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Elective – Environmental Education


Environment means the surrounding of an organism. It originated from French word ‘Environner’
which means ‘to surround’. Environment includes water, air, land and their interrelationships with living
organism. i.e inter-relation between biotic and abiotic components. In other word environment is a collective
term describing the conditions ‘surrounding an organism’. Environmental education give us awareness about


Environmental education is education through, about and for environment. According to the
environmental specialists, “any solution to the environmental crisis is called environmental education”.

It provides us with the skills and attitude to play a productive role in improving life and values. It
creates awareness about needs of environmental protection among the people. It also help us to conservation
and improvement of the environment.

Environmental education is equipping people with knowledge, attitudes, skills and motivation that
they need to resolve environmental issues. i.e education for the environment, education about the
environment and education through the environment.

“ Environmental education is the process of recognizing values and clarifying concepts in order to
develop skill and attitudes necessary to understand and appreciate the inter-relatedness among man, his
culture, and his biophysical surroundings” – UNESCO 1970.

“Environmental education appears to a process that equips human beings with awareness,
knowledge, skills, attitudes and commitment to improve environment” – Mishra 1993

“Environmental education involves teaching about the value, judgment and the ability to think clearly
about complex problems about the environment which are political, economic, and philosophical as they are
technical” – Proceeding of the organization of American states;

“Environmental education is a way of implementing the goals of environmental protection. It is not

separate branch of science or field study. It is principles of life long integrated education” - UNESCO 1976.


The chief objective of environmental education is that individual and social groups should acquire
awareness and knowledge, develop the attitudes, skill to participate in solving environmental problem. So
environmental education can be studied different term in which they are grouped into four components.

 Awareness
 Real life situation
 Conservation
 Sustainable development

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I. awareness:

Each individual acquire awareness about physical, biological and cultural aspects of environment. i.e
the environment is linked with life support system such biotic and abiotic components.

- Structure and function of ecosystem;

- Energy flow in biotic and abiotic components;
- Population dynamics;
- Human intervention in natural process.

ii. Real life situation:

In this part, Environmental education provide knowledge about the problems of the environment in
the real life situation. Eg

- graphical scale of environmental problem;

- time scale of environment problem;
- The socio-economic system affected by environmental problem.

iii. Conservation:

Environmental education guides the utilization of natural resources, not only for present but also it is
looking for uses of the future generations.

- The careful use of natural resources such as trees, oils, to prevent them from being lost or wasted.
- Public movements against the disturbance / destroy of environment like ‘Chipko’ and ‘Apiko’.

iv. Sustainable development:

Sustainable development is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising
the ability of future generation to meet their own needs”. i.e to give support to or to provide what is needed
for to exist.

Sustainable development promotes the idea that social, environmental and economic progress are all
attainable within the limits of our earth’s natural resources. eg. project, research, etc.,

Sustained Developed
i. Nature: People:
- Earth - Child survival
- Biodiversity - Life expectancy
- Ecosystem - education
ii. life support: Economy
- ecosystem - wealth
- resources - productive sectors
- environment - consumption
iii. Community Society
- Cultural - Institution
- Group - State
- Place - region

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Elective – Environmental Education

So environmental education is

 considered totality natural and social;

 continuous life long process, i.e preschool to life end;
 include both formal and non-formal;
 interdisciplinary studies; and
 involves knowledge problem solving skill, conservation, and development.


Environmental education been introduced in school curriculum at various levels. In India, all state
boards and central board schools follow the syllabus, accordance with “National Policy on Education 1986”,
which incorporating the environmental education at various level based on awareness, real life situation,
conservation and sustainable development.

i. Primary level:
The main objectives at primary level is to make “awareness of environment”(knowledge). At this
stage, it emphasizing the child should learn about the environment by 75% building up awareness,
followed by 20% real life situation and 5% conservation. The contents about the surroundings such as from
home to school and outdoor situation are taught by using audio visual aid and field visits. NCERT and other
state board design syllabi and text books to teach environmental education for student.

At pre-school level:

A general awareness about personal hygiene and environmental cleanliness are introduced through
colorful diagrammatic illustration and rhymes related to nature.

At elementary level:

The environmental cleanliness and concept of ‘Environment’ are introduced. At this level, the
relationship between the child and environment is emphasized. i.e the child understands that he/ she is
surrounded by land, water, air, plants and animals through storytelling and poems.

Environmental education was introduced to the standard from 1 to 2 as environmental science, later
standard from 3 to 5 as incorporated with language and mathematics, science and social science.

ii. Secondary level:

The main objectives at secondary level is relevance for real-life situation of environment
(understanding). At this level, knowledge of real life situations, conservation and sustainable development
should be increased with general science through practical experiences.

At secondary level all state boards and central schools introduced the environmental the
environmental education course and material based on ecological, bio-geographical principles and their

The school children initially studied about energy, rain water harvesting, water, environmental
hygiene, ecosystem, medicinal plants and its values, diseases, crop production and management, air,
water, soil pollutions, and natural resources.

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Later classes, in science - they learn chemicals in our daily life; electricity production and energy;
conservation of environment; bio-geo chemical cycle; animal kingdom; improvement in food resources;
In social science – geography; protection of soil and forest; different type of pollution and ozone depletion;
global warming; earth etc. Language provide natural and conservation oriented prose and poems.

iii. Higher secondary levels:

The main objective at higher secondary level is “conservation of natural resource of
environment”(Skill). In this stage, emphasis is laid on conservation, problem identification and action skills.

Science based and action oriented work should be provided to the child through proper teaching and
practical work.

In general, at this level, only those student selecting science subjects like mathematics, physics,
chemistry and biology are exposed to environmental education. They are learn more about pollution,
ecology, population ecology and the role of science and technology in eliminating the various
environmental problems.

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There are no consensus as to when environmental education began. But the period 1854-1933, the
link between environmental qualities with quality of education raised. Many educational techniques and ideas
including the concept of interdisciplinary, and educational potential of the outdoor environment were innately
introduced. After 1960’s large paper, journals and books come out over the subject of environmental problems
and management which gave a way to “Environmental Education in Practice”

In 1970, IUCN [International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural resources] stated that
environmental education which also entails the development of a code of good practice among individuals.
i.e A response to widespread awareness of environmental problems.

In 1972 at Stockholm Sweden conference on “Human Environment” having considered the need for a
common outlook and for common principles to inspire and guide the peoples of the world in the preservation
and enhancement of the human environment. In 1975 at Belgrade charter, workshop on “environmental
education” which established “an international information exchange network” in the form of a newsletter –
“connect”. These kinds of conference and workshops provided the environmental education in practice by the
means of knowledge, skills, attitudes, motivation and commitment to work individually and collectively
towards the solution of the problem.

Environmental Education in the National context:

An environmental education enabling scheme for human to solve environmental problems. Natural
resources have been exploited beyond the rate renewal and natural cycles have been disturbed by
intervention beyond the caring capacity of ecosystem to fully recover. Land and aquatic resources are rapidly
diminishing by human demanding.

This exploitation of natural resource occur of varying degrees in all countries of the world. There is no
place on the earth that has escaped for the impact of human activities. As world population continuously
increases, the pressure on smaller resources is also expected to rise.

For this environmental global condition, several concept, strategies and paradigms have been introduced to
many countries.

Several international agencies, such as * International Union for the Conservation of Natural and
Natural resources (IUCN), * the World Wide Found (WWF), * United Nation Environmental Programme(UNEP)
guide a course towards environmental protection, conservation and sustainable development. Under UNEP,
International Environmental Education Programme(IEEP) was launched in 1975.

The IEEP adopted philosophy, goals and objectives and guiding principles of environmental education
during Intergovernmental Tbilisi conference in Belgrade 1979.

This experience is now institutionalized education on environmental concern. In the United Nations
conference on environment and development held at the Rio – De – Janeiro emphasized that “Education,
including formal education, public awareness and training which human beings and societies can reach fullest
concern about environment.

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Every country needs to institute environmental education for sustainable development and to
improving capacity of people to solve the environmental problem by means of formal, non-formal and
informal approaches.

After 1972 Stockholm convention, India introduced many programmes related to environmental
education among which Centre for Environmental Education(CEE), Ahamedbad, EEC- Chennai provide
environmental awareness among the masses. Kothari commission pave the environmental education in formal
education. In National policy on education 1986 introduced formal environmental education in elementary
level under National Curriculum Framework 2005.

Channels of environmental Education:

It is widely accepted the fact that Environmental education involves not only the transmission of
knowledge about the environment, but incorporation of cognitive and affective values that may stimulate
people to change their attitude towards the environment.

There are different ways to impart the environmental education, but all they are grouped into 3 folds
approaches, namely formal (official), non-formal (unrestricted) and informal (incidental).

i. Formal Education:

Formal education is education which is provided in a formal (structured) way by observing all type of
formalities. It is a pre-planned type of education, where specific aim are well fixed in advance, methods of
teaching are decided and knowledge is given to the selected pupils by the selected teachers. This type of
education is imparted in the schools, colleges and universities where the learners abide by the rules and

It is well-organized, well-defined and clear cut curriculum. In formal education there is instruction,
supervision, definite aims etc..

Formal environmental education on developing awareness, knowledge, skill, and motivation.

Imparting of environmental education programs in school education generally takes two approaches,

a) “Infusion”: this approach integrates environmental education into existing lessons, units, or topics
focusing on other subjects such as language, science, social science.
Infusion results in incorporation of environmental education as interdisciplinary into all aspects of
b) “Second-Course” or “block”: this approach consist of offering separate and distinct
“environmental” course.

At the college and university level, environmental education is addressed in variety of ways which
varies from institution to institution, and course to course. In general universities and colleges
emphasize environmental career training, research etc.

ii. Non- Formal Education:

Non-formal education imported outside the format of school system. Non-formal education is in
between the formal and informal type of education. It is midway because it is partly formal and partly informal.
It is both intentional and incidental.

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There are no restriction in age group so learner can seek admission and receive education at any age.
Non-formal education are such as open school, Open University, correspondence course etc.

Non-formal education is parallel to formal education system. The only difference is in this system,
there is flexibility almost every step. For example, in admission, mode of instruction, curriculum etc. there are
rules and regulation with flexibility. In this system, different media are used for educating the people.

Non-formal environmental educational activities take place in a variety of settings throughout the
country – from zoos, museums, aquariums, nature centers, parks.

Non-formal environmental education programs often complement and enhance formal education
programs. Non-formal environmental education provides to adults, general public, families, senior citizens,
policy makers, women’s group etc.

ii. Informal Education:

Education for which no formalities are observed is known as informal education. In this type of
education, there is modification of behavior of learner, but whatever is learnt here is not preplanned and It is
rather incidental. In informal education neither the teacher nor the learner is in the process of teaching –
learning. It is a casual type of education which is received through daily experiences and activities.

It has no pre-determined aim, no definite curriculum, no well thought methods of teaching, no

(defined) qualified teacher, and no definite place of education.

Informal environmental education provided by means of television, radio and other media programs,
awareness tracks, awareness rally, workshop, seminar, newspaper, magazine, advertisement, discussion, field
trips, exhibition, debates, guest lectures folk play in street, puppet show etc.


Mass communication media was a powerful and effective tool for spreading awareness about the

Mass communication is a process in which environmental professional use media to disseminate

message widely, rapidly and continuously in large and diverse audiences in a variety of ways.

The radio, newspapers, periodicals, television, cinema, posters, magazines, books, documentary films
are inevitable in our society, so by utilizing these variety of devices, imparting environmental education can
possible to millions of people. These media contribute effectiveness of teaching and learning process both
formal, non-formal as well as informal educational system.

The various types of media are categorized into printed (instructional) media and non-printed media.

I. Print media:-

The print (instructional) media is used in both formal and non-formal, informal education system. It
transmitting information in different (various) fields.

Mostly, the text book is the effective tool for teaching – learning process. Apart from text book, there
are different devices utilized in informal educational system such as picture galleries, paintings, posters, stories
cartoon, periodicals, magazine and newspaper etc., are provide awareness about the environment.

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They play vital role in not only spreading environmental awareness but discuss solving the
environmental problem by means of ideas of large groups and policy makers etc.

II. Non-print media:

The fastest means of communication such as radio, television, film, recorded video and audios,
computer, internet, electronic Medias are called non-printed Medias. They can be effectively utilized in the
field of spreading environmental education.

a. Television:
Television has been given considerable importance in many countries as a source and a tool
of teaching. Television is adaptable and can follow different approaches when used in the different
educational situations. The medium is used for formal, non-formal and informal education. To
support formal education, television usually function as supportive and reinforcement tool. Television
can be attached with school curriculum and time tables. When systematically organized it takes the
form of school broadcast. In non-formal education, television has a more specific role to play. When
used as a part of multi-media communication tool, television can directly or indirectly teach the
subject matter related to environmental education.
Importance of television to communicate information, idea, skills and attitudes has been
affirmed by researches.
If media is to work as an effective teaching tool then certainly it is helping hand towards,
achieving the aim and objectives of education. Media is an agent of boost cultural economic and social
development activity. Television, as an important mass medium disseminates environmental
education through formal and information methods.
Television also continues to benefit the masses by making them conscious of the environment,
rights, duties and privilege. It is a source of teaching etiquettes, language skills, hobbies, social
relations and religious believes.
Role of television is neither fixed nor easily tangible and measurable. The role is directly
related to the question of how the planners are serious and determined to use television. The role
could either be enormous or, on the contrary very meager depending upon the specific tasks and
available resources. Generally television can help to achieve the following objectives:
a) Social quality in education
b) Enhance quality in environmental education
c) Reduce dependency on verbal teaching and teachers
d) Provide flexibility of time and space in learning.
e) Stimulates learning
f) Provide mass education opportunities.
Television has great impact on people since it has both audio and visual effects. It shows the
important events that are happening in the world. The government also use the television to provide
environmental education. Even in small villages, people were watch television and get important
information. The educational television (ETv) is a system provide different programme under which
various subject area are delivered. Among them, some of the programs are telecast for the purpose
of environmental awareness.
Dhoor Darsan – Agricultural programme such vayalum vazhvum, Satellite instructional
television experiment (SITE), Higher education television project (HETv) of UGC etc., are few example
for spreading environmental awareness to public.

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b. Films and slides:

Arranging of films for the school children and rural people was also effective method to
implement environmental education, because in this method usage of slides, picture have effective
role to disseminate the idea of solving environmental problem, and make them awaken. These films
and slides provides individualized instruction about the environment.

c. Radio and tape recorder;

Radio is the cheapest means of recreation. It is easily available. Illiterate people also can get
information such News, educational programs in local language. Radio program can be reached far off
places where electricity has not reached yet. The tape recorder used once individual instruction and
mass education.

d. Computer and internet;

The computer and internet is the big boon to all of educational system. It provides
uncountable information. The email and social web site provides enormous information about the
environmental and environmental issues, solution, project etc., now a days government and NGO’s
used internet communication to spread environmental awareness such as ‘Clean India’

Advantage of Mass media in environmental education:

i. The mass media helps to update all people that present world realizes on limited resources.
ii. Mass media arouse pupils concern for protection and preservation of nature.
iii. It serves and provide the relationships between man and environment.
iv. It is fastest to spread the information
v. It helps to up- to-date the reality of world and environment.
vi. It provide some time individual instruction in form of formal, non-formal and informal methods.
vii. It is economical and minimum cost and flexible.
viii. It covers all kind of people and locality with high degree of quality to imparting environmental

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“The environment refers to the surrounding of an organism which have direct influence on the
activities of that organism”.

The environment covers both the physical (abiotic) and living (biotic) factor. Abiotic factor include soil,
water, air, chemicals, etc. the biotic factors include all the plants, animals and microbes present in the


The word ecology is derived from German word ‘oikos’ meaning house or place to live and logo
meaning discourse or study. Thus ecology, literally, is the “study of organism at home”. The term ecology was
first represented by Ernst Haeckel, a germen zoologist. Usually, ecology may be broadly defined as” the study
of the relation of organism or group of organisms, to the environment” or the science of the inter relationship
between living organism and their environment’

According to Kerdeigh (1961) ecology is the study of animals and plants in their relations to each other and to
their environment, or in a brief sense it is ‘environmental biology’.

i. Auto ecology:
Branch of ecology which deals with the study of particular animal or individual is termed as
ii. Synecology:
The study of relationship between animals and plants, which forms the basis of a community,
is called as synecology or ‘community ecology’

Biotic and abiotic components together maintain a delicate balance in nature which is studied in
ecology. Environment continuously change in shape with time. Various factors interact with each other and
modify the environment.

I. Climatic factors:

Climatic factors are light, water, temperature, heat and wind.

Light is first and for most factor for sustaining life on earth. The source of light of earth is sun. Plant
needs energy to carry out its activities and their energy as available from the sun in the form of light. Light
regulates the activities in a plant in many ways, for example, photosynthesis, transpiration, movements,
germination, flowering, stem and leaf formation.

This is an important factor for the growth of a plant and animals. Rain is the main source of water.
Rainwater reaching the earth’s surface may flow down slopes or into streams and ultimately reach the sea.
Some rainwater percolates through the soil and this increase the water-holding capacity of the soil. Soil water
is absorbed by plant. Melted snow and ice are also important sources of water for plants.

Temperature and heat:

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Temperature influences growth and reproduction in plants. Temperature is a measure of heat and it
is a form of energy. Plants get heat energy form the sun. Each species of plants can tolerate a certain maximum
and minimum temperature, beyond which all activities of the plants stop. Temperature affects the
morphology, physiology, biochemistry and distribution of plants as well.


Wind is a vital ecological factor. It influences transpiration in plants. It also help in the dispersal of pollen
grains seed and fruit. Some plants which grow in places where winds are very strong, they change their shape
and become least resistant to wind. Their growth is restricted to one side, where the effect of the wind is
more. Winds are more effective along the sea coast and on mountain slopes.

