Environmental studies (as per syllabus of HP University) 9788122423020

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Environmental studies (as per syllabus of HP University)

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Copyright © 2007 New Age International (P) Ltd., Publishers Published by New Age International (P) Ltd., Publishers All rights reserved. No part of this ebook may be reproduced in any form, by photostat, microfilm, xerography, or any other means, or incorporated into any information retrieval system, electronic or mechanical, without the written permission of the publisher. All inquiries should be emailed to [email protected]

ISBN : 978-81-224-2302-0


NEW AGE INTERNATIONAL (P) LIMITED, PUBLISHERS 4835/24, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi - 110002 Visit us at www.newagepublishers.com

Dedicated to My Grandfather (Sh. N. S. Gautam) Deepa Sharma In the memory of My Father-in-law S. Surjit Singh Bhupendra Singh



PREFACE Development has made life extremely comfortable it on one hand has its positive attributes yet man's arrogance and his inability to live in harmony with nature have made him confront with challenges such as Global Warming, Pollution etc., which soon will create a havoc in his life unless he takes important steps to save his only homeland “The Earth” his existence will soon be posed with threat. It is extremely important that people become aware of their existence and importance of environment in making them exist and be Healthy and Happy. It is good news that Environment Education is made compulsory in various Educational Institutions. This book is a humble effort to raise our voices against the injustice done to our priceless, precious Environment. This book is written in accordance to the syllabus prescribed by HPU for Environmental Studies for Engineering Students. Various means can be adopted for creating a mass awareness about the importance of conserving the environment making Environment Education as an compulsory subject can be a step towards this awareness media is the most important means hence the Chapter 1 deals with the Environment Awareness. Chapter 2 discusses the various types of Eco-systems and Cycles. Chapter 3 deals with the various Organizations and Societies that were formed to not only work towards saving the environment, yet creating an awareness in the people about the importance of living in harmony with the nature. Chapter 4 discusses a few Environmental Models. Man cannot survive without Air, Water, Land and Agriculture etc. Also Wild life forms an inseparable part of these. Hence their conservation is extremely essential. Chapter 5 studies these various Natural Resources. Chapter 6 is one of the most interesting chapters, it discusses Biodiversity which is a precious gem imbedded in the beautiful jewels of mother earth. Soil Erosion, Noise Pollution are a matter of extreme concern hence lessons 7& 8 discuss these topics in detail. Unless until man becomes wise enough to save his environment he'll soon perish Chapter 9 discusses all about the complex relationship Man his with Environment. Environment Quality Management is the call of the day lesson 10 and 11 discuss it in detail. Chapter 12 discusses Environmental Impact Analysis. Chapter 13 the last yet not the least deal with a very important topic that is the Environmental Laws.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT We are thankful to all the individuals who have contributed to this project.


Deepa Sharma Bhupendra Singh Chhabra




Introduction A Global Approach Definition The Evolution of Environmental Education Principles of Environmental Education Environmental Education in the Institutions Mass Awareness for Environmental Problem Priorities for Environmental Education in the Community

2. ECOSYSTEM 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.


Introduction Types of Ecosystems Components of an Ecosystem Ecosystem Functioning Stability of Ecosystem Environmental Factors and the Process Response System Threshold Rate Tolerance Range Limiting Factor Law of Minimum Law of Limiting Factor The Limiting Concept Shelford's Law of Tolerance Combination of Environmental Factors


1 1 2 2 3 5 11 14

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Cameroon Biodiversity Conservation Society (CBCS) International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) International Council for Bird Preservation (ICBP) (Convention or Conservation–which one is Correct) on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)


17 18 18 19 22 23 23 24 24 24 24 25 25 26 28 28 29 30 30 31 31 32 32 33

x Contents 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

European Economic Community (EEC) Human Exposure Assessment Location (HEAL) World Conservation Strategy (WCS) Wild Life Preservation Society of India Wild Life Protection Society of India (WPSI) Voluntary Bodies/Non-Government Organizations


A Simple Mathematical Model (Allen and Kness, 1968) Use of Input-output Models for Environmental Analysis The Streeter-Phelps Model (1960) A Forecasting Model (Evans, 1973)

5. NATURAL RESOURCES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Introduction Definition Classification of Natural Resources Conservation and Management of Natural Resources Conventional and Exhaustible Energy Sources Non-conventional and Inexhaustible Energy Sources Conservation of Energy

6. BIODIVERSITY 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Introduction Levels of Biodiversity Equilibrium in Nature Origin of Diversity Speciation Evolution and Resource Limitation The Ecological Role of Biodiversity Diversity and Niche Structure Conservation of Biodiversity


Introduction Types of Soil Erosion Diversity of Factors Affecting Soil Erosion Soil Conservation

33 33 34 34 34 35 43 43 45 46 48 49 49 50 50 51 64 64 66 69 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 82 82 82 84 85



1. Introduction 2. What is Noise? 3. Noise Menace

92 92 93

Contents xi 4. 5. 6. 7.

Measurement of Noise Level Sources of Noise Pollution Effects of Noise Pollution Prevention and control of Noise Pollution

9. MAN AND ENVIRONMENT 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Introduction Population and Environment Women and Environment People's Participation in Environmental Protection Theories and Models Implications for Policy Makers A sustainable Approach to Urbanization Principles of Sustainable Development The Ecological Footprint Environment and Development New Tools for Sustainable Development Environment and Ecological Patterns Population and Consumption Population Growth Declines in Kenya—A Success Story The Global Action Plan for the Earth—A Success Story

93 93 94 96 98 98 99 100 101 102 109 110 110 111 111 112 112 116 122 123



1. Introduction 2. Evolution of an Environmental Quality Index

125 125

11. ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Introduction Environmentally Sound Development Support Systems Required for Environmental Management Environmental Priorities in India Psychological Dimensions of Environmental Management Environmental Risk Management ERM Methods and Practice ERM and the Mining Cycle Risk Management and the Future


133 133 135 137 138 139 140 148 170 172 175

1. Introduction


2. National Legislative and Institutional regimes for Environmental Impact Assessment 3. Current Status of EIA Legislation in Developing Countries 4. Analysis of EIA Legislation in Developing Countries

177 178 179

xii Contents 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

The Need for EIA Indian Policies Requiring EIA The EIA Cycle and Procedures Components of EIA Roles of EIA Process Legal Provisions Expert Committee for Administering EIA The EIA Procedure EIA Guidelines for Project Proponents Effectiveness of Public Participation in India Scope for Public Participation in India

13. Environmental Laws 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

Introduction Key Policies Relating to the Environment in India Constitution of India Environment Protection Act, 1986 (EPA) Coastal Regulation Zone Notification National Environmental Appellate Authority, Environmental Tribunals and Green Benches Environmental Impact Assessment Environmental Statement Public Hearings Ecomark Other Environment-related Laws

179 180 180 183 185 186 188 188 190 191 192 195 195 207 207 208 211 213 213 214 214 215 216


 Environmental Education 1.


Environmental education brings the real world into the language classroom, empoweringlearners to make positive changes in their local communities and in the world. Language teachers who introduce environmental topics such as rain forest destruction and endangered animal species into their lessons find that students are fascinated by the problems these issues present. Besides serving as a rich and stimulating source of real-world content, environmental education: · provides an effective framework for integrating language skills; · bridges the gap between English and other school subjects; · develops critical and creative thinking skills; · fosters the development of problem-solving skills; · provides opportunities for exploring cross-cultural attitudes and values; · engages multiple intelligences; · encourages student interaction. Another reason, and the most important, for bringing environmental issues into the language classroom is the urgency of the environmental situation itself. If students are to participate fully in solving the environmental problems of today and the future, environmental education is essential. Problems such as plant and animal extinction are pressing. All educators have an ethical and personal responsibility to contribute to students’ awareness of environmental issues and to foster in their students the development of skills that promote sustainable development.



Besides offering practice on specific language skills such as speaking or reading, each of the activities presented in this volume incorporates one or more of the following global objectives related to the environment: · Awareness: Promoting awareness of a particular environmental problem and what individuals can do to help solve the problem. · Concern: Encouraging students to explore their own values and feelings of concern about the environment.

2 Environmental Studies · Skills: Helping students to acquire and develop the necessary skills to solve environmental problems. · Action: Providing opportunities for students to get actively involved in doing something to remedy environmental problems.


Student-Centered Activities

Many of the classroom activities in this volume take a student-centered approach that provides opportunities for students to work together in small groups or teams, pooling their knowledge and learning from one another. Students carry out a wide variety of interactive tasks—such as brainstorming, discussion, values clarification activities, debate—which encourage analysis and interpretation of environmental issues. During the activities, students have the opportunity to examine the issues in the context of their experience, their culture, and the world as a whole.


A Positive Attitude

Motivated by the excitement of using their English language skills to solve real-world problems, students are engaged, observant and active learners. Environmental problems such as ocean pollution and global warming may seem overwhelming, but learning about them doesn't have to be ponderous or depressing. By using classroom activities that take a positive approach and focus on what individuals can do to help save the earth, teachers can provide students with an enjoyable and satisfying learning experience.



“Environmental education” is defined in its broadest sense to encompass raising awareness, acquiring new perspectives, values, knowledge and skills, and formal and informal processes leading to changed behaviour in support of an ecologically sustainable environment.



A model developed in the Netherlands (Caring for the Earth: A Strategy for sustainable living IUCN, UNEP, WWF 1991) suggests a series of stages in the evolution of environmental education. The four stages suggested are: 1. Reactive: Providing Particular Products and Programs in response to limited demand. Education is often instigated by isolated individuals, specialists voluntary organization, or the information/community relations/education units of some government agencies. Education aims at reducing ecological ignorance. 2. Receptive: in which organizations include environmental education objectives in their policies and planning. School curriculum development bodes become involved, but programs are implemented without reference to work elsewhere in the education field. Objectives emphasize changing knowledge and attitudes. 3. Constructive: in which programs and objectives are more thoroughly implemented. There is wide dissemination of developments, links are made across sectors. There is community participation and objectives are oriented towards sustainable living.

Environmental Education 3 4. Pro-active: in which the culture of all organizations is defined in terms of ecologically sustainable living supported by comprehensive, lifelong environmental learning integrated within education systems, industry, social organizations/neighbourhood groups and government. It can be argued that environmental education in Australia is generally in the second stage described by this model with some evidence of progress towards the third. Further substantial action is required to take us towards the fourth stage.

5. PRINCIPLES OF ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION 1. Environmental Education must involve everyone. Because of its very nature and importance, environmental education cannot be confined to any one group in our society. It is a responsibility for everyone—government, industry, the media, educational institutions, community groups—as well as individuals. 2. Environmental Education must be life long. Information about environmental problems is always improving, as we learn from our past experiences and mistakes. As we develop and apply better environmental technologies, the ability of society and individuals to respond effectively also improves. In order to move closer to achieving ecologically sustainable development as a nation, all Australians need to continually refresh the knowledge and skills which they apply to the environmental challenges we face. Just as workplace learning and retraining are essential to continued productivity, the same is true of education for sustainability, whether in formal or non-formal settings. 3. Environmental Education must be holistic and about connections. In order to address environmental challenges, people need to think broadly and understand systems, connections, patterns and causes. The challenges themselves frequently have social, scientific, cultural, economic and ethical aspects, all of which must be considered for their effective management. Specialist discipline-based knowledge, while contributing critically, is no longer adequate by itself—an holistic appreciation of the context of environmental problems is essential. Meeting this need presents a dilemma to the formal education systems over whether environmental education should be taught as a separate subject or incorporated into one or more particular subject areas. The right answer may vary from situation to situation, depending on what is most practical—suffice to say, a much stronger re-orientation of all relevant areas of formal education towards issues of sustainability is required. Equally important is the need to establish better communicative links between those people working on, or learning about, similar or related environmental issues, but who come from different professional or disciplinary backgrounds. Better grounds for communication and partnerships are also required between formal and non-formal education settings, and between various groups with competing interests on environmental issues. In Australia the quality of our environmental education is enhanced by the opportunity to appreciate and learn from our indigenous peoples’ experience, particularly their affinity with the environment in which they lived and continue to live.

4 Environmental Studies 4. Environmental Education must be practical. One of the most fundamental defining characteristics of effective environmental education is that it must lead to actions which result in better environmental outcomes, not simply the accumulation of inert knowledge or impractical skills. This is ultimately the yardstick by which the effectiveness of our efforts in environmental education is measured. 5. Environmental Education must be in harmony with social and economic goals and accorded equal priority. Effective environmental education must also encourage the pursuit of environmental goals in a way that acknowledges other powerful and legitimate social and economic goals—it should not be taught in a vacuum, or simply equip people to pursue an agenda on the margins of society. Environmental education needs to incorporate this reality by providing people with the knowledge, understanding and capacity to influence mainstream society in a way which progresses environmental objectives along with other legitimate social and economic objectives. Similarly, one of the objectives of environmental education is to develop a fundamental acceptance in the community that the nation’s environmental objectives should be accorded the same priority as its social and economic objectives. The aim of environmental education is to make individuals and communities to understand the complex nature of the natural and the built environments resulting from the interaction of their biological, physical, social, economic and cultural aspects. Environmental education in this respect helps to develop a sense of responsibility and solidarity among countries and regions as the foundation for a new international order which will guarantee the conservation and improvement of the environment. It is very important to educate man effectively regarding his relationship with the total environment. The major goal of this issue should be to make individual to understand the following points: 1. Man is an inseparable part of the biosphere which consists of man and his environment. 2. He must understand the physical environment and its impact to human existence. 3. Individual should understand the nature, and conflict between development and resource conservation. He should learn how the environmental problem can be solved and how the society and government should work for the healthy environment. 4. One should know that the natural resources are limited and it require proper management with control of population. 5. Development of environmental studies will educate people to participate in the decision making process and to demand for a protection of the environment so as to advance human welfare and dignity. World-wide environmental awareness has started after the Human Environmental Conference in Stockholm in 1972. It was felt in the Conference that the people of the world should know the degradation of environment, it causes, and possible remedies, Individual, organizations and societies are important agents for any decision at any level. If people know the judicious way of economic development, and their interest in society, they will force the government for action. This is only possible when each individual is educated through certain institutions. Several conferences on environment were held at world level, countries level and regional level to evolve strategies to make

Environmental Education 5 people aware about the issue within country itself. Government, several institutions and organizations, voluntary agencies and local bodies are engaged to involve people for the cause of environment, and in the process people are taught about the basic knowledge to understand the resources and its proper uses. During the several conferences about the conservation of environment at different places in the world, and in the second Environmental conference on Environment Education held in New Delhi from March 4th to 9th March, 1985, it was resolve for immediate action on the following lines: 1. Environmental education association at the national level should be established to serve the professional needs of environmental education to create linkage with Government and nongovernmental agencies, and to assist in development and dissemination of curriculum materials. 2. University-teacher’s training programme should incorporate training in environmental education. Only when environmental education assumes a central place in all education, will it begin to influence environmental management and policy. Such training should include scientific and cultural studies related to human activities and the environment. 3. Each nation should consider for the establishment of a youth environmental forum which would work on projects which promote ecologically sustainable development, especially in rural areas. 4. Environmental education councils composed of local residents, officials, farmers, teachers, businessmen and local bodies, responsible for various environmentally related projects and programme, should be established at the local level. 5. Environmental education development projects should be established at the local level in concern with economic development projects to demonstrate the benefits of such a partnership. Such projects are necessary to gain local support and to provide a working model for ecologically sustainable development. 6. Simple, easily applicable techniques should be developed for use by rural school teachers to demonstrate the practical importance of conserving nature. 7. Environmental educators must develop methods which address problem of clean drinking water, appropriate waste disposal, proper sanitation practices, as well as provide concepts and values regarding human environment relationship. 8. Environmental education curricular should be reviewed, and where appropriate, revised to provide inclusion of scientific and cultural content sufficient to ensure that student understand the scientific basis of environment, ecology, the organizations, and process of human societies. 9. Universities, other such institutions should be encouraged to generate new knowledge relating to environmental management in their respective areas of specialization. 10. The International Society for Environmental Education should establish a global Environmental Education Communications system to disseminate information and monitor indicators of biospheres environmental quality such as soil erosion, fresh water availability, food production, energy utilization, population growth, pollution loading, rate of deforestation, rate of desertification, and level of soil salinisation etc.



Man’s exploitation of the biosphere is now threatening its very existence and delicate balance. Over the last few decades, the pressures on the global environment have become self-evident, leading to a common outcry for sustainable development. In the words of the Brundtland report, we must

6 Environmental Studies learn to care for the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations everywhere to meet their own needs. The awareness is there. What is required is a comprehensive strategy for building a sustainable future which is equitable for all human beings, as highlighted by the Rio Conference (UNCED) in 1992. This requires a new frame of mind and new sets of values. Education is critical for promoting such values and improving people’s capacity to address environment and development issues. Education at all levels, especially university education for the training of decision-makers and teachers, should be oriented towards sustainable development and foster environmentally aware attitudes, skills and behaviour patterns, as well as a sense of ethical responsibility. Education must become environmental education in the fullest sense of the term. Ecological imbalance created during last few decades will be a challenge to young generation and they are required to be made prepared to face the difficult situations. Main emphasis of present generation should be to teach students to understand the natural surroundings and the gift of environments. It is suggested that the environmental education programme at various levels of education should provide emphasis in the following manners:

6.1. Schools Both school and family, play important roles in the formation of children's positive attitudes towards the environment. Early childhood learning facilities can make a positive contribution by establishing or extending programs focused on environmental education for sustainability. A ‘whole centre’ approach is optimal—where, for example, the policies, programs, building and grounds functioning and maintenance all reflect a concern for environmental sustainability. The use of play and other materials which have an environmental focus is to be encouraged, as should environmental awareness and sustainable practices among parents at home, parent-managed committees and parent-operated play groups. Environmental education curricula may raise environmental literacy, and include knowledge that goes beyond an understanding of the environment. Environmental education should build concepts and awareness about the ways in which behaviour affects environmental literacy, knowledge and skills and a critical awareness of environmental action and skills. As per the level of school, and the capacities of students to understand, they should be introduced about a conceptual background of environmental factor including the scientific and technological causes. Students should be taken to different environmental habitat where they can see the nature and its role for living creatures. Through nature camp at different sites, students will come to know the abuses of environment by individual, industries, kind of diseases resulting from pollution and its possible preventive action. It is not necessary that it should be included in the syllabus as compulsory paper, but they should be educated through different activities without any additional burden on them. Schools are in a position to ensure a place for environmental education in every relevant curriculum area at each level of schooling. They can make sure that environmental education draws on crossdisciplinary information, skills and experiences and has a practical action-based focus. School teachers should receive environmental education in their training, and in subsequent professional development opportunities, where it is relevant to the material being taught.

Environmental Education 7 Access to more courses which have an explicit focus on environmental education needs to be a choice available to all senior students. Schools should provide quality materials that attend to nationally agreed priority environmental issues, and ensure that environmental policies and practices are effectively implemented, monitored and, as necessary, updated. Schools should move from generalised awareness of problems to teaching and learning about accurate, objective and substantive details within many of the key learning areas. Increased content knowledge and well informed action is urgent and rests on improved teaching. Opportunity also exists for schools to draw on the support of community facilities (public and private) for access to enterprises that demonstrate the principles of ecologically sustainable development in action.


Universities and Colleges

Universities and colleges have the scope to establish departments or centres with staff positions (such as professorial status) focused on issues of environmental sustainability. Such opportunities have not been taken up on enough campuses. Higher Education institutions also need to provide students with the maximum practicable flexibility to customise course programs to suit the multidisciplinary requirements of a thorough environmental education. A ‘whole institution’ approach to good environmental practice should be promoted across the higher education sector in order to raise environmental awareness across entire campuses. Universities and equivalent institutions of higher education train the coming generations of citizens and have expertise in all fields of research, both in technology as well as in the natural, human and social sciences. It is consequently their duty to propagate environmental literacy and to promote the practice of environmental ethics in society, in accordance with the principles set out in the Magna Chart of European Universities and subsequent university declarations, and along the lines of the UNCED recommendations for environment and development education. Indeed, universities are increasingly called upon to play a leading role in developing a multidisciplinary and ethically-oriented form of education in order to devise solutions for the problems linked to sustainable development. They must therefore commit themselves to an on-going process of informing, educating and mobilizing all the relevant parts of society concerning the consequences of ecological degradation, including its impact on global development and the conditions needed to ensure a sustainable and just world. The workshop on environmental Education at Belgrade in 1975 issued specific recommendations on the role of universities/institutions in the propagation of the environmental education. In the USA, after 1976, there was tremendous increase in the under graduate and graduate in the universities. Most of the development projects in USA require the Environmental Management units. Even in India different departments in the state and in the central Government require environmental advisor to help the policy and decision makers. Today, universities and colleges in India attract a large majority of student from the rural sector. Realization of need of environmental education to student in the universities for taking the management task in the country is very relevant to human welfare. Beyond school level, universities have specific role to play for this purpose: 1. To provide leadership by conducting research on environmental problems and preparing scientists who would then continue research, and

8 Environmental Studies 2. To train experts for managing environment. It should be recognized that environmental study and research cannot be entirely left in the hand of traditional discipline. From the very beginning, the emphasis has been for multi-disciplinary, and importance has been given to go in deep to understand the environmental problems which deal with the socio-economic, cultural and legal aspects. The student community would be the major component of the work force which needs to be trained and geared up to take eco-development programmes based on learning by doing. They can carry the message of eco-conservation to the people, and also will be associated with several development activities. To create the necessary awareness among the students, the five year plan envisaged active participation of the universities and scientific institute in national development. To achieve these aims and fulfill their basic mission, universities are urged to make every effort to subscribe to and implement the ten principles of actions set out below: 1. Institutional commitment: Universities shall demonstrate real commitment to the principle and practice of environmental protection and sustainable development within the academic milieu. 2. Environmental ethics: Universities shall promote among teaching staff, students and the public at large sustainable consumption patterns and an ecological lifestyle, while fostering programmes to develop the capacities of the academic staff to teach environmental literacy. 3. Education of university employees: Universities shall provide education, training and encouragement to their employees on environmental issues, so that they can pursue their work in an environmentally responsible manner. 4. Programmes in environmental education: Universities shall incorporate an environmental perspective in all their work and set up environmental education programmes involving teachers and researchers as well as students — all of whom should be exposed to the global challenges of environment and development, irrespective of their field of study. 5. Inter disciplinarity: Universities shall encourage interdisciplinary and collaborative education and research programmes related to sustainable development as part of the institution's central mission. Universities shall also seek to overcome competitive instincts between disciplines and departments. 6. Dissemination of knowledge: Universities shall support efforts to fill in the gaps in the present literature available for students, professionals, decision-makers and the general public by preparing information didactic material, organizing public lectures, and establishing training programmes. They should also be prepared to participate in environmental audits. 7. Networking: Universities shall promote interdisciplinary networks of environmental experts at the local, national, regional and international levels, with the aim of collaborating on common environmental projects in both research and education. For this, the mobility of students and scholars should be encouraged. 8. Partnerships: Universities shall take the initiative in forging partnerships with other concerned sectors of society, in order to design and implement coordinated approaches, strategies and action plans. 9. Continuing education programmes: Universities shall devise environmental educational programmes on these issues for different target groups: e.g. business, governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the media. 10. Technology transfer: Universities shall contribute to educational programmes designed to transfer educationally sound and innovative technologies and advanced management methods.

Environmental Education 9 Active participation of scientific and education institution for the national development can be successful after adaptation of following strategies: · Active participation of youth for conservation and enrichment of environment is necessary. Such programme should be given proper academic recognition and credit by generating a new value system. · Research programme in the institute should be related to the local environmental problems, and · Institutions which are located in similar bio-geographical region should take up the research of the area, and they should coordinate with different agencies which can be beneficial of benefited. Environmental education can gain momentum if a network of regional centres for environmental management created to satisfy the regional demands for training environmental impact assessment, environmental monitoring and surveillance, training and workshops etc. Vocational Education and Training facilities should enhance their contribution to environmental education by ensuring that competencies based on sustainability are included in the design of all training packages and other course offerings. They can also ensure the general public availability of a comprehensive range of specific environmental courses in areas such as renewable energies, natural and cultural heritage management, land and marine conservation and restoration, and waste management/resource recovery. Vocational education and training should also model good environmental practice at all sites of provision, and they should provide practical field experiences and training by working in partnership with conservation organizations, community groups and appropriate government agencies.

6.3 6.3.1.

Workplaces Business and Industry

Businesses can contribute by practicing and promoting good environmental management which integrates conservation with development, production and distribution processes. Companies have an opportunity to assist with the process of community education and awareness-raising by finding, developing and marketing cost-competitive environmentally friendly products and processes. Internally, companies can ensure that designated staff with responsibility for, and expertise in, environmental management are an integral component of their human resources structure. Such staff should be given the resources and managerial support to communicate the necessary technical and conceptual information required to foster better environmental awareness and performance companywide. The implementation of comprehensive and credible environmental management systems is also a way to foster continual environmental improvements, and educate the workforce in the process. Externally, companies are in a position to participate in appropriate partnerships with other organizations (including community groups) to foster increased knowledge about environmental problems, and build greater capacity for resolving them. This may involve support for educative materials relevant to the business sector, support for conferences dealing with environmental concerns, or financial or in-kind support for grass-roots community projects in environmental

10 Environmental Studies monitoring and remediation. Companies can also promote activities directed at sustainability in representative professional, business and industry associations. 6.3.2.

Peak Bodies

Peak bodies representing industry, agriculture, labour and other sectors can help foster the adoption of environmentally responsible practices in the Australian workplaces by adopting comprehensive policies which incorporate a commitment to principles of sustainability. Environmental education should feature prominently among the training programs, workshops and conferences conducted by peak business organisations and unions. Peak bodies should also foster environmental performance by showcasing examples of workplace-related good environmental practice through awards, and by publicising success stories in their publications. 6.3.3.

Non-formal Education Settings The Media

The Media has a particular responsibility for advancing environmental education in our community, because of its pre-eminent role in the distribution of information in our community. In terms of editorial content in news bulletins and current affairs coverage, it is important for reporters to be either cognisant of, or inclined to become so, about environmental aspects of stories covered. This depends to a degree on the priorities of the newsroom culture, so a commitment from senior editors is vital. Programming decisions are also important - documentaries and feature stories which heighten an appreciation of natural heritage, and an awareness about environmental problems, are among the most powerful educative tools. The Media (particularly television) is also in a powerful position to educate the public about environmental matters through community service announcements - often in partnership with community groups and government agencies. This requires a donation of air-time or column-space, which should be seen as a worthwhile investment rather than a cost, if for no other reason than the improvement it can make to public perceptions about the particular broadcaster or publisher.

Environmental Interest Groups and Organisations

A central function of any effective environmental interest group should be to promote the importance of environmental education as widely as possible, and to contribute to that process as far as possible. In order to maximise an NGO’s effectiveness in this regard, human and financial resources need to be devoted to education, and the educative knowledge and skills base of the group needs to be continually renewed. Environmental NGOs have the opportunity to collaborate with other community groups, formal and informal educators, governments, and individual businesses where appropriate, on projects which increase appreciation of environmental problems, and commitment to their resolution in a sustainable way.

Environmental Education 11

Other Community Organisations

Every community organisation in Australia can make a positive contribution to environmental education, irrespective of their primary function. Whether it be a Scout Troop, a Church Parish, or Meals on Wheels, community groups can make a positive contribution by incorporating environmental sustainability into their decisions and activities. By fostering a concern for local natural and cultural heritage, through decisions about material use and recycling, equipment purchases, and facility maintenance, community organisations can help to encourage effective participation in environment management in the wider community. Where possible, community groups (especially service organisations) should look to forge productive links with other groups specifically devoted to environmental monitoring and repair, such as the Australian Trust for Conservation Volunteers, Landcare groups, and environmentally related government programs like Bushcare, Waterwatch and Coastcare. Each of these activities is a substantial contribution to the overarching effort.

The Home

The possibilities for environmental education in the home environment are virtually endless. Almost every decision which householders make about purchasing, consuming and disposing presents an opportunity to improve environmental performance. Given the enormous range and number of decisions made in the average household, adults and children should constantly be looking for ways to teach each other how to make more environmentally friendly choices. In addition to looking to ways to re-use, recycle, and reduce waste in the home through choices at the supermarket and decisions about waste disposal, households can also contribute to local ecosystems - for example through decisions made in the garden. By planting native trees and shrubs, and using alternative means to chemicals where possible, householders can ensure that their impact on the local ecology is as small as possible.



The area of environmental awareness requires large scale participation of people which is difficult task. In developing countries where literacy percentage is low, work becomes more difficult. No government can do everything that need to be done unless it does not work in partnership with its people and local institutions. Environment movement can people’s movement only when they can understand the problem and its cause. In this connection the enlightened understanding by a human being of the environment is a prerequisite to saving it. The mass awareness for environmental problem must be designed after taking the following points into consideration: 1. The major environmental problem is because of population. The need of people has accelerated the destruction of natural resources, and also threatened to ecological security. 2. If resources are not managed properly, it will cost to environment. The use of resources has caused several environmental stresses.

12 Environmental Studies 3. Everyone between the decision makers to the people in the villages, are to be educated. The target groups are socially and economically highly diverse. Therefore keeping in view of diversity of the group, special messages are to be designed, and also the media is to be included for disseminating such messages. 4. Other most important point is the perception of the target group. The planners have to design the alternative means for sustenances if, the environment is to be protected. Individual’s need is greatest force to put pressure for degradation of environment. Government thinks that deforestation, soil erosion, water shortage and so on national problems. In this case unless alternative source of fire-wood, fodder and small timber are nor provided to local people, society will not get desired result. Similarly, take the management of national parks and sanctuaries, success of programme will depend upon the people’s association. Unless people are not told that this natural resource is for them and alternative source of their livelihood is made, programme may not be successful. People have to be taught about the importance of ecosystem, and for that first alternative schemes are to be made to meet their requirement. 5. The media network and communication technology are required to carry message to the people. These networks like newspaper, film, folk songs, radio, T.V. films, and demonstration must take multi approach because all means mentioned above may not be available to particular section of people. Media of communication should suite to the target group. The burden for educating the public and creating a broad public demand for responsiveness towards environment falls on the government, voluntary sectors and environmentalists, and educational institutions etc. Government: The Department of Environment in the Government of India was created in 1980 and worked on diverse activities such as environmental impact assessment and maintaining the National Museum of Natural History. The DoE’s major areas of work include the prevention and control of air and water pollution, botanical and zoological surveys, monitoring, environment research, spreading the environment good-word and examining the impact on the environment by development projects. It is also setting up a National Environmental Monitoring Organization (MEMO) to keep a watch on changes in air and water quality, and natural ecosystem. Meanwhile the department is promoting what it calls centres of excellence in universities and research institutions. The states are not lagging behind and have either environment department or an environment section in their department of science and technology. The department of environment is working as nodal agency for the purpose. It is coordinating environmental research and education, and helping other institutions and organizations to deliver the message to the people. The DoE is a vital part of government which is at the centre of all development activities. It is invested with authority to examine each and every development plan and programme on the merit of its environment worthiness. This would imply that its status as a government department would have to be much higher than even the Planning Commission’s. In fact, the Planning Commission plus such a Department of Environment would alone make a real planning commission. The department should have authority to force planners and project executors to bow to its dictates. Among the government department, forest department can take the task for educating rural people about the sustained use of renewable natural resource-timber, wood, fodder and other minor forest produces. Department has to change its approach to make all forestry scheme successful. People’s

Environmental Education 13 needs of wood, fodder etc. are to be met, and hence people must be considered as part of system. Realization among people must come that department is working for their interest. It is impossible to protect and conserve the ecosystem without taking people into confidence. Certain states have achieved this goal to certain extent and people have started realizing that forest department's cooperation is required. Successes of social forestry project in few states are result of this approach. Voluntary Agencies and Environmentalists: It is argued that the voluntary agencies can be the only true partners and supporters of DoE in any real process of change, and carry the issues of environment to the people. These agencies are free from all type of pressure, and are in position to create public opinion against any decision causing degradation of environment. The non-government organizations give the environmental movement, its dynamism and vigour. Several environmental educationalists stress that the government must build links with NGO’s and enlist their support in creating the awareness that is needed for ensuring that in attempting development. DoEs programme should give priority to those activities, which can reach the masses in a simple language. The rural NGO's which deal with life and death issues of people can help government to make the task easy. Government must make them partners, and coordinate them for educating the rural mass. The number of voluntary groups in India actively interested or involved in environmental issues, today is larger than in any Third World country, and probably matches the numbers found in western countries. Most rural grass-roots groups have begun to take up environmental issues. The Dasohli Gram Swarajya Mandal (DGSM) in Gopeshwar, which pioneered the new world famous Chipko movement, is a group progressed from development work to activism. Disturbed by the increasing poverty in the hill and steady migration to the plains, a few young men of Chamoli got together in the early sixties to organize a cooperative labour society so that hill labourers could not be exploited by unscrupulous contractors. Dasholi Gram Swarajya Sang was formed to start cottage industries based on the natural resources of local forests. They witnessed the massive exploitation of the herbal wealth of the region by the contractor. BGSS workers realized that they had no rights or control over local forest resources. The workers went from village to village telling people about their problem. Finally it became a mass movement to protect the ecology of the area. This was possible through people participation and education about the environment problem. Chipko movement has played important role for educating rural hill people about the environment of the Himalayas. This movement has got ready support and participation of almost all section of the hill population. Voluntary agencies are telling people how the environment is being destroyed, who is destroying it, and what can be done about it. There is growing number of people's science groups which are also putting environment on their agenda. The DGSM which pioneered the Chipko movement has been organizing eco-development camps to bring together group of social workers, students and villages for discussion on environmental issues and for undertaking afforestation work. Eco-development camps are now also being organized by other groups like the Lok Chetna Munch in the Kumaon Himalayas. The Environmental cell of the Gandhi Peace Foundation has assisted in the organizing several eco-development camps in the Himalayas as well as in other parts of the country. Shri Sundals LAl Bahuguna has undertaken several padyatras to spread the environmental message, even walking across the Himalayas from Kashmir to Kohima. The Chipko movement, the compaign against the Silient Valley Hydro electric project organized by the Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad (KSSP), the Mitti Bachao Abhian, the demand to stop the Bopalpatnam and Inchampalli dams, have all been widely reported in the press, and several meetings have been held during these campaigns.

14 Environmental Studies Several agencies are working with urban schools and colleges. An interesting experiment was done by the Vikram Sarabhai Community Science Centre in Ahmedabad for collection of data on the environmental conditions and needs. The groups of students were organized to collect data on pollution of the Sabermati river and environmental changes taking place around it. The study also included about the respiratory diseases and traffic patterns. At present, there are nature clubs, environmental societies and other types of organizations in all over the country which are raising the local environmental problem and these agencies are successful in educating the local people. The reports of these groups have helped to focus nation-wide attention on the problem, and with support of people the agencies have been successful in pressurizing government to give priority to ecodevelopment. Educational Institutions: Environmental education in the universities and colleges should not be confined in classroom, but more importantly, field on part of school activities through nature and eco-development camps. Student community should interact rural people, and during such interactions integrated knowledge about the economic activities can be imparted in the subtle manner. In rural areas, such activities should revolve around an agricultural field, a forests or a village wood lot. Student community can play a very important role for protection of environment and rational use of the resources. As a part of their educational activities, they should be associated with the works like monitoring of environments and raising the issues against air, water and land pollution. When these people will work with local communities, they can teach rural folk about the social costs involved for deforestations and ecological degradation. Gradually the small nucleus of awareness for the environment created by the institution may be taken by the people as mass movement.



In recent years, environmental education has expanded in scope and its methods have become more diversified. This expansion has, nonetheless, been accompanied by some insecurity about its place and nature. There is a strong sense among those directly involved that, following a period of rapid growth (most apparent in some sectors in the last decade), the most urgent need is for consolidation, coordination and integration. What follows is a list of suggestions of things which providers of environmental education can do to enhance our collective national effort. It is not intended to be an exhaustive list, but rather a range of options which providers might consider if they have not done so already—in many cases educators have gone beyond the suggestions below.


In Government

There is a need at the Commonwealth level to foster new linkages between departments so that environmental education activities being pursued by different federal agencies are part of a coherent whole-of-government effort. Environment-related activity has become commonplace in a wide range of Commonwealth departments, but greater linkages and coordination are required to ensure that these activities incorporate the potential of education to facilitate positive environmental outcomes.

Environmental Education 15 The means by which the Environment and Heritage Portfolio can improve its educational activity and the activities of other Commonwealth agencies is treated separately in the previous section.


State and Territory Government Departments

Where they have not done so already, State and Territory governments should develop and implement an environmental education strategy. Such strategies should recognize and develop the educational possibilities in program activities. State governments might also consider designating staff with explicit responsibility for environmental education. In designing and implementing program activities, such staff should ensure access to and use of specialists in the field of environmental education. States should also foster linkages and partnerships with the various actual and potential providers of environmental education — including other State/Territory agencies along with external educators.


Local Government Bodies

The provision of elected representatives and staff in Local Government with education and training about environmental matters is a major precursor to sustainability at the local level. Designating staff in local authorities with explicit responsibility for environmental matters is another positive step. Councils can help to educate their local communities by demonstrating best practice initiatives in land management and in the treatment of waste/sewage. Councils also have the opportunity to recognize and develop the educational possibilities associated with local environmental strategies, campaigns and practices. Councils should recognize the opportunity to involve the community in the formulation and implementation of such activities, and to build partnerships based on sustainability with local providers of formal and informal education.

SUMMARY The foundations of sustainable development are built on the way we think, the values we hold and the decisions we make. It cannot depend on just the technology available to us, the nature of our environment, or the policy instruments at our disposal. A public which is educated about the need for sustainable development is essential to achieving sustainable development. Though the responsibility for environmental education is a shared one, the Federal Government has an important role to play in terms of national leadership, coordination, and acting as a catalyst for positive educational initiatives in a wide range of community settings. The Commonwealth Government has acknowledged the importance of environmental education in international commitments like Agenda 21, and in national commitments such as the National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development, the National Greenhouse Strategy and the programs of the Natural Heritage Trust. However, until now, actions have failed to adequately reflect these commitments to environmental education. Similarly, in the community, there is not enough appreciation of the nature and importance of environmental education. People also tend to understand environmental education too narrowly, in terms of formal educational settings such as schools.

16 Environmental Studies And while there is an enormous amount of effort going into environmental education activity in a wide range of sectors, the activities lack the coordination required to maximize effectiveness. This Discussion Paper puts forward for public comment a range of initiatives which could assist the Portfolio to enhance its national leadership role in environmental education. A major priority is to reorient our educational effort so that in addition to raising public-awareness, more attention is paid to capacity-building in other sectors and the community. In keeping with much of the ethos developed through programs such as Landcare, Coastcare or Waterwatch, the work of the Environment and Heritage Portfolio needs to increasingly support and build interest and capacity among a wide range of groups in the community for developing their own solutions to environmental problems. The Portfolio also recognizes the need to work in partnership with State, Territory and Local Governments, regional organizations, NGOs, industry and educational institutions. This approach is fundamental to effective long term behavioural changes towards sustainability.

QUESTIONS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Define environmental education. What is the importance of environmental education? Discuss the evolution of environmental education. Describe the principles of environmental education. What role does schools, colleges and universities play in providing environmental education? How business, industry and other organizations help in imparting environmental education? Discuss the ways to tackle environmental problems.



2 Ecosystem 1.


The word ecosystem is comprised of two words ‘eco’ means environmental and ‘system’ standing for an interacting and interdependent complex. Tansley (1935) was the first to use the term 'ecosystem' and states that the biotic community along with its habitat is called an ecosystem. It is a basic unit of ecology. The ecosystem may also be defined as “a unit of the biosphere consisting of organisms and their physical and chemical environment tuned in a machine-like organization and driven by an external energy source, the solar radiations. So long as the system receives energy, it is self sustaining.” Thus, the ecosystem represents a distinct combination of air, soil and water (habitat), along with vegetation, animal and microbe life, forming a self sustaining unit and is equivalent to the European biogeocenose (Sukachev and Dylis, 1964). In order to exist, organisms must respond or adjust to the conditions of their environment. The first living organisms probably evolved in the sea, and must have possessed much generalized adjustments to this relatively uniform and favourable habitat. During the period the freshwater and terrestrial habitats remained vacant, their environment being unexplored. However, these early organisms had an inherent potential for expansion, as they later spread into other and more rigorous habitats. An expansion proceeded, the development of new and varied ecosystems occurred. Organisms adopted themselves to the range of habitats presented by the earth system, and interaction with the new environment started. With evolutionary progress organisms became more and more limited in the range of ability to respond as they become specialized in their adjustments to particular habitats. This led to a great diversification of species that we see today, with each species restricted to a particular microhabitat and place in the community. Individuals and populations exist and operate as part of the ecosystem. They do not live alone in nature but in association with at least a few, and usually a great many other plants and animals, termed as the community. These associations are not haphazard accumulations; on the contrary, they are spatially and temporally ordered machine-like organizations which utilize the energy and raw materials present in their environment for their operation. Thus environmental biology in its broad sense is the study of ecosystems—their structure and operation. An ecosystem represents the highest level of integration in environmental systems, and consists of many individual systems and population systems, the other levels of integration. The biotic and abiotic components of the ecosystem are interrelated and interdependent on each other and

18 Environmental Studies together contribute to the smooth functioning of the system. Each system depicts a characteristic biotic diversity supported by regular flow of energy and cycling of materials. All the coexisting and independent populations of living organisms (biotic component) of an area constitute a ‘community’. The ecosystem can therefore also be defined as a functional system of a community and its environments. Other names used for an ecosystem include ‘Biocoenosis’, ‘Geobiocoenosis’ and ‘Microcosm’.



The ecosystem can be very small consisting of a predator and prey or a host and its parasites. But these small ecosystems are generally connected to other lower and higher organizations to constitute a larger ecosystem. The ecosystem can be very large stretching over hundreds of kilometers. The biosphere including all the inhabitants of the earth forms the largest known ecosystem. Some of the other major ecosystems are seas, rivers, deserts grasslands and forests etc. The ecosystem can be both a man-made or artificial ecosystem and a natural ecosystem. The examples of ecosystem are cultivation of crops, maintenance of poultry, a pigry, and an apiary of honeybees. Such ecosystems are maintained through artificial means i.e. through outside addition of energy and planned administration. The natural ecosystems, on the contrary, work under natural conditions independent of any interference by man. For the sake of convenience, natural ecosystems can be further subdivided into terrestrial type including grassland, desert and forest ecosystems and aquatic type constituting ponds, lakes, rivers, and marine ecosystems such as seas, oceans, estuaries etc.



As already stated, each ecosystem comprises two separate components viz., biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living).

3.1 Abiotic Components The abiotic components of the ecosystem pertain to non-living elements which may be of following types. (a) Inorganic substances: These substances include essential elements like N, C, H, P, O which are present in the bodies of the organisms as well as outside their bodies. These are continuously exchanged between the living and the non-living parts and their amount present in the ecosystem indicates what is technical called as ‘standing state’ or ‘standing quality’ of the ecosystem. (b) Organic substances: These important organic substances in the ecosystem include carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and humic substances which are distributed like the inorganic substances. Some others of this kind are DNA (Deoxyribose nucleic acid) and chlorophyll. However, compounds like ATP (Adenosine triphosphate) are exceptional in being either within the living cells or in the humic substances. (c) Physical factors: These include such factors which have a direct bearing on the organisms of a particular area. Out of these, light energy is the most important in the photosynthesis by the green plants. The other notable factors are temperature, wing and humidity.

Ecosystem 19


Biotic Components

The biotic components of the ecosystem mainly comprise the categories of producers and consumers which are usually named as autotrophs and heterotrophs respectively, due to self nourishing habit of the former and dependent nourishing in the latter category. The role of the two categories is explained below. (a) Producers (Autotrophic Components): These include all the green plants which fix light energy and utilize simple inorganic substances for the manufacture of complex materials. (b) Consumers (Heterotrophic Components): These organisms, also known by the names of macro consumers or phagotrophs, include all the animals which feed directly or indirectly on the green plants and thus utilize and rearrange the complex materials manufactured by the autotrophs. Another important group of consumers is that of detritivores which consume organic detritus produced by the autotrophs and collected at the bottom. (c) Decomposers : These are those heterotrophic micro-organisms which decompose the complex compounds in the dead organic matter and chiefly include bacteria and fungi. They are also called as micro-consumers, saprotrophs, saprobes or saprophytes. Their main function is to release inorganic substances which are used by the producers. An accidental forest fire serves as a quick method of decomposition by burning the biota and thus converting the chemical compounds into simpler substances and elements.

4. 4.1.


The producer - consumer relationship in ecosystem results in the formation of several trophic levels in a continuous food chain. The essential feature of this food chain is the process of “eating and being eaten”. A simple food chain consists of the following three major steps. Producer (plant) (carnivore)

Primary consumer (herbivore)

Secondary consumer

However, usually more than one carnivore participates in many food chains and the levels can be extended as plant herbivore carnivore 1 carnivore 2 Carnivore (n) decomposers. Although the food chain always extends from producers (greenplants0 to primary consumers (herbivores) to decomposers (bacteria and fungi), the type of producers and consumers may be different in different ecosystem. This is evident from the food chains in the pond: Phytoplankton (Algae) Zooplankton (Copepod, insect larva) Small fish (Minnow) Large fish (Shark) Micro-organism (Bacteria, Fungi) The simple chain-like trophic line, however, sometimes gets complicated because many organisms are both herbivorous and carnivorous and therefore occupy positions at different trophic levels. In this fashion, there is formed a complicated network of trophic relationship which is termed as ‘food web’. The producers in the above mentioned food chain utilize carbon dioxide and water to produce simple carbohydrates: 6CO2 + 6H2O

in the presence of chlorophyll and Light energy

C6H12O6 + 6O2

20 Environmental Studies The above conversion is preceded by trapping of light energy by the chlorophyll pigment present in the thylakoids of the chloroplast to produce ATP. The latter provides the needed energy for the production of glucose in the stroma part of the chloroplast. The formation of ATP and glucose in thylakoids and stroma parts of chloroplast respectively are also referred to as light reaction and dark reaction of photosynthesis. With the glucose serving as a source of energy and as a building block, more complex organic compounds such as fats, oils and cellulose are manufactured. Nitrogen, phosphorus, sulphur and magnesium are also combined with sugar to produce a variety of proteins, nucleic acids and pigments. The total energy assimilated through photosynthesis is called ‘gross production’. As a part of the energy is used for plant respiration, the remaining energy which is accumulated in the plant bio-mass i.e., plant growth and reproduction is known as ‘net-production’.


Energy Flow

The smooth working of an ecosystem through different trophic levels is fact based on the utilization of energy from sunlight and procurement of simple chemicals from soil and water. However, there is one fundamental difference in the two processes. The energy obtained from the sunlight is never restored and is instead transferred from lower trophic level to higher unlike the cycling of nutrients. In this process, the energy is changed from one form to the other as for example from chemical bonds to heat and vice versa and most of it is also lost in the maintenance of body functions like movements and respiration. In spite of the inter conversion of energy the flow of energy in the ecosystem strictly obeys the first law of thermodynamics, according to which the total amount of energy in any closed system remains the same and neither be created nor destroyed. However, the conversion of energy progressively decreases towards the higher levels of food chain. Because substantial part of the energy is always lost in the form of heat, no energetic conversion can be cent percent. In other words the energy that is unavailable for doing work or entropy decreases from the lower trophic levels to then higher trophic levels. This principle conforms to the second law of thermodynamics. The intake of energy in an ecosystem is rather a very erratic process on account of hurdles at several levels. On the first hand, most of absorbed by the bare earth and water. About 20-30%of the total light is absorbed by the green plants, although the amount of light absorbed in different ecosystems differs widely. The dense vegetation of forest can absorb up to 90%of the light which is drastically reduced in the case of an aquatic ecosystem. Out of the absorbed light, the green plants actually utilize only about 2% of light for conversion into biomass and the remaining 98% is either converted into heat or otherwise lost through convection, transpiration or re-radiation. Because plants and animals use energy for maintenance, less and less energy becomes available to each higher trophic level. Generally, 30-70% of the assimilated energy is used by the plants for maintenance functions and biosynthetic processes. The herbivores and the carnivores spend relatively more assimilated energy on maintenance on account of their greater activity. Accordingly, the productivity of each trophic level decreases by 5-20% from that of the level below it. The percentage transfer of energy from one trophic level to the next is technically called as 'ecological efficiency' or ‘food-chain efficiency’ of the community.


Cycling of Nutrients

As already mentioned the nutrients present in soil and the air circulate through the ecosystem and any one molecule of an element can be present inside the biota or in the environment at different

Ecosystem 21 times, so that there is a regular cycle of nutrients running through biotic and abiotic components of the ecosystem. This cycle of nutrients is commonly called as biogeochemical cycle. Most of these nutrients come from the three components viz., hydrosphere, lithosphere and atmosphere of the biosphere which can be defined as that part of earth which can support life. Before considering the contribution of these components in the nutrient cycle, it will be worth while to understand the scope and meaning of these components. The hydrosphere includes the total water of the biosphere including the fresh water and marine water. The lithosphere stands for all the solid components including rocks and soil. The atmosphere is the gaseous layer which covers the hydrosphere and the lithosphere. The nutrients in fact move through two different cycles. One of the cycle concerns with the transfer of elements from rocks to the bottom of the oceans and vice versa involved in the geographical events such as uplift and leveling of mountains. The speed of this cycle is evidently very slow. In the second cycle, however, the nutrients travel from the abiotic (air, water and soil) to the biotic components and move through different levels rather quickly. 4.3.1.

The Water Cycle

The hydrosphere covers about 73% surface of the earth and water is also a major constituent of lithosphere and atmosphere. Moreover, all living organisms contain about 90% water in their bodies. For this reason, it is essential to consider the circulation of water although it is not a nutrient in the true sense of the word. Solar energy causes the open water to evaporate into the atmosphere. The water also evaporates from the leaves of plants (Transpiration). The transpiration helps as a driving force for pulling water and the dissolved substances from the roots to other parts of the plants. The water in the atmosphere in the form of vapour ultimately condenses as a result of cooling and returns to the surface of earth in the form of rain drops or snow crystals. The water or hydrologic cycle thus includes evaporation and condensation. 4.3.2.

Atmosphere Cycle

The cycling of the nutrients from the atmosphere can be best explained by taking the example of carbon whose primary source is the air. Although the air contains only 0.03% - 0.04% carbon dioxide but this is the main source of the carbon required by all living organisms. The green plants pick up carbon from carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and rearrange the carbon atoms into a carbon skeleton to which are attached Oxygen, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Sulphur etc. to produce fats, carbohydrates, proteins and nucleic acids. These compounds are passed on from the producers to the consumers who rearrange them for their own chemical needs. The oxides of carbon are also present in the water and in the rocks. The amount of carbon dioxide in the air however remains constant. The carbon dioxide dissolves in water to form carbonic acid (H2CO3) which splits into Hydrogen (H+) and Bicarbonate ion (HCO3). The latter in turn dissociates into hydrogen ions (H+) and carbonate ions (CO32–). The carbonate ions can join with calcium to form insoluble compounds which settle as sedimentary rock. The loss of carbon dioxide is made up by a reversal of the process under the influence of suitable pH and temperature. 4.3.3.

Nitrogen Cycle

The nitrogen of the atmosphere becomes available to the plants through the agency of few species of bacteria and blue green algae or to a lesser extent through the energy provided by the lighting. The

22 Environmental Studies nitrogen of the air is first changed into ammonia (NH3) and nitrate (NO3-). These are converted into higher compounds like proteins and nucleic acids and are cycled through the trophic levels. The nitrogenous compounds excreted by the animals are acted upon by certain ammonifying bacteria and converted into ammonia. A second and third group of bacteria convert ammonia and ammonium salt into nitrates (NO2-) and nitrates (NO3-) through two steps. Bacteria involved in this process are Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter. Another set of bacteria (denitrifying bacteria) can reverse the process of nitrification, to ultimately form oxides of nitrogen or free nitrogen (e.g. Pseudomonas). Certain nitrogen fixing bacteria and blue green algae can directly use atmospheric nitrogen. Whereas bacterium Rhizobium is present in the nodules on the roots of legumes, the blue green algea Anabaena is found in association with certain water ferns. In most aquatic systems, nitrogen fixation is brought about by bacteria such as Azotobacter and Clostridium. 4.3.4.

Oxygen Cycle

There is a direct exchange of Oxygen from the atmosphere to the green plants, although consumers also utilize Oxygen during respiration. The green plants release one molecule of O2 for each molecule of carbon dioxide used during photosynthesis. During respiration the plants and the animals consume one molecule of Oxygen for one atom each of carbon and hydrogen. 4.3.5.

Phosphorus Cycle

The phosphorus is mostly deposited in the rocks or the sediments of the sea in the form of phosphates. It reaches the soil through erosion and weathering of the rocks for the use of the terrestrial green plants. The aquatic plants get the same from their aquatic medium. Inside the green plant, the phosphorus becomes part of the energy-rich ATP or of some other organic compounds. This phosphorus is either returned to the sediment or the soil after the death of the plants for the action of decomposers or it is passed on to the consumers for involvement in the formation of bones, teeth etc. after the death of animals, the phosphorus compounds are again converted into phosphates in the soil by the decomposers. Some of the phosphates evidently remain deposited at the bottom of sea for very long periods. 4.3.6.

Sulphur Cycle

Sulphur is mainly found in the soil in the form of elemental Sulphur and Sulphates. It is consumed by the plants in the form of sulphates and ultimately returned to the soil in the form of complex protein and protein- carbohydrate complexes as a part of wastes and dead organisms. The decomposers convert organic sulphur into inorganic salts. Sulphur also enters the atmosphere in the form of H2S or Sulphur Dioxide (SO2). Although SO2 is often returned to soil in the form of sulphuric acid during acid precipitation, H2S is converted into elemental Sulphur through the agency of species of bacteria and fungi.

5. STABILITY OF ECOSYSTEM Most ecosystems exhibit self regulating mechanisms and therefore remain self sufficient and in a balanced state. The fluctuations in the abiotic (environment) or biotic components of an ecosystem usually occur in a limited range because there is always a tendency for counteractions for maintaining

Ecosystem 23 a functional balance. This self regulatory mechanism in an ecosystem through checks and balances is called Homeostasis. In a balanced ecosystem, the amount of Oxygen and Carbon dioxide are maintained at a certain level so that neither of the two gases is in short supply or in excess. As and when a change in the animal and plant populations disturbs this balance, the ecosystem reacts to regulate this fluctuation. In a similar manner, a balance is maintained in the biochemical nutrients as well as the available amount of water. If the ecosystem fails to regulate the fluctuations, the existing balance develops in its place. In the absence of a balance, the component organisms of the ecosystem would be killed making place to the new ones.



The preliminary response of an organism to a change in the environment is physiological. A change in behaviour, for instance, follows a change in nervous stimulation, which in turn is linked to receptor responses modulated by physiological change. Thus, a feedback system enables the organism to adjust itself to the range of environmental variables. This feedback may be negative or positive, and the biotic responses follow accordingly. For example, a decrease in the temperature of the environment triggers a process-response system in mammals bringing about various adjustments to compensate for such a change. These adjustments may be physiological, such as an increase in the basic metabolic rate, or stimulation of systems involved in the conservation of heat. They may be behavioural, for instance, search for a protective cover, or migration to more congenial conditions in extreme situations. Thus the nature of response depends on the degree of change in the environmental parameter, and organisms adapt themselves to the range of environmental conditions by adjusting their biotic responses accordingly.

7. THRESHOLD RATE Every environmental factor has a wide range of intensities then any single organism can tolerate. For each individual organism, there is characteristic lower and an upper limit of tolerance in the range of an environmental factor between which it functions efficiently. For any factor or parameter, different organisms find optimal conditions for existence at different points along the range, and thus segregate into different habitats. For example, different plant species prefer varying moisture levels, accordingly the distribution of such species in the range of soil moisture conditions is in relation to their preference. The threshold is the minimum quantity of any factor that produces a perceptible effect on the organism. It may be the lowest temperature at which an animal remains active, the least amount of moisture in the soil that permits growth of a plant, or the minimum intensity of light at which a photoreceptor is stimulated. Above the threshold, the rate of function of organisms increases more or less rapidly, until a maximum is attained. Above the maximum, there is usually a decline in the rate of a process brought about by some deleterious effect, or the interference of some factor, or exhaustion. The curve of decline is usually steeper than the curve of acceleration.

24 Environmental Studies

8. TOLERANCE RANGE For each species, there are limits within the broad range of an environmental factor in which the species can function at or near the optimum. There are extremes, both maximum and minimum, towards which the function of an organism decreases at first, and is then inhibited. The points of inhibition determine the upper and lower limits of tolerance. Prior to these limits the organisms undergo a state of physiological stress. The upper and lower limits of tolerance are actually intensity levels of a factor at which only half the organisms can survive and is termed as the lethal dose (LD 50). Species vary in their range of tolerance for a particular factor. Some can tolerate a wide range for which the prefix eury- is added (eurythermal, euryhaline), others have narrow range of tolerance, and the prefix steno- is generally added (stenothermal, stenohaline). The prefix oligo- is used for those stenothermal species whose upper and lower tolerance limits lie in the lower range of the parametric tolerance scale, while polyis used for the stenothermal species in which the limits lie in the upper range of the scale.



An organism is seldom exposed solely to the influence of a single factor within the broad range of environmental variables. On the contrary, it is subjected to the simultaneous effect of a combination of factors that make up its immediate environment, and some factors exert a greater influence than others. An environmental factor exerts a limiting influence, when despite the favourable nature of the remainder of the environment; it comes to control the habitat because of scarcity or over abundance. For instance, oxygen becomes a limiting factor in the hypolimnion of thermally stratified lakes. Nitrates may become a limiting factor when there is a fresh spurt of growth after the spring overturn. Attempts to evaluate the relative role of a particular factor within a combination have led to the formulation of the law of minimum.

10. LAW OF MINIMUM The German biochemist, Justus von Liebig was the first to elaborate the law of minimum. He stated that “If one of the participating nutritive constituents of the soil or atmosphere is deficient or wanting or lacking in assimilability, either the plant does not grow or its organs develop imperfectly. The deficient or lacking constituent makes those that are present inactive or lessens their activity. If the deficient or lacking constituent is added to the soil or if occurring in insoluble form, it may be soluble, then the other nutrients become active.” Liebig (1840) based his law originally on his investigations on the relations of mineral nutrients, especially those in the soil, to plant growth. In such situations, the yield increases in direct proportion to the increase of the limiting substance, and eventually levels off at a point where its role is taken up by some other factor which becomes limiting.



Blackman (1905) developed the more comprehensive concept of limiting factors, including both those deficient and controlling, when he listed five factors involved in controlling the rate of

Ecosystem 25 photosynthesis—amount of CO2 available, amount of H2O available, intensity of solar radiation, amount of chlorophyll present, and the temperature of the chloroplast. Any one these factors may control the rate of the process if it is present in the least favourable amount, or may actually stop the process when present in insufficient quantities, even though all other factors are in abundance. Since the rate of the process may be controlled by too great an amount of a substance, or too small an amount, and since the process is controlled by a large number of factors, either in an isolated form or more commonly, by factors interacting with each other, the law of minimum was restated by Blackman as the law of limiting factors as follows, “The functioning of an organism is controlled or limited by that essential environmental factor or combination of factors present in the least favourable amount. The factors may not be continuously effective but only at certain critical period during the year or perhaps only during some critical year in a climatic cycle” (Taylor, 1934). In nature, the photosynthetic rate is controlled together with light and carbon dioxide, by moisture, temperature, dissolved nutrients and amounts of chlorophyll. The limiting effect of water is indirect and is due mainly to the fact that it maintains the turgor of the assimilatory cells, and a proper hydration of protoplasm. Similar factors acting simultaneously at and affecting the rate of photosynthesis are the chlorophyll content and temperature. In tropical plants photosynthesis hardly starts at about 5ºC. The same principle applies to animal functions.



The limiting substance is the nutrient that is minimal relative to requirement, and not necessarily the one that occurs in the smallest absolute amount. In this sense the law of minimum in ecology is analogous to the law of combining weights in chemistry. For example, consider the following reaction Na+ + Cl NaCl 23 gm 35 gm 58 gm If 1000 grams of sodium were added to 35 grams of chlorine, no more than 58 grams of sodium chloride would be formed. Under these circumstances the amount of chlorine limits the rate of the process. If however, 23 grams of sodium was allowed to combine with 34 grams of chlorine, somewhat lesser than 58 grams of sodium chloride would be formed. Here chlorine still remains the limiting factor. Thus, the limiting factor means a factor which is present in quantity or intensity that is lesser than what is required for the process.



Shelford (1911), summarized the response of organisms to these limiting influence as “The presence and success of an organism depends upon the completeness of a complex of conditions. Absence or failure of an organism can be controlled by the qualitative or quantitative deficiency or excess with respect to any one of the several factors which may approach the limits of tolerance for that organism.” Thus there is an ecological maximum and minimum which represents the limits of tolerance, a threshold exits on each side, below and above which the factor becomes limiting. Above the threshold, activity increases with increasing amounts of the factor till it reaches the optimum.

