industries after proper Environmental Impact Assessment studies. Using non-conventional sources of energy. Removing sulphar from coal (by washing or with the help of bacteria) 4. liquid or solid.51 1. Sound can propagate through a medium like air. Planting more trees. 2. 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. 5. bicycles etc. scrubbers etc. cyclone separators. Sound wave is a pressure perturbation in the medium through which sound travels. Sound is mechanical energy from a vibrating source. 6. Vehicular pollution can be checked by regular tune-up of engines.
Unnecessary horn blowing should be restricted especially in vehicle-congested areas.52 2. 3. For this purpose various types of fibrous material could be used. Proper oiling will reduce the noise from the machinery. insomnia (sleeplessness). We need water for drinking. Control of noise pollution: 1. irrigation and for industrial operations. Therefore it can easily get polluted. It depends on intensity and duration of sound level. 3. Hearing damage: Noise can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss. chemical or biological characteristics of water making it unsuitable for designated use in its natural state. 6. Planting more trees having board leaves. cooking. . Through Law: Legislation can ensure that sound production is minimized at various social functions. WATER POLLUTION Water pollution can be defined as alteration in physical. Sources of water pollution: Water is an essential commodity for survival. gastro-intestinal and digestive disorders etc. Use of sound absorbing silencers: Silencers can reduce noise by absorbing sound. bathing. offshore oil wells etc. Noise making machines should be kept in containers with sound absorbing media. It may result in hypertension. Pollution of water can be caused by point sources or non-point sources . 5.Major point sources of water pollution are industries. Reduction in sources of noise 2. Water has the property to dissolve many substances in it. Auditory sensitivity is reduced with noise level of over 90 dB in the midhigh frequency for more than a few minutes. The noise path will be interrupted and will not reach the workers. underground coal mines. power plants. Physiological and psychological changes: Continuous exposure to noise affects the functioning of various systems of the body. washing. 4.
chemical. aldrin. Pathogens 4. Toxic Compounds Pesticides in drinking water ultimately reach humans and are known to cause various health problems. The following points may help to reduce water pollution from non-point sources. Nitrogen and Phosphorus Compounds (Nutrients) 3. mining etc. Agrochemicals 5. 1.2% of the total water available on planet earth and is about 30 times more than surface water i. Septic tanks. streams.Sewage 2. tanneries). However due to absence of defined strategies it becomes difficult to prevent water pollution from non-point sources. fluoride and nitrate are posing serious health hazards. DDT. lakes and estuaries. deep well injection. Industrial effluents 3. Oil 6. dieldrin etc.53 Ground water pollution: Ground water forms about 6. Ground water pollution with arsenic. Use of nitrogen fixing plants to supplement the use of fertilizers. Surface water pollution: The major sources of surface water pollution are: 1 . 2. industry (textile. have therefore. Oxygen demanding wastes 2. Control of Water Pollution It is easy to reduce water pollution from point sources by legislation. 3. Judicious use of agrochemicals like pesticides and fertilizers which will reduce their surface urn-off and leaching. Waste heat Effects of Water Pollution: Following are some important effects of various types of water pollutants: 1. Synthetic detergents 4. .e. Avoid use of these on sloped lands. been banned. Recently in Andhra Pradesh people suffered from various abnormalities due to consumption of endosulphan contaminated cashew nuts. are mainly responsible for ground water pollution which is irreversible. Adopting integrated pest management to reduce reliance on pesticides.
THERMAL POLLUTION Thermal pollution can be defined as presence of waste heat in the water which can cause undesirable changes in the natural environment. 7 . Control of Thermal Pollution: The following methods can be employed for control of thermal pollution 1 Cooling ponds 2 Spray Ponds 3. Heat producing industries like thermal power plants. Divert such run-off to basin for settlement. refineries. nuclear power plants. Prevent run-off of manure. 6.54 4. 2. 6. Separate drainage of sewage and rain water should be provided. detergents and chemicals in the effluents increases with increase in temperature. High temperature becomes a barrier for oxygen penetration into deep cold waters. 5. 3. steel mills etc are the major sources of thermal pollution. Toxicity of pesticides. Effects of Thermal Pollution: 1 The dissolved oxygen content of water is decreased as the solubility of oxygen in water is decreased high temperature.Fish migrations are affected due to formation of various thermal zones. Metabolic activities of aquatic organisms increase at high temperature and require more oxygen level falls under thermal pollution. Plantation of trees would reduce pollution and will also prevent soil erosion. 5. Cooling towers . Discharge of heated water near the shores can disturb spawning and can even kill young fishes. 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. The nutrient rich water can be used as fertilizer in the fields. 4.
plastics. 6. which bring pollutants from their drainage basins 2) catchment are i.55 MARINE POLLUTION The main sources of marine pollution are 1) rivers. hazardous wastes and sewage sludge should be banned. Oil ballast should not be dumped into sea. Oil and grease from service stations should be processed for reuse. Developmental l activities on coastal areas should be minimized. Tankers and other shipping means industries like petroleum. Sewer overflows should be prevented by having separate sewer and rain water pipes. Dumping of toxic. paint industry etc automotive wastes refineries. The pollutants which these rivers carry from their drainage basins are finally poured into the sea. agrochemicals. Run off from non-point sources should be prevented to reach coastal areas. 7. 5. 2.e. Most of the rivers ultimately join the ocean. It can cause adverse effects on marine life. agricultural practices have been established and 3) oil drilling and shipment. industry. lubrication oil using industry. 4. ship-accidents and off shore production add to marine pollution. refinery. These include sewage sludge. Still many pollutants specially the recalcitrant ones remain unchanged or are partially degraded causing marine pollution. coastline where human settlements in the form of hotels. Ecologically sensitive coastal areas should be protected by not allowing drilling. Oil in sea water can spread over a large area of the sea remain dispersed or get adsorbed on sediments. solid wastes. 3. synthetic detergents. In the sea the pollutants get diluted and the organic matter is further broken down as in river water. industrial effluents. Toxic pollutants from industries and sewage treatment plants should not be discharged in coastal waters. 8. . Control of Marine Pollution 1. metal industry. metals and waste heat released by industries as discussed earlier.
3. recovery of useful products should be done. 4. pesticides. in the industrial discharges affect soil fertility by causing changes in physical. Thermal power plants generate a large quantity of ‘fly ash’ . Control of Soil Pollution 1 . paper. Dumping of various types of materials especially domestic and industrial wastes causes soil pollution. . Solid wastes should be properly collected and disposed off by appropriate method. Cattle dung should be used for methane generation. Domestic wastes include garbage.56 SOIL POLLUTION Soil is the upper layer of the earth curst which is formed by weathering of rocks. Leachates from dumping sites and sewage tanks are harmful and toxic which pollute the soil. Industrial wastes also contain some organic and inorganic compounds that are refractory and non-biodegradable. thus contaminating them. From the wastes. metallic cans. alkalis. Sewage sludge has many types of bacteria. rubbish material like glass. Soil also receives excreta from animals and humans. Organic matter in the soil makes it suitable for living organisms. The sewage sludge contains many pathogenic organisms. Biodegradable organic waste should be used for generation of biogas.Huge quantities of these wastes are dumped on soils. plastics. Some of the persistent toxic chemicals accumulate in food chain and ultimately affect human health. fibres. insecticides etc. Night soil can also be used in the biogas plant to produce inflammable methane gas. 2. chemical and biological properties. containers. paints varnishes etc. Effects of Soil Pollution Sewage and industrial effluents which pollute the soil ultimately affect human health.Effluents should be properly treated before discharging them on the soil. cloth rags. 5. viruses and intestinal worms which may cause various types of diseases. viruses and intestinal worms which cause pollution in the soil. bacteria. Various types of chemicals like acids.
The urban solid waste materials that can be degraded by microorganisms are called biodegradable wastes. Damage caused by different types of radiations depends on the penetration power and presence of the source inside or outside body. . markets (commercial waste) small cottage units. peanut shells. and horticulture waste from parks. Sources of Urban and Industrial wastes: These wastes consists of medical waste from hospitals. gardens and orchards etc. Proper disposal of wastes from laboratory involving the use of radioisotopes should be done. agricultural. mining waste and sewage sludge. They undergo natural radioactive decay in which unstable isotopes spontaneously give out fast moving particles. at a fixed rate until a new stable isotope is formed. Management of solid waste has therefore become very important in order to minimize the adverse effects of solid wastes. lead slabs or water. dry leaves etc. high energy radiations or both. egg shells. These particles and its rays pass through paper and wood but can be stopped by concrete wall. For example these types of waste are vegetable wastes. offices. tea leaves.57 6. municipal solid waste from homes. SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT Higher standard of living of ever increasing population has resulted in an increase in the quantity and variety of waste generated. 2. industrial. Solid waste (waste other than liquid or gaseous) can be classified as municipal. NUCLEAR HAZARDS Radioactive substances are present in nature. stale food. Microbial degradation of biodegradable substances is also one of the scientific approaches for reducing soil pollution. It is now realized that if waste generation continues indiscriminately then very soon it would be beyond rectification. Control of Nuclear Pollution: 1. medical. Setting up of nuclear power plants should be carefully done after studying long and term effects.
Recently Government of Maharshtra is the process of passing legislation on usage of polyethylene bags.g. Industrial waste consists of large number of materials including factory rubbish. Incineration . This type of dumping allows biodegradable materials to decompose under uncontrolled and unhygienic conditions. scrap metal. Effects of solid wastes: Municipal solid waste heap up on the roads due to improper disposal system. polyethylene bags. 1. acids etc. Management of solid waste: For waste management we must focus on three ‘Rs’. There are large quantities of hazardous and toxic materials are also produced during industrial processing. Recycling of materials For discarding wastes the following methods could be used: 1.58 Wastes that cannot be degraded by microorganisms are called nonbiodegradable waste e. This produces foul smell and breeds various types of insects and infectious organisms besides spoiling the aesthetics of the site. Sanitary landfill 2. Industrial solid wastes are sources of toxic metals and hazardous wastes. organic waste. Government had put a ban on use of these bags. Reduction in use of raw materials 2. which may spread on land and can cause changes in physicochemical and biological characteristics thereby affecting productivity of soils. Reuse and Recycle before destruction and safe storage of wastes. glass bottles etc.Reduce. People clean their own houses and litter their immediate surroundings which affect the community including themselves. Composting 3. Reuse of waste materials 3. Toxic substances may leach or percolate to contaminate the ground water. packaging material.