II. Edaphic factor: (soil)

Edaphic factors include soil water, soil air, soil organisms and fertility.

i. Soil water: rain is the important source of water. Some amount of rain water of retained between the
spaces of soil particles in the form of a capillary network. This is called capillary water. This water is
absorbed by plants.
ii. Soil air: Soil air containing oxygen, it facilitates absorption of water. If soil oxygen is more, then it helps in
increase absorption of water. Plants growing in ‘oxygen- deficient soil’ shows low absorption of water.
Roots also need oxygen for respiration.
iii. Soil organism: There are many living organisms in the soil. These are bacteria, algae, fungi, protozoa,
nematodes (pond worms), beetles, earthworm and burrowing animals like rats. Some of their organisms
help in increasing like fertility of the soil.
iv. Soil fertility: Soil organisms are responsible for the decay of organic matter in the soil. There by they
returning the element to the soil. They form the norms which makes the soil fertile. Certain bacteria help
in making atmosphere, nitrogen available to the plant by converting into nitrates, a form which can be
easily absorbed by plants. Burrowing organisms like earthworms help in mixing and aerating the soil. These
organism increase soil fertility.

III. Biotic factors:

The biotic factors include the living organisms of environment. E.g. Plants, animals, bacteria, viruses,
etc. all these organisms interact with each other for their substance on earth. The plants are producers which
produce food its own. The animals in the form of primary consumer, secondary consumer or tertiary
consumer solely depend on the plants for the food. After death of the plants and the animals, the microbes.

Meaning: the term ecosystem was coined by Sir Arthur G. Tansley (1935). This term is derived from two words,
namely eco and system. Eco reference to environment and system to complex coordinated unit. Their
functional unit or system made up of living and non-living components is called an ecosystem. In other words,
it is a system of interactive between living organisms and their environment.


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The structure of an ecosystem is formed of two components namely, biotic and abiotic components.

i. Abiotic components:

The physical environment with its several interacting components such as air, water, light, etc.
constitute the abiotic. i.e. The abiotic factor of an ecosystem include the non-living substance of the

ii. Biotic components:

The biotic components refer to living organisms of the environment. eg. Plants, animals, bacteria,
viruses’ etc. biotic factor of the ecosystem depend on the abiotic factors for the survival. The biotic factor of
an ecosystem are classified into three main groups namely producers, consumers and decomposers.

A) Producers:
The organisms which carry out photosynthesis constitutes the producers of an ecosystem. E.g plants, algae
and bacteria.
The producers depends on the abiotic factor of ecosystem for producing energy. They contain chlorophyll.
Chlorophyll is used for the synthesis of food with the utilization of abiotic factor like light, CO2, water and
mineral. This process is called photosynthesis.

B) Consumers:
Consumers are organisms which eat or devour other organism. All animals are consumers. Consumers are
1. Primary consumers: They eat the producers like plant, algae and bacteria. The primary consumer
are also called herbivores. E.g. Rabbit, cow, goat etc.
2. Secondary consumer: they kill and eat the herbivores. They are also called carnivores. As these
carnivores directly depends on herbivores, so they called primary carnivores. Eg fox, wolf
3. Tertiary consumers: they kill and eat the secondary consumers. They are also called secondary
carnivores. Eg lion, tiger.

C) Decomposers:
The reducers or decomposers are organisms that break up the dead bodies of plants, animals and their
waste products. They include fungi and certain bacteria. They secrete enzyme which digest the dead organisms
and they deduce into smaller bits or molecules. These molecules are absorbed by the reducers. After taking
energy, the reducers release molecules to the environment as chemicals which to be used again by the

Functioning of ecosystem basically depends on the pattern of energy flow, because all aspects of living
components of an ecosystem depends on energy flow which help in the distribution and circulation of organic
and inorganic matter within ecosystem.

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1. Transformation of solar energy into food energy:

Solar energy entering the ecosystem, which received
by the green plants by photosynthesis it make food
as chemical energy. It is first tropic level.
2. The circulation of elements through energy flow:
The energy flow is the main driving force of nutrient
circulation in the various biotic components of the
ecosystem. Organic and inorganic substances are
moved to different consumers.
3. The conversion of elements into inorganic flow:
Decomposition of waste plant, dead animals by
decomposers and their conversion into soluble
inorganic form into soil.
4. The growth and development of plants:
The bio-geo chemical cycles include the uptake of
nutrients of inorganic elements by plant through
their roots in solution form from soil.

Ecosystem is classified on the basis of the type of organisms and the nature of habitat. Ecosystem are
classified into
a. Artificial ecosystem: it is man influenced ecosystem unlike natural ecosystems these are
Made by man. For eg. Cropland, botanical gardens, aquarium, cities are some man-made artificial
b. Natural ecosystem: these are self-regulating systems without much direct human interference and
manipulation. This is broadly classified into two types as

The different ecosystem on the land surface of the earth is known as terrestrial ecosystem. This consist
of forest, grassland and desert ecosystems.

It consists of a land with thick growth of trees. Development of forest is determined by number of
climatic factors such as temperature, rainfall humidity, altitude, and availability of sufficient space.

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A) Producers: Forests consist of various trees and shrubs as the producers. The trees and shrubs vary in their
kinds according to the type of forests determined by the climatic, soil and other abiotic factors. The two
important types of forest seen in India are tropical rain forest and tropical deciduous forest.
B) Consumers: They are categorized as follows:
a. Primary consumer:
The primary consumers include the animals feeding on tree leaves as ants, flies, beetles, leaf hoppers,
bugs spiders etc., and the larger animals grazing on shoots or fruits of the producers. They include the
elephants, deer, moles, squirrels, shrews, flying foes, mongooses, bats, etc.
b. Secondary Consumers:
The carnivores which feed on the primary consumers include snakes, birds, lizards, fox etc., are the
secondary consumers of the forest ecosystem.
c. Tertiary consumers:
Those animals who depend on the secondary consumers like lion, tiger etc. come under this category.
C) Decomposers: These are micro-organisms which decompose the dead plant and animals. They include
fungi, bacteria, and actinomycetes. Rate of decomposition in tropical and subtropical forests is more rapid
than in the temperate forests.

Grass lands occupy around 19 percent of the earth’s surface. The tropical grasslands found in India
and elsewhere are the steppes (shorter species of grass) and savannas (taller grass species). Grasslands are
characterized by temperate climatic conditions and appropriate abiotic factor. The element like carbon,
hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur etc., are supplied by carbon-dioxide, water, nitrates,
phosphates, sulphates etc., present in air and soil of the area.

A) Producers: the producers of grassland ecosystem are chiefly various species of grasses. Beside these, there
may be few herbs and shrubs.
B) Consumers: they include the following categories:
a. Primary Consumers: the grazing animals such as cows, buffaloes, deer, sheep, goats, rabbits, mice etc.
are the primary consumers. There are also insects, termites, millipedes etc. that feed on the leaves of
b. Secondary Consumers: these include the carnivores like fox, jackals, snakes, frogs, lizard’s birds etc.
c. Tertiary consumers: the tertiary consumers of grassland ecosystem mainly consist of hawks and
C) Decomposers: this include different species of fungi such as mucor, penicllium, cladosporium etc., and
some bacteria and actinomycetes.

Deserts occur in areas having less than 25 cm rainfall per year. They are waterless, treeless large lands
of sand. Desert occupy about 17 per cent of land surface-on earth. The species composition of desert
ecosystem is much more varied and typical due to different temperature and water factors.

A) Producers: there are only few species of plants present in this ecosystem. They are shrubs, especially
bushes, some grasses and a few trees. Cactus and pine type of trees are seen in their areas, some lower
plants like lichens and xerophytes Moses may also be present. The shrubs have widespread branched root
system with their stems and branches variously modified.

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B) Consumers: only few types of animals are there in the desert regions. The most common animals are
reptiles and insects able to live under harsh conditions. There are also some nocturnal rodents and birds.
Camels are the important animal in deserts which feed on tender shoots of the plants that grown on
C) Decomposers: they are some fungi and bacteria, most of which are thermophitic. Due to poor vegetation,
the mount of dead organic matter is correspondingly less and decomposers are also very few.


It is associated with water bodies. Two types of aquatic ecosystems are identified based on the
differences in salt content of the water. They are the marine ecosystem and fresh water ecosystem.

It is largest of all ecosystem and is the most stable one. It is not subjected to severe climatic changes,
problems of water supply, food and fire and human activities like industrialization. However, earthquakes
under the sea, movement of land masses eruption of volcanoes in the sea may disturb this ecosystem.
Pelagenic (open sea) region.

Phytoplankton plants provide the chief food supply for most of the aquatic life in the oceanic region.
In pelagenic region, i.e an open sea, The animal kingdom (fauna) include zooplankton, protozoans, jelly fish.

In Benthic environment, there are algae, grasses, worms, molluses, echinoderms, crabs, fish’s etc.
bacteria inhibit the mud of the sea floor. Sea cucumbers, prawns, marine sponges are some of important deep
sea animals.

This is another type of aquatic ecosystem. This may be further divided into two;

i. Lentic Ecosystem or Standing water Ecosystem: this is usually called as pond ecosystem. This include
ponds, pools, lakes, swamps etc.

POND ECOSYSTEM: Ponds are small water bodies that have their own peculiar form of ecosystem. A pond
serves as a good example for a fresh water ecosystem.

A) The producers of pond ecosystem include larger hydrophytes (eg. Tapha, Numphaea, Cara, Hydrilla,
Marsila, Nelumbium) and phytoplanktons (eg. Volvox, clamydomonas) which are micro floating plants.
B) The consumers is pond are distinguished as primary consumers which include insect lavae,
zooplanktons, molluses and fishes; secondary consumers including insect and sish; and teretiary
consumers which large fishes.
C) The decomposers are microbes such as bacteria, actinomycetes and fungi
ii. Lotic ecosystem or Running water Ecosystem: this consists of rivers, streams, rills etc. this is generally
called as River ecosystem.
STREAM OR RIVER ECOSYSTEM: it is running water ecosystem. In river ecosystem there are diatoms, blue
green algae, insects, worms and snails are common plants and animals in this ecosystem. Various types of
fishes are also there.


It includes saline, brackish (mixed saline and fresh water) region. An estuary is a semi-enclosed coastal
body of water which has a free connection with the open sea. So the sea water mixes with fresh water.

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Estuaries have all the types of producers such as macro-phytes, micro-phytes and phytoplankton. The
consumers are more or less similar to those present in marine environment. Decomposers consist of bacteria
and fungi.


Energy is the ability to do work. The source of energy required by all living organism chemical energy
of their food. The chemical energy is obtained by the conversion of the radiant energy of sun. The radian
energy is in the form of electromagnetic waves which are released from the sun during the transmutation of
hydrogen to helium. The chemical energy stored in the food of living organisms is covered into potential
energy by the arrangement of the constituent atoms of food in a particular manner.


The flow of energy in an ecosystem occurs from one trophic level to other. i.e., the transfer of energy
from one trophic level to another trophic level is called energy flow.

Producer synthesis and store energy in their body by photosynthesis. When the consumers eat the
producers, the energy is transferred to the body of consumers. The flow of energy in ecosystem is
unidirectional that is it flows from the producer level to the consumers level and never in the reverse direction.
Hence energy can be used only once in the ecosystem.

When the herbivores eat the producers the energy is transferred to the body of herbivores only 10%
is stored. The remaining 90% is lost through faces, respiration and unused energy. A large amount of energy
is lost at each trophic level. It is estimated that 90% of the energy is lost when it is transferred from one trophic
level to another. Hence the amount of energy available decreases from step to step.

When the food chain is short, the final consumers may get a large amount of energy. But when the
food chain is long, the final consumer may get a lesser amount of energy.

Let us assume that the total amount of energy stored in the producers is 15 calories. When the
producers are eaten by herbivores only 10% is transferred to the body of carnivores. Only about 1.5 calories
(10%) is incorporated into the body of herbivores.

When the herbivore is eaten by the carnivore, again only 10% i.e. 0.15 calories is incorporated into
the body of carnivores. The remaining 90% is lost as heat.

Modes of energy flow:

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FOOD CHAIN: the process in which transfer of food energy occurs in a group of organisms through a series of
action of eating and being eaten. i.e. the sequence of the eaters being eaten is called food chain.

E.g. Insect → frog → snake → peacock.

FOOD WEB: The result of interlocking and interactions among the

different types of food chain is called food web. i.e interlocking of many
food chain.

Simple food chains are very rare in nature. This is because each
organism may obtain food from more than one tropic level. In other
words, one organism’s forms food for more than one organisms of the
higher trophic level.

ECOLOGICAL PYRAMIDS: the number, biomass and energy of

organisms gradually decrease from the producer level to the
consumer level. This can be represented in the form of a pyramid
called ecological pyramid.

Ecological pyramid is the graphical representation of the number, biomass and energy of the successive
trophic levels of an ecosystem. They are three type,
The pyramid of number:

The pyramid
of biomass:
The pyramid of energy:


The cyclical path of the elements from the abiotic system to the biotic system and back is called bio-
geo chemical cycle. Bio- means living organism and geo - means water, air earth.

All living organisms are built up on chemical substances. They require certain chemicals like N2, O2, H2,
P,C etc. continuously for their survivals. These chemicals enter into the organisms from the environment and

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come out after undergoing change. Thus these elements tend to circulate in a characteristic path from the
environment to the organism and back to the environment.


There is two phases, i. Biotic phase which refer to flow of chemical in living organisms through food
chain, ii. Abiotic phase which refer to distribution and flow of chemical in non-living environment.

The basic element of living organism is carbon. It is gaseous cycle. In atmosphere it remains in the
form of carbon dioxide. The 1% of CO2 in air is 0.03%. A large amount of CO2 remains dissolved in sea and fresh
water. The concentration of CO2 in sea water is about 50 times higher than in the atmosphere. Carbon is the
basic component of every living organism on earth since all organic matter are composed of carbon as an
indispensable element.

The process in which CO2 get released into atmosphere are as follows;
i. Respiration by plants and animals.
ii. Erosion of limestone and felsper.
iii. Emission from volcanoes
iv. The burning of wood, coal, petroleum etc.
v. Death and decomposition of plants and animals.

The process in which CO2 is take- up from atmosphere are as


i. Photosynthesis by plants
ii. Being dissolved in fresh and sea water.

The cyclic way in which oxygen in atmosphere passes on to the organisms and from organism to the
atmosphere is called the oxygen cycle. It is gaseous cycle. Air is the reservoir for Oxygen. It is the basic
component of respiration of the life forms on the earth. The air contain 20.06 % of Oxygen. The terrestrial
organisms acquire oxyegen from the air and the aquatic organisms from the water.

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However, the following are the basic methods of the release of oxygen into the atmosphere.

i. Photosynthesis by plants.
12H2O + 6CO2 → C6H12O6 + 6H2O + 6O2↑
ii. Breakdown of ozone into oxygen by different atmospheric activities.
O3 → O2
iii. Different natural activities break down water and release oxygen into its atmosphere.

Oxygen is taken up from atmosphere owing to the activities of;

i. Respiration by plants and animals.
ii. Dissolving of oxygen into the water.

Nitrogen is the major constituent of protoplasm. Air contain 77.17% of nitrogen. However, plants and
animals cannot absorb it directly. Nitrogen enters the respiratory organs along with oxygen but due to its
inability, it does not form any compound and nitrogen is not accumulated in the body. The plants assimilate
nitrogen from soil and water in the form of different compounds and animals fulfil their requirements form
the plants.

i. flow of nitrogen into the biotic system:

Nitrogen is an important nutrient of plants. But plants
cannot utilize free nitrogen of air. They obtain nitrogen from
ammonium salts, nitrites and nitrates. These compounds are
formed from atmospheric nitrogen by a process called nitrogen

Nitrogen fixation is a process by which atmospheric free

nitrogen is converted into soluble salts like nitrites and nitrates.
It occurs in two ways, namely electrochemical fixation (Electrochemical fixation is a certain amount of free
Nitrogen is fixed by the action of lightning) and biological fixation (it refers to the conversion of free nitrogen
into soluble salts by the activity of certain organisms. Eg rhizobium, azotobacter etc.).

ii. Flow of Nitrogen into Abiotic system (atmosphere).

a) Decomposition (Ammonification):
When the plants and animals die, their proteins are broken down to release ammonia by the action
of bacteria and fungi. This process of ammonia formation is called ammonification. This ammonia may be
converted into nitrates or free nitrogen.

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b) Excretion:
Animal proteins are excreted out in
the form of urea, uric acid or ammonia. These
compounds are decomposed to release
c) Denitrification:
The conversion of nitrate into
ammonia or free nitrogen is called
denitrification. This is done by denitrifying
bacteria. E.g. Pseudomonas.
d) Sedimentation: Some amount of nitrate is
lost from the ecosystem by sedimentation.

The cycling of phosphorous between biotic and abiotic system is called phosphorus cycle. It is
sedimentary cycle. Phosphorous is an important mineral nutrient. The main source of phosphorous is rock.
Phosphorous is made available in the soil through erosion and weathering. Plants absorb ionic phosphate
through roots i.e phosphorous is found in living organisms in the form of phosphates. Phosphorous is need for
the formation of bones and teeth of animals. It is the basic components of DNA, RNA and ATP etc. which play
a major role in various life processes.

From plants, it passes into herbivores and

animals, the organic molecules containing phosphate
are decomposed and phosphate is liberated as
inorganic ionic phosphate. It is again used by plants.

The excess of phosphate in the bodies of

animals is excreted out through faces. Eg. The bird
excreta contains a large amount of phosphate.
Phosphate is also released to the soil through the
combustion of forest trees and grass. A large amount of phosphate is lost in the sea by sedimentation. A certain
amount of phosphorous gets decayed from bones and teeth of the animals.

