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ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
A GUIDE TO ENVIRONMENTAL
ECOLOGY, BIO-DIVERSITY AND
CLIMATE CHANGE

Environmental Studies

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Chapter I: Importance of the Environment .................................................................................. 10
What is the value of the Environment? ................................................................................ 10
NGO and Advocacy Institution in the field of Environment ................................................. 10
People in Environment ......................................................................................................... 12
Chapter 2: Natural Resources ....................................................................................................... 16
Earths Resources .................................................................................................................. 16
Natural cycles of the Earth.................................................................................................... 18
Problems with Natural Resources......................................................................................... 18
Renewable and Non-Renewable Resources ......................................................................... 18
Forest Resources ................................................................................................................... 19
Water resources.................................................................................................................... 20
Mineral Resources ................................................................................................................ 22
Food resources ...................................................................................................................... 22
Energy resources ................................................................................................................... 23
Non-Renewable Energy Sources ................................................................................... 24
Renewable energy ........................................................................................................ 24
Nuclear Power............................................................................................................... 27
Land resources ...................................................................................................................... 28
Problems related to Land Resources ............................................................................ 28
Chapter 3: Ecosystem ................................................................................................................... 30
What is Ecosystem? .............................................................................................................. 30
Division of ecosystem ........................................................................................................... 30
Structure of the Ecosystem ................................................................................................... 31

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Mechanism of Ecosystem Working....................................................................................... 31


Producer, Consumer and Decomposers ............................................................................... 32
Energy Flow in the Ecosystem .............................................................................................. 33
Forest types in India .............................................................................................................. 35
Grassland ecosystems ........................................................................................................... 35
Grassland Types in India ............................................................................................... 36
Threats to grassland ecosystems .................................................................................. 36
Desert ecosystem.................................................................................................................. 36
Aquatic ecosystems .............................................................................................................. 37
Ecological Succession ............................................................................................................ 38
Chapter 4: Biodiversity.................................................................................................................. 41
Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 41
Definition of Biodiversity ...................................................................................................... 41
Types of Diversity .................................................................................................................. 41
Genetic diversity ........................................................................................................... 41
Species diversity ............................................................................................................ 41
Ecosystem diversity....................................................................................................... 42
Biogegraphic Classification of India ...................................................................................... 42
Benefit from Biodiversity ...................................................................................................... 42
Biodiversity at Global, National and Local level ................................................................... 43
Pattern of Biodiversity Distribution ...................................................................................... 45
Causes of Biodiversity Loss ................................................................................................... 45
Biodiversity in India............................................................................................................... 45
Endangered and Endemic Species of India ........................................................................... 46
Common Plant species of India............................................................................................. 47
Common Animal species ....................................................................................................... 48

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Conservation of Biodiversity ................................................................................................. 51


Chapter 5: Pollution ...................................................................................................................... 54
Classification of Pollutants .................................................................................................... 54
Causes, Effects and Control Measures of Pollutions ............................................................ 54
Air Pollution: ................................................................................................................. 54
Impact of Ozone Depletion ........................................................................................... 57
Measures taken by Government of India ..................................................................... 58
Water Pollution ............................................................................................................. 58
Soil Pollution ................................................................................................................. 62
Noise Pollution .............................................................................................................. 63
Solid Waste Management - Causes, Effects and Control Measures............................. 63
Control measures of urban and industrial wastes ........................................................ 64
Chapter 6: Issues related to the Environment .............................................................................. 66
Sustainable Development ..................................................................................................... 66
Urban Areas Energy Problems ............................................................................................. 67
Climate Change ..................................................................................................................... 67
Global Warming .................................................................................................................... 67
Expected effects on social systems ............................................................................... 68
Responses to global warming ....................................................................................... 68
Ozone Layer Depletion.......................................................................................................... 69
Consequences of ozone layer depletion ....................................................................... 70
Global Dimming: ................................................................................................................... 70
Burning of fossil fuels is creating two effects ............................................................... 70
What is global dimming? .............................................................................................. 70
Impacts of global dimming: millions already killed by it?............................................. 71
Health and environmental effects ................................................................................ 71

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Root causes of global warming also must be addressed .............................................. 73


Sea level rise ......................................................................................................................... 73
Ocean Acidification ............................................................................................................... 74
Shutdown of thermohaline circulation ................................................................................. 74
Urban heat island .................................................................................................................. 75
Pollinator decline .................................................................................................................. 76
Coral bleaching...................................................................................................................... 76
Poaching ................................................................................................................................ 77
IUCN Red List ......................................................................................................................... 77
Hydraulic fracturing .............................................................................................................. 79
Genetic pollution .................................................................................................................. 79
Genetically modified foods controversy ....................................................................... 79
Nuclear fallout ...................................................................................................................... 80
Oil spill Cleanup method ............................................................................................... 80
Whaling ................................................................................................................................. 82
Chlorofluorocarbon............................................................................................................... 82
DDT ........................................................................................................................................ 83
E-waste .................................................................................................................................. 84
Hazardous ..................................................................................................................... 85
Chapter 7: Important Convention and Committee related to Environment................................ 87
United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) .................................... 87
Objectives...................................................................................................................... 87
Outcomes ...................................................................................................................... 87
Basel Convention .................................................................................................................. 88
The Rotterdam Convention .................................................................................................. 89
Stockholm Convention .......................................................................................................... 89

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The Cartagena Protocol ........................................................................................................ 89


The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) ...................................................................... 89
Bonn Convention .................................................................................................................. 90
Washington Convention ....................................................................................................... 90
The Ramsar Convention ........................................................................................................ 91
The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification ................................................. 91
The International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling .............................................. 91
The Montreal Protocol .......................................................................................................... 92
The Vienna Convention ......................................................................................................... 92
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change................................................ 92
Conferences of the Parties............................................................................................ 94
Subsidiary bodies to the UNFCCC ................................................................................. 96
Chapter 8: Intiative taken by India in the field of Environment and Climate Change. ................. 99
National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) ............................................................... 99
National River Conservation Plan ......................................................................................... 99
National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) ................................................................... 99
National Green Tribunal (NGT) ........................................................................................... 100
Chapter 9: Current Affairs on Environment and Ecology ........................................................... 102
The Central Zoo Authority of India Approved Exchanging White Tigress against Puma Pair
from Russia ......................................................................................................................... 102
American Scientist Suggested That Refreezing Arctic Could Help Deal With Climate Crisis
............................................................................................................................................. 102
MoU Signed Between Mysore Zoo and Leipzig Zoo in Germany for Transporting Four Sloth
Bears ................................................................................................................................... 103
Newly Discovered Colourful Species of Fish Named After US President Obama ............... 103
Arctic Sea Ice Melting Area Larger Than the Area of US .................................................... 103
Ocean Acidification Dissolving Shells of Sea Creatures Causing Disaster in Food Chain ... 104

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Tongariro Volcano erupted in the North Island region of New Zealand ............................ 104
Greenhouse Gases Level Reached Record High in 2011: WMO Survey Revealed ............. 105
Greenland Continuously Lost 200 Million Tonnes Ice Every Year Since 2003 .................... 105
Australia Created Worlds Largest Marine Reserve to Protect Ocean Environment ......... 106
Bombay Natural History Society released a Report indicating Growth in Vulture Population
............................................................................................................................................. 106
Uttarakhand Named best Performing States in terms of Environmental standards ......... 107
COP 11 held in Hyderabad: Emphasised on the Well Being of Biodiversities .................... 108
Demands of Developing and Developed Countries .................................................... 108
Indias Stand ................................................................................................................ 108
Plan and Programmes Launched during COP11 Conference ..................................... 109
Conclusion ................................................................................................................... 109
TEC recommended a 10-Year Moratorium on all Field Trials of GM Food Crops .............. 110
Supreme Court Lifted Ban on Tourism in Core tiger Reserve Areas ................................... 110
India to get Warmer by 2 Degree Celsius by 2030: Scientist of IISc and IIT ....................... 110
Dolphin Day observed in Bihar to create awareness about Gangetic Dolphins ................. 111
Save Ganga, Save Dolphin campaign initiated in Uttar Pradesh ........................................ 111
Supreme Court of India Banned Mining Activities in Goa .................................................. 112
Great Indian Bustard and Lesser Florican got Shonkaliya region to breed ........................ 113
18th International Day for preservation of the Ozone Layer celebrated worldwide......... 113
ZSN and IUCN released data of hundred species fearing extinction .................................. 114
Parliamentary Panel on Agriculture recommended to ban GM Food Crops ..................... 115
NASAs Scientists warned Earth might face More Heat Waves.......................................... 115
ANNEXURE-A ............................................................................................................................... 117
List of National Parks .......................................................................................................... 117
List of Tiger Reserve ............................................................................................................ 120
List of Wetlands .................................................................................................................. 121
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List of Biosphere Reserves .................................................................................................. 122


Forest Report-2011 ............................................................................................................. 122
Minerals and their Uses ...................................................................................................... 124
MCQs on Environment ................................................................................................................ 132
Answer Key.................................................................................................................................. 166

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CHAPTER I: IMPORTANCE OF THE ENVIRONMENT


Introduction: Environment is not a single subject. It is an integration of several subjects that
include both Science and Social Studies. To understand all the different aspects of our
environment we need to understand biology, chemistry, physics, geography, resource
management, economics and population issues. Thus the scope of environmental studies is
extremely wide and covers some aspects of nearly every major discipline.

WHAT IS THE VALUE OF THE ENVIRONMENT?

Productive value of nature: Raw materials that are used for


o developing new medicines
o industrial products and
o Are storehouses from which to develop thousands of new products in the
future?

Aesthetic/Recreational value of nature: The aesthetic and recreational values that


nature possesses enliven our existence on earth. A true wilderness experience has
o Recreational value
o Incredible learning experience.
o It brings about an understanding of the oneness of nature and the fact that we
are entirely dependent upon the intricate functioning of ecosystems.

The option values of nature: If we use up all our resources, kill off and let species of
plants and animals become extinct on earth, pollute our air and water, degrade land,
and create enormous quantities of waste, we as a generation will leave nothing for
future generations. Our present generation has developed its economies and lifestyles
on unsustainable patterns of life. However, nature provides us with various options on
how we utilize its goods and services. This is its option value. The option value allows us
to use its resources sustainably and preserve its goods and services for the future.

NGO AND ADVOCACY INSTITUTION IN THE FIELD OF ENVIRONMENT


There have been several Government and Nongovernment organizations that have led to
environmental protection in our country. They have led to a growing interest in environmental
protection and conservation of nature and natural resources. Some of them are.

Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Mumbai: the BNHS began as a small society of
six members in 1883. The influences on wildlife policy building, research, popular
publications and peoples action have been unique features of the multifaceted society.
It is Indias oldest conservation research based NGO and one that has acted at the
forefront of the battle for species and ecosystems.

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o The BNHS publishes a popular magazine called Hornbill and also an


internationally well-known Journal on Natural History.
o Its other publications include the Salim Ali Handbook on birds, JC Daniels book
of Indian Reptiles, SH Praters book of Indian Mammals and PV Boles book of
Indian Trees.

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF-I), New Delhi: The WWF-I was initiated in 1969 in
Mumbai after which the headquarters were shifted to Delhi with several branch offices
all over India. The early years focused attention on wildlife education and awareness. It
runs several programs including the Nature Clubs of India program for school children
and works as a think tank and lobby force for environment and development issues.

Center for Science and Environment (CSE), New Delhi: Activities of this Center include
organizing campaigns, holding workshops and conferences, and producing environment
related publications. It published a major document on the State of Indias
Environment, the first of its kind to be produced as a Citizens Report on the
Environment. The CSE also publishes a popular magazine, Down to Earth which is a
Science and Environment fortnightly

CPR Environmental Education Centre, Madras: The CPR EEC was set up in 1988. It
conducts a variety of programs to spread environmental awareness and creates an
interest in conservation among the general public.

Centre for Environment Education (CEE), Ahmedabad: The Centre for Environment
Education, Ahmedabad was initiated in 1989. It has a wide range of programs on the
environment and produces a variety of educational material. CEEs Training in
Environment Education {TEE} program has trained many environment educators

Bharati Vidyapeeth Institute of Environment Education and Research (BVIEER), Pune:


This is part of the Bharati Vidyapeeth Deemed University. The Institute has a PhD, a
Masters and Bachelors program in Environmental Sciences. It also offers an innovative
Diploma in Environment Education for in-service teachers. It implements a large
outreach programme that has covered over 135 schools in which it trains teachers and
conducts fortnightly Environment Education Programs.

Uttarkhand Seva Nidhi (UKSN), Almora: The Organization is a Nodal Agency which
supports NGOs in need of funds for their environment related activities. Its major
program organizing and training school teachers to use its locale specific Environment
Education Workbook Program.

Kalpavriksh, Pune: This NGO, initially Delhi based, is now working from Pune and is
active in several other parts of India. Kalpavriksh works on a variety of fronts: education
and awareness; investigation and research; direct action and lobbying; and litigation
with regard to environment and development issues. Kalpavriksh was responsible for
developing Indias National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan in 2003

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Salim Ali Center for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Coimbatore: This
institution was Dr. Salim Alis dream that became a reality only after his demise. He
wished to support a group of committed conservation scientists on a permanent basis.
Initially conceived as being a wing of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) it later
evolved as an independent organization based at Coimbatore in 1990.

Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun: This Institution was established in 1982, as a
major training establishment for Forest Officials and Research in Wildlife Management.
Its most significant publication has been Planning A Wildlife Protected Area Network
for India (Rodgers and Panwar, 1988). It also has an Environment Impact Assessment
(EIA) cell. It trains personnel eco-development, wildlife biology, habitat management
and Nature interpretation.

Botanical Survey of India (BSI): The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) was established in
1890 at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Calcutta. However it closed down for several years
after 1939 and was reopened in 1954. In 1952 plans were made to reorganize the BSI
and formulate its objectives. By 1955 the BSI had its headquarters in Calcutta with Circle
Offices at Coimbatore, Shillong, Pune and Dehra Dun. Between 1962 and 1979, offices
were established in Allahbad, Jodhpur, Port Blair, Itanagar and Gangtok. The BSI
currently has nine regional centres. It carries out surveys of plant resources in different
regions.

Zoological Survey of India (ZSI): The ZSI was established in1916. Its mandate was to do a
systematic survey of fauna in India. It has over the years collected type specimens on
the bases of which our animal life has been studied over the years. Its origins were
collections based at the Indian Museum at Calcutta, which was established in 1875

The Centre for Environmental Research and Education (CERE) is a Mumbai-based notfor-profit organization that works to promote environmental sustainability through
action-oriented education, awareness and advocacy. CERE was established in 2002 by
Dr. (Ms.) Rashneh N. Pardiwala, an ecologist from the University of Edinburgh and Mrs.
Kitayun Rustom, an environmental educationist. CERE is also a pioneer in the field of
corporate sustainability and carbon management systems where they help
organisations map their carbon footprint, meet international reporting standards,
implement low cost carbon reductions strategies which ensure considerable financial
savings and engage in staff awareness activities.

The Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) is a registered non-profit organisation


based in Anand, Gujarat, India working towards the ecological restoration and
conservation of land and water resources in ecologically fragile, degraded and
marginalised regions of the country, through concentrated and collective efforts of
village communities. FES has been involved in assisting the restoration, management
and governance of Common Property Land Resources since 1986.

PEOPLE IN ENVIRONMENT
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There are several internationally known environmenta thinkers. Among those who have mad
landmarks, the names that are usually mentione are Charles Darwin, Ralph Emerson, Henry
Thoreau, John Muir, Aldo Leopald, Rache Carson and EO Wilson.

Charles Darwin wrote the Origin of Species, which brought to light the close
relationship between habitats and species. Alfred Wallace came to the same
conclusions during his work.

Ralph Emerson spoke of the dangers of commerce to our environment way back in the
1840s.

Henry Thoreau in the 1860s wrote that the wilderness should be preserved after he
lived in the wild for a year.

John Muir is remembered a having saved the great ancient sequoia trees I Californiaa
forests. In the 1890s he formed the Sierra club, which is a major conservation NG in the
USA.

Aldo Leopald was a forest official in the US in the 1920s. He designed the earl policies
on wilderness conservation and wildlife management.

In the 1960s Rachel Carson published several articles that caused immediate worldwide
concern on the effects of pesticide on nature and mankind. She wrote a well-known
book called Silent Spring which eventually led to a change in Government policy an
public awareness.

EO Wilson is an entomologist who envisioned that biological diversity was a key to


human survival on earth. He wrote Diversity of Life in 1993, which was awarded a prize
for the best book published on environmental issues.

Wangari Maathai (1940-2011) was an environmental and politicial activist in Kenya.


After studying biology in the United States, she returned to Kenya to begin a career that
combined environmental and social concerns. Maathai founded the Green Belt
Movement in Africa and helped to plant over 30 million trees, providing jobs to the
unemployed while also preventing soil erosion and securing firewood. She was
appointed Assistant Minister in the Ministry for Environment and Natural Resources,
and in 2004 Maathai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, while continuing to fight for
the rights of women, the politically oppressed and the natural environment.

Gaylord Nelson (1916-2005). After returning from World War II, Nelson began a career
as a politician and environmental activist that was to last the rest of his life. He is
perhaps best known as the founder of Earth Day

Salim Alis name is synonymous with ornithology in India and with the Bombay Natural
History Society (BNHS). He also wrote several great books including the famous Book of
Indian Birds. His autobiography, Fall of a Sparrow should be read by every nature

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enthusiast. He was our countrys leading conservation scientist and influenced


environmental policies in our country for over 50 years.

Indira Gandhi as PM has played a highly significant role in the preservation of Indias
wildlife. It was during her period as PM, that the network of PAs grew from 65 to 298!
The Wildlife Protection Act was formulated during the period when she was PM and the
Indian Board for Wildlife was extremely active as she personally chaired all its meetings.
India gained a name for itself by being a major player in CITES and other International
Environmental Treaties and Accords during her tenure.

S P Godrej was one of Indias greatest supporters of wildlife conservation and nature
awareness programs. Between 1975 and 1999, SP Godrej received 10 awards for his
conservation activities. He was awarded the Padma Bhushan in 1999. His friendship with
people in power combined with his deep commitment for conservation led to his
playing a major advocacy role for wildlife in India.

M S Swaminathan is one of Indias foremost agricultural scientists and has also been
concerned with various aspects of biodiversity conservation both of cultivars and wild
biodiversity. He has founded the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation in Chennai,
which does work on the conservation of biological diversity.

Madhav Gadgil is a well-known ecologist in India. His interests range from broad
ecological issues such as developing Community Biodiversity Registers and conserving
sacred groves to studies on the behavior of mammals, birds and insects. He has written
several articles, published papers in journals and is the author of 6 books.

M C Mehta is undoubtedly Indias most famous environmental lawyer. Since 1984, he


has filed several Public Interest Litigations for supporting the cause of environmental
conservation. His most famous and long drawn battles supported by the Supreme Court
include protecting the Taj Mahal, cleaning up the Ganges River, banning intensive
shrimp farming on the coast, initiating Government to implement environmental
education in schools and colleges, and a variety of other conservation issues.

Anil Agarwal was a journalist who wrote the first report on the State of Indias
Environment in 1982. He founded the Center for Science and Environment which is an
active NGO that supports various environmental issues.

Medha Patkar is known as one of Indias champions who has supported the cause of
downtrodden tribal people whose environment is being affected by the dams on the
Narmada river.

Sunderlal Bahugnas Chipko Movement has become an internationally well-known


example of a highly successful conservation action program through the efforts of local
people for guarding their forest resources. His fight to prevent the construction of the
Tehri Dam in a fragile earthquake prone setting is a battle that he continues to wage.

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The Garhwal Hills will always remember his dedication to the cause for which he has
walked over 20 thousand kilometers.

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CHAPTER 2: NATURAL RESOURCES


Introduction: Our environment provides us with a variety of goods and services necessary for
our day to day lives. These natural resources include, air, water, soil, minerals, along with the
climate and solar energy, which form the non-living or abiotic part of nature. The biotic or
living parts of nature consist of plants and animals, including microbes. Plants and animals can
only survive as communities of different organisms, all closely linked to each in their own
habitat, and requiring specific abiotic conditions. Interactions between the abiotic aspects of
nature and specific living organisms together form ecosystems of various types.

EARTHS RESOURCES
The resources are provided by various sources or spheres.
1) Atmosphere: The atmosphere forms a protective shell over the earth. The lowest layer,
the troposphere, the only part warm enough for us to survive in, is only 12 kilometers
thick. The stratosphere is 50 kilometers thick and contains a layer of sulphates which is
important for the formation of rain. It also contains a layer of ozone, which absorbs
ultra-violet light known to cause cancer and without which, no life could exist on earth.
It is a complex dynamic system. If its nature is disrupted it affects all mankind. Most air
pollutants have both global and regional effects. Major pollutants of air are created by
industrial units that release various gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and
toxic fumes into the air. The buildup of carbon dioxide which is known as greenhouse
effect in the atmosphere is leading to current global warming.
SMOG: The combustion of fossil fuels also increases the amount of suspended particles in air.
Presence of high levels of all these pollutants causes visibility to be lowered, especially in cold
weather when water also condenses out of air. This is known as smog and is a visible indication
of air pollution.
2) Hydrosphere: The hydrosphere covers three quarters of the earths surface. A major
part of the hydrosphere is the marine ecosystem in the ocean, while only a small part
occurs in fresh water. Fresh water in rivers, lakes and glaciers, is perpetually being
renewed by a process of evaporation and rainfall. Some of this fresh water lies in
underground aquifers. Human activities such as deforestation create serious changes in
the hydrosphere. Once land is denuded of vegetation, the rain erodes the soil which is
washed into the sea. Chemicals from industry and sewage find their way into rivers and
into the sea.
Coliform is a group of bacteria, found in human intestines, whose presence in water indicates
contamination by disease-causing microorganisms.

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Ganga Action Plan: This multi-crore project came about in 1985 because the quality of the
water in the Ganga was very poor.
3) Lithosphere: The lithosphere began as a hot ball of matter which formed the earth
about 4.6 billion years ago. About 3.2 billion years ago, the earth cooled down
considerably and a very special event took place - life began on our planet. The crust of
the earth is 6 or 7 kilometers thick and lies under the continents. Of the 92 elements in
the lithosphere only eight are common constituents of crustal rocks. Of these
constituents,

47% is oxygen,
28% is silicon,
8% is aluminium,
5% is iron,
While sodium, magnesium, potassium and calcium constitute 4% each.

