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Environmental challenges of india

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Environmental challenges that India is facing .

Environmental challenges that India is facing .


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  • 1. Prof. M.Ravichandran Environmental Challenges of India
  • 2. A MACRO LEVEL OUTLOOK Planet Earth exists since 4.5 Billion Years. Life on Earth started since last 2 Billion Years. Human beings (homo sapiens) came in to existence since last 2 Million years. Civilization began since last 5000 years. Modern Science has been there since last 750 years.
  • 3. Basic Environmental Facts 1) Forest cover is just 11 per cent against the desirable 33 per cent according to the National Forest Policy.
  • 4. 2) India is one of the mega centres of biodiversity in the world.
  • 5. 3) About 16 rivers in the world experience severe erosion: of these Ganges stands 2nd and Bramaputra 3rd
  • 6. 5) 10 per cent of Rural & urban population does not have access to regular safe drinking water.
  • 7. 4) Population growth will lead to decline in per capita availability of fresh water- 1947---------5150 cubic meter 2000 --------2200 cubic meter 2017 ------- 1600 cubic meter
  • 8. 6) 1 crore suffer due to excess arsenic in water.
  • 9. 7) 7 crore people in 20 states are at risk due to excess fluoride.
  • 10. 8) Air pollution load from transport sector was 0.15 million tonnes in 1947, which increased to 10.3 million tonnes in 1997.
  • 11. 10) Pollution load from Industrial sector was 0.2 million tonnes in 1947, 3 million tonnes in 1997.
  • 12. 9) The organic content of the soil at present is 0.2 per cent, while it was 3 to 3.5 per cent before green revolution.
  • 13. 11) At present, 1.2 billion people world wide defecate in the open and India has the uncomfortable distinction of leading the list with 665 million (2006).
  • 14. 12) A study conducted by the Centre for Science and Environment revealed that the GDP in India has gone up by two and a half times during 1975-95, while industrial air pollution has gone up by four times.
  • 15. 13) World Bank estimates the total cost of Environmental damage in India amounts to U.S $ 9.7 billion annually or 4.5 per cent of the GDP.
  • 16. Environmental Challenges 1.Industrial pollution 2.Acid rain 3.Noise pollution 4.Indoor pollution 5.Agricultural pollution 6.Dioxin toxicity 7.Deep sea mining 8.Grain drain 9.Green energy 10.Lost woods
  • 17. 11.Asia brown cloud 12.Domestically prohibited goods. 13.Solid waste disposal 14.Pesticide residues in soft drinks 15.Contamination of drinking water 16.Global Warming-Climate Change 17.Linking of rivers 18. Damage by detergents 19. Slaughter house problem
  • 18. 20. Loss of Biodiversity 21. GMO 22. Mad cow Disease 23. Eco-Sanitation 24. Loss of Common Property Resources(CPRs) 25. E-waste 26. Bio-Fuel and Food Security
  • 19. Environmental Issues 1. Poverty and environment 2. Population pressure and environment 3. Access to natural resources 4. Sustainable development 5. Internal and external threats 6. Urban environmental problems 7. Rural environmental problems 8. Global problems
  • 20. GRAIN DRAIN Fine cereals like rice and wheat are given priority leading to over production. These crops are water intensive, less nutritious and require more inputs for cultivation. On the other hand, coarse grains like jowar (sorghum), millets like bajra (pearl millet), ragi (finger millet), kutki (little millet), kodo (kodo millet), cheena (proso millet), kangani (foxtail millet), pseudocereals like amaranthus, buckwheat, jave (barley),jau (oats) and maize are nutritionally rich, have their own speciality like pest resistance, drought resistance and early maturity.
  • 21. Projections show that India is the only country with negative growth in coarse grain production.
  • 22. Public Distribution is also responsible for the sorry state of affairs.