It can be done through following suggestions: 1. Cut down the use of CFCs as they destroy the ozone layer. Following are the practical hints for an individual to prevent pollution: • Reduce your dependency on fossil fuel especially coal or oil . hydrogen fuel.Laluprasad Yadav. Use eco-friendly products 3. again the environment will be polluted. So solar hydrogen fuel is the need of the hour. city.Railway Minister has initiated use of earthen pots for tea serving in Railway which is a commendable decision in this regard. 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. Air pollution can be prevented by using really clean fuel i. A small effort made by each individual at his own place will have pronounced effect at the global level.” Each individual should change his or her lifestyle in such a way as to reduce environmental pollution. 5. state or national level but also at the global level as environment has no boundaries. 4. Hydrogen for that matter should not be produced by passing current in water as for generation of this current. Help more in pollution prevention than pollution control 2. Use CFC free Refrigerators The manufacture and operation of such devices should be encouraged that don’t pollute. Use the chemicals derived from peaches and plums to clean computer chips and circuit boards instead of CFCs. Do not use polystyrene cups that have CFC molecules in them which destroy ozone layerHon’ble Mr.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.e. If they cost more than their higher prices may be offset by including environmental and the social costs of pollution in the price of such products which pollute environment. It is appropriately said “Think globally act locally.
solvents. Use pesticides only when absolutely necessary that too in right amounts. Decrease the use of automobiles. The solid waste generated during one manufacturing process can be used as a raw material for some other processes. Adopt and popularize renewable energy sources. 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. This will reduce the amount of waste energy Promote reuse and recycling whatever possible and reduce the production of wastes. For short visits use bicycle or go on foot. floods and landslides are normal natural events which have resulted in the formation of the earth that we have today. Use rechargeable batteries. oils or other harmful chemicals into the drain or ground water. Use only the minimum and required quantity of water for various activities When building a home save (don’t cut) trees.60 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Save electricity by not washing it when not required because electricity saved electricity generated without polluting the environment. . Do not put pesticides. it will reduce metal pollution. volcanoes. Check population growth so that demand of materials is under controls. Improve energy efficiency. Use mass transport system. DISASTER MANAGEMENT: Geological processes like earthquakes. They are however disastrous in their impact when they affect human settlements. Plant more trees as trees can absorb many toxic gases and can purify the air. paints. Use less hazardous chemicals wherever possible.
Koyna Dam in Maharashtra have created few incidence of minor and major earthquakes.. Due to heavy rainfalls or sudden snow melt can swell the rivers disproportionately. 5.g. Chemical action of water gradually causes chemical weathering of rocks making them prone to landslides. 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. 4.61 Frequently occurring natural disasters in India Sr. 3. Earth-quake generated water waves called Tsunamis caused tremendous damage in Tamilnadu and Kerala. 3. There are several causes for such disasters which include: 1. 1. Following care should be taken as set of measures for Disaster Management: 1. Landslides occur when coherent rock of soil masses move down slope due to gravitational pull. Wooden houses are preferred in earthquake prone areas as in Japan. 2. Deep well disposal of liquid waste. Water and vegetation influence landslides. 2. Damage of property and life can be prevented by constructing earth-quake resistant buildings in the earthquake prone zones. .Anthropogenic activities such as Impoundment of huge quantities of water in the lake behind a big dam e. Pokharan II testing at desert of Rajasthan.g. under ground nuclear testing e.causes a great economic loss and health related problems.No.
Name various atmospheric pollutants. effects and control of noise pollution. Differentiate between sound and noise. Define pollution. What are the adverse effects and measures to control water pollution? 7. These landslides should be masked by many other exerting factors like earthquakes. parks. wind breaks. These landslides could be minimized by stabilizing the slope by draining the surface and surface water. Classify solid waste. Write note on Air Pollution. 2. Flood plains should be used for wildlife habitat. construction of dams.62 2. What are various types of disasters? How could they be controlled? What are the steps to be borne in mind in Disaster Management? . 4. It is difficult to stop the recurrence of cyclones. vibrations. To check the flood. 5. disturbances in resistant rock overlying rock of low resistance etc. What are the sources of soil pollution? How does soil pollution affect soil productivity? What are the remedies for the same? 8. embarkments. Questions: 1. Such measures include planting of more trees on the coastal belt. efforts need to be made to restore wetlands. storm shelter. 3. Some long term defence measures can help to protect us from devastation. proper drainage and wide roads for quick evacuation etc. move buildings off the flood plains etc. 4. providing slope support like gabions (Wired stone blocks) and concrete support at the base of a slope. 6. Briefly describe the sources. recreational areas etc. How can you as an individual prevent environmental pollution? Why such effort is necessary? 10. replace ground cover on water-courses. build check-dams on small streams. What are the sources of urban and industrial solid waste? 9. How can we control it? 3. Write a short note on Water Pollution.
Public awareness. We have to realize now that Nature today is very fragile. Consumerism and waste products. 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. economic and others. Resettlement and rehabilitation of people. Water(prevention and control of pollution) Act. . It also requires that a nation or society should be able to satisfy its requirements. rain harvesting.Air(presentation and control of pollution) Act.from unsustainable to sustainable development. Nature is finite. economic and environmental issues. 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.63 Unit 6: SOCIAL ISSUES AND THE ENVIRONMENT Social Issues and the Environment. Environmental ethics.social. the national as well as international leaders and institutions respectively have major responsibility for sound developmental. 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. Therefore. These experts are strong advocates of “limits to growth” philosophy. Countries of North (Developed) use too many natural resources and such practice cannot continue long. its problems and concerns Case studies. Environmental protection Act. watershed management. Urban problems related to energy. Issues and possible solutions. 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”. They should keep in view the principle of equity and those principles that determine the intergenerational inequities. Issues involved in enforcement of environmental legislation. Wildlife Protection Act.without undermining the interest of future generations. Wasteland reclamation. Water conservation.
that is to say. how economic. and there are opposite thinkers are also. The interaction between population growth.64 Another aspect of sustainable development is related to System Analysis. environmental damage and social instability. resource depletion/environmental damage has been debated. social and environmental systems interact at various scales of operation to lead sustainable development that will strike optimal balance among the three subsystems. High population growth causes stress on environment. It must ultimately lead to reducing poverty of people in developing countries by minimizing resources depletion. industrial growth and unsustainable economic development are the matters of cause for concern especially in development. To summarize. 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. who feel that blame has to be on economic development. It can be expressed with following equation: I=PxAxT I= Impact of environment = Population = Affluence (consumption) T= Technology coefficient .
Ecology of means has to be accompanied by an ecology of ends. climate change (global warming). But if future equity is of great concern. The “earth’s carrying capacity” is not seriously thought about. This is not a correct assumption. For example.65 More people means more pressure on resources. This will be possible only if it is promoted through changes in the fiscal system which supports appropriate technological improvements. But this can happen for a certain time. can be combated only if the world transits to a non-carbon energy economy. and hence efficiency revolution will remain counterproductive if its not . consumption patterns. This can only happen if principle of sufficiency is ignored. 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. only after that the limitations of environments concerns posed by a carbon energy economy would get lessened. it is not legitimate to ignore the equity occurring in the present populations in different parts of the globe. • Limits to Growth: We will need to change attitudes. There is considerable scope for dematerialization and de-energisation without a decrease in living standards. Question is whether we have devised adequate developmental programs that can match the increase in population.all having adverse effects on environment. more consumption of energy. Growth has been treated as an infinite variable. If not population factor itself would be sufficient contribution toward degradation of environment and resource depletion. Sustainablity should reflect equity. We will need to set a level of sufficiency i. more production of wastes including greenhouse gases. Since efficiency grew. There is a difference between ecology of means and ecology of ends. We can save nature by using our resources more efficiently.e. Sustainable development is about integrational equity. Just improvement of efficiency alone is not going to be enough. We are adding more than Australia in terms of population each year. environmental concerns and social responsibilities vis-à-vis population regardless of time or location. the number of cars and the power of cars also grew. India’s population has crossed hundred crores mark. 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. this much and not beyond it. And such world has to desperately try to keep pace with the environmental problems because of such incorrect assumptions.
It is important to also achieve good rate of regeneration of natural resources. a separate set of policies would have to be adopted. Economic growth comes in conflict with issues of environmental concerns. Sufficiency will be possible only if one day the world is prepared to reach an international agreement on limits to growth and to say. transformation and utilization of non-renewable resources. Economic growth has to be environmentally sustainable. For sustainable use of global common systems. that we have fixed our level of greed and no more. GNP must increase in these countries. there are significant advantages from the above transition.66 supplemented by a sufficiency revolution. Long term ecological costs are to be taken into account. Elements of resource generation and positive approach to environment have to be incorporated in developmental programs. Developing countries have yet to undertake more developmental programs and yet to attain reasonable standards of living. Increase GNP indicates economic health of the country. In our effort to increase the GNP. due consideration should be given to the fact that poor people directly depend upon natural . It has to be a system that provides for the establishment of equitable entitlements or property rights to provide economic incentives to those who use this environment space in a sustainable manner and disincentives to those who use it in an unsustainable manner. Therefore. Economic growth can not take place without sustaining ecological costs. Ever since India had adopted the Economic Reforms Models via liberalization globalization.is really irrational. Global agreement is still a distant possibility. we may not like to liquidate ecological assets. Running with high speed and with utmost efficiency and without direction. Such increase however is based on high rate of consumption of natural resources of which depletion of environmental resources is significant. However. High economic growth results into high rate of extraction. ecological disadvantages are required to be taken into account. • Economy: Rate o f Gross National Product (GNP) is one of the most important indicators of economic performance of any nation. • Poverty: In order to properly manage environment and resources. The world faces an enormous challenge in the coming years.
It will be necessary to give priority to the needs of urban as well as rural poor. Land is infinite resource. 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. • Forests: There should be a rational approach adopted for management of forests and forests lands. Investment in infrastructure. It was some two hundred years ago with the dawn of industrial era the cities showed rapid development. Integrated approach is necessary for management of land. soil. These components provide varieties of services are essential for life support system. education. Providing shelter to all 2. As a result there is spreading of the cities into the sub-urban or rural areas too. Promotion of sustainable energy and transport system 4. sewage and solid waste 3. 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. The human settlement program should concentrate on following aspects: 1. the urban . cattle. minerals and biota. In developing countries too urban growth is very fast and in most of the cases it is uncontrollable and unplanned growth. Now about 50% of the world population lives in urban areas and there is increasing movement of rural folk to cities in search of employment. Sustainable forest development. The urban growth is so fast that it is becoming difficult to accommodate all the industrial. A phenomenon known as urban sprawl. innovations and employment. hunting or some cottage industry. In contrast to the rural set up.67 resources for their livelihood. rearing. • Human Settlement Issues: The environmental implications of urban development and other human (slums) must be recognized. Until recently a big majority of human population lived in rural areas and their economic activities centered around agriculture. trade. URBAN PROBLEMS RELATED TO ENERGY Cities are the main centers of economic growth.water. fishing. production of forest products and forest services require institutional approach at government level.
A large amount of waste generation which has to be disposed off properly using energy based techniques. which can be reduced by allowing most of the water to infiltrate into the soil. Modern life-style using a large number of electrical gadgets in everyday life. Due to high population density and high energy demanding activities. Industrial plants using a big proportion of energy 5. c) Water spreading is done by channeling or lagoon-leveling. terrace framing. Decreasing run-off losses: Huge water-loss occurs due to run-off on most of the soils. chemical treatment or improved water-storage system. the urban problems related to energy are much more magnified as compared to rural population. . water spreading. b) Conservation-bench terracing: It involves construction of a series of benches for catching the run off water. small depressions are dug in the area so that there is temporary storage water. the water flow is controlled by a series of diversions with vertical intervals. 1. 6. The following strategies can be adopted for conservation of water. Residential and commercial lighting 2. The energy requirement of urban population are much higher than that of rural ones.68 set up is densely populated. a) Contour cultivation: on small furrows and ridges across the slopes trap rainwater and allow more time for infiltration. 1. Transportation means including automobiles and public transport for moving from residence to workplace 3. WATER CONSERVATION: Water being one of the most precious and indispensable resources needs to be conserved. In channeling. consumes a lot of energy and materials and generates a lot of waste. This can be achieved by using contour cultivation. On gentle slopes trapped run off is spread over a large area for better infiltration. The energy demanding activities include. 4. In lagoon leveling. This is because urban people have a higher standard of life and their life style demands more energy inputs in every sphere of life. Terracing constructed on deep soils have large water-storage capacity. Control and prevention of air and water pollution which need energy dependent technologies.