Together, these elements form about 200 common mineral compounds. Rocks, when
broken down, form soil on which man is dependent for his agriculture. Their minerals
are also the raw material used in various industries.
Soil is a mixture. It contains small particles of rock (of different sizes). It also contains bits of
decayed living organisms which is called humus. In addition, soil also contains various forms of
microscopic life. The type of soil is decided by the average size of particles found in it and the
quality of the soil is decided by the amount of humus and the microscopic organisms found in
it. Humus is a major factor in deciding the soil structure because it causes the soil to become
more porous and allows water and air to penetrate deep underground. The mineral nutrients
that are found in a particular soil depend on the rocks it was formed from. The nutrient content
of a soil, the amount of humus present in it and the depth of the soil are some of the factors
that decide which plants will thrive on that soil.
4) Biosphere: This is the relatively thin layer on the earth in which life can exist. Within it
the air, water, rocks and soil and the living creatures, form structural and functional
ecological units, which together can be considered as one giant global living system, that
of our Earth itself. Within this framework, those characterized by broadly similar
geography and climate, as well as communities of plant and animal life can be divided
for convenience into different biogeographical realms. These occur on different
continents. Within these, smaller biogeographical units can be identified on the basis of
structural differences and functional aspects into distinctive recognizable ecosystems,
which give a distinctive character to a landscape or waterscape. The simplest of these
ecosystems to understand is a pond. It can be used as a model to understand the nature
of any other ecosystem and to appreciate the changes over time that is seen in any
ecosystem.

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NATURAL CYCLES OF THE EARTH


All four spheres are closely inter-linked systems and are dependent on the integrity of each
other. Disturbing one of these spheres in our environment affects all the others. The linkages
between them are mainly in the form of cycles. For instance, the atmosphere, hydrosphere and
lithosphere are all connected through the hydrological cycle. It is therefore essential to
understand the interrelationships of the separate entities soil, water, air and living organisms,
and to appreciate the value of preserving intact ecosystems as a whole.

PROBLEMS WITH NATURAL RESOURCES

The unequal consumption of natural resources: A major part of natural resources are
today consumed in the technologically advanced or developed world, usually termed
the North. The developing nations of the South, including India and China, also over
use many resources because of their greater human population. However, the
consumption of resources per capita (per individual) of the developed countries is up to
50 times greater than in most developing countries. Advanced countries produce over
75% of global industrial waste and greenhouse gases. The USA for example with just 4%
of Natural Resources 21 the worlds population consumes about 25% of the worlds
resources.

Planning Landuse: Land itself is a major resource, needed for food production, animal
husbandry, industry, and for our growing human settlements. These forms of intensive
landuse are frequently extended at the cost of wild lands, our remaining forests,
grasslands, wetlands and deserts. Thus it is essential to evolve a rational land-use policy
that examines how much land must be made available for different purposes and where
it must be situated. For instance, there are usually alternate sites at which industrial
complexes or dams can be built, but a natural wilderness cannot be recreated
artificially. Scientists today believe that at least 10 percent of land and water bodies of
each ecosystem must be kept as wilderness for the long term needs of protecting nature
and natural resources. Natural wetlands of great value are being drained for agriculture
and other purposes. Semi-arid land is being irrigated and overused.

RENEWABLE AND NON-RENEWABLE RESOURCES


Non-renewable Resources: These are minerals that have been formed in the lithosphere over
millions of years and constitute a closed system. These non-renewable resources, once used,
remain on earth in a different form and, unless recycled, become waste material. Nonrenewable resources include fossil fuels such as oil and coal, which if extracted at the present
rate, will soon be totally used up.
Renewable resources: Though water and biological living resources are considered renewable.
They are in fact renewable only within certain limits.

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The Dodo of Madagascar and the Cheetah in India are well known examples of extinct species.
Over harvesting and poaching threaten the existence of many others.

FOREST RESOURCES
Scientists estimate that India should ideally have 33 percent of its land under forests. Today we
have only about 23 percent. Thus we need not only to protect existing forests but also to
increase our forest cover. People who live in or near forests know the value of forest resources
first hand because their lives and livelihoods depend directly on these resources. Deforestation
became a major concern in British times when a large amount of timber was extracted for
building their ships. This led the British to develop scientific forestry in India. They however
alienated local people by creating Reserved and Protected Forests which curtailed access to
the resources. This led to a loss of stake in the conservation of the forests which led to a
gradual degradation and fragmentation of forests across the length and breadth of the country.
Another period of overutilization and forest degradation occurred in the early period following
independence as people felt that now that the British had gone they had a right to using our
forests in any way we pleased.
(For detailed forest resources in India refer to State of Forest Report at the end of the book.)
Major Causes of Deforestation:
Expansion of Agriculture
Extension of Cultivation on Hill Slopes
Cattle Ranching
Firewood Collection
Timber Harvesting
Shifting Cultivation
Government Policies: As discussed earlier, the policy followed by Colonial ruler and the
policy of government in free India.

Joint Forest Management


The National Forest Policy, 1988 emphasises on creating massive people movement through
involvement of village communities living close to the forest in protection and development of
forests. Pursuant to this policy, the Government of India issued a notification in June 1990
requesting the State Governments to involve local communities in the management of forests.
It is envisaged that the communities, in lieu of their participation in protection and
development of forest areas, will be entitled to sharing of usufructs in a manner specified by
the concerned State Forest Departments. This has led to the development of Joint Forest
Management (JFM) programme.
So far, 22 State Governments have issued resolutions in this regard. The state governments
have evolved their own mechanisms of involving local communities in conformity with the

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proclaimed policy. The local institutions engaged in the task are known by different names in
different states like Forest Protection Committee (FPC), Village Forest Committee (VFC), Van
Samrakshan Samiti (VSS), Village Forest Protection Management Committee (VFPMC) etc.
The nature of usufruct sharing also varies from state to state. In constitution of committees,
representation of women is also ensured. About 36,130 Forest Protection Committees are
managing a total of 10.25 million ha of forest area.

WATER RESOURCES
The water cycle, through evaporation and precipitation, maintains hydrological systems which
form rivers and lakes and support in a variety of aquatic ecosystems. Wetlands are
intermediate forms between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and contain species of plants
and animals that are highly moisture dependent. (For list of Wetlands in India refer to the
Annexure at the end of the Book)
Statistics on Water
Water covers 70% of the earths surface but only 3% of this is fresh water. Of this, 2% is in
polar ice caps and only 1% is usable water in rivers, lakes and subsoil aquifers. Only a fraction
of this can be actually used. At a global level 70% of water is used for agriculture about 25% for
industry and only 5% for domestic use. However this varies in different countries and
industrialized countries use a greater percentage for industry. India uses 90% for agriculture,
7% for industry and 3% for domestic use. The total annual freshwater withdrawals today are
estimated at 3800 cubic kilometers, twice as much as just 50 years ago (World Commission on
Dams, 2000). Studies indicate that a person needs a minimum of 20 to 40 liters of water per
day for drinking and sanitation. More than one billion people worldwide have no access to
clean water
India is expected to face critical levels of water stress by 2025. At the global level 31 countries
are already short of water and by 2025 there will be 48 countries facing serious water
shortages. The UN has estimated that by the year 2050, 4 billion people will be seriously
affected by water shortages. This will lead to multiple conflicts between countries over the
sharing of water. Around 20 major cities in India face chronic or interrupted water shortages.
There are 100 countries that share the waters of 13 large rivers and lakes. The upstream
countries could starve the downstream nations leading to political unstable areas across the
world. Examples are Ethopia, which is upstream on the Nile and Egypt, which is downstream
and highly dependent on the Nile. International accords that will look at a fair distribution of
water in such areas will become critical to world peace. India and Bangladesh already have a
negotiated agreement on the water use of the Ganges.
Sustainable water management: Save water campaigns are essential to make people
everywhere aware of the dangers of water scarcity. A number of measures need to be taken for
the better management of the worlds water resources. These include measures such as:

Building several small reservoirs instead of few mega projects.

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Develop small catchment dams and protect wetlands.


Soil management, micro catchment development and afforestation permits recharging
of underground aquifers thus reducing the need for large dams.
Treating and recycling municipal waste water for agricultural use.
Preventing leakages from dams and canals.
Preventing loss in Municipal pipes.
Effective rain water harvesting in urban environments.
Water conservation measures in agriculture such as using drip irrigation.
Pricing water at its real value makes people use it more responsibly and efficiently and
reduces water wasting.
In deforested areas where land has been degraded, soil management by bunding along
the hill slopes and making nala plugs, can help retain moisture and make it possible to
re-vegetate degraded areas.

Dams problems

Fragmentation and physical transformation of rivers.


Serious impacts on riverine ecosystems.
Social consequences of large dams due to displacement of people.
Water logging and Stalinization of surrounding lands.
Dislodging animal populations, damaging their habitat and cutting off their migration
routes.
Fishing and travel by boat disrupted.
The emission of green house gases from reservoirs due to rotting vegetation and carbon
inflows from the catchment is a recently identified impact.

Sardar Sarovar Project


The World Banks withdrawal from the Sardar Sarovar Project in India in 1993 was a result of
the demands of local people threatened with the loss of their livelihoods and homes in the
submergence area. This dam in Gujarat on the Narmada has displaced thousands of tribal folk,
whose lives and livelihoods were linked to the river, the forests and their agricultural lands.
While they and the fishermen at the estuary have lost their homeland, rich farmers
downstream will get water for agriculture.
Kulhs in Himachal Pradesh
Parts of Himachal Pradesh had evolved a local system of canal irrigation called kulhs over four
hundred years ago. The water flowing in the streams was diverted into man-made channels
which took this water to numerous villages down the hillside. The management of the water
flowing in these kulhs was by common agreement among all the villages. Interestingly, during
the planting season, water was first used by the village farthest away from the source of the
kulh, then by villages progressively higher up. These kulhs were managed by two or three
people who were paid by the villagers. In addition to irrigation, water from these kulhs also

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percolated into the soil and fed springs at various points. After the kulhs were taken over by the
Irrigation Department, most of them became defunct and there is no amicable sharing of water
as before.
Water harvesting is an age-old concept in India. They are called as
Khadins, tanks and nadis in Rajasthan,
bandharas and tals in Maharashtra,
bundhis in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, ahars and pynes in Bihar,
kulhs in Himachal Pradesh,
ponds in the Kandi belt of Jammu region, and
eris (tanks) in Tamil Nadu,
surangams in Kerala, and
Kattas in Karnataka are some of the ancient water harvesting, including water
conveyance, structures still in use today. Water harvesting techniques are highly locale
specific and the benefits are also localized. Giving people control over their local water
resources ensures that mismanagement and over-exploitation of these resources is
reduced.

MINERAL RESOURCES
Minerals are formed over a period of millions of years in the earths crust. Iron, aluminum, zinc,
manganese and copper are important raw materials for industrial use. Important non-metal
resources include coal, salt, clay, cement and silica. Stone used for building material, such as
granite, marble, limestone, constitute another category of minerals. Minerals with special
properties that humans value for their aesthetic and ornamental value are gems such as
diamonds, emeralds, and rubies. The luster of gold, silver and platinum is used for ornaments.
Minerals in the form of oil, gas and coal were formed when ancient plants and animals were
converted into underground fossil fuels. (For Mineral resources and their uses refer to the
Annexure at the end of the book)

FOOD RESOURCES
Today our food comes almost entirely from agriculture, animal husbandry and fishing. Although
India is self-sufficient in food production, it is only because of modern patterns of agriculture
that are unsustainable and which pollute our environment with excessive use of fertilizers and
pesticides. The FAO defines sustainable agriculture as that which conserves land, water and
plant and animal genetic resources, does not degrade the environment and is economically
viable and socially acceptable. Most of our large farms grow single crops (monoculture). If this
crop is hit by a pest, the entire crop can be devastated, leaving the farmer with no income
during the year. On the other hand, if the farmer uses traditional varieties and grows several
different crops, the chance of complete failure is lowered considerably. Many studies have
shown that one can use alternatives to inorganic fertilizers and pesticides. This is known as
Integrated Crop Management.

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The Green Revolution of the 60s reduced starvation in the country. However many of the
technologies we have used to achieve this are now being questioned.

Our fertile soils are being exploited faster than they can recuperate.
Forests, grasslands and wetlands have been converted to agricultural use, which has led
to serious ecological questions.
Our fish resources, both marine and inland, show evidence of exhaustion.
There are great disparities in the availability of nutritious food. Some communities such
as tribal people still face serious food problems leading to malnutrition especially among
women and children.

Poor environmental agricultural practices such as slash and burn, shifting cultivation, or rab
(woodash) cultivation degrade forests. Globally 5 to 7 million hectares of farmland is degraded
each year. Loss of nutrients and overuse of agricultural chemicals are major factors in land
degradation. Water scarcity is an important aspect of poor agricultural outputs. Salinization
and water logging has affected a large amount of agricultural land worldwide. Loss of genetic
diversity in crop plants is another issue that is leading to a fall in agricultural produce. Rice,
wheat and corn are the staple foods of two thirds of the worlds people. As wild relatives of
crop plants in the worlds grasslands, wetlands and other natural habitats are being lost, the
ability to enhance traits that are resistant to diseases, salinity, etc. is lost. Genetic engineering
is an untried and risky alternative to traditional cross breeding. The most effective method to
introduce desirable traits into crops is by using characteristics found in the wild relatives of crop
plants. As the wilderness shrinks, these varieties are rapidly disappearing. Once they are lost,
their desirable characteristics cannot be introduced when found necessary in future. Ensuring
long-term food security may depend on conserving wild relatives of crop plants in National
Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries.
If plant genetic losses worldwide are not slowed down, some estimates show that as many as
60,000 plant species, which accounts for 25% of the worlds total, will be lost by the year 2025.
The most economical way to prevent this is by expanding the network and coverage of our
Protected Areas. Collections in germplasm, seed banks and tissue culture facilities, are other
possible ways to prevent extinction but are extremely expensive.
Drip Irrigation
Israel began using drip irrigation systems as it is short of water. With this technique, farmers
have been able to improve the efficiency of irrigation by 95%. Over a 20-year period, Israels
food production doubled without an increase in the use of water for agriculture.

ENERGY RESOURCES
No energy related technology is completely risk free and unlimited demands on energy
increase this risk factor many fold. All energy use creates heat and contributes to atmospheric
temperature. Many forms of energy release carbon dioxide and leads to global warming.
Nuclear energy plants have caused enormous losses to the environment due to the leakage of
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nuclear material. The inability to effectively manage and safely dispose of nuclear waste is a
serious global concern.
The worlds total primary energy consumption in 2000 was 9096 million tons of oil. The Global
average per capita works out to be 1.5 tons of oil. At the close of the 20th century, oil
accounted for 39% of the worlds commercial energy consumption, followed by coal (24%) and
natural gas (24%), while nuclear (7%) and hydro/renewables (6%) accounted for the rest.
India: Among the commercial energy sources used in India, coal is a predominant source
accounting for 55% of energy consumption estimated in 2001, followed by oil (31%), natural gas
(8%), hydro (5%) and nuclear (1%).
Types of energy: There are three main types of energy;

Non-renewable;
Renewable; and
Nuclear energy, which uses such small quantities of raw material (uranium) that
supplies are to all effect, limitless.

However, this classification is inaccurate because several of the renewable sources, if not used
sustainably, can be depleted more quickly than they can be renewed.

NON-RENEWABLE ENERGY SOURCES


These consist of the mineral based hydrocarbon fuels coal, oil and natural gas, that were
formed from ancient prehistoric forests. These are called fossil fuels because they are formed
after plant life is fossilized.

Oil and its environmental impacts: Indias oil reserves which are being used at present
lie off the coast of Mumbai and in Assam. Most of our natural gas is linked to oil and,
because there is no distribution system, it is just burnt off. This wastes nearly 40% of
available gas. The processes of oil and natural gas drilling, processing, transport and
utilization have serious environmental consequences, such as leaks in which air and
water are polluted and accidental fires that may go on burning for days or weeks before
the fire can be controlled. During refining oil, solid waste such as salts and grease are
produced which also damage the environment. Oil slicks are caused at sea from
offshore oil wells, cleaning of oil tankers and due to shipwrecks. The most well-known
disaster occurred when the Exxon Valdez sank in 1989 and birds, sea otters, seals, fish
and other marine life along the coast of Alaska was seriously affected.

RENEWABLE ENERGY
Renewable energy systems use resources that are constantly replaced and are usually less
polluting. Examples include hydropower, solar, wind, and geothermal (energy from the heat
inside the earth). We also get renewable energy from burning trees and even garbage as fuel
and processing other plants into biofuels.

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Drawbacks of HEP: Although hydroelectric power has led to economic progress around the
world, it has created serious ecological problems.
To produce hydroelectric power, large areas of forest and agricultural lands are submerged.
Conflicts over land use are inevitable.
Silting of the reservoirs (especially as a result of deforestation) reduces the life of the
hydroelectric power installations.
Water is required for many other purposes besides power generation. This gives rise to
conflicts.
The use of rivers for navigation and fisheries becomes difficult once the water is dammed for
generation of electricity.
Resettlement of displaced persons is a problem for which there is no ready solution. The
opposition to many large hydroelectric schemes is growing as most dam projects have been
unable to resettle people that were affected and displaced.
In certain regions large dams can induce seismic activity which will result in earthquakes.
There is a great possibility of this occurring around the Tehri dam in the Himalayan foothills.
Shri Sunderlal Bahuguna, the initiator of the Chipko Movement has fought against the Tehri
Dam for several years. With large dams causing social problems, there has been a trend to
develop small hydroelectric generation units. Multiple small dams have less impact on the
environment.
Solar energy: In one hour, the sun pours as much energy onto the earth as we use in a whole
year. It is captured in tow ways- Solar heaters and Photovoltaic cells (PV cells).
Photovoltaic energy: The solar technology which has the greatest potential for use throughout
the world is that of solar photo voltaic cells which directly produce electricity from sunlight
using photovoltaic (PV) (also called solar) cells. PV cells are commonly used today in calculators
and watches. They also provide power to satellites, electric lights, and small electrical
appliances such as radios and for water pumping, highway lighting, weather stations, and other
electrical systems located away from power lines. Some electric utility companies are building
PV systems into their power supply networks. PV cells are environmentally benign, ie. they do
not release pollutants or toxic material to the air or water, there is no radioactive substance,
and no catastrophic accidents. Some PV cells, however, do contain small quantities of toxic
substances such as cadmium and these can be released to the environment in the event of a
fire. Solar cells are made of silicon which, although the second most abundant element in the
earths crust, has to be mined. Mining creates environmental problems.

Solar thermal electric power: Solar radiation can produce high temperatures, which can
generate electricity. Areas with low cloud levels of cover with little scattered radiation as in the
desert are considered most suitable sites. According to a UNDP assessment, STE is about 20

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years behind the wind energy market exploitation, but is expected to grow rapidly in the near
future.
Mirror energy: During the 1980s, a major solar thermal electrical generation unit was built in
California, containing 700 parabolic mirrors, each with 24 reflectors, 1.5 meters in diameter,
which focused the suns energy to produce steam to generate electricity.
Biomass energy: When a log is burned we are using biomass energy. Because plants and trees
depend on sunlight to grow, biomass energy is a form of stored solar energy. Although wood is
the largest source of biomass energy, we also use agricultural waste, sugarcane wastes, and
other farm byproducts to make energy. There are three ways to use biomass. It can be burned
to produce heat and electricity, changed to a gas-like fuel such as methane, or changed to a
liquid fuel. Liquid fuels, also called biofuels, include two forms of alcohol: ethanol and
methanol. Because biomass can be changed directly into liquid fuel, it could someday supply
much of our transportation fuel needs for cars, trucks, buses, airplanes and trains with diesel
fuel replaced by biodiesel made from vegetable oils. In the United States, this fuel is now
being produced from soybean oil. Researchers are also developing algae that produce oils,
which can be converted to biodiesel and new ways have been found to produce ethanol from
grasses, trees, bark, sawdust, paper, and farming wastes.
Biogas: Biogas is produced from plant material and animal waste, garbage, waste from
households and some types of industrial wastes, such as fish processing, dairies, and sewage
treatment plants. It is a mixture of gases which includes methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen
sulphide and water vapour. In this mixture, methane burns easily. With a ton of food waste,
one can produce 85 Cu. M of biogas. Once used, the residue is used as an agricultural fertilizer.
Denmark produces a large quantity of biogas from waste and produces 15,000 megawatts of
electricity from 15 farmers cooperatives. London has a plant which makes 30 megawatts of
electricity a year from 420,000 tons of municipal waste which gives power to 50,000 families. In
Germany, 25% of landfills for garbage produce power from biogas. Japan uses 85% of its waste
and France about 50%.
Biogas plants have become increasingly popular in India in the rural sector. The biogas plants
use cowdung, which is converted into a gas which is used as a fuel. It is also used for running
dual fuel engines. The reduction in kitchen smoke by using biogas has reduced lung conditions
in thousands of homes. The fibrous waste of the sugar industry is the worlds largest potential
source of biomass energy. Ethanol produced from sugarcane molasses is a good automobile
fuel and is now used in a third of the vehicles in Brazil.
Wind Power: Wind was the earliest energy source used for transportation by sailing ships. The
power in wind is a function of the wind speed and therefore the average wind speed of an area
is an important determinant of economically feasible power. Wind speed increases with
height. At a given turbine site, the power available 30 meters above ground is typically 60
percent greater than at 10 meters.