  • 23. Global production of coarse grains and projections show thatGlobal production of coarse grains and projections show that India would be the only coarse grain producing country with aIndia would be the only coarse grain producing country with a negative rate of growthnegative rate of growth 2 1.7 3.6 1.9 3.4 2.2 2 2.1 -0.4 2.7 3.2 1.5 2 459.36 290.26 41.17 102.33 24.57 229.56 404.77 127.76 29.45 6.66 93.65 78.32 1314.35 426.38 273.44 31.11 92.53 19.62 20.647 375.12 119.08 29.44 6.12 86.13 73.2 1200.13 401.11 262.66 27.35 85.71 16.46 184.89 347.81 110.59 29.76 5.54 78.57 68.18 933.81 Developed countries USA Canada EEC-10 Rest of Europe East Europe & Russian lederation Developing Countries China India Thailand America (Mexico and south) East Africa World 1989-052005*20001995 Average growth rate (%)Production (million tonnes) Countries .
  • 24. Coarse grains contribute food for 40% of the country’s population and two-thirds of the livestock population.
  • 25. Increase in diabetes, heart diseases and hypertension can be taken as the manifestation of the replacement of traditional food with food based on rice and wheat.
  • 26. The poor varieties of rice and wheat grown in our country contain mostly starch and very few vitamins and minerals; they are also deficient in vitamin A and iron. Our government is blindly inducing all people to eat these deficient food items by supplying it through PDS, as a result the problem of deficiency of micronutrients like iron, zinc, iodine and vitamins among the poor is on the increase.
  • 27. M.S.Swaminathan says “ Nutritional security is in very bad shape in our country. Every third child is under weight. There are two types of hunger in our country. You can see open hunger, but hidden hunger, which is due to micronutrient deficiency, is not visible from outside. Both are serious in our country.”
  • 28. The best option is to diversify part of lands under fine grain cultivation to grow coarse grains. Coarse grains make good environment and social sense, provide cheap alternatives for regional food security and adequate nutrition to the poorest of poor.
  • 29. Loss of Access to Common Property Resources : (CPRs) Resources accessible to and collectively owned/held/managed by an identifiable community and on which no individual has exclusive property rights are called Common Property Resources (NSSO, 2000).
  • 30. Extent and Decline of Area of CPR land in Dry RegionsExtent and Decline of Area of CPR land in Dry Regions 1971 (No.) 1951 (No.) 286101504127Tamil Nadu (2) 501355184911Rajasthan (3) 88403191813Maharashtra (3) 471441143514Madhya pradesh (3) 1174640116512Karnataka (4) 238824458715Gujarat (3) 134484282710Andhra Pradesh (3) Persons per 10 ha of CPR Decline in the area of CPRs since 1950-52 (%) Area of CPRs 1982 –84 (ha) No. of study Villages State (and no. of districts)
  • 31. 17. State owned irrigation water supplies 18. Drinking water 19. Ground water 20. Barren and uncultivable land 21. Cultivable waste 22. Land under miscellaneous tree crops and groves 23. Other then current fallow 24. Drainage canals 25. Channel 26. Cart path 27. Foot path 28. Nattham 29. Anathinam 30. Road and road sides 31. Non tax govt. land 32. Rack/Quarry 1. Community forests 2. Common grazing grounds 3. Tanks and tank beds 4. Tank foreshores 5. Threshing grounds 6. River and river beds 7. Rivulets 8. Waste lands (wet & dry) 9. Waste dumping places 10. Waste drainage 11. Village ponds 12. Burial and burning ground 13. Common drinking water well 14. Urani 15. Small pites 16. Railway lines both sides •Generally Common Property Resources [CPRs] includeGenerally Common Property Resources [CPRs] include
  • 32. Population Pressure (Human & Livestock) Land reforms Economic Development State Intervention, Commercialization of the Commons Privatization of the Commons Globalization of the Commons Liberalization of the Commons Technological Change Poverty Environmental Stress Property Rights Anti – Poverty Programmes and Illegal encroachments Causes of CPRs Degradation
  • 33. DOMESTICALLY PROHIBITED GOODS (DPG) Dangerous products undesired at home are called Domestically Prohibited Goods (DPG). In international parlance, DGPs are defined as products that are either banned or severely restricted for sale in the country of origin but are allowed to be exported to other countries.