Preventing wastage of water: This can be done in households. f) Chemical conditioners like gypsum (CaSO4. build by individual farmers can be useful measures for conserving water through reduction of runoff. Horizontal barriers of asphalt placed below the soil surface increase water availability and increase crop yield by 35-40%. 6. . This is more effective on sandy soil but less effective on loamy sand soils. animal residues etc. By leaving the soil fallow for one season water can be made available for the crop grown in next season. Increasing block pricing: The consumer has to pay a proportionately higher bill with higher use of water.2H2O) when applied to sodic soils improve soil permeability and reduce run off. help in reducing run-off by allowing more time for water to penetrate into the land. Reducing evaporation losses: This is more relevant in humid regions.Reuse of water: a) treated wastewater can be used for ferti-irrigation b) using grey water from washings. for watering gardens.69 d) Chemical wetting agents (Surfactants): These seem to increase the water intake rates when added to normal irrigated soil. 2. This helps in economic use of water by the consumers. 4. a) Closing taps when not in use b) repairing any leakage from pipes c) using small capacity flush in toilets. dug-outs etc. 7. Another useful conditioner is HPAN (hydrolyzed poyacrylonitrile) g) Water-storage structures like farm ponds. mulch. 5. 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. e) Surface crop residues. 3. washing cars or paths help in saving fresh water. commercial buildings and public places.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. The chemical has been found to be useful for sandy soils. bath-tubs etc. tillage. A co-polymer of starch and acrylonitrile called ‘super slumper’ has been reported to absorb water up to 1400 times its weight.
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.
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. contour cropping. Bunding has proved to be a very useful method in reducing runoff. strip cropping etc. bunding. 3. the hills lose stability and get disturbed resulting in landslides. Properly educating the people about the campaign and its benefits or sometimes paying certain incentives to them can help in effective people’s participation. Teak and Keekar which have been used in watershed areas of river Yamuna. rapid erosion etc. People’s cooperation as well as participation has to be ensured for the same. It also helps in moderation of floods. afforestation and crop plantation play a very important role. In Dehradun trees like Eucalyptus. Afforestation and agro-forestry: In watershed development. bench terracing. They help to prevent soil erosion and retention of moisture. peak discharge and soil loss in Dehradun and Siwaliks 4. particularly the soil and water conservation. 2. Woody trees grown successfully in such agro-forestry programs include Sheesham. terracing and contour . are used to minimize runoff and soil erosion particularly on the slopes of watersheds.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. Scientific mining and quarrying: Due to improper mining. Successful watershed management has been done at Sukhomajri Panchkula. In high rainfall areas. Public participation: People’s involvement including the farmers and tribals is the key to the success of any watershed management program. no-till farming. Haryana through active participation of the local people. 5. Water harvesting: Proper storage of water is done with provision for use in dry seasons in low rainfall areas. Several anthropogenic activities accelerate its slope instability which need to be prevented and efforts should be made to project the watershed by preventing overgrazing. Various measures taken up for management include the following: 1. Mechanical measures for reducing soil erosion and runoff losses: Several mechanical measures like terracing. Watershed management in Himalayan region is of vial importance since most of the watersheds of our country lie there. woody trees are grown in between crops to substantially reduce the runoff and loss of fertile soil. Leucaena and grasses like chrysopogon are grown along with maize or wheat to achieve the objectives. 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. Contour trenching at an interval of one meter on overburdened dump.
Hirakum Dam. It also resulted in movement lead by Sunderlal Bahuguna.g.g. various mines are predominant in Jharkhand. quite often. Various types of projects result in the displacement of the native people who undergo tremendous economic and psychological distress. 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. very often there is over-exploitation of natural resources and degradation of the environment. On steeper slopes with sliding faces. 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. Developmental projects are planned to bring benefits to the society. Sometimes displacement of local people is due to accidents occurring in mined areas like subsidence of land that often leads to shifting people e. they usually retaliate by starting destructive activities. b) Displacement due to mining: Mining is another developmental activity. However. the native people of the project site are directly affected. There is a need to look into their problems and provide them some employment.74 farming to check runoff and erosion etc. .One more stir is currently on is Sardar Sarovar Project. it also has a social aspect associated with it which is often neglected. where the entry of local dwellers or tribals is prohibited. When these villagers are deprived of their ancestral right or access to forests. Bhakra Nangal Dam. Tehri Dam are the examples where many people and their villages in the vicinity got affected. in the process of development. Several thousands of hectares of land area is covered in mining operation and the native people are displaced. which causes displacement of the native people. straw mulching tied with thin wires and ropes helps in establishing the vegetation and stabilizing the slopes.three states people and many villages get affected.movement called Chipko Movement. c) Displacement due to creation of National park: When some forests are covered under a National Park. A major portion of the forest is declared as core-area. underprivileged tribal people. These native people are generally the poorest of the poor. these mines had displaced many people. RESETTLEMENT AND REHABILITATION ISSUES: Problems and concerns: Economic development raises the quality and standard of living of the people of a country. However. as the socio economic and ecological base of the local community is disturbed. Besides this. it is a welcome step for conservation of the natural resources.
Even if they get cash compensation. Rehabilitation policy: There is a need for a comprehensive National Rehabilitation Policy. gets lost. d) The land acquisition laws ignore the communal ownership of property. increased morbidity and mortality and social isolation. their uses etc. their folk-songs. They feel like fish out of water. jobs. which totally ignores communal settlement. food insecurity. home. which is an inbuilt system amongst the tribals. which has been inherited and experienced by them about the flora. The age-long indigenous knowledge. 1894 which empowers it to serve notice to the people to vacate their lands if there is a need as per government planning. In India. For this purpose. Provision of cash compensation in lieu of the land vacated exists in the Act. fauna. marriages. it is individual-based resettlement. Thus the tribals lose their communitarian basis of economic and cultural existence. e) Kinship systems. most of the displacements have resulted due to land acquisition by the government for various reasons. dances and activities vanish with their displacement. 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. they get alienated in the modern economic set up. Even when they are resettled. . Displacement further increases their poverty due to loss of land. loss of access to common property assets. the government has the Land Acquisition Act. social and cultural functions. 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.75 REHABILITATION ISSUES: The United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights has declared that right to housing is a basic human right. f) Loss of identity and loss of the intimate link between the people and the environment is one of the biggest loss. Different states are following different practices in this regard. c) The tribals are not familiar with the market policies and trends.
4. Economic growth is very good and more the growth. The second view urges us to live on this earth as a part of it. Man is considered to be most capable for managing the planet earth. because it raises our quality of life and the potential for economic growth is unlimited. The guiding principles of this view are: 1. “The environmental crisis is an outward manifestation of the crisis of mind and spirit. If we want to check the environmental crisis. . leading to a better environment and better future. These two world-views are discussed in here in relation to environmental protection: a) Anthropocentric Worldview: This view is guiding most industrial societies. A healthy environment depends upon a healthy economy. we should respect her and nurture her”. Man is the planet’s most important species and is in the in-charge of the rest of the nature. it reflects our human-centric thinking. Earth has an unlimited supply of resources and it all belongs to us.76 There is a need to raise public awareness on these issues to bring the resettlement and rehabilitation plans on a humane footing and to honour the human rights of the oustees. would transform our deeds. this is an earth-centric thinking. ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS: Environmental ethics refers to the issues. 3. The first view urges us to march ahead gloriously to conquer the nature and establish our supremacy over nature through technological innovations. If we think “Man is all powerful and the supreme creature on this earth and man is the master of nature and can harness it at his will”. It puts human beings in the center giving them the highest status. like any other creation of Nature and live sustainably. economic growth and development without much botheration to care for the damage done to the planet earth. if we think “Nature has provided us with all the resources for leading a beautiful life and she nourishes us like a mother. principles and guidelines relating to human interactions with their environment. It is rightly said. we can see that our acts will follow what we think. That in turn. we will have to transform our thinking and attitude. On the other hand. 2. So.’ It all depends on how do we think and act. the better it is.
The earth resources are limited and they do not belong only to human beings. 4. • • • • • • • . One should not waste your resources on destructive weapons.77 5. Some important ethical guidelines known as Earth ethics or Environmental Ethics are as follows: • • One should love and honour the earth since it has blessed you with life and governs your survival. The basic beliefs are as follows: 1. Economic growth is good till it encourages earth-sustaining development and discourages earth-degrading development. One should not run after gains at the cost of nature rather should strive to restore its damaged majesty. One should limit your offsprings because too many people will overburden the earth. One should be grateful to the plants and animals which nourish you by giving you food. b) Eco-centric Worldview: This is based on earth-wisdom. The success of mankind depends upon how good managers we are for deriving benefits for us from nature. 5. but for all the species. The success of mankind depends upon how best we can cooperate with the rest of the nature while trying to use the resources of nature for our benefit. One should keep each day sacred to earth and celebrate the turning of its seasons. One should not hold yourself above other living things and have no right to drive them to extinction. One should not conceal from others the effects you have caused by your actions on earth. 3. 2. Nature exists not for human beings alone. A healthy economy depends upon a healthy environment. 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.
Anthropogenic activities are upsetting the delicate balance that has been established between various components of the environment. the mean average temperature has fluctuated by 0. Our religious and cultural rituals make us perform such actions that would help in the conservation of nature and natural resources. Baishakhi. thereby keeping the ecological balance of the earth intact. Our teachings on “having fewer wants” ensure to put “limits to growth” and thus guide us to have an eco-centric life style. It is observed that earth’s temperature has changed considerably during the geological times. (Nisarga Pooja is what we perform during celebrations of our festivals e.) The concept of Ahimsa in Buddhism and Jainism ensure the protection and conservation of all forms of life. Even the various festivals envisaged by Hinduism also prescribe the participation of humans in the celebrations through nature. Vatapournitma. 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. Dassara etc. Ganesh Festival.51˚ c over 100 to 200 year period. We have relatively stable climate for thousands of years due to which we have practiced agriculture and increased population.78 • • One should not steal from future generations their right to live in a clean and safe planet by impoverishing or polluting it. One should consume the material goods in moderate amounts so that all may share the earth’s precious treasure of resources. It is the general weather conditions. However.g. The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) in 1990 and 1992 published best available evidence about past climate change. CLIMATE CHANGE: Climate is the average weather of an area. during the past 10000 years of the current interglacial period. Satyanarayana Pooja. Green house . Such conditions which average over a long period at least 30 years is called climate. It has experienced several glacial and interglacial periods. Our Vedas also have glorified each every component of nature as gods or goddesses so that people have a feeling of reverence for them. seasonal variations and extremes of weather in region. Even small changes in climatic conditions may disturb agriculture that would lead to migration of animals including humans. the green house effect and recent changes in global temperature.