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Tidal and Wave Power: The earths surface is 70% water. By warming the water, the sun,
creates ocean currents and wind that produces waves. It is estimated that the solar energy
absorbed by the tropical oceans in a week could equal the entire oil reserves of the world 1
trillion barrels of oil. The energy of waves in the sea that crash on the land of all the
continents is estimated at 2 to 3 million megawatts of energy. Tidal power is tapped by placing
a barrage across an estuary and forcing the tidal flow to pass through turbines. In a one-way
system the incoming tide is allowed to fill the basin through a sluice, and the water so collected
is used to produce electricity during the low tide. In a two way system power is generated from
both the incoming as well as the outgoing tide.
Drawbacks of Tidal Energy: Tidal power stations bring about major ecological changes in the
sensitive ecosystem of coastal regions and can destroy the habitats and nesting places of
water birds and interfere with fisheries. A tidal power station at the mouth of ariver blocks the
flow of polluted water into the sea, thereby creating health and pollution hazards in the
estuary. Other drawbacks include offshore energy devices posing navigational hazards.
Residual drift current could affect spawning of some fish, whose larvae would be carried away
from spawning grounds. They may also affect the migration patterns of surface swimming fish.
Wave power converts the motion of waves into electrical or mechanical energy. For this, an
energy extraction device is used to drive turbo generators. Electricity can be generated at sea
and transmitted by cable to land. This energy source has yet to be fully explored. The largest
concentration of potential wave energy on earth is located between latitudes 40 to 60
degrees in both the northern and southern hemispheres, where the winds blow most strongly.
OTEC: Another developing concept harnesses energy due to the differences in temperature
between the warm upper layers of the ocean and the cold deep sea water. These plants are
known as Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC). This is a high tech installation which may
prove to be highly valuable in the future.
Geothermal energy: is the energy stored within the earth (geo for earth and thermal for
heat). Geothermal energy starts with hot, molten rock (called magma) deep inside the earth
which surfaces at some parts of the earths crust. The heat rising from the magma warms
underground pools of water known as geothermal reservoirs. If there is an opening, hot
underground water comes to the surface and forms hot springs, or it may boil to form geysers.
With modern technology, wells are drilled deep below the surface of the earth to tap into
geothermal reservoirs. This is called direct use of geothermal energy, and it provides a steady
stream of hot water that is pumped to the earths surface.

NUCLEAR POWER
The nuclear reactors use Uranium 235 to produce electricity. Energy released from 1kg of
Uranium 235 is equivalent to that produced by burning 3,000 tons of coal. U235 is made into
rods which are fitted into a nuclear reactor. The control rods absorb neutrons and thus adjust
the fission which releases energy due to the chain reaction in a reactor unit. The heat energy
produced in the reaction is used to heat water and produce steam, which drives turbines that

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produce electricity. The drawback is that the rods need to be changed periodically. This has
impacts on the environment due to disposal of nuclear waste. The reaction releases very hot
waste water that damages aquatic ecosystems, even though it is cooled by a water system
before it is released. The disposal of nuclear waste is becoming an increasingly serious issue.
The cost of Nuclear Power generation must include the high cost of disposal of its waste and
the decommissioning of old plants. These have high economic as well as ecological costs that
are not taken into account when developing new nuclear installations. There have been nuclear
accidents at Chernobyl in USSR, at the Three Mile Island in USA and recently at Fukushima in
Japan. The radioactivity unleashed by such an accident can affect mankind for generations.

LAND RESOURCES
PROBLEMS RELATED TO LAND RESOURCES
1) Land Degradation: Farmland is under threat due to more and more intense utilization.
Every year, between 5 to 7 million hectares of land worldwide is added to the existing
degraded farmland. When soil is used more intensively by farming, it is eroded more
rapidly by wind and rain. Over irrigating farmland leads to Stalinization, as evaporation
of water brings the salts to the surface of the soil on which crops cannot grow. Over
irrigation also creates water logging of the topsoil so that crop roots are affected and
the crop deteriorates. The use of more and more chemical fertilizers poisons the soil so
that eventually the land becomes unproductive.
2) Soil erosion: The characteristics of natural ecosystems such as forests and grasslands
depend on the type of soil. Soils of various types support a wide variety of crops. The
misuse of an ecosystem leads to loss of valuable soil through erosion by the monsoon
rains and, to a smaller extent, by wind. The roots of the trees in the forest hold the soil.
Deforestation thus leads to rapid soil erosion.
You must have come across the three Rs to save the environment: Reduce, Recycle and Reuse.

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CHAPTER 3: ECOSYSTEM
WHAT IS ECOSYSTEM?
An Ecosystem is a region with a specific and recognizable landscape form such as forest,
grassland, desert, wetland or coastal area. The nature of the ecosystem is based on its
geographical features such as hills, mountains, plains, rivers, lakes, coastal areas or islands. It is
also controlled by climatic conditions such as the amount of sunlight, the temperature and the
rainfall in the region. The geographical, climatic and soil characteristics form its non-living
(abiotic) component. These features create conditions that support a community of plants and
animals that evolution has produced to live in these specific conditions. The living part of the
ecosystem is referred to as its biotic component.
The living community of plants and animals in any area together with the non-living
components of the environment such as soil, air and water, constitute the ecosystem. Some
ecosystems are fairly robust and are less affected by a certain level of human disturbance.
Others are highly fragile and are quickly destroyed by human activities. Mountain ecosystems
are extremely fragile as degradation of forest cover leads to severe erosion of soil and changes
in river courses. Island ecosystems are easily affected by any form of human activity which can
lead to the rapid extinction of several of their unique species of plants and animals. Evergreen
forests and coral reefs are also examples of species rich fragile ecosystems which must be
protected against a variety of human activities that lead to their degradation. River and wetland
ecosystems can be seriously affected by pollution and changes in surrounding land use.

DIVISION OF ECOSYSTEM
Ecosystems are divided into

Terrestrial or landbased ecosystems, and


Aquatic ecosystems in water.

These form the two major habitat conditions for the Earths living organisms. At a sub-global
level, this is divided into biogeographical realms, eg.

Eurasia called the palaeartic realm;


South and South-East Asia (of which India forms a major part) is the Oriental realm;
North America is the Nearctic realm;
South America forms the Neotropical realm;
Africa the Ethiopian realm; and
Australia the Australian realm.

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At a national or state level, this forms biogeographic regions. There are several distinctive
geographical regions in India

The Himalayas,
The Gangetic Plains,
The Highlands of Central India,
The Western and Eastern Ghats,
The semi-arid desert in the West,
The Deccan Plateau,
The Coastal Belts, and
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

These geographically distinctive areas have plants and animals that have been adapted to live in
each of these regions. At an even more local level, each area has several structurally and
functionally identifiable ecosystems such as different types of forests, grasslands, river
catchments, mangrove swamps in deltas, seashores, islands, etc. to give only a few examples.
Here too each of these forms a habitat for specific plants and animals.

STRUCTURE OF THE ECOSYSTEM


Is it a forest, a grassland, a water body, an agricultural area, a grazing area, an urban area, an
industrial area, etc.? What you should see are its different characteristics. A forest has layers
from the ground to the canopy. A pond has different types of vegetation from the periphery to
its center. The vegetation on a mountain changes from its base to its summit.

MECHANISM OF ECOSYSTEM WORKING


The ecosystem functions through several biogeochemical cycles and energy transfer
mechanisms. Observe and document the components of the ecosystem which consists of its
non-living or abiotic features such as air, water, climate and soil. Its biotic components are the
various plants and animals. Both these aspects of the ecosystem interact with each other
through several functional aspects to form Natures ecosystems. Plants, herbivores and
carnivores can be seen to form food chains. All these chains are joined together to form a web
of life on which man depends. Each of these uses energy that comes from the sun and powers
the ecosystem.
Structural and Functional aspect of an Ecosystem:
Structural aspects
Components that make up the structural aspects of an ecosystem include:
1) Inorganic aspects C, N, CO2, H2O.
2) Organic compounds Protein, Carbohydrates, Lipids link abiotic to biotic aspects.

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3) Climatic regimes Temperature, Moisture, Light & Topography.


4) Producers Plants.
5) Macro consumers Phagotrophs Large animals.
6) Micro consumers Saprotrophs, absorbers
Fungi.
Functional aspects
1) Energy cycles.
2) Food chains.
3) Diversity-interlinkages between organisms.
4) Nutrient cycles-biogeochemical cycles.
5) Evolution.

PRODUCER, CONSUMER AND DECOMPOSERS


Every living organism is in some way dependent on other organisms. Plants are food for
herbivorous animals which are in turn food for carnivorous animals. Thus there are different
tropic levels in the ecosystem.
Plants are the producers in the ecosystem as they manufacture their food by using energy
from the sun. In the forest these form communities of plant life. In the sea these include tiny
algal forms to large seaweed.
The herbivorous animals are primary consumers as they live on the producers. In a forest,
these are the insects, amphibia, reptiles, birds and mammals. The herbivorous animals include
for example hare, deer and elephants that live on plant life. In grasslands, there are herbivores
such as the blackbuck that feed on grass. In the semiarid areas, there are species such as the
chinkara or Indian gazelle.
At a higher tropic level, there are carnivorous animals, or secondary consumers, which live on
herbivorous animals.
In our forests,the carnivorous animals are tigers, leopards,jackals, foxes and small wild cats.
Decomposers or detrivores are a group of organisms consisting of small animals like worms,
insects, bacteria and fungi, which break down dead organic material into smaller particles and
finally into simpler substances that are used by plants as nutrition. Decomposition thus is a vital
function in nature, as without this, all the nutrients would be tied up in dead matter and no
new life could be produced.

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PRODUCTIVITY
A constant input of solar energy is the basic requirement for any ecosystem to function and
sustain. Primary production is defined as the amount of biomass or organic matter produced
per unit area over a time period by plants during photosynthesis. It is expressed in terms of
weight (g 2) or energy (kcal m2). The rate of biomass production is called productivity. It is
expressed in terms of g2 yr1 or (kcal m2) yr 1 to compare the productivity of different
ecosystems. It can be divided into gross primary productivity (GPP) and net primary
productivity (NPP). Gross primary productivity of an ecosystem is the rate of production of
organic matter during photosynthesis. A considerable amount of GPP is utilised by plantsin
respiration. Gross primary productivity minus respiration losses (R) is the net primary
productivity (NPP). Secondary productivity is defined as the rate of formation of new organic
matter by consumers. The annual net primary productivity of the whole biosphere is
approximately 170 billion tons (dry weight) of organic matter.

ENERGY FLOW IN THE ECOSYSTEM


Every ecosystem has several interrelated mechanisms that affect human life. These are the
water cycle, the carbon cycle, the oxygen cycle, the nitrogen cycle and the energy cycle. While
every ecosystem is controlled by these cycles, in each ecosystem its abiotic and biotic
featuresare distinct from each other.
Each trophic level has a certain mass of living material at a particular time called as the standing
crop. The standing crop is measured as the mass of living organisms (biomass) or the number in
a unit area. The biomass of a species is expressed in terms of fresh or dry weight. Measurement
of biomass in terms of dry weight is more accurate.

The Water Cycle: When it rains, the water runs along the ground and flows into rivers or
falls directly into the sea. A part of the rainwater that falls on land percolates into the
ground. This is stored underground throughout the rest of the year. Water is drawn up from
the ground by plants along with the nutrients from the soil. The water is transpired from the
leaves as water vapour and returned to the atmosphere. As it is lighter than air, water
vapour rises and forms clouds. Winds blow the clouds for long distances and when the
clouds rise higher, the vapour condenses and changes into droplets, which fall on the land
as rain. Though this is an endless cycle on which life depends, mans activities are making
drastic changes in the atmosphere through pollution which is altering rainfall patterns.

The Carbon cycle: In the presence of sunlight, plants take up carbon dioxide from the
atmosphere through their leaves. The plants combine carbon dioxide with water, which is
absorbed by their roots from the soil. In the presence of sunlight they are able to form
carbohydrates that contain carbon. This process is known as photosynthesis. Plants use this
complex mechanism for their growth and development. In this process, plants release
oxygen into the atmosphere on which animals depend for their respiration. Plants therefore
help in regulating and monitoring the percentage of Oxygen and Carbon dioxide in the
earths atmosphere.

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The Oxygen Cycle: Oxygen is taken up by plants and animals from the air during respiration.
The plants return oxygen to the atmosphere during photosynthesis. This links the Oxygen
Cycle to the Carbon Cycle. Deforestation is likely to gradually reduce the oxygen levels in
our atmosphere.

The Nitrogen Cycle: Nitrogen fixing bacteria and fungi in soil gives nitrogen to plants, which
absorb it as nitrates. The nitrates are a part of the plants metabolism, which help in
forming new plant proteins. This is used by animals that feed on the plants. The nitrogen is
then transferred to carnivorous animals when they feed on the herbivores. And finally
through dead animals they aree transferred to the soil with the help of Decomposers.

The Energy Cycle: Since plants can grow by converting the suns energy directly into their
tissues, they are known as producers in the ecosystem. The plants are used by herbivorous
animals as food, which gives them energy. A large part of this energy is used up for day to
day functions of these animals such as breathing, digesting food, supporting growth of
tissues, maintaining blood flow and body temperature. Energy is also used for activities
such as looking for food, finding shelter, breeding and bringing up young ones. The
carnivores in turn depend on herbivorous animalson which they feed. Thus the different
plant and animal species are linked to one another through food chains. Each food chain has
three or four links. However as each plant or animal can be linked to several other plants or
animals through many different linkages, these inter-linked chains can be depicted as a
complex food web. This is thus called the web of life that shows that there are thousands
of interrelationships in nature. The energy in the ecosystem can be depicted in the form of a
food pyramid or energy pyramid. The food pyramid has a large base of plants called
producers. The pyramid has a narrower middle section that depicts the number and
biomass of herbivorous animals, which are called first order consumers. The apex depicts
the small biomass of carnivorous animals called second order consumers. Man is one of
the animals at the apex of the pyramid. Thus to support mankind, there must be a large
base of herbivorous animals and an even greater quantity of plant material. When plants
and animals die, this material is returned to the soil after being broken down into simpler
substances by decomposers such as insects, worms, bacteria and fungi so that plants can
Energy Cycle absorb the nutrients through their roots.

Types of Ecosystems
Terrestrial Ecosystems

Aquatic Ecosystems

Forest

Pond

Grassland

Lake

Semi arid areas

Wetland

Deserts

River

Mountains

Delta

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Marine

FOREST TYPES IN INDIA


a) Coniferous forests grow in the Himalayan mountain region, where the temperatures are
low. These forests have tall stately trees with needlelike leaves and downward sloping
branches so that the snow can slip off the branches. They have cones instead of seeds
and are called gymnosperms.
b) Broadleaved forests have several types, such as evergreen forests, deciduous forests,
thorn forests, and mangrove forests. Broadleaved forests have large leaves of various
shapes.
c) Evergreen forests grow in the high rainfall areas of the Western Ghats, North Eastern
India and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. These forests grow in areas where the
monsoon lasts for several months. The trees overlap with each other to form a
continuous canopy. Thus very little light penetrates down to the forest floor. Only a few
shade loving plants can grow in the ground layer in areas where some light filters down
from the closed canopy. The forest is rich in orchids and ferns. The barks of the trees are
covered in moss. The forest abounds in animal life and is most rich in insect life.
d) Deciduous forests are found in regions with a moderate amount of seasonal rainfall that
lasts for only a few months. Most of the forests in which Teak trees grow are of this
type. The deciduous trees shed their leaves during the winter and hot summer months.
In March or April they regain their fresh leaves just before the monsoon, when they
grow vigorously in response to the rains. Thus there are periods of leaf fall and canopy
regrowth. The forest frequently has thick undergrowth as light can penetrate easily onto
the forest floor.
e) Thorn forests are found in the semi- arid regions of India. The trees, which are sparsely
distributed, are surrounded by open grassy areas. Thorny plants are called xerophytic
species and are able to conserve water. Some of these trees have small leaves, while
other species have thick, waxy leaves to reduce water losses during transpiration. Thorn
forest trees have long or fibrous roots to reach water at great depths. Many of these
plants have thorns, which reduce water loss and protect them from herbivores.
f) Mangrove forests grow along the coast especially in the river deltas. These plants are
able to grow in a mix of saline and fresh water. They grow luxuriantly in muddy areas
covered with silt that the rivers have brought down. The mangrove trees have breathing
roots that emerge from the mudbanks.

GRASSLAND ECOSYSTEMS

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A wide range of landscapes in which the vegetation is mainly formed by grasses and small
annual plants are adapted to Indias various climatic conditions. These form a variety of
grassland ecosystems with their specific plants and animals.

GRASSLAND TYPES IN INDIA


The Himalayan pasture belt extends upto the snowline. The grasslands at lower levels form
patches along with coniferous or broadleaved forests. Himalayan wildlife requires both the
forest and the grassland ecosystem as important parts of their habitat. The animals migrate up
into the high altitude grasslands in summer and move down into the forest in winter when the
snow covers the grassland
The Terai consists of patches of tall grasslands interspersed with a Sal forest ecosystem. The
patches of tall elephant grass, which grows to a height of about five meters, are located in the
low-lying waterlogged areas. The Sal forest patches cover the elevated regions and the
Himalayan foothills. The Terai also includes marshes in low-lying depressions. This ecosystem
extends as a belt south of the Himalayan foothills. Himalayan Pastures
The Semi-arid plains of Western India, Central India and the Deccan is covered by grassland
tracts with patches of thorn forest. Several mammals such as the wolf, the blackbuck, the
chinkara, and birds such as the bustards and floricans are adapted to these arid conditions. The
Scrublands of the Deccan Plateau are covered with seasonal grasses and herbs on which its
fauna is dependent. It is teaming with insect life on which the insectivorous birds feed.

THREATS TO GRASSLAND ECOSYSTEMS


Overutilization and changes in landuse of the common grazing lands of rural communities has
lead to their degradation. The grassland covers in the country in terms of permanent pastures
now covers only 3.7 percent of land. A
Major threat to natural grasslands is the conversion of grasslands into irrigated farmlands.
More recently many of these residual grassland tracts have been converted into industrial
areas. This provides short-term economic gains but result in long-term economic and ecological
losses. Many of the grassland species have disappeared from several parts of India in which
they were found 50 or 60 years ago. The Cheetah is extinct in India. The Wolf is now highly
threatened. Blackbuck and chinkara are poached for meat. Birds such as the beautiful Great
Indian Bustards are vanishing. Unless grassland species are protected they will vanish from their
shrinking habitat, as natural and undisturbed grasslands are left in very few locations.

DESERT ECOSYSTEM
What is a desert or a semi-arid ecosystem? Deserts and semi arid areas are located in Western
India and the Deccan Plateau. The climate in these vast tracts is extremely dry. There are also
cold deserts such as in Ladakh, which are located in the high plateaus of the Himalayas. The
most typical desert landscape that is seen in Rajasthan is in the Thar Desert. This has sand

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dunes. There are also areas covered with sparse grasses and a few shrubs, which grow if it
rains. The Great and Little Rann of Kutch are highly specialised arid ecosystems. In the
summers they are similar to a desert landscape. However as these are low-lying areas near the
sea, they get converted to salt marshes during the monsoons. During this period they attract an
enormous number of aquatic birds such as ducks, geese, cranes, storks, etc. The Great Rann is
famous, as it is the only known breeding colony of the Greater and Lesser Flamingos in our
country. The Little Rann of Kutch is the only home of the wild ass in India. Desert and semi arid
regions have a number of highly specialized insects and reptiles. The rare animals include the
Indian wolf, desert cat, desert fox and birds such as the Great Indian Bustard and the Florican.
Some of the commoner birds include partridges, quails and sandgrouse.
What are the threats to desert ecosystems? Several types of development strategies as well as
human population growth have begun to affect the natural ecosystem of the desert and semi
arid land. Conversion of these lands through extensive irrigation systems has changed several of
the natural characteristics of this region. The canal water evaporates rapidly bringing the salts
to the surface. The region becomes highly unproductive as it becomes saline. Pulling excessive
groudwater from tube wells lowers the water table creating an even drier environment
The Bishnois in Rajasthan are known to have protected their Khejdi trees and the blackbuck
antelope for several generations. The tradition began when the ruler of their region ordered his
army to cut down trees for his own use. Several Bishnois were said to have been killed while
trying to protect their trees.
There is an urgent need to protect residual patches of this ecosystem within National Parks and
Wildlife Sanctuaries in desert and semi arid areas. The Indira Gandhi Canal in Rajasthan is
destroying this important natural arid ecosystem, as it will convert the region into intensive
agriculture. In Kutch, areas of the little Rann, which is the only home of the Wild Ass, will be
destroyed by the spread of salt works.

AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS
The aquatic ecosystems constitute the marine environments of the seas and the fresh water
systems in lakes, rivers, ponds and wetlands. Natural aquatic systems such as rivers and seas
break down chemical and organic wastes created by man. However, this function has
limitations, as the aquatic ecosystem cannot handle great quantities of waste. Beyond a certain
limit, pollution destroys this natural function. In aquatic ecosystems, plants and animals live in
water. These species are adapted to live in different types of aquatic habitats. The special
abiotic features are its physical aspects such as the quality of the water, which includes its
clarity, salinity, oxygen content and rate of flow. Aquatic ecosystems may be classified as being
stagnant ecosystems, or running water ecosystems. The mud gravel or rocks that form the bed
of the aquatic ecosystem alter its characteristics and influence its plant and animal species
composition. The aquatic ecosystems are classified into freshwater, brackish and marine
ecosystems, which are based on the salinity levels.

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Wetlands are special ecosystems in which the water level fluctuates dramatically in different
seasons. They have expanses of shallow water with aquatic vegetation, which forms an ideal
habitat for fish, crustacea and water birds.
Marine ecosystems are highly saline, while brackish areas have less saline water such as in river
deltas. Brackish water ecosystems in river deltas are covered by mangrove forests and are
among the worlds most productive ecosystems in terms of biomass production. The largest
mangrove swamps are in the Sunderbans in the delta of the Ganges.
Some species of fish, such as Mahseer, go upstream from rivers to hill streams for breeding.
They need crystal clear water to be able to breed. They lay eggs only in clear water so that their
young can grow successfully.