The cycling of sulphur between biotic and abiotic system is called sulphur cycles. It is sedimentary
cycle. Sulphur is an important component of protein and amino acids.
i. Elemental sulphur
ii. Sulphides and
iii. Sulphates

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Sulphur is present in rocks. It is made

available for plants in the form of inorganic sulphate
by weathering and erosion. Sulphur passes into the
animals through food chain. By the death of plants
and animals, decomposer deco decomposes, it
again bring the sulphur to soil for the use of plants.

Some sulphur in dead bodies is released

into the air as hydrogen sulphide (H2S) by bacteria
under anaerobic combustion. Similarly incomplete
combustion of fossil fuel sulphur dioxide SO2 into
the air. Certain bacteria oxidize H2S of air to sulphate
which can be used by plants.
H2S + 2O2 -------------→ SO4 + 2H↑
Certain amount of sulphur is lost in the sediments. If iron is present in the sediments sulphur
combines with it to form iron sulphides

Fe + S -------------------→ FeS


This is cyclic natural process in which water is circulated among the atmosphere, land, sea and living
organisms, like plants and animals. Water is present in lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, i.e all the
spheres of the earth. Water is circulated from one component to the other, through which an equilibrium is
maintained in the nature.

The energy required for running of the cycle is provided by the sun. One third of the total sun rays
incident on earth is utilized in the maintenance of hydrological cycles. A large amount of water is vaporized by
the energy of sunrays to form the clouds. The clouds pour down on earth as rain and thereby meets the need
of plants and animals for sustaining life.

Significance of hydrological cycle:

i. The plants absorb water from soil or from ground water, which they use in the synthesis of food.
Some amount of water is evaporated during the process.
ii. The plant products are consumed by animals. Animals also drink water. The water from the animal
body is removed in the form of sweat and urine.
iii. The plant and animals are interdependent in respect of water. Water circulates through the body
of organism to nature and from nature to the organism.

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Our environment is in consist in such a way that air, water land are polluted by different factor like
man- made other natural reasons such as Population exposition and natural disaster. So man should take care
of environmental issues and control them.


“The phenomenon of an undesirable change in the physical, chemical or biological characteristics of

our air, land and water that will harmfully affecting the human life, the lives of desirable species”

“Pollution is deliberate or accidental contamination of the environment with man’s waste”

“Environmental pollution means lowering of the quality of environment at local level caused by
human activities for exploitation of resources.”


The substance or factors which affect the normal functioning of human life and domesticated
species when introduced into the biosphere, are called pollutants. Some of the examples as follow as:

i. Garbage- domestic waste, municipal waste etc.

ii. Deposited matter- smoke, goat, dust etc.
iii. Gases-CO, SO2, CO2, H2S, NH3, Fl2, Cl2 etc.
iv. Chemical compound- aldehydes, arsines, detergents, hydrogen hydro chloride
v. Metals- pb , zn ,Hg etc.
vi. Biocides- pesticides, insecticides, herbicides, fungicides etc.
vii. Fertilizers- urea, ammonium sulphate etc.
viii. Radioactive substance
ix. Noise
x. Heat
xi. Sewage, plastics, oils.
↙ ↘
Non – degradable pollutants degradable pollutants
↓ ↓
Cannot decomposed can be decomposed by degrade able
↓ ↓
Accumulation by bio geo cycle recycled by bio geo cycle
↓ ↓
E.g. DDT, aluminum, plastic e.g.: sewage, heat, noise

Sources of pollution:

1. Human activity
2. Population explosion: more people produce more sewage and solid wastes, large amount of fuel being
burned, more fertilize, insecticide etc.
3. Industries: paper mill, sugar factories, soap factories
4. Automobiles: train, road vehicles, aircraft, air, noise
5. Smoke from industries and house
6. Biocides

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7. Fertilizers
8. Sewage
9. Atom bomb explosion heat

Pollution its consequences (ecological effect)

1. Death: when air is polluted with poisonous gases, death comes as a result immediately. E.g.
a. Bhopal Gas episode: leakage at methyl isocyanate causes in one night at Bhopal, there were 3000
human being died, 5000 were paralyzed and 1000 of cattle, bird, dogs, cat were died.
b. Minamata disease: this disease is caused by mercury poisoning. It is characterized by crippling and
death. This disease started in coastal town, Minamata in Japan in 1953.
2. Greenhouse effect: CO2 is released into the air by combustion of fuels. The accumulation of CO2 is
increasing at rate of 0.4% per annum. This will result in an appreciable warming up of the earth called
global warming. This is called greenhouse effect.
3. Respiratory disorder: excessive ethylene which accelerates respiration causing premature senescence
(old age) and Abscission (pus formation in blood). Aldehydes- irritate nasal and respiratory tracks and
Chlorine & phosgene causes pulmonary edema
4. Eutrophication: sewage adds much nutrients to the water this water is enriched this causes the thick
growth of phytoplankton, algae, plankton blooms which consume more O2
5. Bio chemical oxygen demand (BOD): sewage enriches the water with nutrients. This causes rapid
growth of plankton and algae which consume more O2. This leads to oxygen depletion in water. It
causes death of micro-organisms (the amount of oxygen required by the microorganism in water is
called BOD)
6. Water-borne diseases: jaundice, cholera, typhoid, diarrohea etc. are transmitted through
contaminated water.
7. Bio magnification: the pesticides are non- degradable. They have much affinity towards fat. They
move into living organism they are concentrated as they pass up the food chains. “The increasing
accumulations of insecticides in higher organisms is called bio magnification or biological
8. Radioactive effect: - cancer, retarded growth, infant mortality, mental retardation, leukemia.
9. Depletion of ozone umbrella: uses of Freon and other fluoro-carbons as refrigerators coolants, etc.
causes depletions of ozone by the result of photo chemical reactions.
10. Acid rain: release of immense quantities of sulphur- dioxide and nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere
while burning fossil fuel. It consequence acid rain, acidity of snow and fog. It decreases crop yielding
and make skin diseases.


Air pollution refers to the undesirable changes occurring in at causing effects on man and
domesticated species.

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“Air pollution can be defined as presence of foreign matter either gaseous or particles or combination
of both in the air which is detrimental to health and welfare of human beings”. i.e. The contamination of air
with dust, smoke and harmful gases are called air pollution.


1. Agriculture: hydrocarbons released by plants, pollen grains insecticides etc. causes’ air pollution.
2. Dust: dust in the air is increased by dust storms, wind, volcanoes, automobiles, etc.
3. Industries: combustion of fossil fuels like coal, petroleum, etc. in industries is the main source of air
4. Automobiles: the combustion of petrol and diesel in auto mobiles release harmful gases into air. They
also produce dust.
5. Ionizing radiations: ionizing radiations include alpha particles, beta particles and gamma rays. They
are released into air when testing atomic weapons and atomic explosions.
6. Freon’s: uses of Freon’s and other Chlorofluorocarbon and refrigerants, coolants and as filling agents
in aerosol packages causing pollution.
7. Aerosols: aerosols are small particles of solid or liquid substance suspended in the air. The block the
stomata of plants and prevent gaseous exchange between plant and atmosphere. They may change
the climate of an area


1. Greenhouse effect (GLOBAL WARMING): CO2 is released into air by the combustion of fuels. It is
estimated that CO2 is increased of rate of 0.04% per annum. This will result on an appreciable warming
up the earth. This is called greenhouse effect. This will causes melting of polar ice and glaciers resulting
in rise of nearly 60 feet on sea level.
2. Depletion of ozone layer: in the uses of Freon’s and other Chlorofluorocarbon as refrigerant, coolant
on domestic refrigerators agent’s causes the density of the ozone layer has been diminishing at
average rate of 3%. The holes on ozone layer allows the harmful ultra violet radiations from the sun
thus increase the skin cancer by 5 to 7%.
3. Respiratory disorder: excessive ethylene accelerates respiration and which causing premature
senescence (old age) and abscission (accumulation of pus in body). Aldehydes irritate nasal and
respiratory tracts.
4. Biological effect: a. Chlorosis:- the disappearance of chlorophyll is called chlorosis. It is caused by SO2
fluorides present in air. b. Necrosis- the breakdown of cell is called necrosis. It is caused by NO2, SO2,
O3, and Fl2. c. Crop losses:- heavy loss of crop plants is caused by smog. Smog denotes a combination
of smoke and fog. it consist of ozone and PAN (peroxy acetyl nitrate)
5. Acid rains: the rain water having pH as low as 5.6 is called acid rain. When atmospheric air contain
sulphur-di-oxide (SO2), nitrous oxide (N2O) and nitric oxide (NO), they dissolve in rain water forming
sulphuric acid and nitric acid. The rain water falls as acid rain.
6. Some other disease: nausea-H2S smell like rotten eggs; vomiting-SO2 causes vomiting; jaundice-
arsines induce RBC breakdown; oxygen carrying capacity- CO reduces oxygen carrying capacity of RBC;
Coughing- causes of phosgene’s (carbonyl chloride); headache- due to SO2; cardiac disease- due to
cadmium; pneumonia- caused by breathing manganese particles.


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1. The emission of exhaust from automobiles can be reduced devices such as positive crankcase
ventilation value and catalytic converter
2. Electrostatic precipitators can reduce smoke and dust from industries.
3. Gaseous pollutants arising from industries can be removed by differential solubility of gases in water.
4. A fine spray of water in device called scrubber can separate many gases like NH3, SO2, etc. from the
emitted exhaust.
5. Certain gases can be removed by filtration or absorption through activated carbon.
6. Certain gases can be made chemically inert by chemical conversion
7. At the Government level pollution can be controlled by framing legislations.

Water pollution refers to the undesirable change occurring in water which may harmfully affects the
life activities of man and domesticated species. Water is the soul of nature, its pollution will perish the world.


1. Domestic sewage: domestic sewage consist of human faces, urine and the dirty used up water in
house. It contains a large number of pathogenic bacteria and virus.
2. Industrial effluents: all industrial plant produce organic and inorganic chemical wastes. Those non-
usable chemicals are dumped in water. The industrial waste include heavy metals, detergents,
petroleum acid, alkali’s, phenols, carbonates, alcohol, cyanide , arsenic, chlorines.
3. Thermal pollution: many industries use water for cooling. The resultant warm water is discharged into
rivers. This bring about thermal pollution.

4. Fertilizers: the fertilizer used for crops are

washed into ponds and rivers.
5. Pesticides: pesticides are used to control pest in field and house. They include DDT, BHC, Endrin etc.
6. Radioactive wastes: liquid radioactive waste are released into the sea around nuclear installations.
The oceanic currents carry the radioactive contaminated everywhere.
7. Oil pollution: oil is source of pollution in the sea water, oil pollution is due to ship accidents, loading
and discharging of oil of harbors, oil refineries and off shore oil production.
8. Retting: the process of decaying coconut husk is get fiber for making coir is called retting. Retting
release H2S. It makes water polluted.


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1. Minamata disease: this disease is caused by Mercury poison. It is characterized by crippling and death.
The primary caused for this disease was a plastic industry which was stared on the sea coast of Japan
in 1905. From this industry, mercury was disposed into sea, mercury accumulated in marine animals’
later birds, cats, dogs and man.
2. Diarrhea: it is caused by Mercury, Cadmium and cobalt.
3. Mortality of plankton and fish: chlorine which is aldehyde to water to control the growth of algae and
bacteria in the cooling system of power stations may persist in streams to cause the mortality of
plankton and fish.
4. Poor oxygenation: oil present on surface of water prevents water oxygenation. This reduced
respiration and metabolism in aquatic organism
5. Bio chemical oxygen demand (BOD): sewage enriches the water with nutrients. This cause rapid
growth of plankton and algae. This leads to oxygen depletion in water. The oxygen depletion causes
the death of algae. So decay and decomposition of algae consume more oxygen from water.
6. Water- borne diseases: disease like jaundice, cholera, typhoid, diarrhea etc. and transmitted through
water contaminated with sewage.
7. Eutrophication: domestic sewage and fertilizers add large quantities if nutrients such as nitrates and
phosphates to the fresh water ecosystems. The rich supply of free nutrients makes blue green algae,
and other phytoplankton to grow abundant. This increased productivity of lakes and ponds, brought
about by nutrient enrichments is known as eutrophication.
As the algae uses O2 of the water for respiration the O2 is depleted from water. The rapid growth
also consumes all the nutrient of water. The depletion of O2 and nutrient leads to death of algae,
phytoplankton and other aquatic living organism which depend algae and phytoplankton.
8. Other of effect:
Reduction in Productivity: silt prevents the penetration of light to depth and thus reduces primary
production in water.
Siltation: Gills of fishes are deposited with silt. This causes heavy mortality among fishes.

Control of Water Pollution:

1. Sewage Treatment: water pollution can be controlled by sewage treatment includes the following
a. Sedimentation: when sewage is allowed to stand, the suspended particles settle at the bottom.
So by sedimentation the suspended particles are removed from sewage.
b. Dilution: the sewage can be diluted with water. This increases the O2 contents and reduces BOD
and CO2.
c. Storage: the diluted swage is stored in a pond. This facilitates the growth of micro-organisms. This
renders further oxidation of sewage.
2. Waste Stabilization Pond or Oxidation Pond: Domestic and industrial wastes are stored in a dilute
condition in shallow ponds called waste stabilization pond or oxidation ponds.
3. Recycling: Pollution can be prevented to a certain extent by reutilizing the wastes. This is called
recycling. E.g. the dung of cows and buffaloes can be used for the production of Gobar gas etc.

The undesirable change in the land that harmfully affect the life activities is called land pollution. The
addition of substance to the soil which adversely affect physical, chemical and biological properties of soil and
reduces its productivity.

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i. Urbanization: it increase the rate of soil erosion because trees are cut to clear land for construction
work. Urbanization cause accumulation of solid and liquid waste, plastic, polythene bags etc.
ii. Agricultural waste: use of agro chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides etc.
iii. Radioactive waste: radioactive wastes discharged from industries, research centers and hospitals.
iv. Industrial effluents: factories like sugar, textile steel, paper, chemical, pesticides, petroleum, cement
etc. are responsible for addition of 40 million tons of inorganic or organic compounds and non-bio
degradable substance.
v. Other source: chemical pollutants metallic pollutants, detergent, dead animals.


i. Foul and bad smell: the municipal wastes, broiler houses waste, hotel wasted dumped on the road
side produce foul smell domestic waste, slaughter house waste, garbage, dead animal’s etc. release
unbearable bad smell.
ii. Dirty surroundings: the dumping of wastes on the streets and road spoils the aesthetics of the site.
iii. Breeding of germs: the garbage, litter materials, hotel wastes, slaughter house wastes, etc. are
dumped on the road side. This rotting biodegradable matter is the breeding ground for flies,
mosquitoes, germs responsible for plague and some other disease etc.
iv. Altering PH level on land: the PH level of the soil is altered by some toxic chemicals, this causes
adverse effect on plant growth.
v. Bio magnification: the pesticides are non- degradable. They have much affinity towards fat. Hence
they tend to move into the living organisms. They are concentrated as they pass up the food chains.
E.g.: at each tropic level, the accumulation of pesticides increase by 10 times.
vi. Soil fertility and biological ecosystem changes: soil pollution affects the structure and fertility of
oil. It affects the entire food chains of food web in biological ecosystem.


1. Sanitary land fill: land fill is a solid waste disposal site where solid wastes are allowed to decompose
in a safe way. This site is selected for away from human dwelling.
2. Composting: composting is an aerobic microbial process which degrades organic matter into manure
called compost. Composting generates manure from organic wastes.
3. Incineration: it is the burning (or) combustion of waste. It is a method for disposing solid waste
enormous amount of heat is produce electricity.
4. Recycling: recycling is the reprocessing of discarded wastes into useful products. E.g. paper, etc.
5. Reuse: certain waste can be re used, e.g. newspaper can be reused for packing, cycle tube into rubber
bands etc.
6. Reduction in use: reduction in the use of raw material will decrease the production of waste.

Nuclear waste or pollution is any materials containing radio activities by products from various
application of nuclear energy.

Nuclear hazards is environmental pollution caused by ionizing radiations. Natural decay in which
unstable isotopes give out fast moving particles (radiation) until new stable isotopes is formed. Isotopes

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release energy as gamma rays-(high energy electromagnetic radiation is ionization particle) alpha particle
(high speed positively charged electrons) beta particles (high speed negative charged electrons).


1. Natural source: cosmic rays from outer space and radiation from earth’s surface( radium- 224,
uranium-238 , thorium-232 , potassium-40 , carbon-14)
2. Anthropogenic source: nuclear power plants, nuclear accidents, x- rays, diagnostic kits, nuclear test
lab etc.,
3. Nuclear war: nuclear explosion- Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan (1945)


1. Genetic damages: radiation causes mutation in the DNA. Thereby damaging the genes and
chromosomes. (This is often seen in children, affecting several generation). This leads to genetically
defects in future generation.
2. Somatic damage: radiation affects the body resulting in burns, miscarriage, eye cataract and cancer
of bone thyroid, breast, lungs and skins. Even small dose of radiation over a period of time may cause
adverse effects. Alpha particles have more energy than beta particles. So they dangerous when
entering into our body through in halation or food.
Beta particle- damages internal organs.
Strontium - cause cancer in the bone marrow or leukemia,
Radioactive iodine (1-131) is accumulated in thyroid gland causing cancer.
Radiation sickness: loss of air, nausea, anemia, reddened on skin.


i. Glass spectacles: use of glass spectacles will protect the eyes from ultraviolet light because ULV
cannot penetrate the glass.
ii. Waste disposal: radioactive waste must be stored in underground tanks where they gradually
decay in a harmless manner.
iii. Protective garments: workers in atomic power plant other related industries should wear
productive garments.
iv. Atomic explosion: it must stopped.
v. Insulation of reactor: installation of nuclear power plant must be done after studying long term
and short term effect.

So the reactor must be enclosed in broad concrete wall prevent the radiation to come out. The water
used in the reactor as a coolant, also must be kept in safe concrete walls.