The major green house gases are carbon dioxide. Other gases whose levels have increased due to human activities are methane. Therefore. the lower most layer of the atmosphere traps heat by natural process due to the presence of certain gases. cause sea level rise. changes in agricultural productivity. and water vapours. In the absence of green house gases this temperature would have been 18˚ c. This effect is called Green House Effect as it is similar to the warming effect observed in the horticultural Green House made of glass. Some areas will become inhabitable because of droughts or floods following rise in average sea level. greenhouse effect contributes a temperature rise to the tune of 33˚ c. Heat trapped by green house gases in the atmosphere keeps the planet warm enough to allow us and other species to exist.79 gases are increasing in atmosphere resulting in increase in the average global temperature. While the levels of water vapour in the troposphere have relatively remained constant the levels of carbon dioxide have increased. 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. GREEN HOUSE GASES: . nitrous oxide etc. famines and death of humans as well as livestock. methane. 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. Deforestation has further resulted in elevated levels of carbon dioxide due to non removal of carbon dioxide by plants through photosynthesis. result in floods and droughts in different regions of the world. ozone. This may upset the hydrological cycle. The average global temperature is 15˚c. nitrous oxide. Warming or cooling by more than 2˚ c over the past few decades may prove to be disastrous for various ecosystems on the earth including humans as it would alter the conditions faster than some species could adapt or migrate. GLOBAL WARMING: Troposphere.
Life of millions of people will be affected. the Lakshadweep Islands with a maximum height of 4 meters above the level may be vulnerable. Chlorofluorocarbons. Cairo. This will also disturb many commercially important spawning grounds. by the sea level rise who have build homes in the deltas of Ganges.5 ˚ c by 2050 if input of greenhouse gases continues to rise at the present rate. The phenomenon is referred to as the enhanced green house effect to distinguish its effect from the one that has been operating naturally for millennia.5 meters over the next 50-100 years. China and will affect rice productivity. Heating will melt the polar ice sheets and glaciers resulting in further rise in sea level. Even at the lower value. These are the green house gases present in the troposphere and resulting in an increase in the temperature of air and the earth. elephantiasis etc. thereby increasing the average surface temperature beyond 15˚ c. 1. Effects on human health: The global warming will lead to changes in the rainfall pattern in many areas. In India. 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. filariasis. Rise in Sea Level: With the increase in global temperature sea water will expand. Hamburg and Venice as well as agricultural lowlands and deltas in Egypt. the Nile. Sydney. the Yangtze and the Mississippi rivers. . estuaries and coral reefs.5 to 5. and would probably increase the frequency of storm damage to lagoons. the Mekong. Bangladesh. Some of the most beautiful cities like Mumbai may be saved by heavy investment on embankment to prevent inundation. Global temperature increase: It is estimated that the earth’s mean temperature will rise between 1. Bangkok. The green house gases include Carbon dioxide.80 The phenomenon that worries the environmental scientists is that due to anthropogenic activities there is an increase in the concentration of the green house gases in the air that absorbs infra-red light containing heat and results in the re-radiation of even more of the outgoing thermal infra-red energy. 3. Current models indicate that an increase in the average atmospheric temperature of 3˚ c would raise the average global sea level by 0. earth would be warmer that it has been for 10000 years. thereby affecting the distribution of vector-borne diseases like malaria. methane and nitrous oxide etc.2-1. One meter rise in sea level will inundate low lying areas of cities like Shanghai. India. 2.
which may drastically affect wheat and maize production. Effects on Agriculture: There are different views regarding the effect of global warming on agriculture. 4. It may show positive or negative effects on various types of crops in different regions of the world. Soil moisture will decrease and evapo-transpiration will increase. Measures to check global warming: To slow down enhanced global warming the following steps will be important: 1. Use energy more efficiently 3. Cut down the current rate of use of CFCs and fossil fuel. Even a rise of 2˚ c may be quite harmful to crops. Shift from coal to natural gas 6. Increase in temperature and humidity will increase pest growth like the growth of vectors for various diseases. 2. heat resistant and pest resistant varieties of crops have to be developed. which are the vectors of such diseases. Pests will adapt to such changes better than the crops. Stabilize population growth . Increase in nuclear power plants for electricity production 5. Adopt sustainable agriculture 9. Trap and use methane as a fuel 7. The areas likely to be affected in this manner are Ethiopia.81 Areas which are presently free from diseases like malaria may become the breeding grounds for the vectors of such diseases. Warmer temperature and more water stagnation would favour breeding of mosquitoes. Kenya and Indonesia. To cope up with the changing situation drought resistant. 8. Reduce beef production. Tropical and subtropical regions will be more affected since the average temperature in these regions is already on the higher side. Shift to renewable energy resources 4. Higher temperature and humidity will increase/aggravate respiratory and skin diseases. snails and some insects.
Acid rain is only one component of acidic deposition. On moist surfaces or in liquids these acid forming gases can dissolve an form acids similar to that formed in acid rain. vegetation. Acidic decomposition is the total wet acidic deposition (acid rain) and dry deposition. Acid forming gases like oxides of sulphur and nitrogen and acid aerosols get deposited on the surface of water bodies. These acids cause acidic rain.82 10. Efficiently remove carbon dioxide from smoke stacks 11. soil and other materials.6 at 20˚ c because of formation of carbonic acid due to dissolution of CO2 in water.5. Aquatic life especially fish are badly affected by lake acidification. It damages metals and car finishes.g. Rain water is turned acidic when its pH falls below 5. Effects of acid rain: Acid rain causes a number of harmful effects below pH 5. The effects are visible in the aquatic even at pH less than 5. In fact clean or natural rain water has a pH of 5. monuments like Taj Mahal. In the atmosphere these gases are ultimately converted into sulfuric and nitric acids. Priceless stone statues in Greece and Italy have been partially dissolved by acid rain. In absence of rain. It damages stone statues. Remove atmospheric carbon dioxide by utilizing photosynthetic algae. Crystals of calcium and magnesium sulphate are formed as a result of corrosion caused by acid rain. ACID RAIN Oxides of sulfur and nitrogen originating from industrial operations and fossil fuel combustion are the major sources of acid forming gases. 4. It causes deterioration of buildings especially made of marble e. Hydrogen chloride emission forms hydrochloric acid.1. dry deposition of acid may occur. Plant more trees. 1. 12. 2.6. 3. . Acid forming gases are oxidized over several days by which time they travel several thousand kilometers.
zinc and lead which leak from the surrounding rocks due to acid rain. Many insects and fungi are more tolerant to acidic conditions and hence they can attack the susceptible trees and cause diseases. 3. glacial areas and areas rendered barren after Jhum cultivation are also included in wastelands. 9. snow-covered lands. Maximum wasteland areas in our country lie Rajasthan (36 million ha) followed by M. sandy areas etc. manganese.83 5. or by anthropogenic (man-made) activities leading to eroded. Wastelands are formed by natural processes. undulating uplands. 8. sodic or sandy land areas. Control of Acid Rain: 1. 2. A coating of protective layer of inert polymer should be given in the interior of water pipes for drinking water. More than half of our country’s geographical area (about 175 million ha) is estimated to be wasteland. and Andhra Pradesh. gullied areas. etc. The wastelands include salt-affected lands. . 6. Aquatic animals suffer from toxicity of metals such as aluminium. 7. saline or waterlogged lands. mercury. It damages foliage and weakens trees. Liming of lakes and soils should be done to correct the adverse effects of acid rain.4% of the total land area and most of it comprises saline. Emission of SO2 and NO2 from industries and power plants should be reduced by using pollution control equipments. and killing of fish.P. Many lakes of Sweden. It makes trees more susceptible to stresses like cold temperature. coastal saline areas. Snow covered areas. barren hill-ridge etc. Canada have become fishless due to acid rain. 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. In Harayana the wastelands cover about 8. WASTELAND RECLAMATION Economically unproductive lands suffering from environmental deterioration are known as wastelands. Norway. sandy areas. drought. It results in reproductive failure.
rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures. 1981 and subsequently the Environment (Protection) Act. lakes. 1972. Conference on Human Environment in Stockholm and thereafter 5th June is celebrated all over the world as World Environment Day. Some of the important Acts passed by the Government of India are discussed as follows: .N. 1986. To improve the physical structure and quality of marginal soils 2. Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. flooding and landslides 4. 1974.” Thus our constitution includes environmental protection and conservation as one of our fundamental duties. the Forest (Conservation) Act. To conserve the biological resources of land for sustainable use ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATIONS India is the first country in the world to have made provisions for the protection and conservation of environment in its constitution. To improve the availability of good quality water for irrigating these lands 3. 1980. followed by the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act. environment was first discussed as an item of international agenda in the U. On 5th June. which works to fulfill following objectives: 1.” Article 51A (g) provides: “It shall be the duty of the every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests. The Wildlife (Protection) Act was passed in 1972. Soon after the conference our country took substantive legislative steps for environmental protection. To prevent soil erosion. 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.84 Wasteland Reclamation Practices: Wasteland reclamation and development in our country falls under the purview of Wasteland Development Board.
8. Wildlife Sanctuaries etc. Except J & K. Protection to some endangered plants. Crocodile (1974) and Brown antlered Deer (1981) were stated under this Act. 10. 9. It defines the wild-life related terminology. 4. 7. 6. their powers. which has it own Act. There is provision for trade and commerce in some wildlife species with license for sale. illegal wild life trade in J & K. The act imposes a ban on the trade or commerce in scheduled animals. The Act covers under it all types of forests . 5. Under the Act. 2. transfer etc. 3. Several Conservation Projects for individual endangered species like Lion (1972). FOREST (CONSERVATION) ACT. The Act is adopted by all states in India except J & K. Tiger (1973). no coverage of foreign endangered wildlife. the act is adopted all over India. personal ownership certificate for animal articles like tiger and leopard skins. 1972 The major activities and provisions in the act can be summed up as follows: 1.85 WILDLIFE (PROTECTION) ACT. The Act provides for the constitution of Central Zoo Authority. It provides for the appointment of wildlife advisory Board. comprehensive listing of endangered wild life species was done for the first time and prohibition of hunting of the endangered species was mentioned. It provides for legal powers to officers and punishment to offenders. It provides for captive breeding programme for endangered species. The Act provides for setting up of National Parks. possession. Some of the major drawbacks of the Act include mild penalty to offenders. 1980 This act deals with the conservation of forests and related aspects. duties etc. Wildlife warden. pitiable condition of wildlife in mobile zoos and little emphasis on protection of plant genetic resources.