26 Environmental Studies



There is an integration of ecological coarse-tuning of the environment, and organisms segregate themselves in this environmental range according to a particular favourable combination of environmental factors. Each factor modifies the effect of the other to a certain extent. For instance, it has been found that when soil nitrogen is limiting, the resistance of grass to drought is reduced. In other words, more water is required to prevent wilting at lower nitrogen levels than at high levels. This modification or interaction produces a situation quite different from the effect of individual factors. A number of important interactions exist between pairs or groups of environmental factors. Heat and light are often closely associated as regulators of seasonal succession. Similarly, heat, relative humidity, and wind combine to form an environmental complex termed as the evaporative power of the air. Temperature and precipitation divide the biosphere into major climatic zones in which biomes develop. Various other interactions in the ecosystem exist which tune the environment for organisms. Temperature, rainfall and the formation of biomes: Temperature and rainfall interact to divide the biosphere into major bioclimatic zones such as the tropical, temperate, tundra, desert and grassland regions. These climatic zones offer particular combinations of climatic features in which major biotic communities are termed as biomes, and possess adaptive features in relation to the combination of environmental parameters. This forms the macroclimate which is a more or less formalized integration of such environmental features as temperature, humidity, insolation and time. Temperature, evaporation, precipitation, vapour pressure and relative humidity: Temperature, vapour pressure and relative humidity combine to form the evaporative power of air and along with salinity move the hydrological cycle in ocean basins, and consequently the nutrient cycle.

SUMMARY The ecosystem represents a distinct combination of air, soil and water (habitat), along with vegetation, animal and microbe life, forming a self sustaining unit. In order to exist, organisms must respond or adjust to the conditions of their environment. The ecosystem can be both a man-made or artificial ecosystem and a natural ecosystem. Each ecosystem comprises two separate components viz., biotic (living) and abiotic (non-living). The producer - consumer relationship in ecosystem results in the formation of several trophic levels in a continuous food chain. The smooth working of an ecosystem through different trophic levels is fact based on the utilization of energy from sunlight and procurement of simple chemicals from soil and water. The nutrients present in soil and the air circulate through the ecosystem and any one molecule of an element can be present inside the biota or in the environment at different times, so that there is a regular cycle of nutrients running through biotic and abiotic components of the ecosystem. This cycle of nutrients is commonly called as biogeochemical cycle. Most ecosystems exhibit self regulating mechanisms and therefore remain self sufficient and in a balanced state. The fluctuations in the abiotic (environment) or biotic components of an ecosystem usually occur in a limited range because there is always a tendency for counteractions for maintaining a functional balance.

Ecosystem 27

QUESTIONS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Define ecosystem. Explain the different components of ecosystem. What do you understand by trophic levels? Explain the various levels of trophic structure with example. Discuss the role of different biogeochemical cycles. Explain the “law of minimum” and “Shelford’s law of tolerance”. What are the factors that controls the rate of photosynthesis?



! National and International Organisations for Conservation 1.


The WWF—International was set up in 1961, and it is the world’s largest voluntary organization. WWF is raising fund from different sources, and promoting conservation through various activities. Head Quarter of organization is at Gland, Switzerland and HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh is the President of the organization. The official symbol of WWF is the ‘Gaint Panda’. The President and ten executive members of the Board of Trustee of WWF are responsible for the administration of the Fund. The executive committee decides policy on the matter for the WWF. The Board of Trustees WWF includes influential individuals from wide variety of discipline well known in their subjects. The entire source of fund is voluntary contributions by individual or National Organization in five continents. Sources of fund are (1) interest on an endowment fund for more than 10 million dollars contributed by 1001 persons from all parts of the world (2) donations from the general public (3) contribution from its over one million regular members (4) grants from several charitable foundations. WWF supported by the UNO, UNESCO, UNEP and FAO, is working in collaboration with IUCN and other conservation organization of the world. WWF has provided financial assistance to nearly 29000 conservation projects in 130 countries and 260 protected areas in the world. The conservation programme committee consisting of member from leading WWF National Organizations, trustees and senior staff of WWFF and IUCN, review the conservation programme twice a year. The world wild life Fund-India (WWFI) was formed in 1969 with its Head Quarters in Bombay. Calcutta, Madras and Delhi are regional Head Quarters. More than 450 ‘Nature clubs’ have been set up through out India to propagate the conservation Education Programme. WWF supports several conservation projects in India like the project tiger (1973), the Gir Ecological Research Project (1968), Project Hangul (1970), the Himalayan Musk Deer Project (1981).

National and International Organisations for Conservation 29



The Cameroon Biodiversity Conservation Society (CBCS) was founded in 1991. Its mission is the conservation of biological diversity through the protection of birds and natural habitats, as well as the promotion of wildlife study and enjoyment for the benefit of people. The Society is taking part in the African IBA (Important Bird Areas) project and its objective is to identify and document key areas for biodiversity, using birds as indicators and to promote conservation actions on these sites. This project is executed in collaboration with BirdLife International and the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (MINEF). The Society also carries out studies on the distribution and ecology on some bird species of particular interest. Examples include the status and distribution of Bamenda Apalis in Cameroon. Studies have also been initiated on the ecology of two threatened species; Bannerman's Turaco and Banded Wattle-eye. Awareness campaign focussing on Grey necked Picarthartes via traditional Chiefs around Mbam Minkom-Kala forests has begun. Regular monthly organization of excursions for society members, pupils and secondary schools and foreign visitors. These excursions usually take place within the outskirts of the Yaounde area leading to an update of the checklist of the region. Regular publication of the quarterly magazine “Cameroon Birdline” which highlights the various activities undertaken by the Society, briefs from different partner countries around Africa as well as the state of the advancement of the IBA project in Cameroon. Also included are games within prizes for winners. Presently the Society focuses its environmental education programme on schools around Yaounde metropolis. Pupils of primary and secondary schools are taken out for ornithological walks and initiated into birding. This is achieved through their nature clubs - some of which have become local branches of the CBCS. These students and their teachers now participate in the Society's monthly excursion. Frequent organization of training programmes open to universities graduate students of Cameroon as well as staff of Ministry of Environment and forestry (MINEF) and partner organizations like WWF, Campo, Mount Cameroon Project, Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Wildlife School of Garoua.

Achievements · Through the Environmental Education Support Publications (EESP) initiative CBCS have continued to publish and distribute literature widely to the general public, schools and government and NGOs. These include the journal Walia, the magazine Agazen as well as other printed materials, a poster on the Wild Ass, produced in collaboration with the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Organization (EWCO), and a Resource Book for schools, addressing nine crucial environmental issues. · Assisted in the organization and running of environmental protection clubs through the School’s Environmental Education Project (SEEP). · Shoa Robit Nursery project, part of the Plant Locally and Nurture Trees (PLANT programme, produced in excess of 69,000 seedlings of native species for re-vegetation projects.

30 Environmental Studies · Commenced a project on Biodiversity Conservation in Ancient Churches and Monastery Yards of Ethiopia, funded by the Darwin Initiative.



The International Union for conservation of nature and National Resources is founded in 1948, and consists of more than 475 members organizations, and 116 governmental agencies in 110 countries. This includes the government of 54 nations and most of all major national and international non governmental conservation organizations. The environmental education, environmental planning, environmental policy, law and the survival of species are six commissions as part of IUCN. Several experts in ecology and conservation are working in this organization. IUCN receives financial support from its members, from WWF, UNEP and number of other sources. The secretariat of IUNC conducts major functions like monitoring of status of conservation, developing plans for dealing with conservation problems, promoting action on any environmental plan of any organization, and providing guidance to implement conservation. IUCN coordinates different environmental organization like WWF, United National Environmental Programme (UNEP), (Conservation on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES)), for the cause of environmental conservation.



International Council for Bird Preservation (ICBP), the world’s oldest international conservation organization was founded in 1922. The national organizations which are concerned with the conservation of wild birds and their habitat are member of the ICBP. The basic units of ICBP are the National sections consist of local societies which promote bird conservation in their home countries. The council of ICBP consists of all national sections which meet once in four year. The executive body includes a President together with a chairman of the Executive Committee and a Treasurer. The Executive committee works in accordance with the resolutions of the council, but the Committee is empowered to function freely. The world renounced ornithologist, Dr. S.D. Kepley was the President of the council from 1958 to 1982. Dr. Russell, W. Patterson is new president of council. Dr. Jean Delacur is the founder of this organization. ICBP has initiated the production of the ‘Red Data Book’. ICBP assists useful and important bird conservation projects. The expert committee on Birds of the Indian Board of wildlife is the National section of ICBP, which look after all the matters pertaining to the preservation of Indian birds. The formulation of the policy on the control of export and import of birds and their products, and proposing necessary suggestions to the government of India for the conservation of rare and endangered birds are some major programme of this organization in India .ICBP facilitated in finalization of a treaty between India and USSR for protection of migratory birds between two countries.

National and International Organisations for Conservation 31



A convention on International Trade in Endangered species of world Fauna and Flora (CITES) was signed by ten countries on 3rd March, 1973 for protection of wild fauna and flora through international trade. The government of India signed this convention in July, 1974 and became a party to it from October, 1976. more than 90 countries have signed this convention. The representatives of the CITES meet every two years to review the convention and its implementation. CITES cover both wild animals and plants and the member countries regulate and monitor the commercial trade of endangered species. Under the agreement, the international trade in species threatened with extinction is severely restricted. The main objectives of the CITES are related to the following points: · The beautiful and varied forms of fauna and flora are an irreplaceable part of natural systems of the earth. · Aesthetic, scientific, cultural, recreational and economic values are attached with the flora and fauna. · It is responsibility of people and states to protect flora and fauna. · International cooperation is essential for the protection of certain species of wild flora and fauna against over exploitation through international trade. In view of the above points, the member nations of the convention framed rules and regulations to control the world wide trade in endangered wild life and its product.



The World Commission on Environment and Development was created in 1983 by the General Assembly of United Nations chaired by Mrs. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the prime minister of Norway. The commission has functioned as an independent body, and all its members have served the commission in their individual capacities. The commission has been established at a time of unprecedented growth in pressures on the global environment. At its inaugural meeting on 1-3 October, 1984 the commission selected following issues for work: · Perspectives on population. · Environment and sustainable development. · Energy: Environment and Development. · Industry: Environment and Development. · Food security, Agriculture, Forestry: Environment and Development. · Human settlement: Environment and Development. · International Economic Relation: Environment and Development. · Decision support system for Environmental Management, and · International cooperation. The Commission has suggested to give more emphasis on following areas: · Population control through strengthening social, cultural and economic motivation for family planning. · Ecological sound farming practices.

32 Environmental Studies · Extension for protected areas, and mobilization of resources for conservation of species and ecosystem. · Emphasis for renewable energy resource. · New cheap production systems with high productivity and efficiency, but less population. · Decentralized settlement of urban centres—smaller towns and cities. The Commission constituted Advisory Panels on three key issues—Energy, Industry and Food Security.



The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was established in 1972 by the UN General Assembly. It is a result of United Nations Conference on the Human Environment convened at Stockhalm in 1972. During the conference, several environmental issues related to land, water and air have been raised by the both, developed as well as developing countries. UNEP's principal task is to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. It has been a key agent in focusing the attention of governments on critical environmental problems. The UNEP has to play its role on following points: · Focus on Environmental Protection issues. · Global Environmental Assessment and Reporting. · International Environmental Cooperation. · Increase of Revenue and Environmental Fund. UNEP is working in close collaboration with IUCN, WWF, UNESCO and FAO. The first meeting of General Council of the UNEP was held in 1973 at Nairobi and the eco-development idea was evolved. The present efforts of UNEP are to design strategies and assist project for ecological sound economic development (eco-development) at the local and regional level.



An United Nations agency, founded in 1945, to support and implement the efforts of member states to promote education, scientific research and information and the arts to develop the cultural aspects of world relations. It also holds conferences and seminars, promotes research and exchange of information and provides technical support. Its Headquarters are in Paris. UNESCO functions as a laboratory of ideas and a standard-setter to forge universal agreements on emerging ethical issues. The Organization also serves as a clearinghouse—for the dissemination and sharing of information and knowledge—while helping Member States to build their human and institutional capacities in diverse fields. In short, UNESCO promotes international co-operation among its 191 Member States and six Associate Members in the fields of education, science, culture and communication. UNESCO is working to create the conditions for genuine dialogue based upon respect for shared values and the dignity of each civilization and culture.

National and International Organisations for Conservation 33 This role is critical, particularly in the face of terrorism, which constitutes an attack against humanity. The world urgently requires global visions of sustainable development based upon observance of human rights, mutual respect and the alleviation of poverty, all of which lie at the heart of UNESCO's mission and activities.



This is an independent Federal Agency of the US Government established in 1970 by the combined work of the White House and Congress. The EPA was assigned the daunting task of repairing the damage already done to the natural environment and to establish new criteria to guide Americans in making a cleaner environment a reality. It deals with protection of environment by air, water, solid wastes, radiation, pesticides, noise etc. The mission of the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment. Since 1970, EPA has been working for a cleaner, healthier environment for the American people.



European Economic Community (EEC), organization established (1958) by treaty between Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany (now Germany); it was known informally as the Common Market. The EEC was the most significant of the three treaty organizations that were consolidated in 1967 to form the European Community (EC; known since the ratification [1993] of the Maastricht treaty as the European Union). The EEC had as its aim the eventual economic union of its member nations, ultimately leading to political union. It worked for the free movement of labor and capital, the abolition of trusts and cartels, and the development of joint and reciprocal policies on labor, social welfare, agriculture, transport, and foreign trade. One of the first important accomplishments of the EEC was the establishment (1962) of common price levels for agricultural products. In 1968, internal tariffs (tariffs on trade between member nations) were eliminated and a common external tariff was fixed. For subsequent developments. It has programmes of framing and implementation of coordinated policy for environmental improvement and conservation of natural resources.



The project is a part of the Health related Monitoring Programme by WHO in cooperation with UNEP. This project has three components, air monitoring, water quality monitoring and food contamination monitoring on global basis. Quantitative estimation of exposure is often the central feature of assessment activities. The quantitative estimation of exposure can be approached in two general ways: direct assessment, including point-of-contact measurements and biological indicators of exposure; and indirect assessment, including environmental monitoring, modeling, and questionnaires. These two generic approaches to quantitative estimation of exposure are independent and complementary. Each relies on different kinds of data and has different strengths and weaknesses. It is potentially useful, therefore, to employ multiple approaches as a way of checking the robustness of results. Among other factors,

34 Environmental Studies the choice of which method to use will depend on the purpose of the assessment and the availability of suitable methods, measurements and models. Direct approaches for air, water and food include personal air monitors, measurements of water at the point of use and measurement of the food being consumed. Indirect approaches include microenvironmental air monitoring and measurements of the water supply and food supply (contents of a typical food basket, for instance). Exposure models are constructed to assess or predict personal exposures or population exposure distributions from indirect measurements and other relevant information. Exposure assessment methods can be used for identifying and defining the low or high exposure groups. They can also be used for devising more accurate exposure data from measured environmental contaminant levels and personal questionnaire or time-activity diary data, or estimating population exposure differences between days of high and low pollution, or between high and low pollution in communities using measured environmental and population behavioural data.



The World Conservation Strategy (WCS) was launched in 1980 to conserve living natural resources. Different United Nation’s Organization and other international movement have guided to evolve proper strategy to control the depletion of habitats, and deterioration of conditions of flora and fauna. On the lines of World Conservation Strategy, Indian government has considered seriously the formulation and adoption of a National Conservation Strategy. The National Wild Life Action Plan, 1983 is based on World Conservation Strategy for the conservation of the living natural resources of the country.

13. WILD LIFE PRESERVATION SOCIETY OF INDIA Wild Life Preservation Society of India was established in 1958 at Dehradun. The society has taken task of educating people about the importance and role of wild life through photo exhibition, Symposium and lectures. The society publishes a quarterly journal—Cheetal. In addition to promoting interest in wild life among people, the society is also engaged in research and collection of information about wild life. It helps government organizations for preservation and better management of wild life reserves.



The Wild Life Protection Society of India (WPSI) was founded in 1994 by Belinda Wright, its Executive Director, who was an award-winning wildlife photographer and filmmaker till she took up the cause of conservation. From its inception, WPSI's main aim has been to bring a new focus to the daunting task of tackling India’s growing wildlife crisis. It does this by providing support and information for authorities who are combating poaching and the escalating illegal wildlife trade— particularly in wild tigers. It has now broadened its focus to deal with human-animal conflicts and provide support for research projects.

National and International Organisations for Conservation 35 With a team of committed environmentalists, WPSI is one of the most respected and effective wildlife conservation organizations in India. It is a registered non-profit organization, funded by financial donations from a wide range of Indian and international sources. The Society's Board Members include leading conservationists and businessmen. The society collaborates with State Governments to monitor the illegal wildlife trade and then provide them with hands-on training and support to combat poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. It conducts Wildlife Law Enforcement Workshops for enforcement agencies. Since August 2000, the society held more than 25 workshops in 12 States across India and have also given specialist presentations to the National Police Academy, the Indian Institute of Criminology, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), Customs and Excise, the Wildlife Institute of India, tiger reserve authorities, and enforcement training centres. The Wildlife Crime Database details over 10,500 wildlife cases and is continuously updated with inputs from our countrywide network of investigators. This information plays a critical role in the development of new strategies to protect Indian wildlife. It is the first organization to expose the workings of the shahtoosh trade and its links with the trade in tiger parts. We uncovered this trade in the mid-1990s, while investigating the smuggling of tiger bones, and produced a path-breaking report on the subject in 1997 — “Fashioned for Extinction; An Expose of the Shahtoosh Trade”. Over the years, the society have assisted in the arrests of over 230 wildlife criminals and seizures of massive amounts of illegal wildlife products, particularly tiger parts. The Legal Programme currently supports the prosecution of over 100 wildlife court cases in 13 Indian states. These include poaching and trade cases that involve tiger and other endangered species. The society also files petitions on important wildlife conservation issues, including encroachments in protected areas. It constantly liaise with policy makers and international conservation agencies, particularly on issues concerning poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. The society support Conservation Projects for species as varied as the tiger, otter and sea turtle in the States of Assam, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Uttaranchal and West Bengal and research projects on issues as diverse as tiger census techniques, the ecological impact of forest resource extraction, and the plight of the snow leopard. It also deals with other critical issues such as human-animal conflict involving tigers, leopards and elephants. As a result, the society is actively involved in all of India's major wildlife conservation issues and has been in the forefront of media campaigns to highlight the importance of wildlife protection.



The Voluntary Bodies/Non-Government Organizations are the important component of environmental conservation action plan. The main works of agencies are to aid advice the government, act as the eyes and ear of the government, and to educate the people about the environmental issues. NGOs are source of information, and act as a pressure group at decision levels. Voluntary groups have made excellent social and political analysis of environmental problem but they have some limitations to make programme successful. Voluntary agencies in true partners and supporters of

36 Environmental Studies Department of Environment can bring real process of required changes. The voluntary agencies/ NGO are given as under: Assam Science Society has 75 branches and was set up in 1953 to disseminate science knowledge.They impart environmental education and training through camps for teachers and students and conduct surveys on environment. BAIF Development Research Foundation Kamdhanu was set up in 1967 at Urli Kanchan, Pune District to improve the quality of life of the poor through regeneration of degraded resources such as land, livestock, water and vegetation. They carry out tree plantation, agro forestry and wasteland development and conduct research on tree species capable of surviving in adverse conditions. They do consultancy for afforestation, wasteland and watershed management. They encourage the use of nonconventional sources of energy. Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) was established in 1883 with Head Quarter at Bombay. The society aims to collect data on the specimens on natural history throughout the Indian subcontinent. It disseminates knowledge of flora and fauna by means of lectures, field trips, literature and expeditions and, to study wildlife related problems and recommend management plans to conserve wildlife and its habitat. It conducts field research projects on bird migration and studies on the movement and population structure of Indian avifauna. It also conducts studies of certain endangered species of wildlife and their habitat and through environmental education imparts the knowledge and awareness of the need to conserve wildlife. It collects a lot of information about the nature, and publishes for the interest of people. Main books published are: Indian Birds by Salim Ali; Book for Indian Animals by S. H. Prater; Some Beautiful Indian Trees by Rev. E. Flattem Game, Birds by Baber; India’s Wild Life by M. Krishnan; Birds of India and Pakistan by Salim Ali and S. Dillen Ripley, Fall of Sparrow by Salim Ali etc. The society has a library consisting of more than 6000 publications in the field of ornithology. The society is represented in Indian Board of Wild Life and State Advisory Boards of many states. The society is recognized as one of the most important voluntary organization for nature's conservation in the Indian Sub Continent. The society in collaboration with national and international agencies carries out many research projects. The society's collection of specimen of flora and fauna includes wide number of mammals, birds, fishes, reptiles, amphibians and insects etc. Centre for Environmental Education (CEE) was set up in 1984 to spread awareness of environmental issues and try to find solutions for them. It is based at Ahmedabad and they have offices all over the country. They mainly aim to create environmental awareness in the communities. They conduct widespread environmental education and training programmes through a very vast network. They have also taken up projects related to conservation of biodiversity and ecodevelopment. Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) does research, investigative and educational work in the field of pollution, forest, wildlife, land and water use. The activities are carried out through lectures, field trips, publications, exhibitions on the various issues they take up, meetings and workshops. Clean Ahmedabad Abhiyan is a local NGO that has been working with the Ahmedabad municipal corporation in the area of solid waste and is instrumental for organizing door to door meetings,

National and International Organisations for Conservation 37 awareness campaigns to educate people about the importance of segregating waste into biodegradable and recyclable waste. Once they have convinced the people of this the household begins segregating the waste. CPR Environmental Education Centre (C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar Foundation) is based at Chennai and was set up in 1989 to promote environmental awareness, to produce and disseminate basic educational and reference material on environment and to take up environmental projects. It has done a study of the sacred groves of Tamil Nadu and soil and water analysis. Gives guidance on environmental laws, environmental impacts and management studies. It works in the field of environmental education. Has promoted smokeless chulhas and other renewable sources of energy. Dasholi Gram Swarajya Mandal was set up at Gopeshwar, Chamoli District, U.P. in 1964. Its aims are to encourage forest conservation and the use of forest products for self employment; to cut down soil erosion by encouraging volunteers to build embankments in the catchment areas and to plant trees. The world famous Chipko Movement was spearheaded by this organization. It gives a great deal of importance to forest conservation in the Himalayas. It has promoted environmental awareness in these areas and carried out major eco-regeneration programmes. Darpana Academy of Performing Arts was set up in Ahmedabad in 1984 to spread education in dance, drama and puppetry. Through their various activities they spread the message of a better environment. They have launched a programme ‘Jagruti’, a school project for environmental empowerment. Development Alternatives based at Delhi, work in all parts of the country. It was established in 1983 to design options and promote sustainable development through programmes of economic efficiency, equity and social justice, resource conservation and self-reliance. Its activities cover the entire nation. They are working in the field of pollution monitoring and control; waste recycling management; wasteland development; appropriate technology. Friendicoes, Society for the Eradication of Cruelty to Animals was set up at Delhi in 1979 to rescue, feed and medicate all injured, abused and ownerless animals; to promote adoption programmes for animals. Humane education programmes for schools and slum areas; sterilization of stray dogs; running mobile clinics in slum areas. Friends of the Doon was founded in 1983 as a pressure group against illegal mining, tree felling and as a platform for voicing people’s grievances. They aim at preserving and rehabilitating the environment of the Doon Valley, its forests, rivers and mountains. One of their main activities includes the support they give to the case against limestone mining. Some of their main activities are in the area of environmental education and afforestation. They also encourage the use of non conventional sources of energy and are executing town beautification schemes. Gandhi Peace Foundation—Environment Cell began functioning at Delhi from June 1979. It was set up mainly to promote the environmental activities of rural development agencies; to disseminate environmental information through the publication of up to date reports on environmental issues; to organize workshops and seminars for environmental experts, policy makers, individuals and organizations working for environmental issues. Their activities include researching the role of women in community forestry and rural development; conducting studies in soil erosion, water logging, drainage and seepage around select dams; planting fast growing trees.

38 Environmental Studies They bring out publications and educational aids on the Chipko Movement, environmental education, dams etc; audio visuals on Mitti Bachao, the Chipko Movement, deforestation, the Yamuna and the Narmada rivers and traditional rain harvesting techniques. Green Future Foundation was set up in 1987 at Pune in Maharashtra to promote and work towards environmental protection, energy and ecological conservation and pollution control. They impart environmental education and training by organizing forest based camps for adults and youths. They also do afforestation and have raised a nursery of medicinal and indigenous plants. Indian Association for Environmental Management (IAEM) was set up at Nagpur in 1963 to educate people on the environment, to encourage the conservation of the environment and to spread environmental knowledge. They conduct seminars, essay competitions and exhibitions related to water and its pollution; they have carried out water pollution control activities and worked in the field of environmental management. INTACH Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, New Delhi was set up in 1984 to preserve Indian cultural and natural heritage. They undertake water-harvesting projects in urban areas. They have done studies on the restoration of the ecological balance of freshwater lakes and ponds and marine habitats and prepared maps. They also publish books on environmental issues. Jammu and Kashmir Environment and Wasteland Development Society works mainly in the Rajouri District to develop wastelands. They have done extensive afforestation in the wasteland areas and identify wastelands in the area of function. Kerala Sastra Sahitiya Parishad was set up in 1962 in Thrissur, Kerala to preserve the environment, to provide alternative models for development and to popularize science among the people. They have worked in the field of eco-development, creating awareness about water and energy conservation and encouraging the use of non-conventional energy sources such as smokeless chulhas, etc. Kalpavriksh was started in 1971 as a movement opposed to the destruction of Delhi's green area. It is a citizen's action group set up to inculcate understanding and concern on environmental issues, especially among the youth. It also aims to conduct research in environmental problems, to campaign on environmental issues and to evolve a holistic environmental perspective. It imparts environmental education in schools and colleges by forming a network of nature clubs, conducting bird watching expeditions and nature trails and has developed workbooks for the school level. It has conducted research on environmental subjects such as an impact assessment study on the Narmada Valley Project, pesticide use in India, air pollution in Delhi, mining activities in Dehra Dun district, protecting the Delhi ridge, are some of the works they have highlighted. Ladakh Ecology Development Group (LEDG) was set up in 1983 in Ladakh in the Leh and Kargil Districts. It aims to promote ecological and sustainable development harmonious with the traditional cultures of the area. They have worked in the area of ecological development and protection of the environment. A great deal of awareness has been generated under their Village Outreach Project. They are encouraging the use of renewable energy sources, promoting organic farming and the making of handicrafts. They have contributed to the ban of plastics in the valley. Madras Naturalists Society (MNS) commenced its activities in Chennai in 1976 but was registered in 1979. Its main aims are to study environmental problems in and around Chennai; to

National and International Organisations for Conservation 39 impart environmental education through seminars and discussions; to imbibe a love for nature through camps and slide shows; to organize visits to sanctuaries in Tamil Nadu; to disseminate information on nonpolluting and renewable sources of energy. It imparts environmental education to students and teachers through planting of trees in schools and slide shows. It conducts surveys and symposia on water pollution and forest destruction and is cooperating with other agencies in studying the city’s pollution problems. It has conducted ecological survey and done enumeration of species found on the seacoast along Chennai city. It has been encouraging the use of nonpolluting and renewable sources of energy. Narmada Bachao Andalon was set up in 1986 under the leadership of Medha Patkar. It aims mainly to educate those directly affected by large development projects, such as tribals, on the social and environmental impact of such projects. To protest against the construction of dams in the Narmada Valley in general; struggling towards a right to information and new environmentally sustainable water policy. To help the tribals get a substantial share of the government’s development schemes/services and to unable them to undertake development activities themselves. They mainly educate, mobilize and organize residents of the Narmada Valley on human rights and justice, alternative development policies, environmental issues related to big dams in general and the Narmada project in particular. They undertake surveys of the affected villages, protest against land and forest issues and government interference in this regard. They are fighting against displacement and disregard of the rights of the people. Publication: They come out with a bi-monthly publication the Narmada Samachar. Nilgiri Wildlife and Environment Association is based at Ottacamand to conserve the natural resources of the Nilgiri and preserve wildlife and the habitat. Impart environmental education and conduct tree planting, bird watching, and soil conservation programmes. They have assisted in the imposition of hunting restrictions and the protection of the elephant. Orissa Environmental Society was established in 1982 at Bhubaneshwar. It was set up to encourage and organize study, research, understanding and appreciation of nature. To formulate cocurricular courses in environmental sciences at all levels of education and advice the government. They conduct research, seminars and workshops on forest and wildlife protection and organize ecodevelopment camps. They are campaigning for a biosphere reserve forest area in the state. They are the resource agency for pollution control in Talcher industrial area. Rajasthan Environment Preservation Society was set up in 1985 at Jaipur to work towards pollution control, afforestation, ecological and environmental preservation. It promote social forestry and plantation and to clean the ponds, lakes and reservoirs. It imparts environmental education and awareness, provide consultancy and encourage the use of renewable sources of energy. Ramakrishna Mission Lokashiksha Parishad was set up in 1952 and its mission is to uplift the rural people with a view to making them self-reliant. It works in 11 districts covering about 4000 villages. It has been carrying out programmes for the development of the wasteland areas restoration of bundhs in the Sundarbans riverine areas to protect the land from saline water. It has conducted studies on the status, expectation and contribution of non timber forest products for the subsistence of forest fringe dwellers. It has been promoting the use of smokeless chulhas, sanitary toilet linked biogas plants, solar energy; extensive tree plantation; preservation of the Sunderban biosphere; promoting eco-friendly farming. It is also working in the area of environmental education.

40 Environmental Studies Srishti was set up in Delhi in 1988 to promote conservation and enrichment of the environment; to carry out research on all aspects of sustainable living; to foster concern for the environment among the people, making its preservation a shared responsibility. It has been working for the conservation of the Delhi Ridge by involving community participation; they have kept a bird count in the wetlands of Delhi. It has coordinated the Asian midwinter waterfowl census for northern India and has carried out tree plantation, conservation of biodiversity and waste management. It played a very active role in the drafting and finalization of the Biodegradable Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998. It worked closely with the CPCB and the MOEF in the finalization of the rules. Now that the rules have been issued, it is propagating the cause of better biomedical waste practices The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), established in 1974, TERI is a wholly independent not-for-profit research institute. Its mission is to develop and promote technologies, policies and institutions for efficient and sustainable use of natural resources. It has been imparting environmental education through projects, workshops, audio visual aids and quiz competitions. It deals with policy related work in the energy sector, research on environmental subjects' development on renewable energy technologies and promotion of energy efficiency in the industry and transport. TERI also has a major programme in biotechnology, the applications of which are oriented towards increased biomass production, conversion of waste into useful products and mitigating the harmful environmental impacts of several economic activities. Theatre in Education Company is affiliated to the National School of Drama New Delhi and was set up in 1989. Its aim is to use theatre as a medium for education. It conducts various environment related plays for children with a view to impart environment education through theatre. Tarun Bharat Sangh began its work in 1984-85 in the rural areas to study local natural resources and to find ways and means to protect them and thereby help maintain the balance of the local ecosystem. They also aim to spread literacy and do other community based work to create a healthy natural environment. They have spread their area of work to 6 districts in Rajasthan. They have organized seminars and workshops on environmental protection. They are working towards preserving the resources of Sariska Tiger Reserve and have initiated a public litigation to stop illegal mining in Sariska. They have done pioneering work on water conservation, tree plantation, wasteland development and soil conservation in the area. They are encouraging the use of gobar gas and solar lighting systems. Tiger link began functioning in 1995 at Delhi under Valmik Thapar and its parent order is the Ranthambore Foundation. It has been established to provide links between different sections working in the interest of the tiger and its habitat, and to effectively take actions to overcome local obstacles. They are working mainly in the field of conservation and the preservation of the environment. Uttarkhand Seva Nidhi was set up in 1967 to disseminate information of the environment. They have spread environmental education and training and are setting up a resource centre at Almora. Vanarai is based in Pune and was first set up in 1982 to promote environmental protection and afforestation and sustainable integrated rural development. Their activities are spread over the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. They are working in the area of environmental education for school children and teachers and help them in forming eco-clubs. They have led agitations to prevent

National and International Organisations for Conservation 41 the felling of trees in the Konkan region; taken active interest in soil and water conservation through simple technologies; promoted smokeless chulhas and gobar gas plants; constructed low cost toilets in the rural areas and have worked in afforestation programmes. Vatavaran, an NGO working in the sector of solid waste collection. They have around 27 projects in different parts of Delhi including JNU and NOIDA. This organization was formed in order to improve the ways and means of garbage collection through a more concrete method. People normally dump their garbage indiscriminately in the MCD bins where they overflow and a stink begins rising. But now through the method of door to door collection the colonies are much cleaner then they were before this organization stepped in. For a very nominal charge the garbage is collected from the doorstep and taken to the private dump where it is segregated. Biodegradable waste is put into compost pits and the non-biodegradable is further segregated into groups such as, glass, paper, and plastics and then sends further to recycling industries or to mills that require these for raw material. In residential colonies such as Asiad Village and Vasant Kunj, where Vatavaran has been very effective, the initiative is now being carried forward by the residents' welfare societies of these areas. The compost pits yield very high quality manure that is either sold or used to promote horticultural activities within the colony. This waste now becomes an income source and cost effective. World Wide Fund for Nature was set up in India in 1969. The coordinating body the WWF International is located in Gland in Switzerland. Its main aim is the promotion of conservation of nature and environmental protection as the basis for sustainable and equitable development. It has five broad programme components: (a) Promoting India's ecological security; restoring the ecological balance. (b) Conserving biological diversity. (c) Ensuring sustainable use of the natural resource base. (d) Minimizing pollution and wasteful consumption. (e) Promoting sustainable lifestyles. This organization has been working in the field of biodiversity conservation including field projects, consultancy and research and support to other organizations; forest management; environmental education and awareness. They also work in the area of eco-development, promoting and supporting local conservation networks (Community Biodiversity Conservation Movement). They are doing wildlife trade monitoring, and assisting CITES and related National Legislations; research in Indian and international laws; legal intervention on environmental issues; legal education on environment including Asia's only diploma course on environmental law.

SUMMARY The chapter includes the national and international organizations working in India and elsewhere in the world for the conservation of environment. Besides, there are many voluntary and Non-government organizations engaged in the conservation. The Voluntary Bodies / Non-Government Organizations are the important component of environmental conservation action plan. The main works of agencies are to aid advice the government, act as the eyes and ear of the government, and to educate the people about the environmental issues.

42 Environmental Studies

QUESTIONS 1. What is the mission of Convention on International Trade in Endangered species? What are its main objectives? 2. Discuss the role of World Commission on Environment and Development in the conservation. 3. Discuss the foundation and mission of Wild Life Protection Society of India. 4. Enlist any ten voluntary organizations involved in the conservation of environment. Also give when they are founded.


" Environmental Models 1.


One type of a model which has been found useful in representing the environmental management problem in abstract terms is actually an adaptation of a model first devised to analyze certain aspects of transportation problems. Define total highway cost of providing N trips per unit time as TC = N. C(N, K) + f (K) (1) N = Variable cost borne directly by drivers C = Cost of one trip to a driver f (K) = The cost per time period of providing K units of high way capacity. The short-run marginal cost of a trip is :

b g

d TC dC = C(N, K) + N. (2) dN dN In the continuous case C (N, K) is the variable cost borne by the Nth driver and N (dC/dN) is the marginal congestion cost imposed on the remaining drivers. The fixed common property resource is the man-made, augmentable highway in this case, and it is common property because of its conditions open of access. Proper management would require that each driver pay a marginal cost price made up of two components: C(N, K), the costs he bears directly plus a toll equal to the costs he imposes on other drivers by adding to congestion equal to N. (dC/dN). To find the cost-minimizing levels of highway capacity, (1) must be differentiated with respect to K and then the resulting expression set equal to zero.

a f

d TC dC = N. + f(K) = 0 (3) dK dK This development of the economics of highway tolls and highway capacity can now be adopted to an environmental situation. First let us assume ‘n’ business firms are located around a lake which provides both water supply and residual absorption services. This common property resource yields no other services. The discharge of wastes reduces the utility of the lake for water supply.

44 Environmental Studies Industrial firm i1 (i = 1, 2, ....., n) manufactures Yi units of a product sold in a competitive market at a price Pi. The firm also uses Xi units of an input (labour) purchased competitively at rate Wi output of Yi is also a function of the amount of waste material (Zi) which the firm puts in the lake and the quality of water obtained from the lake (q). Each firm produces the same type of waste. Quality of the lake water depends on the amount of waste discharge of each of the ‘n’ firms and certain natural attributes of the lake (L) which may be altered by the applications of resources. The objective is taken to be maximizing the difference between the value of output EP iYi and the sum of the cost of ‘X’ inputs EWXi and the cost of securing the desired lake characteristics, L, for the ‘n’ firms subject to constraints resulting from the interrelationships among water supply and waste disposal. This maximization is performed by using standard Lagrangian analysis. In this case U = SPiYi (Xi, Zi, q) – SWXi – C(L) – l[q – Q(Z1,…… Zi, L)] (4) The constraint says the quality of water available for input depends on waste discharge to the lake assimilative capacity. When this expression is differentiated with respect to Xi, Zi, q and L (q being determined by q = Q(Z1,…… Zi, L), the following first conditions are obtained for the maximizing problems:

dU = Pi Yixi – W = 0 (i = 1, ….. n) (5) dX i This equation says the value of the marginal product of inputs (labour) should equal the price of these inputs. dU = Pi Yizi – l QZi = 0 (i = 1, ….. n) dZi


dU = Pi Yiq – l = 0 (i = 1, ….. n) dq


dU = l QL – C1 = 0 dL


Here l is the implicit value of a unit of water quality and is equal to the value of the sum of the marginal products of a unit change in quality q. Equation (8) says the marginal value of a unit change in lake characteristics, L is to be equaled to the marginal cost of L. if (7) is substituted in (6) the result is Pi Yizi – QZi S Pi Yiq = 0 (i = 1, ….. n) (9) th The i private firm acting in its own interest will ignore the effect on the productivity of all firms via water quality, q, resulting from an increase in its Zi. Even the effect on Y iq of an increase in Zi is negligible; in comparison with Yizi there are enough dischargers. Thus to attain the socially optimum Zis, a tax should be imposed on each unit of Zi emitted equal to the second term of (9). The Zis and the Xis will be reduced. That is, the partial derivatives of the Y i differ according to whether these taxes are imposed or not. Some possible users of the lake however, might themselves be subject to congestion, say, recreational users, and therefore would have to be priced by the authority. The effluent charge

Environmental Models 45 collected by the lake authority would, by analogy with the high way toll case, in certain instances exceed, equal, or fall short of the long run cost of improving lake characteristics. If the lake is naturally present and investments only augment its capacity, part of the effluent charge will represent an infra marginal rent (or net yield) on the existing asset. The revenue from the charge can only fall short of long run cost under conditions of decreasing cost above a certain degree.



The use of input-output models for environmental analysis has attracted many advocates (Cumber land 1974, Baly 1968, Leontecy 1970, Victor 1971, Richardson 1972). One possibility is to adjust the coefficients of a dynamic input-output model for the additional capital costs resulting from the installation of pollution abatement equipment. For instance, Miernyk and Sears (1974) adjust the basic parameters of the West Virginia model, where

Xt = (I – At – D – B)–1 (Yt – BXt–1) (1) Xt = Vector of gross outputs at time t, Yt = Vector of final demands at time t, I = Identity matrix, At = Matrix of direct input coefficients at time t, D = Matrix of replacement capital coefficients, B = Matrix of expansion capital coefficients, to reflect these costs.

i.e. Xt = (I – A¢t – D¢ – B¢)–1 (Yt – B¢Xt–1) (2) where the primes show the adjustments for pollution abatement. To obtain the additional costs of meeting a given final demand with pollution abatement (2) is subtracted from (1) to obtain, X*t = X1t – Xt (3) where X*t = the vector of additional costs to meet pollution abatement. Cumber land (1974) extends the standard input-output model by introducing two additional sets of equations, and where

G = XR E = XN G = Vector of gross residuals R = Matrix of gross residual coefficients E = Vector of net emissions

(4) (5)

N = Matrix of net environmental emission coefficients. He then compares the benefits of an environmental strategy as measured by the damages avoided by reducing net emissions with the costs a represented by the additional gross outputs needed to deliver a particular bill of final demands. Leontief’s approach is to treat pollutants like any other input or output in the production process, and to estimate the direct and indirect amounts of pollutants (using a matrix of pollution coefficients) generated by a given volume of production (Leontief,1970). Full implementation of this approach requires expressing the relationship between production and pollution in terms of prices and values-added, a difficult task in view of the non-marketable characteristics of environmental

46 Environmental Studies externalities. Victor (1971) avoids this by adopting a commodity-industry model, in which economic data may be expressed in monetary units while environmental data may remain in physical units. Also, retaining physical measures allows him to adopt the materials-balance equation approach suggested by Aryes and Kneese. Russell (1973) favoured a linear programming version of an input output model with the following form Min CX A1 ³ B 1 A2 £ B 2 A3 ³ B 3 where C-Vector of unit costs for each activity subject to

X – Vector of activity levels for production and for environmental quality requirements (treatment, recycling, discharges etc.). A1 – Technology matrix (including pollution abatement and other residuals improvement technology) B1 – Minimum bill of final demand A2 – A set of environmental-model transfer matrices (for SO 2, BOD, particulate matter etc.) B2 – A set of ambient environmental quality constraints (upperlimits) A3 – Matrix of additional costs to represent the distributional implications of meeting the total cost of B1 and B2 B3 – A vector of acceptable levels of these costs. The model was intended to be implemented at the regional level.



We must now review briefly the ecological model. Roughly speaking, polluting substances discharged to water courses can be divided into two classes-degradable and non degradable. Sodium chloride or ordinary table salt is a good illustration of the latter. Its behaviour in water is extremely simple since all that happens to it is dilution. Degradable substances are something quite different again since they are transformed by biological or chemical action, and the transformation itself often works undesirable changes on the water body. The most important example is degradable organic matter which is contained in household sewage and in many industrial effluents. Bacteria feed on these effluents and convert them to plant nutrients-nitrates and phosphates-and carbon. In the process these bacteria use the dissolved oxygen (DO) in the water for respiration. This results in what is termed an “Oxygen Sag”. Oxygen-demanding materials is measured in terms of pounds of biochemical oxygen demand or BOD. One way of visualizing the oxygen sag process is to think of a certain amount of organic waste being placed in a container of well aerated water with an appropriate bacteria culture. Alternatively one can think of a flowing stream with uniform characteristics over a certain reach in which there is a constant input of oxygen-demanding waste at a certain point. As we proceed downstream, we first find a decrease in the dissolved oxygen content as oxygen is consumed in the biochemical reactions on the oxygen-demanding waste, and finally a rise in the dissolved

Environmental Models 47 oxygen content to the saturation level still further on down stream. This process is the oxygen sag in a water course. While the subsequent formulae are written in terms of time, they could first as well be written in terms of distance provided the equivalencies stipulated are met. These formulas are commonly known as the Streeter-Phelps equations. Bio-Chemical Oxidation is indicated as a first-order differential equation of the form:

dL = – K1Lt dt Where Lt is the unsatisfied BOD (P.P.M), t is time (days) and K is a rate constant which is a function of the characteristics of the waste and the water temperature. If La is the initial first stage BOD and is interpreted as the constant of integration, the result of integration, the result of integration the above equation is L t = La e– k1t Re-aeration is also indicated as a first -order process. It is a function of the difference between actual DO concentration and saturation concentration, as follows: dC = K2 (Cs – Ct) dt where Ct is the concentration (ppm) of DO at time t and Cs is the saturation concentration. Once again K2 is a rate constant which is primarily a function of temperature. When the two reactions are combined and the resulting equation (G. M. Fair, et al., 1960) written in terms of DO deficit (Dt = Cs – Ct):

dD = K1 Lt – K2 Dt dt After substituting La e–k1t for Lt we have dD = K1 La e–k1t – K2 Dt dt This is a first-order differential equation of the general form: dy + Py = Q dx with

Q = K1 La e–k1t

The solution of this equation is Dt =

K1L a K 2 – K1

(e–k1t – e–k 2 t ) + Da e–k2t

Where Da is the deficit and La is the BOD concentration, both at time t = 0. The time at which the maximum deficit occurs, say tc, can be found by taking the derivative of the above equation with respect to time, setting the result to zero and solving for tc. The resulting expression is tc =



g OP Q

K – K1 1 K In 2 . 1 – 2 Da K 2 – K1 K1 K1La

48 Environmental Studies At the location corresponding to this time the deficit is Dc =

K1 L a – k1tc e K2

The equations first discussed transform a number of pounds of BOD discharged at a particular location into concentrations of dissolved Oxygen at other locations downstream. Such equations are known as transform functions. The transfer is for steady state conditions i.e. the rate of stream flow, the rate of re-aeration and temperature are all fixed.



A quite different macro economic approach suggested by Evans (1973) was to combine a macro economic econometric model to evaluate the impact of pollution control costs on output, employment, prices and exports, at both the macro and industry levels. The method was to estimate the increased production costs imposed upon major polluting industries in order to comply with environmental regulations, to trace the effects of these costs on all prices through an input-output table, and then to compute the aggregate effects of these price changes on the economy as a whole. One problem is that the emphasis on GNP ignores the economic welfare effects of pollution control not reflected in GNP accounts, while another is that the methodology is lopsided by its emphasis and cost increases in polluting industries but neglect of cost savings on other industries (Dorfman, 1973). Despite its weaknesses, the study showed that in most sectors the indirect repercussions of pollution control costs on prices were high relative to the direct costs.

SUMMARY A Simple Mathematical Model of Allen and Kness, 1968 is a type of a model which has been found useful in representing the environmental management problem in abstract terms is actually an adaptation of a model first devised to analyze certain aspects of transportation problems. The use of input-output models for environmental analysis has attracted many advocates (Cumber land 1974, Baly 1968, Leontecy 1970, Victor 1971, Richardson 1972). Leontief's approach is to treat pollutants like any other input or output in the production process, and to estimate the direct and indirect amounts of pollutants (using a matrix of pollution coefficients) generated by a given volume of production. The Streeter-Phelps Model (1960) gives a measure of dissolved oxygen. A quite different macro economic approach suggested by Evans (1973) was to combine a macro economic econometric model to evaluate the impact of pollution control costs on output, employment, prices and exports, at both the macro and industry levels.

QUESTIONS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Discuss in detail the Simple Mathematical Model of Allen and Kness, 1968. Explain West Virginia model. What do you mean by the term “oxygen sag”? Explain the different Streeter-Phelps equations. What is Evans Forecasting model?


# Natural Resources 1.


In broad terms, natural resource, is anything needed by an organism or group of organisms. In other words, a resource is something useful but for humanity what is useful or useless can change because of technology, economics and the environmental effects of getting and using a resource. Technology cannot bring back an extinct animal resource or a paved over wilderness area, but it can extend the supply of some resources by improving them, using them more efficiently, or recycling them. For example, a unit of today’s steel provides 43 percent more structural support that it did a decade ago. Today we get 7 times more electrical power from 1 ton of coal than we did in 1900. Similarly the energy needed to produce 1 ton of pig iron has fallen eight fold since 1800. In the United States in 1900 only 10 percent of the copper was recycled. Today about 40 percent is recycled. However, while many matter resources such as copper, lead and silver can be recycled, we can never recycle energy resources. Once a fossil fuel resource, such as coal, oil or natural gas, is burned, it is gone forever as a useful energy source. The concentrated energy in the fossil fuel is released as heat, which is eventually dispersed into the earth's atmosphere. From there it flows back into space. Sometimes technology can solve the problem of a scarce resource by finding a substitute or replacement. For instance as a structural material bronze replaced stone, iron replaced bronze, steel replaced iron and now aluminum and reinforced plastics are replacing steel for some structural uses. As an energy source, animals replaced human muscle power coal (to produce steam) replaced animals and oil replaced coal for many uses. There is a vigorous debate over whether a combination of coal derived energy and nuclear power (obtaining from Uranium) or a combination of solar wind and plant (biomass) energy may soon replace petroleum and natural gas. In addition to technology resource use is tied to economics. Something is useful as a resource only if it can be made available at a reasonable cost. For example once we deplete the easily available supplies of a resource, we have to look harder and dig deeper to find remaining supplies. In the costs of findings and making a scarce resource available rise, the resource will eventually become too expensive for most people. Higher costs may stimulate a new search for new supplies or make mining and processing lower grade deposits economically feasible. But regardless of what we are willing and able to pay, we can’t get a resource out of earth if it is not there.

50 Environmental Studies There can also be an economic limit to recycling. Typically recycling is cheaper than mining virgin materials but only if the material to be recycled is not too widely dispersed. For example, if products made from iron and steel, such as cars and toys are thrown away, buried and widely scattered through use of labour and energy costs for finding and collecting the objects may be too expensive to make recycling feasible. The continuity of a resource may also depend on the impact of its mining, processing and use has on the environment. Even if affordable supplies of a resource are available, its use (at least for certain purposes) may have to be abandoned if this use seriously threatens human and other forms of life. Sometimes the environmental effects of a resource use can be minimized and cleaned up but this cost money and in some cases the cost may be so high that we can no longer afford to use the resource.



The sum of all physical, chemical, biological and social factors which compose the surroundings of man is referred to as environment and each element of these surroundings constitutes a resource on which man draws in order to develop a better life. Thus, any part of our natural environment—such as land, water, air, minerals, forest, rangeland, wildlife, fish or even human population—that man can utilize to promote his welfare may be regarded as a natural resource. Ramade (1984) defined a resource as a form of energy and/or matter which is essential for the functioning of organisms, populations and ecosystems. In the particular case of humans, a resource in his words is any form of energy or matter essential for the fulfillment of physiological, socioeconomic and cultural needs, both at the individual level and that of the community. The functioning of ecosystem or of technological civilization involves a continuous flow and consumption of energy, sun being the source of it as regards ecosystem and fuels as regards technological civilization. In the light of this fact, a resource may be defined as one of the various forms of primary energy present in the nature. The five basic ecological variables—energy, matter, space, time and diversity are sometimes combinedly called natural resources. As such, laws which govern changes in these quantities have great applicability in the resource use.


CLASSIFICATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES The classic sub divisions of resources include renewable and non-renewable resources.

· Renewable resources are those which are reproducible and are obtained from the biomass of living organisms e.g. forests, fish etc. · Non-renewable resources are those which are not reproducible and are obtained from the finite non-living reserves e.g. coal, metals etc. Solar energy although having a finite life, as a special case, is considered as a renewable resource in as much as solar 'stocks' are inexhaustible on the human scale. Some authors prefer to classify resources into biotic (or living) and abiotic (or non living) resources. Forest, agriculture, fish and wildlife fall in the first category while the land, water, minerals etc. in the second.

Natural Resources 51



The term “conservation” to many means “hoarding” or to control supply of goods in such a way that some part is left for the nature. Most people interpret conservation as total protection or restriction in consumptive use of resources, therefore, wildlife conservation to them means a total ban on killing of any animal and the forest conservation means a complete moratorium on all feelings the term, in fact, is derived from two latin words — con (together) and servare (to keep or guard), thus meaning ‘to keep together’. The dictionary meaning of the word is an act of preservation. The term was proposed by Giffor Pinchot in 1988, who conceived it from the title of ‘conservares’ given to British officials in India appointed to look after the protection of natural resources. Prof. H. M. Rose defined conservation as “the optimum allocation of natural, human and cultural resources in the scheme of national development, where by maximum economic and social security will be assured.” In 1967, the American President John F. Kennedy looked upon conservation as “the wish use of our natural environment … The prevention of waste and despoilment while preserving, improving and renewing and the quality and usefulness of all our resource”. World Conservation Strategy defines conservation as “the management of human use of the biosphere so that it may yield the greatest sustainable benefits to present generation, while maintaining its potential to the needs and aspirations of future generations”. Thus the conservation is a practice embracing preservation maintenance, sustainable utilization, restoration and enhancement of the natural environment. Similarly, the aim of conservation is two fold: (i) preservation of quality of environment, and (ii) to ensure continuous yield of useful material—living or non-living—by establishing a balanced cycle of harvest and renewal. The concept of resource conservation has now come under a still wider field on environmental management which is, in essence, the process of allocating natural and man made resources so as to make optimum use of the environment in satisfying basic human needs at the minimum and more, as far as possible, for an indefinite future, and at the same time preventing depletion and degradation of resources. Environmental management being a too vague, general, or trivial subject has not developed as a full fledged discipline so far, further, in many developing countries it is viewed as being irrelevant and counter productive, while in advanced industrialized countries it is often interpreted as a means of coping with the ‘burden’ of environmental legislation and problems put forth by ‘over zealous’ environmentalists what to talk of under developed world! The global population, however, cannot and should not over look and deny the last deterioration of environmental world over resulting in dwindling natural resources, pollution of air, water and land, extermination of a number of life forms, down going health status, danger to cultural assets and many socio-economic blacklashes. The root of the problem lies in too many people using too many resources wastefully. Since the total natural resources available are limited, the way out to the problem seems only through control of population and also the per capita consumption of resources. Because it is difficult to bring down per capita consumption, the recycling and stringent conservation can bring hopes for sustained development without reducing per capital use of resources.



Soil consists of the weathered layer of the earth’s crust with living organisms and products of their decay intermingled. Lying on the rocky core of the earth, this complex mixture is one of the four

52 Environmental Studies prime requisites for life. Along with sunlight, air and water, soil supports all living beings on land, plants as well as animals. Altogether terrestrial plants have their roots in soil from which they absorb life sustaining water and nutrients. Man and all land animals, in turn, depend on these plants for food directly or indirectly. Foods, vegetable oils and fats, forage for livestock, fibre, wood and various other indispensable agricultural products come from soil. Thus, a nation's economic well being is inextricably linked with the fertility and abundance of her soil resource because of mounting demands of swelling population and long mismanagement would put in jeopardy the very survival of man. 4.1.1.

Land use and Abuse

The land although appears to be unlimited resource but, in fact, its injudicious use would limit the availability if this indispensable life-support system. Thus, a land use may be poor or good, if in a region of low rainfall grasslands are replaced by wheat crops, a temporary desert will eventually result; or if the human habitation and factories are developed on flood plains, the damage is almost inevitable. These are the instances of poor land use. Conversely, if the grasslands are used for moderate grazing by livestock, and if the flood plains are used for forestry or agriculture, these will imply good land use. Ecological principles have great applicability in land use planning. Classification of use should, therefore, be based on natural ecological features of the land in question viz., soil type, slope, biotic communities etc. 4.1.2.

Rural Land use Planning

To a farmer, soil is the essence of survival and his economic well being is firmly linked with the fertility of his land. In rural land-use planning, concentration is chiefly devoted in creating and developing more farmland by removing forests and natural grasslands, drawing marshes and swamps, channeling streams for irrigation, and so on. Unfortunately, no effort is made to save existing prime farmland from degradation by ill-planned development. Rather than exclusive farm, range or forestry oriented planning, the land-use should be made under broad consideration of social, economic and ecological intricacies. 4.1.3.

Urban Land-use Planning

Deterioration quality of urban and suburban environment is to a great extent the result of injudicious land use and is a threat to the whole socio-economic system. Thus planned cities are as necessary as planned farms. Although, the implementation of land use plan is infinitely more difficult in urban areas than in rural ones because of the human problems involved, yet if not needed it would lead to chronic pollution, epidemic and social disorder. In any urban land-use planning it should be seen that: (i) at least a third of all land remains as protective open space in the form of parks, green belts, or refuges etc. including adequate space for efficient treatment of domestic and industrial wastes; (ii) residential housing around villages or cities should be developed in clusters with each unit separated by broad green belts; (iii) typical topographic situation like stream valleys steep slopes and marshes etc. should be retained free from houses and other high-density uses; and (iv) waste disposal areas and industries should be kept apart from human habitations.


Management of Land

From the above account it is clear that major problems emerging out of abuse of land in cities include unsafe and unhygienic dwelling and those in rural areas are of erosion of soil and loss of

Natural Resources 53 fertility. While urban problems can be prevented and cured by proper town planning and municipal facilities, the problems relating to rural areas needs long term soil conservation programme. Prevention and control of soil erosion : The primary purpose of soil conservation is to prevent soil erosion and heal the damage where it has not advanced too far to respond to curative methods. This is possible largely through two means: 1. The land should wear a vegetation cover throughout the year. Plant roots bind the top soil and prevent it from being drifted so easily with water or air. The vegetative cover also slows up run off water and causes much of it to percolate into ground that promotes more vegetative growth. The vegetation — whether grasses, trees, or cultivated crops — should fit to the capabilities of the soil and water available. 2. Engineering and agronomic practices should be applied conjointly to counteract the erosive force of both water and wind on the soil. These include contour cultivation, cover crops and crop rotation, and contour strip cropping, used alone or in combination with terracing where it is required. When terraces are properly constructed and adequately supported by approved cropping and tillage practices, they prove to be one of the most effective erosion - control measures applicable to cultivated sloping lands. Reclamation of eroded land: Conservationists are divided into two camps over the issue of reclamation of land already arrested by ravines. One camp of conservationists and naturalists believes in the policy of “forgive and forget” and advocates that ravines should be allowed to exist, while the other feels that efforts should be made to regain the lost land through bulldozing or some other means. If the ravines are left in there present state, these will spread further and engulf more of productive land. While the violent means to regain the ravines in their near original condition may provoke numerous agencies of nature to take revenge on man. Thus, following considerations are important in negotiating the eroded land: (i) (ii) (iii) (iv)

Ravines should be provided with sufficient and suitable vegetative cover. Instead of agriculture, these lands should be reclaimed for forestry, pasture, or horticulture. Their deficiency in nutrients and moisture for plant growth should be improved. Further misuse of such land should be prevented. Over trampling by man and cattle should avoided. (v) Past damages should be repaired and recompensed under strict ecological consideration. For instance, depressions may be filled up, slopes easened out, cattle, trials fenced etc. (vi) Vegetative cover provided should be protected against reckless destruction by local population.



The origin of water on the earth is not clear so far. However, the current presumption is that the primordial earth had no oceans, and perhaps very little atmosphere. It is believed that the volatile constituents bound in the earth’s crust, oozing the surface through volcanoes, rock movements, and hot springs, condensed to form the ocean and the atmosphere. This way, perhaps this remarkable combination to hydrogen and oxygen—called water, came into being and eventually became an indispensable component of the earth's environment. Water moves from the ocean to air to land to ocean in set cycle pattern called hydrologic cycle. In other words, this cycle represents a continuous process of exchange of water from the earth’s surface to the atmosphere and vice versa under the influence of solar heat.

54 Environmental Studies It is estimated that of the total available water 97.3 percent is contained in the oceans and out of remaining 2.7 percent most is in solid form. The amount of water actually available in the atmosphere is a very minute fraction and estimated to be only 1 × 10 –5 of the world’s total water. The factors which control he process of evaporation and evapo-transpiration include temperature, humidity and wind. It is a continuous process going on day and night from the ocean surface, ground surface inland waters (like lakes and streams), plant and animal surfaces. Rising in the atmosphere this water forms clouds that float around in gaseous or droplet form. The atmosphere above the earth up to varying heights of 10 to 17 km (depending upon latitude and season) is called the troposphere up to which the clouds float and in which all weather changes take place. Water returns to the earth in the form of precipitation, most of which takes place over the ocean and a little on the land surface. Rainfall on the land surface may have following fates: it may percolate through the soil and become a part of ground water regime; accumulate in a pond, lake or reservoir as inland surface water; flow down to the ocean in the form of stream; taken up by plants and animals; or evaporate. 4.2.1.

Water Requirements and Uses

Goethe rightly said that, “Every thing originated in the water, and everything is sustained by water”. Water is needed to fulfill diverse requirements in so many diverse ways. It is vital to life since for all physiological activities of plants and is essential for animals as well. On an average it constitutes 80 percent of protoplasm ranging from 8 percent in dry dormant seeds to 95 percent jelly fish. It serves not only to quench the thirst but also to meet the food requirements because it is an essential raw material in the process of photosynthesis through which green plants make food that is used by all trophic levels directly or indirectly. Ambient humidity which is indeed the invisible form of water that surrounds us in necessary to prevent desiccation of terrestrial life forms. Thus, it can be said that water is a biologically essential and it serves as milieu internal as well as milieu internal. Flood plains of rivers have been the cradle of civilization and centres of population since ancient times. The reason being their high fertility an easy accessibility to water for various uses like drinking, washing and transport. Egypt was developed on the flood plains of the Nile; Babylon on the flood plain of the Tigris; and the North Indian on the flood plains of Ganges. Even today the Mississippi plain is about the most densely populated area in the USA as flood plains of the Rhine in Europe, and the Yellow river in China. Besides temperature, water is the other such key factor that influences the global ecology. Covering about 70 percent of land surface and circulating in hydrologic cycle water influences weather and climate on any region and thus its flora and fauna. Agriculture is dependent on water, may it be rainfall, or surface or ground water irrigation. It eventually is a more important commodity in a country like India because her largely agrarian economy depends critically on water. Huge amount of protein rich food in the form of fish shell fish, and prawn is obtained from the inlands as well as very potent industry. The kinetic energy of gravitational flow of water is tapped and transformed into electricity, what is called hydro power. This concept of electricity generation is one of the oldest and cheapest tricks largely used world over. Moreover, it leaves no pollution burden on nature as in case of thermal or nuclear power generation.

