Natural Resources are Essential component for the proper
performance of various Ecosystem Functions that maintain
the Natural Homeostatic balance
The Natural Resource Base comprises of:
Vegetative Biomass: Forests and Agriculture
Biodiversity: Vegetation & Wild-life
Mineral resources & Soils
Physical & Climatic Resource:
Energy: Renewable as well as Non renewable
Climate and it’s Phenomena
Continued exponential rise in the Human population and
it’s compound impact offsets delicate balance of Nature
Our Natural Resource Wealth
Land: Arable Land: 48% and Forests: 22%
Water: Total renewable water resources: 1,907.8 km3/year
Soil: Many fertile soils including alluvial soil which comprises
80% of the total fertile soil available
Minerals: India occupies a prominent place in the Mineral
map of the world. Chief minerals include Coal, iron ore,
manganese, mica, bauxite, titanium ore, chromite,
diamonds, limestone, thorium,petroleum, natural gas
Energy: Both renewable & non-renewable energy resources.
Besides Coal based TPP, We have Natural gas, Solar,
Geo-thermal, Hydro, Nuclear etc.
Vegetation: Diverse vegetation including Tropical Rainforests,
Deciduous & Coniferous forests. Nearly 6% of the
world’s flowering plants .
Wildlife : `Many species of animals, birds & reptiles which
includes 7.6% of all mammalian, 12.6% of avian,
6.2% of reptilian of the wildlife population of world
Asian Elephant, Bengal Tiger, Asiatic Lion,
Leopard,Sloth Bear, Indian Rhinoceros, antelopes
1.Total Land mass - 2973,000 Km2
2.Total Cropland - 1694,610 Km2 [57% Area] Year 2000
3.Total Pastures - 118,920 Km2 [04% Area]
4.Total Forest Cover - 641,000 Km2 [21% Area] per capita0.07 %
5.Dense Forest - 367,260 Km2 [57.3% Forest Area] Canopy<40%
6. Open Forest - 261,310 Km2 [40.7%Forest Area] Canopy10-40%
7. Mangrove - 4827 Km2 [0.75% Area]
We had in 1947 about 34 % area under forest
Major conflicts are logging for sake of timber and Pulp,
and also the requirements of Fuel wood, Fodder and
Agricultural land to support the deprived Local Tribal
Communities which are often marginalised
Environmental Impact of Mining is worst
Mining on forest lands has
maximum impact in terms
of ecological destruction &
Loss of biodiversity. It also
Affects people directly or
indirectly dependent on
forest for livelihood
Water Resources get augmented through
The Surface waters are located
in Lakes, Rivers & Reservoirs
The Ground Water is located in
water bearing Formations called aquifers
Municipal Water Supply
With nearly 70 percent, Agriculture is
the largest abstractor of Water
With increasing Population, Cash
crop farming and use of energy
intensive practices, Water demands
Immediate steps are necessary to
reduce the water use in Farming
Abstracting nearly 07 percent Water
Industry sector demands are quite high
With Recent estimates at nearly 13 %, Water
demands are only increasing
A liter of Waste water renders another 07 liter
unfit for any other use
Hence, the actual Environmental demands are
much more, and given the in-efficient use in
Indian Industry situation is really alarming
Industry pays a pittance for
the water it uses, and wastes
Average water consumption in
Average water consumption in
Indian industry in m3 / unit Product Globally best in m3 / unit Product
Thermal Power On an average 80
Plant [ mWh]
Less than 10
Cotton Textiles 200-250
[ MT of Cloth ]
Less than 100
Pulp & Paper
[ MT ]
Wood based mills: 50 - 75
Waste paper based mills: 10-25
Wood based mills: 150-200
Waste paper based mills: 75-100
Integrated Iron 10-80 m3 / MT of Finished Product
& steel plant
5 -10 m3 / MT of Finished Product ( Best )
is around 25 m3 / MT of Finished Product
(average) Wastewater less than 0.1 m3
75-200 m3/ tonne alcohol produced Data not available
of Product ]
Nitrogenous fertilizer plant : 5.0 - 20 An effluent discharge of less than
Straight phosphatic plant : 1.4 - 2.0 1.5 m3/ MT product as P2O5
Complex fertilizer : 0.2 - 5.4
Use (Bill.M3) (Mill. US $)
Ind. Water productivity
(US $ / M3)
No Water consumption Standards for Guzzler Industries
Need Pollution load-based standards: polluter pays principle
Unfulfilled Urban Agenda ?