Ozone is a layer of ozone gas (O3), extending from 15 to 60 km above the surface of the earth is
present in stratosphere as a shield around the earth and it functions as an effective screen for UV rays coming
from the sun.

“The density of the ozone layer is decreased and becoming thin day by day is said to depletion of ozone”.


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1. Natural process of ozone depletion: ozone absorbs UV rays and undergo photo chemical reaction.
O3-------------→ O2 + O
UV Ray
This loss of ozone is automatically compensated by formation of ozone in atmosphere
O2 + O--------→ O3
2. Man- made process of ozone depletion: due to anthropogenic process, three important pollutant
are released into air. They are a. Nitrogen oxide, b. sulphate aerosols, c. Chlorofluorocarbon
i. The nitrous oxide released by the supersonic air crafts deplete ozone.
ii. Chlorofluorocarbon are the main ozone depletory they are used as coolants in
refrigerators, air conditioners and as solvent cleaners in micro- electronic industries,
iii. Halogens are used are fire extinguishers.
iv. Burning of coal and oil and the nitrogenous fertilizers also destroy ozone.


1. Ozone layer depletion permits ultra violet rays on earth and the UV rays are harmful to plants, animals
and human beings.
2. Global warming: global warming increased by greenhouse effect. Ozone depletion produces
greenhouse gases.
3. Disease: skin cancer, aging, breast cancer, sun burn cataract, bronchitis, DNA breakage, cell death etc.
4. Biological effect: death of phytoplankton, decrease in vegetation, reduction in photosynthesis
increase the transpiration in plant etc.
5. Fading: painting are fade, fabrics are damaged.


i. CFC: the Chlorofluorocarbon should be substituted with harmless chemicals. i.e. It can be done
by hydro- Chlorofluorocarbon.
ii. Freon: for replacing the Freon usage by using HCFC -134
iii. Awareness: making awareness about ozone prevention in conform people, September 16 was
celebrated as international ozone day.

It refers to increasing inhabitants of people with non- agricultural occupation with a higher population
density than the surrounding regions.


The factors influencing urbanization are

i. Industrialization,
ii. Commercialization
iii. Dense network of transport and communication

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Un organized encroachment and uncontrolled growth of slums that spring up on all available chunks of
vacant lands, rive margins and road margins have created an adverse impact on urban environment.


i. Large area of agricultural and pastoral lands around the city are getting converted into residential
and industrial areas.
ii. Increase in traffic and traffic congestion cause environmental pollution.
iii. Clearance of tree and bushes to meet the fuel and construction needs has reduced the green cover
which in turn reduces the amount of rainfall.
iv. Loss of habitats of animals and birds and depletion of greenery has made the urban air polluted
with less oxygen content.
v. A rapid increase in the urban population has resulted in the breaking down of sanitary facilities
and other infrastructures in cities and downs.
vi. Land values increase and rent becomes high due to stiff competition for land.

Deforestation is simply the cutting down of trees. It has seriously affected the quality of environment
by increasing the temperature, decreasing rainfall, top soil erosion loss at bio- diversity and causes flash floods.

Deforestation some time called desertification. It means the spread of desert- like condition in arid or
semi- arid due to man’s influences or to climatic changes.


i. Rapid population growth that increase pressure on the limited resource available.
ii. Frequent forest fires, either natural or man induced.
iii. High demand in developed nation for tropical timber and other commodities.
iv. Flawed government policies for managing forest and power generation projects.
v. Clearing land for cultivation and pastures
vi. Overgrazing by cattle.


1. Rain water ‘run- off’:

Forest absorb rain water like a sponge and slowly release it when needed by the soil. But in the
absence of forest, rain water is wasted as “run off” and it flows into the sea or it is evaporated from
2. Soil erosion:
Deforestation also leads to the erosion of the top soil. Frequent floods, droughts and desertification
with decline in agricultural productivity and non- timer products.
3. Climate change:
Alteration in the global climate result due to the changes in the earth’s reflection of light and heat
from the earth‘s surface, when the light – absorbing forest are removed. The heat balanced of the
earth may produce changes wind and rainfall pattern.

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4. Greenhouse effect:
Deforestation results in the building up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which ultimately leads
to global warming. This called ‘greenhouse effect’.
5. Ozone depletion:
Deforestation results in the loss of an important sink for ozone. Is removal of forest denies the storage
of carbon in plant tissues or the absorption and breaking of pollutants.
6. Extinction of flora and fauna:
Deforestation lead to the loss of habitat if various wild animals and destruction of plants and trees.
7. Non – availability of timber:
Deforestation results in the non- availability of timber and fuel wood for domestic and industrial use.
8. Destruction of tribal life:
Most of the tribal communities live in forest areas. Deforestation leads to the destruction of tribal life

Sanitation means the state of being clean and conductive to health. Health of community is very much
controlled by the sanitary condition of the environment.


The world health organization has rightly defined environmental sanitation as” the control of all those
factors in man’s physical environment which exercise or may exercise a deleterious effect on physical
development, health and survival of mankind”.

Causes and Consequence:

1. Impurities in the environment has caused impurities in man’s life. Much of man’s ill health is due to
environmental pollution. New and typical disease have come up the community due to lack of
2. The sanitary condition in India are very poor. Villages, slums and smack towns are the worst affected
area. Even in many part of the capital city of India the sanitary condition are very poor.
3. There is no clear policy, programmes and plan to deal with disposal of sewage, waste water and
dumping of garbage which have become the breeding ground of flies, mosquitoes, rats, dogs, cows
and other stray cattle. It is one of the causes for ill- health of India.


1. Mass scale awareness among the people, motivation and administrative steps, implementation of
plans etc. are some of the measures in this direction.
2. Turning of animal waste into biogas and composting is another Step in this direction.
3. One should not spit on the road because it dirties its place and the person stepping on it may get
infected it there are some germs.
4. We should not put garbage in open air.
5. We should not allow water to stagnate. Proper drainage system must be provided. Otherwise, it will
be a breeding ground for mosquitoes and micro-organism.
6. Surrounding of the house should be kept clean
7. Degradable waste like vegetable, peel domestic sewage etc. could be recycled through natural or
artificial waste treatment mechanisms.

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8. Non- degradable waste like aluminum, PVC articles, plastics etc. must be disposed wisely. By re used
or recycled.
9. Pupil must be advice to minimize the usage of article made of plastic.
10. Wherever population density is high such as bus station or school, there should be sufficient toilet
facilities and free urinal system.

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The term environmental education and environmental awareness are used interchangeable for same
meaning but there is significant difference in these two term. The environmental education is imparting the
knowledge about environment. It provides idea about “what is in our surrounding”,” what is changing going
in around us”, ”what are the character, and what component used to made-up of our environment, etc.

It may be study of physical and biosciences, geography, agriculture etc. But awareness is feel about
the consequences environmental changes.

Environmental awareness may be defined to help the social groups and individuals to gain a variety of
experiences in and acquire a basic understanding of environment and its associated problems.

Educators and environmental specialists have repeatedly pointed out that any solution to the
environment crisis will require environmental awareness and understanding to be deeply rooted in the
educational system at all levels.


Awareness to environment is the totality of social, biological and chemical factors individually or
collectively that comprise the natural and man- made surroundings.

Awareness of Environment can be given by the following basic components

 Physical components –water, air, land, light, temperature, humidity etc.

 Biological component –aquatic and terrestrial flora (plants) and fauna (animals)
 Human uses –agricultural, industrial, residential forestry, transportation, water supply, navigation,
hydropower and recreation.
 Human values-traditional life style, religious status, archaeological and economic base, and
community structure.

‘Environment’ therefore can cover the whole spectrum of science and humanities. Environmental awareness
pertains to inter-relation and interaction between the living system and life.

Environmental ethics is the scientific looking of various issues related to the rights of individuals on
the environment. It is the normal relationship of human beings with the environment. It is concerned with the
do’s and don’ts of human beings to the environment. It deals with ecological rights of all creatures present
today as well as those which will come next to live on the earth. Ethical standards are necessary for a long-
term conservation and maintenance of nature and its resources.

A hen lay eggs to hatch for its lovely babies, but man steals the eggs, prepares omelet and swallow it.
It is an injustice done by man.
A mango tree bears mango fruit to propagate its kind. Man pluck the fruit and eats it. OK, do it; but
do justice to the tree after eating the flesh of fruit, don’t throw away the seed. So in a safe place and nurse it
to grow into a tree. This is environmental ethics.

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Environmental ethics is maintained by following methods:

 Equitable utilization of natural resources.

 Equity among the northern and southern countries.
 Equity among people of rural and urban areas.
 Equity for males and females.
 Conservation of resources for future generations.
 Environmental rights of animals.
 Environmental education and awareness.
 Conservation of traditional value system.
 Prevention of sacrifice of animals to pujas.
 Prevention of hunting and poaching.
 Regulation of felling of trees.
 Respecting animals and plants.
 Prevention of eco-terrorism.
 Use of ecofriendly items.
 Keeping the environment neat and clean.
 Avoid carry bags and plastic items.


Every country has its own environmentalist groups who have raised their voices in favour of protecting
environment both at local and at regional levels. Many of such local movements in course of time, have gained
national importance and sparked off more intense kind of movements in some other parts of the country. A
few of these movement have attracted international attention and have proven to be useful for the protection
of nature at global scale.


1. Climate change is the depletion of ozone layer, global warming, acid warming, acid rain,
transboundary air and water pollution etc.
2. Protection of land resource basically from the deforestation activities, soil erosions etc.
3. Conservation of biodiversity along with the suitable development.
4. Protection of spoiling fresh water resources.
5. Proper management of hazardous waste including toxic chemicals.
6. Prevention of illegal traffic in toxic substance and wastes.
7. Improvement in quality of life and health etc.


1. Stockholm conference on environment (1972)

To bear a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generation
(Sweden 5th-10th June 1972)

2. The earth summit (RIO-1992)

Climate change, biological diversity, agenda 21 forest principle, RIO declaration on environment
development (RIO De Janeiro of brazil-1992).

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Similarly, Brundtland commission, Nairobi conference, the Rio declaration and Kyoto conference and
pact on global warming are the some of the international nature conservation movements.


The people of India has always been protecting the nature by their own way since long back in the
history. Not only the animals and plants, but the rivers, air, land and stone pebbles are worshipped as deities
in India. Banyan, Neem tree and cow (considerer as Gaumata) are worshipped and respect next to god.
Therefore, the conservation and preservation of number of natural things have long been practiced in India.

In India, many environmental issues emerged from time to time. These issues were because of clash
between government’s development policies and the people who get affected by them.

Construction of dams needs replacement of people from nearby places but they refuse to emigrate
from their birth place. There are many environmental problems also in addition to migration problems. Many
movement, policies were to be safeguard to the people’s right and their environment.

The ‘chipko’ is a Hindi word meaning hugging or embracing. The movement has been inspired by the
Gandhian philosophy of non-violence. The movement started Alkananda catchment area of mid-western
Himalayas. The huge deforestation activities by the border security force for construction of roads in that area
have caused massive soil erosion and ultimately resulted in a devastating flood in Alkananda in July, 1970.

The Dasholi Gram Swarajya Mondal (DGSM) was engaged in social work of flood relief. While doing
the relief work they realized that the destruction of forest was the prime reason behind the flood. They started
education the people about the importance of forest and staged movements for conservation of forests. On
December 12 and 15 in 1972, historic marches were organized in Uttar kashi and Gopeswar to protect the
forest from indiscriminate felling of the trees by some greedy contractors.

The women of that region took the prime role and spent sleepless nights by embracing the trees and
protected them from the axe-men of the contractors. The notable names of the leaders of the movements
were Sarla Behn, Sundarlal Bahuguna and Chandi Prasad Bhatt.

In 1974, when the forest department auctioned a portion of Perg Murendra Jungle, the volunteers of
that area organized a movement by hugging the trees and the contractors were forced to return. The basic
cause behind the participation of a huge number of women in that movement was the fact that the women
felt that they had the right to collect fodder and fuel from the forest and the ecology of that area must have
to be conserved.

On the 1st February, 1978 the contractors brought 2 contingents of armed police to take up the
possession. The tribal women again built up the movement by guarding the trees by a group of three women
for each tree and they embraced them hand by hand and saved the forest. Ultimately, the movement drew
the attention of the central government and prime minister of India observed that ‘Not a single tree of
Himalayan ranges of Uttar Pradesh can be destroyed’.

Though the movement started the deforestation activities, later on it took up the greater issue of
ecology and environment protection at nation and international levels. The chipko movement was hailed by a
number of developed countries like France, Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland etc. The united nation

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conference on human environment held at Stockholm in 1972 has hailed the importance of the movement
concerning the conservation of nature and asserted its importance at a global scale.


The densely forest valley of Palghat district of Kerala is known as ‘Silent valley’. This is so named
because the forest is so deep, dark and peaceful that even the chirping sound of cricket can be heard. The
valley extends over 90 kilometres.

The planning commission approved a hydel project on the river ‘Kunthipura’ flowing across the valley
in 1973. The objective was to generate 240MW electricity.

The project was opposed by a large number of people because it would have destroyed a huge mass
of forest along with its wild animals and plants, many of which are of endangered categories.

In 1976, Kerala Sastriya sahitya parishad(KSSP), a popular science organization duly engaged in
creation of mass awareness about the environmental protection for three decades, launched a mass
movement against the implementation of the project.

Due to the severe opposition and adverse reports from the Nation Committee on Environment
Planning (NCEP) the Kerala government was forced to call off the project in December, 1980. The silent valley
was saved and ultimately the area was declared as a national park.


Social Forestry is growing trees on available land for the purpose outside natural forest areas and
managing the same with intimate involvement of the local people is if people are involved in afforestation is
known as social forestry.

The management and protection of forests and afforestation on barren lands with the purpose of
helping in the environmental, social and rural development.

Social forestry programme

 The term, social forestry, was first used in India in 1976 by The National Commission on Agriculture,
Government of India. It was then that India embarked upon a social forestry project with the aim of
taking the pressure off currently existing forests by planting trees on all unused and fallow land.
 Government forest areas that are close to human settlement and have been degraded over the years
due to human activities needed to be afforested.
 Trees were to be planted in and around agricultural fields. Plantation of trees along railway lines and
roadsides, and river and canal banks were carried out. They were planted in village common land,
government wasteland, and Panchayat land.

Involvement of common people

Social forestry also aims at raising plantations by the common man so as to meet the growing demand
for timber, fuel wood, fodder, etc., thereby reducing the pressure on the traditional forest area. So it involves
rural / community participation to meet the needs of the rural people.

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Need for a social forestry scheme

India has a dominant rural population that still depends largely on fuel wood and other biomass for their
cooking and heating. This demand for fuel wood will not come down but the area under forest will reduce
further due to the growing population and increasing human activities

Types Social forestry

1. Farm forestry

Individual farmers are being encouraged to plant trees on their own farmland to meet the domestic needs
of the family. It is not always necessary that the farmer grows trees for fuelwood, but very often they are
interested in growing trees without any economic motive.

2. Community forestry [Rural Forestry]

The raising of trees on community land and not on private land as in farm forestry. All these
programmes aim to provide for the entire community and not for any individual. The government has the
responsibility of providing seedlings, fertilizer but the community has to take responsibility of protecting the

3. Extension forestry

Planting of trees on the sides of roads, canals and railways, along with planting on wastelands is known
as ‘extension’ forestry, it is increasing the boundaries of forests. Under this, the village common lands,
government wastelands and Panchayat lands are used.

4. Agroforestry[Comes under Rural Forestry]

Agroforestry defined as increases the total yield by combing food crop together with forest tree on the
same unit of land. i.e In agroforestry, cultural practices are combined with agricultural crops like leguminous
crop, along with orchard farming on the same piece of land.

Advantages of social forestry:

1. It prevents soil erosion and degradation of land.
2. Increases availability of timber for construction, firewood and charcoal.
3. Optimum utilization of land and human resources.
4. Generates direct and indirect employment opportunities.
5. Improves environmental conditions of the rural communities.
6. Controls pollution and diseases.
7. Increase local rainfall, shelter for birds and animals.
8. Provide food, fodder, fuel wood to the society.
9. Makes available many raw materials for cottage industries like basket & furniture making, wood
carvings, cricket bats, paper, pencil and match stick making and forest products like honey, gum, lac
oleoresin, essential oils etc.
10. Regulates flow of water, help in water conservation catchment area protection and flood control.

Social forestry brings about a healthy and harmonious relationship between man animals and the forest.
By educating the people who live surrounding the forests to protect the native forests, social forests are

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generated. Particularly skilled person’s educated and unemployed youth of villages may be trained to cultivate
many species of plants particularly useful to them commercially.

Plants chosen for social forestry:

While choosing plants for social forestry, suitability of plant to the given area and economic benefits of
selected plants are to be considered. The species selected should meet the basic needs of the society for food,
fodder and shelter for housing. It should also provide raw materials for rural industry and subsidiary operation.

The following criteria may be taken into consideration while selecting the species.

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1. Non-interference with main trees.

2. Easy establishment and fast growth.
3. Easy decomposition of litter.
4. Ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen.
5. No toxic effect on soil and crops.
6. Multiple use and high yield.
7. Tolerance to pruning.
8. Adoptable to all human interference.
9. Resistance to pests, disease and climatic stresses.

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Conservation can be defined in simple terms, as the management of resources in such a manner that
the benefits accuse to largest number of people for the longest possible time without harming the nature or
ecological balance.
Biodiversity refers to variety and variability among the living organisms and ecological complexes in
which they occur. This includes diversity within species, between species and of the ecosystem. It is defined
as the totality of genes, species and ecosystem of a region.