Natural Resources 55 Hardly any industry can do without water. It has multifarious application in industrial processes viz., a raw material, solvent, chemical reactant, coolant and cleaning agent. Water, water every where not any drop to drink is the situation not only found amidst sea but also at places where industrial and domestic refuse make the benevolent water sources so severely contaminated with pathogens and or toxins that they are lift importable. Being the best dilution medium it is frequently used as the cheapest and convenient way for liquid and solid waste disposal. It was practically impossible to maintain sanitary conditions without water for it is needed in all common cleaning and washing practices. Water at many places serves as a very convenient means of navigation. Besides, it adds to the aesthetic value of the landscape and provides opportunities for recreation and sport. Water being unevenly distributed over the land, influences interstate and international relations and thus is the cause of what is known as hydro-politics. It can, therefore, be said that while water is essential for life it is significantly linked with social, economic, political and ecological intricacies. 4.2.2.

Problems and Management of Water

Management of water implies making the best use of available water resources for human benefit while not only preventing and controlling its depletion and degradation but also developing it in view of the present and future needs. Water, like forest, is a multipurpose resource and it is important to see that its various uses should not conflict with each other and it can be enjoyed in its totality by man and others. Thus, its right allocation, and quantitative and qualitative conservation are the primary tasks before water managers. Floods, drought, improper use, pollution and disease transmission are the important problems related to water. Because usable inland water resources constitute a very minute fraction of the world's total water and because man largely depends upon this minute fraction of water for his various activities, it is important to make efficient use of available water and at the same time prevent abuse of it. This has to be considered not only in giant irrigation projects or industrial and municipal processes but also in everyday life. Taps running unpurposefully, leaking water supply pipes, using filtered water for gardens and building construction are a few instances of inefficient and misuse of water in daily life. Water being the best and convenient dilution medium is the worst affected resource by pollution. To a common man pollution of water means only the drainage of industrial effluents or domestic sewage in natural waters. It may astonish a lay reader that even pure distilled water when released in sea may act as a pollutant since it alters the normal salinity of sea water which adversely affects the marine life. Besides chemical alterations, changes in physical condition of water also have grave effects on the biota of system as during thermal pollution caused by the discharge of heated effluents in a body of water. Pathogens, chiefly entering natural waters through municipal wastes rich in excreta and other organic filth, also render the water unsuitable for human use. In fact, it is not only the man who has to use the water resources by these are equally important to land animals and more to those fish and other aquatic animals who live in it. Thus pollution of a body of water does prove detrimental not only to the human society but also to regional ecology and the ecology of very aquatic ecosystem. It is, therefore, essential that the water should not be treated as a

56 Environmental Studies simple repository of waste disposal, and if inevitable, the wastes only after proper treatment should be released in under strict ecological consideration. The qualitative degradation of water is also in a way quantitative depletion of usable resources. Therefore, recycling of waste water after due treatment would relieve the water scarcity to a great extent, especially in regions marred by water shortage. 4.2.3.

Future Needs and Alternate Sources of Water

The demand for usable water like any other resource is increasing fast with the continuous increase in world population and continuous increase in per capital demand linked with more of sewage disposal and transport prolific use of water-using gadgets (like air cooling and conditioning devices, washing machines etc.) and increased recreational activities. Thus, the question is where will the water needed for fulfilling increasing demands come from? The answer is not so simple and can only be found through long term planning. Possible means of meeting out the in pending water deficit problem include: (i) reclamation of sewage and waste water, (ii) development of ground water sources and surface storages; (iii) long range forecasting of rain; (iv) rain making; (v) transfer of sulfur water; and (vi) desalination of sea water.



The practice through which specific plant species are cared and managed so as to obtain maximum yield of consumable parts of the plant is called agriculture. An agricultural field is, in fact, a cropland ecosystem in which ecological principles involving limiting factors and productivity provide great applicability. The demand for food production, linked with tremendous population growth, has been increasing fast world over. This has been possible to feed increasing number of mouth through increased agricultural production what is called green revolution. It has resulted chiefly from the industrialization of agriculture, which involves highly domestic plant species, sophisticated chemicals, and large fuel energy subsidies. According to an estimate, to double crop yield through industrialized agriculture, a ten fold increase in fertilizers, pesticides and horse power is required. The green revolution through industrialized agriculture (fuel powered) as compared to conventional agriculture (man- and domesticated-animal powered) has following blacklashes: (i) Such an agriculture involving huge amounts of fuel, and chemicals in the form of fertilizers, pesticides and weedicides, is the chief cause of environmental pollution. (ii) It may lead to social blacklashes when a quick shift from small farms to large industrialized farms takes place. In this process small farmers and agriculture workers are driven off the land to cities where they may not get work, food and housing - a situation of despair and social breakdown. In retrospect, strong measures should be taken to control the population growth and to improve the conventional agricultural practice with application of current agricultural research under due social and environmental consideration. For a greater and sustained agricultural production following considerations are important: (i) Available land acreage should be properly and judiciously utilized. (ii) Soil fertility should be increased through wise use of fertilizers and organic manures.

Natural Resources 57 (iii) High yielding and disease resistant plant varieties should be introduced. (iv) Mixed cropping should be practiced wherever possible. (v) Integrated and balanced use of available water sources, surface and ground water should be made. (vi) Weeds and pests should be efficiently controlled. Integrated pest control practices should be preferred over total reliance on chemical pesticides. (vii) Soil erosion and loss of nutrients should be prevented through maintaining vegetation cover through out the year. (viii) Exotic varieties should be introduced only after due consideration of long term impacts.



A forest is a natural ecosystem having multi species and multi aged trees as dominant community. Forests cover about one-third of the earth’s land surface of which about 50 percent is occupied by tropical forests. Of the total geographical area of India 22.74 percent is forest as against a minimum of 33 percent forest cover prescribed under National Forest Policy. 4.4.1.

Importance of Forests

Functions of forests may broadly be classified into following three categories: (i) Protective functions : These include the protective role of forests against soil erosion, droughts, flood intense radiation etc. (ii) Productive functions : Forests are the source of wood and many other products like gums, resins, fibres, medicines, katha, honey, bidi wrappers, pulp, paper etc. (iii) Accessory functions : These include the role of forests in recreation, aesthetics and as habitat of diverge wildlife etc. Thus, it can be said that forests are important in two ways—ecologically and economically. Ecological significance : Environmentally, the forests are very important. They help in balancing oxygen and carbon dioxide level in atmosphere, regulate earth’s temperature regime and hydrologic cycle. Forests increase local precipitation and water holding capacity of soil, thus preventing drought situation. Vegetation cover provided by forests impedes the velocity of runoff on soil surface, checks, soil erosion, silting and landslides, thus reducing the danger of flood. The litter derived from fallen leaves maintains fertility of soil by returning the nutrients. Forests also act as refuge of wild animals and provide protection to them against strong, cold or hot and dry winds, solar radiation, rain and enemies. Economic significance : Wood which has various applications in domestic and industrial processes, is the chief product of forests. Wood when used as fuel, has certain advantages over coal as its sulphur and ash contents are very low but, at the same times, excessive use of fuel wood means pressure on forests which have many functions to serve. Wood may also be converted into solid (coke) liquid and gaseous fuels. Timber is an important material in building construction and day-today uses. Forests provide raw material for various wood-based industries viz. pulp and paper, composite wood, rayon and other man made fibres, sport goods, furniture, boat building matches etc. Miscellaneous products like bamboos, resins, gums, some oils, fibres, medicines, katha, lack, shellac etc., are also obtained from forests.

58 Environmental Studies 4.4.2.

Depletion of forests

Increased urbanization, industrialization and mining has entailed indiscriminate felling of trees and denudation of forests. Nobody will, however, ever learn that who set the first assault on which tree in the history, but this practice of logging down trees for human use has been going on or centuries unabated. Colonists used logs for fire wood and making huts. They also made handles for their tools, furniture and fence posts etc. from it. For them forests had only a present and a past — no future; thus they resorted to ruthless and accelerated exploitation of available forests—a story that still continues with more serious blacklashes earth has ever witnessed. India alone is losing more than 1.5 million hectare of forest cover each year. The depleted forest wealth would simply derive the man of economic and environmental values offered by forest. 4.4.3.

Management of forests

In forestry, the yield is chiefly obtained from the accumulated growth of the past, so this industry has to depend upon the annual growth. Forests are managed to obtain a sustained yield which is obviously possible through sustained growth. Following considerations are important in this direction. (i) A forest should have in correct proportion with the trees of different ages and classes so that continuous removal of exploitable produce would not affect the future yield. (ii) Each tree crop should put on normal growth increments. (iii) No obstacles should exist to the continuous harvest of exploitable stems. (iv) Unrestrained felling should be prevented. For all such planning and decision making, sound ecological knowledge is desirable that include knowledge about climate conditions, of biotic community, successional trend, life cycle of important tree species, methods of arresting growth of undesirable trees and promoting growth of high yield tree species, and biotic interrelationship (such as weeds. competitors, pets, parasites and diseases etc.). Of various tactics employed in forest management, some deserving special considerations are as follows: (i) restrained felling (ii) block and selective cutting (iii) reforestation (iv) control to disasters, and (v) recycling of forest products.



A range is the grassland that provides natural pasture or grazing for animals. Grasslands occur where rainfall is too low to support the forest community but is higher than that which results in desert community. Generally, in grassland precipitation ranges between 25 to 75 cm. however, depending upon edaphic factors, such as a high water table, grasslands may also occur in regions of forest climates. Soil of grassland is characterized by having high humus content. Over 6000 species of grasses, adapted for a great variety of climatic regimes, cover about 20 percent of earth’s surface. In size, they vary from as small plant as about 1 cm to over 35 cm tall bamboos. 4.5.1.

Importance of Rangeland

Man has been cultivating various grass species as his food and as fodder for his domesticated livestock since time immemorial. History of human civilization is the witness of dependence of man

Natural Resources 59 on the seeds of various grasses as his own food, for instance, Indo-Chinese, American and Mediterranean cultures were based on ice, maize and wheat respectively while forage was used as fodder for domesticated livestock. A range, if not serving as a direct source of food for man, still serves the mankind in a number of indirect ways. Solar energy transformed into food energy by the green cover of the range is available to primary consumers (grazers-domesticated or wild) as food, where in a part of it is converted into meat. Of considerable importance to, man are these herbivores and their products such as meat, milk, skins, hides, horns and wool etc. It can thus be said that at the root of all biological resources that, man utilizes is the forage. 4.5.2.

Depletion and Degradation of Rangeland

Man would not destroy an artificial pasture developed by input of his hard labour and money than a natural pasture. Thus, like all natural resources the rangeland, inflicted with human stress is depleted and degraded. Cause of such stress may be ignorance, greed or incompetence of man. Phenomenal growth of cattle industry, on one hand, is responsible for ruthless over grazing. While on the other hand, wide expansion of urbanization, industrialization and agriculture has resulted in encroachment of rangeland. Often, out of greed too a rancher allows a number of head to graze beyond the carrying capacity of the range being ignorant to the fact that too many sick and weak head would not fetch home as much value as a few head in prime condition of health after grazing on enough good forage. Community or ecological indicators provide the most practical approach of determining whether or not a range is being utilized properly (Humphery, 1962), Range managers use the term “decreasers” for palatable species vulnerable to grazing their disappearing is an indicator of grazing stress. When such indicators are not needed unpalatable “weeds”. Once established, it may become hard to eradicate the weeds and not only this, such vegetation will invite a variety of pest animals like rodents and insects. This makes clear the long term consequences of over grazing in a range. There is increasing need to restore the depleted and degraded rangeland not only out of economic (livestock production) but also ecological consideration since rangeland depletion would also cause problems like soil erosion, spread of pests etc. 4.5.3.

Range Management

Stoddard & Smith (1955) defined the range management as “the science and art of planning and direction range use as to obtain the maximum livestock production consistent with conversion of range resources.” Efforts to manage land include: regulation of grazing pressure; manipulation of stock (herd) distribution; burning of range; reseeding of rangeland; selection of cattle breeds; and control of weeds, pests etc.



Even on global level there appears to be a great deal of ambiguity attached to the term “wildlife”. Webster’s dictionary defines wildlife as living things that are neither human nor domesticated, specially mammals, birds and fish hunted by man. In American usage, term ‘wildlife’ is used to

60 Environmental Studies designate the games and exclude fish, thus they have Fish & Wildlife Services at the federal level. In India too, the common understanding of the people regarding wildlife is of wild animals and shikaar, more particularly mammals, birds and reptiles. However, a report entitled Wildlife Conservation in India (1970) of the India Board for Wildlife states wildlife as the entire native uncultivated flora and fauna of the country. The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, also defines wildlife as any animal, bees, butterflies, crustacean, moth, fish and aquatic and land vegetation which form part of any habitat. Thus a comprehensive definition of wildlife may be given as—any of all non-cultivated and nondomesticated life including both plant and animals. 4.6.1.

Importance of Wildlife

The wildlife resources provide aesthetic, recreational and economic benefits and at the same time are important ecologically. Nature’s millions of forms of life on this earth perform some or the other definite biological function which keeps the delicate balance of our exosphere. In nature flora and fauna go hand-in-hand and one cannot exist without the other. Birds and insects are necessary for the cross pollination of lowers and these with other animals also serve for dispersal and propagation of vegetation. Not only this, the health of vegetation also depends on natural browsing and grazing. Needless to mention that animals, directly or indirectly depend on green plants for their food. Besides food plant also provide shelter to a variety of animal species equally important are the relations among animal populations. If too many herbivores are killed, the predators, deprived of their natural food, will leave forest, become vermin, and prey upon domestic livestock or even man. On the other hand, if too many carnivores are killed the herbivores because of release of predation pressure will become too numerous and acquire the status of pest for agricultural crops. Thus most important is the balance of nature of which wildlife is an integral and important part. 4.6.2.

Abuse and Depletion of Wildlife

One often come across the headlines in newspapers like ‘Last of the blus whales’, save the golden langur, Tragedy strikes sea turtles, ‘major downfall’ in rhino population, Great India bustard on the road of extinction …….and so on which narrate the sad story of abuse and depletion of our wildlife heritage. According to an estimate in last 2000 years the world has lost, by way of extinction about 160 species of mammals and 88 species of birds. India is endowed with rich biological heritage and her various seripuries and epies are full of vivid and beautiful account on wildlife. Over 500 mammalian and 1200 avian species contribute to the riches of the wealth. Unfortunately today the Indian wildlife as that in many other parts of the world, is threatened because of man’s unprecedented intervention with nature. Nearly 134 plant species have been declared threatened as against 71, 47 and 15 species of mammals, birds and reptiles respectively (Khoshoo, 1984). Great Indian bustard Choriotis nigriceps confined to the semi-arid regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat, and the white-winded wood dack carina scutalata inhabiting the Brahamaputra swamps and the flood plains of Assam are both on the birck of extinction. 4.6.3.

Wildlife Management

The conservation, is the practice embracing preservation, maintenance, sustainable utilization, restoration and enhancement of the natural environment. Wildlife conservation in this sense is the management of nature’s living resources if we consider wildlife as consisting both of wild flora and

Natural Resources 61 fauna. Since one cannot manage living resources while being indifferent to the non-living environment, the concept of wildlife management becomes the concept of management natural ecosystems. It also overlaps “forestry” in so far as it is based on multiple land use concept and implies management of wild plants as well as wild animals. However, under the present dispensation wildlife management implies management of wild animals as distinct from forestry, and it implies maintenance of habitats suitable to the different species. In America and Europe wild animals, particularly mammals, are treated as game crops, as do timber in forestry and food crops in agriculture, and hunting is developed as a viable economic activity. In America, wildlife and wildlife related recreation forms multimillion dollar industry. However, in India it is difficult to develop game as industry because: (i) our forest areas are already over burdened with grazing pressure of domesticated livestock and because of already scarce pasture lands, there is little hope of reducing grazing pressure in the forest areas to develop game; and (ii) hunting as a source of recreation is beyond the means of the majority of population. During past decades the wildlife management implied the understanding, increasing and controlling of some species. Sanctuaries and National parks were mostly meant to protect a particular species or a group of species and to limited extent for tourism and recreation. Today, however, the emphasis is shifting from the management of species to the management of ecosystem. The objective of wildlife management, as outlined in the World Conservation Strategy, are thus as given below: (i) To maintain essential ecological processes and life support systems in natural ecosystems, on which human survival and development depends. These essential ecological processes and life support systems can be defined to include maintenance of both the biotic and abiotic components of the ecosystems. (ii) To preserve genetic diversity (i.e. the range and variety of genetic material found in the world's wild plants and animals) on which depend the breeding programmes necessary for the protection and improvement of cultivated plants and domesticated animals, as well as much scientific advance, technical innovation, and the security of the many industries that use living resources. (iii) To ensure the sustainable utilization of species and ecosystems. This will include the proper utilization of wild animals for game, forest and grazing, and to achieve proper integration for economy both of rural communities as well as trade and industry. Fortunately, people have been alerted now and the strong measures being taken in favour of restoring, maintaining and increasing wildlife population given hope that our rich legacy of wild life will not only be saved for future but developed further. Ways and means employed in wildlife conservation include: (i) protection of breeding stock by enacting game laws and developing wildlife refuges; (ii) artificial stocking including introduction of exotics; (iii) control of predators; (iv) habitat improvement; and (v) game farming.


Minerals and their Characteristics

Minerals are the non-living substances obtained from the earth through the process of mining. Formation of minerals took place predominantly in weak zones like mountains, folded and faulted regions, lakes, troughs and continental shelves through geological processes going on since billions of years. They hold some peculiar characteristics that distinguish them from other natural resources, are:

62 Environmental Studies (i) Exhaustibility: Minerals are non-renewable or depleting assets and once mined out the deposit get depleted and lost ever without any chance of replenishment. Refuse or waste, however, can be consumed afterwards through improved benefication technology. Simply this exhaustible resource cannot be cropped year after year like agricultural products. Therefore, three distinct stages can be identified in the life cycle of a mine; youthdevelopmental stage; maturity established stage; and old age declining ore reserves. If the rate of mineral consumption is increasing fast, the knowledge about more reserves and potential substitutability of many minerals is also being improved. As such these predictions may prove outlived. (ii) Localized occurrence: Minerals are very localized in their occurrence and the total area occupied them is far limited. Most of the mineral deposits are very sporadic in distribution, for instance, Kolar gold fields of India occupy an area of 8 km by 1.6 km formations containing coal and petroleum are, in general, bigger as compared to metalliferous deposits. The coal bearing formation of India, for example, occupies about 4 percent of the country's total area. (iii) Unpredictable occurrence: The quantity and quality of a mineral in any region is not easy to predict. Uncertainties prevail with respect to their occurrence, extent of depth, cost of mining (often linked with depth) and the grade). (iv) Risk involvement: The process of mining involves large number of problems for miners. Abnormal temperature and pressure variations, rock burst, fire and gas hazard, lack of ventilation and drainage, collapse of roof and side walls are the peculiar problems encountered only in mining industry. (v) Dependence on other factors: Mineral production is largely affected by factors like the changing needs of consumer industries, availability of stock, fluctuation in prices, and reuse of metallic scrap in production process. A technologically poor country possessing richer grades of ores may have to face keen competition in international market with technologically richer countries may, however, possessing poorer grades or ores since in later case the cost of production is considerably low due to improved mining methods. (vi) International character: Minerals know no political boundaries. Virtually, no country within its own boundaries has adequate production and reserves of all the minerals needed for its industrial development. The unequal distribution of minerals makes the international trade in its inevitable. Some countries are bestowed with monopolistic rights in respect of certain mineral deposits which result in what is known as geopolitics.


Development and Conservation of Minerals

Geologists are of general apprehension that the known reserves of minerals may not last for long and most of them will be exhausted within 100 to 200 years. New possibilities of mineral reserves in land and beyond the land (as in the sea bed) are being explored which may reduce, if not totally remove, the futuristic fears of exhaustion of the resource. Presently, limenite, rutile, tin ore, diamond, sulphur, coal, petroleum and calcareous and ferruginous sea sands are largely being mined from the sea-coasts and sea beds. In India, limenite, rutile and associated zircon, monazite and sillimanite are obtained from the beach sands of Madras

Natural Resources 63 and Kerala coasts. Coral limestone for industrial use like manufacture of calcium carbide and calcareous sand for cement are being mined from the sea bed at Tamil Nadu and Dwarka (Gujarat) respectively for quite long time. Indonesia, Thailand and Burma recover considerable tin ore from the sea bed, while England recovers coal and Philippines iron from the sea bed. A number of petroliferous structure occurring off the coast are being mined for petroleum and its products at several places. The ferromanganese nodules or what commonly known as manganese nodules found over the oceanic floors, generally below 4000m depth, are perhaps the most spectacular discovery in the field. The most prolific concentrations of such nodules with high metal values have been found in North Pacific between 139 W to 141 W and 4 N, Although precise information about the reserves of manganese nodules is not available but it is estimated that they may run several billion tons and may prove to be potent source of metals like manganese, nickel, copper and cobalt. It is estimated that 1 million tons of manganese nodules from sea bed provide about 275000 tons of manganese, 13000 tons of nickel, 25000 tons of cobalt and 1000 tons of copper besides other metals like iron, vanadium, molybdenum, silver and lead. Further, it has now been roughly estimated that the metal resources available in molybdenum, silver and lead. Further, it has now been roughly estimated that the metal resources available in manganese nodules are several times greater than those available in land, such as cobalt 5000 times, manganese 4000 times, nickel 1500 times and copper 150 times. The conservation of mineral resources does not mean preservation of minerals under ground to be used by future generations but it implies efforts to utilize minerals in best possible way, depending upon the industrial needs and changing technological requirements, so that the life of the deposits is increased without sacrificing out own needs. From the utilization point of view, minerals are placed under two classes: expendable and non-expendable. Expendable minerals have practically no salvage value and ones consumed are lost for ever, e.g. coal, petroleum gas and most of the non-metallic minerals. Non-expendable minerals are those which good salvage value and can be used again and again through recycling, except those quantities that are lost due to corrosion and abrasion e.g. metallic minerals. Efforts to conserve mineral resources include: (i) Application of efficient methods of mining to take out every possible tonnage lying under ground. (ii) Utilization of unmarketable ores through the innovative methods or ore dressing and metallurgical practices. (iii) Use and reuse of scraps. (iv) Recovering all associated elements as co-product and by-product. (v) Economic use of minerals. (vi) Substituting the use or rare land costly minerals with those which are abundant and cheaper. Firewood, fossil fuels (coal, petroleum and its products, natural gas), solar energy, biogas, wind, hydro power and atomic power are chief energy resources. Of these, firewood and fossil fuel are being used for supply of energy since time immemorial and are known as conventional energy resources. Wind and hydro power, solar energy, biogas and atomic energy are the new and nonconventional sources of energy. Fossil fuels being limited in supply may be termed as exhaustible sources while others, like solar, hydel, wind and atomic energy that would be available to man for infinite period are regarded as inexhaustible sources. Firewood and other bio-fuels (such as biogas derived from biological wastes, domestic garbage etc.) are indeed renewable energy sources but

64 Environmental Studies exploitation of fire woods has great ecological implications since we are already short of forests and whatever forests available should not be squeezed or thinned. However, use of other bio-fuels is known to be the best option in the light of two important acts; their steady of even increasing supply at low cost; their use in energy production reduces pollution of environment. Because of rapid depletion and poor regeneration of the exhaustible sources of energy the society should concentrate on tapping the inexhaustible and renewable sources under restrict economic and ecological consideration.



Fire wood: No one can trace back in the history that that are made the first assault that is on which tree. However, it is evident that man has been logging down the trees for various purposes, including getting firewood as an important one, since long. Because, in olden days man's knowledge and access for various natural resources were limited, he ruthlessly exploited his own surroundings to meet out his day-to-day requirements. The story still continues in various parts of the world at slower or faster pace, but often not because of the dearth of knowledge but out of vested interests or because of having no other option. Felling of trees for firewood is still a common practice in interior where it is the cheapest and, at times the only available source of energy. This had led to thinning or denudation of woodland that needs serious consideration from both ecological and economic viewpoints. Obviously, the only way out to the problem is making available to the villager the cheaper non-conventional energy sources, such as biogas and solar energy in usable form. Fossil fuel: Fossil fuels (coal, petroleum, natural gas) are the most extensively used sources of energy today. Like for many other natural resources increase in population and per capital energy demand coupled with the industrialization at a faster pace, are the factors responsible for depletion of fossil fuel world over. According to a report the earth's original stocks of coal and petroleum were about 6000 billion tons and 1250 billion barrels respectively, of which by the year 1960, 100 billion tons of coal was mined and 100 billion barrels petroleum extracted. The story of natural gas is no different which has acquired the status of irreplaceable commodity of domestic use in modern times. Petroleum and natural gas today fulfill 60 percent of the world's total energy requirements. It is evident that if the exploitation and consumption of these resources continues at the present incredible rate, there supply last only for a few more decades.



The rapid depletion conventional energy sources have prompted governments and people to concentrate on finding and tapping some non-conventional energy sources that may last for long. In fact, inexhaustible energy sources, like solar, hydel, tidal, wind and atomic power, can only bring hope for the sustained socio-economic development of humanity for years to come when exhaustible sources will become either inaccessible or too costly to afford. Solar energy: Research and application in the field of solar energy have opened new vistas in the direction of fulfilling world's future energy requirements. It has especially drawn attention for its practically free steady supply and pollution free use. This energy may be transformed into heat using reflectors and condensers, or into electric energy using solar photovoltaics. The resource can especially be tapped more effectively in the regions where there are long sunshine hours.

Natural Resources 65 Solar heaters and cookers are becoming popular these days in industry and household. Passive solar architectures provide comfortable housing in extreme cold and hot climates. This engineering has also been successfully applied in warehouse and cold storages. A multipurpose solar dryer-cumwarehouse is under construction at Ganaur (Haryana, India) where chillies, potato-chips and other food stuffs could be dried and stored. Solar energy has also been effectively used in desalination of water. College of Engineering Pune has designed a solar furnace that can generate heat up to 2000 0C which can be send in various metallurgical and other purposes. Department of Non-conventional Energy Sources of Govt. of India has prepared a perspective plan that envisages generation of energy through non-conventional sources, shiefly solar to the extent of 250 million tons of coal replacement per annum including 15000 MW of electricity by the year 2001. India's first solar power station, soon to be operated near New Delhi, would be a great breakthrough in this direction. Rural electrification through solar photovoltaics is already in operation at some places in the country. Moreover, photovoltaic irrigation pump sets have also been installed at some places. Wind power: The power of wind since olden days is being used in running mills, irrigation of fields, and carrying out other farm activities, but its real potential is not so far being realized. According to inventories of Department of Non-conventional Sources of Govt. of India 20000 MW electricity can be generated from the wind alone in the country. Wind power plants are set up in various parts of the country but they still account for the total capacity of 3.3 MW only. Obviously, this potent resource is still to be tapped optimally. Hydro power: Use of gravitational flow of water in generation of electricity, what commonly known as hydro power or hydel power is quite common in various parts of the world. India’s first hydro power station, having a potential of 300 KW, was contructed in 1987 at Darjeeling. Later on, many stations with far high potentiality were set up. The country's economically exploitable hydro power resources have been estimated at 4.1 million KW (or 41000 MW) of which only 18 percent of the potential was utilized by 1979. The Brahmaputra basin has the highest hydro power potential and nearly 30 percent of the country's total; next to it rank the Indus, Godavari and Ganga basins respectively. In world, a total 4910 ¥ 10 9 KW electric power is generated of which hydro power forms of fourth. In highly industrialized countries like USA, USSR, Canada, Japan, France, Sweden and Norway hydro power is nearly fully developed whereas in the rest of the world it is yet to be developed fully. Hydel power is considered to be the cheapest source of electricity with the cost of generation ranging from 2 to 3 paise per unit, compared to a minimum of 5 paise per unit of electricity generated by coal based thermal power plants. Although the initial cost of hydel project is generally 25 percent higher but owing to lower recurring cost, the cost of generation of hydro power is the lowest. Apart from such economic considerations, development of such projects is beneficial for irrigation and other purposes too. Tidal power of water in coastal areas of India, however not so far being realized. According to an estimate a tidal power potential of 9000 MW has been identified of which 7000 to 8000 MW is in the Gulf of CAmbay, 800 to 1000 MW in the Gulf of Kutch and rest in sunderbans.

66 Environmental Studies Atomic power (Nuclear power): As already delineated, the fossil fuels being exhaustible, such sources of energy are not to last for long with the current trend of consumption. Atomic power appears to be the only hope for large scale energy requirements when fossil fuels are exhausted. The reserves of atomic fuels are said to over 10 times greater than fossil fuels and the advantage of former is that their very small amounts would produce enormous amount of energy. A ton of Uranium235 for instance, would provide as much energy as 3 million tons of coal or 12 million barrels of oil. Atomic energy has its application not only in generation of electricity but has successfully been used in marine vessels, spaceships and even in chemical and food processing industry. Important constraints in atomic energy generation are: (i) cost of construction and maintenance of plants; (ii) disposal of radioactive wastes; and (iii) cost of construction of an atomic power plant and its maintenance is very high as compared to any other electric power plant. For running one atomic power plant unit of 235 MW capacity, heavy water of a worth Rs. 10 crore is required per year. Further, as a consequence of frequent failures, the running cost of such plants comes to be very high. Moreover, after the working capacity of an atomic power plant is over (in about 25 years), these have to be destroyed so as to avoid radiation spillage. Surprisingly the cost and time for destruction of these plants is almost equal to that for construction. Disposal of radioactive wastes is such a problem that still has no satisfactory solution for long term. Bio-energy (Energy from biological matter): Organic wastes provide an important renewable source of energy. Biogas generated from the decomposition of organic wastes, like manure and domestic wastes is becoming increasingly popular as a source of heat and light in many parts. It is considered to be the advantageous in view of its relatively cheaper supply, and use of organic wastes in its generation reduces the otherwise impending threat of pollution due to their release in environment. As such, it serves two purposes: fuel production and waste disposal. It has more of practical applicability in villages where organic waste in the form of cattle dung is available in plenty. Biogas so generated is thus economic and convenient to use as compared to conventional practice of burning of dry dung-cakes. Further, the dung-cakes serve only as a source of heat for cooking and allied purposes while biogas has multifarious applications. The slurry so produces in a biogas plant can well be used as manure for agricultural fields. Under the National Biogas Development Programme 8.2 lac biogas plants were set up by the year 1985-86 in different parts of the country. A large scale urban waste recycling plant at Okhla (New Delhi) generates about 5 lac cubic feet gas per day. In the VIIIth plan it is proposed that about 12 lacs cubic feet gas will be generated per day. According to Water Sewage Disposal Undertaking 4300 gas connections have been given in Delhi.



The need for conservation of energy becomes essential in view of the following simple facts: (i) Most of the activities of present day large and growing population require massive energy inputs, thus per capital and total demands for energy are fast increasing. (ii) The fossil fuels we are not endowed with which much are not to last for long at the present rate of consumption. At the same time much talked about possible alternate source of energy are, in fact, still in tentative state of development so far their practical applicability is concerned.

Natural Resources 67 (iii) There are economic constraints for many countries even if they want to develop conventional sources of energy, what to talk about sources like nuclear energy. (iv) Unplanned exploitation and use of energy result in widespread environmental damage, the cost of which is to be borne be humanity. Conservation of energy means not simply the curtailment of energy consumption but to curtail unnecessary or wasteful consumption of energy and make thrifty use of energy producing resources to ensure their steady supply for generations.

SUMMARY The sum of all physical, chemical, biological and social factors which compose the surroundings of man is referred to as environment and each element of these surroundings constitutes a resource on which man draws in order to develop a better life. Thus, any part of our natural environment - such as land, water, air, minerals, forest, rangeland, wildlife, fish or even human population - that man can utilize to promote his welfare may be regarded as a natural resource. A nation's economic well being is inextricably linked with the fertility and abundance of her soil resource because of mounting demands of swelling population and long mismanagement would put in jeopardy the very survival of man. The land although appears to be unlimited resource but, in fact, its injudicious use would limit the availability if this indispensable life-support system. A forest is a natural ecosystem having multi species and multi aged trees as dominant community. Forests are important in two ways - ecologically and economically. But increased urbanization, industrialization and mining has entailed indiscriminate felling of trees and denudation of forests. A range is the grassland that provides natural pasture or grazing for animals. Grasslands occur where rainfall is too low to support the forest community but is higher than that which results in desert community. The wildlife resources provide aesthetic, recreational and economic benefits and at the same time are important ecologically. Nature's millions of forms of life on this earth perform some or the other definite biological function which keeps the delicate balance of our exosphere. In nature flora and fauna go handin-hand and one cannot exist without the other. Minerals are the non-living substances obtained from the earth through the process of mining. Formation of minerals took place predominantly in weak zones like mountains, folded and faulted regions, lakes, troughs and continental shelves through geological processes going on since billions of years. The conventional and exhaustible energy resources include firewood, fossil fuels etc. while the nonconventional resources includes solar, wind, hydro energy and energy from biological matter etc.

Questions 1. 2. 3. 4.

Define natural resource. How natural resources can be classified? Define conservation. What is the aim of conservation? Differentiate between renewable and non renewable resources with examples. How land helps the life-support system? What are the causes of its deterioration and how they

68 Environmental Studies can be managed? 5. What is the importance of forests? How the depletion of forests can be managed? 6. What do you mean by rangeland? What is its importance? 7. What are the reasons of degradation of rangeland? Also suggest the measures to be taken to control its depletion? 8. Define wildlife. Why wildlife conservation is important in the environment and how it can be achieved? 9. How minerals can be distinguished with other natural resources? 10. Discuss the various conventional and non conventional resources of energy. 11. Why there is need for conservation of energy?


$ Biodiversity 1.


“It shall be the duty of every citizen…(g) to protect the forests and improve the natural environment, forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures.” (Article 51A, Indian Constitution) India comprises 2% of the world's landmass but is home to 7% of the flora and 6.5% of the fauna of the world. India is one of the 12 mega-diversity centers of biological diversity. India can be divided into 20 bio-geographic zones and 25 biotic provinces, which represent all the major ecosystems of the world. Surveys conducted by the Botanical Survey of India and Zoological Survey of India have revealed that there are 47,000 species of plants and 81,000 species of animals in the country. India can be divided into eight floristic regions, which include Western Himalayas, Eastern Himalayas, Assam, Indus plain, Deccan, Malabar and Andamans. An estimated 33% of the Indian flora are endemic. The fauna of India is equally rich and diverse as its flora. Of the 81,000 species of animals recorded 372 are mammals, 1228 are birds, 428 reptiles, 204 amphibians, 2546 fishes, 57,245 insects, 5,042 mollusces and several other species of invertebrates. The biodiversity of India is threatened due to factors like habitat destruction, illegal poaching and over-exploitation of natural resources. The biodiversity conservation plan of India is based on biographic project, commissioned in 1984 .The objective of the conservation programme is to establish a ‘representative network of protected areas’ in the different bio-geographic zones covering the entire range of biological diversity. India has a protected area network of 1.53 lac sq. mts. comprising 86 national parks and 480 wild life sanctuaries. Besides India has set up 12 biosphere reserves to protect representative ecosystems and to serve as laboratories to evolve alternate models of development, in tune with the Man and Biosphere programme of UNESCO. The government has recently introduced the Biological Diversity Bill, 2000 in the Lok Sabha to provide for conservation of biodiversity and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the use of biological resources. A National Policy and Action Strategy of Biological Diversity has been drawn up as a macro-level

70 Environmental Studies statement of strategies, gaps and further actions needed for conservation, sustainable use and strategies and realization of actual and potential value of biological diversity. “Biodiversity”, the term and concept, has been a remarkable event in recent cultural evolution: 19 years ago the word did not exist, except perhaps through occasional idiosyncratic use. Today it is one of the most commonly used expressions in the biological sciences and has become a household word. It was born “Biodiversity” during the National Forum on Biodiversity, held in Washington, D.C., on September 21–24, 1986, under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences and the Smithsonian Institution. The proceedings of the forum, published in 1988 under the title Biodiversity (later to be cited with less than bibliographical accuracy by most authors as Biodiversity), became a best-seller for the National Academy Press. By the summer of 1992, as a key topic of the Rio environmental summit meeting, biodiversity had moved to center stage as one of the central issues of scientific and political concern world-wide. Dense tropical forests, which provide habitat for many little-known species like the ruffed lemur and other ecosystems. Vents, such as mangrove swamp in Costa Rica are still poorly understood by scientists. Such as the sulfide chimneys called “black smokers”, have been found to contain at least 16 families of invertebrates that were known just five years ago. Recently, an entirely new set of unicellular organisms called picoplankton, with cell diameters between 1 and 4 microns, was discovered. The productivity of marine systems may have been under estimated by 50 percent because scientists were ignorant of the role played by picoplankton and had no appropriate methods of measuring them. Another serious problem is that scientists do not understand exactly how the diversity of genes, genotypes, species and communities influences ecosystem function. Over the past 100 years, geneticists, taxonomists, evolutionists and ecologists have accumulated much knowledge about diversity. The information gathered attests to the importance of diversity for the proper functioning of many organisms and ecosystems. However, a comprehensive, rigorous and general theory of biodiversity is lacking. Because the threat to biological diversity is now great, scientists must learn how living systems are influenced by changes in diversity. Given the rapid pace of landscape transformation worldwide, there is some urgency in obtaining this information. Knowledge of biodiversity is also very important for evaluating the impact of global climatic change. Fossil records show that drastic environmental change has been a major cause of species extinction. Species losses also derive from mutual interaction, such as competition and predation. Also, because the environment is in a constant state of transformation, some species are being lost. Some changes in the physical environment are cyclical and repeated, while others are less predictable. However, even cyclic changes are subject to chance. In any case, it seems reasonable that genetic diversity provides organisms and ecosystems with the capacity to recuperate after change has occurred. The scientific evidence for this hypothesis is not conclusive, however.


LEVELS OF BIODIVERSITY Biodiversity on earth exist in four levels of biological organizations: 1. The ecosystem diversity; 2. The generic diversity;

Biodiversity 71 3. The species diversity; and 4. The genetic diversity (varieties in one plant or races in one animal species) Ecosystem diversity refers to the various types of ecosystems and the variety of habitats such as terrestrial (forest, grassland, alpine and desertic ecosystems); aquatic (freshwater and marine ecosystems); and the wetlands (mangroves and estuarine ecosystem etc.) on the earth. The generic diversity refers to the diverse plant groups from algae to angiosperms; the diverse animal groups from fishes to amphibians, reptiles, birds and the mammals; the various worms, insects and butterflies, and the diverse micro-organisms, fungi and bacteria. Each family of plants and animals consists of several genera and species. Existence of several types of cereals, pulses, spices, fruits and vegetables, belonging to the angiosperms among plant groups; several types of animals, dog, cat, deer, bear, lion, leopard, horse, camel, elephant etc. all belonging to the mammals among animal groups is an evidence of generic diversity among plants and animals. Species diversity refers to the existence of diverse species within the same genera and also the variety of species within a region. Among the big cats tiger (Panthera tigris), lion (Panthera leo persica) and snow leopard (Panthera uncial) all belong to the same genera Panthera but they are different species. Potato, brinjal and tomato all belong to same genera, Solanum of the family Solanaceae, but they are different species e.g. Solanum, tuberosum, S. melangona and S. lycopersicon (now Lycopersicon esculentum) respectively. The number of species in a particular region and relationships among them is one measure of species diversity. For example, an ecosystem with two species of birds and one species of lizard has greater species diversity than an ecosystem with three species of birds and no lizards. Similarly an ecosystem with few species of birds, mammals, reptiles, fishes and frogs would account for still greater species and biological diversity. Thus, even if there are large numbers of species of mammals or larger number of species of flowering plants in a particular biotic region of earth than all other species combined they do not account for greater species and biological diversity because they are intimately related. Similarly many more species inhabit land than in aquatic habitats (lakes and oceans), but since the terrestrial species are more closely related to each other than the aquatic species, the species diversity would account higher in the aquatic ecosystems. The genetic diversity refers to the various kinds of “genes” which exists in any one individual species. Due to the diversity in genes, diversity in character occurs within the same species giving rise to “varieties” and “races”. For example there are several “varieties” of mango (Mangifera indica), wheat (Triticum aestivum) and rice (Oryza sativa). Similarly there are several “races” of cats and dogs among animals. Even there are several races of human beings (Homo sapiens) e.g. the ProtoAustraloid, Mongloid, the Negrito, the Mediterranean, the Western Brachycephals and the Nordic.



An ideal state in which every element is in equilibrium, or “the balance of nature”, cannot exist. The weather changes constantly; the diversity of plants and animals fluctuates; mountains erode; and lakes get silted in. yet, this idea of a balance, of an equilibrium in nature, has persisted. Conservation managers, for example, endeavor to reduce disorder and create undisturbed environments. Those scientists who support the notion of a balance of nature maintain that ecosystems, although not in balance now, are move constantly toward equilibrium. These scientists argue that ecosystems are

72 Environmental Studies prevented from attaining balance because of exterior forces, which are called disturbances. Storms, floods, pests outbreaks, fires and human-induced changes are all examples of disturbances that are presumed to keep ecosystems from reaching equilibrium. The concept of the balance of nature gained credence in the early 18 th century when Isaac Newton introduced very successfully the notion that nature could be explained in terms of few simple laws. According to the Newtonian view, the world is formed by elements that are simple and that respond to regular and deterministic dynamics. Today, physicists believe that nature is complex, not simple and that the Newtonian view is insufficient as a general explanation of how the universe functions. The universe physicists are finding is not in balance. Disturbances and irregularities of all sorts are no longer seen as aberrations but as integral parts of nature. Physicists are also discovering that at the very origin of the cosmos, at the so called big bang, a singular, irreversible and complex universe was produced. Similarly, ecologists have been observing and documenting that most, if not all ecosystems are not in balance. But why should scientists be concerned with whether an ecosystem is in equilibrium? The answer to this question is crucial for understanding biodiversity. Systems not in equilibrium behave very differently then do systems in equilibrium. Their behaviour can even appear strange and mysterious. For example, when the source of disturbance is removed from a system that is near equilibrium, that system is expected to return to its previous state. When, in an undisturbed forest, a gap is created by landslide or a falling tree, new seedling grow in the gap and restore the equilibrium. After a few years, it is impossible tot ell that there once was a gap. But when the source of change is removed from systems that are not in equilibrium, they do not return to equilibrium. Instead, they adopt a new state. For example, when land used for agriculture in the Amazon forest is abandoned, it grows into grassland or a savanna and does not return to the original forest. Natural disturbances are a necessary part of the forest ecosystem’s function. For example without gaps creating disturbances, most forests cannot grow themselves. And fires, storms and hurricanes are and have been a part of life since the beginning of the planet; without them, ecosystems could not function properly. Knowing about the features of non-equilibrium systems is important for proper ecosystem management. Because a non-equilibrium ecosystem does not necessarily revert to its previous state when the convulsion is removed it is often impossible for humans to return ecosystems to their original condition. Therefore, one set of management guidelines will not suffice for all situations. The previous history of changes and the present disturbance regime will determine the consequences of any management.



There are two conditions that cause population diversity. First, new genotypes are constantly cropping up in a population through mutation, recombination and related genetic phenomena and through immigrations of individuals, their gametes, or their propagules. Second, diversity in the population is eliminated by natural selection and lost through emigration of individuals. Every genetic variation, from gene mutation to entire species, will disappear eventually. This loss can be a very fast process, or the variants can survive for a long time. Species that have survived for extended periods include horseshoe crabs, which have been around for 200 million years, and cockroaches, which

Biodiversity 73 originated even earlier, in the Carboniferous period. The speed at which the new variations originate in relation to the rate at which they are eliminated determines the actual diversity of the system. In the process of gene mutation, all heritable diversity ultimately arises at the molecular level. Gene mutations are chemical changes that take place in the substance responsible for heredity DNA is remarkable in that it shows complex chemical behaviour not expected from systems in equilibrium. The most remarkable characteristic of DNA is its ability to regenerate itself, its “autocatalytic” behaviour. The DNA molecule consists of four kinds of repeating unit called nucleotides, which can be arranged in any sequential order. DNA has the curious ability to maintain its physiochemical integrity regardless of the order of the four nucleotides. That is, any DNA molecule behaves like any other of the same length, regardless of the nucleotide content. This characteristic of DNA makes life feasible because if only one arrangement were possible or if the chemical stability of one arrangement were significantly different from that others, then all DNA molecules would be alike. The order of the nucleotides uniquely determines the characteristics of the chemical products made by DNA. But the order of the nucleotides in a DNA molecule can change, and these changes are called mutations. The regular appearance of mutations gives life its diversity. Mutated molecules of DNA reproduce their changes and make modified enzymes, which, in turn, make altered cells. Mutated cells result in modified organisms. Thus, new mutations permit the evolution of new characteristics by changing the structure and/or function of enzymes and other proteins. The characteristics of the enzymes and proteins are determined by those of the DNA molecule, but not the reverse—the “information” flows only in one direction. This flow contrasts with that of an ordinary chemical reaction, in which there are forward and backward reactions. The appearance of mutations is a random process. There is no way to anticipate or predict what mutation is going to occur; only that some will. It is natural selection, however, that determines whether new mutations get established or are eliminated. The processes of mutation and selection can be looked at in two ways. Mutation and selection might be random, independent processes that are not influenced by the characteristics of the system, in which case no active process of diversity maintenance exists. On the other hand, a certain degree of variety may be required for living systems to function properly. If so, there may be system feedbacks that modify the rates of mutation and selection. Below a certain threshold, a system may collapse because of insufficient variety. According to this last view, diversity is actively maintained in a system.



Mutation and natural selection generate genetic and morphological variation within a lineage. Yet what is most distinctive in a community is the coexistence of different species, each acting independently and not sharing its DNA or mutations. How, then, does the great variety of species originate? Speciation is the process that separates genetic variation into distinct units, or species. In speciation, the original population of organisms with similar genes, called a gene pool, is divided into two or more gene pools. Each of these new gene pools then acquires a unique set of characteristics (cellular,

74 Environmental Studies tissue, organ and organism) through mutation and selection. The mechanisms that create species have been a focal point of research in the field of organic evolution. Speciation follows most commonly from the physical division of a gene pool. The separation inhibits interbreeding between individuals in the two populations. In time, one or both populations change enough to prohibit interbreeding. Because of fate of every species is to become extinct eventually, there must be an influx of new species for life to continue. If, presently, there are about 10 million species, and, on average, each species has a life span of 1 million years, then an average of 10 new species must originate each year. On the other hand, if the life span of a species is only 100,000 years (as many biologists argue), then 100 new species must originate each year. Scientists are often aware of species extinction, but the appearance of new species is difficult to observe. Because most species are insects and other small invertebrates, most new species fall into these two poorly studied groups. Thus, there are few well documented case of speciation.



Certain individuals in a population survive and reproduce, while others die without leaving offspring. To understand this phenomenon, scientists must first realize that there usually is not enough of some environmental resources (food, water, minerals) to go around. The availability of resources in the environment limits the rate at which individual organisms can reproduce and their ability to survive. Nucleic acid replication and cell, tissue and organism growth and reproduction all require energy and materials, of which there are only limited amounts. Individuals that are efficient at harvesting resources have a higher probability of reproducing and surviving than do those that are inefficient. Mutations in DNA provide species with a constant input of physical and chemical variations, some of which improve the efficiency with which the species selects and harvests resources. New mutations may increase the efficiency of protein synthesis at the molecular level, or they may improve the water uptake by a plant at the organism level. Mutations may even increase the efficiency with which a mutualistic association between a plant and its specific pollinator develops at the community level. DNA molecules that are dissimilar in the order of their nucleotides usually do not have characteristics that directly increase or decrease their own survival or reproductive capacity. Given the appropriate environment and resources, all DNA molecules reproduce at the same rate despite their nucleotide composition. DNA molecules manifest their distinctive survival rates through their effects on the living organisms in which they are embedded. These organisms, be they single cells living in pure culture or multicellular organisms living in complex communities, will inevitable differ in their ability to garner resources. Therefore, they will vary in their survival and reproductive capacities and, consequently, so will the DNA in their cells. Natural selection is an optimizing process. It is process that favours efficiency and produces adaptation. It is not a process that involves chance, like the appearance of mutations, but it must operate with elements that it has. Thus, natural selection never makes a “perfect” organism. Because the environment is constantly changing, a perfect organism, if it could be produced, would cease to be perfect as the environment changed. Such systems, in which the optimum state is favoured but cannot be attained or maintained, are called frustrated systems.

Biodiversity 75 Diversity is the result of two opposite actions: the processes that produce new genotypes, new varieties; and new species and the process that eliminate mutations, variants and species from the system. Natural selection is primarily responsible for the reduction of biodiversity; it acts through differential reproduction and differential mortality. In other words, the probability of reproducing and the probability of dying are not the same for all organisms. Rather, reproduction and death are related to the organism’s characteristics as well as to the environment in which that organism lives.



How is species diversity linked to ecosystem structure and function, to the different ways in which organisms and population interact with each other, and to those community properties that emerge from these interactions? Communities have structures and properties not possessed by the populations within them that are called emergent properties, which include trophic structure, stability, guild structure and successional stages. Many scientists believe that species diversity is essential for the proper functioning of communities and for the emergence of community-level properties. Just as many different DNA-encoded enzymes are needed for a complex organism to function properly, so, scientists believe, are many kinds of species necessary to maintain community structure. But is any diversity sufficient, or are specific mixes of species necessary for the communities and ecosystems of function? This is a very old question in ecology, and two opposing views exist. One view is that a community is formed by the species that happened to arrive first—that the mix of species in a community is a matter of chance: “The vegetation of an area is merely the resistant of two factors, the fluctuating and fortuitous immigration of plants, and an equally fluctuating and variable environment”. According to the opposing view, “In any fairly limited area, only a fraction of the forms that could theoretically do so actually from a community at any one time … The community really is an organized community in that it has a “limited membership”. Are these two very different views really irreconcilable? Not necessarily, if a community is defined as the sum of all the plants and animals that grow together in an area, certain patterns can be observed: Areas with more than 1000 mm of evenly distributed rainfall always contain a woodland; conifers prevail in areas of extremely low winter temperatures; trees in warm climates have broad leaves; and succulent plants are found in dry climates. The same is true for animals. The mix of species encountered in a community is not a random sample of all plants and animals of the world. Yet, under close scrutiny, differences that are difficult to explain can be found between similar localities. Ecologists cannot predict what species will occur in a given climate and soil type. Also, there have been cases where dominant species, such as the American chestnut, have been lost, with apparently little effect in the overall working of the biological community. The community behaves in a “frustrated” fashion. Two types of processes are at work and neither is dominant. First, there is natural selection. Species in the community are constantly evolving to increase their ability to withstand the rigours of the environment. This process accounts for coldhardy species near the popes, for grass eating ruminants in savannas, and for fruit eating bats in forests. The individuals that escape their predators and survive other environmental challenges pass on their characteristics to their offspring.

76 Environmental Studies Second, there is chance. When the climate changes, characteristics that were once advantageous can become a burden. Diseases might be introduced, such as Dutch Elm disease, for which local species have no defense. Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and droughts are unpredictable and their frequency changes overtime. Chance also plays a role in dispersal. For instances, a species might be absent from a community purely by chance. Thus, both natural selection and chance result in the steady coming and going of species through immigration, emigration, extinction and gene mutation. A large number of additional unanswered questions exist regarding the role of biodiversity in communities. For example, can more and more species be packed into a community, or are there upper and lower limits? A related question concerns optimal levels of diversity and the factors that control them. Other issues include the role of different individuals within a population, different populations within a species, and so on. Do the members of the community collaborate in the efficient use of energy and resources? In a variable environment, the existence of individuals with different characteristics may increase the ways in which the population can respond to change. For example, if all plants of a species had similar water requirements, all of them would suffer water stress in any year that was drier than normal, and such periods would result in significantly reduced seed production. But if there is genetic variation, some individuals might perform above average each year within certain limits of environmental variation. Therefore, seed production would be satisfactory in both wet and dry years. Moreover, genetically adaptable organisms should survive in more variable environments than do genetically uniform populations. Experience with crops shows that highly productive but genetically uniform varieties have more restricted environmental requirements than do less productive but more variable varieties. Also, plantations formed by uniform varieties are more susceptible to pest and disease outbreaks. So, variability within a species seems to be important for long-term survival. Does the same hold same for a community, which is formed of a species that live together but do not have a common gene pool? Communities with high species diversity may also cope with long term environmental fluctuates better than do communities with few species. However, the evidence is contradictory. Terrestrial communities in the climatically variable mid latitudes are less diverse than tropical communities in more uniform environments. Also, deep benthic communities anywhere though they exist in possibly the most equitable environment on the planet.



According to modern ecological theory, every species in a community occupies a singular ecological niche or a role in the environment. A niche is thought of as a multi dimensional space where each dimension is a characteristic of a species. Because every species has at least one physical or behavioural characteristic that separates it from other species, every species has a unique niche. In principle, niche theory supplies the theoretical framework to explain the number and types of species in a community. Niche theory predicts that communities that vary in total resources or in the quality of those resources will contain more niches and, therefore, more species. Nevertheless, resources are sometimes partitioned differently in communities with very similar resources. In other words, communities may be having large or small niches, which result in a few “generalist” species

Biodiversity 77 (those with broad niches) or many “specialist” species (those with small niches). Finally, communities with similar resources and niche sizes may still vary in the number of species because of different degrees of niche overlap. Niche overlap is the degree to which two species exploit the same resource. Communities differ in niche size and overlap for a variety of reasons such as differences in climatic stability and predictability, spatial heterogeneity, primary productivity, computation predation, and degree of disturbance. Thus, niche theory is unable to predict the patterns of species diversity. Using niche theory to understand why communities vary in number of species has proven very difficult in practice. Many studies have shown very elegantly how specie partitions various resources in space and in time, but it has proven very hard to show the precise contribution of each factor. A key question is whether two species can have the same niche. In other words, is there species redundancy in a community? Present theory predicts that two species with identical niches cannot coexist, and empirical studies seem to verify this. Still, the question of how similar two coexistent species can be remains to be answered.



Biodiversity is the variety of the world’s living species, including their genetic diversity and the communities and ecosystems that they form. Today, this diversity of life is facing serious threats. The loss of species and genetic diversity and the degradation of habitats and ecosystems represent an enormous cost to this generation and all future generations. Biological resources—the portion of biodiversity that is of actual or potential use to people — provide the basis for most human enterprises. The species being lost today possess unknown food, medical and industrial uses. The ecosystems being degraded through mismanagement of biological resources are losing their capacity to support the human populations dependent upon them, and this degradation is exacting further costs through soil erosion, salutation of reservoirs, local climate changes, desertification and loss of productivity. Also, the erosion of genetic diversity among agricultural crops through such practices as the substitution of high-response cultivars for local varieties hinders efforts to breed improved varieties. High-response cultivars often handicap small farmers who cannot afford the necessary expensive inputs like fertilizers and pesticides. Three main approaches have been used to determine the value of biological resources: · Consumptive-use valuation involves assessing the value of resources, such as firewood, fodder and game meat that are consumed directly, without passing through a market. · Productive-use valuation involves assessing the value of products that are commercially harvested and marketed such as timber, fish, game meat, ivory and medicinal plants. · Non consumptive-use valuation involves assessing the direct values of ecosystem functions, such as watershed protection, photosynthesis, climate regulation and soil production along with the intangible values of keeping options open for the future and the pleasure of knowing that certain species exist.


Methods of Biodiversity Conservation

There are two basic ways to conserve genetic resources: 1. In-situ Conservation 2. Ex-situ Conservation

78 Environmental Studies 1.


The most appropriate way to maintain the wild plants and animals species where they are in the wild habitats like forest, lakes and nature preserves such as biosphere reserves, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries or by introducing them back into agricultural, horticultural and animal husbandary practices so that they are cultivated and used by the farmers. Enormous genetic diversity of crop plants has been maintained since ancient times by the farmers all over the world by saving seeds or other propagules for the next planting season by a wide variety of indigenously developed practices. Seeds were stored in baskets or earthen pots and appropriately sealed. Tubers, rhizomes, bulbs etc. were traditionally saved in cool and dry locations by the farmers. Traditional farmers particularly tribals still cultivate several traditional varieties of crop plants in their farms and keep native species of cattle which are better adapted to tolerate various diseases, drought and adverse environmental conditions.



This method involve cultivation of rare plants and holding of threatened animals species in botanical and zoological gardens and arboretums or reserve them in the forms of seeds in seed bank (Gene banks) or some other suitable materials like “tissue cultures”. Botanical and Zoological gardens are the secondary repositaries of the wild plants and animals species respectively. (a) Gene Banks (Seed Bank): A gene bank is an institution where valuable plant material likely to become irretrievably lost in the wild or in cultivations is preserved in a viable condition. Gene Banks conserve stocks of both seeds and vegetative materials. The stored germplasm not only safeguards the species threatened with extinction but are also actively utilized by the plant scientists and breeders to develop novel varieties. The most convenient way of maintaining plant germplasm is by storing seeds which is a living material capable of surviving in a metabolically suspended state. The viability of seeds can be extended by controlling moisture, temperature and availability of oxygen. The seeds last longest when dried and stored at low temperature and at the moisture contents of around 5 percent. Temperature may be brought down from–10ºC to–20ºC. A many of them when properly dried withstand cooling to —196ºC. This is called “Cryopreservation”. At such low temperature, biological activity essentially ceases, cell division stops and so no genetic damage would occur. Seeds which are able to withstand reduction in moisture and temperature are called “Orthodox seeds”. Examples are seeds of our crop plants like cereals and legumes. Seeds which are killed by drying and freezing are called “Recalcitrant seeds”. They include seeds of jackfruit, tea, cocoa, rubber, palms, litchi, coconut, many tropical fruits and timber species. In-situ conservation is one practical way to conserve crops with recalcitrant seeds. However, a more recent approach to store plants with such seeds is through “tissue culture” techniques. (b) Tissue Culture and Germplasm Storage: Tissue culture technique become necessary under the following conditions: (i) If a specific genetic type (clone) is to be conserved and maintained; (ii) If the seeds progeny is highly variable; (iii) If plants have recalcitrant seeds; or if the seeds are altogether lacking, such as those of sugarcane, banana and arvi.

Biodiversity 79 Shoot tip cultures are preferred materials for conservation as they are more stable, easier to regenerate into whole plants and produce virus free clonal plants. Shoot tip cultures are also convenient material for international exchange of germplasm. These days potato, banana and cassava cultivars are exchanged internationally by this method. Tissue culture technique for preserving germplasm has another advantage in that a large number of genotypes can be stored in a relatively small area in culture vessels and generally at a fraction of cost of annually growing and maintaining large living collections in the field. More importantly tissue culture provides a means of multiplying “endangered plants” with the possibility of reintroducing them into their original habitats where they are becoming rare. Through tissue culture it is now also possible to preserve “cultured animal cells”, “spermatozoa”, ovarian and embryonic tissues as well as whole animal embryos under extremely low temperature (Cryopreservation). They are used for livestock breeding programmes. These days a wide range of useful microbes, algae, insects and other organisms including human and animal cell lines need to be stored appropriately for any possible future use.


Role of Women in Biodiversity Conservation

Women play a major part in the protection of biological diversity. In developing countries, women act as resource managers. The originator of 'Chipko Movement' in India which occurred in the Garhwal Himalayas in the 1970's was a women named Gaura Devi. She led the women folk of the area in a rally to hug the trees and protest against their axing by the officials of the forest department. It was a “civil disobedience” movement to protect their homeland the forest. A long way back in 1787, a women named in Amrita Devi led women folk of Khejrali village in Rajasthan India to save the Prosopis cineraria trees from the axemen to cut the trees. In the conflict that followed all 363 people, mostly women and children were killed. Women around the world have also recognized the need, not only to protect biodiversity, but to restore and recreate it. Anna Van dyke of South Africa is a women with a messianic zeal for wildlife conservation saved the species of the last of the wild hunting leopards (Acinonyx jubatus) from extinction. She has a brood of over 400 leopards. Wangari Maathai founded Kenya’s “Green Belt Movement” involving over 80,000 women in the planting of trees. Many of the voices calling for the protection of biodiversity in the South are women's voices. Vandana Shiva of India is an internationally known expert on the risks of biotechnology and has raised awareness of the potential loss of genetic diversity as a result of the patenting of life forms. In Colombia, Margarita de Botero has increased awareness of the need to protect biodiversity through the Green University. Meneka Gandhi of India has been championing the cause of protection of all animals, pets and wild. In the industrialized world, women are frequently at the helm of organizations and community movements for the protection of wilderness and biodiversity. It is well recognized that women have a special role in relation to the protection of biological diversity. Population pressures are a major threat to biodiversity, and women can play significant role in control of population. The issues of the status of women and the health of flora and fauna (biological diversity) are bound with the fate of the planet.

80 Environmental Studies Women should participate at the local, regional, national and international levels under the Rio Convention on Biological Diversity. Protecting biological diversity should not be seen as something separate and apart from other developmental priorities for women. The role of women in protecting biodiversity provides a bridge between environmental and development on the path to sustainability.