Access to safe drinking sources
Access to tapped water
Access to tapped water within premises
Average per capita supply
54 to 160 lpcd
Unreliable, inadequate, unknown quality of water
Access to toilets
Access to toilets within premises
Connections to sewerage
Only 70 out of 289 class I cities have sewage treatment facilities
1972 : 1,50,000 Villages
were Water Deficient
1980 : 2,31,000 Villages
became Water Deficient
1985: 1,61,722 Villages
still faced shortage
1994 :1,40,975 still left with
The Water, that was earlier a
accessible to all the user groups
in justifiable quantities for
because of over exploitation
turned in to a scarce &
of the 12 Mega biodiversity country
Has 02 World’s Biodiversity Hot Spots
8% of World’s Biodiversity
81,000 Animal Species
45,000 Plant Species (6000 endemic)
50% of World’s Tigers
100% Asiatic Lions
87 National Parks - 4.06 Million ha.
485 Wildlife Sanctuaries - 11.54 million ha.
Total protected areas - 15.60 Million ha.
23 Tiger Reserves spread over - 3.3 million ha.
12 Biosphere Reserves 780 Forest Divisions
63,618 JFM – 14.09 Million ha.
as Ecological Processes do not
respect National Boundaries
and thus the Environmental
problems often have impacts
beyond the Borders.
Air Pollution Is a Big Killer
3 Million deaths per year world-wide Mostly in Asia
Legal, economic, and technological tools can help to
clean up air pollution, but much greater emphasis
should be focused on preventing air pollution.
Raise fuel-efficiency for cars, SUVs, light trucks & Heavy Vehicles
Better regulation of emissions
intense pressure needed from citizens to make improvements?
Stricter emission standards for diesel-powered vehicles
Link between international trade and air pollution - Cargo ships
and Air Transport
Emission trading or cap-and-trade program
Report by Sir Nicholas Stern for the UK government
Global temperature rise 0.5 degree. Expected to rise by 5 degrees
Environmental impact :
Melting glaciers increase flood risk- then drought.
Crop yields to decline in tropics, particularly in Africa.
Rising sea levels may displace 200 million people.
Up to 40% of species may become extinct.
More frequent extreme weather patterns.
Rise of 2-3° –
reduced global GDP by 3%.
A rise of 5°C - 10% of global GDP.
The poorest countries would
lose disproportionately more.
What makes India susceptible to Climate Change?
Densely populated (rural and
urban) - substantial poverty.
Large coastal populations
Diverse climatic zones
Diverse economy with
important climate dependant
sectors such as agriculture
Many low-lying areas
susceptible to extreme events
National Action Plan to counter Climate Change
National Action Plan has eight Missions
National Solar Mission
National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency
National Mission on Sustainable Habitat
National Water Mission
Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem
National Mission for a Green India
National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture
Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change
Other Initiatives : Choice of mitigating technologies
Super critical technologies, Integrated gasification Combined Cycle
Natural gas based power plants, Closed cycle 3 stage nuclear power
Hydro power and Other renewable technologies
Disaster management response to extreme weather events-
Summary of the Major Annual Environmental Costs
in India (5.2% of GDP=9.7 billion USD)
Surface Water Pollution
Urban Air Pollution
More People : More Resources
“A persons Foot Print is the total area in Global
Hectares required to sustain his/her Lifestyle”
Bill Rees & Math Wackernagel,1996
Africa : 1.36 (Mozambique:0.47 & Burundi : 0.48)
China : 1.54, India : 1.5, UK: 5.35, US : 9.7
Transmigration from villages,
Wasteful use of available resources and
Over exploitation of the Natural resources
What calls for our immediate attention?
India is blessed with rich natural resources,
But the resources are fast depleting
Forest and arable land is being depleted due to
Urbanization, Demographic overconsumption & Degradation.
Water resources are depleting due to Wasteful use and
Over exploitation, and are being contaminated due to
Urbanization, Industrialization & Over use of Agro-chemicals.
Wild life resources are being lost due to illegal poaching,
Industrialization and Habitat loss
Threats to Natural Resources
Urbanisation and Industrialisation
Overconsumption and irresponsible use
Unjustified & inequitable access to common
resources such as Water & Air & Wilderness.