ECOLOGICAL SUCCESSION
An important characteristic of all communities is that their composition and structure
constantly change in response to the changing environmental conditions. This change is orderly
and sequential, parallel with the changes in the physical environment. These changes lead
finally to a community that is in near equilibrium with the environment and that is called a
climax community. The gradual and fairly predictable change in the species composition of a
given area is called ecological succession. During succession some species colonise an area and
their populations become more numerous, whereas populations of other species decline and
even disappear. The entire sequence of communities that successively change in a given area
are called sere(s). The individual transitional communities are termed seral stages or seral
communities. In the successive seral stages there is a change in the diversity of species of
organisms, increase in the number of species and organisms as well as an increase in the total
biomass. The present day communities in the world have come to be because of succession
that has occurred over millions of years since life started on earth. Actually succession and
evolution would have been parallel processes at that time. Succession is hence a process that
starts where no living organisms are there these could be areas where no living organisms
ever existed, say bare rock; or in areas that somehow, lost all the living organisms that existed
there. The former is called primary succession, while the latter is termed secondary succession.
Examples of areas where primary succession occurs are newly cooled lava, bare rock, newly
created pond or reservoir. The establishment of a new biotic community is generally slow.
Before a biotic community of diverse organisms can become established, there must be soil. A
primary succession describes those plant communities that occupy a site that has not
previously been vegetated. These can also be described as the pioneer community. Depending
mostly on the climate, it takes natural processes several hundred to several thousand years to
produce fertile soil on bare rock. Secondary succession begins in areas where natural biotic
communities have been destroyed such as in abandoned farm lands, burned or cut forests,
lands that have been flooded. Since some soil or sediment is present, succession is faster than
primary succession. In ecology, a climax community, or climatic climax community, is a
biological community of plants and animals which, through the process of ecological succession
the development of vegetation in an area over time has reached a steady state. A

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Plagioclimax community is an area or habitat in which the influences of the human race have
prevented the ecosystem from developing further. The ecosystem may have been stopped
from reaching its full climatic climax or deflected towards a different climax

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CHAPTER 4: BIODIVERSITY
INTRODUCTION
The great variety of life on earth has provided for mans needs over thousands of years. This
diversity of living creatures forms a support system which has been used by each civilization for
its growth and development. Those that used this bounty of nature carefully and sustainably
survived. Those that overused or misused it disintegrated.

DEFINITION OF BIODIVERSITY
Biological diversity or biodiversity is that part of nature which includes the differences in genes
among the individuals of a species, the variety and richness of all the plant and animal species
at different scales in space, locally, in a region, in the country and the world, and various types
of ecosystems, both terrestrial and aquatic, within a defined area.

TYPES OF DIVERSITY
1. Genetic Diversity
2. Species Diversity
3. Habitat Diversity/ Ecosystem Diversity

GENETIC DIVERSITY
Each member of any animal or plant species differs widely from other individuals in its genetic
makeup because of the large number of combinations possible in the genes that give every
individual specific characteristic. Thus, for example, each human being is very different from all
others. This genetic variability is essential for a healthy breeding population of a species. If the
number of breeding individuals is reduced, the dissimilarity of genetic makeup is reduced and
in-breeding occurs. Eventually this can lead to the extinction of the species. The diversity in wild
species forms the gene pool from which our crops and domestic animals have been developed
over thousands of years.

SPECIES DIVERSITY
The number of species of plants and animals that are present in a region constitutes its species
diversity. This diversity is seen both in natural ecosystems and in agricultural ecosystems. Some
areas are richer in species than others. Natural undisturbed tropical forests have much greater
species richness than plantations developed by the Forest Department for timber production.
Thus the value of a natural forest, with all its species richness is much greater than a plantation.
Modern intensive agricultural ecosystems have a relatively lower diversity of crops than
traditional agropastoral farming systems where multiple crops were planted.

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ECOSYSTEM DIVERSITY
There are a large variety of different ecosystems on earth, which have their own complement
of distinctive inter linked species based on the differences in the habitat. Ecosystem diversity
can be described for a specific geographical region, or a political entity such as a country, a
State or a taluka. Distinctive ecosystems include landscapes such as forests, grasslands, deserts,
mountains, etc., as well as aquatic ecosystems such as rivers, lakes, and the sea. Each region
also has man-modified areas such as farmland or grazing pastures.
An ecosystem is referred to as natural when it is relatively undisturbed by human activities, or
modified when it is changed to other types of uses, such as farmland or urban areas.
Most species appear to have a life span extending over several million years. Their adaptability
to gradual changes in their habitat, and interactions with newly formed species produce groups
of inter linked organisms that continue to evolve together. Food chains, prey-predator
relationships, parasitism (complete dependence on another species), commensalism (a
partnership beneficial to both species), etc. are important examples.

BIOGEGRAPHIC CLASSIFICATION OF INDIA


Our country can be conveniently divided into ten major regions, based on the geography,
climate and pattern of vegetation seen and the communities of mammals, birds, reptiles,
amphibia, insects and other invertebrates that live in them.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.

Trans Himalayan region of Ladakh


The Himalayan ranges
The Terai
The Gangetic and Bhramaputra plains.
The Thar Desert of Rajasthan.
The semi arid grassland region of the Deccan plateau Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andra
Pradesh, Karnataka and TamilNadu.
7. The Northeast States of India
8. The Western Ghats
9. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
10. Western and Eastern coastal belt.

BENEFIT FROM BIODIVERSITY


1. Consumptive use value: The direct utilisation of timber, food, fuelwood, fodder by local
communities.
2. Productive use value: The biotechnologist uses biorich areas to prospect and search for
potential genetic properties in plants or animals that can be used to develop better varieties
of crops that are used in farming and plantation programs or to develop better livestock. To
the pharmacist, biological diversity is the raw material from which new drugs can be
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identified from plant or animal products. To industrialists, biodiversity is a rich store-house


from which to develop new products. For the agricultural scientist the biodiversity in the
wild relatives of crop plants is the basis for developing better crops.
A variety of industries such as pharmaceuticals are highly dependent on identifying compounds
of great economic value from the wide variety of wild species of plants located in undisturbed
natural forests. This is called biological prospecting.
3. Social values: The consumptive and productive value of biodiversity is closely linked to
social concerns in traditional communities. Ecosystem people value biodiversity as a part
of their livelihood as well as through cultural and religious sentiments. A great variety of
crops have been cultivated in traditional agricultural systems and this permitted a wide
range of produce to be grown and marketed throughout the year and acted as an insurance
against the failure of one crop. In recent years farmers have begun to receive economic
incentives to grow cash crops for national or international markets, rather than to supply
local needs. This has resulted in local food shortages, unemployment (cash crops are usually
mechanised), landlessness and increased vulnerability to drought and floods.
4. Ethical and moral values: Ethical values related to biodiversity conservation are based on
the importance of protecting all forms of life. All forms of life have the right to exist on
earth. Man is only a small part of the Earths great family of species. Indian civilization has
over several generations preserved nature through local traditions. This has been an
important part of the ancient philosophy of many of our cultures. We have in our country a
large number of sacred groves or deorais preserved by tribal people in several States.
These sacred groves around ancient sacred sites and temples act as gene banks of wild
plants.
5. Aesthetic value: Knowledge and an appreciation of the presence of biodiversity for its own
sake is another reason to preserve it. Quite apart from killing wildlife for food, it is
important as a tourist attraction. Biodiversity is a beautiful and wonderful aspect of nature.
6. Option value: Keeping future possibilities open for their use is called option value. It is
impossible to predict which of our species or traditional varieties of crops and domestic
animals will be of great use in the future.

BIODIVERSITY AT GLOBAL, NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVEL


There are at present 1.8 million species known and documented by scientists in the world.
However, scientists have estimated that the number of species of plants and animals on earth
could vary from 1.5 to 20 billion! Thus the majority of species are yet to be discovered. Most of
the worlds bio-rich nations are in the South, which are the developing nations. In contrast, the
majority of the countries capable of exploiting biodiversity are Northern nations, in the
economically developed world.

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Drug
Atropine
Bromelain
Caffeine
Camphor
Cocaine
Codeine
Morphine
Colchicine
Digitoxin
Diosgenin
L-Dopa
Ergotamine
Glaziovine
Gossypol
Indicine
N-oxide
Menthol
Monocrotaline
Papain
Penicillin
Quinine
Reserpine
Scopolamine
Taxol
Vinblastine

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Plant Source
Belladonna
Pineapple
Tea, Coffee
Camphor tree
Cocoa

Use
Anticholinergic: reduces intestinal pain in diarrhea
Controls tissue inflammation due to infection.
Stimulant of the central nervous system
Rebefacient: increases local blood supply.
Analgesic and local anesthetic: reduces pain and prevents
pain during surgery.
Opium poppy
Analgesic: reduces pain.
Opium poppy
Analgesic: controls pain.
Autumn crocus
Anticancer agent
Common foxglove Cardiac stimulant used in heart diseases.
Wild yams
Source of female contraceptive: prevents pregnancy.
Velvet bean
Controls Parkinsons Disease which leads to jerky
movements of the hands
Smut-of-rye
or Control of hemorrhage and migraine headaches.
ergot
ocotea glaziovii
Antidepressant: Elevates mood of depressed patients
Cotton
Male contraceptive.
heliotropium
Anticancer agent.
indicum
Mint
Rubefacient: increases local blood supply and reduces
pain on local application.
Cotolaria
Anticancer agent.
sessiliflora
Papaya
Dissolves excess protein and mucus, during digestion
Penicillium fungi
General antibiotic, skills bacteria and controls infection
by various micro-organisms.
Yellow cinochona
Anti malarial.
Indian snakeroot
Reduces high blood pressure.
Thorn apple
Sedative.
Pacific yew
Anticancer (ovarian).
Rosy periwinkle
Anticancer agent: Controls cancer in children

World Heritage Convention: It attempts to protect and support natural biodiverse areas. India
is a signatory to the convention and has included several protected Areas as World Heritage
sites. These include Manas on the border between Bhutan and India, Kaziranga in Assam,
Bharatpur in U.P., Nandadevi in the Himalayas, and the Sunderbans in the Ganges delta in West
Bengal.

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Convention in the Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) which is intended to reduce the
utilization of endangered plants and animals by controlling trade in their products and in the
pet trade.
Although India has only 2.4 per cent of the worlds land area, its share of the global species
diversity is an impressive 8.1 per cent. That is what makes our country one of the 12 mega
diversity countries of the world. Nearly 45,000 species of plants and twice as many of animals
have been recorded from India. If we accept Mays global estimates, only 22 per cent of the
total species have been recorded so far. Applying this proportion to Indias diversity figures, we
estimate that there are probably more than 1,00,000 plant species and more than 3,00, 000
animal species yet to be discovered and described.

PATTERN OF BIODIVERSITY DISTRIBUTION


Latitudinal gradients: The diversity of plants and animals is not uniform throughout the world
but shows a rather uneven distribution. For many group of animals or plants, there are
interesting patterns in diversity, the most well- known being the latitudinal gradient in diversity.
In general, species diversity decreases as we move away from the equator towards the poles.
With very few exceptions, tropics (latitudinal range of 23.5 N to 23.5 S) harbour more species
than temperate or polar areas.

CAUSES OF BIODIVERSITY LOSS

Habitat loss and fragmentation:


Over-exploitation:
Alien species invasions
Co-extinctions: When a species becomes extinct, the plant and animal species
associated with it in an obligatory way also become extinct.

BIODIVERSITY IN INDIA
Among the biologically rich nations, India stands among the top 10 countries for its great
variety of plants and animals, many of which are not found elsewhere. India has 350 different
mammals (rated eight highest in the world), 1,200 species of birds (eighth in the world), 453
species of reptiles (fifth in the world) and 45,000 plant species, of which most are angiosperms,
(fifteenth in the world). It is estimated that 18% of Indian plants are endemic to the country and
found nowhere else in the world. Among the plant species the flowering plants have a much
higher degree of endemism, a third of these are not found elsewhere in the world. Among
amphibians found in India, 62% are unique to this country. Among lizards, of the 153 species
recorded, 50% are endemic. High endemism has also been recorded for various groups of
insects, marine worms, centipedes, mayflies and fresh water sponges. Apart from the high
biodiversity of Indian wild plants and animals there is also a great diversity of cultivated crops
and breeds of domestic livestock. The highest diversity of cultivars is concentrated in the high
rainfall areas of the Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats, Northern Himalayas and the North-Eastern

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hills. Gene-banks have collected over 34,000 cereals and 22,000 pulses grown in India. India has
27 indigenous breeds of cattle, 40 breeds of sheep, 22 breeds of goats and 8 breeds of
buffaloes.
Hotspots
The earths biodiversity is distributed in specific ecological regions. There are over a thousand
major ecoregions in the world. Of these, 200 are said to be the richest, rarest and most
distinctivenatural areas. These areas are referred to as the Global 200.
It has been estimated that 50,000 endemic plants which comprise 20% of global plant life,
probably occur in only 18 hot spots in the world. Countries which have a relatively large
proportion of these hot spots of diversity are referred to as megadiversity nations. Our
globally accepted national hot spots are in the forests of the North-East and the Western
Ghats, which are included in the worlds most biorich areas.
Coral reefs in Indian waters surround the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep Islands,
the Gulf areas of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. They are nearly as rich in species as tropical
evergreen forests!
Habitat loss also results from mans introduction of species from one area into another,
disturbing the balance in existing communities. In the process, the purposely or accidentally
introduced organisms (Eupatorium, Lantana, Hyacinth, Congress grass or Parthenium) have led
to the extinction of many local species.
Poaching: Specific threats to certain animals are related to large economic benefits. Skin and
bones from tigers, ivory from elephants, horns from rhinos and the perfume from the must
deer are extensively used abroad. Bears are killed for their gall bladders. Corals and shells are
also collected for export or sold on the beaches of Chennai and Kanyakumari.

ENDANGERED AND ENDEMIC SPECIES OF INDIA


The endangered species in the country are categorised as Vulnerable, Rare, Indeterminate and
Threatened.
Among the important endangered animals are charismatic species such as the tiger, the
elephant, the rhino, etc. The less well-known major mammals restricted to a single area include
the Indian wild ass, the Hangul or Kashmir stag, the Golden langur, the pygmy hog and a host
of others. There are also endangered bird species such as the Siberian crane, the Great Indian
Bustard, the Florican and several birds of prey. During the recent past, vultures which were
common a decade ago, have suddenly disappeared and are now highly threatened.
To protect endangered species India has created the Wildlife Protection Act. This includes lists
of plants and animals categorised according to the threat on their survival.

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COMMON PLANT SPECIES OF INDIA


Teak: This tree is from the Southwest parts of peninsular India. It is a common tree in
deciduous forests. It yields a much sought after timber used for making excellent furniture.
Sal: This is a common species of several types of forests of the Northeastern region of India,
extending into Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. It has bright green foliage and its canopy remains
green nearly throughout the year. Sal wood is hard and durable. Sal gets a large number of
seeds which are used in making cosmetics.
Mango: This has become one of our most popular horticultural species with different varieties
grown all over the country.
Ficus sp.: Peepal, Banyan and many other ficus species form a part of this group of important
trees. They are all ecologically of great importance as many different species of insects, birds
and mammals live on ficus berries. The flowers are inside the berries. They are pollinated by a
specific wasp which lays its eggs inside the berries on which the larvae feed and grow. Ficus
species are thus known as keystone species in the ecosystem and support a major part of the
food web in several ecosystems. Ficus trees such as Peepal and Banyan are considered sacred
and are protected in India.
Neem: This species is known as Azadirachta Indica. It has been traditionally used in indigenous
medicine. It has small yellow fruit. The leaves and fruit are bitter to taste. It is used extensively
as an environmentally friendly insecticide. It grows extremely well in semi-arid regions and can
be planted in afforestation programs where soil is poor and rainfall is low.
Tamarind: One of the best known Indian trees, it grows to a large size and is known to live for
over 200 years. Its familiar fruit is a curved pod with sour pulp and contains a number of
squarish seeds. The pulp in the fresh fruit is either green or red. As it ripens, it turns sticky and
brown and separates from the skin. The tree is commonly cultivated as a shade tree and for its
edible sour fruit which contains high concentrations of vitamin C.
Babul: This is a thorny species that is characteristic of semi arid areas of Western India and the
Deccan plateau. It grows sparsely in tracts of grassland and around farms. It is used for fodder
and fuelwood. It remains green throughout the year even under the driest conditions and is
browsed by wild animals and cattle.
Zizyphus: These are the typical small trees and= shrubs that are found in the arid and semi arid
areas of India. Z. mauritiana and Z. jujuba are the most frequent species. It is a favourite of
frugivorous birds. The tree fruits extensively and is eaten by a variety of birds and mammals.
Tendu is a mid-sized, deciduous tree, common in dry deciduous forests throughout the
Subcontinent.There are around 50 Indian species. Its bark exfoliates in large rectangular scales.
It branches profusely forming a dense crown. The leaves are elliptical and leathery and its
young leaves are extensively used for making bidis.

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Flame of the Forest (Butea monosperma): This tree grows in many parts of India. It has bright
orange flowers when it is leafless, thus it is called flame of the forest. The flowers are full of
nectar which attracts monkeys and many nectar dependent birds.
Pine: There are 5 species of true pines that are found in India in the Himalayan region. The
timber of these trees is frequently used in construction, carpentry and the paper industry. Pine
resin is used to make turpentine, rosin, tar and pitch. Pine oils are obtained by distillation of
leaves and shoots. Pine leaves are thin and needle-like
Cycas: These plants are uncommon in India and have a palm-like appearance. Cycads along with
conifers make up the gymnosperms. They are among the most primitive seed plants, and have
remained virtually unchanged through the past 200 million years. There are five species found
in India, mostly in high rainfall areas.
Drosera: This is a small insectivorous plant, usually 5 or 6cms in height, which has tiny hair
which secrete a sticky droplet of fluid on which insects get stuck. The leaf winds around the
struggling insect which is then slowly digested.
Grasses: Grasses form the second largest group of flowering plants in the world. They are a very
important group of plants as they are used for various purposes such as making fiber, paper,
thatching material for roofs, oil, gum, medicines and many other useful products. The
economically important grasses include sugarcane, bamboo and cereals like rice, wheat, millets,
maize, etc. Grasses are important as they provide fodder for domestic animals.
Bamboo: This is a group of large grasslike species that grow as a clump to great heights in many
forests of India. It is extremely useful and is used for constructing huts and making several
useful household articles in rural areas such as baskets, farm implements, fences, household
implements, matting, etc. The young shoots are used as food. It is extensively used in the pulp
and paper industry as a raw material. Bamboos flower after more than two decades. The plant
then dies. The flowering produces thousands of seeds which results in the slow regrowth of the
bamboo. Bamboo is a favorite food of elephants and other large herbivores of the forest such
as gaur and deer.

COMMON ANIMAL SPECIES


Mammals:
The common deer species found in India include the sambar, chital, barasingha and barking
deer.
Sambar lives in small family parties especially in hilly forested areas and feed mainly on shrubs
and leaves of low branches. They are dark brown in colour and have large thick antlers, each
having 3 branches.

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Chital or spotted deer live in large herds in forest clearings where they graze on the grass. They
have a rust brown body with white spots which camouflages them in the forest. Each antler has
three branches called tines.
The rare Hangul deer is found only in Kashmir. It has a magnificent spread of antlers with 6
branches on each antler.
The Barasingha, or swamp deer, has wide hoofs that enable this beautiful animal to live in
boggy areas of the Terai. Each antler has 6 or more branches.
The tiny barking deer lives in many forest areas all over India. It has two ridges on its face and a
short antler with only 2 branches. Its call sounds like the bark of a dog.
The blackbuck is the only true antelope found in India. It lives in large herds. The males are
black on top and cream below and have beautiful spiral horns that form a V shape.
The chinkara, also known as the Indian gazelle, is a smaller animal and is pale brown in colour it
has beautiful curved horns.
The rare Chausingha, or four horned antelope, is the only animal in the world that has four
horns.
The nilgai is the largest of the dryland herbivores. The males are blue-gray. Nilgai have white
markings on the legs and head. They have short strong spike-like horns.
Indian wild ass, endemic to the Little Rann of Kutch.
A single species, the Nilgiri tahr is found in the Nilgiri and Annamalai hills in south India.
The rhinocerous is now restricted to Assam but was once found throughout the Gangetic
plains.
The wild buffalo is now also restricted to the Terai. The elephant is distributed in the
Northeastern and Southern States. It is threatened by habitat loss and poaching for ivory.
Gaur is found in patches in several well-wooded parts of India.
The leopard is more adaptable than the tiger and lives both in thick forests and degraded forest
areas. Its beautiful ring like markings camouflages it so perfectly that its prey cannot see its
stealthy approach.
The smaller jungle cat is a light brown animal and the leopard cat, which is a little bigger than a
domestic cat, are very rare.
The most typical predator of the HImalayas is the snow leopard, which is very rare and poached
for its beautiful skin which is pale grey with dark grey ring-like markings.
The wolf, jackal, fox and the wild dog or dhole form a group called canids.

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Another threatened predator is the Himalayan wolf. The wolves are now highly threatened as
they have become increasingly dependent on shepherds flocks.
One of the common monkey species of the forest is the bonnet macaque, which has a red face,
a very long tail and a whorl of hair on the scalp which looks like a cap.
Our other common monkey is the rhesus macaque, which is smaller and has a shorter tail than
the bonnet.
A rare macaque is the lion-tailed macaque found only in a few forests of the southern Western
Ghats and Annamalai ranges. It is black in colour, has long hair, a grey mane and a tassel at the
end of its tail that looks like a lions tail.
The common langur has a black face and is known as the Hanuman monkey.
The rare golden langur is golden yellow in colour and lives along the banks of the Manas River
in Assam.
The capped langur is an uncommon species of Northeast India.
The rare black nilgiri langur lives in the southern Western Ghats, Nilgiris and Annamalais.
Birds:
There are several species of Hornbills that live on fruit. They have heavy curved beaks with a
projection on top. Frugivores such as parakeets, barbets and bulbuls live on fruit and are often
seen eating Ficus fruits such as those of banyan and peepal. Insectivorous birds of many species
live on forest insects. They include various species of flycatchers, bee-eaters, and others. The
male paradise flycatcher is a small beautiful white bird with a black head and two long white
trailing tail feathers. The female is brown and does not have the long tail feathers. There are
several eagles, falcons and kites many of which are now endangered. Grasslands support many
species of birds. The most threatened species is the Great Indian bustard, a large, brown
stately bird with long legs which struts about through grasslands look ing for locusts and
grasshoppers. Another rare group of threatened birds are the floricans. There are many species
of quails, partridges, larks, munias and other grain eating birds that are adapted to grasslands
there are several species of aquatic birds such as waders, gulls and terns, which live along the
seashore and go out fishing many kilometers to the sea. Many of these birds have lost their
coastal habitats due to pollution. Aquatic birds in freshwater are those with long legs and are
known as waders such as stilts and sandpipers. The other group form birds that swim on water
such as several species of ducks and geese. There are many species of spectacular large birds
associated with water or marshy areas. These include different species of storks, cranes,
spoonbills, flamingo and pelicans. Many aquatic species are migrants. They breed in Northern
Europe or Siberia and come to India in thousands during winter.
Reptiles:

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The lizards include the common garden lizard, Fan throated l i z a r d, Chamelion, Skink,
Common Monitor and Water Monitor. Some of these are threatened due to trade in reptile
skins. Indian snakes include the Rock Python, Russells viper and the Vine snake. We rarely
appreciate the fact that only a few species of snakes are poisonous and most snakes are
harmless. The Star tortoise and Travancore tortoise are now rare. The Olive Ridley and
Flapshell turtle are the well-known turtles of India. Many turtles are becoming increasingly rare
due to poaching of adults and eggs. The crocodile is our largest reptile which is poached for its
prized skin. The gharial is endemic to India and is highly threatened.
Ambhibia: Most of the amphibians found in India are frogs and toads. These include several
species like the Indian Bull frog, Tree frog, etc. These amphibians are mostly found in the
hotspots in the Northeast and the Western Ghats.
Invertebrates:
Invertebrates include a variety of taxa that inhabit both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
Microscopic animals like protozoa and zooplankton form the basis of the food chain in aquatic
habitats. Coral is formed by colonies of polyp like animals. Worms, mollusks (snails), spiders,
crabs, jellyfish, octopus are a few of the better known invertebrates found in India.
Marine Life: Marine ecosystems are most frequently associated with fish and crustacea like
crabs and shrimp, which we use as food. The other species that are endangered include the
marine turtles, which are reptiles, and whales that are mammals. There are a large number of
species of freshwater fish found in our Indian rivers and lakes that are now threatened by the
introduction of fish from abroad as well as due to being introduced from one river into another.
There are many endangered fish such as the Mahseer which once grew to over a meter in
length. Many species of marine animals such as the whales, sharks and dolphins that live in the
Indian Ocean are now threatened by extinction due to fishing in the deep sea.