Even cultivation of fruit-bearing trees. making water-holes. trench. .g. Cultivation of tea. then no prior clearance is required. without cutting trees or limited cutting with prior approval of Central Government. oil-yielding plants or plants of medicinal value in forest area need to be first approved by the Central Government. 2. spices. 2. National Parks etc. In 1992. The salient features of the Act are as follows: 1. 3. If at all it wants to use it in any other way. 3. Non-forest activities include clearing of forest land for cultivation of any type of plants/crops or any other purpose (except re-afforestation). after which it can pass orders for declaring some part of reserve forest for non-forest purposes (e. exploration.g. If the species to be planted is a native species. However. pipelines. The State Government has been empowered under this Act to use the forests only for forestry purposes.) 1992 Amendment in the Forest Act 1. The last activity involves large scale destruction of forest. check posts. coffee. Any illegal non-forest activity within a forest area can be immediately stopped under this Act. seismic surveys. 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. some construction work in the forest for wildlife or forest management is exempted from non-forest activity (e. 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. protected forests or any forested land irrespective of its ownership. are totally prohibited for any exploration or survey under this Act without prior approval of Central Government even if no tree-felling is involved. This is because newly introduced species in the forest area may cause an imbalance in the ecology of the forest. mining) or for clearing some naturally growing trees and replacing them by economically important trees (reforestation). are included under non-forestry activity and not allowed in reserve forests.86 including reserved forests. drilling and hydroelectric projects. rubber and plants which are cash-crops. fencing. Wildlife sanctuaries. it has to take prior approval of Central Government. for which prior approval of the Center is necessary. 4. wireless communication etc.
The salient features and provisions of the Act are summed up as follows: 1. The reason is same as described above. 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 Forests (Conservation) Act has made ample provisions for conservation and protection of forests and prevents deforestation. 1974 It provides for maintaining restoring the wholesomeness of water by preventing and controlling its pollution. WATER (PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF POLLUTION) ACT. 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. Pollution is defined as such contamination of water. 6.Godavarman Thirumulkpad Vs.N. Thus. This is done in order to discourage monoculture practices in the forests which are otherwise rich in biodiversity. boulder etc. 9. or such alteration of the physical. The Supreme Court in a case T.87 5. Plantation of mulberry for rearing silkworm is considered a non-forest activity. 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. It provides for maintenance and restoration of quality of all types of surface and ground water. 7. Removal of stones. . Mining is a non-forestry activity and prior approval of Central Government is mandatory. from river-beds located within the forest area fall under non-forest activity. bajri. Any proposal sent to central government for non-forest activity must have a cost-benefit analysis and Environmental Impact statement (EIS) of the proposed activity with reference to its ecological and socio-economic impacts. 8. 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.
. The Act makes provisions for various penalties for the defaulters and procedure for the same. Advise the central government in matters related to prevention and control of water pollution. 6. Organize training programs for prevention and control of pollution. Plan nation-wide programs for prevention. Collect and compile and publish technical and statistical data related to pollution. 9. Prepare manuals for treatment and disposal of sewage and trade effluents. 4. accounts and audit of the Central and State Pollution Control Boards. sewage or trade effluent sample. 8. control or abatement of pollution. The main regulatory bodies are the Pollution Control Boards. 5. Organize comprehensive programs on pollution related issues through mass media. budgets. The Central and State Pollution Control Boards are widely represented and are given comprehensive powers to advise. which have been. 3. It confers them with powers and functions to control pollution.88 2. conferred the following duties and powers: Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB): The board is supposed to: 1. 5. Establish and recognize laboratories for analysis of water. It provides for the establishment of Central and State Boards for pollution control. 4. 3. 2. 7. The Act has provisions for funds. coordinate and provide technical assistance for prevention and control of pollution of water. Lay down standards for water quality parameters. Coordinate the activities of State Pollution Control Boards and provides them technical assistance and guidance.
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.
pollution etc. In a zeal to go ahead with some ambitious development projects. economics etc. But in spite of these acts we find that we are not able to achieve the target of bringing 33% of our land cover under forests. . The rivers have been turned into open sewers in many places and the air in our big cities is badly polluted. Some of the main reasons responsible for widespread environmental ignorance can be detailed below: 1. The wisdom lies in maintaining a balance between our needs and supplies so that the delicate ecological balance is not disrupted. but incomplete knowledge information and ignorance about many aspects has often led to misconceptions. PUBLIC ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS: Public awareness about environment is at a stage of infancy. Issues related to environment have been often been branded as anti-development. decision-makers. Still we are losing our Wild Life. Our planners. 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. have so far failed to integrate the knowledge in environmental aspects as an essential component of the curriculum. There is greater consideration of economic gains and issues related to eliminating poverty by providing employment that overshadows the basic environmental issues. politicians and administrators have not been trained so as to consider the environmental aspects associated with their plans. The status of environment shows that there are drawback in environmental legislations and problems in their effective implementation. some awareness has taken place related to environmental degradation. Off late. 3.92 These standard vary from industry to industry and also vary with the medium into which the effluent is discharged or the area of emission. quite often there is a purposeful concealment of information about environmental aspects. technology. Development has paved the path for rise in the levels or standards of living but it has simultaneously led to serious environmental disasters. 4. Our courses in Science. 2.
campaigns. the World Wide Fund for NatureIndia (WWF-India). 3.93 Methods to Propagate Environmental Awareness There is immense need for Environmental awareness. 2. Among students through education: Such education should be imparted to the students right from the childhood age. Various stages and methods that can be useful for raising environmental awareness in different sections of the society are given below: 1. Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad. Center for Science and Environment (CSE) and many others are playing a significant role in creating environmental awareness through research as well as extension work. The 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. colleges as per the directives of the Supreme Court. 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. The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). 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. TV serials etc. rallies. It is to be created through formal and informal education to all sections of the society. This will appeal all age groups at the same time. Everyone needs to understand it because ‘environment belongs to all’ and ‘every individual matters’ when it comes to conservation and protection of environment. Among the planners. The recent report by CSE on more than permissible limits of pesticides in the cola drinks sensitized the people all over the country. These studies are now being incorporated at all stages in schools. They can act as effective and viable link between the two. They can be very effective organizing public movements for the protection of environment through creation of awareness. . Among the masses through mass-media: Media can play an important role to educate the masses through articles. street plays. They can act both as an action group or a pressure group.
13. we have to be environmentally educated and aware. Discuss the measures to conserve water. 4. Unit 7: . It can therefore said “If you want to act green. 7. Discuss various measures for Wasteland reclamation. Write an essay on Acid Rain. What do we mean by “Environmental Refugees” or “outs tees”? What are the major causes for displacement of native tribal people? Discuss with examples. What are the major issues and problems related to rehabilitation of the displaced tribals? Discuss with examples. 11. 12.94 Before we can all take up the task of environmental protection and conservation. What is rainwater harvesting? What are the purposes served by it? 5. Write notes on various authorities established by various laws for prevention and control of environmental pollution. 6. 8. 10. What do you understand by sustainable development? What are the major measures to attain sustainability? 2. What is a watershed? Critically discuss the objectives and practices of watershed management. Discuss salient features of various environmental legislations. Discuss the major implications of enhanced global warming. What are greenhouse gases and greenhouse effects? How do they contribute to the global warming? 9. first think green. Why is urban requirement of energy more than rural requirement? 3.” Questions: 1.
In the beginning of human civilization. population was quite stable. the earth was home to about 1 billion people. We have already crossed 6 billion and may reach 11 billion by 2045 as per the World Bank estimates. value education and overall welfare Population Growth: The population of the earth has always been a critical question unanswered for decades and hundreds of years. With scientific and technological advancement. Victory over famine-related deaths and infant mortality became instrumental for a rapid increase in population size. population growth climbed to unthought-of heights. Human rights. Objectives: • To understand the impact of pollution growth on the environment • To learn about various governmental initiatives for human health. life expectancy of humans improved. Women and Child Welfare. case studies. population explosion-family welfare program. accounting for about 90-95% of total population growth of the world in the last 50 years. 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. The 14th Century A. 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. experienced large scale mortality due to bubonic plague when about 50% of people in Asia and Europe died due to the disease. food and medical facilities. The dramatic way in which global human population grew is really alarming. People started living in definite settlements leading a more stable life with better sanitation. during the Stone Age. And it might take a span of few decades to double the same. POPULATION EXPLOSION: . Value Education. HIV/AIDS. Droughts and outbreak of diseases used to be quite common leading to mass deaths.95 Human Pollution and the Environment Human Pollution and the Environment: Population growth. In 1800.D. Environment and human health. Role of Information Technology in Environment and human health. Environmental conditions were hostile and humans had not yet developed adequate artificial means for adaptations to these stresses. at the rate of 3-4% per year. human rights. This trend of human population growth has definite reasons. variation among nations.
housing.96 There has been a dramatic reduction in the doubling time of the global human population. so to say adding a new Mexico every year. Our resources like land. fossil fuels. minerals etc. it will have 1. water. Even many of the renewable resources like forests. This is unprecedented growth of human population at an alarming rate is referred to as population explosion. grasslands etc. There are two important views on population growth which we need to understand: . This means that every hour we are growing by about 9000 and everyday by about 214000. If the current growth rates continue. 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. as we have already discussed. are limited and due to over exploitation these resources are getting exhausted. Do we have the resources and provisions for feeding. There is a fierce debate on this issue as to whether we should immediately reduce fertility rates through world wide birth control programs in order to stabilize or even shrink the population or whether human beings will devise new technologies for alternate resources. the world population was 6. on average 4-5 children are born and 2 people die. So we are heading for very serious ramifications of the population explosion problem. Industrial and economic growth are raising our quality of life but adding toxic pollutants into the air. are under tremendous pressure. the ecological life-support systems are getting jeopardized. The Population Clock: Every second.63 billion people by 2050 and will become the most populous country surpassing China. In the 20th Century. As a result. On 11th May 2000 we became 1 Billion and now we can say that every 6th person in this world is an Indian. water and soil. human population has grown much faster than ever before. Between 1950-90. thus resulting in net gain of nearly 2.3 billion and it is predicted to grow four times in next 100 years.5 person every second. The Indian scenario: India is the second most populous country of the world with 1 billion people. in just 40 years the population crossed 5 billion mark with current addition about 92 million every year. Population explosion is causing severe resource depletion and environmental degradation. In the year 2000. so that the problem of crossing the carrying capacity of the earth will never actually come.
disease outbreak and violence as well as “preventive checks” like birth control need to stabilize population growth. allowing everyone to enjoy good standard of living is the need of the hour that can voluntarily help in achieving a stabilized global population. We are getting warning signals that if not controlled. disease. the increasing population is going to deplete all the resources beyond their regeneration capacity. Almost every culture in the past used to practice some traditional fertility control methods through some traditions. A catastrophic doomsday model warns us that the earth cannot sustain more than two more doublings i. The United Nations Family Planning Agency provides funds to 135 countries. human populations tend to grow at an exponential or compound rate whereas food production increases very slowly or remains stable. crime and misery are invariably associated with population explosion. so that the aftermath of explosion could be avoided. The population must be kept much below the carrying capacity and stabilized. causes over population. pollution and other social ills. Malthusian Theory: According to Malthus. 2. FAMILY PLANNING: Family planning allows couples to decide their family size and also the time spacing of their offspring. environmental degradation that in turn. poverty. overcrowding. starvation. Therefore. Many of these countries include abortion as part of the population control programme which very often encourages female infanticide thereby disturbing the optimal . taboos and folk medicine. Equity and social justice to all. A compromise between the two views is required because all these factors seem to be interdependent and interrelated. Modern science has provided several birth control techniques including mechanical barriers. FAMILY WELFARE PROGRAMMES Population explosion is like a time bomb that must be diffused well in time.e. 25 billion. More than a hundred contraceptive methods are on trial. unemployment. He believed that social exploitation and oppression of the less privileged people leads to poverty. surgical methods. Marxian Theory: According to Karl Marx. He believes “positive checks” like famines.97 1. 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. population growth is a symptom rather the cause of poverty. resource depletion. chemical pills and physical barriers to implantation.