  • 34. Products notified as DGPs include: Chemicals such as highly toxicliquids, benzene, chlorides, PCTs and asbestos. Pharmaceuticals for human and animal use. Fertilizers, pesticides and other plant protection products. Substances used in food and food-stuffs such as additives. Cleansing agents. Cosmetics and perfumery. Dangerous substances used in toys and car accessories. Dangerous products like auto-ignition candles, certain toy planes etc. Gunpowder, explosives and military equipment. Radioactive substances. Poisonous and deleterious substances.
  • 35. Developed countries follow double standards; they allow export of DGPs to developing countries but prohibit import of the same from these countries on the ground that they may contain toxic substances
  • 36. Import of Mercury India being the largest importer of Mercury, its consumption has increased five-fold over a period of seven years, from 346 tonnes in 1997-98 to 1386 tonnes un 2002- 2003. Methylmercury is neurotoxic. Exposure to it causes health hazards like irritation, speech and visual impairment, kidney failure
  • 37. Many examples can be cited to point out the irrational dumping of DGPs by the industrialized nations into the poor countries. Toxic wastes, hazardous chemicals, obsolete technologies, are being donated, exported or dumped into developing countries, which are
  • 38. The Rich are guided by the Not-in-my-backyard (NIMBY) syndrome, while the poor by the Welcome-in-my – backyard (WIMBY) syndrome. However the poor will choose poison over starvation, because of the impact of poison is slow and less cruel.
  • 39. The Basel convention The Basel convention on the control of trans- boundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal was adopted in March 1989 and came into force on the 5th May 1999.
  • 40. Loss ofLoss of BiodiversityBiodiversityThe concept of biodiversity is quiteThe concept of biodiversity is quite wider in terms of its constituents as itwider in terms of its constituents as it covers all the living components ofcovers all the living components of the extensive ecosystem from thethe extensive ecosystem from the ancient flora and fauna to the recentancient flora and fauna to the recent crops and livestock.crops and livestock. In simple terms the realm ofIn simple terms the realm of biodiversity comprises plants,biodiversity comprises plants, animals and micro – organisms.animals and micro – organisms.
  • 41. Basically these are resources both biological and genetic in forms found mostly in the tropical forests. ‘Insitu’ and ‘Exsitu’ that is in terms of bio and genetic forms in the wild, before being manipulated and developed and kept in laboratories for further genetic manipulation.
  • 42. In situ resources 17% 83% North South Natural Division  Forest Savannah Mammals Birds Reptiles  amphibians Fish Plants The developing countries are rich in natural resources
  • 43. Cultural wisdom  Indigenous Farmers Livestock Crop Native knowledge lies in mainly in the Southern countries In situ technology 16% 84% North South
  • 44. You sow and we reap  Plant references  Seed Banks  Gardens Microbial  Biomass Plant specimens Seed accessions Seed Bank species  Zoo/aqua species  Microbial collect Fungi collect Resources are of the South but profits and with the North Ex situ resources 71% 29% North South
  • 45. No fair share  Ecologist  Agronomists  Plant tissue culture  Agricultural R&D  biotech Micro pat South is way behind in modern technology Ex situ technology 83% 17% North South
  • 46. Essentially the debate boils down to the question of Economics. Only the economic benefits over the use of biodiversity cause much concern for the North and South. Another facet of Biodiversity Convention is Sociology, quite significant from the point of actual forest dwellers who co-exist with biodiversity.
  • 47. The North calls these resourcesThe North calls these resources as global heritage, seems veryas global heritage, seems very magnanimous as for as bio andmagnanimous as for as bio and genetic resources are concerned.genetic resources are concerned. Until 1992, the NorthernUntil 1992, the Northern developed nations had gaineddeveloped nations had gained accessibility almost freely to theaccessibility almost freely to the biological resources across thebiological resources across the world.world.
  • 48. This needs to be addressed in the backdrop of globalization process, which is an inevitable mechanism in vogue. The socio-politico- economic implications of releasing such crops into the environment need to be assessed critically.
  • 49. When Biodiversity Conventions was placed in the Earth Summit, for signature, almost 156 member countries had signed barring a few. Most conspicuous exception is the United States of America.
