ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Environment: The conditions and their effects that influence human life are collectively called the environment.
It can be divided into physical and living elements where Physical elements include land, climate and other natural resources and Living elements include plants, humans, animals.
SIGNIFICANCE OR FUNCTION OF ENVIRONMENT
- Offers Resources for Production: It provides raw materials like minerals, wood etc. that are necessary for production.
- Sustains life: It has the essential elements that are required for the human life like sun, water, soil, air.
- Assimilates waste: The waste generated by consumption and production activities is absorbed by the environment.
- Enhances quality of life: Beautiful landscapes, rivers, valleys, seas and oceans are delightful to watch and be around.
PROBLEMS RELATED TO ENVIRONMENT
Pollution & Exploitation of Natural Resources.
When the purity of air and water is spoiled and polluted by the production and consumption activities it is called Pollution. It is divided into:
- Air Pollution
- Water Pollution
- Noise Pollution
Oxygen is the essential element of life that is carried by the air, when that is polluted and the quality of air is impaired it is called air pollution.
Causes of Air Pollution:
- Smoke from industries using thermal energy
- Emission of poisonous gases
- Emission of gases by motor vehicles
When the water is contaminated and polluted it is called water pollution. Using polluted water results in diseases like diarrhoea and hepatitis.
Causes of Water Pollution:
- Open domestic sewerage flowing into inland waterbodies
- Industrial waste pouring directly into rivers
- Agricultural run - off
- Thermal powerhouses discharging ash mixed with water.
Vehicles with loud horns and noise - generating engines deteriorate the quality and efficiency of life.
Causes of Noise Pollution:
- Loud sounds by vehicle engines
- By industrial machines and small household appliances
EXCESSIVE EXPLOITATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Exploitation and degradation of natural capital for economic growth by human. For instance, deforestation.
Reckless cutting of trees and wiping of forests for land and other uses by the industries.
Urbanisation is the result of industrialisation where more and more forests are cleared for the construction and development of towns along with household use.
Multi - purpose River Projects results in deforestation too.
DEGRADATION OF LAND:
Means loss of land fertility due to:
- Soil Erosion caused by winds or floods where upper layer of soil containing nitrogen and other major nutrients gets removed or eroded.
- Excessive water logging on top soil.
CAUSES OF ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION:
- Population Explosion
- Widespread Poverty
- Increasing Urbanisation & Industrialisation
- Increased use of Insecticides, Pesticides and Chemical Fertilisers.
- Increased Transport Vehicles
STATE OF ENVIRONMENT IN INDIA:
Here, production and consumption wastes are generated beyond the absorbing capacity of the environment.
Increased air and water pollution at alarming rate.
The poverty in rural area is principal cause of environmental degradation as cutting trees for firewood and other purposes becomes necessary for poor.
Expansion in vehicular traffic generating noise and air pollution together and contributing to global warming.
MEASURES TO SAVE ENVIRONMENT:
- Social Awareness
- Population Control
- Enforcement of Environment Conservation Act
- Management of Waste
- Check over Industrial and Agricultural Pollution
Process of economic development where the quality of life of one generation can be improved without compromising the quality of the future generations is called sustainable development.
Excessive mining activities lead to depletion of stock
Harmful emissions pollute the environment
FEATURES OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:
- Sustained rise in Real Per Capita Income and Economic Welfare
- Rational use of Natural Resources
- Ability of future generations to fulfil their needs
STRATEGIES FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:
- Input - Efficient Technology - Production technologies that are input- efficient to be made in order to maximise the output that will decrease the per unit of input stress on resource endowment.
- Use of Eco - Friendly Sources of Energy - like LPG and CNG that are cleaner fuels. Discouraging the rural usage of wood as fuel that causes deforestation and shifting to alternatives like gobar gas.
- Integrated Rural Development - Inclusive and integrated growth programmes should be initiated by the government that should aim on generating employment opportunities. This’ll ensure rural- urban migration check and reduce stress on social infrastructure urban areas.
4) Converting Solar Energy into Electricity - Being a non- exhaustible source of energy it is eco - friendly and it will reduce the dependancy on thermal power plants causing air pollution.
5) Shift to Organic Farming - Switching over organic farming to retain the soil health for longer period of time.
6) Awareness to Conserve Natural Assets for Inter - Generational Equity - Means providing equal opportunities for the present and future generations. For example Chipko movement in North and Apiko in South.
7) Public Means of Transport - That will ensure less usage of private means reducing vehicular traffic and air and noise pollution.