Bihar and UP have shown increase in their growth rates (more than 2. housing. In contrast. wells and subsidized loans. Unable to reach a consensus regarding population policy. Chemical factors . Biological factors 3. The Indian Context: India started the family planning programme in 1952 while its population was nearly 400 million. Still some 300 million couples do not have access to family planning. Andhra Pradesh has also just achieved the target of ZPG in 2001. mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. forced family planning campaign by the Government resulted in a turmoil all over the country. Even in 1981 census no drop in population growth was observed. In Kerala. ENVIRONMENT AND HUMAN HEALTH: Health is “a state of complete physical. educational and economic status for women. the population has been stabilized with a focus on social justice as already discussed.5%). Nonetheless. World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that today about 50 percent of the world’s married couples adopt some family planning measures as compared to just 10% about 30 years back. In 1978. The poor class was encouraged to be sterilized after two children by paying cash incentives. The birth control programmes have often faced strong opposition from religious groups. the state governments in 2000 were allowed to adopt their own approach. proper stability. 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. In 1970’s. better land. social security. proper awareness and confidence building along with accessibility and effectivity of the birth control measures. Successful family planning programs need significant societal changes including social.98 male: female ratio in a society. political stability. Since then funding for family planning programmes has been increased further.” Health is influenced by many factors such as: 1. the government raised the legal minimum age of marriage from 18 to 21 for men and 15 to 18 years for women. but it has been done with a different approach. Nutritional factors 2.
b) Chemicals: A large number of chemicals are introduced in the environment by anthropogenic activities. These chemical could be divided into categories i. Most of these infections take place when the environmental conditions are unclean and unhygienic. . The following aspects contribute to the disease and impact on human health: a) b) c) d) e) f) Infectious organisms Chemicals Noise Radiations Diet Settlement Let us explain the above aspects in details: a) Infectious organisms: Disease causing organisms pose great environmental threats to health more severely in the developing countries especially the tropical ones. These environmental hormones affect reproduction. schistosomiasis. Psychological factors These factors may cause harmful changes in the body’s conditions are called disease. it becomes painful and sometimes irreparable damage occurs.99 4. Infectious organisms can also cause respiratory diseases. High temperature and moisture along with malnutrition help many diseases to spread in these countries. Some chemicals/pesticides like DDT and other industrial pollutants may act as hormone analogs in humans and other species. filariasis etc. Such diseases include malaria. Cosmic rays and ultra-violet rays cause harmful effects on human health which may include cancer. development and cause various types of ailments including tumors. yet if sound levels beyond permissible level exist for certain duration. Besides hearing damage various types of physiological and psychological changes are induced by noise pollution. c) Noise: Although human ear is capable of tolerating a range of sound levels.e. hazardous and toxic chemicals. Some of the chemicals cause abnormality in growth and development while others also sometimes affect the nervous system and the reproductive system. Industrial effluents containing various chemicals are of major concern. d) Radiations: Radiations are known to cause short-term and long term changes in various organs.
unclean and unsafe drinking water. unhealthy working conditions. Various adulterated pulses. are essential for health living. as they export such wastes to many developing countries who have to face the toxic impacts of the hazardous wastes. Sardar Sarvor Narmada Nigam projecthampered tribal and many others. Improper settlement and poor physical environment may cause various psychological problems which affect various vital physiological processes in the body. foul smelling polluted air.100 e) Diet: Diet has a very important role in maintaining health. one out of three persons does not have enough fuel to cook or keep warm and one of five persons is desperately poor for whom life is nothing but struggle for survival.g. Housing is very important from security point of view. socio-economic restraints and scientific dogmas resulted in some revolts mainly due to the liberal thoughts of some philosophers. 1948. The World Health Organization estimates indicate that one out every five persons in this world is malnourished. Although the foundation of human rights was laid in the 13th Century when resistance to religious intolerance. sanitation etc. (e. Malnutrition makes human prone to other diseases. f) Settlement: Proper environment. condiments. Every year 40 million people are dying due to consumption of contaminated drinking water. The worker class and the poor are the main victims and sufferers of adverse effects of industrial toxins. The developed nations utilizing most of the natural resources and reaping the benefits of industrial development are not bearing the burden of their hazardous wastes. However. Food contamination can cause various ill effects. availability of basic necessities of life like water. lacks clean drinking water. true hopes for all people for happy. lacks proper hygienic conditions and adequate health facilities. dignified and secure living conditions were raised with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR) by the UNO on December 10. It is quite painful to look at the environmental inequalities. 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. oils etc. HUMAN RIGHTS Human rights are the rights that a human being must enjoy on this earth since he or she is a human being. 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.their rehabilitation is still a burning issue- . occupational health hazards etc.
The education of children today is done in schools and not in homes. rearing and education of children. . As a result of all these conditions joint family is all but finished in industrial towns. 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. the function of family has changed considerably. Firstly. Even for the Protection.101 activists such as Ms. too. In many families both husband and wife go out for work. Traditionally an Indian family used to be a center of birth. homes for orphaned and children homes. But in the industrialized society of today family is not required to fulfill these roles. as a sequel to industrialization family trades and professions have been eliminated. Compared to today the family had much more function in the past. most of these joint families are breaking up and are being replaced by nuclear families. in industrial town there is acute shortage of residential accommodation. In big towns we find today a number of Infant-Care centers. As result of industrialization. There are a number of reasons for this. In almost all big cities people rarely take lunch at home except on Sunday and holidays. Secondly. 2) Breaking up of Joint Family: Traditionally most of the Indian families were joint families. The function of socialization of children. Today children are born in hospital. nurture and care of the children there are today a number of official and non-official institutions. used to be performed by the family. Now a number of functions. have been taken over by other institutions. In these circumstances the function of a modern family are more formal than real. Most of the people have to content themselves with a single or two room accommodations. The children used to get training in the ancestral profession. which used to be performed by families in the past.Medha Patkar. it is physically exceedingly difficult if not impossible to retain the joint family system. Baba Amte are still fighting the unending battle with the respective governments. The professional training also is no longer the obligation of the family.but very little yielded from the stir so far. In these circumstances. The sense of the same parents differs widely in respect of economic and social levels. This has given rise to individualization.) FAMILY VALUES: 1) Difference regarding function of family: As a result of industrialization and restructure of pay packets.
Everybody wants good clothes. which nourished the traditional Indian family. The father no longer holds away over family members. The women enjoyed no independence. In the past the functions. the cost of living has gone up. Even children used to give unqualified respect to their parents. The willingly subjected themselves to each and every whim of their husbands. In Indian homes Ram and Sita were ideals of paternal devotion and wife’s dedication to husband respectively. From economic and social points of view woman was subject to man. 6) Difference in family goals: The goals and ideals. In modern industrial society there is no room for such ideals. Without husband the condition of a woman was miserable. Thus we find that there is a strong trend towards small families in industrialized towns. families breaking up under last strain. no one likes to be subject to anybody.102 3) Small families: As a result of industrialization. Consumerism: . people these days want to keep small families. the husband can be at best a honorable colleague and under no circumstances. Now-a-days women consider themselves equal. even superior. Compared to parents. which were. There is continuous tension and conflict in the minds of family members. For a modern wife. 4) Change in the status of Women: In past the status enjoyed by women in Indian society was rather low. 5) Disintegration of Family: As a result of industrialization the outlook of intense individualism has grown. children now have more say in the family affairs. houses and other comforts of life. were spiritual and religious. regarded sacred duty and ideals are now considered acceptable only from utilitarian point of view. Women were shut up in the four walls of the home. Their status and respect in society has therefore improved considerably. Nobody these days appreciates the need for adjustment and give and take. The housewives used to regard their husbands as a goal or divine beings. a God. Obviously. Thus we find in modern society. They wish to assert their independence by defying the laws of society. The status of father in a family is being lowered as a result of industrialization. They are therefore becoming independent all walks of life. Everyone wants to have his own way. As a result of industrialization there has been much improvement in the status of women. As a result of this feeling many women today do not like to marry. it is not possible to maintain the standard within a big family. The prevalence of contraceptives and abortion had made this goal easily attainable. to man. At the same time standard of living has also gone up considerably. Therefore. The father was regarded to be head of the family and his command was rarely defied. As a consequence of this situation it is small wonder that families are breaking up fast in urban society.
They are paid basis minimum wages so that they survive and work for . The tendencies of buying the articles. luxury items. car. Every thing is done with the help of machines. corruption and dreaming for unrealistic dreams brings about the change in every member of the society. the comparative gap between rich and poor is widening. Goods are produced on large-scale basis. Exploitation of workers: In this society. so that the importance of man and manual work very much decreases. The society also becomes money minded. that the habits of spending have undergone change. Even the Grocer start selling items. and two-wheelers on installments have also been impact of changing pay structures. 3. It’s the impact of the continuous increase in salaries and wages every year. banks. Domination of machines: In this society machine dominates man. 2. embezzlement. The savings habits have been getting converted into spending habits. The ideals change and immoral things are pretended to be sound and worth following. The shopkeepers change their style of selling. given his/her religion. Society: The members of society have direct impact of such changes in pay structures. misappropriations etc. there will be no industrialization. In such society those who have jobs and reasonable salary or wage are now not worrying about the money in their pockets. Main features of such society are: 1. had. Those with jobs and those with-outs have been reality of the rat race of daily life. which he would never. Landlords change their rate of rents. There are increasing tendencies of resorting to availing loans from financial institutions. It is because unless society is in a position to feed the machines. The value system changes. Such persons are willing to buy things. there is naked exploitation of workers. Since the matters of religion is neglected while selling certain items. Such society is called industrial society. The whole society undergoes the change in approach to life. house.103 Because of rapid industrialization. Mass production: In industrialization there is always mass production. articles beyond their buying capacity. Those with money are willing to spend it for their comforts and those with-outs are resorting to unsocial elements resulting in increase in crimes especially financial crimes like dacoits. The issues like consumerism.