The biodiversity can be distinguished into three types namely
i) Species diversity
ii) Ecological diversity and
iii) Genetic diversity.

i) Species diversity

The fundamental unit of living world is the species. It is the smallest classification unit of living
organisms. It refers to the collection of varying living forms on earth. For example, Grasshopper belongs to
one species whereas Lizard belongs to another. Thus, there is diversity among the living organisms by the

ii) Ecological diversity:

Environment is classified into various types of ecosystems. The biotic and abiotic components together
represent an ecosystem. Moreover, this refers to various kinds of major habitats such as forest, grass land,
wetland, corals, mangroves, marine habitat, freshwater habitat, desert etc. Each habitat comprises
aggregation of different climate, vegetation and topography of region. Each species is confined to a particular
kind of environment.

iii) Genetic diversity:

The diversity within species is known as genetic diversity. Varieties of organisms are found within the
species with minor differences from one another. These differences are due to variation in genetic make-up.
This diversity in genetical combination of each species is known as genetic diversity. For example if we take
butterflies, there are various genetic variations among which are represented by its size, colour etc.


As a result of natural calamities and man’s interference, species being lost or extinct in a biosphere,
which is known as loss of biodiversity. Loss of biodiversity will lead to unimaginable disasters. As every living
organisms is depended on another for its existence, extinction of any species would biosphere.

Causes of Biodiversity Loss

Biodiversity loss is caused both by human interference and natural calamities. They are

i) Habitat Destruction:

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This is the most destructive cause for the loss of biodiversity. It is caused as a result of clearing and
burning of forests, destroying wetlands, and coastal areas for development. For agriculture, industry and
human settlement, natural ecosystem is destructed.

ii) Exotic Species:

The invasion of introduced species to the new habit would affect the living organisms already been
there. The exotic species drive out the native species. Plants like silver oak and eucalyptus are grown for
economic reasons have prevented the growth of other natural species.

iii) Over Exploitation:

This is one of the major threats to biodiversity. Over exploitation of animals for their skin, fun, tusk,
horn, nails and meat for food, medicinal, ornamental and commercial purposes, over fishing and deforestation
deplete the resources of biosphere.

iv) Change in Agricultural Practices:

Excessive use of pesticides and bio fertilizers also resulted in the loss of biodiversity. Due to agricultural
practice, there is tendency of cultivating large quantities of desired crops in a particular place after clearing
away the existing natural ecosystem.

v) Natural Calamities:

This is also as important cause for loss of biodiversity. Natural disasters like floods, earthquake, land-
slides, natural completion between species, lack of pollination and spread of diseases affect the environmental
conditions which cause loss of biodiversity.

vi) Climate Changes:

Various species of plants and animals are unable to survive due to adverse climatic changes. The fauna
and flora, which are incapable of getting adapted to climatic changes, may shift to other suitable ecosystem
or may be-come extinct. It will lead to the loss of biodiversity.


Conservation of Biodiversity means the management of human use of the biosphere so that it may
give maximum benefit to the present generation while maintain its potential to meet the need and aspirations
of the future generations.

It is important to take suitable steps and measures to conserve biodiversity. Conservation actions
have traditionally been classified into ex-situ and in-situ conservations.

Need for Conservation of Natural resources (Biodiversity):

 To maintain essential ecological processes (balance) and life-supporting system (air, Water and soil)
 To preserve the diversity of species or range of genetic material of world’s organisms.
 To ensure a continuous (everlasting) use of species, in fact, ecosystem which support rural
communities and urban industries.
 To product resource and situation so that good clean and self-sufficient environment could be made
available to the future generations also.
 To keep the diversity of organisms on earth and their development use wisely as land, water, air, forest
and minerals.

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Soil conservation means, the prevention of soil from wastage of soil and depletion of earth. Due to
proper conservation methods not being adapted, vast area of fertile land have been converted into waste
Soil conservation is the action of preserving and protecting the soil from destruction. Today it is
very important to conserve the soil not only for increasing food supply but also for our survival. Conservation
of soil can be done by preventing soil erosion and preserving soil fertility. It can be done by two major ways.

a. Preventing soil erosion:

Rain water, wind and other natural forces gradually wear away from the soil. Soil erosion can be
prevented by,

 Afforestation: Soil erosion can be prevented by planting trees on a large scale. The roots of the trees
hold the soil together and prevent soil erosion trees also help in reducing the force of wind and
product the soil from being blown away.
 Terrace farming: Cutting wide flat rows of steps into the hill slopes and growing crops there is called
Terrace farming. These terraces reduce the speed of rain water down the hill and reduce soil erosion.
 Preventing Overgrazing: Plant eating animals like cows, goats, sheep, etc. Should not be allowed to
overgraze. The fields should always be under some crop or grasses to prevent the soil from being
blown away by wind or washed away by water.
 Proper Drainage and Irrigation: The fields should have proper drainage and Irrigation too should be
done carefully so that no soil is washed away.

b. Preserving soil Fertility:

Soil fertility can be preserved by following methods:

 Crop rotation: The practice of alternating a crop with leguminous plant such as the pea plant from
year to year is called rotation. These plants help in making the nitrogen of the air available to the soil
with help of certain bacteria that live in their roots.
 Leaving field uncultivated: If the field is left uncultivated to some time, it will regain fertility.
 Mixed cropping: Growing two or more crops at same time also improving soil fertility
 Adding fertilizers: The fertility of the soil can also increase by adding plant remains or animal wastes
(manure) to the soil. Chemical fertilizers also increases fertility, but too much of chemical fertilizers
can damage the soil.

Cutting down of forest is called deforestation. Deforestation causes soil erosion and the land becomes
infertile. Landslides and the floods are common in deforested areas. The climate becomes warmer. Animals
lose their homes when we cut down forests. Man is bound to cut trees to fulfil his needs. Our country does
not have enough forest to meet the increasing needs of the people for timber and firewood. We must make
a balance between cutting the trees and planting new trees to conserve forest.

a) Regulation of tree-felling: The shrinkage of forest can be prevented by the regulation of felling trees.
It should be limited, sufficient number of trees must be reserved for regeneration. We should plant
trees on large scale where ever tree-felling areas.
b) Control of pests and disease: Trees should be protected from disease and pests by using spraying
insecticides or biological control (By rearing and propagating the enemies of pests)
c) Regulation of grazing: Animals should be stopped from overgrazing. i.e grazing is regulated by
allowing only a reasonable number of stock during specific time in the year.

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d) Production and prevention of forest fire: Forest fires should be controlled quickly and effectively. Fire
can be prevented by spotting it out at the initial stage itself.
e) Fencing and increase green cover: To increase the green cover in our country, trees are being planted
through social forestry and VANAMAHOTSAVAS. Vanamahotsava is celebrated every year during the
monsoons when thousands of school children participate and plants trees.
f) Movements: In any conservation efforts the participation of people is very important. The CHIPKO
movement was a people’s movement to save forests. It was called CHIPKO because the people of the
villages in Uttarakhand refused to allow the trees to be cut down by hugging them.

Conservation of water is an urgent problem and must be carried out at the micro and macro levels.

a) Micro or Individual level water conservation:

 Leaking taps and pipes must be repaired and all taps should be closed where not in use.
 High HP (Horse Power) motors to draw water from the well (or bore) must not be used when low HP
Pumps can perform the same function.
 Overhead storage tanks should be maintained in good condition.
 PCV tanks are preferably used for avoiding rusting etc.
 Rainwater should be harvested.
 Avoiding to unwanted waste material or substance which through in water reservoir.

b) Macro-community level:

 Canals, tanks and wells must be desilted regularly during the summer months.
 Creation of small reservoirs and percolation tanks to hold run off water be implemented and
maintained well.
 Harvesting and storing rain water in ponds ensure water supply during summer.
 The farming in agricultural community has important role to play in conserving water. By terrace
cultivation, contour ploughing and planting of grasses, tree check run-off water and increase the use
of drip or sprinkler irrigation conserves 30 to 40% of surface water.
 Vegetation cover is essential for water conservation. It is done by forest which influence the
hydrological cycle, such as Reducing evaporation from the soil the canopy shape and reducing peak
water How during rainstorm.

Some of the methods to conserve water:

a) Rain water Harvesting:
Rain water harvesting is the storage of rain water for future use. Rain water harvesting is carried
out in two main methods.
In First method: The rain water is directly collected on vessels and tanks and which is used for drinking, cooking,
bathing etc. The water collected and stored can be used for months together.
In the second method: The rain water is allowed to percolate into the soil by constructing percolation bits. It
increases the underground water table.
Main objectives at rain water harvesting are:
1. To conserve the surface run-off during monsoons.
2. To recharge the aquifers and increase availability of ground water.
3. To improve the quality of ground water where required.
4. To overcome the problem of flooding and stagnation of water during the monsoon seasons.

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5. To arrest salt water intrusion.

b) Watershed Management:
A watershed is an area of land from which water drains into a single outlet like a stream or a
lake. The rain water flows the ridges, along the slopes finally into ponds. This entire area with one common
drainage is called a watershed. Watershed management implies rational utilization of land and water
resources for optimum and sustained production.
A watershed is an area of land and water bounded by a drainage divide within which the surface
runoff collects and flows out of the watershed through a single outlet into a lager river (or) lake.

Types of watershed
Watersheds is classified depending upon the size,
drainage, shape and land use pattern.

 Macro watershed (> 50,000 Hect)

 Sub-watershed (10,000 to 50,000 Hect)
 Milli-watershed (1000 to10000 Hect)
 Micro watershed (100 to 1000 Hect)
 Mini watershed (1-100 Hect)

Objectives of watershed management

 To control damaging runoff and degradation and

thereby conservation of soil and water.
 To manage and utilize the runoff water for useful purpose.
 To protect and enhance the water resource originating in the watershed.
 To check soil erosion and to reduce the effect of sediment yield on the watershed.
 To rehabilitate the deteriorating lands.
 To moderate the floods peaks at downstream areas.
 To increase infiltration of rainwater.
 To enhance the ground water recharge, wherever applicable.


Wild animal and plants make up an essential part of nature. But increased human development is posing a
great danger to the wild life and threatening to wipe away many of them completely from the surface at the
earth. Wild life has also contributed as national asset and it conservation is essential following are some of
measures for conservation wild-life.

In-situ Conservation:

Conserving the animal and plants in their own natural habitats is known as in-situ conservation. This
means the conservation of species in its natural habitat. i.e protected areas are often set up for in-situ
conservation of species (onsite). In these protected areas, entry is restricted. These protected area are often
classified into a core zone and a buffer zone. In the core zone, no entry is permitted. In buffer zone, limited
entry (for e.g. tourism) is permitted. They are usually three types of protected areas:

 National parks
 Sanctuaries
 Bio-sphere reserves

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Sanctuaries and National parks are reserves meant for the production of flora and fauna. In a
sanctuary, some restricted private ownership may be allowed but in a national park, no such ownership is

National parks are protected areas that help in conservation of many endangered species of plants
and animals. India’s first national park was established in 1935 as Hailey National park, now known as Jim
Corbett National park. Before 1972, India only had five designated national park. As on April 2007, there are
96 national park in India encompassing 38, 029.18 km2 which is 1.16% of India’s total surface area. Entry in a
national park is restricted and such parks are protected by guards. No person can destroy, exploit, or remove
any wild life from national park. Hunting, Poaching, felling of trees and grazing are not allowed in national
A person can only enter a national park if he or she has permission from the chief wild life warden.
Generally entry is allowed only for scientific purposes or tourism. National parks are classified into two zones-
core zone & buffer zone.
Core zone (critical habitats): This is where wild animals usually rest, reside, feed and breed. Therefore,
Government should prevent any disturbance in such areas, including tourism.
Buffer zone: areas that lie in the border of the core zone. That is the outer region of the national park.
Here some entry by the chief wild life warden is allowed for scientific purpose or for tourism. In the
core zone is the inner part of the national park Entry is forbidden here.

The aim of the national park is:

a. To product wild life is parks and animals

b. To prevent poaching and hunting
c. To prevent the felling of trees & grazing
d. To promote scientific research by studying the behavior of plants and animals.
e. To educate masses about the importance of
conserving wild life.
f. To take steps to increase the number of plants
and animals by breeding programmes.

Examples of National parks:

 The Sariska Tiger Reserve: It is one of the most

famous national parks in India located in the
Alwar district of the state of Rajasthan. The
present area of the park is 866 km2. The park is
situated 107km from Jaipur and 200km from
Delhi. In 1978, it was given the status of a tiger
reserve making it part of India’s project tiger
 Jim Corbett National Park: Named after the hunter turned conservationist Jim Corbett is the oldest
national park in India. The park was established in 1936 as Hailey National park. Situated in Nainital
district of uttarakhand. The park acts as protected area for the critically endangered tiger.
 The Keoladeo National park: National park formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary is in
Rajasthan. Over 230 Species of birds are known to have made the national park their home

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 Kaziranga National park: It is a national park in the Golaghat and Nagaan districts of the state of
Assam. The park is home to large breeding Population of elephants, wild water buffalo and swamp
 Rajaji National park: it encompasses the shiveliks, near the foothills of the Himalayas. It is spread over
820km2 and three districts of uttarakhad, - Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal. In 1983 three wild
sanctuaries in the area namely, chilla, motichur and Rajaji sanctuaries were merged into the.
 Guindy National park located in Tamil Nadu, lt is famous for Dear and Snake
 Gir National Park is in Gujarat conserving mainly Indian lion
 Bandipur National Park is established in 1974 as a tiger reserve under Project Tiger, is a national park
located in the south Indian state of Karnataka. It was once a private hunting reserve for the Maharaja
of the Kingdom of Mysore
 Periyar National park in Kerala conserving Elephant, Tiger
 Ranthambore National Park in Rajasthan, for Tiger reverse.

India has around 500 sanctuaries. Many National parks were initially wild life sanctuaries. Sanctuaries
are protected area where the entry is restricted. In a sanctuary entry is allowed only for scientific study,
Photography or tourism. Before entry permission must be sought from the chief wild life warden. Unlike other
protected area like national park and biosphere reverse in a sanctuary some amount of private ownership is
allowed. This means a person can own some land or live inside the sanctuaries. However, such ownership is
severely and permission has to be sought from its government. Generally only some people like tribal who
have been living in the forest for a long time are given permission.

In a sanctuary the following is banned:

1. Hunting and poaching

2. Cutting trees.
3. Carrying a weapon.
4. Kindling any fire, or leave any fire burning.

A sanctuary is dedicating to the preservation of wild life. Some of the aims of a sanctuary are:

1. To preserve wild life.

2. To help endanger species increases in number through breeding programmes.
3. Educating people about the importance of wild life production.
4. Encouraging scientific research.
5. To pervert hunting, Poaching and other activities that harm wild life.

Example of sanctuaries:

1) The chilka lake sanctuary in Orissa is home to large number of birds. The Chilka Lake is Asia’s largest
inland salt water lagoon.
2) The Idduki wild sanctuary in Kerala is famous for elephant.
3) The Hazaribagh wild life sanctuary is located in the state of Jharkhand in India. It spreads over an area
of 184 sq. km.
4) Dandeli is the second largest wild life sanctuary in Karnataka, and is spread over an area of 834.16 km.

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5) The Gir Forest National park and wild life sanctuary is a forest and wild life sanctuary in Gujarat (258
fully protected area [National park] and 1153 km2 for the sanctuary. It is the sole home of pure Asiatic
6) Keoladeo Ghana Bird Sanctuary in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India is a famous avifauna sanctuary that
plays host to thousands of birds especially during the summer season.
7) Sultanpur sanctuary is located at Sultanpur, Haryana in Gurgaon District, Haryana, India, it is famous
for migratory birds
8) The Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary lies on the northwestern side of the Nilgiri Hills of Tamil Nadu. The
protected area is home to several endangered and vulnerable species dinging Indian elephant, Bengal
Tiger, Gaur and Indian Leopard. There are at least 266 species of birds in the sanctuary, including
critically endangered Indian White-Rumped Vulture and long-billed vulture.
9) Vedanthankal Bird Sanctuary is a 30-hectare protected area located in the Kancheepuram District of
the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is famous for Water Birds.
10) Jaldapara Wild life Sanctuary located in West Bengal. It has largest number of one horn Rinoceros,
Elephant and Tiger

Difference between a National park and Sanctuary:

a. In a national park no form of private ownership is allowed. In case of a sanctuary some private ownership
is allowed with the permission of the government.
b. Sanctuaries are generally declared and managed by the stage government while matters relating to
national park are handled by the central government.
c. Sanctuaries generally occupy smaller areas while national park occupy bigger areas.
d. Sanctuaries are generally focused to the protection of certain species like birds or tigers. In national parks
the conservation is more holistic and is aimed at the protection of many species.
e. The management of sanctuaries is not as strict or vigorous in comparison to a national park for example,
the chief wild life warden may allow the construction of a highway or a road through the sanctuary.

3. BIO-SPHERE RESERVES [or Bio-reserves]

Bio-sphere reserves conserves some representatives of ecosystem as a whole for long term in-situ
conservation. Bio-sphere reserves is an undistributed natural area.
The concept of bio-sphere reserves (or Bio-reserves) was initiated under MAB (Man and Biosphere
Programme) in 1971 by UNESCO.
A biosphere reserve is an area proposed by its residents, sanctioned by a national committee, and
designated by UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere (MAB) program, which demonstrates innovative approaches to
living and working in harmony with nature. i.e to achieve a sustainable balance between the goals of
conserving biological diversity, promoting economic development, and maintaining associated cultural values.
The term ‘biosphere’ refers to all of the land, water and atmosphere that supply life on earth. The
word ‘reserve’ means that it is a special area recognized for balancing conservation with sustainable use. The
term ‘reserve’ does not mean that these places are set aside from human use and development. In fact, the
study of human use is an important part of the biosphere reserve program. Each biosphere reserve
demonstrates practical approaches to balancing conservation and human use of an area.
Biosphere reserves differ from traditional reserves, through appropriate zoning and management, the
conservation of these ecosystems and their bio-diversity is sought to be maintained. Instead of a single
boundary separating nature from the people outside biosphere reserves are zoned into as:

 Core area: No human activity is allowed here

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 Buffer zone: Some activity like research and education is allowed.