CONSERVATION OF BIODIVERSITY
In-situ conservation Biodiversity at all its levels, genetic species and as intact ecosystems can be
best preserved insitu by setting aside an adequate representation of wilderness as Protected
Areas. These should consist of a network of National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries with each
distinctive ecosystem included in the network. Such a network would preserve the total
diversity of life of a region.
N.B.: The list of National Park, Wildlife Sanctury, And Tiger Reserve is provided in the
Annexure at the end of the book.
Project Tiger: Project Tiger was launched by the Government of India with the support of WWFInternational in 1973 and was the first such initiative aimed at protecting this key species and
all its habitats.
Crocodile Conservation: Crocodiles have been threatened as their skin is used for making
leather articles. This led to the near extinction of crocodiles in the wild in the 1960s in India. A
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Crocodile Breeding and Conservation Program was initiated in 1975 to protect the remaining
population of crocodilians in their natural habitat and by creating breeding centers. It is
perhaps one of the most successful ex situ conservation breeding projects in the country.
Project Elephant: Project Elephant was launched in 1992 to ensure the long-term survival of a
viable population of elephants in their natural habitats in north and northeastern India and
south India. It is being implemented in 12 States
Orissa Olive Ridley Turtles: Every year at Gahirmatha and two other sites on the Orissa coast,
hundreds of thousands of Olive Ridley turtles congregate on the beach, between December and
April, for mass nesting. This was the largest nesting site for the Olive Ridleys in the world. In
1999 by the end of March it was estimated that around 200,000 turtles had nested at the
Gahirmatha beach. Marine biologists believe that only one out of every 1000 eggs actually
matures into an adult. There are severe threats to these nesting sites. Shrinking nesting sites,
construction of roads and buildings close to these rookeries, and other infrastructure
development projects hamper nesting. Trawler fishing is another large threat to the turtles.
After its discovery in 1974, the beach was notified as a Sanctuary (the Bhitarkanaika
Sanctuary) and was closed for hunting. Recognising the threats to turtles from fishing by large
trawlers, the Orissa Marine Fisheries Regulation Act was passed in 1982. This Act prohibits
trawling within 10 km of the coastline throughout the state and makes it mandatory for all
trawlers to use Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs). In 2001, the State Government of Orissa
declared that a five month period between January to May should constitute a no-fishing
season for a distance of 20 km from the coastline. Apart form these initiatives, Operation
Kachhapa is being coordinated by the Wildlife Protection Society of India, Delhi and Wildlife
Society of Orissa with many local NGOs as partners. The Orissa Forest Department, WII, Dehra
Dun and the Coast Guard are also involved in the Project.
Ex-situ conservation: There are situations in which an endangered species is so close to
extinction that unless alternate methods are instituted, the species may be rapidly driven to
extinction. This strategy is known as ex-situ conservation, i.e. outside its natural habitat in a
carefully controlled situation such as a botanical garden for plants or a zoological park for
animals, where there is expertise to multiply the species under artificially managed conditions.
There is also another form of preserving a plant by preserving its germ plasm in a gene bank so
that it can be used if needed in future. This is even more expensive.
In India, successful ex situ conservation programs have been done for all our three species of
crocodiles. This has been highly successful. Another recent success has been the breeding of
the very rare pygmy hog in Gauhati zoo. Delhi zoo has successfully bred the rare Manipur brow
antlered deer.

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CHAPTER 5: POLLUTION
CLASSIFICATION OF POLLUTANTS
From an ecological perspective pollutants can be classified as follows:

Degradable or non-persistent pollutants: These can be rapidly broken down by natural


processes. Eg: domestic sewage, discarded vegetables, etc.
Slowly degradable or persistent pollutants: Pollutants that remain in the environment
for many years in an unchanged condition and take decades or longer to degrade. Eg:
DDT and mostplastics.
Non-degradable pollutants: These cannot be degraded by natural processes. Once they
are released into the environment they are difficult to eradicate and continue to
accumulate. Eg: toxic elements like lead or mercury.

CAUSES, EFFECTS AND CONTROL MEASURES OF POLLUTIONS


AIR POLLUTION:
Air pollution began to increase in the beginning of the twentieth century with the development
of the transportation systems and large-scale use of petrol and diesel. The severe air quality
problems due to the formation of photochemical smog from the combustion residues of diesel
and petrol engines were felt for the first time in Los Angeles. Pollution due to auto-exhaust
remains a serious environmental issue in many developed and developing countries including
India. The Air Pollution Control Act in India was passed in 1981 and the Motor Vehicle Act for
controlling the air pollution, very recently. These laws are intended to prevent air from being
polluted. The greatest industrial disaster leading to serious air pollution took place in Bhopal
where extremely poisonous methyl isocyanide gas was accidentally released from the Union
Carbides pesticide manufacturing plant on the night of December 3rd 1984. The effects of this
disaster on human health and the soil are felt even today.
In Europe, around the middle of the 19th century, a black form of the Peppered moth was
noticed in industrial areas. Usually the normal Peppered moth is well camouflaged on a clean
lichen covered tree. However the peppered pattern was easily spotted and picked up by birds
on the smoke blackened bark of trees in the industrial area, while the black form remained well
camouflaged. Thus while the peppered patterned moths were successful in surviving in clean
non-industrial areas, the black coloured moths were successful in industrial areas. With the
spread of industrialization, it has been observed that the black forms are not only see in
Peppered moth, but also in many other moths. This is a classic case of pollution leading to
adaptation.
Types and sources of Air Pollution:
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Air may get polluted by natural causes such as volcanoes, which release ash, dust, sulphur and
other gases, or by forest fires that are occasionally naturally caused by lightning. However,
unlike pollutants from human activity, naturally occurring pollutants tend to remain in the
atmosphere for a short time and do not lead to permanent atmospheric change. Pollutants that
are emitted directly from identifiable sources are produced both by natural events (for
example, dust storms and volcanic eruptions) and human activities (emission from vehicles,
industries, etc.). These are called primary pollutants. There are five primary pollutants that
together contribute about 90 percent of the global air pollution. These are

Carbon oxides (CO and CO2)


Nitrogen oxides,
Sulfur oxides,
Volatile organic compounds (mostly hydrocarbons) and
Suspended particulate matter.

Pollutants that are produced in the atmosphere when certain chemical reactions take place
among the primary pollutants are called secondary pollutants. Eg: sulfuric acid, nitric acid,
carbonic acid, etc.
When sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are transported by prevailing winds they form
secondary pollutants such as nitric acid vapour, droplets of sulfuric acid and particles of
sulphate and nitrate salts. These chemicals descend on the earths surface in two forms: wet (as
acidic rain, snow, fog and cloud vapour) and dry (as acidic particles). The resulting mixture is
called acid deposition, commonly called acid rain. Acid deposition has many harmful effects
especially when the pH falls below 5.1 for terrestrial systems and below 5.5 for aquatic systems.
It contributes to human respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and asthma, which can cause
premature death. It also damages statues, buildings, metals and car finishes. Acid deposition
can damage tree foliage directly but the most serious effect is weakening of trees so they
become more susceptible to other types of damage. The nitric acid and the nitrate salts in acid
deposition can lead to excessive soil nitrogen levels. This can over stimulate growth of other
plants and intensify depletion of other important soil nutrients such as calcium and magnesium,
which in turn can reduce tree growth and vigour.
Effects of air pollution on living organisms

Exposure to air containing even 0.001 percent of carbon monoxide for several hours can
cause collapse, coma and even death. As carbon monoxide remains attached to
hemoglobin in blood for a long time, it accumulates and reduces the oxygen carrying
capacity of blood. This impairs perception and thinking, slows reflexes and causes
headaches, drowsiness, dizziness and nausea. Carbon monoxide in heavy traffic causes
headaches, drowsiness and blurred vision.

Sulfur dioxide irritates respiratory tissues. Chronic exposure causes a condition similar
to bronchitis. It also reacts with water, oxygen and other material in the air to form

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sulfur-containing acids. The acids can become attached to particles which when inhaled
are very corrosive to the lung.

Nitrogen oxides especially NO2 can irritate the lungs, aggravate asthma or chronic
bronchitis and also increase susceptibility to respiratory infections such as influenza or
common colds.

Suspended particles aggravate bronchitis and asthma. Exposure to these particles over
a long period of time damages lung tissue and contribute to the development of chronic
respiratory disease and cancer.

Many volatile organic compounds such as (benzene and formaldehyde) and toxic
particulates (such as lead, cadmium) can cause mutations, reproductive problems or
cancer.

Ozone, a component of photochemical smog causes coughing, chest pain,


breathlessness and irritation of the eye, nose and the throat.

Effects on plants
When some gaseous pollutants enter leaf pores they damage the leaves of crop plants. Chronic
exposure of the leaves to air pollutants can break down the waxy coating that helps prevent
excessive water loss and leads to damage from diseases, pests, drought and frost. Such
exposure interferes with photosynthesis and plant growth, reduces nutrient uptake and causes
leaves to turn yellow, brown or drop off altogether.At a higher concentration of sulphur
dioxide majority of the flower buds become stiff and hard. They eventually fall from the plants,
as they are unable to flower. Prolonged exposure to high levels of several air pollutants from
smelters, coal burning power plants and industrial units as well as from cars and trucks can
damage trees and other plants.
Effects of air pollution on materials
Every year air pollutants cause damage worth billions of rupees. Air pollutants break down
exterior paint on cars and houses. All around the world air pollutants have discoloured
irreplaceable monuments, historic buildings, marble statues, etc.
Effects of air pollution on the stratosphere
The upper stratosphere consists of considerable amounts of ozone, which works as an effective
screen for ultraviolet light. This region called the ozone layer extends up to 60 kms above the
surface of the earth. Though the ozone is present upto 60 kms its greatest density remains in
the region between 20 to 25 kms. The ozone layer does not consist of solely ozone but a
mixture of other common atmospheric gases. In the densest ozone layer there will be only one
ozone molecule in 100,000 gas molecules. Therefore even small changes in the ozone
concentration can produce dramatic effects on life on earth. Though it was known earlier that
ozone shows fluctuations in its concentrations which may be accompanied sometimes with a
little ozone depletion, it was only in 1985 that the large scale destruction of the ozone also
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called the Ozone Hole came into limelight when some British researchers published
measurements about the ozone layer. Soon after these findings a greater impetus was given to
research on the ozone layer, which convincingly established that CFCs were leading to its
depletion. These CFCs (chloro-flurocarbons) are extremely stable, non-flammable, non-toxic
and harmless to handle. This makes them ideal for many industrial applications like aerosols,
air conditioners, refrigerators and fire extinguishers. Many cans, which give out foams and
sprays, use CFCs. (eg: perfumes, room fresheners, etc.) CFCs are also used in making foams for
mattresses and cushions, disposable Styrofoam cups, glasses, packaging material for
insulation, cold storage etc. Halons are similar in structure to the CFCs but contain bromine
atoms instead of chlorine. They are more dangerous to the ozone layer than CFCs. Halons are
used as fire extinguishing agents as they do not pose harm to people and equipment exposed
to them during fire fighting.
The total amount of ozone in a column of air from the earths surface upto an altitude of 50
km is the total column ozone. This is recorded in Dobson Units (DU), a measure of the thickness
of the ozone layer by an equivalent layer of pure ozone gas at normal temperature and
pressure at sea level. This means that 100 DU=1mm of pure ozone gas at normal temperature
and pressure at sea level.
India has signed the Montreal Protocol in 1992, which aims to control the production and
consumption of Ozone Depleting Substances.

IMPACT OF OZONE DEPLETION


Effects on human health: Sunburn, cataract, aging of the skin and skin cancer are caused by
increased ultra-violet radiation. It weakens the immune system by suppressing the resistance
of the whole body to certain infections like measles, chicken pox and other viral diseases that
elicit rash and parasitic diseases such as malaria introduced through the skin.
Food production: Ultra violet radiation affects the ability of plants to capture light energy
during the process of photosynthesis. This reduces the nutrient content and the growth of
plants. This is seen especially in legumes and cabbage. Plant and animal planktons are
damaged by ultra- violet radiation. In zooplanktons (microscopic animals) the breeding period
is shortened by changes in radiation. As planktons form the basis of the marine food chain a
change in their number and species composition influences fish and shell fish production.
Effect on materials: Increased UV radiation damages paints and fabrics, causing them to fade
faster.
Effect on climate: Atmospheric changes induced by pollution contribute to global warming, a
phenomenon which is caused due to the increase in concentration of certain gases like carbon
dioxide, nitrogen oxides, methane and CFCs.
Control measures for air pollution Air pollution can be controlled by two fundamental
approaches: preventive techniques and effluent control. One of the effective means of
controlling air pollution is to have proper equipment in place. This includes devices for removal
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of pollutants from the flue gases though scrubbers, closed collection recovery systems through
which it is possible to collect the pollutants before they escape, use of dry and wet collectors,
filters, electrostatic precipitators, etc. Providing a greater height to the stacks can help in
facilitating the discharge of pollutants as far away from the ground as possible. Substitution of
raw material that causes more pollution with those that cause less pollution can be done.
Taj Mahal being exposed to sulphur dioxide and suspended particulate matter, the Taj had
contracted marble cancer, a fungal growth that corroded its surface giving it a yellowish tinge.
The SPM deposits blackened it.
A database on ambient air quality in Indian cities has been prepared by the monitoring
networks of the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur. The
Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) initiated its own national Ambient Air Quality
Monitoring (NAAQM) program in 1985.

MEASURES TAKEN BY GOVERNMENT OF INDIA


Legal aspects of air pollution control in India. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act
was legislated in 1981. The Act provided for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution.
In areas notified under this Act no industrial pollution causing activity could come up without
the permission of the concerned State Pollution Control Board. But this Act was not strong
enough to play a precautionary or a corrective role. After the Bhopal disaster, a more
comprehensive Environment Protection Act (EPA) was passed in 1986. This Act for the first time
conferred enforcement agencies with necessary punitive powers to restrict any activity that can
harm the environment. To regulate vehicular pollution the Central Motor Vehicles Act of 1939
was amended in 1989. Following this amendment the exhaust emission rules for vehicle owners
were notified in 1990 and the mass emission standards for vehicle manufacturers were
enforced in 1991 for the first time. The mass emission norms have been further revised for
2000.

WATER POLLUTION
Types of Water Pollution:
Point sources of pollution: When a source of pollution can be readily identified because it has a
definite source and place where it enters the water it is said to come from a point source. Eg.
Municipal and Industrial Discharge Pipes. When a source of pollution cannot be readily
identified, such as agricultural runoff, acid rain, etc, they are said to be non-point sources of
pollution.
Causes of water pollution:
There are several classes of common water pollutants. These are disease-causing agents
(pathogens) which include bacteria, viruses, protozoa and parasitic worms that enter water
from domestic sewage and untreated human and animal wastes. Human wastes contain
concentrated populations of coliform bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Streptococcus
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faecalis. These bacteria normally grow in the large intestine of humans where they are
responsible for some food digestion and for the production of vitamin K. These bacteria are not
harmful in low numbers. Large amounts of human waste in water, increases the number of
these bacteria which cause gastrointestinal diseases.
Another category of water pollutants is oxygen depleting wastes. These are organic wastes
that can be decomposed by aerobic (oxygen requiring) bacteria. Large populations of bacteria
use up the oxygen present in water to degrade these wastes. In the process this degrades water
quality. The amount of oxygen required to break down a certain amount of organic matter is
called the biological oxygen demand (BOD). The amount of BOD in the water is an indicator of
the level of pollution.
A third class of pollutants is inorganic plant nutrients. These are water soluble nitrates and
phosphates that cause excessive growth of algae and other aquatic plants. The excessive
growth of algae and aquatic plants due to added nutrients is called eutrophication. They may
interfere with the use of the water by clogging water intake pipes, changing the taste and
odour of water and cause a buildup of organic matter.
While excess fertilizers cause eutrophication, pesticides cause bioaccumulation and
biomagnification. Pesticides which enter water bodies are introduced into the aquatic food
chain. They are then absorbed by the phytoplanktons and aquatic plants. These plants are
eaten by the herbivorous fish which are in turn eaten by the carnivorous fish which are in turn
eaten by the water birds. At each link in the food chain these chemicals which do not pass out
of the body are accumulated and increasingly concentrated resulting in biomagnification of
these harmful substances.
One of the effects of accumulation of high levels of pesticides such as DDT is that birds lay eggs
with shells that are much thinner than normal. This results in the premature breaking of these
eggs, killing the chicks inside.
A fourth class of water pollutants is water soluble inorganic chemicals which are acids, salts
and compounds of toxic metals such as mercury and lead. High levels of these chemicals can
make the water unfit to drink, harm fish and other aquatic life, reduce crop yields and
accelerate corrosion of equipment that use this water.
Another cause of water pollution is a variety of organic chemicals, which include oil, gasoline,
plastics, pesticides, cleaning solvents, detergent and many other chemicals. These are harmful
to aquatic life and human health.
Sediment of suspended matter is another class of water pollutants. These are insoluble
particles of soil and other solids that become suspended in water. This occurs when soil is
eroded from the land. High levels of soil particles suspended in water, interferes with the
penetration of sunlight. This reduces the photosynthetic activity of aquatic plants and algae
disrupting the ecological balance of the aquatic bodies.

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Water soluble radioactive isotopes are yet another source of water pollution. These can be
concentrated in various tissues and organs as they pass through food chains and food webs.
Ionizing radiation emitted by such isotopes can cause birth defects, cancer and genetic damage.
Hot water let out by power plants and industries that use large volumes of water to cool the
plant result in rise in temperature of the local water bodies. Thermal pollution occurs when
industry returns the heated water to a water source.
Oil is washed into surface water in runoff from roads and parking lots which also pollutes
groundwater. Leakage from underground tanks is another source of pollution. Accidental oil
spills from large transport tankers at sea have been causing significant environmental damage.
Severe cases of arsenic poisoning from contaminated groundwater have been reported from
West Bengal in what is known today as the worst case of groundwater pollution. Arsenicosis or
arsenic toxicity develops after two to five years of exposure to arsenic contaminated drinking
water depending on the amount of water consumption and the arsenic concentration in water.
Initially the skin begins to darken (called diffuse melanosis) which later leads to spotted
melanosis when darkened sports begin to appear on the chest, back and limbs. At a later stage
leucomelanosis sets in and the body begins to show black and white spots. In the middle stage
of arsenicosis the skin in parts becomes hard and fibrous. Rough, dry skin with nodules on
hands or the soles of feet indicate severe toxicity. This can lead to the formation of gangrene
and cancer. Arsenic poisoning brings with it other complications such as liver and spleen
enlargement, cirrhosis of the liver, diabetes, goiter and skin cancers.
Control measures for preventing water Pollution
While the foremost necessity is prevention, setting up effluent treatment plants and treating
waste through these can reduce the pollution load in the recipient water. The treated effluent
can be reused for either gardening or cooling purposes wherever possible. A few years ago a
new technology called the Root Zone Process has been developed by Thermax. This system
involves running contaminated water through the root zones of specially designed reed beds.
The reeds, which are essentially wetland plants have the capacity to absorb oxygen from the
surrounding air through their stomatal openings. The oxygen is pushed through the porous
stem of the reeds into the hollow roots where it enters the root zone and creates conditions
suitable for the growth of numerous bacteria and fungi. These micro-organisms oxidize
impurities in the wastewaters, so that the water which finally comes out is clean.
Marine Pollution
Some specific causes of marine waters pollution.

The most obvious inputs of waste is through pipes directly discharging wastes into the sea.
Very often municipal waste and sewage from residences and hotels in coastal towns are
directly discharged into the sea.

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Pesticides and fertilizers from agriculture are washed off the land by rain, enter water
courses and eventually reach the sea.

Petroleum and oils washed off from the roads normally enter the sewage system but
stormwater overflows carry these materials into rivers and eventually into the seas.

Ships carry many toxic substances such as oil, liquefied natural gas, pesticides, industrial
chemicals, etc. in huge quantities

Offshore oil exploration and extraction also pollute the seawater to a large extent.

