Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Friday, July 20, 2012
Sunday, July 15, 2012
Being well informed and highly aware doesnt necessarily gurantee environmental conservation and protection ?
Thursday, July 12, 2012
Monday, July 2, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
I felt quite happy reading an article of Mr. Bhagwad on his blog (http://www.bhagwad.com/blog/2010/environment/climate-change/myth-of-the-environmentally-irresponsible-indian.html/) citing one study carried out by National Geographic in association with GlobeScan ranking the greatest people across the Globe. To my surprise and happiness Indians were ranked as the greenest people in the world for the third time. However my happiness was quite short lived, once I came across one study related to Environmental performance Index (EPI) for the year 2012 taken up by Yale and Columbia Universities in collaboration with the World Economic Forum. 22 indicators across ten major policy categories including air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity, and forest management were selected for this study. In the EPI ranking, Switzerland with 76.69 score got top rank followed by Latvia, Norway, Luxembourg and Costa Rica under strongest performers category . This was not a good report for the India . Ranked at 125 with 36.23 score, she got listed in the category of weakest performers along with Tajikistan , Iran, Iraq and south Africa.
In another significant study , carried out by World Health organization (WHO) regarding the most polluted Cities of the World,India again got it's two cities included in the list of 10 most air polluted cities of the world.
1. Ahwaz, Iran
6. Kermanshah, Iran
This study was based on the status of PM10(Particulate Matter 10) an indicator of availability of fine particles of dust and other pollutants less than 10 micron in size which are responsible for a variety of diseases related to Upper respiratory tracts like Asthma, Cough, Cold, and also found to be carcinogenic in many cases. It is also estimated that more than 2 millions people die every year from breathing in tiny particles present in indoor and outdoor air pollution. As per WHO, air quality guidelines for PM10 20 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3) is as an annual average but as per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB ) guidelines the permissible limit of PM10 is 60 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3).
The status of other cities having PM 10 more than permissible limit of 60 µg/m3 is as follows.
|City||Annual Mean PM 10 (µg/m3).|
The ranking of Ludhiana (known for its automobile industries) and Kanpur (for it leather industries) with PM10 limits of 251 and 209 µg/m3 respectively not only speaks about the deteriorated and lethal quality of air but also the effectiveness of regulatory bodies like State Pollution Control Boards and other govt. institutions. Lack of strong and environmentally sensitive political will always be a guiding factor for the improvement or deterioration of such state of affairs.
Monday, February 13, 2012
So India lost 367 sqkm of forests in 2 years, out of which281 sq km of forest cover was lost in Andhra Pradesh. As per the latest report, the on-going naxalite activities in Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh are squarely blamed for this state if affairs as 182 sqkm of forest lost in Andhra Pradesh pertains to Khammam district known for leftist activities.
This report has not only generated lot of discussion among the environmentalists, concerned citizens and officials for further depletion of already dwindling resources, same time conflicting opinions are being advocated for this problem.
A few of these are listed below.
1. The main reason for this situation is clearing of forests by local tribals to prove their claim over the forest lands so that they can be benefitted under recently promulgated Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. Andhra Pradesh is one of the States implementing this Act very effectively.
2. There are many areas where the felling of mature plantations of Teak, Eucalyptus etc. was also taken up under the approved working plans resulting into display of clear patches in aerial photography.
3. Illegal felling of forest area under the support of leftist or other anti-social elements is also one of the reasons.
Whatsoever the reasons we may cite for the depletion of forests by the local tribals, a candid analysis points at only policy and management of government programmes. In spite of adequate allocation of funds and legal safeguards/supports and protection in the form of reservations and mandatory allocation of funds, the developmental activities and schemes are not percolating down to the lowest and needy individuals for the last 50 years. The lack of access to developmental activities and marginalization of poor in distribution of resources which are the corner stones for a sustainable and environmental friendly development , has only compelled the poor including tribals to exploit the adjacent forests which is only resources accessible to them and from which they eak-out their livelihoods
According to one latest survey under taken up by Chronic Poverty Research Centre (CPRC), there is inequality in the efforts made to prevent people from poverty and get them out of it. The numerous are inadequate and insufficient.
Of the 29 poverty alleviation programmes studied in the survey, only nine could prevent people from falling into the poverty trap. Thirteen could enable escape from poverty and 16 could alleviate chronic poverty. Consequently, says Shashanka Bhide, a senior fellow of the National Council of Applied Economic Research, a significant proportion of non-poor households may fall into poverty while a large proportion of poor may not manage to escape it. The result in case of forest dependent tribal communities, more and more forests are cleared in order to eking out their livelihoods. The poor remains poor for generations. So the question arises when we are not able to improve the conditions of tribals and aboriginal communities in spite of so many interventions/ experimentations , is it possible to conserve the wild -life specially tiger which is an indicator species of a balanced and perfect ecosystem and the tribals are one of the integral parts of this ecosystem ?
When discussing the status of Wildlife particularly the number of Tigers in the Country, tremendous concern for this matter has been shown not only by the media, officials and environmentalists but also by the general public.. Though the currents census of tigers has indicated an improved population of 1706 against the 1411 in 2007.
However in case of any incidence of death of a tiger and a leopard to that matter there is genuine response from all sections of the society which is appreciable but the hard fact remains that such concern and response fizzle out very fast. Very quickly we forget these issues be it forests or tigers or pollution.
Rapid urbanisation, multifarious demands of population that is increasing at exponential rate and industrialisation has to follow the rapid and fast mode of development. This developmental process demands exploitation of resources at a rate which is unusually fast. Forests resources of the world had already been easy target of this process. Moreover Forests never had been an important agenda at political parlance. Supposing if all trees would have a voting power then the scene would have been entirely different .The on-going programmes and schemes of the Government aiming at improving the forest cover of the country are not at all sufficient to counter the total impact and pressure of all on-going developmental activities including pressure on existing land/forests for various purposes .Apart from providing a higher budgetary allocation there is need to inculcate a sense and positive approach towards environmental conservation among our policy makers and programme implementing agencies at various levels including forest departments. Otherwise we will be always fighting the battle of survival of forests and tribals at one forum and the dwindling number of tigers at other forum in isolation while the solution is very simple. Conserve and improve the forest resources, it will provide more livelihood opportunities for tribals; such a system will be always conducive for the growth of the tigers, a species indicating the health of a balanced and ideal environment.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are exclusively mine and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency/government.)