Peoples Participation in Biodiversity Conservation

The conservation of biological diversity can only come from a number of steps involving people's participation. These are: · · · · ·

Giving back greater control over natural resources to local communities, Reviving relevant traditional systems, Channelising benefits of biodiversity conservation to local people, Formally involving people at all levels of decision-making, and Encouraging mass public awareness and education

SUMMARY India comprises 2% of the world’s landmass but is home to 7% of the flora and 6.5% of the fauna of the world. India is one of the 12 mega-diversity centers of biological diversity. India can be divided into 20 bio-geographic zones and 25 biotic provinces, which represent all the major ecosystems of the world. New mutations permit the evolution of new characteristics by changing the structure and/or function of enzymes and other proteins. Mutation and selection might be random, independent processes that are not influenced by the characteristics of the system, in which case no active process of diversity maintenance exists. In speciation, the original population of organisms with similar genes is divided into two or more gene pools. Each of these new gene pools then acquires a unique set of characteristics (cellular, tissue, organ and organism) through mutation and selection. The availability of resources in the environment limits the rate at which individual organisms can reproduce and their ability to survive. Nucleic acid replication and cell, tissue and organism growth and reproduction all require energy and materials, of which there are only limited amounts. DNA molecules that are dissimilar in the order of their nucleotides usually do not have characteristics that directly increase or decrease their own survival or reproductive capacity. Diversity is the result of two opposite actions: the processes that produce new genotypes, new varieties; and new species and the process that eliminate mutations, variants and species from the system. Natural selection is primarily responsible for the reduction of biodiversity; it acts through differential reproduction and differential mortality. Women play a major part in the protection of biological diversity. In developing countries, women act as resource managers. In the industrialized world, women are frequently at the helm of organizations and community movements for the protection of wilderness and biodiversity. The role of women in protecting biodiversity provides a bridge between environmental and development on the path to sustainability.

Biodiversity 81

QUESTIONS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Define biodiversity. Discuss the various levels of biodiversity. Explain speciation. Discuss the ecological role of biodiversity. What are the main approaches that determine the value of biological resources? Describe the methods of biodiversity conservation. Discuss the role of women in biodiversity conservation. How people’s participation can be helpful in conserving the biodiversity?


% Soil Erosion and Conservation 1.


Soil may be defined as a thin layer of earth’s crust which serves as a natural medium for the growth of plants. It is the unconsolidated mineral matter that has been subjected to, and influenced by, genetic and environmental factors — parent material, climate, organisms and topography all acting over a period of time. It serves as a reservoir of nutrients and water for crops, provides mechanical anchorage and favourable tilth. The components of soils are mineral material, organic matter, water and air, the proportions of which vary and which together form a system for plant growth. Soil and water are the two basic resources of a nation. Productive soil is the source of human sustenance and security. Economic stability and a wide use of land are inseparable. The future of a country and its teeming millions depend to a large extent on the conservation of soil and water through the proper use and treatment of soil. Soil erosion is a comprehensive natural process of detachment and removal of loosened soil materials by exogenetic processes. The soil of desert areas is easily eroded being devoid of any vegetal cover. Soil erosion is increased due to agricultural development, construction and stripmining activities. There are numerous ways by which the fertile top layer is lost and wasted. This slow removal of the top soil and disturbances in the soil texture is called soil erosion. Rama Rao (1962) pointed out that soil erosion as creeping death of the soil. Odum included soil erosion as a part of soil pollution.



Soil erosion is the wearing away of land surface by the action of such natural agencies as water and wind. The different types of soil erosion observed in India are: Normal or Geologic Erosion: This universal erosion is a natural process of denudation. Such erosion takes place steadily but so slowly that ages are required for it to make any marked alteration in the major features of the earth’s surface. There is always equilibrium between the removal and formation of soil. Accelerated Erosion: It refers to the increased rate of erosion and extreme soil degradation by various land use changes induced by man. The fertile soil deteriorates much faster at which new soil forms. This accelerated detachment rapidly ravages the land and it is with this type of soil erosion that we are so concerned. Nature requires nearly 500 to 1000 years are required for the development of an

Soil Erosion and Conservation 83 ‘inch’ of the top layer. But now the problem of erosion is increasing tremendously over the entire globe. Accelerated soil erosion is mostly operative in humid climatic regions where extensive forest clearance, over grazing, grass land removal and trampling by livestock has been practiced at an alarming rate. Wind Erosion : Wind is another factor causing soil erosion. It occurs mainly in dry (arid or semiarid) regions where soil is mainly sandy, the vegetation is extremely poor and wind velocity is high. Wind erosion triggered by the damage of natural vegetation cover of soil by over grazing and over felling. Once the fertile top soil is laid bare to the fury of strong gales it gets blown off in the form of sand or dust storm and transported to far off places. These rolling particles rub the ground and due to abrasive action help in loosening the top soil. Wind erosion may be of the following types, affecting the extent of soil erosion: (i) Suspension: Suspension erodes soil in the form of fine dust with the wind. Suspended material is carried long distances from its original location and is thus a complete loss to the eroded area, whereas the soil moved in saltation and surface creep usually remains within the eroded area, especially when erosive winds are from different directions. (ii) Surface Creep: The heavier soil particles which are not easily thrown up by wind are simply pushed along the surface by wind. (iii) Saltation: It occurs in arid regions where drainage is poor, rainfall is low and high temperatures prevail. Salt accumulation occurs around the oceans where water evaporates quickly leaving behind salts containing chlorides, sulphates, carbonates and nitrates of sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. The major part of such salty soil is carried away by wind in the form of small heaps. Water Erosion: Soil is removed by rainfall as well as by its surface flow action. Soil erosion caused by water can be distinguished in three forms: (i) Sheet erosion: When the soil is eroded and removed as a thin covering from large area, it is known as rain wash or sheet erosion. This type of erosion is very insidious, since it keeps the cultivator almost ignorant of its ill-effects. It is generally neglected, although the soil deteriorates slowly and imperceptibly. Its existence, however, can be detected by the muddy colour of the run off from the fields. The signs of sheet erosion are: – only a thin layer of topsoil; or the subsoil is partly exposed; sometimes even parent rock is exposed; – quite large amounts of coarse sand, gravel and pebbles in the arable layer, the finer material has been removed; – exposure of the roots; – deposit of eroded material at the foot of the slope. (ii) Rill erosion: The run off water as rainstorms flows rapidly and cuts small stream-like structure in the form of well defined finger shaped grooves. Such thin channeling is known as rill erosion. (iii) Gully erosion: Several rills converge towards the slope and join to form wider and deeper channels of water called gullies. Gullies are most spectacular evidence of destruction of soil. The gullies tend to deepen and widen with every heavy rainfall. They cut up large fields into small fragments and, in course of time, make them unfit for cultivation.

84 Environmental Studies The signs of gully erosion on an irrigated field are: – irregular changes in the shape and length of the furrows; – accumulation of eroded material at the bottom of the furrows; – exposure of plant roots. (iv) Rivarian erosion: It takes place on the banks of fast running rivers where the surface current cuts the margin of the bank laterally. Soil erosion by water depends on: – the slope: steep, sloping fields are more exposed to erosion; – the soil structure: light soils are more sensitive to erosion; – the volume or rate of flow of surface runoff water: larger or rapid flows induce more erosion. Erosion is usually heaviest during the early part of irrigation, especially when irrigating on slopes. The dry surface soil, sometimes loosened by cultivation, is easily removed by flowing water. Landslide or Slip erosion: In this type of soil erosion, water and gravity act together. Heavy rain creates hydraulic pressure that increases the weight of rocks at cliffs which come under the gravitational force and finally slide down. The fundamental causes of landslides are topography of the region and geological structure, the kinds of rocks and their physical characteristics. The immediate cause of a slide may be an earthquake, or a heavy rainfall, which unduly saturates the ground or a part of a road. However, these are accidents rather than fundamental causes. Stream Bank Erosion: The rivers during floods splash their water against the banks and thus cut through them. Water strikes with great speed and the bank caves in alongside. These sudden and violent flows are responsible for moving immense quantities of detritus, comprising boulders, shingle, sand and silt, depending upon the geology of the terrain.



Vegetation, slope, soil and climate all markedly affect soil erosion and run off. Vegetative cover influences rates of rainfall runoff and soil removal more than any other single factor. Declivity of land and length of slope also have important effects. Intensity of rainfall, kind of soil, condition of the ground with respect to moisture content, and openness of the soil are also contributing factors of great importance. Effect of vegetation: It is apparent that close-growing vegetation results in increased soil intake of rainfall, reduces the velocity and erosive power of the falling drops and consequently reduces soil erosion. Areas not protected with thick cover of plants are unable to absorb water effectively, reduces infiltration and thus increases run off and soil loss. Effect of declivity: The importance of the slope in relation to soil and water losses from cultivated land is revealed in the measurements of rates of erosion and run off. The speed and the extent of run off depend on the slope of the land. The greater the slope, the greater is the velocity of the run off. According to the law of falling bodies, velocity varies as the square root of the vertical drop. Hence, if the land slope is increased four times, the velocity of the water flowing on the slope is increased four times; the velocity of the water flowing on the slope is approximately doubled. If the velocity of the run off water is doubled, its energy, i.e. erosive power, is increased four times, as the latter varies as the square of the velocity. Similarly, the quantity of the material of a given size that can be carried is increased about thirty two times (varies as the fifth power of the velocity), and the size of the particles that can be transported by pushing or rolling is increased about sixty four times (varies as the

Soil Erosion and Conservation 85 sixth power of the velocity). Therefore, there is a rapid increase in rate of soil loss as the slope of the field becomes steeper. Effect of length of slope: The rates of erosion from various types of land in regions of different rainfall indicates, that erosion increases with an increase in the length of slope due to usual greater volume of water accumulation on long slopes and consequent increased velocity of run off. Effect of rainfall intensity: Rainfall is the most important factor influencing soil erosion. The intensity of rainfall, its duration and frequency influence the rate and the volume of run off. Quick downpours of rain invariably cause more erosion than slow drizzling rains. The simple explanation is that slowly falling water has more time to percolate into the ground than dashing rains that overcome the water-intake capacity of the land and consequently run off rapidly, tearing up the soil and sweeping it in the direction of the nearest waterway. When the velocity of water is increased, its capacity to transport soil is also increased greatly. Rainfall of long duration and greater frequency increases both the total run off and soil loss. Apart from the intensity and duration of rainfall, the soil moisture is also important in determining the run-off and soil loss by erosion. If the soil is already saturated with water, the same amount and intensity of rainfall will cause more run-off and soil loss from it than from a dry soil. Effect of season: In general, the period of heaviest erosion by water is that season represented by a combination of unstable ground condition and intensive rainfall. This obviously dependent on both climate and land use. In most humid areas, the heaviest soil loss takes place in the spring or early summer on freshly ploughed land or land supporting a sparse covering of vegetation or crop stubble, provided the heaviest rains chance to fall at that time. In the same locality the following year, the season of the most disastrous loss may be delayed until summer or late summer if the heaviest and most intense rains are delayed that long. Wind erosion is influenced by seasonal conditions in much the same manner as water erosion. It is most severe when the ground is loose and parched and bare of anchoring vegetation. Wind erosion may be serious in time of protracted drought at any time of the year in sub humid areas and even in some humid localities, especially on sandy land bared of vegetation by cultivation or crop failure. Long periods of partial or complete protection from erosion are afforded by continuous cold weather that keeps the ground frozen or covered with a blanket of snow. Effect of crop rotation: Since a good crop rotation provides, on the average, more cover of a protective nature than the continuous production of inter tilled crops and improves the physical condition of the soil in addition by building up the supply of organic matter, it is not surprising to find that rotations generally reduce erosion and run off.



The conservation of the soil is a matter of using land efficiently under a farming system that safeguards it from erosion. More specifically, soil conservation is the use of land, within the limits of economic practicability, according to its capabilities (the way nature made the land) and its needs (its condition resulting from the way man has used it) in order to keep it permanently productive. All adaptable measures required to achieve permanent productivity of the soil constitute the tools of conservation, whether used singly or in various adaptable combinations.

86 Environmental Studies Soil conservation consists of safe guarding all kinds of useful land — and most land favourably situated, climatically and topographically, is useful for some purpose — against impoverishment or depletion brought about by: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Excessive soil removal — erosion. Deposition of the products of erosion — over wash. Exhaustion of plant nutrients through leaching, over cropping and over grazing. Accumulation of toxic salts — alkali condition. Burning — actual destruction in the case of organic soil and burning off dry vegetation. Development of harmful water logging and failure to provide adequate drainage for cultivated and pasture land. Improper cultivation — as ploughing up- and down-slope. Improper land use leading to the impairment of the soil — as the cultivation of steep land that should be kept permanently in grass or trees. Unnecessary waste of rainfall by controllable run off. Lack of crop rotation, resulting poor soil structure.

Soil conservation is accomplished by: 1. Using adaptable conservation practices and engineering structures to prevent or control soil erosion and the harmful deposition of the products of erosion. 2. Using improved tillage, mulching, and cropping practices to conserve needed rainfall. 3. Controlling run off to meet the needs of land. 4. Using water, organic matter, manure, fertilizers, lime and so forth, with maximum efficiency and in accordance with the needs of the land. 5. Combining drainage and flooding to prevent the accumulation of toxic salts and to improve alkali land. 6. Draining to prevent water logging or to improve wet fields and pastures. 7. Flooding by diking and pumping to prevent the burning of peat lands. 8. Holding the water table at proper level by diking and pumping and by water level management with ditches and gates. 9. Using adaptable farm machinery efficiently. 10. Utilizing wild life the odd corners, borders, and areas of land not usable for ordinary cropping, pasture or forestry purposes. 11. Changing from the unwise cultivation of steep, shallow, highly erodible, or otherwise unfavourable land to the planting of grass, trees or other protective cover to achieve better use and better protection of the land; adjusting the intensity of grazing range and pasture lands to retain sufficient vegetative cover to conserve rainfall, maintain a favourable forage stand, and prevent soil erosion. 12. Draining, irrigating, clearing off brush or rock, or otherwise improving previously unproductive land to fit it for practical, productive use, such as would encourage a shift to safer, less intensive uses of nearby or distant highly erodible or other favourable land. These operations should take into consideration the needs of wildlife. 13. Maintaining all conservation structures and practices. Soil conservation in the final analysis is, therefore, the scientific use and protection of land.

Soil Erosion and Conservation 87 4.1.

Land capability

The following criteria were used to characterize the soils: — fertility: subdivided into high, medium or low; — stoniness: subdivided into high, moderate and low; — drainage: subdivided into good, moderate and poor; — depth: either shallow or deep; and — erosion hazard: either high, moderate or low These variations in soil characteristics were defined in relation to soil location, parent material, topographic conditions where they occur, propensity to erosion, vegetation, physiography, drainage, stoniness, permeability, horizontal profile, chemical characteristics, etc. Slopes were subdivided into groups: 0 to 5 percent, 5-10 percent, 10-15 percent, 15-20 percent, 20-25 percent, 25-30 percent and 30 percent and over. The available rainfall information was analyzed and the different areas of the country were divided into areas of low, moderate and high rainfall. Using these criteria, the different soils were classified in eight land capability classes. Given the multiple combinations possible, the classification of each soil poses a specific problem. A slight variation in slope or rainfall pattern may determine a change in capability class of a basically homogeneous soil type in a fairly small area. (a) Land capability class I: Included in land capability class I are all lands suitable for cultivation and irrigation with flat topography and no major limiting factors. With good management, these lands are highly productive and do not present special conservation problems. (b) Land capability class II: These lands are also suitable for irrigation and cultivation. They have flat to gently undulating topography. Limiting factors are not severe and can be compensated for with good management practices. High productivity can be attained with good management and by implementing moderate conservation measures, generally drainage or contour planting in undulating areas. (c) Land capability class III: It contains lands suitable for cultivation and irrigation with flat to undulating topography but with limiting factors (generally medium fertility soils, or moderate stoniness or shallowness). Medium to high productivity can be attained under intensive management and conservation, particularly from sheet erosion. (d) Land capability class IV: This group of lands has limited cultivation or irrigation possibilities. Flat to very undulating topography may make these lands prone to erosion. When used for permanent tree crops, limited soil conservation measures are required; with other crops requiring clean cultivation, the danger of erosion increases, demanding soil conservation as part of the technological management package. Medium productivity can be attained with good management. (e) Land capability class V: These are lands which are unsuitable for cultivation but suitable for intensive pasture. Severe limiting factors exist, particularly drainage considerations. When intensive management is applied, high productivity is possible with pasture and crops adapted to water-logged conditions. Soil conservation is necessary for long-term preservation of these lands. (f) Land capability class VI: These lands are unsuitable for cultivation but appropriate for permanent crops (tree crops, fruit trees) and natural pasture. Under certain conditions of soil and climate, some intercropping is possible with annuals which require no tilling. Topography,

88 Environmental Studies shallow soils and stoniness are very severe limiting conditions. Use of these lands requires strict observance of soil conservation measures. (g) Land capability class VII: Land in Class VII is normally natural forest unsuitable for cultivation. In selected areas, timber production is possible; in areas where soils, topography and climatic conditions are better, coffee and cacao can be grown. Extremely severe limitations are associated with this class of lands and strict conservation measures should be observed in their use. (h) Land capability class VIII: Land totally unsuited to cultivation, suitable only for national parks and wildlife zones. These lands should be left in their natural state and protected. 4.2.

Fundamentals of Soil Conservation

The farming methods and practices used in the country have been many. Some have proved beneficial, others harmful. Some have proved practicable others impracticable. Some have been profitable, others unprofitable. The objective, especially since the turn of the century, has been to grow the largest amount of salable crops at the lowest possible cost. Too many of the resulting farming practices have proved to be exploitive. When conservation of soil became an equally important objective—at least to the nation’s economy—it became evident that we must find and develop safer methods of using our lands. 4.2.1.

Conservation Farming

The essential fundamentals of conservation farming are (1) to use the land in keeping with its capabilities and (2) to protect the land in keeping with its needs. Actually, the science of conservation farming has been evolving since the early 1900’s, although soil conservation was not a recognized objective of most of the earlier beginnings. When the soil conservation experiment stations were first established about 1930, the principles of soil conservation were little more than a list of theories. During the time of earliest efforts to get farmers to use conservation practices, it was recognized that good results do not always follow simple, easy changes. The problem proved to be less simple than that. The lands were sick, some in one way, and some in another. As with a sick person, continuing diagnosis proved to be inadequate, and modified handling of the case became necessary. Because of the complexity of the problem and also because the problem differs in detail with every change in the soil, in the slope of the land, or in the climate, progress in applying the best conservation practices to the different farms is necessarily slow. Before making recommendations of conservation practices for the different parts of any particular farm, the soil conservationist must first be able to classify adequately all the lands in this farm, and second he must be able to prescribe suitable conservation practices for each of the kinds of land he finds. There are strong indications that the currently increasing need for, and the use of, the dietary phases of medical science may be largely the result of soil deficiencies. Soil and health are being watched more and more closely for their interrelationships.

Principal Conservation Practices

Contouring : This consists of ploughing, planting, cultivating, and harvesting sloping fields on the level, that is, farming on the contour, around hillsides with curving furrows and rows that fit the lay of the land, instead of with straight up- and down-hill furrows. The curved furrows retard runoff and allow much of the rain water to soak into the ground. This conserves water and greatly reduces the amount soil that is washed away.

Soil Erosion and Conservation 89 Contour furrowing: This practice consists of making furrows on the level in pastures and ranges to hold rainfall and retard runoff, thus helping the growth of forage plants. Where runoff has been common, this measure decreases the erosion and runoff and virtually increases the effective rainfall. Contour sub soiling: In this practice, the hard sub soil is broken so that it can absorb rainfall more readily. This is done most commonly on pasture lands to improve the forage growth, although it is also done on cultivated land. Sub soilers follow the contour, and the interval between furrows varies with the land and the cover. This practice gives best results when the sub soil is dry and brittle enough to shatter when the sub soiler passes through it. Terracing: It is ridging land on, or nearly on, the contour. This practice builds up low ridges or embankments of soil across sloping fields to intercept runoff. Terraces with a slight grade slow down runoff water, resulting in greater absorption by the soil and in guiding the runoff to a safe disposal at the sides of the fields. This controlled excess water runs off slowly, causing relatively little erosion. Level terraces hold all the rainfall on the land, unless they are overtopped. Diversion channels: These are channels with a ridge on the lower side. The ridges sometimes are larger than field terrace ridges and are generally farther apart. Otherwise they are much the same. They are built, with a low channel gradient, across slopes to divert damaging and wasteful runoff. Strip cropping: This consists of planting strips of close-growing plants, like grass or clover, between strips of clean-tilled row crops on, or nearly on, the contour. The strips of close growing plants retard the runoff, thus greatly decreasing the erosion on the clean-tilled strip below. They also strain out the soil picked up by runoff water from the ploughed strips. Wind stripping: Alternate strips of clean-tilled and thick crops are planted at right angles to the prevailing wind. Stubble mulching: This practice is also sometimes called trashy fallow. It involves leaving crop residues and soil improving crops at least partly on top of the ground instead of burning them or turning them under. These materials include grain stubble and straw, corn-stalks, crotolaria, sweet clover and other protective cover crops. This practice protects the soil from erosion and from baking, cuts down runoff and evaporation, lowers the soil temperature in hot summer weather, helps the soil to absorb more rainfall, decreases the degree of freezing and aids the growth of useful bacteria in the soil. Mulching: The application of surface mulch on to the land is not a general practice. However, the practice is becoming more common in many of the areas where torrential rains cause excessive erosion on the too frequently bare, cultivated fields. Many kinds of plant residues are carried from the points where they occur in excess to fields that are without protection. Many kinds of straw, rain-spoiled hay, chopped-up tree, cane and vine prunings, sawdust, peat and chipped wood are in current use for this purpose. Crop rotations: This practice involves rotating production of soil-building crops and soilimpoverishing crops. On rich land, it keeps the soil productive, and on rundown land it improves the soil. In a good rotation, the soil-building crop improves the other crops in the rotation. For example, nitrogen is added to the soil be the legumes, such as clover, alfalfa, cowpeas etc. The nitrogen left is then used by the crops that do not have the power to fix nitrogen, such as wheat, corn, cotton, tobacco and potatoes. Rotations often are integrated with strip cropping by shifting the close growing strips and the clean-tilled strips at fixed periods. In this way, soil-building and erosion control are simultaneously accomplished.

90 Environmental Studies Cover crops: Such crops are dense growing so that they can prevent erosion of cultivated areas at times when they would otherwise be few or no plants on the land to protect it from wind and water erosion. There are summer, winter, and perennial cover crops. Legumes and grasses are the most common. Fertilizing: This is the use of manure or other fertilizer on land that needs additional plant food to stimulate greater plant growth. Drainage: The practice involves the removal of excess water from wet land be ditches or by tile drains. Such artificial waterways must be kept free of silt, either by protecting the watershed from erosion or by de-silting the water as it enters. It may require leveling. Irrigation: In this practice, water is spread on land by safe methods to increase crop yields. Applying water with overhead sprinkler systems is the safest method, since it is easiest to control. Irrigation development and improvement: This involves management of water for irrigation. The term management includes building and improving water distribution systems on farms; land preparation, such as leveling or draining; measurement and control of water; development or improvement of springs and wells; and the disposal of waste water. Water spreading: This is the controlled spreading of runoff water in areas of low rainfall, from the foot of slopes and from gullies and washes over the nearby land that needs more water. It is crude form of irrigation. It is done by dikes, dams, and other means of diverting water from one place to another. The objective is to make use of all water in low rainfall areas, rather than waste it. Grassed waterways: These are the protected channels and outlets that carry off excess water from farm fields. These waterways are stabilized against erosion by planted grasses, legumes, and vines. Green manuring: This consists of turning under grain, legume, or grass crops while green to improve the soil by adding to the supply of organic matter. The crop yields, the condition of the soil, and the control of erosion are all bettered by this practice. Meadow development: The practice involves using land not suitable for cultivation for the production of hay. The land is ploughed only to renew plantings. Pasture development: New pastures may be developed with selected grasses and legumes, and different combinations thereof. It may include fertilization, liming, drainage, irrigation, fencing, clipping, spreading of droppings and other measures. Pasture improvement: This involves the use of measures that increases growth and improves quality of forage grasses. It includes such measures as deferred and rotation grazing, proper stocking, stock water ponds or wells placed to encourage distribution of livestock, spacing of salt and bedding grounds for the same purpose, reseeding, liming and fertilizing, basin listing and contour furrowing, water spreading, weed control, clipping, spreading droppings, and fire protection. Range improvement: It involves same group of measures as pasture improvement. However, it generally uses only those which can be accomplished at low cost, because of the much lower returns from range land. Gully control: By using plants and mechanical measures erosion may be stopped in gullies. Such measures reduce the rate of water flow. It is done by using (1) grass, vines, trees and shrubs; (2) flumes and other devices to lessen the cutting powder of falling water; and (3) dams for catching silt. Field and gully planting: This involves planting eroded or erodible land, which is unsuitable for cultivation, to trees, shrubs, grasses, vines, or other useful plants that will help stop erosion and will also conserve rainfall.

Soil Erosion and Conservation 91 Shelterbelts and windbreaks: The practice involves the planting of trees and shrubs in strips or belts usually one to ten rows wide. The main purpose is to deflect wind currents, thereby reducing wind erosion and snow drifting. Such strips of trees and shrubs reduce droughtiness to the leeward and also protect people, livestock, fields, gardens, orchards and buildings from the elements.

SUMMARY Soil and water are the two basic resources of a nation. Productive soil is the source of human sustenance and security. Economic stability and a wide use of land are inseparable. The future of a country and its teeming millions depend to a large extent on the conservation of soil and water through the proper use and treatment of soil. Soil erosion is the wearing away of land surface by the action of such natural agencies as water and wind. Vegetation, slope, soil and climate all markedly affect soil erosion and run off. Vegetative cover influences rates of rainfall runoff and soil removal more than any other single factor. Declivity of land and length of slope also have important effects. Intensity of rainfall, kind of soil, condition of the ground with respect to moisture content, and openness of the soil are also contributing factors of great importance. Slopes were subdivided into groups: 0 to 5 percent, 5-10 percent, 10-15 percent, 15-20 percent, 20-25 percent, 25-30 percent and 30 percent and over. The available rainfall information was analyzed and the different areas of the country were divided into areas of low, moderate and high rainfall. The different soils were classified in eight land capability classes. The conservation of the soil is a matter of using land efficiently under a farming system that safeguards it from erosion. More specifically, soil conservation is the use of land, within the limits of economic practicability, according to its capabilities (the way nature made the land) and its needs (its condition resulting from the way man has used it) in order to keep it permanently productive. The essential fundamentals of conservation farming are (1) to use the land in keeping with its capabilities and (2) to protect the land in keeping with its needs.

QUESTIONS 1. 2. 3. 4.

Define soil erosion. Discuss the various types of soil erosion. Describe the diversity of factors that affect soil erosion? Explain the different land capability classes. What are the fundamentals of soil conservation? How they can be utilized in the soil conservation?



& Noise Pollution 1.


Modern life has given rise to a new form of pollution, called noise pollution. Crowded cities and towns, mechanized means of transport, new devices of recreation and entertainment are polluting the atmosphere with their continuous noise. No doubt, noise is a normal phenomenon of life and is deemed to be one of the most effective alarm systems in man’s physical environment. One may also agree that hooting of horns, shrieking of loudspeakers installed at places of worship, lottery booths and those blaring out film songs at marriage or birthday parties or functions, rumbling of machines and vehicles—all these have come to be accepted as inevitable part of modern civilization. But they are continuously disturbing human peace and tranquility. The so called, noise has now become an important environmental pollutant and is a serious threat to the quality of our atmosphere that befoul air, water and soil. It has penetrated almost every aspect of modern life. It is potentially a serious signal and a grave threat to the environmental health. Modern civilization creates more and more noise, because of the development of industry, machinery and technology. it has increased in factories, hospitals, colleges, theaters, building sites and in the country side. It has been reported that noise inside the factories can become a health hazard causing deafness. The ubiquity of noise has made many people apprehensive about its possible adverse effects on health.



The word “noise” is derived from the latin “nausea” — a feeling of sickness at the stomach with an urge to vomit. Noise is defined in number of ways. For example, · Noise is a sound without value. · Noise is unwanted, unpleasant or disagreeable sound that causes discomfort. · Noise is the wrong sound, in the wrong place at the wrong time. · Noise is that sound which is undesired by the recipient. · Noise is the sound incidental to our civilization and is without agreeable musical quality. A particular sound may be musical to one but noise to another; pleasant when soft, but noise when loud. Therefore Noise Pollution may also be defined in a number of ways, for example, · Any unwanted electromagnetic signal that produces a jarring or displeasing effect and which interferes with human communication, comfort and health. · Noise pollution is the unwanted sound dumped into the environment without regard to the adverse effect it may have. (Odum)

Noise Pollution 93 · Hell created by bell (undesirable sound) is referred to as noise pollution. · Noise pollution, like smog, is a slow agent of death (Robert Koch).



Noise is an undesirable sound and is recognized as a slow and insidious killer. In foreign countries, noise abatement groups are active which are trying to educate and convince the government, industry and the public about the magnitude and complexity of the problem. The decibel level in India is perhaps not as high as in developed countries. Unfortunately, we are confronted with ubiquitous loud speakers blaring out film and devotional songs at odd hours. It is social crime to expose unwilling public to loudspeaker menace. The mad race for urbanization and material comforts compels us to accumulate articles that invariably generate noise and the concrete as well as steal monstrosities constructed by us show scant regard to the acoustics problems.



Noise levels are measured in decibels. One decibel is the threshold of hearing. 30 decibels denotes the whispering range, 50-55 decibels may delay or interfere with sleep, 60 decibels is the level of normal talk, 90-95 decibels may cause irreversible changes in the automatic nervous system, 150-160 decibels prove fatal to some animals. The decibels noise quantum in the noisiest area of some of the cities in our country are Delhi (89), Kolkata (87), Mumbai (85), Chennai (89), Cochin (80), Madurai (75) etc. One can easily dicern the high noise level in their cities. Situation though in small cities may not be so alarming at present but can become so if timely remedial measures are not planned. The trauma of noise pollution may prove fatal. Noise researchers say that noise levels in excess of 90 decibels for continuous periods can cause loss of hearing. A single exposure of 150 decibels is known to cause permanent injury to the ear’s internal mechanism. The effect of environmental noise on the foetal development during pregnancy has been the subject of research. It has been found that constant exposure to noise between 110 and 120 decibels can produce narrowing of vision, vertigo and disruption of equilibrium in the unborn baby keeping the present developmental pace into account it is observed that noise level too doubles its present value every six years. This in turn is affecting the hearing capability of the populace. By 2000 A.D. it is possible that no one above the age of 10 will have normal hearing capability.



Noise is either natural such as thunder or man made. The main sources of man made noise in developed urban areas are mechanized automobiles such as trucks, buses, cars, scooters, bikes, fire engines, etc., factories, industries, trains, aeroplanes and accessory noise producers such as horns, sirens, loud speakers, musical instruments, T.V., radio, transistors, etc. Man made noise also includes social gatherings, marriage and birthday functions etc. There has been a considerable increase in noise from man made sources during the last 100 years which is now doubling after every decade. An ever increasing number of common noise sources are being put into use daily. According to Odum, such noise increases with the complexity and information content of systems of all kinds. The term 'noise' is also used in electronics and communication science to refer to perturbations that interfere with man's communications. Broadly speaking, noise may be described as:

94 Environmental Studies (a) (b) (c) (a)

Industrial noise Transport noise Neighbourhood noise Industrial noise : High intensity sound or noise pollution is caused by many machines man has invented during his technological advancement. Thus there exists a long list of sources of noise pollution including different machines of numerous factories, industries and mills. Industrial noise, particularly from mechanical saws and pneumatic drill is unbearable and is a nuisance to public. (b) Transport noise : The main menace of noise, however, comes from transport. It mainly includes road traffic noise, rail traffic noise and air craft noise. The number of road vehicles has increased enormously in the recent years. That is why; this form of pollution is gaining importance, especially in large and over crowded towns and cities. (c) Neighbourhood noise : This type of noise includes disturbance from house hold gadgets and community. Common noise makers are musical instruments, TV, radio, telephones, washing machines, mixers, coolers, air conditioners and loud speakers etc.


EFFECTS OF NOISE POLLUTION The various effects of noise pollution on human beings may be classified as:

Auditory effects: The most acute and immediate effect of noise pollution is impairing of hearing which may cause auditory fatigue and may even finally lead to deafness. Non-auditory effects: They are also alarming, because of the fact that may also cause severe diseases. Non auditory effects include interference with speech communication, annoyance leading to ill temper, bickering, mental disorientation and violent behaviour. Non auditory effects also cause loss of working efficiency due to physiological disorder. This may lead to cause neurosis, anxiety, insomnia, hypertension, cardio-vascular diseases, hectic stress, nausea, giddiness, fatigue, change in skin temperature and blood circulation, quickening of human foetus's heart rate and malformation of its nervous system etc. It is, therefore, well evident that noise pollution, not only affects the biotic environment but is a serious pollutant for non-living things too. It is the worst source of all kinds of pollutants. The mammoth shovels digging up mountains raise noisy dust storms; giant crushers in the mills and the explosive blasting away rocks deafen the ears; barrels of acids and alkalies used up in cleaning the ores to the last bit of its metal content flow out like a thundering river. All these present a gloomy picture for a staunch environment. The environmental deterioration may be caused by single or interactive effects of the several sources of environmental pollution like air, water, soil, noise etc. These various sources of pollution are bound to have damaging effects on the behaviour of human beings and some of the effects are so serious that they create risk even for their survival. Frightened by these serious consequences psychologists, scientists, administrators and legal experts have started studying the effects of these pollutions on different and various aspects of human functions in a systematic empirical manner. Noise is one of the main pollutants of the environment causing various hazardous consequences for human life. Noise not only impairs our sensibility to auditory stimuli by masking effects, it has other consequences too. Researchers have proved that a loud noise during peak marketing hours creates tiredness, irritation and impairs brain activities so as to reduce thinking and working abilities. Noise pollution was

Noise Pollution 95 previously confined to a few special areas like factory or mill, but today it engulfs every nook and corner of the Universe, reaching its peak in urban areas. Industries, automobiles, rail engines, aeroplanes, radios, loudspeakers, tape recorders, lottery ticket sellers, hawkers etc. are the main ear contaminators of the city area. The regular rattling engines and intermittent blowing of horns emanating from the caravan of automobiles do not allow us to have any respite from irritant noise even in suburban zones. However, the noise pollution’s most apparent victims today are the residents of neighbourhood near larger airports. The introduction of jet planes has considerably increased their misery. Its general effect on human beings is that it causes disturbances in sleep which lead to other side effects. It has auditory effects like loss of hearing. Physiological effects: This form of environmental degradation has implications for health as serious as air or water pollution. It can change man’s physiological state by speeding up pulse and respiratory rates. It can impair hearing either permanently or temporarily; millions of industrial workers are threatened with hearing damage. Medical evidence suggest that noises can cause heart attacks in individuals with existing cardiac injury, and that continued exposure to loud noise could cause chronic effects as hypertension or ulcers, and of course deafness. Psychological effects: Many behavioural changes are recorded as a result of exposure to high noise in human beings as well in animals. Certain symptoms can be observed out rightly. The undesirable sound may cause annoyance. Intolerable agony may result when the source of the sound is not known. Interruptions in speech communications may impair performance, lead to errors and lower output and efficiency. Noise can cause tension in muscles, nervous irritability and strain. No doubt the noise reaction varies to large extent in different individuals. Behavioural effects: By lowering down the auditory sensitivity of person, noise result in poor attention and concentration. It has been observed that performance of school children is poor in ‘Comprehension’ tasks where schools are situated in busy areas of a city and are subjected to noise pollution. Noise causes irritation which results in learning disabilities. Sudden noise distracts a person and can create nervousness in him. Housewives working in kitchen with all kinds of electric gadgets have been to get headache due to noise and vibrations of these gadgets. Perhaps, this may be the reason that our saints always selected place for meditation away from residential localities and free from noise. Personological effects: If the injurious effects of noise tend to persist for long, they cause stable maladaptive reactions in the individual disturbing his total personality make up. The lowered performance level among children may develop a feeling of inadequacy, lack of confidence, poor perception of one’s own self which may jeopardize their optimal personological development as a growing child. Once the feeling of ineptness, worthlessness and inadequacy are developed by a child in the growing age, its disastrous effects are not going to be removed easily without leaving their marks behind. According to Professor Mathur people suffering from insomnia, fatigue, hypertension, blood pressure and deafness were all showing symptoms of living in noise polluted areas. Effects of noise on animals: Most farm animals show good adjustments to noise, particularly the larger animals such as horses, cattle and swine. However, poultry are not adaptable to sounds, particularly to unexpected loud sounds. Effects on non-living things: The high intensity of noise effect non living things too, like buildings. The cracks in the city of the Recoco Church at Stemhausan were caused by some booms.

96 Environmental Studies 7.

PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF NOISE POLLUTION Industrial Noise Control: · Noise exposure reduction may be achieved by the application of engineered control techniques. · Noise at a source can be reduced by replacing noise producing machines using equipment with quiet alternatives. For example, the noise from a fan can be reduced by increasing the number of blades or by decreasing the rotational speed without any reduction in air flow. Similarly, the use of centrifugal fan in place of an axial flow fan, the use of welding to replace a noisier riveting process, the substitution of rubber tires to replace steel wheels on vehicles, etc can be employed. · Noise creating machinery and equipment may be covered with insulating materials. · Workers in industries could possibly use ear-plugs or they may wear ear muffs. A combination of the two is reported to reduce sound by 40 to 50 dB. · Stuffing of cotton balls in the ear, covering of ears with hands under noise conditions, being away from the source of noise are some personal protection measures. · Noise can be minimized by covering the walls of rooms with sound absorbers as acoustic tiles and construction of enclosures around industrial machinery. Noise intrusion into a building can be best combated by sealing all outlets to the outside. In extreme cases, double structures can be used. Gaskets around doors can also reduce noise transmission from one place to another. The carpet, drapery and acoustical materials inside a building provide some reduction of the noise levels. · Trees absorb and dissipate sound energy and act as a buffer zone. Plants and trees should be planted along highways, streets and near industrial areas.

TRANSPORT NOISE CONTROL: Airport noise can be reduced by reducing the noise technically at its source. Road traffic should be restricted from unnecessary blowing of horns. Decibel metres should be installed along highways. Engineers should develop engines that produce lesser noise.

SUMMARY Modern life has given rise to a new form of pollution, called noise pollution. Crowded cities and towns, mechanized means of transport, new devices of recreation and entertainment are polluting the atmosphere with their continuous noise. Noise is an undesirable sound and is recognized as a slow and insidious killer. In foreign countries, noise abatement groups are active which are trying to educate and convince the government, industry and the public about the magnitude and complexity of the problem. Noise levels are measured in decibels. Noise is either natural such as thunder or man made. The main sources of man made noise in developed urban areas are mechanized automobiles such as trucks, buses, cars, scooters, bikes, fire engines, etc., factories, industries, trains, aeroplanes and accessory noise producers such as horns, sirens, loud speakers, musical instruments, T.V., radio, transistors, etc. Man made noise also includes social gatherings, marriage and birthday functions etc.

Noise Pollution 97

QUESTIONS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Define noise pollution. What is noise? How noise levels can be measured? Discuss the various sources of noise pollution. What are the various effects of noise pollution? Describe the ways with which noise pollution can be controlled?



' Man and Environment “Nature has for every man’s need, but for no one’s greed.” (M.K Gandhi)



Where not only do man and his environment interact, but man is shown to be a vital factor of his own environment. The status of man’s health represents the result of complex interactions between his internal biological system the total external environmental system. The environment is both natural and modified by man’s work and presence. Man as a biological organism has developed in an environment which is being changed more rapidly than ever before. These changes may tax his adaptive capacities. Even where there are adapts, we are not certain what the costs to his biological system may be. Certain environmental conditions are necessary o sustain life. Still other affect body functions, performance and comfort, air, water, food and shelter are requirements for man’s survival. Normal air in the troposphere contains 21 percent oxygen and 78 percent nitrogen (Altman and Dittman, 1966). As the concentration of oxygen decreases below 16 percent anoxia develops which affects body functions and brain centres (Patty, 1963). Life cannot be sustained when the oxygen concentration is below 6 percent and immediate loss of consciousness results from exposure to a zero atmosphere. Air may also be the means of dispersal of toxic gases and particulates, microorganisms and allergens. Air has been considered an unlimited resource, but experience has shown the natural dispersion and cleaning machinists can be overtaxed in extensive localized areas. As the pollution multiplied and man’s activities pollute the air in increasing quantities, there is potential danger of overloading the earth’s atmosphere. Survival in individual cases without water may be measured in terms of days (depending on other factors); however, civilization cannot develop or prosper without ample water for domestic, agriculture and commercial activities. Many would specify recreational uses as a necessity. As with air, water may be the medium for transporting microorganisms and toxic chemicals. In many areas the quantity of water available is a serious problem, but in others water resources have been degraded beyond use by pollution resulting from man's activities. The attainment of an ample and proper diet is a serious health problem in many places throughout the world. Even the United States with its abundant food surpluses has found that in segments of its

Man and Environment 99 population 20-60 percent of the families had diets that fell short of providing the adequate nutrition (Clark, 1967). No state is free from hunger. Expanding populations threaten to convert some of the best agricultural lands into subdivisions and industrial parks, which could have long range implications for the food supply. Foods may be the mechanical means for conveying microorganisms and toxic substances. Certain foods are also, under some circumstances, the media on which bacterial growth is sustained, with a resulting production of toxins. In many, if not most, areas of the world, shelter is necessary for man’s survival. Shelter provides protection from excessive cold and heat, from the ravage of storms, and from environmental hazards. Properly designed shelter provides the spaces, services, safety and privacy necessary for large numbers of people to live in close proximity to one another and in locations that would otherwise be uninhabitable. Broadly interpreted, shelter may be considered to include the house, the work place, recreational and transportation facilities, the space capsule and the like. In recent years, environmental engineering is a term that has come into wide use. While the meaning of this terminology is some what controversial is some circles, it generally refers to the study of man-environment inter relationships and the modification of the environment for man’s benefit. To the extent that there is concern for man’s environment as it relates from illness, health maintenance, human efficiency, comfort and the enjoyment of life, use of property, and management of resources. At times, it becomes impossible and useless, because of direct and indirect interrelationships, to make any distinction between those activities concerned with man’s health and other aspects of environmental engineering and science, as in air and water pollution. Both natural and social sciences have application in the development of a suitable environment for man.



Consider the bare figures. Between 1901 and 1951, India’s population grew from 238 million to 361 million, an increase of about 52 percent over 50 years. Between 1951 and 1981, it expanded from 361 million to 685 million, a whopping increase of 90 percent in just 30 years. India literally added a second India in the 35 odd years of its independence. In 1967, William and Paul Paddock wrote a book called “Famine 1975 America’s Decision: Who Will Survive?” They classified developing countries, based on their population growth rates and food production potential, into three categories: ‘can’t be saved’, ‘walking wounded’ and ‘should receive food’. India suffered the ignominy of being classified as ‘can’t be saved’ with the comment that it “is the bellwether that shows the path which the others, like sheep going to slaughter, are following”. India was a not have bothered either to provide aid or food. Fortunately, India's food production managed to keep ahead of population growth, which helped it through some of the most critical drought years like 1979. But the apparent stagnation in agricultural production, though in 1983-84 a new record food grain production of over 150 million tones was recorded once again created despondency. The 1981 census results turned out to be even more of a shocker than usual. The Planning Commission had just put the finishing touches to its Sixth Five-Year Plan when the Registrar General of Census announced that the country had some 13 million more people than the number estimated by the planners and that the birth rate was not 33 per 1,000 people but around 36. The Planning Commission had to hastily restructure the Sixth Plan to bring it into line with the new figures.

100 Environmental Studies The key question for expert and lay person is: can India’s lands support such a large and growing population? This is where the carrying capacity comes in. it is the number of people or animals that an area of land can support on a sustainable basis. Unfortunately, not one expert in the country has attempted to quantify the carrying capacity of the area under a single development block leave alone the whole country. Indeed it is extremely complicated and uncertain business trying to set a figure to the number of beings a piece of land can support. The number of ecological variables were found to be enormous, putting paid to all efforts to put a figure on the small islands’ carrying capacity. Only specific inferences were possible. For instance, eastern Fiji is caught in the strange hold of declining copra industry and is suffering from poverty and emigration. If the alluvial soils which have been planted with increasingly unproductive coconuts for copra export were converted to farming of taro, a root crop, it was estimated that up to five times more people could be supported with this economy than if they continued with copra. In a modern interdependent world, where trade plays a major role in the population supporting capacity of a particular area can, in fact, increased enormously by importing a few critical items like plant nutrients from outside. Densely populated Europe today is heavily supported by the production of a range of items outside European countries, especially in the developing countries. If estimated, many times more land in the developing countries is being utilized to meet the needs of developed countries as compared to 1950 and today this land is a major cause of environmental destruction across the Third World.



It is difficult to define quite where environment begins or ends for women in developing countries. Women’s work is generally undervalued. As a result, women constitute a disproportionate number of poorest groups of people and are victims of hunger, illiteracy, poor health, scarce social and technical services, inadequate population policies and other consequences of poverty. In addition, women's participation and influence is inadequately represented in decision-making spheres concerning environment and development issues affecting the quality of their lives. Because of their daily tasks in the care of the family and community, women in developing countries effect and are affected by their environment. Poverty requires women to exploit natural resources in their daily tasks, rather then conserving them. Similarly environmental degradation restricts the ability of women to overcome poverty. Given this relationship between poverty and resources degradation, actions to further the interests of both will be mutually reinforcing. There are natural linkages between the daily tasks involved in carrying out these roles and the natural and human resource environments. Women are the major producers of food for domestic consumption. They are the man drawers and carriers of water. They produce almost all the fuel wood for domestic use. In urban areas, shelter, sanitation, potable water and a host of other social services are critical activities for women. Women and men differ in their perceptions of their environment and its appropriate or potential use. For example, women may perceive a local forest as a source of food, fuel and medicine for household use while men may perceive the value of the local forest as the sale of the cut trees in the market. Additionally, because women are often dependent on free gods such as water, fuel wood and

Man and Environment 101 fodder, they have a special interest in environmental protection and rehabilitation. Women are often key agents in maintaining and enhancing the quality and stock of communal natural resources. Women are not only resource managers. They are also the victims of environmental mismanagement and contribute to environmental degradation. Where the resource base is declining or degraded, it is women who must search further and longer for fuel and water. It is women who are most easily marginalized onto unproductive lands. Increased time and labour burdens are often manifested by stress, ill-health and malnutrition. The consequent entrenched impoverishment in turn forces women to further exploit the resource base, often violating their own knowledge and the wellbeing of the community. Even environmental protection and repair projects with specific social objectives often fail to recognize the differing needs of women and men; consequently, projects are planned with unequal benefits accruing to both. While it is evident that women in developing countries are often the victims and agents of environmental degradation, it is important to balance this view with the recognition that women are central to resource management and are participating in, and leading, ecology movements in many countries. As well as women’s grassroots activity, there are some examples of donor-sponsored resource projects which have been enhanced by women’s participation in the planning, design and implementation. For example, the Andhra Pradesh Social Forestry Project in India indicates that initiatives to address women’s needs and aspirations have accrued direct benefits to women and their communities and enhanced overall project success. The process of women’s participation, both as agents and beneficiaries, brings many benefits. Such benefits include raising the status and self esteem of women. Economic gains may accrue from new income earning opportunities such as small scale local enterprises (soil, fuel and water conservation, seed selection, waste recycling, local exchanges of indigenous knowledge). Material benefits extend to the well being of the family and community such as increased food security, child nutrition, health and education. Women’s participation in resource decision making contributes directly to the protection and rehabilitation of the environment. Furthermore, increasing the capacity of women to overcome their own poverty has associated social benefits. As women’s income rises, there is a corresponding decrease in fertility rates. Rapid population growth strongly correlated to conditions of poverty, compounds the relationship between poverty and environmental degradation. Therefore, improving the status of women is fundamental to bringing about changes in population growth and its associated effects on the environment. Women have important contributions to make in the search for solutions to the environmental crisis. Limiting women from environmental decision making will ultimately affect the sustainability of social and economic grains. Similarly, pursuing inherently unsustainable development paths will eventually undermine any long erm change in women’s position.



The success of India’s environmental programmes depends greatly on the awareness and consciousness of the people. A National Environmental Awareness Campaign has been launched to

102 Environmental Studies sensitize the people to the environmental problems through audio-visual programmes, seminars, symposia, training programmes etc. Paryavaran Vahinis have been constituted in 184 districts involving the local people to play an active role in preventing poaching, deforestation and environmental pollution. 4000 NGOs have been given financial assistance for creating environmental awareness. An Environmental Information System (ENVIS) network has been setup to disseminate information on environmental issues. India has a large network of NGO's which are involved in spreading the message of sustainable development to the grass roots. The website of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (http://envfor.nic.in/) provides latest information about the new policy initiatives, legislations and projects given environmental clearance.

5. 5.1.


Although there is a growing recognition of the important linkages between population and the environment, our understanding of exactly how these linkages operate is still rather limited. We may intuitively understand that human populations and their activities cause environmental change and that environmental change in turn affects the quality and condition of human lives, but the specific details of these interactions are still largely speculative. Theories are simplified explanations of how reality “works” that are designed to enhance understanding. However, the kinds of theories one develops depend on what aspects of reality one is most interested in as well as on one’s disciplinary bias. For example, economic theories of humanenvironment interactions that draw from a neoclassical perspective focus on humans as economic actors, and tend to ignore other ways in which humans can act and interact, e.g., through politics and culture. In general, theories represent only partial pictures of reality. Theories of human-environment interactions are particularly sensitive to this problem, given the large number of disciplines that are relevant to the issue. Models are efforts to turn general theoretical concepts into more precise relationships or mathematical equations. Models of human-environmental linkages are important to help explain and evaluate how various population or environmental attributes might affect each other. For example, a model of how population growth and distribution in a region might affect future water quality would be useful for water planners (and others). Likewise, a model of how the population in an area might be affected by contaminants discharged into local rivers would be useful to regulators. Models can also help determine how to respond most effectively to various demographic or environmental issues. For example, if the aim is to maintain future water quality in a region, a model of the relationship between human activities and water quality might help determine what responses would most effectively achieve that goal. Machlis and Forester (1992) have described three levels of modeling used to develop an understanding of human-environment interactions. The first level involves developing a theoretical framework—or theoretical perspective—for the system. A theoretical framework provides a broad description of the system designed to identify key variables of importance, such as the aspects of human populations or the environment that are most key to understanding their linkage. On this level, one is trying to capture an overall picture of the system. The second level of modeling involves

Man and Environment 103 extending a theoretical framework into a conceptual model. Conceptual models start to indicate not only what variables are important, but how they are related (which variables affect other variables and in what direction). Finally, the third level of modeling includes refining a conceptual model into a predictive model. Predictive models are designed not only to indicate how variables are related, but to specify those relationships with enough detail to support predictions of future outcomes. The following sections first discuss some of the major theoretical frameworks or perspectives being used by researchers to understand population-environment linkages, and then review some of the more specific models being used.


Key Theoretical Frameworks

Population-environment interactions have been studied from different perspectives by a range of disciplines. Economists generally focus on how natural resources and other environmental attributes affect the human economic system. By contrast, natural scientists generally emphasize how humans as “outside” forces—affect the natural environment. Geographers take more of a middle road, and look at patterns of interaction between humans and the landscapes in which they live. Interestingly, demographers — who study the dynamics of human population systems—generally give little attention to the relationship between populations and the environment. Formal demography has traditionally focused on the sociological conditions of demographic change (e.g., the sociology of reproduction). Little examination of the environmental causes or consequences of demographic change has occurred. However, in the last few decades, demographers have begun to join other researchers, including economists, geographers, sociologists, and natural scientists, in articulating more precise theories of the relationship between populations and the environment. Carole Jolly (1993) provides an outline of four major theoretical frameworks—which she refers to as “perspectives”—that inform the study of human-environment linkages, each of which brings a different perspective on the role of population growth in the equation. Although her focus is on the issue of environmental degradation (specifically land degradation), the general perspectives are relevant to other issues of human-environment linkages. 5.2.1.

Neoclassical Economics Perspective

The neoclassical economics perspective holds that environmental degradation is a result not of population pressures per se, but of economic inefficiencies and distortions of the market. This perspective holds that such things as common property arrangements or agricultural pricing policies give the wrong signals to people, leading them to misuse resources. With properly functioning markets, prices will provide appropriate signals to people regarding resource use. Population growth is seen as a neutral factor in the cause of environmental degradation, and indeed increased population may lead to increased innovation, which in turn can act to minimize environmental impacts of humans. Allowing markets to function properly is the most important means to ensuring environmental protection. 5.2.2.

Natural Science Perspective

The natural science perspective draws from the tradition of Malthus, as well as from general ecological studies. This perspective holds that the environment does not have an unlimited ability to

104 Environmental Studies meet human demands, and that growing populations will at some point reach those environmental limits. A common theme within this tradition is that each region or area—as well as the earth as a whole— has a natural carrying capacity for sustaining human populations, which cannot be exceeded in the long-term without negative consequences. Population growth is seen as a main source of environmental degradation, inasmuch as additional people will consume additional amounts of fixed resources. As a result, population control is an essential element of efforts to protect the environment. 5.2.3.

Political Economy/Dependency Perspective

The political economy or dependency perspective shifts from a focus on economics or the environment, to a focus on political relations between people and nations, with an explicit emphasis on developing countries. This perspective holds that poverty and the unequal distribution of resources are the root causes of both environmental degradation and population growth. The historically exploitative relationship between developed and developing countries has led to inequitable distributions of power and resources among the developing countries' populations. The key to solving environmental degradation according to this perspective is to change political systems and alleviate poverty (e.g., promote income equality and resource redistribution). Reducing poverty will also have a direct effect on reducing population growth (through reduced fertility). This idea echoes the themes found in demographic transition theory, which holds that as societies transition from pre-industrial to post-industrial, more affluent conditions, mortality rates will first decline followed by subsequent declines in fertility rates. This has been the experience in many industrialized countries. 5.2.4.

Combination Perspective

This perspective represents somewhat of a melding of the other three perspectives. The combination perspective holds that there are a series of ultimate causes of environmental degradation that may be at play in a given area, including poverty, social relations (e.g., warfare), distortionary economic or political policies, and polluting or inadequate technologies. Population growth is therefore not the root problem, but tends to aggravate these more basic root problems. According to this perspective, ensuring environmental protection will require identifying, on a case-by-case basis, the ultimate drivers of degradation. Meanwhile, attempts to control population growth will provide some interim reduction in the level of environmental impacts. Although these four theoretical perspectives or frameworks are generally well developed in the literature, a significant problem Jolly has identified is a lack of empirical evidence to test each of them. The lack of empirical evidence that Jolly refers to is indicative of the general lack of “on-theground” research on the links between population and the environment. Compared to the public attention it attracts, and to the general philosophical writings found in the literature, several researchers have commented on the dearth of specific studies that more closely examine the problem (Barlow et al., 1992; Davis, 1991; Jolly, 1993; Population Resource Center, 1992). Although the four theoretical perspectives presented by Jolly are as yet generally untested or only partially tested, there are elements of each that can inform environmental policy. Indeed, as Jolly (1993) has stated, “Although these theories present very different world views, they are not

Man and Environment 105 necessarily mutually exclusive. Each one presents a partial picture of why [environmental] degradation occurs.” Taken together, they suggest that attention to population growth and distribution, changes in technology, the sensitivity of a particular landscape, economic conditions, institutions, policies, and cultural factors may all be important to a greater or lesser degree in any particular situation.


Specific Models

In addition to developing broad theoretical frameworks or perspectives on the relationship between humans and the environment, researchers have also made efforts to develop more specific models of population-environment linkages. These models are efforts to turn general concepts into more precise relationships or mathematical equations. A number of models at various levels of detail have been proposed in the area of humanenvironment interaction. Most of these models are based on the natural science framework that sees humans as a part of a larger environmental system. However, by and large, most models address to some degree the four theoretical frameworks provided above, depending on the degree of emphasis placed on the economy (neoclassical perspective), the environment (natural science perspective), political systems (dependency perspective), or some combination of these (combination perspective). Two models of importance are the POET model and the IPAT model. Each of these models is designed to provide a broad understanding of population-environment linkages, though each model has a distinct emphasis based on its level of detail and purpose. 5.3.1

The POET Model

The POET model (Figure below) is derived from human ecology studies. This model reflects the effort to extend ecological modeling to the human species. In ecological modeling, the two basic variables considered are a species population (P) and the surrounding environment (E). Issues that are considered in ecological modeling are such things as the habitat and energy requirements of a species, the carrying capacity of the environment in which it is found, and so forth. FIGURE 3.1 : THE POET MODEL




Source : Catton 1987, based on Park 1936


106 Environmental Studies In extending this framework to humans, ecologists and sociologists recognized that human ecology differs in some fundamental ways from the ecology of other species. To a degree much greater than other animals, humans can organize their activities through cultural and social systems, and humans can develop and use technology. Both of these features affect the ecological behavior of a given human population (Catton, 1987). Therefore, the human ecology model adds to the population (P) and environment (E) variables two key features: human organization (O), and technology (T). Together, these four elements make up the POET model. The POET model holds that in order to understand a human population’s relationship to its environment, one must consider not only the population level, but also the form of social organization and type of technologies being used. Both social organization and technology can mediate (positively or negatively) the effects of a given population on the environment. Likewise, social organization and technology can also mediate (positively or negatively) how humans are affected by their environment. As this suggests, the POET framework explicitly recognizes that the interaction between humans and the environment is two-way, that humans affect, and in turn are affected by, the environment. Thus a population of a given size will have a variable relationship to the environment, based on the kinds of technologies the population uses and the kinds of social systems and customs in place. The POET model and other associated models have been used primarily in academic circles to help support theoretical investigations of human ecology. Again, this approach addresses issues of the habitat and energy requirements of human populations, the carrying capacity of the environment in which the population is found, and so forth. Although these models have helped to organize thinking about human-environment interactions, they have had little direct application to policy issues. 5.3.2.

The IPAT Model

A model of human-environment linkages that has been more prevalent in the policy arena is the IPAT model (see Figure below). The IPAT model uses some of the same concepts as the POET model, but is a more developed model, because it attempts to provide a clear mathematical relationship between key variables. First articulated by Ehrlich and Holdren in 1971, the model is focused on capturing the linkage between population levels, consumption patterns, and environmental quality. It was developed specifically to address policy questions related to increasing environmental degradation. As such, it focuses on the negative impacts of humans on the environment, and ignores other linkages between humans and the environment (e.g., neutral interactions between humans and the environment, impacts of the environment on humans, etc.). THE IPAT MODEL









Population size

Level of


(# people)



Type of

(Source : Enlich



and Enlich, 1991)

per capita)


Man and Environment 107

The role of overpopulation and population growth in causing environmental deterioration can be summarized in a somewhat oversimplified equation: I=P´A´T The impact (I) of any group or nation on the environment is the product of its population’s size (P) multiplied by per capita affluence (A) as measured by consumption, in turn multiplied by a measure of the damage done by the technologies (T) involved in supporting each unit of that consumption. Commoner (1991) has described the model in more specific “pollution” terms. In this formulation, the amount of pollution emitted is a function of three factors: the total population; the amount of goods consumed per capita; and the amount of pollutant generated per unit of good produced, or: Pollution = population ´ goods/population ´ pollutants/goods Both this and the more general IPAT formulation have been used to indicate how humans cause an impact on the environment. For example, as Ehrlich and Ehrlich states, doubling a population size will essentially double its impact on the environment, all else being equal. Likewise, even if a population is kept at a constant size, if the amount of consumption (number of goods consumed) per capita is doubled, one will again see essentially a doubling of the impact on the environment. Finally, if the kind of production technology being used to generate a product becomes more polluting, there will be an increase in the impact on the environment, even if the number of people and amount of goods consumed do not change. The IPAT model thus seeks to “unpack” the interrelated effects on the environment of production technologies, level of consumption, and number of people. The IPAT model has been used on an international level to examine the main drivers of environmental change across various countries. Ehrlich and Ehrlich (1991), for example, use the model to point out that in terms of energy consumption, an average American has 140 times the impact on the environment of an average Bangladeshi (280 giga joules of energy used annually versus 2 giga joules). When this per capita value is combined with the U.S.’s relatively large population, it results in an overall environmental impact (in terms of current energy use) of 300 times that of the country of Bangladesh. Therefore, they conclude that continuing population growth (and presumably consumption/technology choices) in rich nations poses the gravest threat to the world’s life support systems. Meanwhile, Ehrlich and Ehrlich also point out that given the large populations of most developing countries, economic growth in these countries—to the extent it follows the patterns of consumption and technology use of the developed world—will lead to enormous future environmental impacts. In addition to its utility in making international comparisons, IPAT can be used on a national or regional basis. Commoner (1991) has used the model within the U.S. to show that pollution emission levels for a number of contaminants (phosphates in water, sulfur dioxide, nitrates, lead) are linked most closely with changes in production technology, rather than with changes in population or consumption. For example, increases in phosphates in the environment are linked mostly to shifts from soaps to detergents, rather than increases in population or increasing levels of clothes washing. As another example, increases (and subsequent decreases) in lead emissions are linked mostly to

108 Environmental Studies trends in use of lead as a gasoline additive, rather than trends in overall gasoline consumption or population changes. While this same pattern might not hold for all pollutants, it does suggest that the resolution of at least some environmental problems may hinge on the choice of appropriate technologies that address environmental as well as economic needs. Other analysts are drawing on the IPAT formulation to help think about technological sustainability (Jansen and Vergragt, 1992); greenhouse warming (Dietz and Rosa, 1994); and energy use and impacts (Lovins, 1990; Holdren, 1991). For example, Dietz and Rosa use the IPAT formulation to create a thought experiment on global warming. They ask: Given the expected population and economic growth, how much would we have to change technology (the ‘T’ in IPAT) to produce a desirable (or prevent an undesirable) state of affairs regarding global warming? Amory Lovings uses IPAT to identify appropriate means of controlling energy-related impacts of consumer goods. The IPAT model thus appears to be useful in helping to identify effective policy responses to environmental degradation. However, as with any model, IPAT has certain limitations as well as strengths. Most notably, IPAT ignores some of the very details that are being highlighted in this report; that is, characteristics of population structure and dynamics that will affect a population’s impact on the environment. In addition, IPAT ignores issues of both social variability (e.g., how different cultures may act differently, given the same population size and affluence) and environmental variability (e.g., how different environments may have different sensitivity to the same impacts).