 Transition zone: These areas may contain town’s farms, fisheries and other human activities. In the
area local communities, NGO’s and governmental organization work together to sustainably manage
the area resources.

The aims of biosphere reserve are:

 conservation of genetic resources

 scientific research and monitoring
 Promoting sustainable development
 Involving fringe area inhabitants in conservation measures.

A biosphere reserves differs in many ways from national park and sanctuaries. The research
component in biosphere resources is for more developed. Biosphere reverse have a more holistic form of
management. They include restoration of damaged forests and the management of people around the
biosphere reserves.

Example of Bio-sphere reserve

Nanda Devi Bio-sphere reserve - Uttara Pradesh
Sunderbans - West Bengal
Gulf of manner - Tamilnadu
Nilagiri - Karnataka, Kerala & TN
Great Nicobar - Andaman & Nicobar Island


The programme is the outcome of International Biological programme(IBP). MAB was formally
launched by UNESCO in 1971. There are 14 projects areas under this programme. It is mainly conserve the
genetic diversity and to protect the relationship between man and biosphere.
In India, a MAP National committee was constituted with experts from university and scientific
institutions in 1972. It has been under the administrative control of the ministry of Environment and forests,
New Delhi. It acts as Advisory Board for all activities of MAP in India.
The MAP has identified 14 project areas for biosphere reserve to conserve flora, Fauna and
different ecosystems. They are:

1) Ecological effects of increasing human activities on tropical and sub-tropical forest ecosystems.
2) Ecological effects of different land uses and management practices on temperate and Mediterranean
forest landscapes.
3) Impact of Human Activities and land use practice on grazing lands; savanna, Grassland
4) Impact of Human Activities on the dynamics of arid and semiarid zone ecosystems with particular
attention to the effects of irrigation.
5) Ecological effects of human activities on value and resource of lakes, marshes, rivers, deltas, estuaries
and costal zones.
6) Impact of Human activities on mountain ecosystems.
7) Ecology and rational use of island ecosystems.
8) Conservation of natural areas and the gene material they contain.
9) Ecological assessment of pest management and fertilizers use on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
10) Effects on major engineering work on man and his environment.

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11) Ecological aspects of urban systems with particular emphasis on energy utilization.
12) Interactions between environmental transformation and the adaptive, demographic and genetic
structure of human populations.
13) Perception of environmental quality.
14) Research on environmental pollution and its effects on the biosphere.

This means conservation of species outside its natural habitat.

Methods of Ex-situ conservation:

1) Captive breeding: This involving rising of organism in captivity and then releasing them in the wild. It
involves breeding rare or endangered species in human controlled environments such as wild life preserver,
Zoos and other conservation facilities. In India the government has initiated several captive breeding
programmes for vultures, cheetah, crocodile, white tiger and many more species. Some of these have been
successful but many have not.

Some of objectives of captive breeding:

 Maintaining a healthy population of endangered species.

 Taking steps that ensure that reproduction in the artificial environment (like a Zoo) is successful.
 Providing veterinary services.
 Protecting breeding population from disease
 Recording data for future use.

Despite its advantages there are many disadvantages:

 It focuses on a few, Charismatic endangered species

 It is costly.
 Since the animals have been breed in artificial conditions, it become different for them to survive
when they are released in the wild as they have lost their natural instincts for survival.

Zoo’s: A Zoo is a Zoological garden (park), is facility in which animals confined within enclosures, displayed to
the public. In many animals are also breed. There are many zoos around the world. The management of zoos
is a very specialized subject and involves experts in the field of animal care.

Botanical gardens: Botanical gardens grow a wide variety of plants for scientific purposes. The Indian
botanical garden of Howrah is the largest and oldest in south East Asia.

Gene banks: A gene bank is a collection of genetic material for subsequent use in breeding programmes,
genetic engineering, research etc. It is a facility that stores genetic material. Gene banks could take the forms
like seed banks arboretum, zoos, frozen germplasm / cryopreservation etc.

Aquaria: Here fishes are kept in huge aquariums. The Georgia Aquarium is a public aquarium in Atlanta,
Georgia, United States. It houses more than 100,000 animals, representing 500 species, in 10 million US gallons
(38,000 m3) of marine and fresh water, and was the world's largest aquarium when it opened in 2005

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2) Breeding Programmes for endangered species:

For the production of endangered species both government and Non-Government organization
have taken several initiatives.
a) Project Tiger: An estimate of the tiger population in India, of the turn of the century, placed the figure at
40,000. Subsequently the first ever all India tiger census was conducted in 1972 which revealed the existence
of only 1827 tigers. The project tiger was launched in 1973 to product the tiger. It aim are
 increase the number of tiger’s and habitat of the tiger,
 to recover damaged habitats of tigers
 to prevent poaching and forest fire
 to provide veterinary assistance.
b) Project elephant: Elephant (Elephas-Maximus) is the largest terrestrial mammal. The project elephant was
launched in 1992 by government of India. The project ensured long term survival of the viable population of
elephants. It mainly implemented in 13 states.
c) Crocodile project: UNDP, FAO and government of India launched a crocodile conservation project in 1975
in different states. The project was first implemented in Orissa.
d) The Gir lion project: The Asiatic lion (panthera Leo persica) is now restricted to one small region of around
1412 sq. km in Gujarat. There have been many efforts to save the lions.


The maintenance and preservation of biodiversity is called biodiversity conservation:
The biodiversity has to be conserved to keep an ecological equilibrium necessary for maintaining a
sustainable environment for future generation.

i) In-situ conservation:
The conservation of genetic resource (different species) in their natural habitats or its own ecosystems
is called in-situ conservation. It is an easy and suitable method for the maintenance of many plant and animal
An area is selected and declared to be a protected area and special measure are taken to conserve the
biodiversity. Viable populations of different species are allowed to grow by offering proper protection.
If the ecosystem of area is badly degraded, the threatened species are rehabilitated and maintained
properly. If an animal species is threatened, it is breed in suitable Zoo and re-introduced to preserve it in the
ecosystem. Those species which harmfully affect the sustainability of biodiversity are maintained at controlled
National parks, Sanctuaries, Nature Reserves Natural monuments, cultural landscapes, Bio-sphere
Reserve are used in-situ conservation.

2. Ex-situ conservation:
Ex-situ conservation is the conservation of genetic resources outside their natural habitats. Plant, animal
and microbial species are preserved in ex-situ conservation systems for ex-situ conservation genetic resources
are maintained in

 zoos (for animals)

 Botanical gardens (for plants)
 Culture collections (for micro-organism)
 cryopreservation banks (for gametes, cells and tissues)
 Germplasm banks (for seeds, semen, cells, and ova)

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The centre for plant Genetic Resources, New Delhi, has maintained cultured tissues, puller, seeds,
etc. The preserved specimen may be carried to in-situ conservation system for proper maintenances.

In-Situ Conservation Ex -Situ Conservation

The conservation of genetic resource (different Ex-situ conservation is the conservation of genetic
species) in their natural habitats is called in-situ resources outside their natural habitats or man-
conservation made ecosystems.
It means ‘on site’ conservation It means ‘off site’ conservation
Those species which harmfully affect the Genetic resources are maintained
sustainability at biodiversity are maintain
It is the conservation of natural habitats and the This is the conservation of some endangered
maintenance and recovery species especially the species in some man made habitat that imitates
endangered one in their natural surroundings their natural habitat.
Example : National Parks, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Bio- Examples: Zoo, aquarium, Botanical gardens, etc
sphere Reserve etc


The IUCN – International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. It was a Non-
Governmental organization (NGO) organized in Switzerland in 1948. By the year 1986, it become an
international body in which India is one of the members. Now it has about 160 countries for value and conserve
the nature with more than 1000 staff, more than 1200 member organizations including government and
NGO’s, 11000 volunteers scientist and experts together gather the latest knowledge of biodiversity and
assessing the status of species, to protecting the natural wonders.
The IUCN Red List is the world’s most comprehensive information source on the global conservation
status of wild species and their links to livelihoods. It give information about far more than a list of species and
their status, it is a powerful tool to inform and catalyze action for biodiversity conservation, critical to
protecting the natural resources we need to survive.

Function of IUCN:
 Creation of awareness about the importance of renewable natural resource.
 Research on measures of conservation
 Issue of technical data on conservation programmes to different agencies working on
environmental protection.
 Establishment of an international union to exchange technologies and skill of experts.
 Advising the world wide fund for Nature (WWF).
 Establishment of survival service commission (SSC) to collect information about threatened
species found on the Earth.
 Publication of Red Data Book that on lists endangered species of animals. It will be useful to
conservation workers and agencies of National level. IUCN published in two volumes. It gives
up-to date information about various species which are going to extinct very soon.

Red data Book (Red list categories):

The book that contains all about threatened species of plants and animals are called “Red Data
Book” (RDB). It is named so because it explains animals which are in dangers of extinction.

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People have an inherent fascination for scarce plants, fungi and animals, and have as a result been
documenting the rarity of species for many centuries. The early beginnings of The IUCN Red List started in the
1950s with a card index system that was used to document data on threatened mammals and birds.

In the early 1960s the card index was transformed into a two-volume set of data sheets. They were
presented in loose-leaf format within red binders and these drafts were not available for general circulation.
In 1964 the first comprehensive list of threatened mammals and birds was compiled and published – enabling
public access to the data.

As resources grew, the outputs increased and in 1988 all birds were assessed for the first time. Further
groups have been completed over the years for example – 1998 all Conifers; 2004 all Amphibians; 2008 all
Mammals; Cycads and Reef Building Corals; 2011 all Tuna and in 2012 all Sharks and Rays.

Hot spot are bio-rich areas. The area which is rich in plant and animal species, of which are endemic
and endangered is called biodiversity hot spot. The threat may due to pollution, land cleaning, development
pressures, salinity, weeds etc. there are 34 important hotspots in the world. The area of these hotspots are
less than 3% of world area. These area includes wetlands, oceans, grassland, desert, tropical forest etc.

Eg: Western Ghats, Eastern Himalayas, Andaman Nicobar islands, North-west Himalayas etc.

The Western Ghats is one of the diversity hot spots in India. It comprises a range of coastal hills and
the adjoining coastal lowlands extending from Tapti River in Gujarat to southern tip of peninsula.

The Western Ghats show high level of endemism for plants, invertebrates and vertebrates. They
includes 12 species of mammals, 13 species of birds 89 species of reptile, 88 species of amphibians and 108
species of fresh water fisher. Total of 310 endemic vertebrates and 5150 species of plants also endemic in
invertebrates such insect and worms. Therefore the Western Ghats is said to be biodiversity hot spot in India.

There is a huge species diversity in India, with several of the species being endemic to their native ranges in India.

Group Number % of world species

Mammals 350 7.6%
Birds 1224 12.6%
Amphibians 197 4.4%
Reptiles 408 6.2%
Fishes 2546 11.7%
Flowering plants 15000 6%

Sources: Indira Gandhi Conservation Monitoring Centre (IGCMC), New Delhi

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UNIT – 7 Human population and Environment

The word ‘population’ has been derived from the Latin word ‘population’ which means people. In the
biological term, ‘population’ means ‘a group of animals belonging to a particular geographical area of a given
related species’.

The term population, as defined by Clarke in 1954, refers to the total number of individuals of the
same species occupying a particular geographical area of a given time.

When individuals are born and die, a population has birth rate and a death rate. Human population,
as well as, is increasing at a great rate all over the world and India, Unfortunately, India is leading in population
growth. A rise in population affects the environment and development.

In the beginning of human civilization, during the Stone Age, the population was quite stable.
Environmental condition were hostile and human had no yet developed adequate artificial means for adapting
to such stress. Drought and outbreak of disease used to be a common feature which lead to mass deaths. The
14th century experienced large scale deaths due to plague when about 50% people in Asia and Europe died
due to disease.

But with scientific and technological advancement, Life expectancy increased. People, started living in
definite settlements which lead to stable life.

Scientists conquered infant mortality and famine - related deaths. Population growth climbed to
unprecedented heights, at the rate of 3-4% a year, accounting for about 90-95% of the total population growth
of the world in the last 50 years.

The population of the world, which was 2.5 billion in 1950, had increased to 6.6 billion by 2006. It is
expected to increase to about 8 billion by 2020. The rapid growth in population has caused a global
environment crisis. A larger population means a requirement of greater natural resources. It result the people
are gradually natural ecosystem into man made ecosystem.

India occupies 2.4% of the world landmass, but it has 16% of the world population. In 1992 surveys
said, India has more people than Africa and also America.

The UN population report prelisted that India world reach 1.593billion by 2050, while china will reach
1.392 billion. India will surpass china by 2030.

The majority at Indian live in undesirable conditions, with poor access to basic facilities such as
sanitation, education, health facilities etc., these leads to a direct adverse effect on the environment. India
suffers from ‘people over population’ but the USA suffers from ‘consumption overpopulation’. It becomes
obvious that when we think of environment degradation, we think simultaneously of population and


South Asia’s population increased by roughly five percent between 1901 and 1911 and it’s actually
declined slightly in the next decade. During 1921 to 1931.The population increased by 10% and 14% in 1930’’s
and 1940’s. Between 1951 and 1961 the population rose by 21.5%. Between 1961 and 1971, he population
increased by 24.8%. Thereafter from 1971 to 1981, the population increased by 24.7% and from 1981 to 1991,
by 23.9%. Throughout the 20th century, India has been in midst of a demographic transition. At the beginning

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of the century endemic disease, periodic epidemics and famines kept the death rate high enough to balance
out the high birth rate.

In 1901, counted some, 77 person per km2. In 1981, counted some 216 person per km2. In 1991, there
is 267 person per km2. It show most 25% of population from 1981. India’s average population density is higher
than that of any other nation of equivalent size.

During 1911 and 1920 the birth and death rates were virtually equal – about 48 births and 48 deaths
per 1000 people. By increasing preventive medicine, the death rate considerably decreased, i.e. 1990’s the
birth rate had fallen to 28 per 1000 people and death rate had fallen to 10 per 1000 people. Clearly, it shows
future Indian population depend on the birth rate only.

Today, India has population of approximately 1.136 billion people (estimated by of the census 2007).
It is one – sixth of the world population.

Population history of India

Year Total Population

1960 443,000,000
1970 553,000,000
1980 644,000,000
1990 838,141,000
2000 1,004,591,054
2005 1,095,054,669
2007 1,129,866,154
2012 1.237 billion [china 1.351 billion]
[Some of the term which we mind:
Population: - The term ‘population’ refers to the total number of Individuals of species occupying a particular
geographical area at a given time.
Demography: Demography is the study of human population.
Population growth: Population growth is determined by birth and death rates.]

The rapid increase of human population in a country is called population explosion. It results in higher
population density and rapid deterioration of natural resources available in a country.
Therefore, human population explosion is said to be the main cause for environmental degradation.
According to 1991 census, the population of India was 843.4 million and its growth rate was 23.50%. The
census 2012 says that population of the country is 1.237 billion. The population got developed with 30 years.
The density of human population is considerably increased.
Main causes for population Explosion:
There are many reasons for rapid increase in population, they are
1) Increased Birth Rate: This is the major causes for population explosion. Comparing to the birthrate of the
past, the present birthrate is too high. [Birth rate is defined as the number of birth per thousand people in a
geographical area] simultaneously decreasing death (mortality) rate also the factor to population explosion.
[Death rate is defined as the number of death per thousand people in a geographical area.

2) Conquest of diseases: Most of the disease conquest Due to the inventions of new medicines for many
hazardous diseases so, the mortality rate is decreased. People live for a long time as a
Result of this, the population considerably increased.

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3) Reference for son (Superstitions): In most part of our country, there is a strong preference for son. This
attitude is found not only among the poor and illiterate but among classes of society. In most communities,
sons inherit and transmit the family’s name, land, and other property. As daughters marry and move away,
but it is the son who are expected to look after their parents in their old age.

4) Dowry is other factor to prefer the son: Dowry can be an enormous financial burden on a family, not just
among the poor but also among those who are relatively well off. In many families, this desire for a son, and
often more than one son, result in having several children.

5) Custom of early (child) marriages: Early marriage is also one of the causes of increasing population people
who are married at an early age have more children because the start having children early.

5) Illiteracy: It is found out from various census that illiterate people have more children than educated
people. Illiteracy is another factor responsible for the high birth rate. Literate people can find out information
about their nutrition and health care more easily than illiterate people. So illiterate people give birth of several
children, which results population explosion.

6) Poverty: For the poor, more children means additional hands to work – to be help in the fields; to work for
wages, or to beg on the streets; to fetch water; and fuel wood; to look after younger siblings while parents

7) Polygamy(having many wives): In some tribal societies, and religious communities, polygamy still exists;
this is also an important causes of increasing population.

8) Lack of facilities for family planning: In our country there is lack facilities for family planning. People have
no awareness in using such birth control methods.

Thus, these are some of factors that lead to increase in population. Generally, the problems of
population explosion affect the developing and under development countries.

Environmental Effects of population growth (Explosion):

Most of the environmental problems are due to the uncontrolled population growth. In past, the early
man followed traditional methods in cultivation using bio-fertilizers but in modern days people are used
chemical fertilizers & insecticides for sufficient yield according to the population needs. But it simultaneously
pollute our environment; some of the adverse effects of population explosion are:
I) Deforestation: more deforestation activities arising to meet the requirements of fuel wood, agriculture,
settlement, and also for industrial establishments.
ii) Ecological imbalance: Excessive exploitation of natural resources causes ecological imbalance in nature. An
increase in the number of people means that a majority of them used up large amount of natural resources.
i.e it causes increase in demand for food, water, arable land, and other essential materials such as firewood
iii) Depleting soil fertility: The increased fertilizer application for higher yields and production has depleted
the soil fertility.
iv) Pollution: Increased population also increased vehicles on the road. Automobiles are considered as the
biggest pollutant emitters of environment.
The industries are generated the maximum damage by polluting air, land, water etc., by its bi-products i.e.
large amount of hazardous waste is being generated by the industries.