When the oxygen concentration falls below 1.5 mg/ lit, the rate of aerobic oxidation is
reduced and their place is taken over by the anaerobic bacteria that can oxidize the organic
molecules without the use of oxygen. This results in end products such as hydrogen sulphide,
ammonia and methane, which are toxic to many organisms. This process results in the
formation of an anoxic zone which is low in its oxygen content from which most life disappears
except for anaerobic bacteria, fungi, yeasts and some protozoa. This makes the water foul
smelling.
Sewage and Industrial effluent treatment Stages
Various stages of treatment such as primary, secondary or advanced can be used depending on
the quality of the effluent that is required to be treated.
Primary treatment: These treatment plants use physical processes such as screening and
sedimentation to remove pollutants that will settle, float or, those are too large to pass
through simple screening devices. This includes stones, sticks, rags, and all such material that
can clog pipes. A screen consists of parallel bars spaced 2 to 7cms apart followed by a wire
mesh with smaller openings. One way of avoiding the problem of disposal of materials collected
on the screens is to use a device called a comminuter which grinds the coarse material into
small pieces that can then be left in the waste water. After screening the wastewater passes
into a grit chamber. The detention time is chosen to be long enough to allow lighter, organic
material to settle. From the grit chamber the sewage passes into a primary settling tank (also
called as sedimentation tank) where the flow speed is reduced sufficiently to allow most of the
suspended solids to settle out by gravity. If the waste is to undergo only primary treatment it is
then chlorinated to destroy bacteria and control odours after which the effluent is released.
Primary treatment normally removes about 35 percent of the BOD and 60 percent of the
suspended solids.
Secondary treatment: The main objective of secondary treatment is to remove most of the
BOD.
There are three commonly used approaches:

Trickling filters,
Activated sludge process and

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Oxidation ponds.

Secondary treatment can remove at least 85 percent of the BOD. A trickling filter consists of a
rotating distribution arm that sprays liquid wastewater over a circular bed of fist size rocks or
other coarse materials. The spaces between the rocks allow air to circulate easily so that
aerobic conditions can be maintained. The individual rocks in the bed are covered with a layer
of slime, which consists of bacteria, fungi, algae, etc. which degrade the waste trickling through
the bed. This slime periodically slides off individual rocks and is collected at the bottom of the
filter along with the treated wastewater and is then passed on to the secondary settling tank
where it is removed. In the activated sludge process the sewage is pumped into a large tank
and mixed for several hours with bacteria rich sludge and air bubbles to facilitate degradation
by micro-organisms. The water then goes into a sedimentation tank where most of the
microorganisms settle out as sludge. This sludge is then broken down in an anaerobic digester
where methane-forming bacteria slowly convert the organic matter into carbon dioxide,
methane and other stable end products. The gas produced in the digester is 60 percent
methane, which is a valuable fuel and can be put to many uses within the treatment plant itself.
The digested sludge, which is still liquid, is normally pumped out onto sludge drying beds where
evaporation and seepage remove the water. This dried sludge is potentially a good source of
manure. Activated sludge tanks use less land area than trickling filters with equivalent
performance. They are also less expensive to construct than trickling filters and have fewer
problems with flies and odour and can also achieve higher rates of BOD removal. Thus although
the operating costs are a little higher due to the expenses incurred on energy for running
pumps and blowers they are preferred over trickling filters. Oxidation ponds are large shallow
ponds approximately 1 to 2 metres deep where raw or partially treated sewage is decomposed
by microorganisms. They are easy to build and manage and accommodate large fluctuations in
flow and can provide treatment at a much lower cost. They however require a large amount of
land and hence can be used where land is not a limitation. Advanced sewage treatment: This
involves a series of chemical and physical process that removes specific pollutants left in the
water after primary and secondary treatment. Sewage treatment plant effluents contain
nitrates and phosphates in large amounts. These contribute to eutrophication. Thus advanced
treatment plants are designed to specifically remove these contaminants. Advanced treatment
plants are very expensive to build and operate and hence are rarely used.
When liquid oil is spilled on the sea it spreads over the surface of the water to form a thin film
called an oil slick. The rate of spreading and the thickness of the film depends on the sea
temperature and the nature of the oil. Oil slicks damage marine life to a large extent. Salt
marshes, mangrove swamps are likely to trap oil and the plants, which form the basis for these
ecosystems thus suffer. For salt marsh plants, oil slicks can affect the flowering, fruiting and
germination

SOIL POLLUTION
Causes of soil degradation

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Soil erosion: While erosion is a natural process often caused by wind and flowing water it is
greatly accelerated by human activities such as farming, construction, overgrazing by livestock,
burning of grass cover and deforestation.
Today both water and soil are conserved through integrated treatment methods. Some of the
most commonly employed methods include the two types of treatment that are generally used.

Area treatment which involves treating the land

Drainage line treatment which involves treating the natural water courses (nalas)
Continuous contour trenches can be used to enhance infiltration of water reduce the runoff
and check soil erosion. These are actually shallow trenches dug across the slope of the land
and along the contour lines basically for the purpose of soil and water conservation.

Excess use of fertilizers: It makes the soil friable and susceptible to erosion.
Excess salts and water. Excess iirrigation causes water logging which results in salinisation of
the soil.

NOISE POLLUTION
Effects of noise pollution on physical health the most direct harmful effect of excessive noise is
physical damage to the ear and the temporary or permanent hearing loss often called a
temporary threshold shift (TTS). People suffering from this condition are unable to detect weak
sounds. However hearing ability is usually recovered within a month of exposure. In
Maharashtra people living in close vicinity of Ganesh mandals that play blaring music for ten
days of the Ganesh festival are usually known to suffer from this phenomenon. Permanent loss,
usually called noise induced permanent threshold shift (NIPTS) represents a loss of hearing
ability from which there is no recovery. Below a sound level of 80 dBA haring loss does not
occur at all. However temporary effects are noticed at sound levels between 80 and 130 dBA.
About 50 percent of the people exposed to 95 dBA sound levels at work will develop NIPTS and
most people exposed to more than 105 dBA will experience permanent hearing loss to some
degree. A sound level of 150 dBA or more can physically rupture the human eardrum. The
degree of hearing loss depends on the duration as well as the intensity of the noise. Noise can
also cause emotional or psychological effects such as irritability, anxiety and stress. Lack of
concentration and mental fatigue are significant health effects of noise.
Noise Control techniques
There are four fundamental ways in which noise can be controlled: Reduce noise at the source,
block the path of noise, increase the path length and protect the recipient. In general, the best
control method is to reduce noise levels at the source.

SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT - CAUSES, EFFECTS AND CONTROL MEASURES


Characteristics of municipal solid waste Solid wastes are grouped or classified in several
different ways. These different classifications are necessary to address the complex challenges
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of solid waste management in an effective manner. The term municipal solid waste (MSW) is
generally used to describe most of the non hazardous solid waste from a city, town or village
that requires routine collection and transport to a processing or disposal site. Sources of MSW
include private homes, commercial establishments and institutions as well as industrial
facilities. However MSW does not include wastes from industrial processes, construction and
demolition debris, sewage sludge, mining wastes or agricultural wastes. Municipal solid waste
contains a wide variety of materials. It can contain food waste such as vegetable and meat
material, left over food, egg shells, etc which is classified as wet garbage as well as paper,
plastic, tetrapacks, plastic cans, newspaper, glass bottles, cardboard boxes, aluminum foil,
metal items, wood pieces, etc. which is classified as dry garbage.

CONTROL MEASURES OF URBAN AND INDUSTRIAL WASTES


An integrated waste management strategy includes three main components:
1. Source reduction
2. Recycling
3. Disposal
Incineration is the process of burning municipal solid waste in a properly designed furnace
under suitable temperature and operating conditions. Incineration is a chemical process in
which the combustible portion of the waste is combined with oxygen forming carbon dioxide
and water, which are released into the atmosphere.
Lead, mercury and arsenic are hazardous substances which are often referred to as heavy
metals. Lead is an abundant heavy metal and is relatively easy to obtain. It is used in batteries,
fuel, pesticides, paints, pipes and other places where resistance to corrosion is required. Most
of the lead taken up by people and wildlife is stored in bones. Lead can affect red blood cells by
reducing their ability to carry oxygen and shortening their life span. Lead may also damage
nerve tissue which can result in brain disease. Mercury occurs in several different forms.
Mercury is used in the production of chlorine. It is also used as a catalyst in the production of
some plastics. Industrial processes such as the production of chlorine and plastics are
responsible for most of the environmental damage resulting from mercury. Our body has a
limited ability to eliminate mercury. In the food web mercury becomes more concentrated as it
is taken up by various organisms. In an aquatic environment, mercury can be absorbed by the
plankton which are then consumed by fish. In addition, fish take up mercury through their gills
and by eating other fish contaminated with mercury.
Vinyl chloride is a chemical that is widely used in the manufacture of plastic. Usually people are
only exposed to high levels of vinyl chloride if they work with it or near it but exposure can also
occur from vinyl chloride gas leaks. After a long continuous exposure (one to three years) in
humans, vinyl chloride can cause deafness, vision problems, circulation disorders and bone
deformities. Vinyl chloride can also cause birth defects.

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CHAPTER 6: ISSUES RELATED TO THE ENVIRONMENT


SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Sustainable development has been defined in many ways, but the most frequently quoted
definition is from Our Common Future, also known as the Brundtland Report:
"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It contains within it
two key concepts:

the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which
overriding priority should be given; and

the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the
environment's ability to meet present and future needs."

To rally countries to work and pursue sustainable development together, the UN decided to
establish the Brundtland Commission. Gro Harlem Brundtland was the former Prime Minister
of Norway and was chosen due to her strong background in the sciences and public health. The
Brundtland Commission officially dissolved in December 1987 after releasing the Brundtland
Report, also known as Our Common Future]], in October 1987. The organization Center for Our
Common Future was started in April 1988 to take the place of the Commission.
Many decades ago, Mahatma Gandhi envisioned a reformed village community based on sound
environmental management. He stressed on the need for sanitation based on recycling human
and animal manure and well-ventilated cottages built of recyclable material. He envisioned
roads as being clean and free of dust. His main objective was to use village made goods instead
of industrial products. All these principals are now considered part of sound long-term
development. Gandhiji had designed a sustainable lifestyle for himself when these concepts
were not a part of general thinking. The world now appears to be at a crossroad. It has taken
the path of short term economic growth and now suffers the consequences of environmental
degradation at the cost of loss of quality of human life. The earth cannot supply the amount of
resources used and wasted by the economically well off sectors of society as well as that
required for day to day sustenance of the ever growing population in less developed countries.
Society must thus change its unsustainable development strategy to a new form where
development will not destroy the environment. This form of sustainable development can only
be brought about if each individual practices a sustainable lifestyle based on caring for the
earth.
Indira Gandhi said in the Stockholm Conference in 1972 that poverty was the greatest polluter.
This meant that while the super rich nations had serious environmental problems, the underdeveloped in Asia, Africa and South America had a different set of environmental problems
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linked to poverty. Developing countries were suffering the consequences of a rapidly expanding
human population with all its effects on the over utilization of natural resources.
Embodied energy
Materials like iron, glass, aluminium, steel, cement, marble and burnt bricks, which areused in
urban housing, are very energy intensive. The process of extraction, refinement, fabrication and
delivery are all energy consuming and add to pollution of earth, air and water. This energy
consumed in the process is called embodied energy

URBAN AREAS ENERGY PROBLEMS

Urban centers in hot climates need energy for cooling. The early systems of fans changed
into air-conditioning, which consumes enormous quantities of energy
High rise buildings in urban centers also depend on energy to operate lifts and an enormous
number of lights
Urban transport depends on energy mainly from fossil fuels.

CLIMATE CHANGE
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather
patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average
weather conditions, or in the distribution of weather around the average conditions (i.e., more
or fewer extreme weather events). Climate change is caused by factors that include oceanic
processes (such as oceanic circulation), variations in solar radiation received by Earth, plate
tectonics and volcanic eruptions, and human-induced alterations of the natural world; these
latter effects are currently causing global warming, and "climate change" is often used to
describe human-specific impacts.
Scientists actively work to understand past and future climate by using observations and
theoretical models.
Factors Responsible for climate change: Factors that can shape climate are called climate
forcings or "forcing mechanisms". These include processes such as

variations in solar radiation,


variations in the Earth's orbit,
Mountain-building and continental drift and
Changes in greenhouse gas concentrations.

GLOBAL WARMING
Global warming is the rise in the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans since
the late 19th century and its projected continuation. Since the early 20th century, Earth's mean
surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 C (1.4 F), with about two-thirds of the
increase occurring since 1980.[2] Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and scientists
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are more than 90% certain that it is primarily caused by increasing concentrations of
greenhouse gases produced by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and
deforestation.[3][4][5][6] These findings are recognized by the national science academies of all
major industrialized nations.
Climate model projections were summarized in the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) by
the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They indicated that during the 21st
century the global surface temperature is likely to rise a further 1.1 to 2.9 C (2 to 5.2 F) for
their lowest emissions scenario and 2.4 to 6.4 C (4.3 to 11.5 F) for their highest.[8] The ranges
of these estimates arise from the use of models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse gas
concentrations.
According to AR4, warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the
globe. The effects of an increase in global temperature include a rise in sea levels and a change
in the amount and pattern of precipitation, as well a probable expansion of subtropical deserts.
Warming is expected to be strongest in the Arctic and would be associated with the continuing
retreat of glaciers, permafrost and sea ice. Other likely effects of the warming include a more
frequent occurrence of extreme-weather events including heat waves, droughts and heavy
rainfall, ocean acidification and species extinctions due to shifting temperature regimes. Effects
significant to humans include the threat to food security from decreasing crop yields and the
loss of habitat from inundation

EXPECTED EFFECTS ON SOCIAL SYSTEMS

Food security
Habitat inundation

RESPONSES TO GLOBAL WARMING

Mitigation
Adaptation
Geoengineering

Reducing the amount of future climate change is called mitigation of climate change. The IPCC
defines mitigation as activities that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, or enhance the
capacity of carbon sinks to absorb GHGs from the atmosphere. Many countries, both
developing and developed, are aiming to use cleaner, less polluting, technologies. Use of these
technologies aids mitigation and could result in substantial reductions in CO2 emissions.
Policies include targets for emissions reductions, increased use of renewable energy, and
increased energy efficiency. Studies indicate substantial potential for future reductions in
emissions.
Other policy responses include adaptation to climate change. Adaptation to climate change
may be planned, either in reaction to or anticipation of climate change, or spontaneous, i.e.,
without government intervention. Planned adaptation is already occurring on a limited basis.
The barriers, limits, and costs of future adaptation are not fully understood.
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A concept related to adaptation is "adaptive capacity," which is the ability of a system (human,
natural or managed) to adjust to climate change (including climate variability and extremes) to
moderate potential damages, to take advantage of opportunities, or to cope with
consequences. Unmitigated climate change (i.e., future climate change without efforts to limit
greenhouse gas emissions) would, in the long term, be likely to exceed the capacity of natural,
managed and human systems to adapt.
Geoengineering, the deliberate modification of the climate, has been investigated as a possible
response to global warming, e.g. by NASA and the Royal Society. Techniques under research fall
generally into the categories solar radiation management and carbon dioxide removal, although
various other schemes have been suggested. Research is at a generally early stage, with no
large-scale schemes currently deployed.

OZONE LAYER DEPLETION


Ozone depletion describes two distinct but related phenomena observed since the late 1970s: a
steady decline of about 4% per decade in the total volume of ozone in Earth's stratosphere (the
ozone layer), and a much larger springtime decrease in stratospheric ozone over Earth's Polar
Regions. The latter phenomenon is referred to as the ozone hole. In addition to these wellknown stratospheric phenomena, there are also springtime polar tropospheric ozone depletion
events.
The details of polar ozone hole formation differ from that of mid-latitude thinning, but the most
important process in both is catalytic destruction of ozone by atomic halogens. The main source
of these halogen atoms in the stratosphere is photo dissociation of man-made halocarbon
refrigerants (CFCs, Freon, and Halons). These compounds are transported into the stratosphere
after being emitted at the surface. Both types of ozone depletion were observed to increase as
emissions of halo-carbons increased.
CFCs and other contributory substances are referred to as ozone-depleting substances (ODS).
Since the ozone layer prevents most harmful UVB wavelengths (280315 nm) of ultraviolet light
(UV light) from passing through the Earth's atmosphere, observed and projected decreases in
ozone have generated worldwide concern leading to adoption of the Montreal Protocol that
bans the production of CFCs, halons, and other ozone-depleting chemicals such as carbon
tetrachloride and trichloroethane. It is suspected that a variety of biological consequences such
as increases in skin cancer, cataracts, damage to plants, and reduction of plankton populations
in the ocean's photic zone may result from the increased UV exposure due to ozone depletion.
CFCs were invented by Thomas Midgley, Jr. in the 1920s. They were used in air conditioning and
cooling units, as aerosol spray propellants prior to the 1970s, and in the cleaning processes of
delicate electronic equipment. They also occur as by-products of some chemical processes. No
significant natural sources have ever been identified for these compounds their presence in
the atmosphere is due almost entirely to human manufacture. As mentioned above, when such
ozone-depleting chemicals reach the stratosphere, they are dissociated by ultraviolet light to
release chlorine atoms. The chlorine atoms act as a catalyst, and each can break down tens of
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thousands of ozone molecules before being removed from the stratosphere. Given the
longevity of CFC molecules, recovery times are measured in decades. It is calculated that a CFC
molecule takes an average of about five to seven years to go from the ground level up to the
upper atmosphere, and it can stay there for about a century, destroying up to one hundred
thousand ozone molecules during that time
The Antarctic ozone hole is an area of the Antarctic stratosphere in which the recent ozone
levels have dropped to as low as 33% of their pre-1975 values. The ozone hole occurs during
the Antarctic spring, from September to early December, as strong westerly winds start to
circulate around the continent and create an atmospheric container. Within this polar vortex,
over 50% of the lower stratospheric ozone is destroyed during the Antarctic spring.
As explained above, the primary cause of ozone depletion is the presence of chlorinecontaining source gases (primarily CFCs and related halocarbons). In the presence of UV light,
these gases dissociate, releasing chlorine atoms, which then go on to catalyze ozone
destruction. The Cl-catalyzed ozone depletion can take place in the gas phase, but it is
dramatically enhanced in the presence of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs).
These polar stratospheric clouds (PSC) form during winter, in the extreme cold. Polar winters
are dark, consisting of 3 months without solar radiation (sunlight). The lack of sunlight
contributes to a decrease in temperature and the polar vortex traps and chills air. And wwhen
the spring comes the sunshine acts as a catalyst and helps in the chemical reaction which leads
to Ozone Hole formation.

CONSEQUENCES OF OZONE LAYER DEPLETION

Increased UV
Basal and squamous cell carcinomas- he most common forms of skin cancer in humans
Malignant melanoma-Another form of skin cancer
Cortical cataracts
An increase of UV radiation would be expected to affect crops. A number of economically
important species of plants, such as rice, depend on cyanobacteria residing on their roots
for the retention of nitrogen. Cyanobacteria are sensitive to UV radiation and would be
affected by its increase.

GLOBAL DIMMING:
BURNING OF FOSSIL FUELS IS CREATING TWO EFFECTS
Two effects of fossil fuel productions are:
Greenhouse gases that cause global warming By-products which are pollutants that cause
global dimming

WHAT IS GLOBAL DIMMING?

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Fossil fuel use, as well as producing greenhouse gases, creates other by-products. These byproducts are also pollutants, such as sulphur dioxide, soot, and ash. These pollutants however,
also change the properties of clouds.
Clouds are formed when water droplets are seeded by air-borne particles, such as pollen.
Polluted air results in clouds with larger number of droplets than unpolluted clouds. This then
makes those clouds more reflective. More of the suns heat and energy is therefore reflected
back into space.
This reduction of heat reaching the earth is known as Global Dimming.

IMPACTS OF GLOBAL DIMMING: MILLIONS ALREADY KILLED BY IT?


Global warming results from the greenhouse effect caused by, amongst other things, excessive
amounts of greenhouse gases in the earths atmosphere from fossil fuel burning. It would seem
then, that the other by-products which cause global dimming may be an ironic savior.
A deeper look at this, however, shows that unfortunately this is not the case.

HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS


The pollutants that lead to global dimming also lead to various human and environmental
problems, such as smog, respiratory problems, and acid rain.
The impacts of global dimming itself, however, can be devastating.
The death toll that global dimming may have already caused is thought to be massive.
Climatologists studying this phenomenon believe that the reflection of heat have made waters
in the northern hemisphere cooler. As a result, less rain has formed in key areas and crucial
rainfall has failed to arrive over the Sahel in Northern Africa.
In the 1970s and 1980s, massive famines were caused by failed rains which climatologists had
never quite understood why they had failed.
The answers that global dimming models seemed to provide, the documentary noted, has led
to a chilling conclusion: what came out of our exhaust pipes and power stations *from Europe
and North America] contributed to the deaths of a million people in Africa, and afflicted 50
million more with hunger and starvation.
Billions are likely to be affected in Asia from similar effects. Scientists said that the impact of
global dimming might not be in the millions, but billions. The Asian monsoons bring rainfall to
half the worlds population. If this air pollution and global dimming has a detrimental impact on
the Asian monsoons some 3 billion people could be affected. As well as fossil fuel burning,
contrails are another source Contrails (the vapor from planes flying high in the sky) were seen
as another significant cause of heat reflection.

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During the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, all
commercial flights were grounded for the next three days. This allowed climate scientists to
look at the effect on the climate when there were no contrails and no heat reflection. What
scientists found was that the temperature rose by some 1 degree centigrade in that period of 3
days.
Global Dimming is hiding the true power of Global Warming
The above impacts of global dimming have led to fears that global dimming has been hiding the
true power of global warming.
Currently, most climate change models predict a 5 degrees increase in temperature over the
next century, which is already considered extremely grave. However, global dimming has led to
an underestimation of the power of global warming.
Addressing global dimming only will lead to massive global warming
Global dimming can be dealt with by cleaning up emissions. However, if global dimming
problems are only addressed, then the effects of global warming will increase even more. This
may be what happened to Europe in 2003.
In Europe, various measures have been taken in recent years to clean up the emissions to
reduce pollutants that create smog and other problems, but without reducing the greenhouse
gas emissions in parallel. This seems to have had a few effects:
This may have already lessened the severity of droughts and failed rains in the Sahel. However,
it seems that it may have caused, or contributed to, the European heat wave in 2003 that killed
thousands in France, saw forest fires in Portugal, and caused many other problems throughout
the continent.
The documentary noted that the impacts of addressing global dimming only would increase
global warming more rapidly. Irreversible damage would be only about 30 years away. Global
level impacts would include:
The melting of ice in Greenland, would lead to more rising sea levels. This in turn would impact
many of our major world cities Drying tropical rain forests would increase the risk of burning.
This would release even more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, further increasing global
warming effects. (Some countries have pushed for using carbon sinks to count as part of their
emission targets. This has already been controversial because these store carbon dioxide that
can be released into the atmosphere when burnt. Global dimming worries increase these
concerns even more.)
These and other effects could combine to lead to an increase of 10 degrees centigrade in
temperature over the next 100 years, not the standard 5 degrees which most models currently
predict.