Limitations to IPAT

The IPAT model provides a clear and useful means of thinking about the interrelated effects on the environment of production technologies, levels of consumption, and number of people. At the same time, the IPAT model is limited in at least two main ways. · The first limitation is one of scope. By reducing the human-environment system to a simple one-way, negative relationship, IPAT ignores some important features of reality. For example, IPAT completely ignores the “O” of the POET model; that is, the role of institutions, culture, or other social systems in mediating the impact of humans on the environment. One can imagine two cultures with similar technology and affluence that through differing cultural norms have different impacts on the environment. IPAT likewise ignores any complexities posed by the environment as a source of materials or as a sink for pollution. IPAT does not consider how the environmental impact of a given pollutant will vary based on the vulnerability (or carrying capacity) of the specific environment being affected. Nor does IPAT address the possibility for theshold effects or non-linearities in the type of impact a given pollutant will have. As a result, IPAT provides only a partial model of the human-environment connection — one that focuses on a narrow part of the system and holds many other elements of the system as static. · A second limitation (related to the first) is that by focusing on a few variables and simplifying their relationship, the IPAT model has embedded within it a number of assumptions that do not necessarily hold in all cases. As one example, IPAT assumes that consumption and affluence are the same variable, but a more detailed analysis might indicate that the relationship between affluence and consumption is highly variable across different populations. In some cases increases in the affluence of a population will lead to savings rather than to consumption. Furthermore, in some cases environmental impacts may be more related to lack of affluence

Man and Environment 109 rather than affluence, as in the case of the marginalized, rural poor who are forced to use local firewood resources unsustainably because they cannot afford other sources of energy available to their richer compatriots. These examples point to the fact that IPAT will not always be an appropriate tool for providing guidance on environmental issues. As a practical matter, policy makers and others involved in human-environment issues may be best served by having a broad sense of how these models support understanding in this area. For example, the human ecology POET model is a broad, conceptual model that serves to bring to the forefront such ecosystem-level issues as energy demands and carrying capacity; meanwhile the IPAT model focuses on the act of pollution generation and serves to detail - in a simplified manner - some of the drivers relevant to pollution. By and large, the models developed to date on population-environment linkages have been more oriented towards broad conceptual models than to actual predictive models that would support decision making. Currently, however, there are increasing efforts to develop mathematical models for specific components of the population-environment linkage. For example, Machlis and Forester (1992) are currently testing a predictive model they developed to analyze the relationship between socioeconomic factors and the loss of biodiversity. Meanwhile, several models have been developed in the global change arena to model the interconnection between population and environmental variables.



There is no single prescription for how policy makers should use the various theoretical perspectives and models described in this chapter. As discussed above, the theoretical efforts are still very much “in process” and in any case provide only partial perspectives on any given environmental issue. At the same time, some general approaches exist for folding the insights of these theoretical efforts into environmental policy decisions. Policy makers can view the four main theoretical perspectives — neo-classical economics, natural science, political economy/dependency, and combination — as providing a conceptual checklist to be considered when trying to understand and resolve an environmental issue. Following the four perspectives, one can ask these types of questions: · How does the existing economic system affect the issue I am addressing? Are there problems with the kinds of market signals that are being sent? Are there ways to use the economic system to send the ‘right’ signals? · What are attributes of the particular environment I am concerned with that may make it more or less sensitive to my issue? Are there issues related to the carrying capacity of the environment that I should consider? · What sort of resource and economic distribution issues exist that may affect the way people act regarding my issue? Is poverty a factor in the choices people make about this issue? · What are the full set of causes of the issue I am addressing? Are a combination of forces at work? Does population growth or distribution exacerbate these causes? Although considering these sorts of questions may not lead to a definitive understanding of the exact relationship between humans and the environment, it should serve to widen the range of possible policy responses.

110 Environmental Studies Regarding more specific mathematical models of population-environment linkages, policy makers may find that as these models become well-developed, they can directly support decision making. In order to think about the relevance of any particular model to a given issue, however, a few general characteristics need to be considered: · What is the geographic scale of the issue, and how does that match with the geographic scale available in the model? Issues can range from a much localized assessment of a problem (impacts of a hazardous waste site on local neighborhoods), to state-level, regional, national, or even global scales. · What is the time scale of the issue: is the issue related to present conditions or effects or to potential future conditions or effects? Will the model be able to accommodate this time scale? · What perspective does the model take on the problem? Does the model highlight those variables and relationships that are germane to the issues at hand? Are there variables ignored by the model that might be important for this particular analysis? · Is a static or dynamic analysis most appropriate? A static analysis takes variables as constant and shows some snapshot of their interaction, whereas a dynamic analysis shows how variables may adjust relative to each other over time. Depending upon how forward-looking the analysis is, a dynamic approach may be more useful. By considering the implications of the various theoretical frameworks and by drawing insights from the various models, policy makers will be better equipped to identify and understand how population variables affect and are affected by environmental conditions.



Rapid urbanization can bring many environmental risks and problems. These vary across the globe, but commonly have an adverse effect on a healthy urban environment in its broadest sense and, by extension, on long term growth and development. Cities of industrialized and transition countries have created and inherited a frightening legacy of pollution, soil and water contamination, “dirty” production techniques and high-waste consumption patterns. In most of these countries, improvements are now being made, but at a significant cost. In the cities of developing countries, the risks and the problems are much greater, because of the over-whelming scale and speed of urbanization. These cities face a rate of urban growth that was not planned for. The result is a conflict between their environmental resource base and development needs. This conflict damages both the environment and the economy. Apart from its effect on health and well being, environmental degradation constrains development and the growth of cities themselves. Ill-health and premature death not only cause pain and suffering, but also impose heavy costs on the economy. Ultimately, neither the human population nor the environment escapes the detrimental effects of unsustainable consumption and degradation.



Efficiency: Resources should not be over exploited. Neither should they be un-utilized. Utilization however must pre-scribe full restoration.

Man and Environment 111 Sufficiency: Resources are to be used for absolutely necessary ends. Their use must aim for the highest marginal returns. Consistency: Ecosystems should be managed in a manner that is compatible with each other. Precaution: If the potential threats posed by the economic activity to ecosystems are serious, or where the environmental damage due to it is expected to be irreversible, lack of full scientific certainty that the threats or damage will in fact occur is not to be a reason for postponing measures to prevent their occurrence. Gambling with the environment is not advised, particularly if the stakes are high.



The territorial dimension of sustainable human development has been defined as an “ecological foot-print,” describing the impact of urban agglomerations beyond their own administrative boundaries, in terms of consumption of natural re-sources and environmental disruption. One of the early limitations of this ecological foot-print paradigm lies in its one-way definition (cities seen as “predators”). Urban settlements also hold a promise for human development, and for the protection of the world's natural resources, through their ability to support large numbers of people while limiting their impact on the natural environment. Sound environmental management can directly improve people’s well-being (better drinking water, less air pollution) and also directly support economic growth. Equally, economic development based on sound urban policies and visions can promote and finance environmental improvements and protection of ecosystems well beyond city boundaries. The expansion of cities naturally creates increased pressure on resources such as lakes, rivers, air, land and energy, which cannot be met within the urban area itself. As much as the effects of urban activities leave ecological footprints on resources outside the urban area, measures undertaken to protect and use urban resources in a sustainable way can also yield gains in adjacent rural communities. The challenge lies in the adoption of urban planning and management approaches which embody the principles of sustainable development. The effects of unsustainable urban lifestyles, land uses and production patterns are well documented. There are also many examples of poor territorial planning and management, the impact of which adversely affects both urban and rural areas. Hydroelectric power, for instance, is one of the cleanest forms of energy available, but its capacity can be hampered by deforestation of water catchment areas, causing in turn loss of precious top soil and silting of dam reservoirs. Solutions can often be as original as the problem, as when fuel-powered generators are used, resulting in higher costs and higher greenhouse-gas emissions.



With regard to sustainability, the destinies of cities and their expanding hinterlands are inextricably linked, and an increasing number of countries now recognize certain key principles of environmental management. One is that the environment is not an end in itself—not something to be “protected” from development — but is a resource to be carefully managed on a sustainable basis. Secondly, urban development necessarily depends upon the natural resource base available to a city—which in

112 Environmental Studies turn has an impact on the state of those resources. It is therefore crucial to improve understanding of the two-way relationship between environment and development.



Eco-Industrial Park (EIP): The Eco-Industrial Park is a community of manufacturing and service businesses seeking enhanced environmental and economic performance through collaboration in managing environmental and resource issues including energy, water and materials. The goal of an EIP is to improve economic performance of the participating companies while minimizing their environmental impact. Environmentally Sound Technologies (EST): Environmentally sound technologies are technologies that perform better in relation to the environment than other technologies. They minimize pollution of the air, water and land, and recycle or reuse their wastes. In industrial processes, they are not just end-of-pipe technologies; they are technologies that ensure clean production from the start of the production process. Environmental Technology Assessment (ETA): ETA is a decision-making tool to assist urban and environmental managers to make an informed technology choice, and is a voluntary method of decision-making, rather than a legally prescribed process. It assesses the impacts on the environment of technologies of similar application before the most appropriate one is adopted. Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA): ERA is fast becoming a standard practice — either by itself or as a complement to an environmental impact assessment (EIA). It identifies environmental resources for development, allowing decision-makers to evaluate both the benefits and consequences of development planning options, thereby minimizing unwanted or unexpected consequences. Environmental Management System (EMS) for Local Authorities: EMS provides the overall framework by which environmental policy, objectives, programmes and targets—as well as environment assessment tools, such as, ETA and ERA — are implemented and performances monitored and evaluated.



There is a close relationship between modern concepts of progress and man’s attempt to control the forces of nature. From the time of the Renaissance, man has tended to evaluate nearly all the advances of society and science in terms of the amount of power over the natural world which they gave him. The word “power,” however, has many shades of meaning. To the men of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, it would have seemed preposterous that power over nature meant more than living in harmony with the natural world. Like the animals around him, man was a product of natural forces and depended upon nature for his survival and wellbeing. What made him unique in the animal kingdom was his ability to reason. This faculty gave him the power to remove fortuity from his relationship to nature, to bring a certain degree of guidance to natural processes. He could try to mitigate the harshness of the natural world and make the interplay of natural forces relatively benign. Power over nature was regarded as the ability of man to enter into conscious symbiosis with the biotic world.

Man and Environment 113 With the Industrial Revolution, the concept of power over nature underwent a radical change. The word “nature” was replaced by the phrase “natural resources.” The new captains of industry regarded land, forests, and wildlife as materials for want on exploitation. The progress of man was identified with the pillage of nature. The needs of commerce and industry produced a new ideology: There are no dictates of nature that are beyond human transgression. Technology, it was claimed, is capable of giving man complete mastery over the natural world. If these notions seem naive today, it is because the needless, often senseless, conflict between man and nature is yielding unexpected consequences. We are now learning that the more man works against nature, the more deeply entangled he becomes in the very forces he seeks to master. The problems created by our conflict with nature are dramatically exemplified by our chemical war against the insect world. During the past two decades, a large number of insecticides have been developed for general use on farms and in the home. The best known and most widely used preparations are the chlorinated hydrocarbons, such as DDT methoxychlor, dieldrin, and chlordane. The chlorinated hydrocarbons are sprayed over vast acres of forest land, range land, crop land, and even semi urban land on which there are heavy infestations of insects. It is doubtful whether any part of the United States with some kind of vegetation useful to man has not been treated at least once in the past ten years. Most of our fields and orchards are sprayed recurrently during the growing season. Aside from the hazards that insecticides create for public health, many conservationists claim that extensive use of the new insecticides is impairing the ability of wildlife and beneficial insects to exercise control over pests. They point out that the insecticides are taking a heavy toll of life among fish, birds, small mammals, and useful insects. There is a great deal of evidence that the new chemicals are self defeating. Not only have they failed to eradicate most of the pests against which they are employed; in some cases, new pests and greater infestations have been created as a result of the damage inflicted on predators of species formerly under control. To understand this problem clearly, it is necessary to examine the conditions that promote infestations of pests. A species becomes a pest when it invades a new area that is not inhabited by its natural enemies or when environmental changes occur that provide more favorable conditions for its growth. Under natural conditions, infestations are episodic and rare. An increase in the pest species creates propitious conditions for those predators that live on the pest. The proliferation of the pest encourages the proliferation of its predators and attracts additional enemies from nearby regions. Whichever way the problem is solved, the remarkable diversity and adaptability of life under natural conditions seldom permit the pest to get completely out of hand. Insect infestations become persistent and serious, however, when natural variety is diminished by man. Agriculture, especially when limited to one crop, tends to simplify a natural region. Simplification of the landscape, followed by a diminution in the variety of fauna, creates highly favorable conditions for an infestation. A potential pest is left with a large food supply and a small number of predators. The job of eradicating the pest, like that of fertilizing the soil, falls primarily to man, and thus far the methods employed and the results achieved have been very unsatisfactory. Man can usually eradicate a pest but only for a while. In the process, he often eradicates nearly every other form of life in the area aside from the crop. When the pest returns, as it often does, the ecological system may have been so simplified by the pesticide treatment that the new conditions are more favorable for infestation than the old. The pest usually becomes resistant to the dose of chemical used earlier and therefore requires either higher dose or a chemical of some different group to control the pest population.

114 Environmental Studies Many responsible conservationists regard the nonselective spraying of open land and forests as an ecological “boomerang.” In a number of cases, the damage inflicted on beneficial insects outweighs the damage inflicted on the pest. Pesticidal treatments have started infestations that would have been very mild, if not averted entirely, had the treatment not been used. In one region, for example, the treatment of a stand of timber with a five pound per acre dosage of DDT in early summer resulted in a general infestation of at least fourteen species of aphids. The aphids, clinging to the undersurface of the leaves, survived the spray, but their predators were decimated and failed to reestablish themselves rapidly enough to check the infestation. In still other cases, controlled insects have been transformed into serious pests by the destruction of their predators through spraying programs aimed at an entirely different species of pest. For example, until fairly recently the red banded leaf roller caused very little damage in apple orchards. Although widely distributed, the insect was strictly controlled by parasites and predators. Nonselective spraying programs are taking a heavy toll of life among birds and rodents that play a major role in limiting infestations of harmful insects. Although rodents are generally regarded as little more than pests themselves, forest rodents are voracious consumers of insects. On an average, insects constitute 20 per cent of the diet of forest mice, chipmunks, and flying squirrels. The importance of birds in insect control scarcely requires emphasis. Suffice it to say that naturalists who have made careful counts of insects in the stomachs of birds have found, for example, 5000 ants in a flicker, 500 mosquitoes in a night hawk, and 250 tent caterpillars in a yellow-billed cuckoo. A brown thrasher will eat more than 6000 insects in a single day; a swallow, about 1000 leaf hoppers. Spraying commonly destroys an appreciable number of these creatures, even when the program is fairly limited in scope. To cite a case in point: In 1956 the Cranbrook Institute of Science, in Michigan, undertook a limited survey of the decline in bird life produced by DDT spraying programs to control the Dutch elm disease. Residents of the immediate area were asked to turn in or report to the Institute any birds suspected of having been poisoned by DDT. “During April, May and June of that year, but mostly in May, more than 200 dead and dying birds were turned in to the Institute.... By 1959 the number of specimens received had mounted to about 400, with an estimated 600 calls or reports regarding birds not turned in.” A survey of the bird life on the Cranbrook campus showed that the breeding population declined from 250 pairs to 25 or less. Most of the dead and dying birds were robins that were probably poisoned by eating worms impregnated with DDT. A more extensive survey was made during the widely publicized fire ant campaign that the Department of Agriculture initiated in November 1957. The data, compiled by the National Audubon Society, deal with many animals, including more than a hundred head of cattle killed in an area near Climax, Georgia. We shall confine ourselves, however, to losses among birds. “The drastic effect of applying insecticide during the bird nesting season was dramatically shown in Texas. In a 60acre clover field bird numbers declined alarmingly: 38 of 41 nests with eggs were abandoned or destroyed. Lay’s Texas report summarizes the devastating results tersely as follows: ‘Bird populations along ranch roads in the treated areas were reduced 9297 per cent in two weeks. Bird populations within acre plots studied were reduced 85 per cent in two weeks. Nesting success of birds in the area was reduced 89 per cent (compared with a non treated area).’ Lay adds, ‘Large scale abandonment of nests with eggs could be explained only by the mortality of the adults. The missing birds did not appear in adjacent areas.’

Man and Environment 115 To aggravate the damage, insecticides are carried by surface and ground water into streams and lakes, where they kill large numbers of aquatic animals. For example, one pound of dieldrin per acre, applied to a large tract of land in St. Lucie County, Florida, destroyed twenty to thirty tons of fish. During 1958, a DDT campaign against the spruce budworm in northern Maine killed thousands of trout and other game fish; as long as three months after spraying, trout were found whose bodies contained DDT concentrations of from 2.9 to 198 parts per million. The sprayers were not entirely unaware of what the consequences of the program would be. Two years earlier a campaign of much the same kind produced heavy losses of young salmon in the nearby Miramichi River system of New Brunswick, Canada. “As expected, an alarmingly reduced adult Atlantic salmon run was noted in 1960 when the 1956 hatch returned to spawn in the Miramichi River system.” The discovery of DDT led to a widespread belief that insect pests could be eradicated by relying exclusively on the use of chemical agents. This belief was severely shaken when it was found that a number of harmful species were producing strains that were resistant to existing insecticides, and now many entomologists suspect that the appearance of such strains in nearly all major species of pests is merely a matter of time. As long as present methods of control are employed, new insecticides will be required every few years just to hold the line in man’s chemical war against the insect world. The appearance of resistant strains among man's most formidable insect enemies has profound biological implications. In addition to all the harm man has inflicted on the land and the biosphere, he is now becoming a self-damaging selective force in the insect world. Insecticides do not make “the susceptible more resistant,” A. W. A. Brown observes, “for they are dead. Rather, the chemical had discovered the favored few that had a certain margin of resistance and selected them to survive and breed. Normally they would be eliminated by parasites and predators, to whom this kind of resistance means nothing. But if the chemical treatment has removed the biological control species, the more resistant individuals of the pest species can survive to breed.... It is ironic that the economic entomologist has thus been able to speed up evolution to man’s own disadvantage.” Brown’s conclusion is an indictment of our methods of dealing with the natural world. Biological evolution has been governed not only by the survival of the fittest but also by the ability of living things to assume an inexhaustible variety of forms. The world of life has met every change in climate and landscape with a more diversified and interdependent biosphere. Each stage of organic evolution has been marked by a greater degree of specialization, complexity, and interrelatedness than the preceding one. Almost every species that has been “selected” for survival exhibits a higher order of specialization and depends for its continued existence upon a more complex environment than its predecessors. Modern man is undoing the work of organic evolution, replacing a complex environment with a simpler one. He is disassembling the biotic pyramid that has supported human life for countless millennia. Almost all the manifold relationships on which man’s food plants and domestic animals depend for health are being replaced by more elementary relationships, and the biosphere is slowly being restored to a stage in which it will be able to support only a simpler form of life. It is not within the realm of fantasy to suggest that if the breakdown of the soil cosmos continues unabated, if plant and animal health continue to deteriorate, if insect infestations multiply, and if chemical controls become increasingly lethal, many of the preconditions for advanced life will be irreparably damaged and the earth will prove to be incapable of supporting a viable, healthy human species. The

116 Environmental Studies simplification of man’s environment has evoked deep concern among ecologists particularly in connection with the insect problem. Needless to say, the soil is no less an ecosystem than the complexes established by plants, insects, and animals. When an agronomist emphasizes that organic matter is vital to the fertility of the soil, his emphasis derives from an appreciation of the manifold requirements of the soil cosmos and plant nutrition. Although organic matter is not a panacea for the ills of agriculture and human health, it provides good crops and it supplies plants with nutrients in a manner that has met the requirements of plant life over long ages of botanical evolution. The role played by chemical fertilizers in agriculture may be very important, especially in circumstances where animal and plant wastes are in short supply or where man's need for food is pressing. But the value of chemical fertilizers lies in their ability to complement the nutritional diversity of organic matter, not to supplant animal and plant wastes entirely. An ecological point of view that emphasizes the use of organic materials and the practice of biocenetic control admittedly restricts man. It requires him to reconstruct the agricultural situation along more natural lines, to defer to the dictates of ecology rather than those of economics. We need to learn how to manipulate more wisely the tremendous potential forces of population growth in plants and animals, how to allow sufficient freedom for some of these forces to work amongst them, and how to grow environments that will maintain a permanent balance in each community.



“Driven by unprecedented growth in human numbers and wasteful consumption, many of the basic resources upon which future generations will depend for their survival are being depleted.” —Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director, UN Population Fund Carlyle. The current population explosion, combined with increasing consumption rates and inequitable distribution of resources, is a serious environmental concern because it is directly related to the carrying capacity of the planet. Quite simply, there is a limited amount of resources being consumed by an increasing number of people. To make matters even more difficult, each person's individual impact is increasing due to rising consumption rates that often accompany unsustainable development. The interlinked issues of unsustainable population growth and consumption were addressed by the world’s governments in Rio de Janeiro at the Earth Summit in 1992, and again two years later in Cairo at the International Conference on Population and Development. Numerous proposals were tabled at these meetings, many of which stirred significant controversy. Those countries with relatively low population growth but high rates of consumption said that population was the main problem; those with high population growth but low rates of consumption said consumption was the problem. The fact is, both are serious issues, and need to be addressed at the community level in order to be effectively mitigated. Population growth is not even throughout the world. After growing rapidly in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the population of the industrialized countries has stabilized. In the less developed regions of the world, rapid population growth began later but has not yet leveled off. As a result, the developing countries are home to an increasing proportion of the world’s population. Scientists used to believe the world’s population would stabilize at about 10.2 billion-provided immediate action was taken to slow it down. New indicators are putting that number at about 14

Man and Environment 117 billion. However, if nothing is done to address the population problem, and if current birth and death rates remain unchanged, world population could reach 27 billion by the end of the next century. The human population has clearly exceeded local and regional carrying capacities in many parts of the world, as shown by an increasing failure of food production to keep pace with population growth.


Population, Consumption and the Environment

While population growth rates are definitely an issue, the size of the human population is not the only determinant of its impact on the environment. The impact of people on their environment depends not only on their numbers but also on their location in the biosphere, their levels of consumption of energy and materials, and the technology used to attain a given standard of living. As pointed out by Alan Durning of the Worldwatch Institute, population acts as a multiplier. The total human impact on the global ecosystem can therefore be reduced by moderating either human consumption or human numbers. Ideally, the impact can be reduced the most by doing both. However, much of the responsibility for reducing the amount of environmental stress exerted by human activity rests on industrialized societies in the North. Any pursuit of sustainability that merely seeks to limit population growth will ultimately fail. Large populations do exert considerable stress on their ecosystems. However, smaller populations with high and unsustainable rates of consumption can have a greater and more negative effect than larger populations operating at much lower rates of consumption. Rapid population growth often corresponds to a growth in consumption in the community, and increased demands for energy, transportation, food and water. By far the greatest part of population growth is occurring in developing countries where people today consume far less per person than people in the developed world. However, there is a rush to industrialize in many developing countries. Thus, while the populations of the developing world are increasing dramatically, so are their rate of consumption and the levels of waste being produced. The result is a rapid increase in the developing world’s share in global environmental degradation. Especially troubling for developing countries are the likely consequences of population growth on soil, urban areas and water quality, all necessary components for the support of their populations.


Urban Migration

A rapidly increasing number of people are being forced to move to cities because of economic necessities or environmental reasons such as land pressures and desertification. This urbanization of the global population brings with it numerous environmental demands. Urban migration is especially prevalent in developing countries, where the growth necessitates the development and improvement of the urban infrastructure-transportation services, food supply, energy supply, employment opportunities, water supply and shelter. The cities of the world already are faced with great difficulties meeting the needs of current populations. If present trends continue, it is unlikely they will be able to cope with the future. Currently, 1.2 billion people in cities lack safe drinking water and 1.4 billion have no sanitary waste treatment system.


Some of the Reasons for Population Growth

One of the main reasons world population has grown so rapidly over the last 200 years is that mortality rates have declined faster than fertility rates during this time. Improved sanitation, health

118 Environmental Studies care, medicines, shelter, and nutrition have all led to dramatic increases in life expectancy. Fertility rates, on the other hand, have declined more recently than mortality rates, and they have declined more slowly. In developing countries, there are a number of socio-economic realities that lead women to have more children. In economies that depend on family or communal agriculture, children are an economic asset; they provide valuable labour, and the costs of raising them are low. In more industrialized societies, in contrast, children are generally an economic burden. Where there are fewer educational and career opportunities, there tends to be earlier marriage and child-bearing. In some societies, women often start having babies when they are as young as 15 years old. This leads, in turn, to more children being born per couple. Standards of living also have a direct relation to a region’s population growth rate. Societies with high population growth rates usually have a relatively low standard of living. In countries where the standard of living has improved, studies have revealed a decrease in population growth rates, in some cases to negative levels. In countries where social services for the elderly are scarce or nonexistent, children are seen as a source of financial support for parents in their old age. In many countries, there are no or very few social welfare systems to provide unemployment support or pensions. These considerations outweigh the relatively low costs of having babies in these countries and therefore people tend to have larger families. Many communities around the world still have limited access to adequate health care facilities, which often results in high infant mortality rates and low life expectancy. When families lose, on average, one in three or four children, they usually choose to have as many as possible to maximize the number that will survive into their productive years. The increased availability of health care and housing around the world is leading to a decreasing death rate, especially among the new-born, the very young, and finally the oldest and infirm sectors of the population. However, this decrease in mortality has not been accompanied by an equal decline in birth rates. In less developed countries, there is often a lack of readily available, safe, acceptable and effective contraceptives, and knowledge of how to use them. When they are available, they are sometimes too expensive. Also, a large number of people in the world have not been educated about family planning. According to the World watch Institute, less than 30 per cent of women in developing countries use family planning. Attitudes also play a role in many countries. In some regions of the world, some religious and cultural values discourage the use of contraception. Others even project the model of large families as a status symbol. As a consequence, limiting population growth can be a very sensitive moral, emotional and cultural issue. Some people distrust family planning programmes because they believe they are motivated by racism and other prejudices, such as a perceived desire of the ‘North’ to control the ‘South’ by limiting the size of its populations.


Food Consumption Patterns

Mahatma Gandhi said that there is enough in this world for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed. Nowhere is this truer than in the realm of global food production.

Man and Environment 119 There are numerous countries where governments use inappropriate incentives for food production. These improper incentives, such as excessive subsidies, may result from poor policy planning or the influential political power of agricultural organizations. Inappropriate technology can be blamed for much of the inefficient use of land resources for food production. In the developed world, high-tech agriculture has boosted production beyond what is needed, while many developing countries, which sorely need to increase agricultural yields, do not have access to the technologies. Moreover, the overuse of new production methods involving pesticides, fertilizers and lack of crop rotation can cause severe environmental degradation. The lack of funds to obtain new technologies and the need for education on their use prevents many farmers in developing countries from being able to use their land to its maximum efficiency. This absence of education may perpetuate the use by small-scale farmers of unsustainable techniques resulting in low yields and in the long-term overuse and destruction of land. Most people are unaware of the effects their consumption patterns have on the Earth. In developed nations, people are mostly unaware of, or disinterested in, the amount of energy which they consume, or the manner in which they consume it. In many cases, individuals are also unaware of the effects of their overeating, poor diet, food wastage and preference for better packaged goods. This absence of awareness may stem from a lack of education about the effects of consumption patterns and a lack of initiative for them to change these patterns. It may also stem from unscrupulous advertising on the part of manufacturers and distributors of packaged products. It takes approximately 10 calories of grain to produce one calorie of grain-fed beef, and about eight kilos of that grain to produce one-half kilo of beef. This makes consumption of beef and other meats a very inefficient use of resources and source of nutrients. According to the environmental organization, Earth Save, about 40 per cent of world cereal production goes to feed livestock. In industrialized countries, such as the United States, the figure is sometimes as high as 75 per cent. The clearing of land for raising livestock is a major cause of deforestation. In Costa Rica and Panama, 70 per cent of the land has been cleared for pasture. In Brazil, Bolivia and Colombia, the primary reason for clearing forest is to raise livestock. According to Earth Save, for every pound of beef that is produced in a rainforest environment, approximately 660 pounds of living matter is destroyed and 2,500 gallons of water consumed.


Seeking Solutions to Unsustainable Population Growth

It is estimated that the planet’s probable carrying capacity-provided humankind develops a more sustainable relationship with the Earth-is around 10 billion people. In order to limit population growth at this level, all of the reproductive-age couples in the world will need access to reliable and affordable contraception by the year 2000. Of those who have access to contraception, it is estimated that 75 per cent will probably use it. If 75 per cent of reproductive-age couples practice family planning and actively use contraceptives, average family size will drop to just over two children per couple within about 15 years. A worldwide average of 2.1 children per couple by 2015 would result in a world population of approximately nine billion in 2050 and a stable population of 9.3 billion at the end of the 21st century. Most encouragingly, the fertility rate in developing countries has declined over the past 40 years. The average fertility rate in developed countries is now below the population replacement level. This

120 Environmental Studies progress is a result of advances in four critical areas, all of which must continue if the global population is to stabilize. Incomes of poor households must rise, child mortality must decline, educational and employment opportunities for women must increase, and access to family planning services must expand. Of these, investments in female education have proven to be the most effective in reducing population growth and promoting sustainable human development as a whole. Experience has shown that better educated women have fewer, healthier and better educated children.


Taking Action to Address Population Growth

There are a number of things that can be done by both individuals and organizations to help slow high population growth rates. Following are a few ideas to get your community organization started in developing its own action plan to address this critical issue. Help to develop awareness in your community. Organizations could foster community and individual consciousness so that everyone understands the impact of population growth on our environment. There are different ways to promote awareness, each appropriate to a different community. An organization will have to research and determine which the best is for its community. A few ideas include events, newsletters and an effective use of the media. Your organization also could use publications, brochures, or “evening gatherings” with experts on population and environmental issues. Invite the public to attend such gatherings through announcements in the local press, and fliers posted at strategic locations. Respond to the media. Respond immediately to reports and comments about environmental problems, especially by the media that do not make the connection between population growth and environment and development issues. Encourage your local media to include reports on population growth rates and the impact of consumption levels on the environment at the same time as their monthly reports on trade and inflation. Support family planning initiatives in your community. Assisting with family planning initiatives will depend in large measure on your organization’s religious and cultural values and whether your country has a rapidly expanding population. If it is appropriate, however, disseminate information concerning the benefits that effective family planning could have for your community and for the global environment. Encourage people to openly debate and learn more about the “population issue,” child spacing and birth control. Some societies have traditional beliefs and practices which can regulate and control the size of families. Discuss how modern and more traditional methods can help. Pursue partnership with your government. When sponsoring seminars, conferences and discussion groups to influence government action, encourage all levels of government to support (with both expertise and funds) institutions and organizations that are trying to deal with the population crises, such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Work to improve the standard of living in your community. Work together with community leaders to develop programmes that will have a direct impact on basic standards of living and education. When living standards and opportunities improve, couples usually become more receptive to the idea of smaller and more prosperous families. Help develop special programmes for women. Programmes that create more opportunities for women to enter, re-enter or stay in the workforce will help the population problem. An organization

Man and Environment 121 with stature in the community could help and encourage governments to implement policies in cooperation with the business community to develop such programs.


Seeking Solutions to Unsustainable Consumption Patterns

Lowering a community’s population growth rate may not necessarily lessen its impact on the environment. In the industrialized countries, family planning is practiced as a way of life, and in many societies average family size is lower than the population replacement level. However, because of unsustainable consumption patterns that enables the average Northerner to consume 77 times more than the average Ethiopian, the collective impact of Northern societies can be much greater. Therefore, solving the planet’s ecological crisis is not just about having smaller families; it is about evaluating our community’s collective impact on the Earth’s ecosystem. The developed world should be most concerned about the collective planetary impact of its levels of consumption. However, consumption patterns in the South are quickly catching up with those in the North. Developing countries, which may already have difficulty harnessing enough resources to meet current needs, will have an even harder time as their growing populations consume increasing amounts of limited resources. A form of development is needed that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. This is needed not only in the developing world, but also in the developed, where people must learn how to shift their methods of production to ways that are economically, socially and ecologically sustainable. Consumers also need to take responsibility. People need to understand the basic connections between their actions and choices as consumers and the environmental degradation that often results. The personal freedom to enjoy material benefits today should be tempered with a sense of shared responsibility for the welfare of both present and future generations of humanity. It also should take into the account the long-term effect that those actions could have on ecosystems at both local and global levels.


Taking Community Action to Address Unsustainable Consumption

Many different types of actions can be taken to promote the concept of sustainable consumption and to help individual consumers and nations learn how to achieve both better living standards and ecologically sustainable lifestyles. Many of these methods are suggested in other chapters of this book that deal with specific environmental problems that are a result of unsustainable consumption. Following are a few general ideas to consider when drawing up your organization's action plan to address consumption issues in your community: Help to build awareness. All efforts to educate communities and individuals about consumption issues, aiming to change attitudes and behaviour toward environmentally sound product selections and lifestyle choices, are important. Your organization could help your community become more aware by disseminating knowledge through whatever media are available, such as booklets, radio or television. You could create an environmental awareness programme which explores links between local production, consumption and the environment, while motivating people to change their own behaviour. This awareness programme could involve the production of easy-to-read leaflets or other materials that explain major environmental problems and their relation to consumption, as well as

122 Environmental Studies informing people about how to shop for products which are least harmful to the environment. Include suggestions for specific actions by consumers—for example, limiting energy consumption in the home, reducing CO2 emissions or making increased use of bicycles or public transport. Work with the media. Provide the print and/or broadcast media with articles and information aimed at educating consumers about the environment and the impact of their own behaviour. Promote green consumption. Encourage people in your community to purchase “environmentallysound” products whenever they are available. Selective purchasing, however, is more of an option in developed countries where consumers have higher incomes and have more products to choose from. Work with schools. Find out which schools incorporate environmental and consumer issues in their curricula. Assist the development of those programmes and relevant course materials and urge the introduction of similar programmes in schools which lack them. Organize youth conferences or exhibitions of posters, photographs and art work on sustainable consumption issues, and invite community leaders, the mass media and school children. Cooperate with other groups. Combine forces with consumer, environment and development organizations and networks to exchange information and develop joint actions for promoting such concerns as sustainable consumption, energy conservation and sustainable agriculture.



International trends showing rapid population growth should not give reason for pessimism and despair as to the future of our world. While some of the figures may be discouraging, especially for Africa, significant accomplishments have been recorded in the areas of lowering birth and death rates, and in improving the general levels of education and incomes, including the education and status of women. More importantly, positive changes have occurred in attitudes, greater demand for family planning information and services at the grass-roots level. All these accomplishments have contributed positively towards slowing down the global population growth rate. In his address to the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development in 1994, the Kenyan vice-president and minister for planning and national development, Professor George Saitoti, said his country's success in combating population growth hinged primarily upon the integration of the participation of women in the solution. Kenya used to have what was considered one of the highest population growth rates in the world, until the concern was addressed from many different sectors of society. Saitoti said that all efforts to reduce population growth need to address how to improve the rights and status of women, “which we have found to be the first step towards a successful reduction in fertility in our country”. The Kenyan experience found that the use of modern contraceptives is strongly associated with higher levels of education. Fifteen per cent of married women with no formal education use a modern method in Kenya, compared to 29 per cent of those with at least some secondary education. These data provide important evidence that Kenya’s investment in girls’ education is having a strong positive influence on fertility decline. Another reason for the success is that Kenya’s population programmes are decentralized through the use of local and community organizational structures, such as NGOs. Government support for NGOs has enabled the organizations to perform their work better and more efficiently. Such NGOs,

Man and Environment 123 especially women’s groups, are often in the field working with the very people who are in need of information concerning population issues and their available options.



The Global Action Plan (GAP) for the Earth is an international NGO initiative to substantially contribute to the reversal of high resource consumption and pollution, especially in the developed world. GAP’s primary goal is to empower a critical mass of global citizens to permanently redesign their lifestyles so that they are ecologically more sustainable. Realizing that the highest rates of consumption exist in the developed world, GAP set to work first in this region of the world, establishing 15 local councils in countries from Poland and Finland to Canada and the United States. In each country, the organization’s manual, The Household EcoTeam Workbook, was adopted to the cultural, societal and political realities of the particular society. Its coordination, publishing and regional distribution is carried out by a local chapter of GAP in partnership with local NGOs. Since the culture of consumption has been exported to nearly every corner of the world, GAP is now working with communities in less developed societies to establish similar programmes. Working with the Information and Public Affairs Branch of the United Nations Environment Programme, the first Southern programme was set up in Kenya. The Programme fills the gap between positive attitude and positive action. It provides people with a simple blueprint for how to take practical action to reduce consumption in their daily lives, together with the support and feedback system to help them sustain their good intentions. So far, more than 8,000 households have participated in the EcoTeam Programme, with reported consumption reductions of 40 per cent in rubbish, 12 per cent in water, 15 per cent in energy and 18 per cent in carbon emissions.

SUMMARY The status of man’s health represents the result of complex interactions between his internal biological system the total external environmental system. The environment is both natural and modified by man’s work and presence. Man as a biological organism has developed in an environment which is being changed more rapidly than ever before. These changes may tax his adaptive capacities. Even where there are adapts, we are not certain what the costs to his biological system may be. The success of India’s environmental programmes depends greatly on the awareness and consciousness of the people. Models are efforts to turn general theoretical concepts into more precise relationships or mathematical equations. Models of human-environmental linkages are important to help explain and evaluate how various population or environmental attributes might affect each other. Two models of importance are the POET model and the IPAT model. Each of these models is designed to provide a broad understanding of population-environment linkages, though each model has a distinct emphasis based on its level of detail and purpose. Cities of industrialized and transition countries have created and inherited a frightening legacy of pollution, soil and water contamination, “dirty” production techniques and high-waste consumption

124 Environmental Studies patterns. In most of these countries, improvements are now being made, but at a significant cost. The expansion of cities naturally creates increased pressure on resources such as lakes, rivers, air, land and energy, which cannot be met within the urban area itself. The challenge lies in the adoption of urban planning and management approaches which embody the principles of sustainable development. The current population explosion, combined with increasing consumption rates and inequitable distribution of resources, is a serious environmental concern because it is directly related to the carrying capacity of the planet. The human population has clearly exceeded local and regional carrying capacities in many parts of the world, as shown by an increasing failure of food production to keep pace with population growth. Rapid population growth often corresponds to a growth in consumption in the community, and increased demands for energy, transportation, food and water. There are a number of things that can be done by both individuals and organizations to help slow high population growth rates. There are different ways to promote awareness, each appropriate to a different community. An organization will have to research and determine which the best is for its community. Work together with community leaders to develop programmes that will have a direct impact on basic standards of living and education. Consumers also need to take responsibility. People need to understand the basic connections between their actions and choices as consumers and the environmental degradation that often results.

QUESTIONS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

How the perception of men and women differ in relation to the environment? How women’s participation can help the development of sustainable environment? Describe the different perspectives of population-environment interaction. Discuss the POET model. What are its characteristic features? Discuss the IPAT model and also discuss its utility in relation to environment. What are the limitations of IPAT model? 6. Explain the new tools of sustainable development. 7. Explain the ecological factors responsible for the degradation of environment.


 Environmental Quality Measurement 1.


Environmental indices mean, “tools used to monitor, and quantitatively report, environment status and trends based on the specified standard”. An index is essentially fraction, so it has a numerator and a denominator. The numerator is the measurement of the quality and denominator is the standard. When the measurement is much less than the standard, the value of the index is low and there is no problem. However, when the measurements are larger than the standard or in the lower part, the index value is high which indicated problems. The first important part of the index is “Background” which results from natural causes that would exist even if man had never trodden the earth, for example, there is always a certain amount of dust in the air due to volcanoes and winds. Water sometimes contains what could be turned pollutants that have been dissolved through natural processes e.g. minerals, metals etc. The population of many species of wildlife can drop dramatically through bad weather. But this effect does not exist in all calculable indices. Indices are closely related to indicators. Thus it is closely related to pollution. By indicators, we mean anything that is closely related to a particular environmental condition so that its presence is indicative of the existence of these conditions in a particular environment.



Concern for the environment has been around for a long time, under such terms as nature study and conservation of resources. Indices measuring its state go back many years as well, although they have lurked more in the background of public consciousness. It may be said here that the first environmental index developed was the health index. It was measured by the degree of human crowded together in cities and the industrial revolution began, more and more bad health problems attributable to smoke and the strange substances in the water and air. In the late 1960’s the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), the largest conservation organization in the United States started the EQI. This was the first attempt to gain a national picture of the State of the environment through numerical indices. The NWF's third annual Environmental Quality Index published in 1979 evaluated six natural resources and they were air, water, soil, forest, wildlife and minerals. In 1970, a seventh item, living space was added to the list.

126 Environmental Studies In 1971, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in their annual meeting discussed environmental indices—how they fir into the pattern of measurements of how man lives, how they relate to others, factors, such a aerostatics, crime and living space, and who would be most likely to use them. The AAAS meeting showed that planners — on a local and regional scale — would probably be among the greatest users. MITRE Corporation (1972) is a group, which deal with environmental indices. The Corporation was asked not only to outline for indices, but to say which should be used and why. A total of 112 separate indices ranging from odours in the home to fish killers were considered. MITRE attempted to determine which of the 112 potential indices should be issued first. The ranking was done by calculating the ratio of the estimated importance of the index to the cost of gathering the data that would go into it. Further, the MITRE study also provides valuable insights on the scaling of indices, their combination, and host of other problems that are faced by index makers. In general, the MITRE work was primarily concerned with a national approach to indices, but they can also be produced on a scale. Many of MITRE’s suggestions are still valid, and some are already employed. Another important group that is interested in environmental indices is the Pollution Research Unit at the University of Manchester in United Kingdom. They evaluated the state of the environment is greater in Manchester. They gathered as much environmental data as they could on the 71 sections of the region, and combined most of it into six indices. Three of the indices deal with air (smoke, sulphur dioxide, and automobile density), water (river and canal quality), and land (land pollution). The last named index is based on the fraction of land in each of the sections that was occupied by refuse and garbage dumps. The Manchester study can serve as a model of index presentation for small regions. It is clear, informative, and short. In addition, many of the techniques and calculations used can be applied to cities throughout the world. Many other groups and individual scientists have tackled the problem of environmental indices. The CEQ in the United States commissioned a number of studies less wide-ranging than the MITRE study. For example, Enviro control, Inc., studies water indices for about 140 monitoring stations, considering such factors as dissolved oxygen, total dissolved solids, cloudiness of water, and nutrients. Another CEQ study, by the Earth Satellite Corporation, deals with land use indicators and indices. Governments in developed countries don't mind subsidies for index research, but actually, carrying out the recommendations resulting from the work is another matter. There have been some exceptions to the rule. Some Governments have issued environmental indices, but these have generally been confined to only a small part of the environment. Although politicians are claiming that they “look at the big picture”, this has not been extended to a picture of the environment. Part of the reason for governmental hesitancy is the material fear of embarrassment, which would occur if environmental conditions were revealed to be worst than claimed, or if the indices had to be recalculated to produce argument with better knowledge.

2.1. Air Pollution Indices Evaluating overall air pollution can be a complex undertaking. Urban air pollution consists of an often ill-defined mixture of several pollutants from different energy and industrial processes. Additional secondary pollutants are created in the atmosphere. Synergism can occur between certain pollutants. Despite these complexities, efforts should be made to total the effects of the individual pollutants. Overall air pollution measures serve two purposes:

Environmental Quality Measurement 127 (i) they can be used to give lay man a more meaningful assessment of air pollution severity, and (ii) they enable the evaluation of the trade offs involved in alternative air pollution control policies or in the evaluation of control equipment which, for instance, reduces levels of certain pollutants while increasing levels of others. National Air Quality Index A National Air Quality Index (NAQI) is proposed which is based upon the secondary federal National Ambient Air Quality Standards promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency. These standards have been set to protect the public from any known or anticipated adverse effects associated with the presence of air pollutants in the ambient air. The National Air Quality Index can be computed as follows: Ic2

NAQI: where

Ic Is Ip In






I n2



= Index of pollution for carbon monoxide. = Index of pollution for sulphur dioxide. = Index of pollution for total suspended particulates. = Index of pollution for nitrogen dioxide.

Io = Index of pollution for photochemical oxidants.


Water Quality Indices

“Water quality” is a term used here to express the suitability of water to sustain various uses or processes. Any particular use will have certain requirements for the physical, chemical or biological characteristics of water; for example limits on the concentrations of toxic substances for drinking water use, or restrictions on temperature and pH ranges for water supporting invertebrate communities. Consequently, water quality can be defined by a range of variables which limit water use. Although many uses have some common requirements for certain variables, each use will have its own demands and influences on water quality. Quantity and quality demands of different users will not always be compatible, and the activities of one user may restrict the activities of another, either by demanding water of a quality outside the range required by the other user or by lowering quality during use of the water. Efforts to improve or maintain a certain water quality often compromise between the quality and quantity demands of different users. There is increasing recognition that natural ecosystems have a legitimate place in the consideration of options for water quality management. This is both for their intrinsic value and because they are sensitive indicators of changes or deterioration in overall water quality, providing a useful addition to physical, chemical and other information. The composition of surface and underground waters is dependent on natural factors (geological, topographical, meteorological, hydrological and biological) in the drainage basin and varies with seasonal differences in runoff volumes, weather conditions and water levels. Large natural variations in water quality may, therefore, be observed even where only a single watercourse is involved. Human intervention also has significant effects on water quality. Some of these effects are the result of hydrological changes, such as the building of dams, draining of wetlands and diversion of flow. More obvious are the polluting activities, such as the discharge of domestic, industrial, urban and other wastewaters into the water-course (whether intentional or accidental) and the spreading of chemicals on agricultural land in the drainage basin. Water quality is affected by a wide range of natural and human influences. The most important of the natural influences are geological, hydrological and climatic, since these affect the quantity and the

128 Environmental Studies quality of water available. Their influence is generally greatest when available water quantities are low and maximum use must be made of the limited resource; for example, high salinity is a frequent problem in arid and coastal areas. If the financial and technical resources are available, seawater or saline groundwater can be desalinated but in many circumstances this is not feasible. Thus, although water may be available in adequate quantities, its unsuitable quality limits the uses that can be made of it. Although the natural ecosystem is in harmony with natural water quality, any significant changes to water quality will usually be disruptive to the ecosystem. The effects of human activities on water quality are both widespread and varied in the degree to which they disrupt the ecosystem and/or restrict water use. Pollution of water by human faeces, for example, is attributable to only one source, but the reasons for this type of pollution, its impacts on water quality and the necessary remedial or preventive measures are varied. Faecal pollution may occur because there are no community facilities for waste disposal, because collection and treatment facilities are inadequate or improperly operated, or because on-site sanitation facilities (such as latrines) drain directly into aquifers. The effects of faecal pollution vary. In developing countries intestinal disease is the main problem, while organic load and eutrophication may be of greater concern in developed countries (in the rivers into which the sewage or effluent is discharged and in the sea into which the rivers flow or sewage sludge is dumped). A single influence may, therefore, give rise to a number of water quality problems, just as a problem may have a number of contributing influences. Eutrophication results not only from point sources, such as wastewater discharges with high nutrient loads (principally nitrogen and phosphorus), but also from diffuse sources such as runoff from livestock feedlots or agricultural land fertilized with organic and inorganic fertilizers. Pollution from diffuse sources, such as agricultural run-off, or from numerous small inputs over a wide area, such as faecal pollution from unsewered settlements, is particularly difficult to control. The quality of water may be described in terms of the concentration and state (dissolved or particulate) of some or all of the organic and inorganic material present in the water, together with certain physical characteristics of the water. It is determined by in situ measurements and by examination of water samples on site or in the laboratory. The main elements of water quality monitoring are, therefore, on-site measurements, the collection and analysis of water samples, the study and evaluation of the analytical results, and the reporting of the findings. The results of analyses performed on a single water sample are only valid for the particular location and time at which that sample was taken. One purpose of a monitoring programme is, therefore, to gather sufficient data (by means of regular or intensive sampling and analysis) to assess spatial and/or temporal variations in water quality. The quality of the aquatic environment is a broader issue which can be described in terms of: · · · ·

water quality, the composition and state of the biological life present in the water body, the nature of the particulate matter present, and the physical description of the water body (hydrology, dimensions, nature of lake bottom or river bed, etc.) Complete assessment of the quality of the aquatic environment, therefore, requires that water quality, biological life, particulate matter and the physical characteristics of the water body be investigated and evaluated. This can be achieved through: · chemical analyses of water, particulate matter and aquatic organisms (such as planktonic algae and selected parts of organisms such as fish muscle), · biological tests, such as toxicity tests and measurements of enzyme activities,

Environmental Quality Measurement 129 · descriptions of aquatic organisms, including their occurrence, density, biomass, physiology and diversity (from which, for example, a biotic index may be developed or microbiological characteristics determined), and · physical measurements of water temperature, pH, conductivity, light penetration, particle size of suspended and deposited material, dimensions of the water body, flow velocity, hydrological balance, etc Pollution of the aquatic environment, as defined by GESAMP (1988), occurs when humans introduce, either by direct discharge to water or indirectly (for example through atmospheric pollution or water management practices), substances or energy that result in deleterious effects such as: · · · ·

hazards to human health, harm to living resources, hindrance to aquatic activities such as fishing, impairment of water quality with respect to its use in agriculture, industry or other economic activities, or reduction of amenity value The importance attached to quality will depend on the actual and planned use or uses of the water (e.g. water that is to be used for drinking should not contain any chemicals or micro-organisms that could be hazardous to health). Since there is a wide range of natural water qualities, there is no universal standard against which a set of analyses can be compared. If the natural, pre-polluted quality of a water body is unknown, it may be possible to establish some reference values by surveys and monitoring of unpolluted water in which natural conditions are similar to those of the water body being studied. The increased demand for water, as a consequence of population growth, agricultural and industrial development has been accompanied almost everywhere by research oriented towards the definition of criteria and guides for water quality. One of the earlier attempts in formulating a water quality index was made by Horton (1965). He defined a water quality index based entirely on chemical and physical measurements. Eight parameters sewage treatment, DO, pH, coliform density, specific conductance, carbon chloroform extract, alkalinity and chloride were selected; rating scales were assigned; and each parameter was weighted according to its relative significance in over all stream quality. According to him, water quality index is:

C1W1 + C 2 W2 + C3W3 + K + C n Wn ´ M1M 2 W1 + W2 K + Wn where QI = Water Quality Index C = Rating W = Weight M1 = temperature value (1/2 or 1 depending on whether there is temperature pollu tion or not respectively). M2 = obvious pollution value (1/2 or 1 depending on whether there is obvious pollution or not respectively). The lesser the value, the higher the pollution. Horton considered 3 steps in the formulation of water quality index: QI =

130 Environmental Studies 1. Selection of quality characteristics on which the index is to be made. 2. Establishment of a rating scale for each characteristic. 3. Weighting of the several characteristics. The selection of quality characteristics on which the index is to be based is significant because too large a number of characteristics would make the index unwidely or it appears practical to use only those characteristics which are of greatest importance. Also to permit the comparison of water quality from one area to another, it seems desirable to select characteristics that are generally significant in most parts of the country. Another limitation is the availability of data; it would be futile to include characteristics that are not generally measured. All of these rating values are arbitrary. The objective of the rating system is simply to assign ratings that indicate in a comparative way incremental improvements in quality conditions. It should be pointed out that no attempt is being made to measure quality in terms of absolute values. The ratings shown are presented for illustrative purposes. The next step is weighting of the characteristics to show their relative importance. In the case of temperature and pollution, this step has already been taken by assignment of coefficients for adjusting the index downward whenever conditions do not meet specified standards. To indicate the relative positions if importance and influence on the quality index the weighting factors have been assigned.


Noise Quality Indices

The increased sound levels around homes, streets and places of work have been blamed on a wide variety of factors. Regardless of who is at fault, the loss of silence is one of our greatest misfortunes especially in growing urban centres. The calculation of an index of noise has many problems and is compounded by Government's attitude. For example, the study of noise used many units to describe human reaction to sound. The physical unit of sound has been standardized as the decibel, but noise has been measured in units of phon, sones, noys and perceived noise level. Each in its own way tries to take some account of the psychological basis of noise perception. Using the rating scales, noise pollution index of a specific city is formulated. After index of each city in a nation is obtained, a national index can be calculated using the formula: 1 å Pi I Ni PR = National noise index.

IN =



INi = Noise index of city i. Pi = Population of city i. In the calculation of an overall index, MITRE tried to take into consideration such factors as the time of day or night, the type of activity, and the location of noise sources.

2.4. Soil/Land Quality Index The possibility exists that a kind of “soil quality index” might be developed which would relate to the environmental impact of continuing or sustained use of chemical amendments in crop production or certain other land uses. Present concern are mostly related to use of soluble fertilizers, including nitrogen and phosphorus; applications of weedicides and pesticides; and distribution of industrial and domestic wastes that may also include heavy metals in significant concentrations.

Environmental Quality Measurement 131 Input and Output factor: The inputs will be the contributions principally from crop residues, mineralization of soil organic matter, animal manures and chemical amendments while outputs are in the form of crop removal (seed and stalk), leaching losses, ammonifications and gaseous losses. Towards the ideal condition, the objective would be to establish a “zero balance” in which N utilized or retained in the soil would be equal to the amount added or available through mineralization. Absorptive capacities of soil: Soil differ in respect to their retention of N as result of a wide range in textures (and, therefore, absorptive capacities) and as a result of temperature, and moisture. In a specific soil, these parameters can be indicated with some degree of quantification. The recreation of N in any soil is also very much related to the form of N, e.g. ammonium ion, nitrate ion, or organic complex. The form of n will generally be more difficult to specify. Climatic Environment: The soil must also be related to its climatic environment. The amount and distribution of precipitation, the soil temperature, and often the micro-climatic factors of aspect and slope. To place the problem of developing the soil quality index in some quantitative reference, the concept that attempts to predict soil loss, on an average, for a specified rotation can be considered as follows: where


A = R.K.L.S.C.P = Soil loss (in the growing season) = Rainfall = Soil erodibility = Length of slope = Steepness of slope = Cropping system

P = Erosion control practices. The rainfall factor that must be evaluated in the soil loss equation is also a consideration in Nitrogen losses. So probability statements regarding average expectation of growing season precipitation in a given local condition should be developed.

2.5. Solid Waste Index Normally solid waste is not included as an element of environmental quality index. One way is measuring the volume of solid waste, created periodically. Another way is to identify the fraction of the area covered by solid waste. By any method, the solid waste index fixation is quite arbitrary as it is differing from area to area depending on density of population and the procedure of disposal of solid waste etc.

SUMMARY Environmental indices mean, “tools used to monitor, and quantitatively report, environment status and trends based on the specified standard”. Indices are closely related to indicators. Thus it is closely related to pollution. By indicators, we mean anything that is closely related to a particular environmental condition so that its presence is indicative of the existence of these conditions in a particular environment. Evaluating overall air pollution can be a complex undertaking. Urban air pollution consists of an often ill-defined mixture of several pollutants from different energy and industrial processes. Additional secondary pollutants are created in the atmosphere. Synergism can occur between certain pollutants. Despite these complexities, efforts should be made to total the effects of the individual pollutants.

132 Environmental Studies Water quality is affected by a wide range of natural and human influences. The most important of the natural influences are geological, hydrological and climatic, since these affect the quantity and the quality of water available. The quality of water may be described in terms of the concentration and state of some or all of the organic and inorganic material present in the water, together with certain physical characteristics of the water. The increased sound levels around homes, streets and places of work have been blamed on a wide variety of factors. The calculation of an index of noise has many problems and is compounded by Government's attitude. The present concern of soil quality index are mostly related to use of soluble fertilizers, including nitrogen and phosphorus; applications of weedicides and pesticides; and distribution of industrial and domestic wastes that may also include heavy metals in significant concentrations.

QUESTIONS 1. 2. 3. 4.

What do you mean by “Environmental quality indices”? What is the importance of measuring air pollution? Explain National Air Quality Index. What are the criteria for quality of aquatic environment? How it can be investigated and evaluated? Explain the different parameters of soil quality index.



 Environmental Management 1.


Environmental management is an interdisciplinary approach to resource conservation and recycling and it acts as a regulatory force on human wantonness in resource exploitation and resource wasting. The central theme of environmental management is thus the reduction or minimization of the impact of human activities on the physical and ecological environment. It is an endeavour to avoid the over use, misuse and abuse of resources in the environment. The resource, that is, the environment must be optimally managed, without unduly depleting or degrading it. The past has shown the consequences of the mismanagement of the environmental resources, be it a forest, stream, land or coast. The environmental management aims to conserve what needs to be conserved, protect what needs to be protected and regulate utilization of natural resources to acceptable limits. In order to manage the environment in a rational manner, it is necessary to assess the potential of the environment for supporting life processes and for providing the resources for development. This is vital for the continued progress of mankind. Obvious exploitation of the resources in the environment beyond this capacity would spell depletion and/or degradation of the environmental niches. Thus it is clear that there is a limit the population that can be supported and it would be unwise to grow beyond this limit. Population regulation is a concomitant necessity for environment management. A very similar problem is that of management of a city. As it grows beyond a certain optimum size, the cost of providing essential city services becomes prohibitively expensive with consequent deterioration of the quality of life. It is the quality of life that people aspire to which may set the environment goals. The end objective of environmental management is to achieve these environmental goals. The UNEP has highlighted the interrelationships between population, resources, development and environment. The environment which provides the resources for supporting the population and for achieving development has to be managed through protection measures and conservation. The important aspects of environmental management are: · Maintenance of essential ecological processes and life systems. · Preservation of genetic diversity, and · Sustainable utilization of species and ecosystems. Sound environmental management is the optimal allocation of finite resources between different possible uses. Environmental criteria and economic considerations favours that such allocation should

134 Environmental Studies be efficient. Simultaneously, the available resources should be protected from degradation and scarce and diminishing resources should be conserved. The objective of environmental management is improved human life quality. It involves the mobilization of resources and the use of government to administer the use of both natural and economic goods and services. It is based on the principles of ecology. It uses systems analysis and conflict resolution to distribute the costs and benefits of development activities throughout the affected populations and seeks to protect the activities of development from natural hazards. Conflict identification is one of the more important tasks in environmental management planning and the resolution of conflicts is a fundamental part of what makes up “environmentally sound development.” In the complex and interdependent world that we have been given, environmental management is required because the activities of development in one sector affect in both positive and negative ways the quality of life in others. The needs of development planning should help orient research in information-scarce areas. But, in the context of specific development planning projects, neither science nor planning will be advanced much by expenditures of large amounts of planning time and funds for research. Conflicts between natural hazards and development activities also exist and result from a confrontation between hazardous natural events and human activity. So-called “natural disasters” occur because we have not paid sufficient attention to natural hazardous phenomena. Indeed, the term “natural disaster” is misleading for this reason: it places the blame on nature when, in fact, the blame belongs to those who decided that projects be implemented under circumstances that jeopardize the very objectives that the development activities were designed to meet. The techniques of conflict resolution are well known and are comparatively successful given man’s continued existence on earth for several thousands of years under very complex conditions. If they had not worked there would be no life as we know it today. Conflicts make up the matrix in which we live; it is a world of uncertainties compounded by a shortage of technical information, a large variety of values, interests and judgments, and overlapping environments. Most writers on the subject of conflict resolution, however, say that conflict can be positive as well as negative (Boulding and Kahn, 1962; Coser, 1956; Deutsch, 1973). For example, conflict tends to maintain valid group boundaries and needed group structure and provides incentives for the formation of alliances to combat exploitive elite. Planning, especially inter sectoral planning, has a tremendous advantage over efforts in real life to resolve conflicts because, in many ways, planning is a game; and, to play the game one must cooperate. Within this context, individuals on a planning team have a shared commitment to rules and procedures which can be controlled. The various parties (sector specialists) operate with a similar rationale, can be easily encouraged to focus on criteria rather than on positions and, each can insist that evaluation criteria be objective. The result is an opportunity to invent options for conflict resolution that provide for mutual gain. Many activities designed to use, improve, conserve, and protect goods and services for development purposes support other development activities. Development projects requiring the conservation of ecosystems for purposes of wildlife management also conserve the soil stabilization function of vegetation and, as a result, downstream reservoirs receive less sediment. Development policies that restrict construction in areas of natural flooding create recreation possibilities and green space near urban areas and lessen dependence on expensive flood control structures. Enlightened systems engineering turns industrial wastes into residuals that provide raw material for other development projects (Bower, 1977).