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v) Urbanization: Population growth leads people to migrate towards industrial areas. Urbanization has caused
several social, environmental and economic changes. The towns are becoming over-crowed it induced
development of slum areas.
vi) Unemployment & Poverty: Unemployment is another series problem arising because of overpopulation.
The majority of people living in poverty and have decreased access to social, health and education services.
vii) Non-availability of natural resources: Population growth affect the availability of natural resources
increasing population demands more and more natural resources for various uses including domestic,
livestock and industrial uses. E.g. Water crisis.


Population explosion is a series threat to environment. It has depleted all the natural resources and
degraded the quality of life. Family planning is the most effective method to control population growth rate.

1) Birth control: Adopting birth control methods can reduce birth rate. Birth control methods are actions
or devices which help prevent or reduce the likelihood of pregnancy or childbirth. China has adopted
a ‘one-child policy’ for birth control. The implementation of the policy was strict and strict penalties
were enforced. These kind of policy can be best sated today as ‘one is best’, ‘two at most’, ‘but never
a third’ i.e. the slogan such as “Hum do ham are do” it means “We two, we have two”. It indicates that
each family should not more than two children.
2) Family Planning Programme:
The following methods are adapted for controlling birth.

A) Temporary method: It is used to temporary avoidance of pregnancy.

1 Mechanical method: it consist of some mechanical devices or instrument for temporary avoidance of
the child birth
a) The diaphragm
b) Intrauterine Devices (copper – T)
c) Condom
2 Chemical Methods: the chemical used as medicine to prevent the pregnancy
a) Spermicidal for male
b) Oral contraceptives for female

3 Natural Methods: It involves counting the days of women’s menstrual cycle in order to achieve or
avoid pregnancy. [Abstinence during fertile period]

B) Sterilization: These method of contraception are permanent in their effect on the ability to conceive.
They include

a) Vasectomy: - Surgical method of men.

b) Tubectomy: Female sterilization- Surgical method of women.

C) Abortion: it is the one of the method to control the population, but in India, abortion is not Family
planning measures.

Therefore, the population can be controlled by means of family planning in the following are
1) By Birth control, 2) By Family Planning Programmes.3) By creating awareness among the people about
population education. 4) By introducing sex education. 5) By Family welfare Programme.

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A Family welfare programme is a programme that works on checking the problem of population
explosion. [Unfortunately, the family welfare programme is widely misunderstood in India as family planning
programme.] Family welfare programmes can accelerates the decline in birth rate.
The family welfare programme in India has been initiated by the Health Department of the Indian
Government. A Combination of good access to family planning services and high level of education among
women has supported declining rates. Family welfare programme is directly related to the health and welfare
of women and prosperity of the nation.
The success of the programme depends upon public awareness, education of women, proper Family
counseling and easy availability of means of birth control. Better medical facilities and nutritional programmes
also support such family welfare programmes.

Basic premises of Family welfare programme are:

i) Acceptance of family welfare services as voluntary.
ii) Integrated maternal and child Health (MCH) and family planning services.
iii) Effective information / Education and communication (IEC) to improve awareness.
iv) Ensure easy and convenient access to family welfare services free of cost.
v) Implementation of UIP (Universal Immunization Programme)
vi) Vaccine preventable disease services.
vii) Implementation of pulse polio programme.
viii) To facilitate provision of adolescent Health Services.
ix) To facilitate provision of antenatal and natal services to pregnant women.
x) To Facilitate provision of family planning services (Basket of contraceptives, Female / male
sterilization, counseling etc.)


According to the WHO, health is defined as a set of complete physical, mental, and social well-being
and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. It is a quality of life that is difficult to define and cannot be
measured. In the earlier days, humans used to live in natural environment and had sufficient immunity to keep
them healthy.
In the present scenario, the environment is continuously being contaminated by various pollutants
Human health is intimately connected to the surrounding environment. I.e. everyday most of us breathe in
polluted air, digest artificial chemicals with our food, and experience stressful noise levels. It is usually very
difficult to identify cause – and- effect relationship between, say, noise pollution and heart disease.
Biological, social and physical environment keeps on changing through the life of an individual;
therefore for good health, a process of continuous adaptation is needed.
An individual health is the result of interaction of a number of influences which can be classified into
three types.
Individual Health

Behavioral influences Environmental influences Genetic influences

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Physical Chemical Biological socialogical Psycological

Radiation Poisons Microbes over – Crowding Anxiety

Vibration Toxins Irritants Isolation Depression
Humidity Allergens Discomfort
Noise Boredom

1. Environmental Influences:
Emerging and reemerging disease are an index of large scale environmental change. Many health
problems today reflect population pressure, climate change and environmental pollution. The resurgence of
plague in India, in 1994 after three decades of our country is probable related to environmental disturbances
caused by a major earthquake in one area and heavy monsoons in the other.
Disruption and destruction of the world’s natural life support system constitutes the greatest threat
to human health.
The majority of people in the rural areas of India are merely affected indoor air pollution in the form
of smoke from burning, such as woods, agricultural residues and animal dung which is used chiefly for cooking
The environmental factor E.g. Water, soil, air, etc., play a major role in spreading of water and soil
borne diseases. Cholera, dysentery etc., are other water and sanitation related illness.
Environmental hazards comprise a significant portion of the health risks. In world population 10% are
children in which 40% were suffered by environment related disease.
2. Behavioral Influences:
Alcoholism, smoking, chewing tobacco, irregular food habits, eating junk food etc., result in various
kind of ill – health. Low amount of physical activity and a sedentary life style leads to hypertension and obesity.
3. Genetic influence:
All living organisms in herit a set of genes from their parents. These genes determine an organism’s
physical and physiological characteristics. Sometimes, due to genetic defects, a person has in-born
abnormalities. Hemophilia; sickle cell anemia etc. are genetically inducted diseases.


Definition of population education:

Population education is an educational programme which provides for a study of the population
situation in the family country, nation and world with the purpose of development in the students of rational
and responsible attitude and behavior towards that situation.
Population education is ‘an educational programme which helps leaners to understand the inter-
relationship of population dynamics and other factors of quality of life and to make informed and rational
decisions with regard to population related behaviours with the purpose of improving the quality of life of
himself, his family, community, nation and the world’

The need of population education

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It has been gradually realized that since the interrelationship between population and development
is highly complex and population problems are multidimensional, it will not yield to any single solution.
It is basically related to the developmental needs of a nation and its people. Demographic trends
influence, and are influenced by, the level of development and the quality of life of the people.
The population situation of any nation largely depends on the demographic behaviour of its people.
Changes in the demographic profile of a nation depend largely on attitudes and behaviours of individuals in
respect of population and development issues.
The demographic behaviour is to a great extent informed by population socialization, a process by
which people acquire norms, values, attitudes and belief systems in respect of population related issues and
which is embedded within the larger complexes of social practices reflecting the society’s internal logical
This process is greatly influenced by education which enables the individual to know the phenomenon
of population change and its consequences. It is commonly observed in many countries that the knowledge of
the simple facts of population change, let alone the complex interrelationships with other parameters, is very
low even among educated people. It is precisely because of these complexities that population education has
emerged as an integral part of the multi-pronged strategy employed to solve contemporary population
problems that face the nations.

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Introduction (EnvRP):
Environment Research Programme (EnvRP) deals with problems related to pollution and development
of suitable cost effective technologies for reduction of pollution. Emphasis is laid on development of eco-
friendly biological and other interventions for prevention, abatement of pollution and development of
strategies, technologies etc. for control of pollution. Projects are also encouraged for development of
biodegradable plastics, to carryout epidemiological studies, strategies to reduce impact of mining, chemical
pollution of soils, and hazardous substances including pesticides, heavy metals etc. Projects related to waste
recycling and resource recovery from waste along with the development of eco-friendly and cleaner
technologies are given priority. Projects are supported in the identified thrust area of environment research.
Some indicative areas include: forest conservation, wildlife protection, biodiversity inventories, R&D in
environmental management technologies, climate change, public health impacts of environmental
degradation, etc.

Objectives/ role of Environment Research Programme:

 To generate information and knowledge required for developing strategies, techniques and
methodologies for better environmental management.
 To find practical solutions to problems of environment protection and management (e.g. Eco-
regeneration of degraded areas, management of plastic wastes, bioremediation of contaminated sites
 To build endogenous capacities and strengthen scientific manpower in multidisciplinary and emerging
areas of environmental Sciences.
 To promote development of infrastructure facilities, where necessary, for undertaking Environmental
 To generate, document and analyze information for taking policy decisions relating to environment
and natural resources, including preparedness for international negotiations.
 To facilitate database management at one single point.

The programmes under which environment related research is supported by The Ministry of Environment
and Forests are as follows:

I. Environmental Research Programme (ERP)

The ERP specifically deals with the “Brown Issues”, i.e. problems related to pollution, hazardous waste
management, agro-chemicals, waste minimization and reuse, carrying capacity studies, development of eco-
friendly & cleaner technologies and providing scientific inputs to address policy problems.

II. Ecosystems Research Scheme (ERS)

The Ecosystem Research Scheme (ERS) is an inter-disciplinary programme which emphasizes the
ecological approach to the study of inter-relationships between man and the environment. it generate
scientific knowledge to manage natural resources wisely.

III. Eastern and Western Ghats Research Program (E&WGRP)

The Research programme on Eastern and Western Ghats is intended to evolve scientific inputs and
technology packages for solving location specific problems in the fragile areas of Eastern and Western Ghats.

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IV. Man & Biosphere Reserves

The term “Man & Biosphere Reserves (MAB)” is a term used by UNESCO. It designated to deal with
important questions of reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with sustainable economic and social
development and maintenance of associated cultural values.

V. Mangroves and Coral Reefs

This programme supports research for conservation and management of mangroves and coral reefs
ecosystems. It deals degradation, afforestation of degraded mangrove areas, maintenance of genetic diversity,
especially of the threatened and endemic species, ‘coral reefs’ restoration, artificial regeneration, & creation
of awareness among the people on importance of mangroves and coral reefs ecosystems.

VI. Wetlands
Wetland resources having significant biological diversity and great ecological, economic and aesthetic
importance. Research support relates to various aspects of conservation and management of wetlands
including enhancement of their productivity & utility for supporting floral and faunal diversity and
anthropogenic benefits.

VII. National Natural Resources Management System (NNRMS)

The research programme aimed at optimal utilization of natural resources by remote sensing along
with conventional data. It studies environmental and ecological issues such as management of forests,
grasslands, faunal resources, wetlands, coastal areas including mangroves and coral resources, land
degradation, impact of developmental activities etc.

VIII. National River Conservation Programme

This programme supports water quality improvements through site specific and scheme specific
research. Water quality monitoring and modeling, impact analysis, estimation & treatment of non-point
pollution, Phytoremediation etc, are some of the thrust areas. Besides these, development of low cost
treatment technologies and tertiary treatment for disinfection of treated sewage are given priority.

IX Wildlife Conservation
Wildlife Division supports researches related to wildlife conservation under the scheme of
“Strengthening of Wildlife Division and Consultancies for Special Tasks”. Proposals may include population
surveys, species/ecosystem specific studies including threat perception, habitat ecology and management
aspects etc.

X Climate Change
This programme supports commissioned research relevant to international negotiations on Climate
Change. It includes all research/data collection and other activities under various bilateral and multilateral
agreements on Climate Change. It deal with all issues related to climate change including Asia Pacific

XI. Biodiversity Conservation

This programme supports commissioned research projects on issues relevant to the Convention on
Biological Diversity and Biosafety Protocol.

Environmental management regulate the demands and activities of man in such a way that the ability
of the environment to sustain future development remains unimpaired.


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Environmental management is integrative ecological, cultural, economic and social process by which
the environment is developed in a holistic and systematic manner through the optimal use of existing and
potential resources in the biosphere, for the ultimate improvement of human well-being. It aims at the
maintenance of the long term sustained yield from the biosphere, and should be designed to provide greater
personal and social opportunities for present and future generations

Environmental management consists of the set of activities aimed at choosing appropriate

institutional arrangements, technologies and incentives for achieving whatever goals are specified as
“environmental quality” targets.


The present industrial culture is the ultimate result of civilization evolved by the man kind during last
4-5 million years. Evolution of civilization to the present industrial culture reveals that initially the human
races only used the three main natural resources – the flora, the fauna and the minerals to meet their

Tens of thousands of square kilometers of the tropical forest, which contain vast gene bank of un-
tapped wealth, are being destroyed each year and an equivalent area is getting seriously degraded. According
to biologist some thousands of species are already being lost every year from tropical forest which contain
around half of the world’s species of animals and plants.

The tremendous technological developments in the scale of operations for exploitation of mineral
wealth have contributed significantly and substantially for the progress and prosperity of man-kind. Its
affected entire environment and entire ecosystem. These mining basically related to land damage, air
pollution, water pollution and hydrological damage and noise pollution and ground vibration.

Unless the attitude of man-kind changes, it is feared that the tropical forests will have largely
destroyed or seriously degraded by the end of this century. There are the predications of ecologists by
extrapolations of the current rates deforestation that are revealed by satellite imageries.

Experience has shown that mere qualitative approach to restore environmental balance is neither
enough nor effective and therefore world- wide efforts have to be made quantify the crisis effectively. This is
logically leading to data-base management committed to environmental appraisal, monitoring and warning
system. Data base management committed to environmental restoration and preservation of regional

Environmental appraisal committee:

The government has formed a Department of Environment under which, there is number of
environmental appraisal committees for different industries have been constituted. The major mineral-base
and chemical – base industries are state-owned and all the public sector organizations have to get their
environmental protection plans of new-projects approved by the concerned committee before financial
sanctions are given by the public-Investment–Board. The government has also laid down strict laws for
environmental protection and pollution control.

DATA-BASE MANAGEMENT (for environmental appraisal and warning system):

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Environment protection has to be an integral part of all technical consideration in the planning and
implementation of the feasibility studies related to mineral base, chemical base industries and environmental
pollution hazards & control measures.

It is thoughtfully planned in the overall set-up of i. production, ii. Processing units, and iii. Output [In
some case even after production activities are terminated]. For implementation of the provision in the environment-
related Acts with total commitment, the data-base management requires meticulous advance action plan.

Data-base management committed to environmental appraisal, monitoring and warning system. Data
base management helps to environmental restoration and preservation of regional ecology.

The data-base has to be created before, during and after the life of the project. It may be divided into
five stages. Each stage has indeed a role for concerned agencies. The nature of data to be collected and
monitors during each of the stage is also be given below.

I. Pre-feasibility stage: during this stage studies and data collection to be carried out in specified potential
regions. It includes,

 Main sources of pollution, effluent being discharged and measures already initiated for pollution
 Effects on human life, Flore and Fauna,
 Status and magnitude of deforestation, afforestation and the quality of measures taken up for
afforestation, re-vegetation etc.
 ‘state-of-art’ technology available elsewhere to deal with similar problems.

II. Feasibility / Detailed planning State: During the feasibility study of a new venture of an expansion scheme,
the environmental aspects and control measures are to be considered in respect of individual activities like
mining, beneficiation plants, smelter, refineries etc.

 Identification of all solid, liquid and gaseous discharges from the proposed production activities for
toxic and harmful ingredients.
 Development of flow-sheet and treatment methods to eliminate pollution before discharging the
effluent as per prevailing standards and specifications.
 Provision for monitoring and control of dust and noise within the mine-production plant area.
 Provision for regular monitoring through and organized set up of necessary sampling, analytical and
flow-rate measurement facilities for all pollutants.
 Selection of appropriate technology for pollution control.
 Evaluation of by product potentials and possible of the effluents.

III. Contraction Stage: The carefully selected schemes ensuring the logical harmony with the entire eco-system
of the region should be implemented by the executing agency of it the industry by creating a separate

 Close review and monitoring of the activities involved in the construction plans and environmental
protection schemes has to be done.

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 Responsibility and accountability for minimum felling of trees has to be rested with a highest project
authority and should be frequently monitored by the district forest officers.
 Tapping of water requirements from nearby sources for construction and operational phases has to
be judiciously planned.
 Dumping of waste rock generated during construction of mine and other infrastructure, tailings
disposal and construction of dams for arresting outflow of polluted water etc. have to be done at
preselected sites.
 Monitoring government departments must take keen interest to ensure proper certification by the
statutory authorities before commissioning of production operation

IV. Operational Stage: the data collection and monitoring assumes importance during the entire operational
life of a project.

A. Effluent –water date generation: recording of flow-rates, discharge-rates, dissolved solids and other
matters, water quality index and physical parameter (pH, temperature etc.,) to be measured.

B. Air-quality data base generation: identification of air pollutant, emission rate, and analyzing the
sample of air mixing to be done.

C. Noise-level data base generation: identification noise, measurement of noise-level (dB), exposure
monitoring, audiometric testing etc. to be done.

IV. Termination of Operations: certain steps could be initiated well I advance to generated data-base in an
endeavor to revive the pre-industrialization environment to some extent.

 Identification of site-specific problems, both technical and non-technical for reclamation of land or
restoration of ground, air-quality and water quality,
 Collection of worldwide information on measures and techniques adopted.
 Analysis of various relevant measures and techniques which could provide solution to the problems
faced and their cost effectiveness.
 Experimental development and selection of suitable methods for reclamation.

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The need and importance of environmental appraisal, monitoring and warning

system (Advantages)
 Each and every industry should be characterized according to the nature and magnitude of its
pollution hazards.
 Systems for data-base generation should evolve adequate ways and means to maintain
internationally honored permissible limits to pollutants in different industries.
 Data-base system for pollution control can be achieved through quantitative information well in
advance for concerned pollutant or industry.
 At every stage of industrial development project are to be clearly understood for environmental
 Conceptual stage, statuary agencies should provide the data-base generated in and around that
 Construction stage, Department of Environment closely monitor and take remedial measures for
environmental protection.
 At government level the policy should be adopted for enforcing the environment protection.
 The efforts for maintaining a clean environment should be the joint responsibility of industry and
the statutory authorities. Necessary financial assistance from central/ state government should
be extended to reduce the burden on the industry.