  • 50. Genetically Modified (GM) Genetically – engineered crops are those which contain a foreign gene. Geneticists today can cut out a gene from anywhere, not necessarily plant and put it into any crop. These way traits that are not present in the particular crop can be brought in from anywhere: another plant, an animal or even a bacterium.
  • 51. Genetic Engineering Species A B C Cell Cell Nucleus Nucleus Chromosome DNA DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) Gene(s) Gene Germplasm Germplasm New species BIOTECHNOLOGY
  • 52. Genetically Modified Food Are genetically modified organisms (GMO) a panacea for solving the world’s hunger problem or a potential threat to environment in general and human health in particular? This is a tough but a formidable question for discussion.
  • 53. GMOs- Disbenefits Gene escape into the environment causing growth of super weeds. Destruction of useful insects along with the pests harmful to the crops. Transgenic crops, which have better growth, might compete with desirable crops leading to their loss. Unexpected and undesirable change in the ecology of that region. Experimental errors – cloning wrong genes into the organism. Insertion of a desired gene sequence may (cause) take place at an undesirable site in
  • 54. – Andhra Pradesh, the state where more than 500 farmers committed suicide after a failed crop in 1998. – A packet of One kg of Bt cotton is sold at Rs.3000 per kg. This amount is excessively high when compared to the price of the conventional seed which is sold at Rs.500 per kg. – According to GEAC rules, a refuge belt- comprising one-fifth of every field - has to be se up where planting of non- Bt varieties will be mandatory.
  • 55. BAMBOO
  • 56.  British Rulers of India, saw bamboo as a rich exploitable resource and declared it as a tree for their own benefit, thereby preventing access to the locals.  Carl von Linne, Swedish botanist and ‘Father of Taxonomy’ classifies bamboo as a grass.
  • 57. • Indian Forest Act, 1927, declared bamboo as a tree. • Modern taxonomy classifies bamboo as a giant graminoid or grass belonging to the family Poaceae. • If regarded as tree- major forest resource- denial of access to forest dwellers. • If regarded as grass- minor forest resource- natives of forest have right to access.
  • 58. Carl Von Linne, the father of modern taxonomy and modern ecology, argued in favour of bamboo as a giant graminoid (grass).
  • 59. Forest Rights Act, 2006, FRA was passed in the Indian parliament on 13, December 2006. This act has unfolded the prejudices against the tribal people.
  • 60. Government has monopoly to harvest, use and sell bamboo. Annual trade of bamboo in India is Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 15,000 crore. Forms the major raw material for pulp and paper industry and construction industry.
  • 61. Locals use bamboo for subsistence- part of their livelihood. Forest departments proclaim cutting and transporting of bamboo illegal, if done by locals. Transit passes and permission to use bamboo denied to the people who solely depend on them for existence.
  • 62. India, second richest country in bamboo resources. 136 species of bamboo in India 9.57 million hectare of bamboo forest Annual production of 4.7 million tonnes. Forest communities have nurtured and protected bamboo for centuries.
  • 63. Traditionally they use bamboo for construction of bridges, houses, fences weapons etc. It is used as food- tender bamboo shoots serve as food. Every day utility items like utensils, baskets, fans, mats and crafts are produced for trade.
  • 64. Government should proclaim bamboo as a grass and thereby it becomes a minor forest produce and the locals would have free access. Reluctance of State Governments to forgo the revenue creates delay in implementation of the amendment in the Forest Act.
  • 65. Stakeholders partnership with easy accessibility would conserve the bamboo forest and prevent degradation. Moreover bamboos are the most eco- friendly material that can combat global warming
  • 66. Bamboos sequestrates C02 at a higher rate than any other tree. It reduces energy use in construction. Durable, bio-degradable and non- toxic High resilience and earth quake proof. Holistic green energy solution SUSTAINABLE USAGE – only way to maintain green growth in the years to come.
  • 67. Mining Industry and Environment India has huge mineral deposits. Mineral production in 1993-1994 was of value Rs. 25,000 crore. In 2005-2006 it has become Rs. 84,000 crore (more than 70 per cent increase).