Environmental Management 135



Discussions that treat environment and development revolve around the point of “environmentally sound development.” Despite this, the term has seldom been defined and it is left to the reader to gather from the discussion just what it might be. In large part, such discussions seem to suggest that development is “environmentally sound” if it is “sustainable,” if it does not “disturb the ecological balance,” if it “causes no environmental degradation,” if it does not “surpass the carrying capacity of the natural system,” and if it “avoids the loss of long term natural productivity.” Even the most cursory analysis, however, will show that such criteria are untenable; no development project-including conservation—can meet all of these restrictions. First, there is a problem of meeting the objectives of development. Development objectives that do not treat life quality — even if “environmentally sound”—make no sense because no one will benefit. Second, there is a problem of level of aggregation. Which natural system are we talking about? The construction of any man-made structure will disturb, even erase, natural systems at a certain level. Third is a question of decision. Is long-term natural productivity essential when a choice must be made between wood fiber and protein? Fourth, there is a question of adequacy. Is the carrying capacity of a natural system relevant when it can be significantly increased through the application of even the simplest technology? Fifth, there are problems of clarity and specificity. Environmental “degradation” and “ecological balance” mean different things to different people. Is a project “environmentally sound,” for example if “balance” is maintained but a species is lost, or added, because of that project? To evade such problems this study has defined “environmentally sound development” as a process having the improvement of human life quality as its objective. It is a process of active manipulation of ecosystem structure and function in order to appropriate the goods and services offered by the ecosystem in question. It minimizes the conflict inherent in the appropriation of those goods and services; it maximizes mutual support between the required activities and distributes their costs and benefits throughout the affected populations. The chapters which follow are based on this understanding of environmentally sound development. The corner stones of Environmental Management are: (a) (b) (c) (d)

Environmental Planning Environmental Status Evaluation Environmental Impact Assessment Environmental Legislation and Administration

(a). Environmental Planning: The environmental planning concept is rooted in the integration of environmental considerations in the economic development planning process as hitherto practiced. It is, therefore, a more total approach to planning socially desirable programmes of development, and takes a conscious view of long-term goals in preference to the more short-term economic goals. Incorporation of environmental concerns in social decision-making is thus a necessary but a complex task, made even more difficult in this period of rapid change brought about by the advances in science and technology, which though open up new vistas and opportunities, pose novel problems and dangers. The economy is unstable and the society is increasingly complex; these necessitate new social and economic objectives to be set. To achieve the goals of sustained development, a more global planning process which is continuous, integrated and environmentally sound is vital. The environ-

136 Environmental Studies mental planning process has to set the policies, priorities and techniques in such a manner that it can be readily reviewed and modified on systems feed back basis. It has therefore to be: (a) Flexible in approach (b) Sensitive to exploitation of natural resources, impacts on employment, prices and quality of life in human settlements. (c) Capable of identifying and developing alternative development avenues. (d) Receptive to public participation at different levels of decision making. (e) Catalytic to the development of regional and local potential. (f) Creative in establishing institutional mechanisms and modalities at regional and local levels, and (g) A conscious policy framework attaining a dynamic balance between environmental, social, political and economic concerns. It is enough to laud the need for integrated planning, but usually very difficult to draft policies, devise systems and develop institutions to implement it on a continued basis. Unless the following actions are concurrently taken, environmental planning cannot succeed: · Acceptance of improved quality of life as a basic element of social policy; · Adoption of anticipatory steps for integration of environmental view on economic and social decision making; · Encouragement of public participation in resolving conflicts and trade offs between different developments options; · Collaboration of government machinery, industrial structures and academic expertise in evolving a new way of thinking about systematic relationship between economy, energy and environment; and · Making environmental protection and conservation compatible with socio-economic goals of a society already burdened with problems of energy crisis, rising unemployment and spiraling prices. Environmental management needs an integrated planning approach which is aimed at managing human activities in order to maintain an acceptable balance between the qualities of the human and natural environment. The inter linkages between ecological and socio-economic sectors of society place multiple pressures on the environmental decision maker. In this context, the environmental planner-manager must try to reduce the uncertainty, while retaining flexible approach and respond to changing social and political values. (b) Environmental Status Evaluation: For management of a system, status evaluation is a must. In the case of a complex dynamic system like the environment, this task is not only extremely difficult but also fraught with several uncertainties. There is no single parameter or index of the status in such cases. Under these circumstances one possible approach would be to attempt evaluation of status of sub systems. The conceivable sub systems of the environment are: Sub system Air Water Land Flora Fauna

Index of status Air quality Water quality Soil characteristics/productivity Population size, population dynamics Genetic diversity

Environmental Management 137 Even so, it is readily apparent the difficulties of quantitative evaluation are not resolved. Air quality itself is composed of several parameters which have to be combined arbitrarily to give quality index. The attempt was made and given up several years ago to derive and use a numerical index of quality of air, although even now some cities in the USA and Canada use an artificial air quality index. Another possible macro index of the environmental status could be derived from induces based on resource measurements. Estimates of available resources such as mineral reserves, fuel reserves, timber reserves in forests and other economically exploitable natural resources are routinely made for the purpose of assessing potential for development. In a limited way, therefore, a comparison of environmental status between two points in time or space may be attempted, using one or a few parameters for a specific environmental component. (c) Environmental Impact Assessment: Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) is one of the primary tools to date for the environmental manager and a useful guide for decision making. It is a procedure for bringing out the potential effects of human activities on environmental systems. The most significant output of the environmental impact assessment is the inter comparison of development options and the screening of alternative sites for locating development projects. Most of the EIA methodologies prescribe a list of date function and differ mainly in the presentation of the information. Checklists, which are commonly used, are only a catalogue of possible impacts from development. Matrices combine impacts with project activities and attempt to ascribe an arbitrary score of importance on the scale of 1 to 10. There is an excessive element of subjectivity in the techniques so far devised but this methodology helps to discern which part of the activity or operation has impact on which environmental component. Networks attempt to describe a little comprehensively cause and effect relationships listing impacts and how these are generated through effects on resource. A procedure to combine environment and economic considerations on the basis of resources, depletion, resource restoration and resource enhancement has been developed. This is in the form of an extended cost-benefit analysis. The procedure ascribes monetary value to environmental factors affected and takes into account the cost for restoration of the affected environment and/or costs or presenting or minimizing such effects. The method requires testing and refining before it can become a practical tool for the decision maker. (d) Environmental Legislation: Environmental legislation supported by well drafted regulations and meticulous enforcement systems and administrative machinery is an essential component of environmental management. The legislative scope covers a wide lapse including land use, water rights, pollution control and abatement, forest protection, wild life conservation, town planning, industrial licensing, regulations concerning toxic chemicals manufacture, formulation, sale, use and disposal, food contamination and adulteration, making liases, patenting plants and organisms and soon. Legislation by itself is not sufficient for enforcing and implementing environmental action. Persuasion and education are also equally important. Innate compliance is certainly superior to compliance under coercium. Incentive and descentive packages are also to be considered as persuasive methods to achieve compliances with environmental goals.


SUPPORT SYSTEMS REQUIRED FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT In order to undertake environmental practice the following support system are necessary:

(a) Environmental management information systems (b) Environmental monitoring and surveillance system

138 Environmental Studies (c) Environmental research (a) Environmental management information systems: It is essential to know the status of the environment before making any attempt for its management. An adequate environmental information system is an indispensable adjunct to the environmental management system. It must be comprehensive, quick responsive and wider ranging for enabling adequate and appropriate data and information to be made available readily to the decision maker. The information and data base already exist in diverse reports and records accumulated by various governmental and non-governmental agencies and academic institutions. (b) Environmental monitoring and surveillance system: Similarly, environmental monitoring systems are equally important for successful environmental management. One may conceive three sub systems for monitoring environmental change. Firstly, a network of voluntary observers of environmental quality is necessary for altering the concerned agencies about gross disturbances occurring in any locality. Secondly, there is a need of sophisticated networks for observing specific environmental quality parameters in a systematic and continuous manner. Thirdly and perhaps the most important but nevertheless the most difficult of the impact monitoring sub system. This involves the periodical evaluation of the status of the environment and its components and includes the health status of the people, population dynamics of human being and sensitive species, the yield of plants and animals, the productivity of soil etc. (c) Environmental research: Research, both basic and applied of course the prime pre-requirement for initiating environmental management programmes. Research helps us to understand phenomenon and its interrelationship with related phenomenon. In so far as environment is concerned, there are a host of interacting interlinks between environmental media namely land, water, air, ecosystems namely terrestrial, fresh water and marine and species namely human, animal and plant. Research is also needed into the methodology of environmental appraisal, improved techniques for monitoring environmental change, finding solutions for imminent environmental problems, controlling environmental degradation and last but not the least reversing environmental trends and restoring the health of the environment.



Mankind not only has a right to life but it has right to a good life of quality, free of squalor, disease and deprivation. An important factor for quality of life is the environment in which a species exists; it depends very much on the ecological balance and can be badly impaired by pollution, natural or man made. Man is himself a part of his environment and ecology and any change in his numbers, habits or equality affects the total natural environment. Since independence, considerable progress has been made and today we are among the first ten industrialized nations of the world. Associated with any development, there is always some amount of environmental degradation. There is huge backlog of over 50 years of pollution and eco-degradation. It is well known that India was very keen on seen science, technology and industrial development.



The Principles of environmental management will have to be applied to all developmental activities. Inherently, environmental management is inter-disciplinary and inter departmental/ministerial in character. Furthermore, in our country, land, water and forests are state subjects, which mean a very high degree of interface between the Central and State Governments. There is, therefore, an

Environmental Management 139 urgent need for a national body, outside the Department of Environment, to advise pressing national environmental issues. Such a role was appointed by the government to the Scientific Advisory Committee to the cabinet and some excellent work was done on forestry and hazardous substances by the SACC. The same arrangement can continue, or this work can be assigned to a small tight body of two to three persons, like the council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) advising the President of the USA. CEQ was in the President’s office, outside the jurisdiction of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is the counterpart body of the Department of Environment and the Central Board in India. With this in mind, the following recommendations are suggested: 1. The recommendation of the Tiwari Committee about appointing well-trained and well informed Environmental Advisers in all the Ministries needs to be activated at the earliest. 2. A policy research and training institute on the management of environment needs to be established to look after the training needs for Environmental Advisers. 3. Special attention needs to be paid to the rehabilitation of the Himalaya and work on the Himalayan Institute on Environment and Development needs to be expedited as a Network Institute. Work needs to be intensified on this project, not only nationally but also regionally. 4. There would be needed clear statements on population policy, interface between population, land food and other resources, carrying capacity, integrated land use management, land use classes, land capability survey and land use policy, water conservation and management policy, and other cognate issues regarding river valley projects, dams and irrigation, mining, policy on recycling and reuse, policy on hazardous substances etc. All these issues can no longer be brushed aside and have to be dealt with scientifically on an urgent basis. Such a supra departmental body could also prepare an environmental perspective on issues of national, regional and global importance.



Environmental management as a discipline by itself is growing rapidly. In no way it proposes to halt economic growth and to stop technical development rather it aims at achieving that sustainable rate of economic growth which is necessary to meet man's material needs whilst conserving scarce natural resources and protecting both the external environment and the internal environment. Environment management, therefore, is a challenging task and involves developing innovative approaches such as: 1. 2. 3. 4.

To assess the impact of technology on the environment. To estimate the economic cost of meeting environmental standards. To predict future trends in environmental management. To promote case studies with regard to environmental problems arising from different kinds of industries. 5. To encourage and organize public participation in planning new projects. 6. To formulate strategies and plans for achieving social and political support for economically and technically viable projects. 7. To design organization structures and management systems, this will encourage managers at different levels to take environmental factors into consideration while taking decisions. 8. To analyze and resolve conflicts arising among various interest groups. Keeping in view the above mentioned approaches, it may be mentioned that those who have interest in environmental management may like to investigate topics such as:

140 Environmental Studies 1. environmental issues and problems such as ecology natural resources and pollution; 2. natural resources and the environment-depletion of resources, quality of environment and conservation; 3. energy and environment non-conventional energy sources; 4. environmental regulations and legislations; 5. Government and voluntary agencies and interest groups their roles in environmental management; 6. public attitude and environmental management; and 7. environmental conflicts—causes and remedies.



The management of risk is inherent in all our daily activities. Almost every action we take, or do not take, affects our risk exposure. Choices over simple day-to-day things, such as what we eat, how we travel, what physical activity we engage in, or how much sleep we get, can directly influence the type, consequences and likelihood of adverse outcomes. This is no less true for mining operations where decisions to act or not to act are constantly being made. Many of these decisions affect the likelihood of adverse outcomes from intended or unintended effects of the mining operations or from the effect of external forces or events. Environmental risk management encompasses: · systematically applying policies, procedures and practices to hazard identification; · the consequences of those hazards; · estimating risk levels (quantitatively or qualitatively); · assessing those levels of risk against relevant criteria and objectives; and · making decisions about, and minimizing, the identified risks In the past, these risk management decisions, which can have major operational and financial implications as well as serious potential for environmental impact, have often been made by default or based on tradition or ‘gut feeling’. Not surprisingly, this does not always result in optimal risk management. This systematic approach offers considerable benefits including improved environmental protection performance, case specific and cost-effective targeting of environmental risk management measures and demonstrable due diligence. The ERM process necessarily requires careful analysis of the facilities or operations covered and give organizations a significantly improved understanding of them. Properly applied ERM can markedly improve environmental performance and can also optimize the use of resources in mining operations and in environmental protection activities. A structured and systematic approach to risk management enables environment protection measures to be well targeted rather than either excessive or inadequate. As the ERM process is iterative with strong linkages between its various elements and as it is expected that this booklet will sometimes be referred to for advice on particular elements rather than being read from start to finish, there is some repetition of important points.



The aim is to cover the key issues relevant to environmental management in mining. Risk consideration is relevant whenever mining facilities or operations interact with the environment and there is

Environmental Management 141 a potential for adverse impacts. Generally there is some possibility, however slight, of technical, operational and organizational controls and systems failing to prevent adverse consequences. In addition, when it comes to issues associated with impacts on environmental systems, and indeed aspects of mining operation themselves, there is often a significant degree of uncertainty as to the likelihood and consequences of actions and events. The scope therefore includes issues of social and cultural impact but does not extend to socioeconomic issues such as employment and expenditure effects. The direct impacts on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change from mining operations, on the other hand, may fall within the scope of ERM. For example, the effects of vegetation clearing and release of gases from mining and related operations, including gas releases from energy consumption, may need to be covered in the active management of environmental risk by the mine operator. ERM must cover natural hazards and how these can affect mining operations and, consequently, the environment. There are likely to be site-specific hazards facing particular operations and these should be part of assessments made for that site. Equally, where mining developments or operations alter the likelihood or severity of natural hazard events (e.g. increased bushfires because of additional ignition sources, or changes in flood frequency or severity because of changes in storm water runoff), the changes must also be reflected in ERM planning. The nature and scale of operations determine if relevant environmental effects will occur within the directly controlled site or sites or extend well beyond site boundaries. During mine operation, the scope may be limited to the principal extractive activity or may encompass processing, land transport, loading facilities and shipping. Over the entire period covered by the mining process, however, the scope extends from exploration and concept development through to the mine closure, rehabilitationand even beyond this if, there is potential for delayed or future impact. It is essential that, for effective overall management of any mining operation, the management of environmental aspects must be fully integrated with the general management of the facility. This is at least as true for risk management as it is for other aspects of environmental management. If risk management is not integrated, measures taken to manage risk of one type could have the unintended and unforeseen effect of exacerbating other types of risk. One area in which risk management conflicts sometimes arise is environment and occupational health and safety. For example, solutions that remove pollutants from the immediate working environment may have the potential to harm people offsite or the biophysical environment. Finally, the ERM process should not be seen as just technical in nature. It also needs to deal with perceived risk (in the community, workforce and industry) and be seen to do so. Risk communication is therefore an important component. For the community to be confident that the environment will not be at risk, the results of robust and transparent analysis must be reported clearly and candidly.


History and Background of ERM

Just as risk management has been an inherent part of mining activities over the years, so has some implicit form of risk assessment. What is new is the formalization of risk assessment and management processes, the increased and increasing emphasis on environmental protection and management, and regulatory requirements being developed for ERM. There are many precursors to the environmental risk assessment and management approach now being implemented in the mining industry. The two most important underlying influences are:

142 Environmental Studies 1. the increasing recognition since the 1960s of the significance of environmental impacts and accompanying regulatory requirements for protection of the environment; and 2. the development of risk-based approaches to control and management of environmental hazards Early environmental protection measures tended to be limited to pollution control and favoured a prescriptive regulatory approach. This has evolved into sophisticated, performance-based approaches which have led to the performance of operators being scrutinized much more intensively. Giving teeth to these approaches are the increasingly heavy penalties for environmental harm or potentially harmful behaviour. This has promoted the use of environmental auditing and a greater emphasis on risk-based approaches. The pace at which these approaches have been adopted reflects the need to match environmental management to the level of potential adverse outcomes. This is because potential environmental harm has implications for both the operator organization and its directors and officials, who are increasingly being held legally liable. In parallel with the control of pollution and other environmental impacts of ongoing operations, rigorous environmental impact assessment (EIA) requirements have been developed for proposed new facilities. Again, risk-based approaches are proving useful in dealing with uncertainties in proposals. Inclusion of risk assessment in EIA is also increasingly a requirement of approving authorities. Correct bunding of fuel and other liquid storage tanks on mines and mineral processing facilities is essential to minimize environmental risk. The development of structured and formalized risk assessment and management has essentially been driven by recognition that the possibility of unintended adverse outcomes cannot always be eliminated. There is a need for a way to judge: · severity and likelihood of those outcomes; · suitability and cost-effectiveness of control measures; and · acceptability or tolerability of the risk remaining after available control measures had been implemented The rigorous risk-based approach first came to the fore in the nuclear industry and, to an extent, in the space industry, where systems were complex and the need for high reliability was clear. In the 1960s and 70s rigorous quantitative methods and supporting databases were developed. After major industrial incidents in the mid-seventies (most notably a cyclohexane explosion at Flixborough in the UK in 1974 and a dioxin release at Seveso in Italy in 1976), the nuclear industry's methodological framework was applied to the chemical and petroleum industries in Europe in the 1980s. Regulatory requirements were established for major hazard facilities, that is, facilities that handle nominated quantities of hazardous materials. In the UK, this was implemented through the CIMAH Regulations and in Europe through the Seveso directive, implemented in various ways by the EC nations. A feature of the nuclear industry and the European chemical industry work was that the focus was not principally on safety issues on-site but on impacts in the wider ‘off-site’ environment. The focus of the regulations and early work was, however, on human fatality and, to a lesser extent, human injury. As part of CIMAH regulations and the Dutch implementation of the Seveso directive, the risk-based approach was further developed. This led to a decision-making framework for land use planning control, affecting the location of facilities and the development of lands surrounding facilities, to be produced. In Australia, in the early 1980s, the risk-based, land-use planning approach was taken up by the (then) NSW Department of Environment and Planning. The approach was extended to include inju-

Environmental Management 143 rious effects and, notably, impacts on the biophysical environment. Other States and Territories in Australia have subsequently adopted this approach for assessing new and existing developments. More recently, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (Work Safe Australia) have turned their attention to type of facility that is a major hazard. A Standard for the Control of Major Hazard Facilities (1997), incorporating requirements for risk assessments, has been developed and is being implemented in some jurisdictions. Work Safe has also published risk-based standards for plant and hazardous substances. The USEPA has also played a significant role in developing environmental risk assessment and management, most notably through its work on contaminated sites in which detailed quantitative risk assessment methods were developed. Other contributors to the total ERM picture (SCALE factors) have included: · Standards-the OH&S practice of setting acceptable exposure standards for hazardous substances (an inherently risk-based approach); · Cover-insurance industry risk assessment for providing cover and the increasing difficulties and expense in getting environmental impairment insurance cover; · Assessment-the developments of ecological risk assessment. · Long-term exposure-the development of environmental health risk assessment associated with long-term exposure to pollutants; and · Environmental awareness-an increased awareness by the community, industry and governments of the need to protect the environment. The shift to performance-based regulation in environmental and related fields has also stimulated risk-based environmental management. The risk-based approach has been found to be necessary to show that all relevant issues have been considered and reasonable management measures implemented. At the same time, the process identifies cost-effective measures for dealing with the particular hazard and reducing risk to acceptable levels. Of major importance has been the growing recognition by the mining industry, as by other industries, that, regardless of regulatory requirements, sound environmental management is essential to a sound business and that without ERM environmental management cannot be complete.


Defining ERM and its Elements

There are a number of key terms and concepts used in ERM which need to be understood. Universal agreement on the definitions of some terms is lacking. The terminology differences stem from the diverse origins of risk management and the diversity of disciplines involved. It is generally easier to get cross-disciplinary understanding of the usage of a term in risk management than to change its usage within disciplines. Risk Management has attempted to develop standard definitions and these have been adopted where possible. In some instances, however, the definitions do not fit well with the ERM method described here and more suitable definitions have been used instead. The term ‘environmental’ has been left implied in several definitions for the sake of brevity. Environment-encompasses all aspects of the biophysical environment, human health and well being, and community values. Due emphasis should be placed on ecologically sustainable development. ERM and environmental risk analysis and assessment should not be confused with ecological risk analysis and assessment. Ecological risk is a subset of environmental risk that deals with flora and fauna and their relationship with the environment.

144 Environmental Studies Hazard—a source of potential harm or a situation with a potential for harm. Risk—this basic and important concept has two dimensions: the consequences of an event or set of circumstances and the likelihood of particular consequences being realized. Both dimensions apply to ERM with it generally being taken that only adverse consequences are relevant. Hazard denotes a potential cause of harm, risk describes the likelihood of the harm becoming actual. Risk analysis—the systematic use of available information to identify hazards and to estimate, quantitatively or qualitatively, the likelihood and consequences of those hazards being realized. Risk assessment—the evaluation of the results of risk analysis against criteria or objectives to determine acceptability or tolerability of residual risk levels, or to determine risk management priorities (or the effectiveness or cost-effectiveness of alternative risk management options and strategies). Risk management—the systematic application of policies, procedures and practices to the task of identifying hazards; analyzing the consequences and likelihoods associated with those hazards; estimating risk levels (quantitatively or qualitatively); assessing those levels of risk against relevant criteria and objectives; and making decisions and acting to reduce risk levels. Residual risk—the level of risk remaining after risk control measures have been implemented. Harm-any damage to people, property, or the biophysical, social or cultural environment. Consequence(s)—the intermediate or final outcome(s) of an event or situation. Likelihood—a qualitative term covering both probability and frequency. The use of the more general term ‘likelihood’ can sometimes avoid confusion which arises from the common error of using ‘frequency’ and ‘probability’ interchangeably. Frequency—the number of occurrences of a defined event in a given time, or rate. Frequency is expressed as events per unit of time. Probability—the likelihood of a specific outcome measured by the ratio of specific outcome to the total number of possible outcomes. It is expressed as a dimensionless number in the range 0 to 1 with 0 indicating an impossible outcome and 1 indicating an outcome is certain. Hazardous event/incident—an event/incident with the potential to cause harm. Risk treatment—selection and implementation of appropriate options/actions for dealing with risk. Essentially the ongoing management of risk once it has been analyzed and assessed. Sensitivity analysis—the examination and testing of the results/outcomes of a calculation or model; or analysis by changing assumptions and/or the values of individual or groups of related variables. As already mentioned, the usage and definition of some of these terms is not consistent. In particular, the terms ‘risk’ and ‘hazard’ are sometimes interchanged as are ‘risk analysis’ and ‘risk assessment’. ‘Risk management’ is sometimes used to mean the decisions and actions downstream of the assessment and sometimes, as here, to cover the whole process. ‘Frequency’, ‘probability’ and ‘likelihood’ are also commonly used loosely. It is important for internal and external communication that there is a clear understanding of how each of the terms is being used, particularly when scoping a study or developing policies and procedures. The ERM process is illustrated in Figure 1. Important features are the return loops from the risk assessment (and, importantly, the risk treatment) boxes to the hazard identification process. These return loops are essential as it should never be assumed that changes introduced to address a particular hazard or level of risk will inevitably deal adequately with that risk. An iterative process within the

Environmental Management 145 analytical stage may be required. At the very least, the sensitivity of the analysis undertaken should be tested on the basis of the system with the proposed change in place. Furthermore, as systems do not remain static, change management and periodic review are essential. Define entity to be managed Scooping of studies

Hazard identification Scenario development Review sensitivity of results to changes in conservative assumptions and/or identify & select additional risk management measures

Consequence analysis

Likelihood analysis

Risk estimation/ characterization including identification of risk contributors and risk reduction measures and sensitivity analysis

Risk communication (internal and external)

Familiarization and description/characterization

Risk assessment (against criteria/ objectives)

Audit/ monitoring/ review

Finalize recommendations for ERM and develop ERM programs/system

Ongoing risk treatment/management


Figure 2 is an alternate depiction of the process. This figure emphasizes that risk management is an iterative process, with a need to examine residual risks remaining after risk treatments have been applied. Often, the first comprehensive risk analysis and assessment process is the most intensive process. Subsequent review and revision may be a ‘lesser activity’, with risk treatment and monitoring dominating the later phases as the system is refined. Figure 2 emphasizes the importance of communication in the risk treatment stage. Because this stage also provides the input to the risk identification stage, the communication of concerns is labeled with the instruction: Act! Such action happens throughout the ERM process, because each step of any risk management process requires

146 Environmental Studies Criteria Analyse

Identify Appraise


Risk management


Assess Monitor

Control Characterize Treat

Evaluate Review


a smaller scale version of the whole process. This is also true in risk appraisal, which deals with consequences and their calculations as well as risk assessment which deals with calculations, their likelihood, and their comparison with externally derived criteria. While the components may be labeled at points on the diagram, the ‘wheels within wheels’ nature of risk management means that all need to be considered at all stages. The nature of the task determines the intensity of the particular stage of the process.


Principles of ERM

Taking a risk management approach recognizes this key, underlying concept: that uncertainty is a fact of operations, business, nature and natural hazards and the ‘real world’ in general. Perfect worlds exist in economists’ models—the rest of us have to cope with uncertainty. Uncertainty can be derived from, or be associated with, any aspect of a system. It can, for example, be associated with: unintended events such as spillage of a hazardous material; events that are inevitable and whose return period, timing and intensity is uncertain (such as earthquakes); or the effects of intended actions such as emissions to air and their consequent health effects. Uncertainty can be divided into three categories, which have been termed the uncertainty of ignorance, the uncertainty of the unknown and the uncertainty of unpredictability. The ‘uncertainty of ignorance’ exists because the hazards and risks have not been investigated—you don’t know because you didn’t ask. The ‘uncertainty of the unknown’ exists because of the limits to our knowledge. The precautionary principle is important in dealing with this type of uncertainty. The ‘uncertainty of unpredictability’ is due to inherent unpredictability (e.g. weather and earthquakes). For any aspect of a system the overall uncertainty may be a product of all of these types.

Environmental Management 147 ERM should aim to eliminate the uncertainty of ignorance and identify and manage the uncertainties of the unknown and unpredictability. After a comprehensive risk analysis, while the timing and magnitude of all events will not be known, there should be sufficient knowledge to eliminate hazards, minimize their likelihood and/or minimize possible consequences. ERM should be based on the following best practice principles: · Commitment and a formalized, structured, systematic approach: ERM cannot be effective without real commitment from the organization (especially from senior management) running the facility or operation being studied. This commitment is best demonstrated by ensuring risk management follows a formally adopted policy, with ERM procedures, objectives and management responsibilities clearly stated. · Covering all operations and its whole life cycle: ERM should cover all the mining and associated operations, including transportation. Management responsibility for different aspects of mining and associated operations may be separate, or environmental risk management carried out by different organizations or different groups within the same organization. However, the overriding aim is to cover all aspects. Also linkages between upstream and downstream stages of the mining process must be considered so that ERM or other management initiatives for one stage do not aggravate or create risk or other problems for other stages. The risk management process should encompass all stages of the mining process, from concept to decommissioning, monitoring and management in the post-mining stage. · Sound risk analysis: Any decisions or actions taken to reduce risk can only be as good as the analysis on which they are based-the identification of hazards and the analysis of the attributes of those hazards. Analysis must be comprehensive and rigorous, using qualitative and quantitative analysis as appropriate to the issues being addressed and the information available. Its scope must be well defined so it analyses its target hazards cost-effectively and comprehensively. · Integration of ERM with overall risk management: If ERM is in its own separate ‘compartment’ it is unlikely to be ranked as highly as it should be against other business and regulatory compliance interests of a mining operation. Neither is it likely to be given the priority it deserves in the organization’s environmental policy and community relations objectives. If risk management is not integrated, measures taken to manage risks of one type are likely to unwittingly exacerbate another form of risk. · Integration of risk management with overall management: Risk management, while being recognized as having its own special characteristics, needs to be fully integrated with overall management of the facility and organization. If not, risk issues are unlikely to be considered early enough in decision-making processes and risk management is unlikely to be given the priority it warrants. This may have implications for future management, staff or operational costs. · Integration with environmental management: As well as being integrated with both overall risk management and overall management, ERM needs to be closely integrated with the environmental management systems. Failure to do so may also have implications for future operational costs. · Ongoing: The risk management process should be a continuous process, not a single or periodic snapshot exercise. Organizations and operations undergo continual change, some resulting from

148 Environmental Studies management decisions, some by inertia or ‘accident’ and some by outside forces. If risk management is not an ongoing process, it is unlikely that objectives set for risk-affected parts of the operation will be met. As the facility or operation factors in the wider environment change, it is highly likely that new hazards with changing consequences and likelihoods will develop.


ERM and Mining

Mining operations clearly have significant potential to cause environmental harm if not managed effectively. Mining can never have zero environmental impact: there is always some uncertainty about the probability of events and about the type and extent of possible adverse impacts from them. Risk management has a vital role to play in operations, because the likelihood of adverse consequences cannot be entirely eliminated without making mining operations technically or economically non-viable. ERM helps ensure that environmental risk is contained to acceptable levels while helping to ensure that management measures, controls and regulatory requirements do not impose unnecessary or inappropriate cost burdens. ERM is well established in some industries, but still relatively new in the mining industry. Generally, the methods exist to deal with all the environmental risk issues in the mining industry, but some tools and models may need to be developed and refined for specific risk types. ERM implementation varies widely in the mining industry in its scope, objectives and application. The quality of implementation has often been poor. In many instances it would seem to be significantly below best practice in other industries, such as the chemical and nuclear industries, and there would seem to be much room for improvement. As the application of the ERM approach in the industry develops and matures, a shift to more comprehensive analysis can be expected. It is likely that much of the work to date may need substantial revision as that shift occurs. Regulatory requirements and processes (such as requirements to include risk assessments in EIAs for new mine development or expansion) are in part driving the move towards environmental risk assessment in the mining industry. The effect of performance-based legislation, which provides for corporate, director and executive liability, has also been a powerful impetus for making senior company officials and directors more risk-averse. Of increasing importance, however, is the recognition that a risk-based approach to managing the relevant issues can be a powerful tool in ensuring costeffectiveness of environmental management and thus protecting the operation's bottom line. Financial and insurance industry requirements appear, in some instances, to be driving a requirement for more rigorous judgments on environmental risk exposures.




Outline of Methods

Figure 1 shows the basic methods of ERM. Key elements are: · · · · · ·

defining the entity to be managed; defining the scope of study/ies-purpose, objectives and entities covered; familiarization/description; hazard identification (including scenario development); consequence analysis; likelihood analysis;

Environmental Management 149 · risk estimation/characterization-including identifying risk contributors, opportunities for risk reduction and general sensitivity analysis; · risk assessment against criteria and/or objectives; · if criteria/objectives are not met, sensitivity of results to changes in conservative assumptions and identification of additional risk management measures are reviewed and a the hazard identification and analysis stages are repeated; · if criteria/objectives are met, recommendations for ERM measures, strategies and programs/ systems and development of those programs/systems are finalized; · risk treatment-implementing recommendations and ongoing operations of ERM programs/ systems; · ongoing hazard auditing, monitoring and review and change management (including revisiting earlier analytical steps and adjusting risk management as change occurs and new information and understanding becomes available); and, · risk communication-operating in parallel with the other elements of the process throughout As each of these elements flows into the next, the downstream analysis, assessment or management of environmental risks is limited by the quality and depth of work that preceded it. The effects of limited or inadequate work cascade through the subsequent stages with the impact on quality often snowballing. This directly affects the validity and efficacy of all stages of the ERM process. The process description in the diagram and the points above are necessarily simplified. In practice, the initial analysis and assessment process is less linear. There is usually a degree of iteration in the studies and the stages can overlap and proceed in parallel. The analytical process also starts broad, and then narrows as identified hazards are eliminated by considering consequences or likelihood of consequences. Often there are important links between the findings and recommendations flowing from the analysis and assessment and the assumptions on which the analysis is based. Findings and recommendations should be developed throughout the study. They should be brought together only at the end of the process. Effective communication between those undertaking the studies and those running the facility or operation is also vital throughout. Within this methodological framework, different approaches and methods are possible. There are different schools of thought as to how, and how much, analysis should be undertaken but each of the elements needs to be present. The methodological framework is applicable to both new and existing developments, though there are practical differences in application. Most notable is the extent to which design and operational features are entrenched at the time of the initial study. For established operations, this will reduce latitude to make changes without incurring significant costs. This difference highlights the benefits that can accrue from initiating risk analysis and assessment as early as possible when planning a new development or modifying existing operations. In many instances, regulatory requirements will drive environmental risk analysis and assessment for new developments and major modifications through EIA/EIS processes. It is again important that risk studies begin early in those processes to allow time to complete and maximize possible input before submitting proposals to authorities. ‘Analysis’ and ‘Assessment’ The terms ‘analysis’ and ‘assessment’ are sometimes used interchangeably in the literature on risk. There has been considerable debate about how each should apply to particular ERM methods.

150 Environmental Studies Some view ‘analysis’ as embracing all that is done to establish an understanding of risk and its characteristics and ‘assessment’ as being limited to the comparison with criteria. Others see ‘assessment’ as the wider term and ‘analysis’ as a part of the process. This debate is essentially semantic. The terms should matter little if all those engaged in a particular exercise have a common understanding of the methods being applied and the outputs they provide. There is however a key issue at stake. The terms don't matter but the substance does. The very core of risk investigation, the part that adds value, is the analysis-the breaking down of the system being studied and its hazard and risk attributes into their constituent elements-and exploring, examining and testing those elements and their links. When rigorous analysis is replaced by superficial processes, which tend to reveal only the obvious, the value of the exercise is diminished and risk management based on such work is likely to be misguided and inadequate. The value of ensuring that ERM covers both strategic and tactical/operational aspects also warrants mention. Both the big picture and the detail can be important to sound ERM and this need to be recognized in the definition of the overall exercise and the scoping of studies.


Defining the Entity to be Managed

In an ideal world, every aspect of mining-related operations would be subject to ERM. In practice this is not so and it is unrealistic to expect to achieve this quickly. It is necessary therefore for ERM exercises to be more selective and focused and it is particularly important that, when starting any such process, careful attention is paid to defining the scope of objectives and the entity to be covered. There are many reasons for initiating ERM. These may be largely internal or external such as by regulatory or other external requirements. If, for example, an EIA process for a new mine or mine extension includes the need for ERM, the scope may be prescribed or otherwise clearly set. Or the scope and objectives may be relatively ill-defined. The process may also be initiated, for example, by an incident or recognition that a critical issue needs resolving. Even when initiated for one purpose, it is worth considering the possibility that an ERM exercise may provide further benefits if other aspects of risk are included. Whatever the initiating factor, it is critical that all parties understand its scope and objectives. Depending on the purpose and objectives, the exercise might extend across several operations or be limited to a single mining operation (or perhaps a division of the organization). Operationally, it might be confined to a primary extractive operation or extend to downstream processing and transport operations. It might be confined to a particular mining phase, in recognition of issues or conflicts that might be limited to that phase. It is also possible that the specific ERM exercise might be confined to a particular hazard or set of hazards or to a particular consequence or class of consequences. When the ERM exercise is limited to part of an organization, operation or facility, it is appropriate to establish the organizational or operational context of the entity to be managed and define its boundaries. This is particularly important when ERM is new to the organization and helps ensure the scoping of the ERM (and also subsequently of the study/ies undertaken as part of the process) is appropriate for both inclusions and exclusions. The clear definition of the entity also helps to ensure that the fact of the limited scope is not lost and that excluded parts of the whole will be returned to as necessary.

Environmental Management 151


Scoping of the Risk Analysis

There may be a need for a number of separate studies within the ambit of a defined ERM exercise. The careful scoping of these studies is again an important issue. Often there will be time and resource constraints on particular studies. The scope and the methods selected in undertaking the studies needs to match those constraints. It must be recognized, however, that limiting the study will affect its quality and the value of the outputs. Whether the study is preliminary or more final should also be addressed in the scoping. However much the scope of separate studies is limited, they still need to each deal with the interactions and dependencies between the particular part of the operation or system being studied and other parts of the same systems and external systems. The boundaries must allow for such factors to be considered and every effort should be made to set them to encompass logical assemblages. In parallel with scoping, the methods and personnel for the study should be selected or reviewed. All those who will be responsible for the study and those who will have a major role in it should ideally have some opportunity to have input to the scope before it is ‘set in stone’. As the scope, resources and methods will all affect one another, the process may need to be iterative.


Risk Analysis

The next five elements of the process comprise risk analysis and are shown in Figure 1. Sensitivity analysis, that is, the identification of risk contributors and of risk reduction options also fall within the analytical process, but this analysis may be done after or during the assessment stage. Risk management cannot be better than the analysis on which it is based-if based on good analysis it can still be poor but if the analysis is bad it cannot be good-except by unlikely lucky coincidence. 7.4.1.

Familiarization and Description

Becoming familiar with a system and, its environmental and operational context, and developing a description of it, constitute a crucial stage of the analysis. The extent of work necessary for this stage will vary with the approach of the responsible personnel and the level of detail needed. It is essential not to take this step for granted. If people already familiar with a system study it, it might seem that little action is needed to become formally familiar with it. Experience shows, however, a surprising degree of variability in individual knowledge of different aspects of a system. This includes inconsistent understanding of the design and workings of physical equipment and infrastructure and of operational procedures and practices. Fundamental insights are often gained from this stage of the analysis and recommendations often flow from it. Hazard identification is a crucial step in the ERM process. Indications of acid drainage problems are being discussed. If people less familiar with the system are to study it, such as company personnel from head office or another facility, or consultants, then familiarization is even more important. Having analysts prepare a formal written description is often of great value as it tends to force them to understand fully and with greater precision the mining operation under study. It also enables their understanding to be tested/verified against the reality of those who actually operate the system. All features of the mining operation itself as well as the relevant environmental context need to be fully described. The environment considered may extend for a substantial distance from that on-site. This

152 Environmental Studies means the possibility of harm arising from mishaps (such as river systems becoming contaminated) to be taken into account. The description should encompass not just physical features, such as layout and equipment, but also operational practices and features, and organizational structures and responsibilities. Becoming familiar with the system and developing the description are also necessary for structuring the study. Studies can be structured in various ways. For example, they can be organized around the operational steps in a mining process or around operational areas or equipment systems. It is also often appropriate for the stages of the mining process to be considered. These aspects may be combined in different ways but a logical and systematic structure is essential to ensure all aspects of the system being studied are covered. The structure must therefore allow for interconnections (e.g. services, equipment, communications etc.) and must ensure that the 'odds and sods' that are not considered mainstream, or for other reasons do not fit neatly into a particular structural compartment (e.g. cleaning and maintenance operations), are not overlooked. The familiarization process would typically be based on a review of documentation including, drawings and maps, procedures, reports on previous studies and investigations including EIA documentation, and audit reports. For existing operations, an audit-type inspection might be an important input to the familiarization and, for both proposed and existing operations, an inspection of the surrounding environment would generally be essential. The system description must be thorough and comprehensive, within the confines of the scope, or it will not be possible for the hazard identification to be complete. The importance of getting these initial stages of the analysis right cannot be overemphasized-they are the foundation on which all else is built. 7.4.2.

Hazard Identification

Hazard identification should be a structured process which systematically works through the elements of the facility or system being studied (as identified in familiarization/description process). This will maximize uncovering all events and circumstances that could lead to significant adverse outcomes. For each selected element of the facility or system, careful consideration should be given to: · · · · ·

possible initiating events or circumstances; consequences of those events or circumstances; available technical, operational or organizational safeguards or controls; the likelihood of the initiating event or circumstance arising; and, the likelihood of its translation into significant adverse outcomes if safeguards and controls are used The essence is that the identification starts out with a pessimistic view. It is assumed that what can go wrong, will. Cases are only eliminated when it is clear that, because of safeguards and control measures or with further consideration of the nature of the hazard, either the consequences would not be significant or the likelihood would be too low to warrant further attention. The identification process must try to penetrate beyond the obvious for every element of the process. People are usually aware of the obvious hazards and believe there are measures in place to deal with them. Even for more obvious hazards, however, people familiar with a facility or system often overlook system features with serious hazard potential. It is perhaps even more common for people to

Environmental Management 153 underestimate the consequences if addressing the hazard might be, or appears to be, inconvenient or expensive. The dangers of this attitude are often exacerbated through people overestimating the effectiveness of a system's safeguards and controls. A major part of the value of formalized risk analysis and assessment lies in revealing hazards and providing a basis for judging whether the measures in place to address those hazards are appropriate. Any process that tends only to reveal the obvious is inadequate and potentially misleading/harmful. It is often the less obvious hazards and contributors to the likelihood of their realization that are most likely to expose an organization to risk. The hazard identification needs to encompass: · hazards to all potentially affected aspects of the environment including but not limited to: o surface and groundwater (including diversion of flows); o air (dust, smoke and fumes); o the atmosphere (greenhouse or ozone depletion impacts), natural areas and flora and fauna including vulnerable species and ecosystems; o heritage items including aboriginal heritage items; o forestry, agricultural and pastoral land, and their animals and crops; o soil (contamination, erosion; degradation); o geological structures (surface or sub-surface); o aquatic ecosystems and fisheries; o man-made structures; o human health and safety; and o aesthetic and cultural values · all types of hazards including: o fires; o explosions; o releases of toxic or polluting materials; o changes to runoff and water flows; o introduction of exotic plant and animal species or pathogens (e.g. through ballast water at mine-product loading facilities and plantings for rehabilitation of sites, or truck or heavy equipment movements); o subsidence; and o dam failures · the whole of the mine life cycle including exploration and rehabilitation (impacts from, for example, e.g. spoil heaps or tailings and acid drainage could be delayed or long-term · the whole of the area or systems potentially affected, i.e. not just the local environment if impacts could extend further a field · the whole of relevant operations as defined in scoping, for example, transport of treatment chemicals and explosives to a mine site as well as the ore from the site by road, rail and ship, and associated loading and treatment facilities · continuous emissions, not just accidental releases-the uncertainty making this a risk issue may be related to consequences of the emissions at intended levels not the uncertainty as to their release. The impacts of other intended operations should also be covered, for example, impact on wildlife populations from road kill or higher incidence of bushfire (control burns or wildfire)

154 Environmental Studies · all types of causative factors including natural events (for example, storms, earthquakes) if they can lead to incidents able to harm the environment · perceived hazards and controversial issues · wastes and by-products, as well as the mined materials, and materials used in mining and associated operations Typical examples of environmental hazards that might be encountered in mining industry operations are set out in the box below. The list is representative, not exhaustive, and should not be used as a checklist. Factors will change from site to site. As can be seen from the listed items there are links and interactions between them and an event causing a hazard of one type might lead to one or more other hazards e.g. subsidence followed by a dam failing and tailings being released. Various methods are available to identify and evaluate hazards. There are also different ways to present the information. When word diagrams are used, explanatory text is generally added to expand relevant aspects. Some methods rely on an individual or small team to develop the hazard identification. Then, best practice means having it reviewed by others with a different perspective. This particularly applies when those identifying the hazard are not operationally associated with the facility or system under consideration. Mining Industry Operations—Typical Environmental Hazards · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

clearing vegetation (loss of rare species or habitat) soil disturbance (wind and water erosion and dust) acid sulphate soils blasting (explosion, dust and vibration) mullock/waste rock and slag (instability, leachate and dust) subsidence (impacts on heritage items and natural and man-made structures) radioactive tailings potentially toxic tailings (acid leachate, heavy metal or saline) saline or other contaminated waters from mine workings contaminated storm water runoff storage, handling and transport of fuels or process chemicals (spillage, fire, explosions etc.) and/or containers disruption of surface or groundwater flows (including collection for use, diversion and increased runoff) storage and handling of explosives (unintended explosions) exotic species and plant, animal or human pathogens (introduction through transportation operations or rehabilitation planting etc. or change to habitat) bushfires (increased frequency from more ignition sources) processing, storage, handling and transport of mined material and processed material (fire, explosion, spillage, dust etc.) continuous/intended emissions to air or water (e.g. smelter emissions, dust discharges) containment and service structures (e.g. tailings dams or water supply dams, product or supply pipelines, conveyor belts) inadequate security-sabotage etc.

Environmental Management 155 mechanical failure (e.g. burst pipes, ruptured liners) human error (e.g. poor or careless bund management) accident (e.g. vehicle collisions, roll overs) Sometimes, for instance in a Hazard and Operability study (HAZOP), a brainstorming approach is taken and this can allow direct participation by all relevant parties-including consultants, designers, manager and supervisors, operators and external specialists. For simplified approaches to risk assessment using qualitative rapid ranking, a hazard may be identified using a brainstorming process that also incorporates the later steps of the analysis into a single exercise. As indicated below in the discussion of qualitative and quantitative approaches, while such exercises have their merits and may sometimes be appropriate, they can also have significant shortcomings. The overall hazard identification process may in practice have multiple inputs. These might include: · an audit-type inspection; · brainstorming sessions with relevant parties (which might take the form of a HAZOP or 'What If' analysis or might be less structured). and reviews of: · community concerns or issues raised in objections to a development or in a formal consultation process; · licence and condition compliance and breaches; · incidents in the particular facility or system and in like systems or other parts of the same company; · operating, maintenance and emergency procedures; and · any previous audits and studies. Particularly for complex systems, the process might use logic trees (fault and event trees) to identify relationships and outcomes and might also use some form of failure, mode, effect analysis (FMEA) to identify consequences. In some circumstances, other analytical approaches such as cause (consequence analysis and human error analysis might also be used. These methods might not be applied to their full extent (e.g. likelihood quantification) for this part of the analysis, but be used to determine relationships and sequences and to build representative scenarios. Hazard identification methods should be tailored to the specific study but they must be comprehensive and draw on as many sources of input as possible. An environmental audit can help identify hazards and, where such audits have been previously carried out, they should be drawn on. An audit should not, however, be seen as the sole basis for hazard identification and certainly not as a substitute for rigorous risk analysis. While it is important to use the hazard identification process as a filter to eliminate all aspects of an operation that do not pose a credible or relevant risk, it is also very important not to discard a subject from the analysis too soon. This can be a serious problem when using rapid risk assessment techniques not just to rank suspect aspects of an operation but to eliminate matters from further consideration. The risk management process is not simply about dealing with what is sometimes termed the ‘actual’ or ‘real’ risk-the level of risk estimated by a risk assessment process or that believed to exist as a factual entity from a technical point of view. Rather it is about ensuring that all relevant risk issues are addressed. Issues identified by the community and controversial, or likely to be controver-

156 Environmental Studies sial, warrant examination by the hazard identification and ERM process. The hazard identification process should therefore consider all hazards of community (and workforce) concern and should be careful not to set them aside without clearly demonstrating that they will not pose unacceptably high levels of risk. It should be noted that, even when hazards are thoroughly identified some aspects may have to be re-examined as matters become clearer during consequence or likelihood analysis, or even in the risk estimation or assessment. At the end of the hazard identification process, those matters that warrant further detailed examination should be flagged and (where appropriate) scenarios developed for further examination. Scenario Development With any complex system it is not possible to examine every possible risk in all the myriad variations. Careful scenario development does, however, enable most risks to be reasonably covered by representative scenarios. All cases that emerge from the hazard identification process as significant should be covered by the scenarios carried forward for further analysis. In detailed risk analysis, particularly when risks are to be fully quantified, the scenario development is an important part of the analysis. This process requires deconstructing the hazardous event to its constituent parts so that consequences and likelihoods of the components can be analyzed separately. Logic trees such as fault and event trees are often used in this process. Deconstruction can be a powerful way to analyze more deeply by focusing on individual contributors to overall events. This allows weak links to be identified and, later in the analytical process, sensitivity analysis and the identification of contributors to risk can be undertaken rigorously. 7.4.3.

Consequence Analysis

Analyzing consequences encompasses not just the end outcomes but the steps leading to the outcomes. For example, for the effect of a storm event on a tailings dam, the consequence analysis could cover: 1. the consequences of the storm on the volume of water received by the dam, the extent of overflow and the possibility of failure; 2. the consequences of contaminants being released and their concentrations/durations in receiving waters after a breach or overflow; and 3. the consequences of those concentrations/durations on species and ecosystems. For each element, several aspects might need to be considered. These could include magnitude, extent, severity, duration. Developing an understanding of where the initiating event may lead is typically dealt with in this part of the analysis. For simpler analyses, this may be able to be dealt with in the hazard identification and scenario development. However, for more complexes, unusual or unique analyses, the extrapolation of the scenario, except in the most general terms, cannot be completed before the more detailed analysis. Consequence analysis is always a mixture of the quantitative and qualitative. Some components will be able to be measured, estimated or projected with relative precision-others will necessarily rely more on qualitative analysis. The limits to knowledge and modelling capacity generally grow with each step from initiation to ultimate consequence. Therefore, a greater element of estimation and qualitative analysis becomes necessary for the later stage effects. This is particularly true when natural ecosystems are involved.

Environmental Management 157 Analysis of consequences through to the 'end state' is often too difficult and time consuming and the inherent uncertainties too great. Consequently, the usual approach is to carry the analysis in detail to some intermediate point. For the storm event discussed above, analysis might end after determining likely concentrations and durations in receiving waters. Conservatism in analysis and assumptions is often warranted, given the uncertainties and limits of knowledge. The precautionary principle should then be observed. Worst case analysis is often used to test the limits of potential impacts. If worst case assumptions indicate no serious potential for significant impacts, then that particular issue can be laid to rest. But, if problems are shown under such assumptions, the sensitivity of the analysis to changes in assumptions, and how the conservatism of those assumptions is justified may need to be examined. Alternatively, it may be preferable to consider changes to the operations or the implementation of costeffective safeguards. Depending on the nature of the event(s) or impact(s) being considered, it may be appropriate for the analysis to extend to second-round effects and beyond. For example, discharge of a toxin to a water body might only affect a single plant or animal species but the effect on that species may disturb the whole ecosystem by disrupting the food chain. While there may be real limits to the practicability of analyzing second-round effects, the possibility of significant impacts beyond those directly and immediately felt should always be considered. Risk analysis is by nature multidisciplinary. Depending on the hazard, a wide range of disciplines may contribute to analyzing consequences. These include: civil engineering (e.g. for dam or other structural failure); chemical engineering (e.g. for hazardous materials handling); hydrology and geology (e.g. for ground and surface water assessment and soil stability); air and water dispersion modelling (e.g. for dust and chemical releases); toxicology (e.g. dose response, exposure); ecology; ecotoxicology; and human health impact assessment (particularly for dust emissions and continuous emissions to air). Measuring the impacts: blast monitoring underway-testing vibration levels on a sheetpile wall. A wide range of analytical methods and tools are available for consequence analysis. For some hazards, sophisticated mathematical modelling (computer programs and software packages etc.) may be available, while for others the techniques relevant to ERM may be much less well developed. Each discipline will have its own analytical and modelling tools. As well as models publicly or commercially available, there are others that have been developed by individual practitioners and consultancies. Analysts need to be able to assess the applicability and limitations of the various tools before selecting or using them. The analysis may call for a wide range of data inputs. Data would commonly include (but by no means be limited to): meteorological data (e.g. wind speed, direction and stability; rainfall intensity, duration and frequency; evaporation or evapotranspiration; temperatures); geological stability (e.g. earthquakes, subsidence, landslip); geology, hydrogeology and hydrology (permeability, pH, groundwater characteristics and flows, surface water flows); ecology (e.g. species present and habitat requirements); chemical properties (e.g. toxicology, physical state, solubility, reactivity). Some of the data sets used for the consequence analysis will also include information relevant to the likelihood analysis.

158 Environmental Studies In some instances there may be existing data in the precise form required. In others, surveys and investigations may be needed to develop the relevant data. It would be commonplace for available data to require extrapolation or manipulation. Collecting adequate data might take considerable time. Therefore risk studies critical to an approval process or other decision or action path should start as early as possible. In some instances, data may not be available and might take years to develop. But it may be possible to work around the missing data by using conservative assumptions and applying the precautionary principle. Data collection and further analysis may then proceed as elements of environmental monitoring and management under the ERM program or EMS. Qualitative severity scoring by groups or individuals is sometimes used in lieu of more rigorous analytical processes. Such scoring is often part of the same process that allocates likelihoods. For simple risk analyses, such an approach may be productive, especially when factors such as outcomes and their possible severity are well understood. For more complex and uncertain hazards, qualitative severity scoring tends to obscure rather than reveal. This is because judgments are based on existing knowledge and perceptions of the scorers rather than on a critical examination and exploration. The qualitative scoring approach is generally of some value for ranking but cannot add the insight that more detailed analysis offers. 7.4.4

Likelihood Analysis

The likelihood analysis encompasses the likelihoods of each step in the train of events. These likelihoods include: · · · · · ·

initiating event frequencies; probabilities of specific safeguards failing on demand; the likelihood of an event causing a primary failure also causing safeguard failure; the likelihood of events coinciding and causing a different outcome from one event alone; likelihoods for human errors and appropriate and inappropriate responses; likelihoods of certain weather conditions (wind speed, direction, rainfall intensity/frequency/ duration; and · fatality/injury probabilities—for people and other species. Logic trees (commonly fault or event trees) comprise an analytical method often used to develop an appreciation of the component inputs to events or outcomes of concern. As discussed in hazard identification and scenario development, these can be very powerful in getting the sequence of events right and establishing the role and relationship of the variables affecting the outcome. They are also invaluable as a basis for allocating numbers to those variables and subsequently for testing the sensitivity and isolating risk contributors. While their latter role is important for quantitative studies, the role of logic trees in sorting out the logic and interrelationships, even when the exercise is limited to qualitative analysis should not be underestimated. Detailed quantitative analysis deconstructs the system into its component parts and looks at whole systems thus allowing deeper analysis and the testing of sensitivity to changes in inputs and assumptions. As with the consequence analysis, data sources can be many and varied. As mentioned in the consequence analysis section, some of the same data sets may be drawn on for the consequence analysis and the likelihood analysis (e.g. rainfall intensity/frequency/duration data). Additional data

Environmental Management 159 will however generally be required, including data on component or system failure, human error/ reliability, event and weather frequency, toxicological probabilities, earthquake return periods, bushfire frequency and so on. There are well established databases for items such as equipment components (e.g. pumps and valves), based on industrial experience. For other analyses, quality data will not be available and (as in consequence analysis) some work may be needed in compiling, manipulating or extrapolating data. In such circumstances, conservative assumptions, the precautionary principle and testing the sensitivity of the analysis to changes in values may all become particularly important. Whatever the source, considerable care in selecting data is needed as the output can be corrupted by inappropriate selection/ generation of frequencies and probabilities. By referring to experience in other industries, regions or countries, basic data may be gathered but care is needed to ensure the data applies to the circumstances of the case being studied. Experiences of the particular facility or company, including incident and ‘near miss’ incident information, should always be drawn on when available. If other independent and applicable data is not available, it is often appropriate to draw on the experience of facility or company personnel to derive frequency or probability estimates for particular variables. The emphasis here is on the particular variables, not the overall incident or outcome likelihoods. Various techniques including questionnaires, interviews and group sessions can elicit this information. Experience suggests that people generally give much more accurate and consistent responses on the component likelihoods than for the system and outcomes as a whole. This again is an advantage of breaking systems down to their variables. Major discrepancies often occur between likelihood estimates depending on whether they are for an overall event or outcome, or for component variables. This is shown if the estimates made by individuals or groups for component variables are combined and then compared with their results for the overall event or outcome. The components, and experience of problems or component failure, are usually much better known as they are part of the real daily experience of the mine personnel, whereas the whole sequence leading to an undesirable outcome is not. 7.4.5.

Risk Estimation or Characterization

Risk estimation or characterization requires the consequence and likelihood analysis outputs to be combined so an estimate or indication of the likelihood of defined adverse outcomes can be generated. Risk estimation is the term usually applied when the analysis has a substantial quantitative component. Characterization is usually applied when the work is substantially qualitative. Risk estimates are commonly expressed as the chances per year of the defined outcome (which may be an end state or an intermediate outcome), for example one in a million per year chance of fatality at a specified location. The quantitative risk estimate can, however, be described in many ways. For example, as the likelihood of an event or outcome per operating month or year, as per tonne of output, or even as per export dollar earned or person employed. Sometimes, such as with a sensitive ecosystem or catastrophic event, or the introduction of an unstoppable exotic species, the relevant measure may simply be a probability of occurrence within the life of the operation. In some circumstances, the measure of risk might need to be developed to meet the special or unique circumstances of the particular case.

160 Environmental Studies Qualitative outputs may be described by rankings such as very low to extreme risk. These rankings are based on combinations of high or low severity and high or low likelihood or by pairs of descriptors such as high severity/high likelihood, likely/minor or very unlikely/catastrophic. Numerical scores are also sometimes applied by adding or multiplying the allocated consequence and likelihood scores. It is usually appropriate to establish the criteria or objectives to be used in the assessment stage early in the process, otherwise the indicators derived may not be the most relevant. The final selection of criteria might need to be deferred if limitations to risk results influence the possible criteria to be used. For obvious reasons it is essential that criteria and objectives be adopted, at least in principle, before moving on to risk estimation. Risk may be for individual or groups of outcomes. Generally, it is appropriate to provide cumulative risk results when the outcomes can meaningfully be summed. It should not be assumed, however, that risk levels for an operation can be reduced to simple numerical statements, especially when the biophysical environment is at risk. Even for something as relatively straightforward as human fatality risk, there are various ways to consider and present the information. For example, the two most common ways of presenting human fatality risk-individual fatality risk and societal risk-can produce dramatically different pictures. ‘Individual fatality risk’ is the risk a hypothetical person would face, if present at that location for the whole of the relevant period. Consequently, it says nothing about actual risk exposure as it does not imply that anyone will be present. Societal (or group) risk on the other hand takes account of the population that might be exposed to particular incidents. Where there is a low population density, the societal risk outcome may be quite acceptable even for incidents with far reaching effects. For high population densities, the societal risk outcome might show an operation with an event consequence that is much more spatially confined to be quite unacceptable. In each case, the population density would have no impact on the individual risk results except through applying assessment criteria that might differ for different population densities or land uses. Quantified risk levels can be graphically presented in several ways, such as: · risk contours (isolines) and variants such as three dimensional depictions and colour bands and gradients when risk impact covers an area. · various forms of graphs including societal risk curves. Results can also be tabulated, especially when risk contributors are identified and ranked. Alternatively the results can be described in text. Combining both text and graphs/tables, explaining key assumptions and limitations and interpreting the meaning of the results are usually appropriate. 7.4.6.

Identifying Risk Contributors

One of the most useful outputs of estimating risk is the identification of the aspects of the system that contribute most to risk. This provides the opportunity to rank matters for action and to identify cost-effective risk-management measures. Identifying risk contributors and developing cost-effective management measures are both easier using the fully deconstructed and quantified approach? By looking at the parts rather than the whole it is much easier to precisely target risk management measures. The quantification facilitates identifying, and focusing on, the most sensitive variables and testing of the effects of risk management

Environmental Management 161 initiatives on the ‘bottom line risk levels’ When combined with cost information, the various risk management options can be ranked in order of cost-effectiveness. It is also possible to identify the most cost-effective combinations of measures instead of being locked in to dealing with the higher risk contributors as separate items. As with other stages of the risk analysis and assessment process, the sequence of the steps may vary from the simplified picture in Figure 1. The extent to which identification of risk contributors is needed may not be known until the risk levels have been assessed against criteria and objectives. 7.4.7

Identifying Opportunities for Risk Reduction

Opportunities for risk reduction can be found throughout the analysis. In the process of identifying risk reduction opportunities, hazard elimination (e.g. using a non-hazardous processing chemical vs. a hazardous one), reduction of potential consequences (e.g. reducing inventories or adding safeguards) and reduction of likelihoods (e.g. more frequent maintenance or monitoring or additional safeguards) should be considered. A broad view should strive to encompass, as well as changes to operational details or safeguards, changes to basics-for example, the location of surface facilities, the mining or processing technology, or modes of transport of product. Risk reduction can often be achieved at little cost and, in some instances, lead to substantial operational or capital cost savings (e.g. substituting processing materials or reducing materials inventories). For new developments, ERM is likely to be most cost-effective if initiated early and kept under review as the design and operational features change. It is important for the overall ERM of a facility that risk reduction should be embraced as a philosophical objective so that options for the lowest levels of risk are pursued whenever they are achievable at affordable cost. The identification of risk reduction opportunities in the analytical process is concerned with possibilities and their likely impacts on the risk levels and profile. 7.4.8.