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This would be a more rapid warming than any other time in history, the documentary noted.
With such an increase, Vegetation will die off even more quickly Soil erosion will increase and
food production will fail A Sahara type of climate could be possible in places such as England,
while other parts of the world would fare even worse. Such an increase in temperature would
also release one of the biggest stores of greenhouse gases on earth, methane hydrate, currently
contained at the bottom of the earths oceans and known to destabilize with warming. This gas
is eight times stronger than carbon dioxide in its greenhouse effect. As the documentary also
added, due to the sheer amounts that would be released, by this time, whatever we would try
to curb emissions, it would be too late.
This is not a prediction, the documentary said, it is a warning of what will happen if we clean
up the pollution while doing nothing about greenhouse gases.

ROOT CAUSES OF GLOBAL WARMING ALSO MUST BE ADDRESSED


If we were to use global dimming pollutants to stave off the effects of global warming, we
would still face many problems, such as:
Human health problems from the soot/smog Environmental problems such as acid rain
Ecological problems such as changes in rainfall patterns (as the Ethiopian famine example
above reminds us) which can kill millions, if not billions.
Climatologists are stressing that the roots of both global dimming causing pollutants and global
warming causing greenhouse gases have to be dealt with together and soon.
We may have to change our way of life, the documentary warned. While this has been a
message for over 20 years, as part of the climate change concerns, little has actually been done.
Rapidly, the documentary concluded, we are running out of time.

SEA LEVEL RISE


Sea levels around the world are rising. Current sea-level rise potentially impacts human
populations (e.g., those living in coastal regions and on islands) and the natural environment
(e.g., marine ecosystems). Between 1870 and 2004, global average sea levels rose 17 cm (6.7
in). From 1950 to 2009, measurements show an average annual rise in sea level of 1.7 0.3 mm
with satellite data showing a rise of 3.3 0.4 mm from 1993 to 2009,[6] a faster rate of increase
than originally estimated. It is unclear whether the increased rate reflects an increase in the
underlying long-term trend.
Two main factors contributed to observed sea level rise. The first is thermal expansion: as
ocean water warms, it expands.The second is from the contribution of land-based ice due to
increased melting. The major store of water on land is found in glaciers and ice sheets.
Sea level rise is one of several lines of evidence that support the view that the climate has
recently warmed. It is very likely that human-induced (anthropogenic) warming contributed to
the sea level rise observed in the latter half of the 20th century.

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Sea level rise is expected to continue for centuries. In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) projected that during the 21st century, sea level will rise another 18 to
59 cm (7.1 to 23 in), but these numbers do not include "uncertainties in climate-carbon cycle
feedbacks nor do they include the full effects of changes in ice sheet flow".[14] More recent
projections assessed by the US National Research Council (2010) suggest possible sea level rise
over the 21st century of between 56 and 200 cm (22 and 79 in).
On the timescale of centuries to millennia, the melting of ice sheets could result in even higher
sea level rise. Partial deglaciation of the Greenland ice sheet, and possibly the West Antarctic
ice sheet, could contribute 4 to 6 m (13 to 20 ft) or more to sea level rise.

OCEAN ACIDIFICATION
Ocean acidification is the name given to the ongoing decrease in the pH of the Earth's oceans,
caused by the uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. About 30
40% of the carbon dioxide released by humans into the atmosphere dissolves into the oceans,
rivers and lakes. To maintain chemical equilibrium, some of it reacts with the water to form
carbonic acid. Some of these extra carbonic acid molecules react with a water molecule to give
a bicarbonate ion and a hydronium ion, thus increasing the ocean's "acidity" (H+ ion
concentration). Between 1751 and 1994 surface ocean pH is estimated to have decreased from
approximately 8.25 to 8.14, representing an increase of almost 30% in H+ ion concentration in
the world's oceans.
This increasing acidity is thought to have a range of direct undesirable consequences such as
depressing metabolic rates in jumbo squid and depressing the immune responses of blue
mussels. (These chemical reactions also happen in the atmosphere, and as about 20% of
anthropogenic CO2 emissions are absorbed by the terrestrial biosphere, also in the ground soils
between absorbed CO2 and soil moisture. Thus anthropogenic CO2 emissions to the
atmosphere can increase the acidity of land, sea and air).
Other chemical reactions are also triggered which result in an actual net decrease in the
amount of carbonate ions available. In the oceans, this makes it more difficult for marine
calcifying organisms, such as coral and some plankton, to form biogenic calcium carbonate, and
existing such structures become vulnerable to dissolution. Thus, ongoing acidification of the
oceans also poses a threat to the food chains connected with the oceans.
Ocean acidification, which like global climate change is driven by increased levels of carbon
dioxide, has been regarded by climate scientists as the "equally evil twin" of global climate
change.

SHUTDOWN OF THERMOHALINE CIRCULATION


Shutdown or slowdown of the thermohaline circulation is a postulated effect of global
warming. There is some speculation that global warming could, via a shutdown or slowdown of
the thermohaline circulation, trigger localised cooling in the North Atlantic and lead to cooling,
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or lesser warming, in that region. This would particularly affect areas such as Ireland, Britain
and Nordic countries that are warmed by the North Atlantic drift. The chances of this occurring
are unclear; there is some evidence for the stability of the Gulf Stream but a possible
weakening of the North Atlantic drift[citation needed]; and there is evidence of warming in
northern Europe and nearby seas, rather than the reverse. In coupled Atmosphere-Ocean
General Circulation Models the THC tends to weaken somewhat rather than stop and the
warming effects outweigh the cooling, even over Europe.

URBAN HEAT ISLAND


An urban heat island (UHI) is a metropolitan area which is significantly warmer than its
surrounding rural areas. The phenomenon was first investigated and described by Luke Howard
in the 1810s, although he was not the one to name the phenomenon. The temperature
difference usually is larger at night than during the day, and is most apparent when winds are
weak. Seasonally, UHI is seen during both summer and winter. The main cause of the urban
heat island is modification of the land surface by urban development which uses materials
which effectively retain heat. Waste heat generated by energy usage is a secondary contributor.
As a population center grows, it tends to expand its area, and increase in its average
temperature. The less-used term heat island refers to any area, populated or not, which is
consistently hotter than the surrounding area.
Monthly rainfall is greater downwind of cities, partially due to the UHI. Increases in heat within
urban centers increases the length of growing seasons, and decreases the occurrence of weak
tornadoes. The UHI decreases air quality by increasing the production of pollutants such as
ozone, and decreases water quality as warmer waters flow into area streams, which stresses
their ecosystems.
Not all cities have a distinct urban heat island. Mitigation of the urban heat island effect can be
accomplished through the use of green roofs and the use of lighter-colored surfaces in urban
areas, which reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat.
Despite concerns raised about its possible contribution to global warming, comparisons
between urban and rural areas show that the urban heat island effects have little influence on
global mean temperature trends
Cause: There are several causes of an urban heat island (UHI). The principal reason for the
nighttime warming is that buildings block surface heat from radiating into the relatively cold
night sky. Two other reasons are changes in the thermal properties of surface materials and
lack of evapotranspiration (for example through lack of vegetation) in urban areas. Materials
commonly used in urban areas for pavement and roofs, such as concrete and asphalt, have
significantly different thermal bulk properties (including heat capacity and thermal
conductivity) and surface radiative properties (albedo and emissivity) than the surrounding
rural areas. This causes a change in the energy balance of the urban area, often leading to
higher temperatures than surrounding rural areas.

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Other causes of a UHI are due to geometric effects. The tall buildings within many urban areas
provide multiple surfaces for the reflection and absorption of sunlight, increasing the efficiency
with which urban areas are heated. This is called the "urban canyon effect". Another effect of
buildings is the blocking of wind, which also inhibits cooling by convection. Waste heat from
automobiles, air conditioning, industry, and other sources also contributes to the UHI. High
levels of pollution in urban areas can also increase the UHI, as many forms of pollution change
the radiative properties of the atmosphere.

POLLINATOR DECLINE
The term pollinator decline refers to the reduction in abundance of pollinators in many
ecosystems worldwide during the end of the twentieth century.
Pollinators participate in sexual reproduction of many plants, by ensuring cross-pollination,
essential for some species, or a major factor in ensuring genetic diversity for others. Since
plants are the primary food source for animals, the reduction of one of the primary pollination
agents, or even their possible disappearance, has raised concern, and the conservation of
pollinators has become part of biodiversity conservation efforts. The possible causes of the
decline is due to the

Excessive use of the pesticides.

Rapid transfer of parasites and diseases of pollinator species around the world

Loss of habitat and forage

Hive destruction

Light pollution- Increasing use of outside artificial lights, which interfere with the
navigational ability of many moth species, and is suspected of interference with migratory
birds may also impact pollination.

Threat by invasive honey bees

Air pollution

CORAL BLEACHING
Coral bleaching is the loss of intracellular endosymbionts (Symbiodinium, also known as
zooxanthellae) through either expulsion or loss of algal pigmentation. The corals that form the
structure of the great reef ecosystems of tropical seas depend upon a symbiotic relationship
with unicellular flagellate protozoa that are photosynthetic and live within their tissues.
Zooxanthellae give coral its coloration, with the specific color depending on the particular
clade. Under stress, corals may expel their zooxanthella, which leads to a lighter or completely
white appearance, hence the term "bleached".

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Coral bleaching is a generalized stress response of corals and can be caused by a number of
biotic and abiotic factors, including:

Increased (most commonly), or reduced water temperatures.


Starvation caused by a decline in zooplankton levels as a result of overfishing.
increased solar irradiance (photosynthetically active radiation and ultraviolet band light)
changes in water chemistry (in particular acidification)
increased sedimentation (due to silt runoff)
bacterial infections
changes in salinity
herbicides
low tide and exposure
cyanide fishing
elevated sea levels due to global warming (Watson)

POACHING
Poaching is the illegal taking of wild plants or animals; the law concerned may be e.g. the law of
property or local or international conservation and wildlife management laws. Violations of
hunting laws and regulations are normally punishable by law and, collectively, such violations
are known as poaching.
Traditional Chinese medicine often incorporates ingredients from all parts of plants, the leaf,
stem, flower, root, and also ingredients from animals and minerals. The use of parts of
endangered species (such as seahorses, rhinoceros horns, binturong and tiger bones and claws)
has created controversy and resulted in a black market of poachers who hunt restricted
animals. Deep-seated cultural beliefs in the potency of tiger parts are so prevalent across China
and other east Asian countries that laws protecting even critically endangered species such as
the Sumatran tiger fail to stop the display and sale of these items in open markets, according to
a 2008 report from TRAFFIC. Popular "medicinal" tiger parts from poached animals include tiger
genitals, culturally believed to improve virility, and tiger eyes.

IUCN RED LIST


IUCN Red List refers to a specific category of threatened species, and may include critically
endangered species. The IUCN Red List uses the term endangered species as a specific category
of imperilment, rather than as a general term. Under the IUCN Categories and Criteria,
endangered species is between critically endangered and vulnerable. Also critically endangered
species may also be counted as endangered species and fill all the criteria
The more general term used by the IUCN for species at risk of extinction is threatened species,
which also includes the less-at-risk category of vulnerable species together with endangered
and critically endangered.
IUCN categories, and some animals in those categories, include:
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Extinct: Examples: Atlas bear, Aurochs, Bali Tiger, Blackfin Cisco, Caribbean Monk Seal, Carolina
Parakeet, Caspian Tiger, Dinosaurs, Dodo, Dusky Seaside Sparrow, Elephant Bird, Golden Toad,
Great Auk, Haast's Eagle, Japanese Sea Lion, Javan Tiger, Labrador Duck, Moa, Passenger
Pigeon, Pterosaurs, Saber-toothed cat, Schomburgk's deer, Short-faced bear, Steller's Sea Cow,
Thylacine, Toolache Wallaby, Western Black Rhinoceros, Woolly Mammoth, Woolly Rhinoceros.
Extinct in the wild: captive individuals survive, but there is no free-living, natural population.
Examples: Barbary Lion (maybe extinct), Catarina Pupfish, Hawaiian Crow, Northern White
Rhinoceros, Scimitar Oryx, Socorro Dove, Wyoming Toad
Critically Endangered: It faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future.
Examples: Addax, African Wild Ass, Alabama Cavefish, Amur Leopard, Arakan Forest Turtle,
Asiatic Cheetah, Axolotl, Bactrian Camel, Brazilian Merganser, Brown Spider Monkey, California
Condor, Chinese Alligator, Chinese Giant Salamander, Gharial, Hawaiian Monk Seal, Iberian
Lynx, Island Fox, Javan Rhino, Kakapo, Leatherback Sea Turtle, Mediterranean Monk Seal,
Mexican Wolf, Mountain Gorilla, Philippine Eagle, Red Wolf, Saiga, Siamese Crocodile, Spix's
Macaw, Southern bluefin tuna, Sumatran Orangutan, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Vaquita, Yangtze
River Dolphin
Endangered: It faces a very high risk of extinction in the near future. Examples: African Penguin,
African Wild Dog, Asian Elephant, Asiatic Lion, Blue Whale, Bonobo, Bornean Orangutan,
Chimpanzees, Dhole, Ethiopian Wolf, Hispid Hare, Giant Otter, Giant Panda, Goliath Frog,
Gorillas, Green Sea Turtle, Grevy's Zebra, Hyacinth Macaw, Japanese Crane, Lear's Macaw,
Malayan Tapir, Markhor, Persian Leopard, Proboscis Monkey, Pygmy Hippopotamus, Redbreasted Goose, Rothschild Giraffe, Snow Leopard, Steller's Sea Lion, Scopas tang, Takhi, Tiger,
Vietnamese Pheasant, Volcano Rabbit, Wild Water Buffalo
Vulnerable: It faces a high risk of extinction in the medium-term. Examples: African Elephant,
American paddlefish, Clouded Leopard, Cheetah, Dugong, Far Eastern Curlew, Fossa, Galapagos
Tortoise, Gaur, Blue-eyed cockatoo, Golden Hamster, Whale Shark, Crowned Crane,
Hippopotamus, Humboldt Penguin, Indian Rhinoceros, Komodo Dragon, Lesser White-fronted
Goose, Lion, Mandrill, Maned Sloth, Mountain Zebra, Polar Bear, Red Panda, Sloth Bear, Takin,
Yak
Near threatened: It may be considered threatened in the near future. Examples: African Grey
Parrot, American Bison, starry blenny, Asian Golden Cat, Blue-billed Duck, Emperor Goose,
Emperor Penguin, Eurasian Curlew, Jaguar, Leopard, Magellanic Penguin, Maned Wolf,
Narwhal, Okapi, Solitary Eagle, Southern White Rhinoceros, Striped Hyena, Tiger Shark, White
Eared Pheasant
Least concern: There is no immediate threat to the survival of the species. Examples: American
Alligator, American Crow, Indian Peafowl, Baboon, Bald Eagle, Brown Bear, Brown Rat, Brownthroated sloth, Canada Goose, Cane Toad, Common Wood Pigeon, Cougar, Common Frog, Orca,
Giraffe, Grey Wolf, House Mouse,[5] Human, Palm cockatoo, cowfish, Mallard, Meerkat, Mute
Swan, Platypus, Red-billed Quelea, Red-tailed Hawk, Rock Pigeon, Scarlet Macaw, Southern
Elephant Seal, Milk shark, Red howler monkey.
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HYDRAULIC FRACTURING
Hydraulic fracturing is the propagation of fractures in a rock layer, by a pressurized fluid. Some
hydraulic fractures form naturallycertain veins or dikes are examplesand can create
conduits along which gas and petroleum from source rocks may migrate to reservoir rocks.
Induced hydraulic fracturing or hydro fracturing, commonly known as fracking, is a technique
used to release petroleum, natural gas (including shale gas, tight gas, and coal seam gas), or
other substances for extraction. This type of fracturing creates fractures from a wellbore drilled
into reservoir rock formations.
The first use of hydraulic fracturing was in 1947 but the modern fracturing technique, called
horizontal slick water fracturing, that made the extraction of shale gas economical was first
used in 1998 in the Barnett Shale in Texas. The energy from the injection of a highly pressurized
hydraulic fracturing fluid creates new channels in the rock, which can increase the extraction
rates and ultimate recovery of hydrocarbons.
Proponents of hydraulic fracturing point to the economic benefits from vast amounts of
formerly inaccessible hydrocarbons the process can extract. Opponents point to potential
environmental impacts, including contamination of ground water, risks to air quality, the
migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, surface contamination
from spills and flow back and the health effects of these. For these reasons hydraulic fracturing
has come under scrutiny internationally, with some countries suspending or even banning it.

GENETIC POLLUTION
Genetic pollution is a controversial term for uncontrolled gene flow into wild populations. This
gene flow is undesirable according to some environmentalists and conservationists, including
groups such as Greenpeace, TRAFFIC, and Gene Watch UK.
Contents
Some conservation biologists and conservationists have used genetic pollution for a number of
years as a term to describe gene flow (which they disapprove of) from a domestic, feral, nonnative or invasive species to a wild indigenous population.
The term is of late being associated with the gene flow from a genetically engineered (GE)
organism to a non GE organism, frequently by those disapproving of such gene flow.

GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOODS CONTROVERSY


The genetically modified foods controversy is a dispute over the relative advantages and
disadvantages of genetically modified food, genetically modified crops used to produce food
and other goods, and other uses of genetically modified organisms in food production. The
dispute involves consumers, biotechnology companies, governmental regulators, nongovernmental organizations and scientists. The key areas of controversy related to genetically
modified (GM) food are: risk of harm from GM food, whether GM food should be labeled, the
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role of government regulators, the effect of GM crops on the environment, and GM crops'
context as part of the industrial agriculture system.
There is broad scientific consensus that food on the market derived from GM crops poses no
greater risk than conventional food. No reports of ill effects have been documented in the
human population from GM food. Supporters of food derived from GMOs hold that food is as
safe as other foods and that label send a message to consumers that GM food is somehow
dangerous. They trust that regulators and the regulatory process are sufficiently objective and
rigorous, and that risks of contamination of the non-GM food supply and of the environment
can be managed. They trust that there is sufficient law and regulation to maintain competition
in the market for seeds, believe that GM technology is key to feeding a growing world
population, and view GM technology as a continuation of the manipulation of plants that
humans have conducted for millennia.
Advocacy groups such as Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund have concerns that risks of GM
food have not been adequately identified and managed, and have questioned the objectivity of
regulatory authorities. Opponents of food derived from GMOs are concerned about the safety
of the food itself and wish it banned, or at least labeled. They have concerns about the
objectivity of regulators and rigor of the regulatory process, about contamination of the nonGM food supply, about effects of GMOs on the environment, about industrial agriculture in
general, and about the consolidation of control of the food supply in companies that make and
sell GMOs, especially in the developing world. Some are concerned that GM technology
tampers too deeply with nature.

NUCLEAR FALLOUT
Nuclear fallout, or simply fallout, also known as Black Rain, is the residual radioactive material
propelled into the upper atmosphere following a nuclear blast or a nuclear reaction conducted
in an unshielded facility, so called because it "falls out" of the sky after the explosion and shock
wave have passed. It commonly refers to the radioactive dust and ash created when a nuclear
weapon explodes, but this dust can also be originated in a damaged nuclear plant.
This radioactive dust, consisting of material either directly vaporized by a nuclear blast or
charged by exposure, is a highly dangerous kind of radioactive contamination.
It can lead to the contamination [quantify] of aquifers or soil and devastate the affected
ecosystems years after the initial exposure.
A wide range of biological changes may follow the irradiation of animals. These vary from rapid
death following high doses of penetrating whole-body radiation, to essentially normal lives for a
variable period of time until the development of delayed radiation effects, in a portion of the
exposed population, following low dose exposures.

OIL SPILL CLEANUP METHOD


Methods for cleaning up include:
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Bioremediation: use of microorganisms or biological agents to break down or remove oil.

Bioremediation Accelerator: Oleophilic, hydrophobic chemical, containing no bacteria,


which chemically and physically bonds to both soluble and insoluble hydrocarbons. The
bioremediation accelerator acts as a herding agent in water and on the surface, floating
molecules to the surface of the water, including solubles such as phenols and BTEX, forming
gel-like agglomerations. Undetectable levels of hydrocarbons can be obtained in produced
water and manageable water columns. By over spraying sheen with bioremediation
accelerator, sheen is eliminated within minutes. Whether applied on land or on water, the
nutrient-rich emulsion creates a bloom of local, indigenous, pre-existing, hydrocarbonconsuming bacteria. Those specific bacteria break down the hydrocarbons into water and
carbon dioxide, with EPA tests showing 98% of alkanes biodegraded in 28 days; and
aromatics being biodegraded 200 times faster than in nature they also sometimes use the
hydrofireboom to clean the oil up by taking it away from most of the oil and burning it.

Controlled burning can effectively reduce the amount of oil in water, if done properly.

Dispersants can be used to dissipate oil slicks. A dispersant is either a non-surface active
polymer or a surface-active substance added to a suspension, usually a colloid, to improve
the separation of particles and to prevent settling or clumping. They may rapidly disperse
large amounts of certain oil types from the sea surface by transferring it into the water
column. They will cause the oil slick to break up and form water-soluble micelles that are
rapidly diluted. The oil is then effectively spread throughout a larger volume of water than
the surface from where the oil was dispersed. They can also delay the formation of
persistent oil-in-water emulsions. However, laboratory experiments showed that
dispersants increased toxic hydrocarbon levels in fish by a factor of up to 100 and may kill
fish eggs. Dispersed oil droplets infiltrate into deeper water and can lethally contaminate
coral. Recent research indicates that some dispersants are toxic to corals.