  • 68. India’s Rank in Global Mining IndustryCommodity Contribution in percentage Rank in order of quantum production Mineral Fuels Coal and lignite 7.65 3 Petroleum 0.93 26 Metallic Minerals Bauxite 7.04 6 Chromite 17.71 2 Iron Ore 9.92 4 Manganese Ore 7.30 8 Industrial Minerals Barites 11.47 2 Kyanite, andalusite, silimanite 5.0 4 Magnesite 1.55 9
  • 69. State-wise Lease for Major MineralsState Number of leases Lease area (hectares) Andhra Pradesh 1482 47,905 Chattisgarh 259 30,353 Goa 396 30,325 Gujarat 1,589 37,457 Haryana 148 16,890 Jharkhand 384 45,185 Karnataka 514 50,902 Madhya Pradesh 1,154 33,465 Maharashtra 220 15,988 Orissa 629 95,532 Rajasthan 1,312 134,832 536 31,667
  • 70. Impacts of Mining Forest clearance Displacement of people Loss of livelihood Loss of biodiversity Water scarcity Creation of fallow lands Health hazards Mineral wealth of our country sold at low cost to outsiders Landslide, earthquakes, famine
  • 71. Mining and seismic activity Mining leaves huge void in earth’s surface- this alters the balance of forces on rocks. Ground collapses in mining areas and produce seismic waves. Mining may reactivate the existing faults in earth and cause quakes.
  • 72. POSCO Pohang Iron and Steel Company, (POSCO) Korea- US $ 12 billion POSCO project covering 1620 hectare of which 1440 hectare is forest land in the state of Odisha. The project envisages a steel plant, power plant and port. It also requires construction of 300 kms of railway track for transport of ore from mines to factory through forest area.
  • 73. Additional 2469 hectares of hilly area in Khandadhar to be brought under mining. This major project is for economic development- according to the Odisha government.
  • 74. Locals fight against the project since conception. Are they against development? According to Government the project will displace only 466 families, about 2,500 people who will be adequately compensated. But the forest area is the livelihood for more than 10,000 to 15,000 people.
  • 75.  The forest of Sundergarh is home to Mundas, Oraons, Paudi- Bhuiyan tribes.  Their livelihood is betel cultivation in the forest land and other minor forest produce.  Forest Rights Act demands consent from these people before initiation of the project.  The State government says these people are not entitled to this right as they are not traditional forest dwelling community.
  • 76. Compensation of Rs. 28.75 lakhs per hectare of acquired land is being offered. Betel farming provides Rs. 10- 17.5 lakhs per hectare per year. The compensation will be equal to 2-3 years of revenue. POSCO cannot employ locals as they are not skilled labors.
  • 77. POSCO may be development but will be development that takes the livelihood of the people for whom the project is meant for. It is a tussle between land based economic growth as against industrial growth. POSCO is about GROWTH versus GROWTH.
  • 78. References 1. Down To Earth, Science and Environment Fortnightly, March 31, 2007, p 63. 2. The Hindu, April 9, 2007, Daphne Wysham and Smith Kothari, ‘Climate change will devastate India’ p11. 3. Leela Raina, TERRAGREEN, Teri, volume 1, Issue 8, November 2008. 4. Citizen's Report, State of India's
  • 79.  5. Nidhi Janwal, ‘e-waste Developing countries5. Nidhi Janwal, ‘e-waste Developing countries are dumpyards for new millennium trash’, Down toare dumpyards for new millennium trash’, Down to Earth, Science and Environment Fornightly, Vol 12, NoEarth, Science and Environment Fornightly, Vol 12, No 12, November 15, 2003, p 50-51.12, November 15, 2003, p 50-51.  6. Deepa Kozhisseri, ‘E- waste in real space’, Down to6. Deepa Kozhisseri, ‘E- waste in real space’, Down to Earth, Science and Environment Fornightly, Vol 13,NoEarth, Science and Environment Fornightly, Vol 13,No 21, March 31, 2005,p 42-43.21, March 31, 2005,p 42-43.
  • 80. THANK YOU Dr.M.Ravichandran Professor & Head Department of Environmental Management Bharathidasan University Tiruchirappalli-620 024 Mobile: 98425 25728 e.mail: muruguravi@yahoo.co.in