Sensitivity Analysis

As knowledge is usually significantly limited and modelling inherently imprecise, calculated assumptions (based on experience) have to be made during the analysis. Estimated or assumed values may need to be used for some variables in the consequence or likelihood analysis. While using conservative assumptions gives some assurance that risk is unlikely to be underestimated, it is important to test how changing assumptions and values affect the analysis. This should start with hazard identification (or perhaps even at the scoping and familiarization stages) and continue throughout the analysis and also be part of a more formal review process at its end. The implications of changes to assumptions and limitations to knowledge should be constantly considered, right from the outset. Such consideration needs to be incorporated into each step or important insights will be missed. If unresolved issues are discovered later, having to revisit steps of the analysis will cause delays. While sensitivity analysis is possible when a qualitative approach has been pursued, it will generally be more difficult and less productive than when a quantitative approach has been followed. This is especially true when logic trees are used. The use of logic trees also adds strength to the analysis by addressing simultaneously confidence/certainty issues and the identification of contributors to risk.

162 Environmental Studies One particularly powerful form of sensitivity analysis can be undertaken with fault trees and event trees. As the logic trees build by levels towards the top event (fault tree) or final outcomes (event tree), it is possible to select indicator points in the lower or earlier levels and evaluate the predicted experience against the actual operational experience. The top events and final outcomes happen less frequently than reaching the various points in the process leading to those end events. When there is an existing operation, this tool can be used in the initial analysis. For both new and existing cases it can serve as an ongoing monitoring process throughout the operation’s life, providing early warning of system failures or analysis shortcomings. When testing the sensitivity of variables in logic trees, it is necessary to be particularly aware of mutual dependency of variables. Changing single variables without adjusting to those which are mutually dependent with that variable can seriously compromise the conclusions. There are a range of statistical tools for multivariable sensitivity analysis and, in some instances (particularly where the facilities are complex and uncertainties high) it may be worth using them. They are generally valuable only when the underlying analysis is sufficiently detailed and sophisticated. Time, cost and knowledge limitations commonly preclude the more sophisticated forms of sensitivity analysis and the added value in pursuing such finesse is sometimes questionable. 7.4.9.

Quantitative and Qualitative

The discussion above has followed the classical risk assessment methods. Sound analysis includes both quantitative and qualitative components. The extent and proportions of different types of analysis may vary considerably. Lack of data (or similar problems) sometimes drives this but time, cost or resource limits may also preclude a more fully quantified analysis. There is little doubt that, when possible, detailed quantified analysis by competent people, provides greater insight and opportunities for quality risk management than purely qualitative analysis. The strength of the quantified approach lies not in precision but in forcing a more rigorous analysis. The greater degree of rigour and structure enables sensitivity to be tested, risk contributors to be identified and the impact of specific risk management options to be tested. The rigour of deconstruction in the quantified approach also tends to reveal matters left obscured by more superficial exercises. There are, however, limitations to quantitative analysis. It should not be undertaken for its own sake but only when it adds relevant information or clarity-this may include a capacity to demonstrate clearly to third parties how results were arrived at. A pitfall of quantitative analysis is an unjustified belief in the accuracy of the numerical results generated. These are not absolutes-the outputs of the analysis are based on imprecise information and necessary generalization, simplification and assumptions. Indeed, it is sometimes argued that the term quantitative is inappropriate as it implies measurement and precision and that ‘quantified’ might be more suitable as it implies the more appropriate concept of estimation and approximation. Qualitative methods are similarly vulnerable. The outputs cannot be better than the inputs allow and great care needs to be exercised in using those outputs. They are not, and can never be, statements of fact. Wholly qualitative analysis techniques such as rapid ranking (based on sets of generalized analysis) and matrix based exercises have their place but should not be used to avoid rigour. They are of value principally for complex systems and manifestly inadequate risk management. In this role they can be used to effectively identify and rank some of the more obvious problem areas and to help set priorities for more detailed work.

Environmental Management 163 Because of their limitations, they should generally not be used to exclude hazards from further consideration but only for ranking. Furthermore, unless the qualitative analysis has been based on separate and rigorous hazard identification-not always the case when matrix-type, brainstorming approaches are used to conduct the whole analytical process in one step-the likelihood of missed hazards should be recognized. Audit-based exercises are sometimes referred to as risk assessment or analysis but are essentially an opinion by an auditor on which facility features pose some hazard or risk. Apart from these, the most common forms of qualitative analysis use a matrix approach. The matrix uses consequence as one axis and likelihood as the other. The analyst or group ranks the hazard for degree of consequence and likelihood. Matrices sometimes have as few as three levels on each axis but more commonly have five. Experience suggests that five levels for each axis should be the minimum because participants find it difficult to decide on a rank with the smaller number of choices. The 5 x 5 matrix has 25 boxes which are then typically categorized into four or five different levels of risk, for example, low to high or very high. In grids with more cells the scores are sometimes generated by adding or multiplying the levels on the axes. This can be useful in some complex systems for which other analytical tools are unavailable, but it can also falsely inflate accuracy/precision. 7.4.10

Using Outside Expertise and Resources

Environmental risk analysis/assessment is multidisciplinary. Depending on its type and scope, an exercise may require inputs from many different individuals and disciplines. Some of the necessary expertise and capability will be available from within the mining organization or associated entities but some outside expertise or resources are usually needed, unless an organization is large enough to establish and maintain internal specialist groups. External expertise or resources may be required for a specific technical discipline or for risk assessment. The need for specialist technical information on matters such as meteorology or ecotoxicology is often well understood. The need for specialized risk expertise is not always so well appreciated. Risk assessment/analysis practitioners are often better equipped for quality risk analysis than mining company personnel, who generally have limited exposure and thus less experience. Organizations with specialist in-house capabilities may be the exception. External experts may also be more independent which may be particularly relevant in studies for regulatory purposes or where public confidence is an issue. They may also promote cross fertilization of ideas-drawing from experience in other industries and mining operations or facilities. Even larger companies with their own risk assessment capabilities may find it cost-effective to call on external expertise for the benefits of independence and freshness. External resources can offer greater capacity to focus on a particular exercise. Mine personnel commonly have other responsibilities, making it difficult for them to dedicate the necessary time. Outsourcing may be particularly relevant for in-depth studies for which resource requirements can be quite substantial. Regardless of who does the study, it is vital to draw on internal expertise and knowledge. No outsider can know a facility or operation as well as those directly involved in it. At the same time, the intimate knowledge of mine personnel can be a disadvantage. Familiarity can breed a level of comfort and a tendency to sometimes miss the ‘obvious’.

164 Environmental Studies If outside consultants are appointed, sufficient internal resources must be committed to provide the study information needed. A common cause of delays and additional cost in risk assessment studies is the time company personnel take to respond to information requests and shortcomings in the information provided. Good communication between the mining organization and those carrying out the study is essential. Companies must carefully check the credentials of any parties considered for undertaking studies. It is likely that there will be a range of expertise on offer. High quality risk studies do not come cheaply and cutting corners can lead to future problems, delays and costs as well as greatly diminished value from the exercise. The question of the appropriateness of using external resources for conducting risk assessment studies should not be confused with the issue of ERM overall. The management of environmental risk must be clearly owned and implemented by company management and personnel.



Once recognized and analyzed, there are a range of possible responses to risk. These can include: accepting the risk; eliminating the hazard or avoiding the risk; reducing the consequences; reducing the likelihood; and risk transfer. A framework of objectives or criteria can provide a rational and consistent basis for evaluating the responses. When risk analysis aims only to compare cases and identify the least risk option, the analysis may be straightforward and other criteria may not be needed. However, the picture may still be complicated by different risk profiles. Some of the cases being compared might have types of risk that are entirely absent in others. They may have different highs and lows in the types of risk or the risk might impact on different communities or areas. When an analysis aims to rank and identify the highest risk contributors, the need for criteria might similarly be limited. However, risk benefit and cost-effectiveness considerations may become de facto criteria. For most other analyses, defined objectives and/or criteria are important. While the criteria are used largely towards the end of the analysis, the identification, selection or development of relevant criteria should be undertaken early-perhaps with some later refinement. In this way, the criteria can be taken into account throughout the analysis. This will help determine when a hazard can be eliminated from further consideration on the grounds of low consequence or low likelihood; hence outputs can be developed in a form appropriate for assessment against the particular criteria. While criteria are thus important, it is equally important that the risk analysis and risk management processes do not become exercises in passing ‘tests’ rather than achieving real improvements in safety and environment protection. 7.5.1

Criteria Identification

The fundamental notion underlying the adoption of risk criteria is that as all risk cannot be eliminated; some level of risk must be regarded as acceptable or tolerable. The acceptability or tolerability of a risk varies with the benefits that flow from the risk-generating activity and the distribution of those benefits and risk costs. At some point, the benefits are considered to outweigh the ‘disbenefits’ of risk exposure (both the psychological, social and economic costs of the awareness of such risk exposure and the cost when

Environmental Management 165 some of the adverse outcomes are realized). Similarly, the benefits of risk reduction or changing the risk profile or incidence might be considered to be outweighed by the cost of the extra safeguards or changes to the activity. At the other extremity, at some level of (severe) consequence the risk may be considered to be unacceptable no matter how low the frequency. Once the principle of acceptable or tolerable risk levels has been adopted it is clear the objective of risk management is not simply risk minimization. It is nonetheless important that the principle of ‘avoiding avoidable risk’ should be followed-where risk can be eliminated or minimized without compromising the technical or economic feasibility or viability of a project, it should be. This concept is sometimes described as ALARP (as low as reasonably practicable) or ALARA (as low as reasonably achievable). For risk to the biophysical environment, the concept of ecological sustainability and the precautionary principle should be considered in setting criteria and objectives. In an ideal world, all risk criteria would be based on clear notions of acceptability/tolerability levels and a clear understanding of the consequences of initiating events. In the real world, a full understanding of the potential final impacts of initiating events is often not possible as we don't have sufficient knowledge of the workings of systems. Establishing an acceptability level is difficult with this degree of uncertainty and with the further difficulties of valuing environmental attributes. Consequently, surrogate or intermediate criteria are common (e.g. the likelihood of reaching or exceeding a given concentration in the water or the impacts on individual species), as is conservatism in the levels selected. The appropriate criteria and objectives will depend on the purpose of the analysis. Criteria may be specified by regulatory requirements, company policy, national or international standards or by particular political or community imperatives. Alternatively, they may be driven by case-specific research or considerations. Criteria may be available ‘off the shelf’ or they may need to be adapted, refined or developed from scratch. There is a variety of Australian and overseas documents from regulatory authorities and other bodies provide criteria. However, potentially relevant documents could change with changes in regulations and the nature of the operations and hazards involved. The documents are also subject to revision and new material continues to be developed and released. No attempt has therefore been made here to provide a listing of relevant documents. Some examples have been included to aid the process of identifying appropriate criteria. Example Criteria for Risk to the Biophysical Environment · Industrial developments should not be close to sensitive natural environmental areas if the effects of the more likely accidental emissions may threaten the long-term viability of the ecosystem or any species within it. · Industrial developments should not be sited close to sensitive natural environmental areas if the likelihood of impacts that may threaten the long-term viability of the ecosystem or any species within it is not substantially lower than the background level of threat to the ecosystem. Some of the other States have similar documents setting out risk criteria for new and existing developments. The main focus of these documents is on industrial development and hazardous materials. They tend to focus more on risk from acute events such as fires, explosions and accidental releases than on health or other risks from continuous emissions or intended releases. They also focus more on risk to people than risk to the biophysical environment. Even so, the criteria can provide

166 Environmental Studies useful parameters for risks in mining operations. They can help assess risks to people from sources other than hazardous materials; help assess, to some extent, risks from continuous emissions; and help in assessing risks to the biophysical environment. In these latter cases, however, it is likely that other criteria such as various air, water and soil concentration standards, and health risk criteria, will also need to be drawn on. In many instances intermediate rather than end-state criteria will need to be used (e.g. the likelihood of exceeding 10% of a water quality criterion value). Examples of documents that might prove useful are: ANZECC and NH & MRC’s Australian and New Zealand Guidelines for the Assessment and Management of Contaminated Sites; ANZECC Australian Water Quality Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Waters; Victorian State Environment Protection Authority Policy Schedule C. C-1 Class 2 Indicators and Design Ground Level Concentrations; USEPA, FEMA, US Department of Transportation Technical Guidelines for Hazard Analysis: Emergency Planning for Extremely Hazardous Substances; WHO-IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans; USEPA Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment; Environment Australia, National Framework for Ecological Risk Assessment of Contaminated Sites, Draft 1997. There are also numerous topic-specific sources, such as human, plant or animal toxicity databases, which could be accessed. An alternative to comparing options and assessing risk against criteria is assessment against some form of qualitative test or objective. For example, demonstrating due diligence may be required for performance-based regulatory, corporate or financial purposes. Such demonstration may also be a dominant objective if senior management is personally liable for incidents and their effects. 7.5.2.

Assessing Risk against Criteria

The assessment process at its simplest is comparing risk results with criteria or objectives. In practice, some interpretation is necessary and the conclusions may need to be qualified. Where risk levels do not meet criteria it may be appropriate to revisit the analysis and refine it, particularly for sensitivity to conservative assumptions. 7.5.3

Developing Recommendations for Risk Management

The other part of the assessment stage of the process is finalizing the development of ERM recommendations. As noted earlier, the recommendations should be drawn from each stage of the analysis. At the assessment stage, however, the effects and interactions of all the recommendations need to be considered in the light of the extent of compliance with criteria. This may lead to identifying further safeguards or changes needed to the existing or intended operation. It may also lead to the conclusion that some of the measures proposed or included in draft recommendations are unnecessary or not cost-effective.



’Treatment’ is used here to cover action taken to eliminate, minimize, reduce, monitor or ameliorate risk. This is sometimes termed ‘management’-the term ‘risk treatment’ is used to avoid confusion with the concept that ‘risk management’ is the overall ERM process. Whichever term is used, treatment/management is the continuing principal process of ERM once the initial risk analysis and assessment processes are completed.

Environmental Management 167 While risk analysis and assessment can be, to some extent, a stand-alone exercise, it is particularly important that the treatment phase of ERM be integrated with overall risk management, environmental management and overall management. The responses to risk can include: accepting the risk; eliminating the hazard or avoiding the risk; reducing the consequences; reducing the likelihood and risk transfer. Monitoring, auditing and emergency planning also form part of risk treatment/management. 7.6.1.

Accepting Risk

Once a risk is known, a company, relevant regulatory authority, community or other interested party can decide the risk is acceptable and that no action is needed to reduce or minimize it. Even when risk is accepted, it may however be appropriate to include the relevant hazard in a monitoring program or in emergency planning. Accepting risk is usually tied to recognizing the benefits of the risk-generating activity. The setting and use of acceptable risk criteria is one form of risk acceptance. Risk acceptance is regarded as a management measure when a risk is known, understood and accepted. It is vastly different from proceeding without adequate analysis and in the absence of informed decision-making. Depending on the operational context and the hazards and risk involved, the acceptability criteria may be imposed externally. Thus accepting the risk may not be within the mining company’s discretion. Even with externally imposed criteria there may, in some circumstances, be latitude for interpreting the criteria and possibly negotiating with authorities who may have some discretion. 7.6.2.

Risk Reduction/Minimization

There are three components of risk reduction or minimization: eliminating the hazard; reducing consequences and reducing likelihood. There can be considerable overlap between measures taken to eliminate hazards or reduce consequence or likelihood can overlap considerably. Elimination Hazards can be eliminated by not proceeding with the risk-generating activity or not proceeding with part of it. Alternatively, changing the nature, scale or way in which the activity is carried out may achieve hazard elimination. For example, by changing technology, changing location or not holding particular materials onsite (using substitute materials or minimizing storage). Consequence Reduction/Minimization Worst case consequences can be reduced by attention to the magnitude and severity of the event (e.g. smaller dam-multiple ponds, smaller quantities or fewer hazardous materials) or by limiting or ameliorating the impacts (e.g. secondary containment, emergency response, evacuation, clean up/ remediation). Monitoring and early detection and control can play an important role in reducing the potential for adverse consequences. Likelihood Reduction/Minimization Systems can be made more reliable by adopting appropriate hardware (e.g. equipment) or ‘software’ (e.g. personnel training, maintenance, monitoring and planning). Systems can also be protected from external and internal initiating events, for example, protection against earthquake damage and protection by controlling ignition sources.

168 Environmental Studies The likelihood of intermediate and final outcomes can also be influenced by secondary controls and safeguards, monitoring, emergency response and so forth. 7.6.3

Risk Transfer

Risk transfer describes arrangements that shift responsibility for hazard consequences if they occur and/or of the failure to take other risk management measures. It is useful principally when consequences or remedies are largely financial or where the legal liability can be transferred. Risk transfer does not change likelihood or consequences, just who bears the responsibility. The most common form of risk transfer is insurance. Insurance can include self insurance by holding a reserve. Other forms of risk transfer can include contractual arrangements between parties and indemnification by government or other parties. For environmental risk, the consequences may neither be readily remedied nor the affected parties compensated. There may also be non-transferable liabilities and penalties for adverse impacts on the business (for example, bad publicity and distraction of management, viz the Union Carbide/Bhopal case and the Exxon Valdez case) and possible personal fines and penalties including imprisonment for staff, management and directors. 7.6.4.

Emergency/Contingency Planning

Emergency/contingency planning covering all environmental hazards should be fully integrated into the ERM. Planning needs to be based on rigorous hazard identification and testing of response capability. The hazard analysis study should be drawn on for the development or updating of the site emergency plans. NSW DUAP’s Industry Emergency Planning Guidelines may provide some useful guidance for this. Emergency planning should include provisions for incident reporting, including near miss incident reporting, and timely and rigorous incident investigation. 7.6.5


Monitoring environmental performance and the condition and performance of safeguards is particularly important for satisfactory ERM. A sound monitoring program can detect emerging problems or impacts and provide an opportunity to intervene, particularly if impacts are progressive and long term. The environmental risk analysis should be referred to for designing the monitoring program. When logic trees have been used it may be productive to identify indicator events a step or two back from realizing an incident or impact so that they may be monitored as early-warning and riskassessment verification tools. 7.6.6.


Environmental (hazard) auditing is essential to the integrity of the ERM process. It is not sufficient to rely on a one-off analysis-circumstances change. The auditing needs to address, among others: the implementation of recommendations of the risk analysis and other relevant studies, including previous audits; other key features of the ERM program; and the monitoring systems and performance as they relate to risk-affected aspects. The audit process should also seek to identify any changes that might be significant to the risk profile of the operation, and ensure that such changes will be covered by review and revision of the risk analysis.

Environmental Management 169 7.6.7.

Risk Management Program/System

Continuing ERM arrangements should be incorporated into a structured environmental management program or system. This program or system needs to be integrated with safety management, environmental management, risk management and overall management systems. The environmental risk management program (ERMP) needs to clearly identify roles and responsibilities and how and when risk management actions should be taken. It must particularly address change management and identifying additional hazards and changes to risk levels during transition and under the changed conditions. The change management provisions must recognize relevant change to the external environment and provide for adjustments in managing environmental risk. Aboriginal liaison officer and traditional owners discuss water management issues at the Ranger Uranium Mine, NT.


Communication and Consultation

This can be the most difficult part of the ERM process. It is easy to not consult and to not listen. It is also easy to stimulate concern about risk without providing effective assurance to interested parties that it will be adequately managed. It is much harder to get the consultation and communication process right. However, effort put into the communication process is usually well worth it. Effective risk communication is, or should be, a two-way process. It is not just about hearing what all interested parties (including the local and broader community, government authorities and special interest groups) have to say about their concerns and accessing their information, perspectives and insights. It is also about providing clear and accessible information on results of risk analysis and the ERMP. Risk communication needs to be seen as integral to ERM. As shown in Figure 1, it should introduce the process and continue throughout the life of the mining operation. It should not be seen as an adjunct at the end to simply inform the public of the assessed levels of risk and the intended management arrangements. The process should involve accessing the knowledge of outsiders, understanding their perspectives and providing them with information held by the company on its operations, risk and perspectives. The same two-way process is needed for company personnel. Obviously the personnel of the mining operation have practical experience and expertise that others will not. Effective ERM cannot be achieved unless the board, management and workforce also know about the risks, how they are generated and controlled and the importance that is placed on soundly managing them. The ERMP also needs appropriate, continuing communication with interested parties outside the organization. Consideration should be given to structured community participation in monitoring and auditing processes. How risk is perceived differently is a significant issue in the communication process. The process of risk analysis described above focuses largely on qualitative or quantitative estimates of 'actual' or 'real' risk. However, it is often the case that different stakeholders perceive risk differently. The perceived risk commonly varies widely from the estimated risk, not just for aspects such as severity or likelihood but in more fundamental ways. Appropriate management measures cannot be developed without an understanding of perceived risk. The risk analysis cannot be complete without input on perceived risks.

170 Environmental Studies There is an extensive and diverse literature on risk communication and risk perception. Much of it suggests that perceived risk is just as real as ‘actual’ risk. One prominent suggestion is that risk, defined from a technical perspective, is too narrow and that it should be redefined to include both the technical (actual) risk and the ‘outrage’ stakeholders feel. ‘Outrage’ encompasses concepts such as fairness, familiarity, ‘voluntariness’ control, and trustworthiness of the organization(s) promoting or controlling the risk generating activity. This is a useful notion to the extent that it can aid the design of risk analysis studies and communication processes so that issues of significance to interested parties are addressed. Even given the view that perceived risk should be treated with respect and management processes designed with a degree of recognition and acceptance of the risk perception, there is still merit in initiatives aimed at bringing the perceived and estimated risk together. This may require an attempt to bring perceived risks ‘down’ to the estimated levels. However, it may also mean bringing perceptions ‘up’ towards the estimated levels, particularly if company personnel responsible for the analysis have not previously been exposed to environmental risk issues. It is often assumed that company personnel know all about the risks associated with its operations. All too often, however, their perceptions do not mesh with the outcomes of risk analysis. Risk is often underestimated-familiarity can breed complacency and significant risk underestimation. Appropriate training for all relevant personnel is therefore necessary. The credibility of the risk analysis can significantly influence acceptance of the appropriateness and adequacy of ERM for an operation. Ensuring that the risk analysis is demonstrably rigorous and well executed may not be enough. The use of independent parties to conduct the risk studies and audits can also be significant. The Community Consultation and Involvement booklet explains how to consult the community and encourage its members to contribute to environmental matters. A good summary of the issues covering risk communications and trust are provided by Covello (1999).



It is appropriate that ERM be applied to all phases of the mining cycle and all parts of mining operations.


Planning and Concept Development

When mining facilities or operations are developed or modified, the importance of building ERM into the planning and concept development cannot be overstated. As stressed in the Mine Planning for Environment Protection booklet, considering ERM issues early can steer planning and concept development down paths that avoid significant and costly problems and delays. Fundamental decisions made in these initial developmental stages could have significant environmental risk implications that may be hard to address later. Basic matters such as the location and layout of mine workings, processing facilities and choices of mining method and technology are examples. The siting of an underground mine’s head works, for example, could affect a range of issues. For example, the site could determine which catchment could be affected by contaminated water releases or the potential for significantly affecting some plants or animals. Locating mineral processing facilities at the mine, or transporting the ore for processing elsewhere, could change the hazards and risks

Environmental Management 171 associated with both these operations. Choosing open cut or underground mining technology exemplifies the differences in the potential and range of environmental risk impacts at the surface. Issues such as mining sequence and optimal mining duration could also markedly influence environmental risk. ‘No go’ areas are sometimes a difficult issue but must be covered early in mine development. There is a need to accept in principle that some areas may be too sensitive for mining to be acceptable, even where the likelihood of adverse consequences is considered very low. It is important in understanding risk management that, just as low consequence events can be tolerated at relatively high frequencies, at some level of consequence even extremely low frequencies may not be sufficient justification. The precautionary principle, the limits to knowledge and the uncertainties involved in ERM are highly relevant to this. The extent of risk analysis work required at this stage will vary from case to case. A separate preliminary risk review may be appropriate. A hazard identification with the brief of identifying anything that would preclude mining, be too expensive to deal with or produce an unacceptable level of uncertainty might also suffice. Alternatively, it might be appropriate to proceed with detailed work as part of the ERM for the project as a whole. The degree of certainty and commitment to the project at this stage could be significant in determining the level of detail required. In some instances an iterative approach might be appropriate.



The exploration phase should not be overlooked as a source of environmental risk and exploration programs should be subjected to ERM. Before exploration activities begin, early community liaison should take place. The exploration process has, for example, the potential to introduce and spread plants and animals and to spread pathogens such as the fungus that causes dieback. If the exploration process opens up access to an area, the risk impacts associated with the enhanced access should not be ignored. These could be, for example, increased bushfire risk from recreational four wheel drive access and other disturbance and destruction of habitat.


EIA and Approval Processes

It is increasingly common to have a formal requirement for risk analysis/assessment, including environmental risk analysis/assessment, as part of the requirements for impact assessment for regulatory approvals.


Development and Construction

Some hazards and risks are peculiar to the construction phase during which there may be a high likelihood of events of high consequence occurring. It is not unusual, even when the operational phase issues have been dealt with relatively carefully, for issues associated with the development and construction phases to have been largely ignored. These phases can include major modifications and demolition activities and should be subject to rigorous ERM. The requirement for such analysis and management should be built in to the changed management procedures in the environmental management system and the ERMP.

172 Environmental Studies 8.5.


It is important that ERM is recognized as a continuing activity-not a snapshot assessment process. The Environmental Management Systems booklet covers the environmental management systems for mining operations. As discussed in section 2, it is important that ERM is fully integrated with the environmental management systems and with the environmental management program, environmental auditing and environmental monitoring. The changed management provisions of the EMS should in particular incorporate ERM provisions.


Decommissioning and Rehabilitation

The environmental risk associated with the impact of mining operations after the mining phase should be fully considered in ERM. This should be covered at the outset of the process for a new mining development and kept under review through the operational phase. For existing mines, the post-operational phase should be covered by the ERM. The likely costs associated with post-mining risk management should be carefully considered in assessing the viability of the mining operation.


Remediating Former Mining Sites

Former mine sites are a special case that may show high levels of environmental risk. Typically, such sites may be contaminated and unavailable for beneficial use without remediation. They may be susceptible to potential adverse impacts from containment structure failure, leachate/contamination of surface or ground water, erosion/siltation, weed invasion and so forth. Some sites are abandoned and the organizations that undertook the mining defunct. The threat to the environment may, however, still be very real and ERM may help devise adequate and costeffective strategies to address the hazards. For contaminated land, for example, risk analysis can provide the basis for matching remediation to an acceptable level of risk exposure for a particular future use.



Given environmental awareness and regulation trends and growing global environment pressures, it is highly likely that requirements for a high standard of environmental management will increase. Increasing awareness of our knowledge limits (particularly about environmental impacts and the uncertainties in complex systems) is likely to further increase risk-based decision-making. It is highly likely, therefore, that ERM will play a bigger role in the environmental management of mining in the future than it does today. Additional performance-based regulatory requirements are likely to foster this trend. At the same time, there is the continuing move in Australia and other OECD nations to make directors, managers and workers personally liable for environmental incidents. This should result in an increased use of risk analysis/assessment to demonstrate due diligence as a defense should incidents or undesirable outcomes occur. The global trend for society to be increasingly litigious will also tend to reinforce the need for demonstrably sound ERM. The current trend of introducing risk and performance-based approaches for regulatory matters that overlap with ERM, including OH & S matters, dangerous goods control and land use control could also be significant.

Environmental Management 173 On the technical side, greater experience with using ERM in mining will promote further development and refinement of tools, especially those for coping with the consequences of releasing toxic or polluting substances to the aquatic environment. Risk criteria, including those for the biophysical environment, are likely to be progressively developed, refined and standardized. There may also be moves to codify risk assessment protocols and possibly standardize consequence models and some datasets (e.g. equipment failure frequency and toxicity data). The rapid ranking and matrix type approaches are likely to be further refined and used alongside the more detailed casespecific risk analysis. In line with the national trend for government to devolve the responsibility for ensuring sound environmental management to the operating organization, it is likely that there may be moves towards accreditation of consultants and others assessing risk and auditing environmental hazards. Longer term perspectives and issues such as greenhouse gas issues, climate change, ESD and intergenerational equity are all likely to become major factors in ERM. Pressure for quality risk communication might also be expected to grow. Overall it would seem that ERM in mining will only grow in importance and that there will be significant benefits in heading down this path sooner rather than later.

SUMMARY Environmental management is an interdisciplinary approach to resource conservation and recycling and it acts as a regulatory force on human wantonness in resource exploitation and resource wasting. In order to manage the environment in a rational manner, it is necessary to assess the potential of the environment for supporting life processes and for providing the resources for development. The objective of environmental management is improved human life quality. It involves the mobilization of resources and the use of government to administer the use of both natural and economic goods and services. Properly applied ERM can markedly improve environmental performance and can also optimize the use of resources in mining operations and in environmental protection activities. A structured and systematic approach to risk management enables environment protection measures to be well targeted rather than either excessive or inadequate. ERM should aim to eliminate the uncertainty of ignorance and identify and manage the uncertainties of the unknown and unpredictability. Mining operations clearly have significant potential to cause environmental harm if not managed effectively. Mining can never have zero environmental impact: there is always some uncertainty about the probability of events and about the type and extent of possible adverse impacts from them. Risk management has a vital role to play in operations, because the likelihood of adverse consequences cannot be entirely eliminated without making mining operations technically or economically non-viable. In an ideal world, every aspect of mining-related operations would be subject to ERM. In practice this is not so and it is unrealistic to expect to achieve this quickly. It is necessary therefore for ERM exercises to be more selective and focused and it is particularly important that, when starting any such process, careful attention is paid to defining the scope of objectives and the entity to be covered. Risk estimation or characterization requires the consequence and likelihood analysis outputs to be combined so an estimate or indication of the likelihood of defined adverse outcomes can be generated. The question of the appropriateness of using external resources for conducting risk assessment studies should not be confused with the issue of ERM overall. The management of environmental risk must be clearly owned and implemented.

174 Environmental Studies There are three components of risk reduction or minimization: eliminating the hazard; reducing consequences and reducing likelihood. There can be considerable overlap between measures taken to eliminate hazards or reduce consequence or likelihood can overlap considerably. Longer term perspectives and issues such as greenhouse gas issues, climate change, ESD and intergenerational equity are all likely to become major factors in ERM. Pressure for quality risk communication might also be expected to grow. Overall it would seem that ERM in mining will only grow in importance and that there will be significant benefits in heading down this path sooner rather than later.

QUESTIONS 1. What do you mean by environmental management? What are the important aspects of environment management? 2. Describe the different corner stones of environment management. 3. Discuss the support system required for environmental management. 4. Define environmental risk management. What is the role of environmental risk management? 5. Define ‘risk’ and ‘hazard’ and how the two differ from each other? 6. Describe the process of ERM. 7. Discuss in detail the principles of ERM. 8. What are the main environmental hazards in the mining industry? 9. Explain the components of risk reduction.


 Environmental Impact Assessment 1.


The level and pace of socio-economic advancement in developing countries has important implications for the efficacy with which legislature and institutional regimes are developed and applied for the promotion of environmental management. In the first instance, the imperatives of rapid social and economic development could influence the political will to initiate, implement and enforce appropriate environmental policies and laws. Secondly, these development imperatives often circumscribe the limits of resources available for environmental protection. Thirdly, implementing agencies often operate under severe resource constraints and fourthly, the relatively low level of public awareness, particularly environmental awareness does little to trigger a sense of urgency and resolve for political and legislative action for environmental management for sustainable development. In the absence of familiarity with environmental legislation and the environmental impacts of human activities there is likely to be no spontaneous observance of normative demands for efforts at environmental protection and enhancement. In the last instance, the desire to satisfy basic social needs could very well override even basic environmental considerations. It might also be remembered that environmental management in many countries, especially the developing countries, is achieved not only through environmental legislation, i.e. laws, regulations and rules which are enforceable in a court of law, but also through administrative provisions such as administrative orders, technical standards etc. which are applied through various administrative mechanisms. This is especially true in relation to the implementation of international environmental conventions. Often, many years pass before provisions are established in laws for the implementation and application of the provisions of international agreements. It is equally true in the implementation, especially at its early stages, of environmental policy, such as the requirement of environmental impact assessment in respect of development projects and the procedures to be followed in respect of such assessments. From this perspective, environmental legislation is one of the chief tools for formulating environmental policy while also being one of the major instruments for implementing it. The requirement of a State to conduct Environmental Impact Assessments in respect of activities that are likely to significantly affect the environment has been reflected in Principle 17 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Article 5 of the Legal Principle for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, adopted by the Experts Group on Environmental Law of the World Commission on Environment and Development, and in the 1987 Goals and Principle of Environmental Impact Assessment developed under the auspices of UNEP by the Working Group of

176 Environmental Studies Experts on Environmental Law and which were adopted by the UNEP Governing Council at its 14th session, and commended to States to be considered for use as a basis for preparing appropriate national measures including legislation. Such a requirement in the context of transboundary impacts has also been incorporated in several regional agreements, e.g. UN/ECE Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context (1991) and several Regional Agreements concluded under UNEP’s Regional Seas Programmes and resolutions of international bodies, e.g. 1984 ECA Council Resolution on Environmental and Development in Africa, 1984 EEC Council Directive on Assessment of the Effects of Major Public and Private Projects on the Environment. The issue to be addressed here is how environmental damage can be avoided or reduced so as to ensure that development initiatives and their benefits are sustainable. The directive of environmental management should be to achieve the greatest benefit presently possible for the use of natural resources without reducing their potential to meet future needs and the carrying capacity of the environment. Taking environmental considerations into account in development planning does not imply that the pace of socio-economic progress will be slowed down, and taking environmental considerations into account in the various phases of the project cycle must not be seen as placing undue constraints on a country’s development options. If a project is to be suspended on environmental grounds, alternative opinions that are environmentally sound must be provided to meet the country's developmental needs. Moreover, implications of environmental impacts assessed from the global standpoint cannot be insensitively translated into specific action in the developing countries in the absence concrete alternatives that would enable the poor countries to relate the shortterm well-being of their populations to their long-term well-being and to that of the world. For most projects, particularly those involving large public investments in areas such as infrastructure, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) should be carried out and linked to the cost-benefit analysis. The objective of the EIA is to ensure that environmental aspects are addressed and potential problems are foreseen at the appropriate stage of project design. EIA should be envisaged as an integral part of the planning process and initiated at the project level from the start. Various guidelines on EIA are available. The main steps are as follows: · Preliminary activities include the selection of a coordinator for the EIA and the collection of background information. This should be undertaken as soon as a project has been identified. · Impact identification involves a broad analysis of the impacts of project activities with a view to identifying those which are worthy of a detailed study. · Baseline study entails the collection of detailed information and data on the condition of the project area prior to the project's implementation. · Impact evaluation should be done whenever possible in quantitative terms and should include the working-out of potential mitigation measures. Impact evaluation cannot proceed until project alternative has been defined, but should be completed early enough to permit decisions to be made in a timely fashion. · Assessment involves combining environmental losses and gains with economic costs and benefits to procedure a complete account to each project alternative. Cost-benefit analysis should include environmental impacts where these can be evaluated in monetary terms (see Economic Analysis section). · Documentation is prepared to describe to the work done in the EIA. A working document is prepared to provide clearly stated and argued recommendations for immediate action. The working document should contain a list of project alternative with comments on the environmental and economic impacts of each.

Environmental Impact Assessment 177 · Decision-making begins when the working document reaches the decision maker, who will either accept one of the project alternatives, request further study or reject the proposed action altogether. · Post audits are made to determine how close to reality the EIA predictions were.



What then are the main elements of an adequate national legislative and institutional regime to give effect to and implement the above mentioned principles of environmental impact assessment? Though a universally applicable model of legislation for environmental impact assessment may be not be feasible, it is possible to identify certain crucial elements of the EIA process that may be regulated through legislative means. In this connection, it might also be borne in mind that “law” in the sense of statutes enacted by the legislature represent only one type of law making and could yield an incomplete picture of the regulatory regime, which may also included, administrative directives, judicial decisions, customs, etc. Having regard to the principles of Environmental Impact Assessment discussed and State practice in the legislative and institutional field, it would appear that the following constitute the principle elements of a national regulatory regime for EIA. 1. Requirement of EIA in respect of activities likely to have a significant impact on natural resources and the environment i.e. stage at which EIA is required. 2. Criteria and procedure for determining which activities require EIA, e.g. lists of relevant projects, areas and resources, requirement of a preliminary assessment etc. 3. Institutional arrangements — the establishment and empowerment of a designated authority to require EIAs and administer the process. 4. Communication procedures and time tables. 5. Format and requirement of EIA report — responsibility for preparing report having regard to requirements of objectivity and transparency. 6. Review of EIA — scientific and technical review - institutional arrangements. 7. Public participation — rights of the public; procedural matters. 8. Decision making process. 9. Appeals from decisions of authorized bodies — administrative, quasi-judicial and judicial. 10. Transboundary impacts — requirements of notification, consultation and accommodation. 11. Continuing monitoring The regulation governing EIA should indicate as clearly as possible which projects are subjected to EIA procedure and which are not, so as to avoid bureaucratic constrains on minor activities. If it is felt that the requirement for EIA would change with time, it may be appropriate to make only a general statement in the body of the legislation and keep the specifics for supplementary guidelines or regulations. Rules governing an EIA should always be documented. On the contents of EIA, the law may provide for submission of a written document to a designated agency or decision-making body describing the environmental impact of a proposed project and/or alternatives and mitigating measures (and their assessments). At a minimum, the document should contain;

178 Environmental Studies (a) A description of the proposed activity; (b) A description of the potentially affected environment, including specific information necessary for identifying and assessing the environmental effects of the proposed activity; (c) A description of practical alternatives as appropriate; (d) An assessment of the likely or potential environmental impacts of the proposed activity and alternatives, including the direct, indirect, cumulative, short-term and long-term effects; (e) An identification and description of measures available to mitigate adverse environmental impacts of the proposed activity and alternatives, and an assessment of those measures; (f) An indication of gaps in knowledge and uncertainties which may be encountered in compiling the required information; (g) An indication of whether the environment of any other State or areas beyond national jurisdiction are likely to be affected by the proposed activity, and possible alternatives; and (h) A brief non-technical summary of the information provided under the above headings. The EIA legislation or provision should establish effective review and dispute settlement procedures to avoid unnecessary delays in decision-making. Technical review may be undertaken by an independent agency of environmental exports on the proposal project or in exceptional circumstances the decision maker. There is need for a tribunal or arbitrator for dispute settlement, since the ordinary courts may be too busy to act on EIA cases promptly because of the workload they have. An independent arbitrator or a special body could be provided for to hear objections and make decisions with reasonable dispatch. Such an arrangement will ensure that EIA countries to be a tool to aid development rather than being an impediment to it.



Provisions related to EIA began appearing in developing countries’ legislation during the 1970s, shortly after the United States enacted the first national EIA law-the National Environmental Protection Act of 1969. References to EIA were made in the environmental legislation of Malaysia, Ecuador and the Philippines. In addition, the Philippines promulgated supplemental legislation which set forth a more detailed EIA procedure. Throughout the 1980s, more countries decided to establish EIA as an element of environmental policy and a legal requirement for proposed development activities. Again, many countries elected to insert EIA provisions within their framework environmental legislation (e.g. Algeria, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, India, Pakistan, Palau, Senagal, South Africa, Togo, Turkey), while other also elaborated EIA requirements within a complementary decree or regulation (Brazil, Congo, Indonesia, Mexico). Since 1990 the pace of legislative activity on environmental issues has quickened and the number of countries with EIA legislation has increased significantly. Recent framework environmental laws tends to address EIA in more detail (Albania, Belize, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Egypt, Gabon, Honduras, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Mauritius, Peru, Seychelles, Slovenia, Tajkstan, Thailand, the Gambia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Zambia) and more countries have issued EIA laws, decrees and regulations (Czech Republic, Hungary, Mongolia, Nigeria, Paraguay, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Tunisia, Uruguay). One country (Zimbabwe) recently has chosen to issue an EIA policy rather than to enact binding legislation. According to information collected by UNEP, EIA provisions now exist in the framework environmental legislation of 55 developing countries. In addition, at least 22 developing countries

Environmental Impact Assessment 179 currently have specific laws, decrees or regulations which contain criteria or procedures applicable to EIA. Other decrees and administrative instruments provided sectoral EIA guideline related to mining, energy, transport, etc.


ANALYSIS OF EIA LEGISLATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES 1. Scope of legal regulation · requirements; · level of government; · identification of projects 2. Institutional aspects · authorized agencies and their respective powers and functions. 3. Procedural aspects · Communication procedures and time tables; · reporting requirement; · consideration of alternative and mitigating parties; · public participation; · review; · decision making; · appeals; · transboundary impacts; · monitoring and assessment.

Challenges and responses 1. Approach — shifting focus from projects proponent to people affected - both beneficially and adversely. 2. Adequacy and clarity of EIA scheme. 3. Reliability of information/data. 4. Adequacy of methods for assessing impacts and placing appropriate weight on negative environmental impacts in relation to developmental factors. 5. Resource capabilities.



Every anthropogenic activity has some impact on the environment. More often it is harmful to the environment than benign. However, mankind as it is developed today cannot live without taking up these activities for his food, security and other needs. Consequently, there is a need to harmonise developmental activities with the environmental concerns. Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is one of the tools available with the planners to achieve the above-mentioned goal. It is desirable to ensure that the development options under consideration are sustainable. In doing so, environmental consequences must be characterised early in the project cycle and accounted for in the project design. The objective of EIA is to foresee the potential environmental problems that would arise out of a proposed development and address them in the project’s planning and design stage. The EIA process should then allow for the communication of this information to:

180 Environmental Studies (a) the project proponent; (b) the regulatory agencies; and, (c) all stakeholders and interest groups EIA integrates the environmental concerns in the developmental activities right at the time of initiating for preparing the feasibility report. In doing so it can enable the integration of environmental concerns and mitigation measures in project development. EIA can often prevent future liabilities or expensive alterations in project design.



The environmental impact assessment in India was started in 1976-77 when the Planning Commission asked the then Department of Science and Technology to examine the river-valley projects from environmental angle. This was subsequently extended to cover those projects, which required approval of the Public Investment Board. These were administrative decisions, and lacked the legislative support. The Government of India enacted the Environment (Protection) Act on 23rd May 1986. To achieve the objectives of the Act, one of the decisions that were taken is to make environmental impact assessment statutory. After following the legal procedure, a notification was issued on 27th January 1994 and subsequently amended on 4th May 1994, 10th April 1997 and 27th January 2000 making environmental impact assessment statutory for 30 activities. This is the principal piece of legislation governing environmental impact assessment. Besides this the Government of India under Environment (Protection) Act 1986 issued a number of other notifications, which are related to environmental impact assessment. These are limited to specific geographical areas. These notifications are listed as: · Prohibiting location of industries except those related to Tourism in a belt of 1 km from high tide mark from the Revdanda Creek up to Devgarh Point (near Shriverdhan) as well as in 1 km belt along the banks of Rajpuri Creek in Murud Janjira area in the Raigarh district of Maharashtra (6th January, 1989). · Restricting location of industries, mining operations and regulating other activities in Doon Valley (1st February, 1989). · Regulating activities in the coastal stretches of the country by classifying them as coastal regulation zone and prohibiting certain activities (19th February, 1991). · Restricting location of industries and regulating other activities in Dahanu Taluka in Maharashtra (6th June, 1991). · Restricting certain activities in specified areas of Aravalli Range in the Gurgaon district of Haryana and Alwar district of Rajasthan (7th May, 1992). · Regulating industrial and other activities, which could lead to pollution and congestion in an area north west of Numaligarh Assam (5th July, 1996).


THE EIA CYCLE AND PROCEDURES The EIA process in India is made up of the following phases : · · · ·

Screening Scoping and consideration of alternatives Baseline data collection Impact prediction

Environmental Impact Assessment 181 · Assessment of alternatives, delineation of mitigation measures and environmental impact statement · Public hearing · Environment Management Plan · Decision making · Monitoring the clearance conditions



Screening is done to see whether a project requires environmental clearance as per the statutory notifications. Screening Criteria are based upon: · Scales of investment; · Type of development; and, · Location of development. A Project requires statutory environmental clearance only if the provisions of EIA notification and/or one or more statutory notification mentioned above cover it



Scoping is a process of detailing the terms of reference of EIA. It has to be done by the consultant in consultation with the project proponent and guidance, if need be, from Impact Assessment Agency. The Ministry of Environment and Forests has published guidelines for different sectors, which outline the significant issues to be addressed in the EIA studies. Quantifiable impacts are to be assessed on the basis of magnitude, prevalence, frequency and duration and non-quantifiable impacts (such as aesthetic or recreational value), significance is commonly determined through the socioeconomic criteria. After the areas, where the project could have significant impact, are identified, the baseline status of these should be monitored and then the likely changes in these on account of the construction and operation of the proposed project should be predicted.


Baseline Data

Baseline data describes the existing environmental status of the identified study area. The sitespecific primary data should be monitored for the identified parameters and supplemented by secondary data if available.


Impact Prediction

Impact prediction is a way of ‘mapping’ the environmental consequences of the significant aspects of the project and its alternatives. Environmental impact can never be predicted with absolute certainty and this is all the more reason to consider all possible factors and take all possible precautions for reducing the degree of uncertainty. The following impacts of the project should be assessed: Air — changes in ambient levels and ground level concentrations due to total emissions from point, line and area sources — effects on soils, materials, vegetation, and human health

182 Environmental Studies Noise — changes in ambient levels due to noise generated from equipment and movement of vehicles — effect on fauna and human health Water — availability to competing users — changes in quality — sediment transport — ingress of saline water Land — changes in land use and drainage pattern — changes in land quality including effects of waste disposal — changes in shoreline/riverbank and their stability Biological — deforestation/tree-cutting and shrinkage of animal habitat. — impact on fauna and flora (including aquatic species if any) due to contaminants/pollutants — impact on rare and endangered species, endemic species, and migratory path/route of animals. — impact on breeding and nesting grounds Socio-Economic — impact on the local community including demographic changes. — impact on economic status — impact on human health. — impact of increased traffic


Assessment of Alternatives, Delineation of Mitigation Measures and Environmental Impact Assessment Report

For every project, possible alternatives should be identified and environmental attributes compared. Alternatives should cover both project location and process technologies. Alternatives should consider ‘no project’ option also. Alternatives should then be ranked for selection of the best environmental option for optimum economic benefits to the community at large. Once alternatives have been reviewed, a mitigation plan should be drawn up for the selected option and is supplemented with an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) to guide the proponent towards environmental improvements. The EMP is a crucial input to monitoring the clearance conditions and therefore details of monitoring should be included in the EMP. An EIA report should provide clear information to the decision-maker on the different environmental scenarios without the project, with the project and with project alternatives. Uncertainties should be clearly reflected in the EIA report.


Public Hearing

Law requires that the public must be informed and consulted on a proposed development after the completion of EIA report. Any one likely to be affected by the proposed project is entitled to have access to the Executive Summary of the EIA. The affected persons may include:

Environmental Impact Assessment 183 · bonafide local residents; · local associations; · environmental groups: active in the area · any other person located at the project site / sites of displacement They are to be given an opportunity to make oral/written suggestions to the State Pollution Control Board.


Decision Making

Decision making process involve consultation between the project proponent (assisted by a consultant) and the impact assessment authority (assisted by an expert group if necessary) The decision on environmental clearance is arrived at through a number of steps including evaluation of EIA and EMP.


Monitoring the Clearance Conditions

Monitoring should be done during both construction and operation phases of a project. This is not only to ensure that the commitments made are complied with but also to observe whether the predictions made in the EIA reports were correct or not. Where the impacts exceed the predicted levels, corrective action should be taken. Monitoring will enable the regulatory agency to review the validity of predictions and the conditions of implementation of the Environmental Management Plan (EMP).



The difference between Comprehensive EIA and Rapid EIA is in the time-scale of the data supplied. Rapid EIA is for speedier appraisal process. While both types of EIA require inclusion/ coverage of all significant environmental impacts and their mitigation, Rapid EIA achieves this through the collection of ‘one season’ (other than monsoon) data only to reduce the time required. This is acceptable if it does not compromise on the quality of decision-making. The review of Rapid EIA submissions will show whether a comprehensive EIA is warranted or not. It is, therefore, clear that the submission of a professionally prepared Comprehensive EIA in the first instance would generally be the more efficient approach. Depending on nature, location and scale of the project EIA report should contain all or some of the following components. Air Environment — Determination of impact zone (through a screening model) and developing a monitoring network — Monitoring the existing status of ambient air quality within the impacted region (7-10 km from the periphery) of the proposed project site — Monitoring the site-specific meteorological data, viz. wind speed and direction, humidity, ambient temperature and environmental lapse rate — Estimation of quantities of air emissions including fugitive emissions from the proposed project — Identification, quantification and evaluation of other potential emissions (including those of vehicular traffic) within the impact zone and estimation of cumulative of all the emissions/ impacts

184 Environmental Studies — Prediction of changes in the ambient air quality due to point, line and areas source emissions through appropriate air quality models — Evaluation of the adequacy of the proposed pollution control devices to meet gaseous emission and ambient air quality standards — Delineation of mitigation measures at source, path ways and receptor Noise Environment — Monitoring the present status of noise levels within the impact zone, and prediction of future noise levels resulting from the proposed project and related activities including increase in vehicular movement — Identification of impacts due to any anticipated rise in noise levels on the surrounding environment — Recommendations on mitigation measures for noise pollution Water Environment — Study of existing ground and surface water resources with respect to quantity and quality within the impact zone of the proposed project — Prediction of impacts on water resources due to the proposed water use/pumping on account of the project — Quantification and characterisation of waste water including toxic organic, from the proposed activity — Evaluation of the proposed pollution prevention and wastewater treatment system and suggestions on modification, if required — Prediction of impacts of effluent discharge on the quality of the receiving water body using appropriate mathematical/simulation models — Assessment of the feasibility of water recycling and reuse and delineation of detailed plan in this regard Biological Environment — Survey of flora and fauna clearly delineating season and duration. — Assessment of flora and fauna present within the impact zone of the project — Assessment of potential damage to terrestrial and aquatic flora and fauna due to discharge of effluents and gaseous emissions from the project — Assessment of damage to terrestrial flora and fauna due to air pollution, and land use and landscape changes — Assessment of damage to aquatic and marine flora and fauna (including commercial fishing) due to physical disturbances and alterations — Prediction of biological stresses within the impact zone of the proposed project — Delineation of mitigation measures to prevent and/or reduce the damage. Land Environment — Studies on soil characteristics, existing land use and topography, landscape and drainage patterns within the impact zone — Estimation of impacts of project on land use, landscape, topography, drainage and hydrology — Identification of potential utility of treated effluent in land application and subsequent impacts — Estimation and Characterisation of solid wastes and delineation of management options for minimisation of waste and environmentally compatible disposal

Environmental Impact Assessment 185 Socio-economic and Health Environment — Collection of demographic and related socio-economic data — Collection of epidemiological data, including studies on prominent endemic diseases (e.g. fluorosis, malaria, fileria, malnutrition) and morbidity rates among the population within the impact zone — Projection of anticipated changes in the socio-economic and health due to the project and related activities including traffic congestion and delineation of measures to minimise adverse impacts — Assessment of impact on significant historical, cultural and archaeological sites/places in the area — Assessment of economic benefits arising out of the project — Assessment of rehabilitation requirements with special emphasis on scheduled areas, if any. Risk Assessment — Hazard identification taking recourse to hazard indices, inventory analysis, dam break probability, Natural Hazard Probability etc. — Maximum Credible Accident (MCA) analysis to identify potential hazardous scenarios — Consequence analysis of failures and accidents resulting in fire, explosion, hazardous releases and dam breaks etc. — Hazard & Operability (HAZOP) studies — Assessment of risk on the basis of the above evaluations — Preparation of an onsite and off site (project affected area) Disaster Management Plan Environment Management Plan — Delineation of mitigation measures including prevention and control for each environmental component and rehabilitation and resettlement plan. — Delineation of monitoring scheme for compliance of conditions — Delineation of implementation plan including scheduling and resource allocation



EIA involves many parties, grouped by their role definition within the process. The following section outlines the basic responsibilities of various bodies: — — — — —

The Project Proponent The Environmental Consultants The State Pollution Control Board/Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) The Public The Impact Assessment Agency

The Role of the Project Proponent The project proponent during the project planning stage decides the type of projects i.e. new establishment, expansion or modernisation. Later the project proponent needs to prepare the Detailed Project Report/Feasibility Report and submits the Executive Summary, which shall incorporate the project details, and findings of EIA study, which is to be made available to concerned public. The proponent has to approach the concerned SPCB for NOC and holding the public hearing. After the public hearing the proponent submits application to IAA for environmental clearance.

186 Environmental Studies Role of Environment Consultant Environmental consultant should be conversant with the existing legal and procedural requirements of obtaining environmental clearance for proposed project. The consultant should guide the proponent through initial screening of the project and establish whether EIA studies are required to be conducted and if so finalise the scope of such study. The consultant should also be fully equipped with required instruments and infrastructure for conducting EIA studies. The environmental consultant is responsible for supplying all the environment-related information required by the SPCB and IAA through the proponent. The consultant is also required to justify the findings in the EIA and EMP during the meeting with the expert groups at IAA. The Role of the State Pollution Control Board (PCB) /Pollution Control Committee (PCC) The State PCBs/PCCs are responsible for assessing the compatibility of a proposed development with current operational and prescribed standards. If the development is in compliance, the PCB will then issue its NOC. They shall also hold the public hearing as per the provisions of EIA notification. The details of public hearing shall be forwarded to IAA. The Role of the Public The public also has an important role to play in EIA. The concerned persons will be invited through press advertisement to review information and provide their views on the proposed development requiring environmental clearance. The Role of the Impact Assessment Agency (IAA) Where a proponent is required to obtain environmental clearance, the IAA will evaluate and assess the EIA report. In this process the project proponent will be given a chance to present his proposal. If a project is accepted the IAA will also prepare a set of recommendations and conditions for its implementation based on this assessment. Environmental clearance conditions and recommendations of IAA are made available to the public on request through SPCB and through web site at http:// envfor.nic.in. During the implementation and operation of the project, the IAA will also be responsible for the environmental monitoring process.



In India, EIA was made mandatory in 1994 under the environmental protection Act of 1986 with the following four objectives: 1. Predict environmental impact of projects; 2. Find ways and means to reduce adverse impacts; 3. Shape the projects to suit local environment; 4. Present the predictions and options to the decision-makers. Till 1994, EIA clearance was the administrative requirement for big projects undertaken by the Government or public sector undertakings. The Notification mandates a public hearing and environment itself), with further review by a committee of experts in certain cases. According to Schedule II of the notification, the EIA is expected to cover at least the following matters: 1. Description of the proposed activities; 2. Description of the base environmental and climatic conditions and potential affected environment including specific information necessary to identify and assess the environmental effect of the proposed activities

Environmental Impact Assessment 187 3. Analysis of the land use and land use change, waste generation, water consumption (and the existing balance), power consumption etc. along with the social and health impacts (in terms of number of people displayed etc) 4. Description of the practical activities as appropriate 5. An assessment of the likely or potential environmental impacts of the proposed activity (like air pollution, noise generation) and the alternatives, including the direct or indirect, cumulative, short-term and long-term effects; 6. A risk assessment report and disaster management plan to mitigate adverse environmental impacts of proposed activity and assessment of those measures; 7. An indication of the likely area to be affected by the proposed activity or its alternatives; 8. A detailed environmental feasibility report of all the information provided. The EIA report — which is expected to include proposed measures to be undertaken by a proponent to mitigate or ameliorate the negative environment effects — shall be submitted to the agency for approval. If approved, an environmental agency statement and certificate of approval shall be issued by the agency. In a move, the MoEF also took a step in decentralizing the responsibilities of conducting EIA (notification date 10th April 1997, No. S.O. 319 E). Under the EIA, clearance for certain category of thermal plants lies with the state governments. The Ministry further amended the Notification in December 2000 for exempting defense related road construction projects in border areas from the purview of EIA Notification. The EIA Notification was further amended in November 2001 and production of bulk drugs based on genetically engineered organisms has been exempted from the purview of EIA Notification since this activity attracts the provisions of Hazardous and/or Genetically Modified Micro Organisms Rules, 1989. Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification has also been amended in April, 2001 permitting certain activities in CRZ-I areas such as (a) construction activities related to the projects of Department of Atomic Energy (b) laying of pipelines, conveying systems including transmission lines and (c) facilities that are essential for activities permissible under CRZ-I. Under this amended notification, exploration and extraction of oil and natural gas is also permitted between Low Tide Line (LTL) and High Tide Line (HTL) in areas, which are not ecologically sensitive. Facilities for receipt and storage of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and facilities for its re-gasification can also be permitted in CRZ areas not classified as CRZI (i) subject to implementation of certain safety regulations. A recent amendment to the EIA requirements that was notified on 13 June 2002 exempts pipeline projects from preparation of EIA reports. Administrative Arrangements of EIA The Impact Assessment Agency has the overall responsibility to administer, and enforce the provisions related to EIA. The Impact Assessment Agency (IAA) would be the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests. To deal with projects of different sectors, three impact assessment divisions were constituted. Impact Assessment Division I (IA-I) is responsible for river valley projects; major irrigation projects and hydel power projects. IA-II is responsible for industrial projects, thermal power projects and mining projects. IA-III takes charge of ports and harbour projects; tourism projects; human settlements; projects in ecologically fragile areas; and communication projects. The Forest Conservation Division in the ministry examines projects that involve diversion of forestland for non-forest uses along with the IA divisions. It is however, envisaged that various other government supervising and approving agencies would assist by ensuring that prescribed activities falling within their areas of jurisdiction undergo EIA prior

188 Environmental Studies to approval and implementation. The IAA if deemed necessary may consult a committee of Experts (Environmental Appraisal Committee) having a composition (constituted by the Impact Assessment Agency or such other body under the Central Government authorized by the Impact Assessment Agency in this regard) as specified in Table 2 (Schedule II of the notification) for some sectors like river valley, multipurpose irrigation and hydel power projects, industrial projects, mining projects, thermal power projects, and infrastructure projects. The appraisal committees consist of experts from varied disciplines like water resource management, pollution control, forestry, ecology, landscape planning. These specific groups and task force also appraise other major projects referred to the ministry. The Committee of Experts has the full right of entry and inspection of the site or, as the case may be, factory premises at any time prior to, during or after the commencement of the operations relating to the project.



The composition of the Expert Committee for Environment Impact Assessment is as follows 1. Eco-system Management 2. Air/Water Pollution Control 3. Water Resource Management 4. Flora/Fauna conservation and management 5. Land Use Planning 6. Social Sciences/Rehabilitation 7. Project Appraisal 8. Ecology 9. Environmental Health 10. Subject Area Specialists 11. Representatives of NGOs/persons concerned with environmental issues. The ministry has also set up six regional offices for Post Project Monitoring of Environment at Shillong, Calcutta, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Lucknow, and Bhopal, to monitor and interact with authorities of different regions. The project authorities report to these regional centers every six months to confirm the implementation of the stipulated safeguards. In case of poor performance, the reasons are discussed with the state government concerned and recommendations are made.



The EIA process in India consists the following phases 1. Project Proposal: Any proponent embarking on any major development project shall notify IAA in writing by the submission of a project proposal. The project proposal shall include all relevant information available including a land-use map in order for it to move to the next stage which is screening. The submission of a project proposal signifies the commencement of the EIA process. 2. Screening: Screening is done to see whether a project requires environmental clearance as per the statutory notifications. At this stage, the project proponent decides the type of project and also about requirement of Environmental Clearance. If required, the proponent may consult IAA.

Environmental Impact Assessment 189 3. Scoping and consideration of alternatives: Scoping is a process of detailing the terms of reference of EIA. It has to be done by the consultant in consultation with the project proponent and guidance, if need be, from Impact Assessment Agency. The Ministry of Environment and Forests has published guidelines for different sectors (see next sub section), which outlines the significant issues to be addressed in the EIA studies. Quantifiable impacts are to be assessed on the basis of magnitude, prevalence, frequency and duration and non-quantifiable impacts (such as aesthetic or recreational value), significance is commonly determined through the socioeconomic criteria. After the areas, where the project could have significant impact, are identified, the baseline status of these should be monitored and then the likely changes in these on account of the construction and operation of the proposed project should be predicted. 4. Base line data collection: Base line data describes the existing environmental status of the identified study area. The site-specific primary data should be monitored for the identified parameters and supplemented by secondary data if available. 5. Impact prediction and Assessment of Alternatives: Impact prediction is a way of mapping the environmental consequences of the significant aspects of the project and its alternatives. For every project, possible alternatives should be identified and environmental attributes compared. Alternatives should cover both project location and process technologies. Alternatives should then be ranked for selection of the best environmental optimum economic benefits to the community at large. Once alternatives have been reviewed, a mitigation plan should be drawn up for the selected option and is supplemented with an Environmental Management Plan (EMP) to guide the proponent towards environmental improvements. The EMP is a crucial input to monitoring the clearance conditions and therefore details of monitoring should be included in the EMP. 6. EIA Report: An EIA report should provide clear information to the decision-maker on the different environmental scenarios without the project, with the project and with project alternatives. The proponent prepares detailed Project report and provides information in logical and transparent manner. The IAA examines if procedures have been followed as per MoEF notifications. 7. Public hearing: After the completion of EIA report the law requires that the public must be informed and consulted on a proposed development after the completion of EIA report. The State Pollution Control Boards will conduct the public hearing before the proposals are sent to MoEF for obtaining environmental clearance. Any one likely to be affected by the proposed project is entitled to have access to the Executive Summary of the EIA. The affected persons may include: a) Bonafide local residents; b) Local associations; c) Environmental groups: active in the area; d) Any other person located at the project site/sites of displacement. They are to be given an opportunity to make oral/written suggestions to the State Pollution Control Board as per Schedule IV. 8. Decision-making: Decision making process involve consultation between the project proponent (assisted by a consultant) and the impact assessment authority (assisted by an expert group if necessary). The decision on environmental clearance is arrived at through a number of steps including evaluation of EIA and EMP. 9. Monitoring the clearance conditions: Monitoring has to be done during both construction and operation phases of a project. It is done not just to ensure that the commitments made are complied with but also to observe whether the predictions made in the EIA reports are correct or not. Where the impacts exceed the predicted levels, corrective action should be taken.