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Society is defined as the totality of social relationships among organized groups of human beings or
animals. It is a system of human organizations generating distinctive cultural patterns and institutions and
usually providing protection, security, continuity, and a national identity for its members. Such a system with
reference to its mode of social and economic organization or its dominant class.

Culture refers to the cumulative deposit of knowledge, experience, beliefs, values, attitudes,
hierarchies, religion, notions of time, roles, spatial relations, concepts of the universe, and material objects
and possessions acquired by a group of people in the course of generations through individual and group

Environment is said to be the natural world, as a whole or in a particular geographical area, especially
as affected by human activity. So the society and culture are the two factor which modify the environment.

Literally, values are defined as “the regard that something is held to deserve; the importance, worth,
or usefulness of something”. Based on Society and Culture, it is defined as “Worth that a community or society
places on environmental goods or services such as aesthetic and recreational facilities and resources.”

The word "value" means worth. It also refers to an ethical perception on which we based our behavior.
Values are shaped by the culture (in which we live) and by our experiences. However, there are values that
are held high by most cultures. These include fairness and justice, compassion and charity, duties and rights,
human species survival and human well-being.

A conservation-oriented society depends primarily on the values, attitudes and priorities adopted by
the people. Since most of the problems that confront our society are caused by the day-to-day behavior of
individuals, they can be ultimately resolved only by a change in that behavior.

During the next two decades people will be forced to learn to live with new scarcities and to acquire
habits of personal and social thrift. Every time an improved version of a car rolls out of the factory, it is a
technological success; but on the road, it is a pollution problem. Through people are not ready to give up the
comforts they consider essential to their well-being, such as cars, air-conditioners, central heating system and
washing machines, etc., they are prepared to restrict the use of energy, to reduce consumption of meat and
clothing and to reduce their use of items that cannot be recycled if these involve waste. The future will bring
a more conserving society than the one now exists between consumption-oriented values and non –
materialist values.

Essentially, the public’s continued desire for economic growth is moderated by strong quality-of life
consideration. All nations should have a commitment to revitalizing the economy along with a sharp
awareness that they live in a world of fragile natural balances that must be protected at all costs.

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Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, customs and any
other capabilities acquired by man as a member of society –Tylor

Culture is an organized body of conventional understandings manifest in art and artifact, which,
persisting through tradition, characterizes a human group. –Redfield.

Culture is the sum total of man’s efforts to adjust himself to his environment and to improve his modes
of living. –Kening.

A culture's values are its ideas about what is good, right, fair, and just. The world culture denotes
acquired behaviors which are shared by and transmitted among the members of society. It is an accumulation
which a new generation inherits. It is a heritage into which a child is born. These points of acquisition and
tradition have been emphasized by definitions.

The essential factor in this acquisition through tradition is the ability to learn from the group. Man
learns his behavior and the behavior which is learnt denotes his culture. Singing, talking, dancing and eating
belong to the category of culture. Moreover, the behavior is not his aim but is shared by others. It has been
transmitted to him by someone, be it his school teacher, his parents or friends. It is the product of human
experience. i.e., it is man-made. It is sum of what the group has learned about living together under particular
circumstances, physical and biological, in which it has found itself.

Thus culture is a system of learned behavior shared by and transmitted among the members of a
group. Man begins to learn it from his birth. The rules and procedures of behavior are there when he is born.
He is to pick them up. They tell him how to act. By picking up the culture and by tapping the heritage of his
past, man becomes distinctly human. Man has, therefore, been called the culture- bearing animal.

When non-material culture does not adjust to the material changes it falls behind the material culture
and the result is a lag between the two. It may also be noted that culture not only influences our social
relationship it also influences the direction and character of technological change. Culture tends to give
direction and momentum to social change to set limits beyond which social change may not go.

In other words, we may say that as long as the non-material aspects of a culture survive, so can the
society. It may, therefore, be said that the non-material aspects of culture are more important than the
material aspects. The burning of ancient Rome did not destroy Roman Society, nor has the physical devastation
of Europe destroyed European civilization.

Ecology – A way of life in our Culture:

A study of the history of development of civilization gives ample evidence to prove that from time
immemorial our ancestors were more concerned about preservation of plants and animals. They realized that
like human beings, plants and animals and life and must be respected.

One of the principles that the great Buddha preached was ‘to love every one and not to kill even
animals’. In ancient culture, people worshipped some of the plants as Gods. Even to this day, people continue
to worship some trees like ‘vembu’ etc. The noble saint and humanist ‘Ramalinga Vallalar’ said ‘whenever I

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see a withering plant, my heart is broken’. Further the Sidhdhaa medicinal system makes use of lot of plants
and trees for preparing medicine and hence it is necessary to protect the plants from damage. It is usual in
any house in Tamil Nadu to grow varieties of plants, including plants of medicinal value.

Aesthetic concerned with beauty or the appreciation of beauty. Aesthetic value refers to that value
for which an object is considered to be a 'work of art' or the study of beauty about the environment.

Biodiversity is a beautiful and wonderful aspect of nature. Wild plants and animals are source of beauty,
wonder, joy and recreational pleasure for many people. Wild life ecotourism is a good source for pleasant.


i. Neem and mango leaves are used during festivals and fair aesthetics.

ii. Ornamental plants, flowers are used for decoration.

iii. Elephants, horse and camels are used for ceremonial purposes.

Nature has an aesthetic value that can be “experience” by human beings when they are in natural
surroundings. Such as Green forests, graceful beasts, song of the birds, colorful butterflies, prove grandeur to
the biosphere, and world without these magnificent creatures would be a dull place for the man to live in.

Exploitation of the natural resources by man and eradication of wildlife and flora can end only by careful
long range ecological planning. Thus the only answer to conserve the wildlife and flora. Conservation of wildlife
and flora has three objective;

a. To maintain the essential ecological processes and life supporting system.

b. To preserve the diversity of species or the range or genetic material organisms of this world.

c. To ensure the continuity of species that support rural communities and urban industries.

Thus, the conservation of living resources is concerned not only with plants, animals, and micro-organisms,
but also with the abiotic factors of the environment which support them. So developing the environmental
aesthetic we consider following.

 The ornamental plant are grown in hanging baskets in rooms and home gardens to beautify the

 Beautiful birds are reared in small cabinets.

 Ornamental fishes having various colors are grown in glass containers to enhance the beauty of the
indoor environment.

 Zoos and museum protecting different species of animals and birds attract so many people and

 Trees with attractive flowers and dense vegetation on hills increase the touristic value of the regions.

 Parks in cities and towns are visited by thousands of people every day because of their aesthetic value
given by attractive flowers and plants.

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Environment is surrounding of man., Earth is a big environment. Man lives in the environment.

Man depends on the environment. Whatever he gets, he gets from the environment, whatever he
gives. He gives to the environment.

The environment contains natural resources. He exploits them for his welfare. Ashe uses more and
more, it deteriorates. Man knows the effects of deteriorations. So be conserves environment.

The study of the changing relationships of man with the natural environment from the prehistoric
times to now can be divided into four phases. These are

1. Period of hunting and gathering: this was the time of primitive man. Primitive man wandered in the
forests and collected fruits and berries. He also hunted down some wild animals. This was the time
when nature was very powerful. Man had to struggle every day to survive.

2. Period of animal domestication and pastoralism: this was the period when man learnt that some wild
animals could be tamed. Thus, he started taming animals like cattle, sheep and horses. Now, man had
a source of meat and milk. This gave man better chances of survival. As a result, the population started
to increase. Man was not so much at the mercy of nature. However, he did not have full control over

3. Period of plant domestication and agriculture: after the animal domestication period, came the
period of plant domestication and agriculture. This was the time when we had river valley civilizations.
Many civilizations came up near rivers. The Indus valley civilization, the Egyptian civilization and the
Aryan civilization are some examples. Some amount of environmental damage did start during this
period. Man began to cut down trees to make more space available for agriculture. In this period, man
had better control over nature. However, in this period not much damage was done to the
environment as the population was not that much.

4. Period of science, technology and industrialization: during this phase, man began to rapidly develop
technology. This period started with the industrial revolution. Many industries came up and man was
able to exploit resources from the environment and use them in these industries to make products.
For example, man could now take cotton and make clothes. He could use steel for construction. He
now had power saws to cut off trees and did not need the axe anymore. He had cars to take him fast
from one place to another. The development of technology had two major effects:

1. Man could now exploit resources very fast. So, resources started to deplete.

2. Industries gave out pollution which harmed the environment.

In this period, man was no longer at the mercy of nature. He had medicines to fight diseases. Man
finally conquered nature. However, as time passed the environment started to degrade. The
effects of this are being seen today and we really have no solution for it.


Presenting scientific conclusions in public discourse has to major components. One is founded on the
public expectation of certainty in scientific knowledge, and the second is embodied in contrasting views of
belief in the public and scientific spheres.

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a. Uncertainty and change in science:

Certainty is not permanent. Scientific understanding is fundamentally changeable. All scientific

understanding is provisional and, therefore, subject to revision.

Change in scientific understanding is only allowed when it is objectively based and founded on fair
tests of conceptual constructs against observable phenomena. One does not change a scientific conclusion
out of convenience or even an intense.

In other words, any certainty in science is necessarily temporary. This is because improvement and
refinement are always possible, but change is not arbitrary or subjectively driven.

b. Uncertainty and Probability:

Scientific understanding includes uncertainty from probability. It is possible in ecological world

because strict determinism is rare. i.e ecological cause are many, with each cause having only a finite
probability of particular outcome.

Eg. Exposing a particular ragweed seed to light and certain favorable rays of temperature in the spring may
not stimulate that individual seed to germinate.

So the recommendation to treat ragweed seeds to germinate is a probabilistic statement. i.e there is
variability in the capacity of ragweed seeds to responds to environmental cues. Such as – not all seeds
germinate in a given year. – Some of them remain dormant for many years etc.

An ecological generalization is derived from a large number of cases may applied to small number or
specific system. But one cannot be sure which individual seed will or will not germinate, or which individual
mouse will fall prey to an owl on a given night.

But one can nevertheless use generalized rates of birth or death in understating ecosystem structure
and change. Therefore, there are causes of uncertainty in ecological conclusion.

c. Belief and scientific conclusions

Even when scientist have reached conclusions to reasonable levels of probabilistic understanding and
have accounted for multiple important factors, there is a problem in communicating scientific knowledge.

i.e. the innocent but common statement in the media that “ Scientists believe… ,“ which hides and make
serious gaps in the scientists and public view about the nature of scientific conclusion.

In common, belief can mean a variety of things, but the use in the form of scientific one is subjective
opinion, or an article of faith, which need not any criterion outside the individual.

When applied to science, the term “believe” means something very different. Scientific “belief” means
a conclusion based on a set of assumptions, concepts, definition and components of theory. Furthermore,
scientist were use the term “believe” it means conclusion based on theory up against appropriate observations
which could explain new or existing phenomena observed at certain time and places.

The conclusions can be criticized for the structure of the arguments, the veracity of facts, and
appropriateness of the tests, so scientific “belief” is very different creature than personal or societal belief.

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In public discourse, the term “belief” is used to describe a scientific conclusion or the status of a
scientific argument, the public must realize that it is not a personal, subjective opinion or faith that is being

Personal belief does have a place in motivating science, but pre-theoretic notion is made objective
and evaluated through the structure and success of theory.

The mismatch between the scientific use of “to believe” to mean “to conclude” and public connotation
of “to believe” with “to feel”, “to guess” or “to take on faith” must be recognized. Incidentally, scientists
usually avoid using the term “believe” to prevent the confusion we note here.


Public knowledge of ecology is out of date in some important ways. Perhaps the most troubling
aspect is that the large metaphors the public uses to carry ecological knowledge into its discourse strengthen
the gap between public and scientific understanding of ecology.

Most people, including some ecologists, view ecology from the perspective of the old paradigm of the
discipline. The old paradigm considered ecological systems to be closed, self-regulating, and existing at or
close to point equilibrium. Because of its relative emphasis on equilibrium and its attainment, the classical
paradigm has been called the equilibrium paradigm. Its practical implications are that any unit of nature can
be understood by studying the dynamics that arise within it, that any such unit is conservable, and that humans
are not regular ecological agents.

In the public mind, the equilibrium paradigm is closely related to the idea of the “balance of nature”,
which emphasizes self-regulation, a point of stability, and the exclusion of historical human influences. The
balance of nature is not a scientific theory or concept but is a metaphor and cultural palimpsest with deep
roots. It has apparently supported the persistence of the classical paradigm in ecology.

However, the accumulation of long-term data on the function of many ecological systems brought the
hidden assumptions supported by the equilibrium paradigm into view. The new ecological paradigm accepts
that at some chronological and spatial scales, ecological system may be essentially closed, self-regulating, and
equilibrium, but that at other scales,

1. Ecological population, communities, ecosystems, landscapes, and so on, can be quite permeable
to fluxes of energy, materials, and information from outside them;

2. Their regulation can result from frequent disturbances or consumers from outside;

3. Episodic changes in resource availability occur; or

4. Equilibrium, if it exists at all, may be a case of metastability i.e patch dynamic stability - and require
large spatial scales to operate. Such metastability may be based on dynamics and shifts at finer
scales. Of course, humans may have a large role to play, given the points of the new paradigm.

The metaphor of the balance of nature is a tool for turning these new ecological insights back into the
public sphere. There is simply no balance of nature - there is no single reference point of ecological repose
enforced by instantaneous, local feedbacks. Nature is highly dynamic, and the status of various ecological
systems and their components is determined by accidents of history including human influences, changes in
climate, and other environmental conditions, including other organisms and their products.

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We do not argue that ecological systems do not tend to match their environments. They may do so to
varying degrees. In fact, determining the mechanisms, rates, and degrees of match is one of ecology’s central
jobs. The non-equilibrium paradigm merely indicates that the match may be transient, imperfect, and
constrained by history and circumstance. Using an ideal equilibrium point to help understand the nature and
degree of the tendency is a useful strategy. However, it is not to be taken literally in all cases.


Ecological understanding, like any other mode of scientific or other understanding, has associated
rights and responsibilities. The right and responsibilities in ecological understanding differ by interest. Here,
some outline of the right and the attendant responsibilities for public, the media, and the ecologists
(scientists). The right of one constituency require responsibilities in the others, so the risks of public, the media
and the ecologist in the process and products of ecological science are closely intertwined.

i. The public:

People in general have a right to know what it is that ecologist understand and how they come to
those conclusions. The public will apply the knowledge and wisdom of ecology in a) political discourse and b)
to achieve societal goals.

These two rights suggest several responsibilities that the public has towards ecology. Ecological
understanding must be nurtured in such a way that it can be full and diverse. The public must realize that
limiting resources.

One of the most urgent responsibilities of the public is to recognize the difference between scientific
understandings, an ecological understanding. Ecology is in an unfortunate position today of being
synonymous in the public mind.

The public must realize that the science is not the same as the political or philosophical movements,
and that individual ecological scientists may or may not hold the political, life-style, or spiritual values adopted
by parties, movements, in which the word “ecology” is used.

The other responsibilities of the public to recognition of the difference between the science and
conceptions of ecology. People must recognize that scientific understanding is different than personal or
community belief systems. Although the term” understanding “can be used in the different field, it is
completely different from that of science.

Given the difference between science and the other modes of understanding, the public must realize
that ecologists mean something very specific and reliable by “theory”. The public must differentiate between
personal or community belief and scientific conclusions.

Scientific understanding in general and hence, ecological understanding in particular involves

probability and multiple causes for events and structures. The probabilistic viewpoint that characterizes all of
modern science is perhaps the least well understood feature of science by nonscientists. At the least, we hope
the public can begin to develop some patience for multiple causality and probability.

ii. Media:
The media have a right to access scientific information, but that right is inseparably linked to a suite
of responsibilities. Reporters must understand the nature of the scientific process. Reporters share many of
the misconceptions of science held by the public.

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It is especially necessary for reporters to know how scientific conclusions are derived and how
consensus about these conclusions is reached. Without such knowledge, reporters risk giving too much weight
to contrary opinions. Contrary ideas and data are critical for the success and progress of science, but not all
contrary ideas are appropriate for either the scientific community to accept as confirmed or for the public to
act on.

One of the most important obligations of the media is to educate the public about the nature of
science. the nature of modern science allows the public to comprehend the news about the origin, resurgence,
spread, and treatment of disease; the origin and solutions to environmental problems; the unavoidability of
certain natural disasters and their role in shaping the physical and biotic world we depend on for physical and
spiritual sustenance; the nature of global environmental change, already upon us; and the contribution of
science to regulation and legislation.

iii. Scientists:

This community has the right to go where their fundamental questions lead them, to express contrary
scientist conclusions based on theoretical development or observation.

Scientists have the responsibility to build the structure of science as soundly and completely as
possible. Of course, limitations of time, technology, and other resources will constrain this responsibility. So a
secondary responsibility exists to optimize the conduct of science.

Scientist also have a responsibility to look outward to society. Scientists must educate the public,
reporters, and policy makers about the nature of the scientific process and how it differs from other modes of
understanding more familiar to lay people. In other words, the scientific community must explain the structure
and dynamics of scientific understanding and conclusions.

Aspects of the paradigm of modern science, including multiple causality and probabilistic causation,
must be explained to the public. Scientist have the responsibility to present the most up-to –date view of their
science. This requirement refers to paradigms and theories.

However, in explaining the nature of the most up-to-date science, it is proper to differentiate between
textbook and frontier science. Scientists should be willing to state their theories and the specific components
of the theories so the strength and components of scientific conclusions can be evaluated openly. This will
allow scientists to say where their conclusions come from. Finally, scientist must say as plainly as possible
what their conclusions may contribute to public discourse and to use by managers and policy makers.

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