With industrialization the institutions of marriage has come under heavy strains. This is a continuing feature of the industry. Even their wages are increased after a lot of agitation. 7. 5. which are industrially advanced. Many religious practices are now questioned. 9. In this way trend towards urbanization starts. noise of the machines. Material prosperity: Industrialization has brought with it material prosperity. educational system and so on. It is unavoidable because so many goods are produced . family rural life. Poor working conditions: The workers are not paid adequately with the result that they cannot afford to live in good houses. They are not given any share in profits. 8. there is always keen desire of society to have new inventions. It is now considered a friendship and not religious institution. which does not come under strain with industrialization. There are always employment opportunities in the industries. So is the case of religion. which he is doing. Every effort is made to have scientific inventions so that new machines can do maximum work within minimum time. Once industries had been set up a town develops around that. Scientific advancement: In modern era. In fact three is no existing social institution. Pressure on existing institutions: Industrialization exerts heavy pressure on existing institutions like marriage. This can be possible only when more attention is paid to scientific advancement. 6. Smoke of chimney of factories. start migrating from rural areas. rather than bring workers on the forefront. 11. Awakening has started coming in the rural areas where people are not prepared to accept every thing blindly. Colonialism: Industrialization has brought with it colonialism and evils which this system brings with it. 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. are economically rich.104 industry. They live in slums in miserable conditions. The people therefore. Envirnomental Pollution: Industry bring with it pollution in the environments. 10. Working conditions in which labourers are required to work too are not good. Single-family system is replacing old joint family system. 4. No identification with the work: Another feature is that the worker is not identified with the work. These nations. 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. Trend towards urbanization: Industries are set abound places where communication and other facilities are easily available.
aesthetic values and environmental values. Value education encompasses human values. However. The basic aim is to create and develop awareness about the values. professional values. Value education has different phases i. in this frenzy for development and mad race for progress perhaps man has become too materialistic. 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. helpful. 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. 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. peace loving. with access to very information sitting in one corner over the internet. value awareness. brought revolutionary changes in our every day life and information technology has shrunk the whole world into a “global village”. religious values. industrial societies have its own advantages and disadvantages but fact remains that today every nation is in a race to industrialize itself. national integration. But. self-centered and over-ambitious and the desired ideals of a real good life have been pushed to the background. their significance and role. enjoyable and sustainable future. value appraisal. The rapid strides of scientific and technological advancement have no doubt. . national values. value commitment and value action. Value-based education thus has a very significant role in providing proper direction to our youth. constitutional rights and duties. value orientation. Value education increases awareness about our national history. community development and environment. national pride.e. In this way.105 with the help of machines that unless these are quickly marketed these will create many problems. VALUE EDUCATION Education is one of the most important tools in bringing about socio-economic and cultural progress of a country. peaceful. social values. This will be followed by commitment that needs to be re-affirmed over and over again so that every action is taken keeping those values in view. It teaches them to be compassionate. our cultural heritage. to inculcate a positive attitude in them and to teach them the distinction between right and wrong. Value education helps in arriving at value-based judgment in life based on practical understanding of various natural principles rather than acquiring certain prejudices. value selection. generous and tolerant so that they can move towards more harmonious.
5. Instead of considering human being as supreme we have to think of the welfare of the earth. The educational system should promote the earth-citizenship thinking.e. “you give me and I give you” (Yajurveda) emphasize that man should not exploit nature without nurturing her. 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. 2. be it rivers. If we disturb this harmony anywhere there will be an ecological imbalance leading to catastrophic results. Social values like love. Following is the various ways in which we can make environmental education value based: 1. compassion. Environmental education should encompass the ethical values of earth-centric rather than human-centric world-view. These are the values to be matured so that the forms of life and the biodiversity on this earth are protected. . treating them as sacred. Cultural and religious values enshrined in Vedas like “Dehi me dadami te” i. tolerance and justice which are the basic teachings of most of our religions need to be woven into environmental education. 3.106 Value based Environmental Education: Environmental education or environmental literacy is something that every person should be well versed with. earth. 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. mountains or forests. The basic human value ‘man in nature’ rather than ‘nature for man’ needs to be infused through the same.Global values stress upon the concept of the human civilization is a part of the planet as a whole and similarity nature and various natural phenomena over the earth are interconnected and inter-linked with special bonds of harmony. 4. Preparation of text books and resource materials about environmental education can play an important role in building positive attitudes about the environment.
Spiritual values highlight the principles of self-restraint. sweat. faeces or saliva during normal kissing. All these values promote conservationism and transform our consumerist approach. urine. self-discipline. Although sufficient knowledge has been gained about the disease yet a definite source of this virus could not be identified. the Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome is not a hereditary disease but is caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). “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. Valuebased environmental education can bring in a total transformation of our mindset. It is expected that in the coming decades there will be sharp increase in HIV/AIDS cases in Russia. socio-cultural. 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. however. contentment. HIV/AIDS AIDS. doesn’t spread through tears. toilet seats or insect bite like that of mosquito or bed bug. It also does not spread by sharing utensils. HIV. reduction of wants. HIV can also pass from infected mothers to their babies during pregnancy. The above mentioned human values. ethical. towels. AIDS is rapidly spreading in Eastern Europe and Asia. HIV/AIDS has been identified as the forth largest cause of mortality. The value elements in environmental education alone can succeed in achieving the real goals of environmental literacy. clothing. spiritual and global values incorporated into environmental education can go a long way in attaining the goals of sustainable development and environmental conservation. About 3 million people died due to HIV/AIDS in 2003. delivery or breast feeding. AIDS was discovered in 1983. freedom from greed and austerity. health hazards. .107 6. loss of mental peace and merciless destruction of nature’s beauty and natural resources. According to a recent estimate about 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide and 70% of them in Sub Saharan Africa. our attitudes and our life-styles.
2. It is also hypothesized that AIDS is a man made epidemic produced by genetically engineered laboratory produced virus.108 Most evidences have suggested that AIDS has spread from Africa. 3. It has spread through small pox vaccine programme of Africa. More water is required for maintaining hygiene in AIDS affected locality. They devote less time for soil conservation. The deaths occur due to attack by other diseases because of the weakening of immune system. AIDS itself does not kill humans. 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.HIV has spread in Africa through HIV contaminated polio vaccine prepared by using monkey’s kidney. forestry conservation. Effects of HIV/AIDS on Environment: When there is an AIDS epidemic large number of deaths occurs which adversely affect local environment and natural resources. It is believed that the virus has been transferred to humans from primates like African Monkey (White sooty mangabeys) or chimpanzees. With fewer adults. Los Angeles and San Francisco. Due to large number of deaths there is loss of labour and the level of production decreases. . There is decline in T-cells which are the key infection fighters in the immune system. It had spread through hepatitis B viral vaccine in New York. More timber is required for making coffins or for pyre making. HIV destroys or disables these cells as a result of which various types of infectious diseases due to microbial invasion occur. Consumption of alcohol is understood to increase the susceptibility to infection and progression of AIDS. According to another theory HIV has spread through vaccine programmes in various parts of the world in the following manner: 1. Demand of easily accessible fuel wood increases. The HIV carriers are also not able to perform well due to lack of energy and frequent fever and sweating. especially if there are deaths of professional forest workers. Even dreaded disease like cancer can easily develop in the HIV infected persons.
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. dowry deaths. Women are also the victims of capitalism. cultural and family life of women. The human rights of women are violated too often in a male dominated patriarchal society. equality and respect for women. 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. domestic violence. Thus. Development projects like mining very often play havoc with the life of women. The statistical data provided by the Ministry of Women and Child Development is an eye opener that deglorifies the celebrated culture of our country. development and environment. Women are often the worst victims of communal enmities. education and awareness. status. at workplace.109 WOMEN AND CHILD WELFARE Women and children are usually the soft targets. After losing the forests and getting dehabitlitated from their native places. criminal offences and mental torture to women is something that needs immediate attention and reforms in interest of the women. social. in matrimony. race or nation. health care. victimization and harassment take many forms across culture. 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. in inheritance. There is a need for complete transformation and reorientation of social ethos for restoring dignity. men folk usually migrate to towns in search of household with little resources. Women Welfare Women usually suffer gender discrimination and devaluation at home. The gender violence. who suffer in a number of ways mainly because they are weaker. particularly in developing countries. The exploitative nature of capitalist development not only affects the natural environment but the traditional. helpless and economically dependent. in public life and power. Men can still work in the mines or migrate to towns after getting compensation . rape. The exceptionally high number of cases of abduction.
the statistical figures depict that about a million babies. Issues related to their dignity and honour have not received any attention. . 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. On the international level. 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. 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. But ironically. some of them in various hazardous industries like the match industry. which are their childhood rights. educate them and help them to become economically self-dependent.110 from the government. brassware industry and pottery industry. refugees and the down-trodden to be educated about these issues. most important for all women. 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. The NNWM is now working for rights of women over natural resources. out of 21 million born every year in India are abandoned soon after their birth due to different socio economic reasons. Poverty is the main reason to drive these children into long hours of work in miserable. in the mainstream. the United Nations Decade for Women (1975-85) witnessed inclusion of several women welfare related issues on international agenda. what to talk of educational and recreational facilities. firework industries. 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. Child Welfare: Children are considered to be the assets of a society. resettlement and compensation issues. The CEDAW (International Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women. Around 20 million children in our country are estimated to be working as child labours. train them. unhealthy conditions and yet they do not get the minimum nutritive food.
development and participation. Government of India in which a strategic plan has been formulated for children welfare in the priority areas of health. it became International Law in the year 1990. early childhood care and support. special emphasis on girl child’s education including health and nutrition. affecting around 6 million children in India. protection. Water diseases are the biggest threat to children. upgradation of home based skills.111 The UN General Assembly in 1959 adopted the Declaration of the Rights of a child. 1990 had a focus agenda for the wellbeing of the children targeted be achieved in the beginning of the new millennium. expansion of earlier childhood development activities including low cost family based involvements are some of the important actions envisaged. Primary education must be free and easily available to one and every child in the country. The law defines right of the child to survival. A national plan for action for children has been formulated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD). consisting of 54 articles and a set of international standards and measures to promote and protect the well being of children in a society. conscience and religion and appropriate information to the child. mid-day meals scheme. Universalization of effective access to at least primary level schooling. India is also a signatory to the World Declaration on Survival. “They consume more water. Even the growing foetus in the mother’s womb is not safe and free from the adverse effects of environmental toxins. 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 right of protection means freedom from exploitation. . The right of survival emphasizes on adequately good standards of living. nutrition.” says one of the scientific reports of Center for Science and Environment (CSE. good nutrition and health. Childhood cancer rates are also increasing by 6% every year. Protection and Development of Children. Children are also most affected due to environmental pollution. Hence more susceptible to any environmental contamination. The right of development ensures access to education. New Delhi). After the UN convention on Rights of Child. food and air than adults. abuse. clean and safe drinking water. inhuman treatment and neglect. The World Summit on Children held on September 30. social security and right to leisure and recreation. education. sanitation and environment. The right to participation means freedom of thought.