Externalities are steadily increasing and
the cost of inaction is more than cost of action
Thickly populated state & largest like U. P has less than
5% of geographical area under forest cover
Fecal coliform at Varanasi is more than 200 times the
prescribed standard for bathing at the Ghats after
implementation of Ganga Action Plan
80 % of Disease and Sickness are Due to Water Borne
and Water Related Diseases [WHO]
Percapita availability of fresh water in India has decreased
from 6000 cu mts/yr in 1947 to 2000 cu.mts/yr in 2001
current trends in 2020s likely to be 1600 cu.mts/yr
In 1991 air pollution in Mumbai caused 1,91,000 cases of
bronchitis in children,741000 cases of asthama and
4500 deaths per annum
Natural Resources are basis of
Development that meet the
needs of the present without
compromising the ability of
Our Common Future, 1987
Intl. treaty Obligations
INDIA’S TREATY OBLIGATIONS
Conventions in which India plays a leading role:
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.
Convention on Conservation of Biological Resources.
Convention for Climate Change.
Vienna Convention, 1986.
Montreal Protocol on ODS.
INDIA’S TREATY OBLIGATIONS
Conventions & treaties to which
India is signatory:
Preservation of Fauna & Flora in their Natural State, 1936
Convention for the Regulation on Whaling, 1946
International Plant Protection Convention, 1951
The Antarctic Treaty, 1959
Protection of Workers against Ionizing Radiation, 1960
Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage, 1975
Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources, 1980
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 1982.
INDIA’S TREATY OBLIGATIONS
Conventions & Treaties to which India is a contracting party:
Convention of Wetlands, 1971
Protection of the World Cultural & Natural Heritage, 1972.
Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, 1973
Protocol of 1978 for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973
Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals, 1979.
International Tropical Timber Agreement, 1983
Early Notification of a Nuclear Accident, 1986
Assistance in Nuclear Accident or Radiological Emergency,1986.
In last 15 years 11Multilateral environemtal agreements
have entered into force dealing with such issues as
ozone depletion, transport of hazardous waste, and
conservation of migratory species.
Judicial Activism and
Proactive Judicial Response
SC served closure orders on 9,038 Polluting Units at Delhi
SC ordered immediate closure of 59 Industries in North Arcot
district of Tamilnadu.
Closure orders to Coastal Shrimp Aquaculture units
SC took up Sue Moto petition of Bichri Case as PIL
Nylon 6, 6 Project of Thapar Dupond Ltd., - Stalled
Integrated Steel Project & Power Plant in Mangalore - Shifted
Sterlite Industries 60,000 Tpa Copper Smelter - stalled
Tata Project to setup Aqua Farm - stalled
Binani Zinc Project - stalled
Goshree Integrated Island Development Plan, Kerala
Cogentrix Coal based Thermal Power Plant, Karnataka
M/s Sinar Mas Pulp and Paper (India) Ltd., Pune
Sanghi Jetty/Cement Plant, Kutch, Gujarat.
What are we doing to save our resources ?
The Government of India has undertaken many
measures for the conservation of the resources
Legal framework, Regulations & Institutions to ensure
Proper and sustainable use of Natural Resources.
Regulations & reforms for proper housing and infrastructure
development to avoid land acquisition problems.
Mass media public service messages to educate the people
on the importance of conservation of resources.
Increase the wildlife and forest reserves in the country.
Schemes to do a proper inventory of the resources and
monitor changes in the environment.
Various projects & schemes that promote conservation.
Knowing where you are?
Where you want to Go?
How you are
going to get there?
Markets all over the World are GREENING
Stringent Environmental regulations
are emerging rapidly…
Incentives & Dis incentive Regime
FROM COMMAND AND CONTROL TO
Participatory Environmental Management
FROM STATE REGULATION TO SELF –
Voluntary standards ISO 14001,
FROM DISPUTE RESOULTION TO
Improved Public Consultation Process
Community Response & Right to know
Increased Liabilities & Penalties
Siting Rules & Impact Asseaament
The onus of proof is on the developer to show
that his actions are environmentally benign
Environmental Decision-Making Process:
From TOP-DOWN to BOTTOM-UP
Environmental Legislation Emerging Trends
Standards based on supporting
or assimilative capacity of area
and its safety requirements
Points to Ponder ?...!!!
Stark choice = reject “the gods of profit” as holding out solution to
If We do not act fast: Ecological & social crisis rapidly spinning
out of control, with irreversible & devastating consequences for all
Human society & human economy has to co-exist within the larger
Undermining conditions of life bound to undermine conditions of
production it self
Nature is not a commodity: attempting to treat it as such and
make it subject to laws of self regulating market is irrational,
leading to overexploitation of biosphere by failing to reproduce the
conditions necessary for its continued existence