190 Environmental Studies Monitoring also enables the regulatory agency to review the validity of predictions and the conditions of implementation of the Environmental Management Plan (EMP). The Project Proponent, IAA and Pollution Control Boards should monitor the implementation of conditions. The proponent is required to file once in six months a report demonstrating the compliance to IAA.



The MoEF has prepared Environmental Guidelines, to help the project proponents to work out an EIA. Guidelines have been prepared to bring out specific information on the environment required for environmental clearance. The agencies, which are primarily responsible for the respective sectors are closely involved in preparing the guidelines. River valley projects, thermal power projects, mining projects and industries, ports and harbours, development of beaches, highway/ railroad projects are the sectors for which guidelines have already been prepared. These guidelines basically consist of aspects regarding planning and implementation of development projects. The majority of projects in India, which require EIA’s, are large developmental projects like nuclear power, river valley, thermal power plants etc, where government plays an important role. Proponent Feasibility study or project proposal EIA secretary Screening Mandatory projects

Excluded projects

Other projects

EIA required

EIA not required

Baseline data collection Impact prediction Assessment of alternation EIA report Public hearing Technical committee (decision making) Approved

Not approved

Environmental impact statement and certification Project implementation Environmental impact monitoring Commissioning Audit

Environmental Impact Assessment 191 The critical issues focused in all these guidelines are: · Can the local environment cope with the additional waste and pollution that the project will produce? · Will the project location conflict with the nearby land use or preclude later developments in surrounding areas? · Can the project operate safely without serious risk of accidents or long- term health hazards? · How will the project affect economic activities that are based on natural resources? · Is there sufficient infrastructure to support the project? · How much of the resources (such as water, energy etc) will the project consume, and are adequate supplies of these resources available? · What kind of human resources will it require or replace and what will be its social impacts in the short/long-run? · What damages will it inadvertently cause to the national/regional assets such as natural resources, tourist areas, or historic or cultural sites, etc? (UNEP 1988).



The purpose of EIA should not be just to assess impacts and complete an environmental impact statement (EIS); it is to improve the quality of decisions. Through informing the public the project proponent can make environmentally sensitive decision by being aware of a project’s potential adverse impacts on the environment. Another purpose of EIA is to inform the public of the proposed project and its impacts. In this context public participation provides crucial information. Through their participation the project proponent will be able to take advantage of the information that citizens contribute concerning values, impacts, innovative solutions and alternatives. There are other reasons why public should be involved in EIA. The literature puts forth four basic positions (Shepherd and Bowler, 1997). First, public participation is regarded as proper, fair conduct of democratic government in public decision-making activities (Gelhorn, 1971; Fox, 1979). Second, public participation is widely accepted as a way to ensure that projects meet citizens' needs and are suitable to the affected public (Pearce et al., 1979; Forester 1989; Tauxe, 1995). Third, the project carries more legitimacy, and less hostility, if potentially affected parties can influence the decision-making process (Chapin & Deneau, 1978; Susskind & Cruikshank 1987). Finally, the final decision is ‘better’ when local knowledge and values are included and when expert knowledge is publicly examined (Parenteau, 1988; Webler et al., 1995). Some argue that it is better not to include the public in EIA as it will be quicker and most costeffective to exclude the public in EIA. Project proponents eager to implement their project may fear that citizen involvement will delay their schedule or force them to revise the project (Portney, 1991). Public participation may be regarded as unnecessary because citizens lack project-specific expertise and it is just necessary to educate citizens about the merits of the project (Fischoff et al., 1981; Krimsky & Plough, 1988). To the project proponent, it may look more prudent to push the project through quietly rather than run the risk of a public process. However, excluding the public does not ensure expediency either. Alienated citizens tend to delay the implementation of the project though time consuming legal action if they feel that their rights are curbed through project implementation (example see the case studies on Silent Valley, Tehri Dam, Dahanu in this section). Therefore, the project proponent needs to consider not only the risks of including versus avoiding citizen input, but also the potential benefits of establishing a long term co-operative relationship with citizens.

192 Environmental Studies 15.


Public participation in India occurs too late in the decision-making process and at this stage it is not possible to influence any of the characteristics of the project (like type, size or location). Though the public is involved at the hearing stage, here it is merely a formality as by this time the project proponent more or less has decided to go ahead with the project. The objective of public involvement at this stage may be just to defend a decision that has already been made. So far, citizen involvement in India has been limited to public hearing stage, legal action to halt the project or to force the inclusion of mitigation measures (see the case studies). Grima (1985) notes that the later that public participation occurs in the EIA process, the higher the risk that public comments will only minimally influence the final decision. Secondly, public participation is extremely limited and takes place before project implementation. But the project planning and implementation requires continuous involvement of the public during various stages. Several studies have revealed serious deficiencies in the hearing process too (Sinclair and Diduck, 1999). To add to this problem, information available on the EIA process could assist people in understanding the purpose and objectives of EIA is scant and not user friendly because the summary documents are written in technical language without providing a glossary of key terms. Even for projects that have already received their no objection certificates the public does not have access to EIA project reports and environmental management plans (Sinclair and Diduck, 1999). In regard to the hearings themselves, there is no indication prior to the hearings of what procedure was going to be followed or how the hearing panel was chosen. Assistance for members of the public on how to participate, e.g., how to prepare a brief report or how to make a presentation is also not made available. There is no background information too provided on what an environmental impact study should contain or how to critique such a document. Obtaining expert assistance was not promoted in any way and funding is also not available to public participants. Members of the public have to cover their own “traveling and incidental costs” (Sinclair and Diduck, 1999). Finally, there is no indication of how public input provided at the hearings is going to be used in the decision making process.

SUMMARY The literature reveals that the EIA Notification contains many of the key elements found in most processes throughout the world including screening, scoping, comprehensive study, progress reports, review, decision and follow-up. However, from the lack of reference to project need, purposes and alternatives, a reasonable inference is that the process reflects a narrowly focused, technical approach, rather than the more broad, open and anticipatory approach called for in some quarters and found in some countries (Gibson 1993; Wood 1995). In addition, reviews of the implementation of the notification are somewhat mixed. Banham and Brew (1996) indicated in their assessment that there is reason to be optimistic about the use of EA in India. While others, such as Dwivedi (1997) and Thakur (1997), suggested that the process is still in its early stages of development and that India lacks many of the institutions and knowledgeable government officials necessary to make the process work properly. An important aspect of the 1994 EIA notification is its relation to other policy instruments in India's environmental management system. However, a close look at the EIA in India reveals that some improvement is needed in the following aspects. EIA’s are controversial in India because of little participatory democracy in the formulation and implementation of environmental legislation. There have been cases where, more than one EIA for the

Environmental Impact Assessment 193 project has been approved by an authorized agency and subsequently revoked by judicial action initiated by public interest litigations (The Hindu Survey of Environment). A fresh outlook at the EIA requirement is essential, especially a public review, which would help in the development of a sound normative framework for guiding the entire process. It is also unclear as to how an EIA is to be prepared, what norms it must satisfy how it is to be approved. The requirements for EIA in India are generally comprehensive and include information on land use pollution sources in air, water and solid waste quality. But the problem arises here because of no proper set of guidelines for project types covered by the rule. With the promoter's own assessment, the regulatory authority is to make a judgment if EIA is complete and if the project meets the environmental standard. It is quite essential that the regulatory authority periodically review the norm with scientists, NGOs and industry. Measurement techniques and location where the standard is to be met are not specified, leaving it for interpretation from both, the plant engineer and government inspector. This makes the project promoter to adopt the lenient interpretation of the norms during EIA preparation. The EIA and environmental clearances fall within the power of the Center but the implementation of pollution control is with the states. This leads to a scenario where multiple agencies sharing similar responsibilities without well defined roles. Some cases of plagiarized reports by the consultants have been reported in India (The Hindu Survey of Environment). Another major improvement required is in the area of public involvement. There has been dilution of previous notifications especially regarding public participation. For instance, a recent amendment to the EIA requirements that was notified on 13 June 2002 exempts pipeline projects from preparation of EIA reports. This has further weakened the process of environmental clearance. It also violates the basic premise of authority granted by the Environment Protection Act, 1986. Yet, public hearings need to be conducted in all the districts from where the pipeline will pass. This poses two problems: firstly, it is not clear how an EMP (Environment Management Plan) and Risk Mitigation measures can be formulated when the developers have not studied the potential impacts of a proposed pipeline through preparation of an EIA report. Secondly, on what basis would persons attending a Public Hearing relating to a pipeline project voice their concerns? Both the routing and the construction of pipelines can have severe consequences on people and their environment. Pipeline projects may create unnecessary hardship to local people due to construction work, and pipeline leaks are a potential hazard. Both routing and construction can cause unnecessary and severe damage to sensitive ecosystems. But if these projects are exempted from the EIA process, no other mechanism ensures adequate review of these potential consequences. Curiously, the June 2002 amendment reconstitutes the requirement that EIA reports must be made available to the public prior to the Public Hearings, a requirement that was done away with earlier. There are other examples. The 1994 notification, made it mandatory for the Impact Assessment Agency (IAA), i.e. the Ministry of Environment and Forests to consult a Committee of Experts before granting environmental clearance to a particular project. In its present amended form the notification states that the IAA may consult the Committee of experts if deemed necessary. The 1994 notification made it mandatory for half-yearly compliance reports prepared by the project authorities to be made publicly available. The notification now leaves it to the discretion of the IAA to make complaint reports publicly available, ‘subject to public interest’. Clearly, the recent amendments are resulting in the dilution of the law on environmental impact assessments. However, for pipeline project, Environmental Impact Assessment report will not be required. But Environmental Management Plan including risk mitigation measures is required. The case studies coupled with our earlier analyses, demonstrate that substantive, early investments (during the scoping phase itself) in public participation can benefit the project proponent, the public and the final plan. An effective public participation programme does not happen by accident; it must be

194 Environmental Studies carefully planned. As the case studies show, a proactive effort will lead to a more effective process and outcome than a reactive, minimalist approach to public involvement. We draw upon the results of the case studies to provide suggestions for improving public participation programmes in EIA. First, public involvement needs to begin before project planning and decision-making are too far along to be influenced. The decision to participate must be genuine. Otherwise, public participation becomes a procedural exercise rather than a substantive democratic process. Second, public involvement can be used to create a project that is more suitable to, and accepted by, the public. Suitability should depend on public opinions and needs (rather than the technical feasibility of the project). Third, public input can be a crucial and valuable source of expertise before, during and after project planning and decision-making. Moreover, based on the case study experiences it can be seen that the EIA legislation must be more explicit in defining the affected area according to potential socio-economic impacts. Only the authority competent in evaluating socio-economic effects should be given the responsibility.

QUESTIONS 1. What is Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)? What is the objective Environmental Impact Assessment? 2. What are the main guidelines of EIA? 3. What are the challenges and responses of EIA? Why there is need of EIA? 4. What is impact prediction? What are the factors that should be assessed for different environmental parameters? 5. Discuss in detail the various components of EIA. 6. Discuss the role of different parties in EIA process. 7. Describe the process of environmental impact assessment.


! Environmental Laws 1.


In the Constitution of India it is clearly stated that it is the duty of the state to ‘protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country’. It imposes a duty on every citizen ‘to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife’. Reference to the environment has also been made in the Directive Principles of State Policy as well as the Fundamental Rights. The Department of Environment was established in India in 1980 to ensure a healthy environment for the country. This later became the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 1985. The constitutional provisions are backed by a number of laws — acts, rules, and notifications. The EPA (Environment Protection Act), 1986 came into force soon after the Bhopal Gas Tragedy and is considered an umbrella legislation as it fills many gaps in the existing laws. Thereafter a large number of laws came into existence as the problems began arising, for example, Handling and Management of Hazardous Waste Rules in 1989. Under the Indian Law, according to Section 2 (a) of the Environmental Protection Act, 1986, ‘Environment’ includes Water, air and land. The inter-relationship which exists among and between, (i) water, air and land, and (ii) human beings, other living creatures, plants, micro-organisms and property. Following is a list of the environmental legislations that have come into effect: · · · · 1.1

General Forest and wildlife Water Air General Acts

1986 — The Environment (Protection) Act authorizes the central government to protect and improve environmental quality, control and reduce pollution from all sources, and prohibit or restrict the setting and /or operation of any industrial facility on environmental grounds. 1986 — The Environment (Protection) Rules lay down procedures for setting standards of emission or discharge of environmental pollutants.

196 Environmental Studies 1989 — The objective of Hazardous Waste (Management and Handling) Rules is to control the generation, collection, treatment, import, storage, and handling of hazardous waste. 1989 — The Manufacture, Storage, and Import of Hazardous Rules define the terms used in this context, and sets up an authority to inspect, once a year, the industrial activity connected with hazardous chemicals and isolated storage facilities. 1989 — The Manufacture, Use, Import, Export, and Storage of hazardous Micro-organisms/ Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells Rules were introduced with a view to protect the environment, nature, and health, in connection with the application of gene technology and microorganisms. 1991 — The Public Liability Insurance Act and Rules and Amendment, 1992 was drawn up to provide for public liability insurance for the purpose of providing immediate relief to the persons affected by accident while handling any hazardous substance. 1995 — The National Environmental Tribunal Act has been created to award compensation for damages to persons, property, and the environment arising from any activity involving hazardous substances. 1997 — The National Environment Appellate Authority Act has been created to hear appeals with respect to restrictions of areas in which classes of industries etc. are carried out or prescribed subject to certain safeguards under the EPA. 1998 — The Biomedical waste (Management and Handling) Rules is a legal binding on the health care institutions to streamline the process of proper handling of hospital waste such as segregation, disposal, collection, and treatment. 1999 — The Environment (Siting for Industrial Projects) Rules, 1999 lay down detailed provisions relating to areas to be avoided for siting of industries, precautionary measures to be taken for site selecting as also the aspects of environmental protection which should have been incorporated during the implementation of the industrial development projects. 2000 — The Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000 apply to every municipal authority responsible for the collection, segregation, storage, transportation, processing, and disposal of municipal solid wastes. 2000 — The Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Rules have been laid down for the regulation of production and consumption of ozone depleting substances. 2001 — The Batteries (Management and Handling) Rules, 2001 rules shall apply to every manufacturer, importer, re-conditioner, assembler, dealer, auctioneer, consumer, and bulk consumer involved in the manufacture, processing, sale, purchase, and use of batteries or components so as to regulate and ensure the environmentally safe disposal of used batteries. 2002 — The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) (Amendment) Rules lay down such terms and conditions as are necessary to reduce noise pollution, permit use of loud speakers or public address systems during night hours (between 10:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight) on or during any cultural or religious festive occasion. 2002 — The Biological Diversity Act is an act to provide for the conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components, and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the use of biological resources and knowledge associated with it.

Environmental Laws 197 1.2

Forest Act

Requirements that should be met before declaring an area as a Wildlife Sanctuary or a National Park under the Forest Acts: Section 29: Protected forests: 1. The [State Government] may, by notification in the [Official Gazette] declare the provisions of this chapter applicable to any forest-land or waste-land which is not included in a reserved forest, but which is the property of the Government, or over which the Government has proprietary rights, or to the whole or any part of the forest produce of which the Government is entitled. 2. The forest-land and waste-land comprised in any such notification shall be called a “protected forest”. 3. No such notification shall be made unless the nature and extent of the rights of Government and of private persons in or over the forest-land or waste-land comprised therein have been inquired into and recorded at a survey or settlement, or in such other manner as the [State Government] thinks sufficient. Every such record shall be presumed to be correct until the contrary is proved: Provided that if, in the case of any forest-land or waste-land, the [State Government] thinks that such enquiry and record are necessary but that they will occupy such length of time as in the meantime to endanger the rights of Government, the [State Government] may, pending such inquiry and record, declare such land to be a protected forest, but so as not to abridge or affect rights of individuals or communities. Of the control over Forests and Lands not being the Property of Government Section 35: Protection of forests for special purposes: 1. The State Government may, by notification in the official Gazette, regulate or prohibit in any forest or waste-land: (a) The breaking up or clearing of land for cultivation (b) The pasturing of cattle (c) The firing or clearing of the vegetation When such regulation or prohibition appears necessary for any of the following purposes: (i) For protection against storms, winds, rolling stones; floods and avalanches (ii) For the preservation of the soil on the ridges and slopes and in the valleys or hilly tracts, the prevention of landslips or of the formation of ravines and torrents, or the protection of land against erosion or the deposit thereon of sand, stones or gravel (iii) For the maintenance of a water supply in springs, rivers and tanks (iv) For the protection of roads, bridges, railways and other lines of communication (v) For the preservation of public health. 2. The State Government may, for any, such purpose, construct as its own expense, in or upon any forest or waste-land, such work as it thinks fit. 3. No notification shall be made under sub-section (1) nor shall any work be begun under subsection (2) until after the issue of a notice to the owner of such forest or land calling on him to show cause, within a reasonable period to be specified in such notice, why such notification shall not be made or work constructed, as the case may be and until his objections, if any, and any evidence he may produce in support of the same, have been heard by an officer duly appointed for that purpose and have been considered by the State Government.

198 Environmental Studies Meaning of “non-forest purpose” under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980: “Non-forest purpose” means the breaking up or clearing of any forest land or portion thereof for (a) The cultivation of tea, coffee, spices, rubber, palms, oil-bearing plants, horticultural crops or medicinal plants; (b) Any purpose other than re-afforestation, but does not include any work relating or ancillary to conservation, development and management of forest and wild life, namely, the establishment of check-posts, fire lines, wireless communications and construction of fencing, bridges and culverts, dams, water-holes, trench marks, boundary marks, pipelines or other like purposes. 1.3.

Wildlife Act

According to the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 “wildlife” includes any animal, bees, butterflies, crustacea, fish and moths; and aquatic or land vegetation which forms part of any habitat. The Wildlife Protection Act was passed by the Indian Parliament in the year 1972 to protect India’s wildlife. However, in the 20 years that has passed since the Act came into force, the number of wild animals is going down alarmingly, despite of Government efforts to protect them. With the increase in population, there is greater pressure on land. Forests are being destroyed as human habitations expand, thereby shrinking the habitats of our wildlife. There is also the clandestine international trade in wildlife and wildlife products which is a major cause for their wanton destruction. Meanwhile, the growing consumer society and the increasing emphasis on luxury and vanity items have also caused the exploitation of wildlife in the name of industrial progress. The major task of protecting wildlife cannot be handled by the Government machinery alone through its limited officials, but should be the duty of every individual. This was one of the reasons why a new provision, Article 51 A (g), was inserted into our Constitution, making it the fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment, including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for living creatures. Points To Remember While Making A Complaint Under The Wildlife (Protection) Act: · Of foremost importance is the correct and full identification of the “wildlife” species involved in the offence, which decides all further action. · Provisions of the Act do not apply if the species involved does not occur wild in India (except ivory of the African elephant) or is of farm origin. · Keep with you always, for ready reference, an up-to-date copy of the Wildlife (Protection) Act and Wildlife (Protection) (Tamil Nadu) Rules. (The Police effecting the arrest/seizure at your instance, as often also the Magistrate (who takes note of the arrest/seizure as per Section 50(5)), might wish to refer to the Act for guidance). · If you are a Hon. Wildlife Warden, you would be well advised to always keep with you your identity card (as Hon. Wildlife Warden). · If possible, you may detain an offender against The Wildlife Act caught in the act, but hand him over to the Police with the least possible delay (Section 43 of the Criminal Procedure Code) · Specify the nature of the offence in your complaint so that the same is recorded by the police in the First Information Report (FIR). · As you wait for the police or the Wildlife Officer, please ensure that evidence of the offence is guarded, to be gathered/recorded by the authorized official.

Environmental Laws 199 · It would help effective prosecution if the NGO representative becomes a party to the Panchanama/mahazar1 so that in the court trial against the accused, he could be useful as a witness. ** REMEMBER (i) Fix priorities in needed action. (ii) Keep in mind the many constraints of the very few wildlife officials to enforce the law. Help them concentrate on priority areas by not diverting their attention to less important offences. Important points which must be incorporated in a Complaint to the Police/Forest officer as also in a Panchanama/Mahazar: Whereas the Wildlife or Police Officer dealing with the case would almost always get this statement recorded in a manner acceptable to the courts, it would be good for the NGO to know the salient features of the documents so as to ensure a better recording of the evidence. (a) Name(s), occupation and full postal addresses of the witnesses (should not be less than 2 witnesses in any case) (b) The place, date, time of commencement and completion of the document. (c) The full names and other details of the other persons present at scene/detection of crime including those detained/arrested. (d) The exact species with the Latin name, preferably, identifying the species as the same as that figuring in a particular schedule of the Wildlife Act. (e) A detailed and accurate description of the animal/trophy/animal article together with any identification mark that you may affix on it to help later recognition. (Cases have been lost in the court due to failure on this count) (f) Please ensure that evidence of the offence is gathered and recorded in a manner that will stand judicial scrutiny during the trial. Panchanama/Mahazar: This is an important document in any prosecution as much as it is a record of the facts as observed by the witnesses. Environmental Legislations related to Forest and wildlife 1927 — The Indian Forest Act and Amendment, 1984, is one of the many surviving colonial statutes. It was enacted to 'consolidate the law related to forest, the transit of forest produce, and the duty leviable on timber and other forest produce'. 1972 — The Wildlife Protection Act, Rules 1973 and Amendment 1991 provides for the protection of birds and animals and for all matters that are connected to it whether it be their habitat or the waterhole or the forests that sustain them. 1980 — The Forest (Conservation) Act and Rules, 1981, provides for the protection of and the conservation of the forests. 1.4.

Water Act

Under the Water Act 1974, “Pollution” means · contamination of water · alteration of the physical, chemical or biological properties of water · discharge of any sewage or trade effluent or any other liquid, gaseous or solid substance into water (whether directly or indirectly)

200 Environmental Studies which may, or is likely to, create a nuisance or render such water harmful or injurious to public health or safety, or to domestic, commercial, industrial, agricultural or other legitimate uses, or to the life and health of animals or plants or of aquatic organisms. Objectives of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974 The objectives of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act are to provide for the Prevention and Control of Water Pollution and the maintenance or restoration of the wholesomeness of water for the establishment, with a view to carrying out the purposes aforesaid, of Boards for the prevention and control of water pollution, for conferring on and assigning to such Boards powers and functions relating thereto and for matters connected therewith. Functions of the Central (Pollution Control) Board under the Water Act 1974: Functions of Central Board are: 1. Subject to the provisions of this Act, the main function of the Central Board shall be to promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the States. 2. In particular and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing function, the Central Board may perform all or any of the following functions, namely: (a) Advise the Central Government on any matter concerning the prevention and control of water pollution (b) Co-ordinate the activities of the State Boards and resolve disputes among them (c) Provide technical assistance and guidance to the State Boards, carry out and sponsor investigations and research relating to problems of water pollution and prevention, control or abatement of water pollution (d) Plan and organize the training of persons engaged or to be engaged in programmes for the prevention, control or abatement of water pollution on such terms and conditions as the Central Board may specify (e) Organize through mass media a comprehensive programme regarding the prevention and control of water pollution (f) Collect, compile and publish technical and statistical data relating to water pollution and the measures devised for its effective prevention and control and prepare manuals, codes or guides relating to treatment and disposal of sewage and trade effluents and disseminate information connected therewith (g) Lay down, modify or annul, in consultation with the State Government concerned, the standards for a stream or well [Provided that different standards may be laid down for the same stream or well or for different streams or wells, having regard to the quality of water flow characteristics of the stream or well and the nature of the use of the water in such stream or well or streams or wells] (h) Plan and cause to be executed a nation-wide programme for the prevention, control or abatement of water pollution (i) Perform such other functions as may be prescribed 3. The Board may establish or recognize a laboratory or laboratories to enable the Board to perform its functions under this section efficiently, including the analysis of samples of water from any stream or well or of samples of any sewage or trade effluents.

Environmental Laws 201 Functions of the State Boards under the Water Act 1974: Functions of the State Boards: 1. Subject to the provisions of this Act, the functions of a State Board shall be: (a) To plan a comprehensive programme for the prevention, control or abatement of pollution of streams and wells in the State and to secure the execution thereof (b) To advise the State Government on any matter concerning the prevention, control or abatement of water pollution (c) To collect and disseminate information relating to water pollution and the prevention, control or abatement thereof (d) To encourage, conduct and participate in investigations and research relating to problems of water pollution and prevention, control or abatement of water pollution (e) To collaborate with the Central Board in organizing the training of persons engaged or to be engaged in programmes relating to prevention, control or abatement of water pollution and to organize mass education programmes relating thereto (f) To inspect sewage or trade effluents, works and plants for the treatment of sewage and trade effluents and to review plans, specifications or other data relating to plants set up for the treatment of water, works for the purification thereof and the system for the disposal of sewage or trade effluents or in connection with the grant of any consent as required by this Act (g) To lay down, modify or annul effluent standards for the sewage and trade effluents and for the quality of receiving waters(not being water in an inter-State stream) resulting from the discharge of effluents and to classify waters of the State (h) To evolve economical and reliable methods of treatment of sewage and trade effluents, having regard to the peculiar conditions of soils, climate and water resources of different regions and more especially the prevailing flow characteristics of water in streams and wells which render it impossible to attain even the minimum degree of dilution (i) To evolve methods of utilization of sewage and suitable trade effluents in agriculture) To evolve efficient methods of disposal of sewage and trade effluents on land, as are necessary on account of the predominant conditions of scant stream flows that do not provide for major part of the year the minimum degree of dilution (j) To lay down standards of treatment of sewage and trade effluents to be discharged into any particular stream taking into account the minimum fair weather dilution available in that stream and the tolerance limits of pollution permissible in the water of the stream, after the discharge of such effluents (k) To make, vary or revoke any order (i) for the prevention, control or abatement of discharges of waste into streams or wells (ii) requiring any person concerned to construct new systems for the disposal of sewage and trade effluents or to modify, alter or extend any such remedial measures as are necessary to prevent, control or abate water pollution (l) To lay down effluent standards to be complied with by persons while causing discharge of sewage or sullage or both and to lay down, modify or annul effluent standards for the sewage and trade effluents (m) To advise the State Government with respect to the location of any industry the carrying on of which is likely to pollute a stream or well

202 Environmental Studies (n) To perform such other functions as may be prescribed or as may, from time to time, be entrusted to it by the Central Board or the State Government. 2 The Board may establish or recognize a laboratory or laboratories to enable the Board to perform its functions under this section efficiently, including the analysis of samples of water from any stream or well or of samples of any sewage or trade effluents, Emergency measures can the Central/State pollution boards take under the Water Act: Emergency measures in case of pollution of stream or well: 1. Where it appears to the State Board that any poisonous, noxious or polluting matter is present in [any stream or well or on land by reason of the discharge of such matter in such stream or well or on such land] or has entered into that stream or well due to any accident or other unforeseen act or event, and if the Board is of opinion that it is necessary or expedient to take immediate action, it may for reasons to be recorded in writing, carry out such operations as it may consider necessary for all or any of the following purposes, that is to say, (a) Removing that matter from the [stream or well or on land] and disposing it off in such manner as the Board considers appropriate (b) Remedying or mitigating any pollution caused by its presence in the stream or well (c) Issuing orders immediately restraining or prohibiting the person concerned from discharging any poisonous, noxious or polluting matter [into the stream or well or on land], or from making in-sanitary use of the stream or well. 2. The power conferred by sub-section (1) does not include the power to construct any works other than works of a temporary character which are removed on or before the completion of the operations. Powers given to the Central/State Boards under the Water Act: The powers given to Central/State Boards to make application to courts for restraining apprehended pollution of water in streams or wells: 1. Where it is apprehended by a Board that the water in any stream or well is likely to be polluted by reason of the disposal or likely disposal of any matter in such stream or well or in any sewer or on any land, or otherwise, the Board may make an application to a court, not inferior to that of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class, for restraining the person who is likely to cause such pollution from so causing. 2. On receipt of an application under sub-section (1) the court may make such order as it deems fit. 3. Where under sub-section (2) the court makes an order restraining any person from polluting the water in any stream or well, it may in that order (i) Direct the person who is likely to cause or has caused the pollution of the water in the stream or well, to desist from taking such action as is likely to cause pollution or, as the case may be, to remove from such stream or well, such matter (ii) Authorize the Board, if the direction under Clause (i) (being a direction for the removal of any matter from such stream or well) is not complied with by the person to whom such direction is issued, to undertake the removal and disposal of the matter in such manner as may be specified by the court. 4. All expenses incurred by the Board in removing any matter in pursuance of the authorization under clause (ii) of sub-section (3) or in the disposal of any such matter may be defrayed out of

Environmental Laws 203 any money obtained by the Board from such disposal and any balance outstanding shall be recoverable from the person concerned as arrears of land revenue or of public demand. Section 33-A. Power to give directions: Notwithstanding anything contained in any other law, but subject to the provisions of this Act and to any directions that the Central Government may give in this behalf, a Board may, in the exercise of its powers and performance of its functions under this Act, issue any directions in writing to any person, officer or authority, and such person, officer or authority shall be bound to comply with such directions. Explanation — For the avoidance of doubts, it is hereby declared that the power to issue directions under this section includes the power to direct (a) Closure, prohibition or regulation of any industry, operation or process or (b) The stoppage or regulation of supply of electricity, water or any other service. Restrictions Water Act imposes on private citizens with respect to courts taking cognizance of offences under the Water Act: Under this act 1. No court shall take cognizance of any offence except on a complaint made by any person who has given notice of not less than sixty days, in the manner prescribed, of the alleged offence and of his intention to make a complaint to the Board or officer authorized by the Board. (i) No court inferior to that of a Metropolitan Magistrate or a Judicial Magistrate of the first class shall try any offence punishable under this Act (ii) Where a complaint has been made by any private citizen the Board shall, on demand by such person make available the relevant reports in its possession to that person. The Board may refuse to make any such report available to such person if the same is, in its opinion, against the public interest. Environmental Legislations related to Water 1882 — The Easement Act allows private rights to use a resource that is, groundwater, by viewing it as an attachment to the land. It also states that all surface water belongs to the state and is a state property. 1897 — The Indian Fisheries Act establishes two sets of penal offences whereby the government can sue any person who uses dynamite or other explosive substance in any way (whether coastal or inland) with intent to catch or destroy any fish or poisonous fish in order to kill. 1956 — The River Boards Act enables the states to enroll the central government in setting up an Advisory River Board to resolve issues in inter-state cooperation. 1970 — The Merchant Shipping Act aims to deal with waste arising from ships along the coastal areas within a specified radius. 1974 — The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act establishes an institutional structure for preventing and abating water pollution. It establishes standards for water quality and effluent. Polluting industries must seek permission to discharge waste into effluent bodies. The CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) was constituted under this act. 1977 — The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act provides for the levy and collection of cess or fees on water consuming industries and local authorities.

204 Environmental Studies 1978 — The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Rules contains the standard definitions and indicate the kind of and location of meters that every consumer of water is required to affix. 1991 — The Coastal Regulation Zone Notification puts regulations on various activities, including construction, are regulated. It gives some protection to the backwaters and estuaries. 1.5.

Air Act

Under the Air Act of 1981, “Air pollution” means the presence in the atmosphere of any air pollutant. “Air pollutant” means any solid, liquid or gaseous substance (including noise) present in the atmosphere in such concentration as may be or tend to be injurious to human beings or other living creatures or plants or property or environment. Objectives of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981: The objective of this Act is to provide for the prevention, control and abatement of air pollution, for the establishment, with a view to carrying out the aforesaid purposes, of Boards, for conferring on and assigning to such Boards powers and functions relating thereto and for matters connected therewith. Decisions were taken at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm in June 1972, in which India participated, to take appropriate steps for the preservation of the natural resources of the earth which, among other things, includes the preservation of the quality of air and control of air pollution. Therefore it is considered necessary to implement the decisions aforesaid insofar as they relate to the preservation of the quality of air and control of air pollution. Functions of Central Board under the Air Act: The main functions of the Central Board, as specified in Section 16 of the Act, shall be: To improve the quality of air and to prevent, control or abate air pollution in the country; and in particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing functions, the Central Board, may (i) Advise the Central Government on any matter concerning the improvement of the quality of air and the prevention, control or abatement of air pollution (ii) Plan and cause to be executed a nation-wide programme for the prevention, control or abatement of air pollution (iii) Coordinate the activities of the State Boards and resolve disputes among them (iv) Provide technical assistance and guidance to the State Boards, carry out and sponsor investigations and research relating to problems of air pollution and prevention, control or abatement of air pollution (v) Plan and organize the training of persons engaged or to be engaged in programmes for the prevention, control or abatement of air pollution on such terms and conditions as the Central Board may specify (vi) Organize through mass media a comprehensive programme regarding the prevention, control or abatement of air pollution (vii) Collect, compile and publish technical and statistical data relating to air pollution and the measures devised for its effective prevention, control or abatement and prepare manuals, codes, or guides relating to prevention, control or abatement of air pollution (viii) Lay down standards for the quality of air

Environmental Laws 205 (ix) Collect and disseminate information in respect of matters relating to air pollution (x) Perform such other functions as may be prescribed, under Rules or under an Order. In addition to the above functions, the Central Board may establish or recognize a laboratory or laboratories to enable the Central Board to perform its functions under this Section efficiently, and it may (a) delegate any of its functions under the Act generally or specially to any of the Committees appointed by it; and (b) do such other things and perform such other acts as it may think necessary for the proper discharge of its functions and generally for the purpose of carrying into effect the purposes of the Act. Functions of the State Boards under the Air Act 1981: The functions of the State Board, as specified in Section 17, shall be: (a) To plan a comprehensive programme for the prevention, control or abatement of air pollution and to secure the execution thereof (b) To advise the State Government on any matter concerning the prevention, control or abatement of air pollution (c) To collect and disseminate information relating to air pollution (d) To collaborate with the Central Board in organizing the training of persons engaged or to be engaged in programmes relating to prevention, control or abatement of air pollution and to organize mass-education programme relating thereto (e) To inspect, at all reasonable times, any control equipment, industrial plant or manufacturing process and to give by order, such directions to such persons as it may consider necessary to take steps for the prevention, control or abatement of air pollution (f) To inspect air pollution control areas at such intervals as it may think necessary, assess the quality of air therein and take steps for the prevention, control or abatement of air pollution in such areas (g) To lay down, in consultation with the Central Board and having regard to the standards for the quality of air laid down by the Central Board, standards for emission of air pollutants into the atmosphere from industrial plants and automobiles or for the discharge of any air pollutant into the atmosphere from any other source whatsoever not being a ship or an aircraft Provided that different standards for emission may be laid down under this clause for different industrial plants having regard to the quantity and composition of emission of air pollutants into the atmosphere from such industrial plants (h) To advise the State Government with respect to the suitability of any premises or location for carrying on any industry which is likely to cause air pollution (i) To perform such other functions as may be prescribed or as may, from time to time, be entrusted to it by the Central Board or the State Government (j) To do such other things and to perform such other acts as it may think necessary for the proper discharge of its functions and generally for the purpose of carrying into effect the purposes of the Act. In addition to the above functions, the State Board may establish or recognise a laboratory or laboratories to enable the State Board to perform its above functions efficiently.

206 Environmental Studies Environmental Legislations related to Air 1948 — The Factories Act and Amendment in 1987 was the first to express concern for the working environment of the workers. The amendment of 1987 has sharpened its environmental focus and expanded its application to hazardous processes. 1981 — The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act provides for the control and abatement of air pollution. It entrusts the power of enforcing this act to the CPCB. 1982 — The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Rules defines the procedures of the meetings of the Boards and the powers entrusted to them. 1982 — The Atomic Energy Act deals with the radioactive waste. 1987 — The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Amendment Act empowers the central and state pollution control boards to meet with grave emergencies of air pollution. 1988 — The Motor Vehicles Act states that all hazardous waste is to be properly packaged, labeled, and transported. Every individual is expected to know the law. A fundamental principle in jurisprudence is that “ignorance of law is not excusable.” However, the fact remains that most people are unaware of the law and of their legal rights. Often, people play the role of mute spectators to many serious problems that threaten their peaceful lives primarily because they are ignorant of their rights under the law. One such problem is the various types of environmental degradation which every citizen faces, such as the exhaust from automobiles, the obnoxious smells from open drains, loud music and other noise, polluted drinking water, and so on. These problems can be solved with the aid of specific laws that have been formulated for the purpose. The C.P.R. Environmental Education Centre has several years of experience in the field in environmental education. The need to incorporate environmental legislation into the training programmes resulted in the organization of awareness — raising seminars on “Environmental Protection, People and the Law” for NGOs, lawyers and law students. According to the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Govt. of India, 6624 cases have been filed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) and the Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) of the Union Territories as on 31.10.1997 under the Water and Air Acts. Of these, 2947 cases have been decided and 3677 cases are pending in various courts. The problems in filing the cases are many: a lack of awareness on the part of the public, their fear of the delays in the judicial system and the lack of interest shown by the legal community in taking up environmental cases which earn minimal fees. Obtaining evidence is difficult and no lawyer would risk losing cases on the grounds of lack of evidence, however committed he is to society. The loopholes in environmental laws make it easier for the lawyer to support the cause of the polluter than that of the affected, besides being more remunerative. All these factors have strengthened the Centre’s belief that experience-sharing in this field would be of immense help and inspiration to young lawyers and to various sections of society, particularly NGOs and environmental activists. This publication is a ready guide to the availability and utilization of existing laws by affected persons who may not be able to undertake a detailed study of the original. It covers the various heads — Constitutional provisions, the various Acts and some important lists. This information is dealt with in the form of questions and answers to facilitate easy reference. Over the years, there has been a considerable growth in the field of environmental law. Environmental Tribunals, Green Benches and a National Environmental Appellate Authority have been con-

Environmental Laws 207 stituted, while the mandatory Public Hearing is a new and welcome development. Environmental Impact Assessment and Environmental Audit are important developments to control pollution. India has excellent laws to protect the environment, what is needed are implementation, which is the equal responsibility of the industry and the public. The following pages outline some of the laws and rules which are mandatory before the establishment of an industry.


KEY POLICIES RELATING TO THE ENVIRONMENT IN INDIA There are three key policies relating to environmental protection in India. They are:

· The National Forest Policy, 1988 · Policy statement for Abatement of Pollution, 1992 · National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development, 1992 There is a difference between the laws enacted before and after Independence with respect to environmental protection in India. There are about two hundred laws dealing with environmental protection both before and after independence in India. However, the pre-independence laws have not dealt with environmental protection exclusively. For example, the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, had a chapter (chapter XIV) which dealt with offences affecting public health, safety and convenience, which covered aspects like water, air and noise pollution, whereas the post-independence laws mentioned above deal exclusively with environmental protection.



Responsibility of State/government towards environmental protection under the Indian Constitution: The State’s responsibility with regard to environmental protection has been laid down under Article 48-A of our Constitution, which reads as follows: “The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country”. Responsibility of citizen towards environmental protection under our Constitution: Environmental protection is a fundamental duty of every citizen of this country under Article 51-A(g) of our Constitution which reads as follows: “It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures”. Importance of Article-21 of the Indian Constitution with respect to environmental protection: Article 21 of the Constitution is a fundamental right which reads as follows: “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.” Though this Article does not explicitly mention the environment, the Supreme Court and the various High Courts of the country have given a wider interpretation to the word ‘life’ in this Article. According to the courts, the right to life includes the right to a living environment congenial to human existence. Importance of the 42nd Amendment to the Constitution: The 42nd amendment to the Constitution was brought about in the year 1974. Two new Articles were inserted: Art. 48-A and Art. 51-A (g). The former, under Directive Principles of State Policy, makes it the responsibility of the State Government to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country. The latter, under Fundamental Duties, makes it the fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.

208 Environmental Studies 4.

ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION ACT, 1986 (EPA) According to Section 2 of E.P.A:

(a) Environment includes water, air and land and the inter-relationship which exists among and between water, air and land, and human beings, other living creatures, plants, micro-organism and property. (b) Environmental pollutant means any solid, liquid or gaseous substance present in such concentration as may be, or tend to be, injurious to environment. (c) Environmental pollution means the presence in the environment of any environmental pollutant. (d) Hazardous substance means any substance or preparation which, by reason of its chemical or physics-chemical properties or handling, is liable to cause harm to human beings, other living creatures, plants, micro-organisms, property or the environment. General Powers of the Central Government under E.P.A. for the protection and improvement of environment Section 3: Power of Central Government to take measures to protect and improve the environment 1. Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government shall have the power to take all such measures as it deems necessary or expedient for the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of the environment pollution. 2. In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the provisions of sub-section (1), such measures may include measures with respect to all or any of the following matters, namely: (i) Co-ordination of actions by the State Governments, officers and other authorities (a) Under this Act, or the rules made there under or (b) Under any other law for the time being in force which is relatable to the objects of this Act (ii) Planning and execution of a nation-wide programme for the prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution (iii) Laying down standards for the quality of environment in its various aspects (iv) Laying down standards for emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from various sources whatsoever Provided that different standards for emission or discharge may be laid down under this clause from different sources having regard to the quality or composition of the emission or discharge of environmental pollutants from such sources (v) Restriction of areas in which any industries, operations or processes or class of industries, operations or processes shall not be carried out or shall be carried out subject to certain safeguards (vi) Laying down procedures and safeguards for the prevention of accidents which may cause environmental pollution and remedial measures for such accidents (vii) Laying down procedures and safeguards for the handling of hazardous substances (viii) Examination of such manufacturing processes, materials and substances as are likely to cause environmental pollution (ix) Carrying out and sponsoring investigations and research relating to problems of environmental pollution

Environmental Laws 209 (x) Inspection of any premises, plant, equipment, machinery, manufacturing or other processes, materials or substances and giving, by order, of such directions to such authorities, officers or persons as it may consider necessary to take steps for the prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution (xi) Establishment or recognition of environmental laboratories and institutes to carry out the functions entrusted to such environmental laboratories and institutes under this Act (xii) Collection and dissemination of information in respect of matters relating to environmental pollution (xiii) Preparation of manuals, codes or guides relating to the prevention, control and abatement of environmental pollution (xiv) Such other matters as the Central Government deems necessary or expedient for the purpose of securing the effective implementation of the provisions of this Act. 3. The Central Government may, if it considers it necessary or expedient so to do for the purposes of this Act, by order published in the Official Gazette, constitute an authority or authorities by such name or names as may be specified in the order for the purpose of exercising and performing such of the powers and functions (including the power to issue directions under Section 5) of the Central Government under this Act and for taking measures with respect to such of the matters referred to in sub-section (2) as may be mentioned in the order and subject to the supervision and control of the Central Government and the provisions of such order, such authority or authorities may exercise the powers or perform the functions or take the measures so mentioned in the order as if such authority or authorities had been empowered by this Act to exercise those powers or perform those functions or take such measures. Section 4: Appointment of officers and their powers and functions: 1. Without prejudice to the provisions of sub-section (3) of Section 3, the Central Government may appoint officers with such designations as it thinks fit for the purpose of this Act and may entrust to them such of the powers and functions under this Act as it may deem fit. 2. The officers appointed under sub-section (1) shall be subject to the general control and direction of the Central Government or, if so directed by that Government, also of the authority or authorities, if any, constituted under sub-section (3) of Section 3 or of any other authority or officer. Section 5: Power to give directions: Not withstanding anything contained in any other law but subject to the provisions of this Act, the Central Government may, in the exercise of its powers and performance of its functions under this Act, issue directions in writing to any person, officer or any authority and such person, officer or authority shall be bound to comply with such directions. Explanation — For the avoidance of doubts, it is hereby declared that the power to issue directions under this section includes the power to direct (a) The closure, prohibition or regulation or any industry, operation or process or (b) Stoppage or regulation of the supply of electricity or water or any other service. Section 6: Rules to regulate environmental pollution: 1. The Central Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, make rules in respect of all or any of the matters referred to in Section 3.

210 Environmental Studies 2. In particular, and without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing power, such rules may provide for all or any of the following matters, namely: (a) The standards of quality of air, water or soil for various areas and purposes (b) The maximum allowable limits of concentration of various environmental pollutants (including noise) for different areas (c) The procedures and safeguards for the handling of hazardous substances (d) The prohibition and restrictions on the handling of hazardous substances in different areas (e) The prohibition and restrictions on the location of industries and the carrying on of processes and operations in different areas (f) The procedures and safeguards for the prevention of accidents which may cause environmental pollution and for providing for remedial measures for such accidents. The requirements that are to be fulfilled under the E.P.A. by persons carrying on any industry, operation etc: · According to Section 7, no person carrying on any industry, operation or process shall discharge or emit or permit to be discharged or emitted any environmental pollutant in excess of such standards as may be prescribed. · According to Section 8, no person shall handle or cause to be handled any hazardous substance except in accordance with such procedure and after complying with such safeguards as may be prescribed. The penalties for violations under the E.P.A.: 1. Whoever fails to comply with or contravenes any of the provisions of this Act, or the rules made or orders or directions issued there under, shall, in respect of each such failure or contravention, be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years or with fine which may extend to one lakh rupees, or with both, and in case the failure or contravention continues, with additional fine which may extend to five thousand rupees for every day during which such failure or contravention continues after the conviction for the first such failure or contravention. 2. If the failure or contravention referred to in sub-section (1) continues beyond a period of one year after the date of conviction, the offender shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years. Restriction E.P.A. imposes on private citizens with respect to courts taking cognizance of offences under the E.P.A. 1986: Under this Act no court shall take cognizance of any offence except on a complaint made by any person who has given notice of not less than sixty days, in the manner prescribed, of the alleged offence and of his intention to make a complaint, to the Central Government or the authority or officer authorized as aforesaid. Effect of Section 24 of the E.P.A. with respect to other laws that also deal with environmental protection: According to Section 24, where any act or omission constitutes an offence punishable under this Act and also under any other Act then the offender found guilty of such offence shall be liable to be punished under the other Act and not under this Act.

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COASTAL REGULATION ZONE NOTIFICATION Law/regulation to protect the coast:

A notification under Section 3(1) and section 3(2)(v) of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Rule 5(3) (d) of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986 declaring the coastal stretches as Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and imposing restrictions on industries, operations and processes in the CRZ was published vide S.O. No. 944 (E), dated 15th December, 1990. Prohibited activities under CRZ Notification: The following activities are declared as prohibited within the Coastal Regulation Zone: (a) Setting up new industries and expansion of existing industries except those directly related to waterfront or directly needing foreshore facilities (b) Manufacture or handling or storage or disposal of hazardous substances as specified in the Notifications of the Government of India in the Ministry of Environment & Forests. No.S.O.594 (E) dated 28th July, 1989, S.O.966 (E) dated 27th November, 1989 and GSR 1037(E) dated 5th December 1989, 2. except transfer of hazardous substances from ships to ports, terminals and refineries and vice versa in the Port areas “Provided that the Government of India in the Ministry of Surface Transport, on a case to case basis, may permit storage of the petroleum products. Appended to this notification within the existing port limits of existing port limits of existing ports and harbours and in those areas of ports that have not been classified as CRZ-I subject to implementation of safety regulations including guidelines issued by Oil Safety Directorate in the Government of India, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas after ensuring proper location of site and availability of necessary equipment to meet the safety norms and exigencies arising due to any accident or spillage”. (c) Setting up and expansion of fish processing units (including warehousing (excluding hatchery and natural fish drying in permitted area) (d) Setting up and expansion of units/mechanisms for disposal of waste and effluents, except facilities required for discharging treated effluents, into the water course with approval under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and except for storm water drains (e) Discharge of untreated wastes and effluents from industries, cities or towns and other human settlements. Schemes shall be implemented by the concerned authorities for phasing out the existing practices, if any, within a reasonable time period not exceeding three years from the date of this Notification (f ) Dumping of city or town waste for the purpose of land-filing or otherwise; the existing practice, if any, shall be phased out within a reasonable time not exceeding three years from the date of the Notification (g) Dumping of ash or any wastes from thermal power stations (h) Land reclamation, bundling or disturbing the natural course of sea water, except those required for construction of ports, jetties, wharves, quays, slipways, bridges and sea-links and for other facilities that are essential for activities permissible under the notification or for control of coastal erosion and maintenance or cleaning of waterways, channels and ports and for prevention of sandbars for tidal regulators, storm water drains and structures or for prevention of salinity ingress and for sweet water recharge (i) Mining of sands, rocks and other substrata materials, except those rare minerals not available outside the CRZ areas

212 Environmental Studies (j) Harvesting of drawal of ground water and construction of mechanisms therefore within 200m of HTI [Provided that drawal of ground water where no other source of water is available and when done manually through ordinary wells or hands pumps, for drinking and domestic purposes, in zone between 50 to 200m or the CRZ, whichever is less from High Tide Line in case of rivers, creeks and backwaters subject to such restrictions, as may be deemed necessary, in areas affected by sea water intrusion, that may be imposed by an authority designated by State Government/Union Territory/Administration.] (k) Construction activities in ecologically sensitive areas as specified in Annexure-1 of this Notification (l) Any construction activity between the Low Tide Line and High Tide Line except facilities for carrying treated effluents and waste water discharges into the sea, facilities for carrying sea water for cooling purposes, oil, gas and similar pipelines and facilities essential for activities permitted under the notification (m) Dressing or altering of sand dunes, hills, natural features including landscape changes for beautification, recreational and other such purpose, except as permissible under this Notification (n) Nothing contained in this paragraph shall apply to aquaculture. Permissible activities under the CRZ notification and their regulation: All other activities, except those mentioned above, will be regulated as under: 1. Clearance shall be given for any activity within the Coastal Regulation Zone only if it requires waterfront and foreshore facilities; 2. The following activities will require environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India, namely; (i) Construction activities related to Defence requirements for each which foreshore facilities are essential (e.g. slipways, jetties, etc.); except for classified operational component of defence projects for which a separate procedure shall be followed. (Residential buildings, office buildings, hospital complexes, workshops shall not come within the definition of operational requirements except in very special cases and hence shall not normally be permitted in the CRZ) (ii) Operational constructions for ports and harbours and light houses construction for activities such as jetties, wharves, quays, and slipways Provided that for expansion or modernization of existing ports and harbours including fishing harbours operational constructions for ports and harbours and construction of jetties, wharves, quays, slipways. Single Point Mooring and Single Buoy Mooring and for reclamation for facilities essential for operational requirements of ports and harbours in areas with in the existing port limits, except the areas classified as category CRZ-I (1), shall require environmental clearance from Government of India in the Ministry of surface Transport, which shall take decision on these activities on the basis of Environmental impact assessment Report. Provided further that reclamation for commercial purposes such as shopping and housing complexes, hotels and entertainment activities shall not permissible. (iii) Thermal power plants (only foreshore facilities for transport of raw materials facilities for intake of cooling water); and outfall for discharge of treated waste water cooling water. (iv) All other activities with investment exceeding rupees five crores.

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National Environmental Appellate Authority Act: The National Environmental Appellate Authority Act has been brought with the purpose of providing for the establishment of a National Environmental Appellate Authority to hear appeals with respect to restriction of areas in which any industries, operations or processes or class of industries, operations or processes shall not be carried out or shall be carried out subject to certain safeguards under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. According to Section 12 of the Act the Authority shall not be bound by the procedure laid down in the code of civil procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by the principles of natural justice. Subject to the other provisions of this Act and of any rules made by Central Government, the Authority shall have power to regulate its own procedure, including the fixing of places and times of its enquiry and deciding whether to sit in public or private. Also, with the effect from the date of establishment of the Authority, no civil court or other authority shall have jurisdiction to entertain any appeal in respect of any matter with which the Authority is empowered by or under this Act. National Environmental Tribunals Act: The National Environmental Tribunal Act has been enacted to provide for strict liability for damages arising out of any accident occurring while handling any hazardous substance and for the establishment of a National Environment Tribunal for effective and expeditious disposal of cases arising from such accidents, with a view to giving relief and compensation for damages to persons, property and the environment and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Green Benches: Green benches are those constituted by the Chief Justice of the respective High Courts either on their own or on directions from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to constitute exclusively a bench (quorum consisting of more than one Judge) to deal with matters relating to environment and connected there with. The Green Bench in the respective High Courts deals with matters relating to Environment either on a particular day of the week exclusively or when and where the situation demands immediate action. West Bengal and Tamil Nadu are examples of some states which have constituted Green Benches.



Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an important management tool for ensuring optimal use of natural resources for sustainable development, and was introduced in India initially for River Valley Projects in 1978-79. The scope of the EIA has been enhanced to cover other developmental sectors such as industries, mining schemes, energy, etc. To facilitate project proponents in collection of environmental data and formulation of environmental management plans, it is now mandatory under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, for 29 categories of developmental activities involving investment beyond certain thresholds. The notification was issued on 27th January 1994 and was amended on 4th May 1994. This, it is hoped would provide an opportunity both for the project proponents and Government to assess the impact of the concerned project on the environment before it actually comes into play. The purpose of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is to identify and evaluate the potential impacts (beneficial and adverse) of development projects on the environmental system. It is a useful aid for decision making based on understanding of the environmental implications including social,

214 Environmental Studies cultural and aesthetic concerns which could be integrated with the analysis of the project costs and benefits. This exercise should be undertaken early enough at the planning stage of projects for selection of environmentally compatible sites, process technologies and such other environmental safeguards. While all industrial projects may have some environmental impacts all of them may not be significant enough to warrant elaborate assessment procedures. The need for such exercises will have to be decided after initial evaluation of the possible implications of a particular project and its location. The projects which could be the candidates for detailed Environmental Impact Assessment include: (i) Those which can significantly alter the landscape, land use pattern and lead to concentration of working and service population (ii) Those which need upstream development activity like assured mineral and forest products supply or downstream industrial process development (iii) Those involving manufacture, handling and use of hazardous materials (iv) Those which are sited near ecologically sensitive areas, urban centres, hill resorts, places of scientific and religious importance (v) Industrial estates with constituent units of various types which could cumulatively cause significant environmental damage.



It is defined by the International Chamber of Commerce as “a management tool comprising a systematic, documented, periodic and objective evaluation of how well environmental organizations, management and equipment are performing with the aim of helping to safeguard the environment by (a) Facilitating management control of environmental protection (b) Assessing compliance with company policies which would include muting regulatory requirements. Industries which require Environment Auditing A gazette notification on environmental audit had been issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests on 13th March, 1992 (amended vide notification GSR 386 (E) dated 22 April, 1993). This notification applies to every person carrying on an industry, operation or process requiring consent to operate under Section 25 of the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 (6 of 1974) or under section 21 of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 (14 of 1981), or both, or authorization under the Hazardous Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 1989, issued under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986). The notification requires that an Environmental Statement for the financial year ending on the 31st March be submitted to the concerned State Pollution Control Board on or before the 30th September of the same year.



Public hearings are those hearings which are required under the law before a sanction is given by the Government in respect of any project which falls under the 29 categories of activities which require environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India (MoEF). Public Hearings are a mandatory requirement under the law, and provide an opportunity for the public to get to know about the coming up of any new project falling under the 29 categories of

Environmental Laws 215 activities requiring environmental clearance of the MoEF, GOI, and also an opportunity where the concerns, suggestions, views, comments and objections of the public are heard by the public hearing panel. The EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) Notification of January 27, 1994 has been amended on April 10, 1997. By this amendment, a Public Hearing is mandatory for all the 29 categories of activities which require environmental clearance from the MoEF. Stages involved in Public Hearing: The various stages involved in conducting a Public Hearing are: Stage-1: The State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) shall cause a notice of Environmental Public Hearing by publishing the same in at least two newspapers widely circulated in the region around the project, one of which shall be in the vernacular language of the locality concerned. Stage-2: The State Pollution Control Board (SPCB) shall mention the date, time and the venue of the public hearing and also the name and address of the industry/unit proposed to come up for which a clearance is sought. Stage-3: From the date of publication of the Notification, 30 days time is provided to the public inviting their suggestions, views, comments and objections to the said project. Stage-4: The public are provided access to the executive summary of the Environmental Impact Assessment project during this one month period at the following places: 1. District Collector’s office 2. District Industry Centre 3. Office of the Chief Executive Officers of the Zila Parishad or Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation/Local body as the case may be 4. Head office of concerned State Pollution Control Board and its concerned Regional Office 5. Department of State Government dealing with the subject of Environment. Stage-5: The actual public hearing is conducted as per the date, time and venue mentioned in the notification where the concerns of the public are heard by the Public Hearing Panel constituted for the purpose. Members of a Public Hearing Panel The members of a public hearing panel are: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) (f)


Representative of State Pollution Control Board District Collector or his nominee Representative of State Government dealing with the subject of Power Representative of Department of State Government dealing with Environment Not more than three representatives of the local bodies such as Municipalities or Panchayats Not more than three senior citizens of the area nominated by the District Collector.


The ECOMARK is a label given to an Environment Friendly Product. Household and other consumer products which meet certain environmental criteria along with the quality requirements of the Indian Standards Institute for that product may be accredited and labelled under this scheme. The Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, issues the ECOMARK notifications.

216 Environmental Studies Environment Friendly Product Any product which is made, used or disposed off in a way that significantly reduces the harm it would otherwise cause the environment could be considered an Environment Friendly Product.



The Shore Nuisance (Bombay and Kolaba) Act, 1853: This is the earliest Act on the statue book concerning control of water pollution in India. The Serais Act, 1867: The Act enjoined upon a keeper of Serai or an inn to keep a certain quality of water fit for consumption by “persons and animals using it” to the satisfaction of the District magistrate or his nominees. Failure for maintaining the standard entailed a liability of rupees twenty. The North India Canal and Drainage Act, 1873: Certain offences have been listed under the Act contained in Section 70. Obstruction in Fairways Act, 1881: Section 8 of the Act empowered the Central Government to make Rules to regulate or prohibit the throwing of rubbish in any fairway leading to a port causing or likely to give rise to a bank or shoal. Indian Easements Act, 1882: Illustrations (f), (h) and (j) of Section 7 of the Act deal with pollution of waters. The Indian Fisheries Act, 1897: The Indian Fisheries Act, 1897 contains seven sections. Section 5 of the Act prohibits destruction of fish by poisoning waters. Indian Ports Act, 1908: Water pollution by oil has been regulated by the Indian Ports Act, 1908. The Indian Forest Act, 1927: Section 26 (i) of the Act makes it punishable if any person, who, in contravention of the rules made by the State Government, poisons water of a forest area. The State Government has been empowered under Section 32(f) to make rules relating to poisoning of water in forests. The Damodar Valley Corporation Act, 1948: The Act authorizes the Corporation to make regulations with the previous sanction of the Central Government for preventing "pollution of water". The Factories Act, 1948: Factories Act, 1948 is a social welfare legislation intend to secure health, safety and welfare of the workers employed in factories. However,some of the provisions of this Act are concerned with prevention of water pollution. The Mines Act, 1952: Chapter V of the Act deals with provisions regarding health and Safety of the employees. Section 19 (i) emphasizes upon arrangement for the quality of water for drinking purposes. The River Boards Act, 1956: The Act provides for the creation of River Boards for regulation and development of interstate rivers and river valleys. One of the functions of the Board is to advise to the government concerned on “prevention of pollution of the waters of the interstate rivers”. The Merchant Shipping Act, 1958: The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil, 1954 is the first treaty for the reduction of oil pollution of the sea. In order to give effect to this Convention, the Merchant Shipping Act regulates and controls the discharge of oil or oil mixture by an Indian tanker or ship within any of the prohibited zones or by a foreign tanker or other ship within the prohibited zone adjoining the territories of India. Further, there is a prohibition for discharging any oil anywhere at sea from an Indian ship.

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SUMMARY In the Constitution of India it is clearly stated that it is the duty of the state to ’protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country’. It imposes a duty on every citizen ‘to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife’. The constitutional provisions are backed by a number of laws—acts, rules, and notifications. The EPA (Environment Protection Act), 1986 came into force soon after the Bhopal Gas Tragedy and is considered an umbrella legislation as it fills many gaps in the existing laws. Thereafter a large number of laws came into existence as the problems began arising, for example, Handling and Management of Hazardous Waste Rules in 1989.

QUESTIONS 1. Enlist the laws that have been enacted against forests and wildlife. 2. What do you understand by “non-forest purpose” under the Forest Conservation Act, 1980? 3. What are the points that should be remembered while making a complaint under the Wildlife (Protection) Act? 4. What are the objectives and functions of Pollution Control Board under Water Act 1974? 5. What are the emergency measures that Central / State pollution boards can take under 1the Water Act? 6. What are the objectives and functions of Pollution Control Board under Air Act 1981? 7. Discuss the role of Central government under EPA for the protection and improvement of environment. 8. Define 'Environmental Statement'. 9. What do you mean by public hearings? What are the various stages involved in public hearings? 10. Explain ECOMARK.