Clean Technologies. In the computer the information of the database is arranged in a systematic manner that is easily manageable and can be very quickly retrieved. Western Ghats and Eastern Ghats. Remote Sensing. Mining etc. Malaria. Renewable Energy. Coastal Ecology. Database is also available for diseases like HIV/AIDS. 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. economics. safety measures etc. Biodiversity. The ENVIS work for generating a network of database in areas like pollution control. called Environmental Information System(ENVIS). geographical information system (GIS) and information through satellites has generated a wealth of up to date information on various aspects of environment and health. 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. Media Related to Environment. .e. the health aspects of people working various hazardous and non-hazardous industries. Government of India has taken up the task of compiling a database on various biotic communities. World Wide Web (WWW). Government of India has created an Information System. Environmental Management. The comprehensive database includes wild life database. Database Database is collection of interrelated data on various subjects. Environmental Information System (ENVIS): The Ministry of Environment and Forests. Himalayan Ecology.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. Mangroves. Fluorosis etc. forest cover database etc. Development of internet facilities. With its Head Quarters in Delhi it functions in 25 different centers all over the country. politics or culture. The Ministry of Environment and Forests. Wild life. conservation database. It is usually in computerized form and can be retrieved whenever required. Desertification. The National Institute of Occupational Health provides computerized information on occupational health i.
reliable and verifiable information about forest cover. urban sprawl.mhhe. success of conservation efforts etc. Such information is very useful for future land use planning. We are able to gather digital information on environmental aspects like water logging. World Wide Web: A vast quantum of current data is available on World Wide Web. crop land or grass land etc are superimposed in a layer form in computer using softwares. road network. desertification. GIS is technique of superimposing various thematic maps using digital data on a large number of interrelated or interdependent aspects. planning and environmental impact assessment. forest land. Thus Remote Sensing and GIS play a key role in resource mapping. One of the most important online learning centers with power web is www. Our satellite data also helps in providing correct. smog etc. mineral and energy reserves and so on. Several useful softwares have been developed for working in the field of GIS. Geographical Information System (GIS) has proved to be a very effective tool in environmental management. minerals etc with the help of information generated by remote sensing satellites. soil type. GIS serves to check unplanned growth and related environmental problems. ozone layer depletion. degraded lands or diseased cropland etc can be made based on GIS. deforestation. 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. Even interpretation of polluted zones. inversion phenomenon.com/environmentalscience and multimedia Digital Content Manager (DCM\) in the form CD-ROM provides most current and relevant information on . schistosomiasis etc based upon mapping of such areas. We are able to discover many new reserves of oil. environmental conservation. Planning for locating suitable areas for industrial growth is now being done using GIS by preparing zoning Atlas. human settlements.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. It also helps in identifying several disease infected areas which are prone to some vector born diseases like malaria. Different thematic maps containing digital information on a number of aspects like water resources. river and canal network. management. They also provide information of atmospheric phenomenon like approach of monsoon. industrial growth.
What is meant by “population stabilization”? Discuss the family welfare and family planning programmes in Indian context. digital files or photos. 2. hyperlinks on every chapter’s topic with detailed information. 5. current articles and interactive encyclopedia and how to contact your elected officials. How can you trace history of population growth? How can you predict the population growth trends of a nation? Explain with examples. justice and sustainability? . 4. key terms. The World Wide Web with resource material on every aspect. Student friendly features: These include practice quiz. The role of online learning center website has the following distinguishing features: 1. environment maps. classroom activities. case studies. applications and solutions. additional case studies. editing facilities to add or delete questions and create multiple versions same test etc. 3. answer to web exercises. 6. management and planning in the field of environment and health. What is Universal Declaration of Human Rights? What is its importance in achieving the goals of equity. What do you mean by Population clock? How is it related to the concept of Zero population growth and Life expectancy? 2. solution to critical thinking questions. Questions: 1.114 principals of environmental science.Teacher friendly features: These include in addition to above supplement resource charts. career information. how to study tips. What is meant by “Population Explosion”? Discuss the Indian scenario. animations. power point lecture presentations. various problems. 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. queries. web exercises and quiz has proved to be extremely useful both for the students and the teachers of environmental studies. web exercises.
115 7. Discuss various issues and measures for women and child welfare at international and national level. Discuss the salient features of Draft Declaration of Human Rights and Environment. ENVIS and GIS in dissemination of environmental information and environmental management? . 10. Briefly discuss HIV/AIDS mode of its spread and its effect on environment. 11. What are the objectives and elements of value education? How can the same be achieved? 9. 8. What is the role of NMIS.
Find out whether the river is perennial or seasonal in nature. 2.if it is clear. Visit to some local polluted site: an industrially polluted area.116 Unit 8 FIELD WORK Topics: Visits to a local area to document environmental assets. VISIT TO A LOCAL AREA TO DOCUMENT ENVIRONMENTAL ASSETS Visit may be planned to any nearby river. insects and birds Objectives: • To make students plan the visits to various environmental assets • To make them note down the variety of organisms. . experimentation and noting down the observations • To think about the problems arising out of the polluted sites • To understand these problems in order to suggest remedial measures • To create overall awareness about the environment they belong to and also inculcate habit of observations.study river environment. its place of origin and its course of route. forests. water-logged/saline land. medicinal utilities • To cultivate habits of observations. mountain/hilly area. hill or mountain. grassland. experimentation and formulation of implemental plans to achieve sustainable development I. Study of common plants. grassland. Background data-Note down the name of the river or tributary. Write a report based on your observations and understanding about various aspects of environment. depending upon the easy access and importance. what do you expect? Penetration of light into the water would be more therefore green . The contents of this study material provide the required information for the study and for arriving at some important conclusions about the system. ecological. forest. objects in the vicinity they come from and the utility it has for the human being such as commercial. Water quality observations: a) Note down whether the water of the river is clear or turbid. A) STUDY OF RIVER ENVIRONMENT: 1.
If the pH is quite low i. If pH is quite high i. it indicates contamination by municipal sewage. Uses: How is the river water used? Prepare a list of its uses. 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.e. e) Determine the pH of water using a portable pH. cattle death.scan. it indicates pollution by industries. 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. Observations on aquatic life: a) look for different types of life forms.5. skin problems to human being consuming the water? Try to interpret the same. tortoise. then what are these? Find out the likely sources of these pollutants. 5.-if it turbid. 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.? What are the important aquatic birds seen by you? b) Draw food chain diagram that would be present in the river. 4. Human impacts: What are the major impacts caused by human beings in your area on the river? Have you learnt of any major incident i. B) STUDY OF A FOREST: . water snake etc. crocodile. alkaline. The primary productivity will be high.117 quatic plants will be growing better. massive fish death.e. c) Do you observe any froth and foam or dark coloured or greasy substances in the river? If yes.e.5 to 8. b) Note the temperature of water with a thermometer or thermo probe. Is your river water of good quality or it is polluted? 3.how would it affect the primary productivity of the river? You know that sunlight penetration is obstructed by turbidity. The pH would normally range between 6. then look for the visual differences in the water quality at the upstream and downstream sides. acidic waters.
long tap root? c) if roots are adventitious. Background data: Note down the name of the forest.118 1. deforestation. quarrying. then what are the special features associated with it? 2.? Is the present forest. a part of some Biosphere reserve or National park or Sanctuary? If yes.? What would be their probable impacts? C) ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS OF GRASSLAND: 1.e. Are these dominant plants having soft. What type a forest is it? .e. herbs and grasses of lower height? d) Is there a thick or thin forest floor consisting of leaf litter (dry dead leaves) algae. 5. dam building. mining.g. 4. timber extraction etc. then it cannot help in binding the . a tropical rain forest/ deciduous forest etc.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. they tend to bind the soil particles firmly and help in conserving soil. Commercial uses: Prepare a list of the various uses of the present forest. having rhizomes or there is a single. hard texture with spines/thorns? b) Take out a few plants to see what type of roots do they have. runner-type. juicy nature with green colour showing good palatability? OR the dominant plants shave a coarse. grazing. Ecological utility: Do you feel cooler in the forest? Is it more humid? Is the air fresher than that in the city? How many types of birds. are there numerous fibrous roots in a bunch. (adventitious roots). If the root is tap root.? What is the use of stratified structure i. 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.i. fungi etc. animals or insects do you see around? Make a list of the ecological uses of the forest based on your observations. Forest Structure: Note down the salient features of the forest. Human impacts: Do you observe any anthropogenic activities in the forest e. Grassland quality observations: a) Try to identify the names of the dominant grasses or plants. multi-layered structure of vegetation in the forest? 3.e. delicate. fenced or disturbed? 2.
Note down the altitude of the region. Observations on natural vegetation: Make your observations on the forests present on the hill slopes. where landslide would have occurred recently or in the past. Gather some information about the water shed in the study area. whether it is well managed or degraded/ . What is the condition dominant in the present grassland? Do you observe soil erosion? 3. 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. D) STUDY OF MOUTAIN/HILLY AREA: 1. 3. only a limited number of livestock (cattle) is being allowed to graze OR there is unmanaged grazing. 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. Water-sheds: Try to look for some springs. 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. it indicates degradation of the grassland due to overgrazing.119 soil particles firmly.Grazing and Overgrazing: Find out if there is managed grazing on the grassland i. Overgrazing has several far reaching consequences.e. its uses and its status i. Uses: Prepare a list of the utilities of the grassland. 4. prickly plants occupying some areas. Find out the average annul rainfall and temperature in the area.e. 4. rivers and channels coming out from the mountains. Make your own observations in the present grassland i. hard. Background data: Note down the name of the mountain ranges or the hills. 2. Landslides: You will come across some regions. The land area from which water drains under gravity to a common drainage channel is called watershed.
. Dip in EC probe into it which will indicate the EC of the soil.g. maize. VISIT TO SOME LOCAL POLLUTED SITE Human activities related to urbanization and industrialization has led to large scale pollution of the environment. contour or strip cropping? Why is such cropping helpful in hills? c) Find out the water and nutrient requirements of these crops. d) How much anthropogenic activities do you observe on the mountain/hill? These activities usually include mining. 2. traditional or modernized? What would be their impacts? b) Do you observe farming.e. 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.g. water logging and salinization. What major impacts do you observe or predict in future? II. quarrying. Background information: Visit a water logged or salt-affected land in some rural agricultural area. wheat) done artificially on the hill slops. Plantations/farming: Look for the type of plantations (e. EC) of the soil. construction. it is saline. hydroelectric projects etc.120 5. You can observe crusts of white salts on the soil surface making it barren that is a saline soil. Agricultural practices have also led to pesticide pollution. . For this you can take 10 grams of soil and dissolve it in 20ml water in a beaker. The EC can be as high as 20-40 dS/m also. Gather information from the farmers about its historical background i. A) STUDY OF AN INDUSTRIALLY POLLUTED AREA: 1. 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.a) what type of farming is done? Is it shifting cultivation. Salinity and crop growth: a) Find out the salinity level (Electrical conductivity. If the EC exceeds 4. A visit to some industrial area or degraded land area will be very useful to obtain first hand information about the same. An area having permanently standing water on the soil is a water logged soil. 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. tourism.
shrubs and herbs. animals and microbes found on this earth is just remarkable and has tremendous potential in terms of its consumptive. 1. 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. Observe small birds with long beaks pollinating flowers.121 3. tannin. insects and birds of our locality. social and ecological value. dye. rubber. productive. Plants: Study the common plants of your locality. Observe the birds in the plough-fields eating insects/leaves. 3. INSECTS AND BIRDS Biodiversity or the variability among plants. Birds: Identify some common birds of your locality. 2. You can study them mainly in relation to their value. c) Miscellaneous: Note down the names of plants which have other uses like producing gum. fiber etc. Find out how some of them are useful to us and some cause damage to our crops/fruits. What measures can you suggest? STUDY OF COMMON PLANTS. Insects: Identify some common insects of your locality a) which may be spreading diseases b) which are crop-pests or animal pests c) which help in pollination of ornamental/crop flowers. a) Medicinal plants: Local people often have indigenous knowledge about the medicinal value of various plants. resins. It is worthwhile to know about some common plants. including trees. Remediation: Find out what remedial measures are being taken by the farmer to deal with the problem. .
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