Watch and wait: in some cases, natural attenuation of oil may be most appropriate, due to
the invasive nature of facilitated methods of remediation, particularly in ecologically
sensitive areas such as wetlands.

Dredging: for oils dispersed with detergents and other oils denser than water.

Skimming: Requires calm waters

Solidifying: Solidifiers are composed of dry hydrophobic polymers that both adsorb and
absorb. They clean up oil spills by changing the physical state of spilled oil from liquid to a
semi-solid or a rubber-like material that floats on water. Solidifiers are insoluble in water,
therefore the removal of the solidified oil is easy and the oil will not leach out. Solidifiers
have been proven to be relatively non-toxic to aquatic and wild life and have been proven
to suppress harmful vapors commonly associated with hydrocarbons such as Benzene,
Xylene, Methyl Ethyl, Acetone and Naphtha. The reaction time for solidification of oil is
controlled by the surf area or size of the polymer as well as the viscosity of the oil. Some
solidifier product manufactures claim the solidified oil can be disposed of in landfills,

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recycled as an additive in asphalt or rubber products, or burned as a low ash fuel. A


solidifier called C.I.Agent (manufactured by C.I.Agent Solutions of Louisville, Kentucky) is
being used by BP in granular form, as well as in Marine and Sheen Booms at Dauphin Island
and Fort Morgan, Alabama, to aid in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill cleanup.

Vacuum and centrifuge: oil can be sucked up along with the water, and then a centrifuge
can be used to separate the oil from the water - allowing a tanker to be filled with near pure
oil. Usually, the water is returned to the sea, making the process more efficient, but
allowing small amounts of oil to go back as well. This issue has hampered the use of
centrifuges due to a United States regulation limiting the amount of oil in water returned to
the sea.

WHALING
Whaling is the hunting of whales primarily for meat and oil. Its earliest forms date to at least
3000 BC. Various coastal communities have long histories of sustenance whaling and harvesting
beached whales. Industrial whaling emerged with organised fleets in the 17th century;
competitive national whaling industries in the 18th and 19th centuries; and the introduction of
factory ships along with the concept of whale harvesting in the first half of the 20th century.
As technology increased and demand for the resources remained, catches far exceeded the
sustainable limit for whale stocks. In the late 1930s, more than 50,000 whales were killed
annually and by the middle of the century whale stocks were not being replenished. In 1986,
the International Whaling Commission (IWC) banned commercial whaling so that stocks might
recover.
While the moratorium has been successful in averting the extinction of whale species due to
overhunting, contemporary whaling is subject to intense debate. Pro-whaling countries, notably
Japan, wish to lift the ban on stocks that they claim have recovered sufficiently to sustain
limited hunting. Anti-whaling countries and environmental groups say whale species remain
vulnerable and that whaling is immoral, unsustainable, and should remain banned
permanently.

CHLOROFLUOROCARBON
A chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) is an organic compound that contains only carbon, chlorine,
hydrogen and fluorine, produced as a volatile derivative of methane and ethane. They are also
commonly known by the DuPont brand name Freon. The most common representative is
dichlorodifluoromethane (R-12 or Freon-12). Many CFCs have been widely used as refrigerants,
propellants (in aerosol applications), and solvents. The manufacture of such compounds has
been phased out (and replaced with products such as R-410A) by the Montreal Protocol
because they contribute to ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere.
Uses include refrigerants, blowing agents, propellants in medicinal applications, and degreasing
solvents.
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Billions of kilograms of chlorodifluoromethane are produced annually as a precursor to


tetrafluoroethylene, the monomer that is converted into Teflon
Freon is DuPont's brand name for CFCs, HCFCs and related compounds. Other commercial
names from around the world are Algofrene, Arcton, Asahiflon, Daiflon, Eskimo, FCC, Flon,
Flugene, Forane, Fridohna, Frigen, Frigedohn, Genetron, Isceon, Isotron, Kaiser, Kaltron,
Khladon, Ledon, Racon, and Ucon.
By 1987, in response to a dramatic seasonal depletion of the ozone layer over Antarctica,
diplomats in Montreal forged a treaty, the Montreal Protocol, which called for drastic
reductions in the production of CFCs. On March 2, 1989, 12 European Community nations
agreed to ban the production of all CFCs by the end of the century. In 1990, diplomats met in
London and voted to significantly strengthen the Montreal Protocol by calling for a complete
elimination of CFCs by the year 2000. By the year 2010 CFCs should have been completely
eliminated from developing countries as well.
The interim replacements for CFCs are hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which deplete
stratospheric ozone, but to a much lesser extent than CFCs. Ultimately, hydrofluorocarbons
(HFCs) will replace HCFCs. Unlike CFCs and HCFCs, HFCs have an ozone depletion potential
(ODP) of 0. (Although all three groups of halocarbons are powerful greenhouse gases).
On September 21, 2007, approximately 200 countries agreed to accelerate the elimination of
hydrochlorofluorocarbons entirely by 2020 in a United Nations-sponsored Montreal summit.
Developing nations were given until 2030. Many nations, such as the United States and China,
who had previously resisted such efforts, agreed with the accelerated phase out schedule;
however, presently China and Brazil are nations notable for their large and increasing
production of chlorofluorocarbons.

DDT
DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) is an organochlorine insecticide which is a white,
crystalline solid, tasteless, and almost odorless. Technical DDT has been formulated in almost
every conceivable form including solutions in xylene or petroleum distillates, emulsifiable
concentrates, water-wettable powders, granules, aerosols, smoke candles, and charges for
vaporisers and lotions.
First synthesized in 1874, DDT's insecticidal properties were not discovered until 1939, and it
was used with great success in the second half of World War II to control malaria and typhus
among civilians and troops. The Swiss chemist Paul Hermann Mller was awarded the Nobel
Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1948 "for his discovery of the high efficiency of DDT as a
contact poison against several arthropods." After the war, DDT was made available for use as
an agricultural insecticide, and soon its production and use skyrocketed.
In 1962, Silent Spring by American biologist Rachel Carson was published. The book catalogued
the environmental impacts of the indiscriminate spraying of DDT in the US and questioned the

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logic of releasing large amounts of chemicals into the environment without fully understanding
their effects on ecology or human health.
DDT is a persistent organic pollutant that is readily adsorbed to soils and sediments, which can
act both as sinks and as long-term sources of exposure contributing to terrestrial organisms.
Depending on conditions, its soil half life can range from 22 days to 30 years. Routes of loss and
degradation include runoff, volatilization, photolysis and aerobic and anaerobic biodegradation.
Due to hydrophobic properties, in aquatic ecosystems DDT and its metabolites are absorbed by
aquatic organisms and adsorbed on suspended particles, leaving little DDT dissolved in the
water itself. Its breakdown products and metabolites, DDE and DDD, are also highly persistent
and have similar chemical and physical properties. DDT and its breakdown products are
transported from warmer regions of the world to the Arctic by the phenomenon of global
distillation, where they then accumulate in the region's food web.
Because of its lipophilic properties, DDT has a high potential to bioaccumulate, especially in
predatory birds. DDT, DDE, and DDD magnify through the food chain, with apex predators such
as raptor birds concentrating more chemicals than other animals in the same environment.
They are very lipophilic and are stored mainly in body fat. DDT and DDE are very resistant to
metabolism; in humans, their half-lives are 6 and up to 10 years, respectively. In the United
States, these chemicals were detected in almost all human blood samples tested by the Centers
for Disease Control in 2005, though their levels have sharply declined since most uses were
banned in the US. Estimated dietary intake has also declined, although FDA food tests
commonly detect it
DDT is toxic to a wide range of living organisms, including marine animals such as crayfish,
daphnids, sea shrimp and many species of fish. It is less toxic to mammals, but may be
moderately toxic to some amphibian species, especially in the larval stage. DDT, through its
metabolite DDE, caused eggshell thinning and resulted in severe population declines
The Stockholm Convention, which took effect in 2004, outlawed several persistent organic
pollutants, and restricted DDT use to vector control. The Convention has been ratified by more
than 170 countries and is endorsed by most environmental groups. Recognizing that total
elimination in many malaria-prone countries is currently unfeasible because there are few
affordable or effective alternatives; public health use is exempt from the ban pending
acceptable alternatives. Malaria Foundation International states, "The outcome of the treaty is
arguably better than the status quo going into the negotiations...For the first time, there is now
an insecticide which is restricted to vector control only, meaning that the selection of resistant
mosquitoes will be slower than before."
Despite the worldwide ban, agricultural use continues in India, North Korea, and possibly
elsewhere.

E-WASTE

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Electronic waste, e-waste, e-scrap, or waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE)
describes discarded electrical or electronic devices. There is a lack of consensus as to whether
the term should apply to resale, reuse, and refurbishing industries, or only to product that
cannot be used for its intended purpose. Informal processing of electronic waste in developing
countries may cause serious health and pollution problems, though these countries are also
most likely to reuse and repair electronics.
All electronic scrap components, such as CRTs, may contain contaminants such as lead,
cadmium, beryllium, or brominated flame retardants. Even in developed countries recycling
and disposal of e-waste may involve significant risk to workers and communities and great care
must be taken to avoid unsafe exposure in recycling operations and leaching of material such as
heavy metals from landfills and incinerator ashes

HAZARDOUS

Americium: the radioactive source in smoke alarms. It is known to be carcinogenic.

Mercury: found in fluorescent tubes (numerous applications), tilt switches (mechanical


doorbells, thermostats), and flat screen monitors. Health effects include sensory
impairment, dermatitis, memory loss, and muscle weakness. Environmental effects in
animals include death, reduced fertility, slower growth and development.

Sulphur: found in lead-acid batteries. Health effects include liver damage, kidney damage,
heart damage, eye and throat irritation. When released in to the environment, it can create
sulphuric acid.

BFRs: Used as flame retardants in plastics in most electronics. Includes PBBs, PBDE,
DecaBDE, OctaBDE, PentaBDE. Health effects include impaired development of the nervous
system, thyroid problems, liver problems. Environmental effects: similar effects as in
animals as humans. PBBs were banned from 1973 to 1977 on. PCBs were banned during the
1980s.

Cadmium: Found in light-sensitive resistors, corrosion-resistant alloys for marine and


aviation environments, and nickel-cadmium batteries. The most common form of cadmium
is found in Nickel-cadmium rechargeable batteries. These batteries tend to contain between
6 and 18% cadmium. The sale of Nickel-Cadmium batteries has been banned in the
European Union except for medical use. When not properly recycled it can leach into the
soil, harming microorganisms and disrupting the soil ecosystem. Exposure is caused by
proximity to hazardous waste sites and factories and workers in the metal refining industry.
The inhalation of cadmium can cause severe damage to the lungs and is also known to
cause kidney damage.

Lead: solder, CRT monitor glass, lead-acid batteries, some formulations of PVC. A typical 15inch cathode ray tube may contain 1.5 pounds of lead, but other CRTs have been estimated
as having up to 8 pounds of lead.

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Beryllium oxide: filler in some thermal interface materials such as thermal grease used on
heatsinks for CPUs and power transistors, magnetrons, X-ray-transparent ceramic windows,
heat transfer fins in vacuum tubes, and gas lasers

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CHAPTER 7: IMPORTANT CONVENTION


COMMITTEE RELATED TO ENVIRONMENT

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AND

UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT


(UNCSD)
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), also known as Rio 2012,
Rio+20 or Earth Summit 2012 was the third international conference on sustainable
development aimed at reconciling the economic and environmental goals of the global
community. Hosted by Brazil in Rio de Janeiro from 13 to 22 June 2012, Rio+20 was a 20-year
follow-up to the 1992 Earth Summit / United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development (UNCED) held in the same city, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World
Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg.
The ten day mega-summit, which culminated in a three-day high-level UN conference, was
organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and included
participation from 192 UN member states including 57 Heads of State and 31 Heads of
Government, private sector companies, NGOs and other groups. The decision to hold the
conference was made by UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/64/236 on 24 December
2009. It was intended to be a high-level conference, including heads of state and government
or other representatives and resulting in a focused political document designed to shape global
environmental policy.

OBJECTIVES
The conference had three objectives:

Securing renewed political commitment for sustainable development


Assessing the progress and implementation gaps in meeting previous commitments.
Addressing new and emerging challenges.

OUTCOMES

The primary result of the conference was the nonbinding document, "The Future We
Want," a 49 page work paper. In it, the heads of state of the 192 governments in
attendance renewed their political commitment to sustainable development and declared
their commitment to the promotion of a sustainable future. The document largely reaffirms
previous action plans like Agenda 21.
Some important outcomes include the following:

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The text includes language supporting the development of Sustainable Development Goals
(SDGs), a set of measurable targets aimed at promoting sustainable development globally. It
is thought that the SDGs will pick up where the Millenium Development Goals leave off and
address criticism that the original Goals fail to address the role of the environment in
development.

The attempt to shore up the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in order to make it the
leading global environmental authority by setting forth eight key recommendations
including, strengthening its governance through universal membership, increasing its
financial resources and strengthening its engagement in key UN coordination bodies.

Nations agreed to explore alternatives to GDP as a measure of wealth that take


environmental and social factors into account in an effort to assess and pay for
environmental services provided by nature, such as carbon sequestration and habitat
protection.

Recognition that "fundamental changes in the way societies consume and produce are
indispensable for achieving global sustainable development. EU officials suggest it could
lead to a shift of taxes so workers pay less and polluters and landfill operators pay more.

The document calls the need to return ocean stocks to sustainable levels urgent and calls
on countries to develop and implement science based management plans.

All nations reaffirmed commitments to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.

Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with
regard to sustainable development. It is a product of the UN Conference on Environment and
Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. It is an action agenda for the UN,
other multilateral organizations, and individual governments around the world that can be
executed at local, national, and global levels. The "21" in Agenda 21 refers to the 21st century.
It has been affirmed and modified at subsequent UN conferences.

BASEL CONVENTION
The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and
Their Disposal, usually known simply as the Basel Convention, is an international treaty that was
designed to reduce the movements of hazardous waste between nations, and specifically to
prevent transfer of hazardous waste from developed to less developed countries (LDCs). It does
not, however, address the movement of radioactive waste. The Convention is also intended to
minimize the amount and toxicity of wastes generated, to ensure their environmentally sound
management as closely as possible to the source of generation, and to assist LDCs in
environmentally sound management of the hazardous and other wastes they generate.
The Convention was opened for signature on 22 March 1989, and entered into force on 5 May
1992.

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THE ROTTERDAM CONVENTION


The Rotterdam Convention on the Prior Informed Consent Procedure for Certain Hazardous
Chemicals and Pesticides in International Trade, more commonly known simply as the
Rotterdam Convention, is a multilateral treaty to promote shared responsibilities in relation to
importation of hazardous chemicals. The convention promotes open exchange of information
and calls on exporters of hazardous chemicals to use proper labeling, include directions on safe
handling, and inform purchasers of any known restrictions or bans. Signatory nations can
decide whether to allow or ban the importation of chemicals listed in the treaty, and exporting
countries are obliged make sure that producers within their jurisdiction comply.

STOCKHOLM CONVENTION
Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants is an international environmental
treaty, signed in 2001 and effective from May 2004, that aims to eliminate or restrict the
production and use of persistent organic pollutants.

THE CARTAGENA PROTOCOL


The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety is an international agreement on biosafety, as a
supplement to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The Biosafety Protocol seeks to protect
biological diversity from the potential risks posed by genetically modified organisms resulting
from modern biotechnology.
The Biosafety Protocol makes clear that products from new technologies must be based on the
precautionary principle and allow developing nations to balance public health against economic
benefits. It will for example let countries ban imports of a genetically modified organisms if they
feel there is not enough scientific evidence that the product is safe and requires exporters to
label shipments containing genetically altered commodities such as corn or cotton.

THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY (CBD)


It is known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, is an international legally binding treaty.
The Convention has three main goals:

conservation of biological diversity (or biodiversity);


sustainable use of its components; and
fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources

In other words, its objective is to develop national strategies for the conservation and
sustainable use of biological diversity. It is often seen as the key document regarding
sustainable development.
The Convention was opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1992
and entered into force on 29 December 1993.
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2010 was the International Year of Biodiversity. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological
Diversity is the focal point for the International Year of Biodiversity. At the 2010 10th
Conference of Parties (COP) to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October in Nagoya,
Japan, the Nagoya Protocol was adopted. On 22 December 2010, the UN declared the period
from 2011 to 2020 as the UN-Decade on Biodiversity. They, hence, followed a recommendation
of the CBD signatories during COP10 at Nagoya in October 2010.
Nagoya Protocol
The Nagoya Protocol on Access & Benefit Sharing (ABS)was adopted on 29 October 2010 in
Nagoya, Japan and will enter into force 90 days after the fiftieth instrument of ratification. Its
objective is the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of genetic
resources, thereby contributing to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
Objectives
The Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of
Benefits Arising from their Utilization (ABS) to the Convention on Biological Diversity is a
supplementary agreement to the Convention on Biological Diversity. It provides a transparent
legal framework for the effective implementation of one of the three objectives of the CBD: the
fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.

BONN CONVENTION
The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (also known as CMS
or the Bonn Convention, not to be confused with the Bonn Agreement) aims to conserve
terrestrial, marine and avian migratory species throughout their range. It is an
intergovernmental treaty, concluded under the aegis of the United Nations Environment
Programme, concerned with the conservation of wildlife and habitats on a global scale. Since
the Convention's entry into force, its membership has grown steadily to include over 100
Parties from Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Europe and Oceania. The Convention was
signed in 1979 in Bonn (hence the name) and entered into force in 1983.

WASHINGTON CONVENTION
CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora),
also known as the Washington Convention) is a multilateral treaty, drafted as a result of a
resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the International Union for
Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The convention was opened for signature in 1973, and CITES
entered into force on 1 July 1975. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of
wild animals and plants does not threaten the survival of the species in the wild, and it accords
varying degrees of protection to more than 34,000 species of animals and plants. In order to
ensure that the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) was not violated, the
Secretariat of GATT was consulted during the drafting process.

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THE RAMSAR CONVENTION


The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat is an
international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands, i.e., to stem
the progressive encroachment on and loss of wetlands now and in the future, recognizing the
fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and
recreational value. It is named after the town of Ramsar in Iran. The Ramsar List of Wetlands of
International Importance now includes 2,065 sites

THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION


Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa is a
Convention to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought through national
action programs that incorporate long-term strategies supported by international cooperation
and partnership arrangements.
The Convention, the only convention stemming from a direct recommendation of the Rio
Conference's Agenda 21, was adopted in Paris on 17 June 1994 and entered into force in
December 1996. It is the first and only internationally legally binding framework set up to
address the problem of desertification. The Convention is based on the principles of
participation, partnership and decentralization - the backbone of Good Governance and
Sustainable Development. It now has 194 country Parties to the Convention, making it truly
global in reach.
To help publicise the Convention, 2006 was declared "International Year of Deserts and
Desertification" but debates have ensued regarding how effective the International Year was in
practice.

THE INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE REGULATION OF WHALING


It is an international environmental agreement signed in 1946 in order to "provide for the
proper conservation of whale stocks and thus make possible the orderly development of the
whaling industry". It governs the commercial, scientific, and aboriginal subsistence whaling
practices of fifty-nine member nations.
It was signed by 15 nations in Washington, D.C. on December 2, 1946 and took effect on
November 10, 1948. Its protocol (which represented the first substantial revision of the
convention and extended the definition of a "whale-catcher" to include helicopters as well as
ships) was signed in Washington on November 19, 1956. The convention is a successor to the
International Agreement for the Regulation of Whaling, signed in London on June 8, 1937, and
the protocols for that agreement signed in London on June 24, 1938, and November 26, 1945.
The objectives of the agreement are the protection of all whale species from overhunting, the
establishment of a system of international regulation for the whale fisheries to ensure proper
conservation and development of whale stocks, and safeguarding for future generations the

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great natural resources represented by whale stocks. The primary instrument for the realization
of these aims is the International Whaling Commission which was established pursuant to this
convention. The commission has made many revisions to the schedule that makes up the bulk
of the convention. The Commission process has also reserved for governments the right to
carry out scientific research which involves killing of whales.

THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL


On Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (a protocol to the Vienna Convention for the
Protection of the Ozone Layer) is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by
phasing out the production of numerous substances believed to be responsible for ozone
depletion. The treaty was opened for signature on September 16, 1987, and entered into force
on January 1, 1989, followed by a first meeting in Helsinki, May 1989. Since then, it has
undergone seven revisions, in 1990 (London), 1991 (Nairobi), 1992 (Copenhagen), 1993
(Bangkok), 1995 (Vienna), 1997 (Montreal), and 1999 (Beijing). It is believed that if the
international agreement is adhered to, the ozone layer is expected to recover by 2050.[1] Due
to its widespread adoption and implementation it has been hailed as an example of exceptional
international co-operation, with Kofi Annan quoted as saying that "perhaps the single most
successful international agreement to date has been the Montreal Protocol".[2] The two ozone
treaties have been ratified by 197 states and the European Union[3] making them the most
widely ratified treaties in United Nations history.

THE VIENNA CONVENTION


It is for the Protection of the Ozone Layer is a Multilateral Environmental Agreement. It was
agreed upon at the Vienna Conference of 1985 and entered into force in 1988. It has been
ratified by 196 states (all United Nations members as well as the Holy See, Niue and the Cook
Islands) as well as the European Union.
It acts as a framework for the international efforts to protect the ozone layer. However, it does
not include legally binding reduction goals for the use of CFCs, the main chemical agents
causing ozone depletion. These are laid out in the accompanying Montreal Protocol.

UNITED NATIONS FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE


The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC or FCCC) is an
international environmental treaty negotiated at the United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development (UNCED), informally known as the Earth Summit, held in Rio de
Janeiro from June 3 to 14, 1992. The objective of the treaty is to "stabilize greenhouse gas
concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic
interference with the climate system."
The treaty itself set no binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries and
contains no enforcement mechanisms. In that sense, the treaty is considered legally non-

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binding. Instead, the treaty provides a framework for negotiating specific international treaties
(called "protocols") that may set binding limits on greenhouse gases.
The UNFCCC was opened for signature on May 9, 1992, after an Intergovernmental Negotiating
Committee produced the text of the Framework Convention as a report following its meeting in
New York from April 30 to May 9, 1992. It entered into force on March 21, 1994. As of May
2011, UNFCCC has 194 parties.
The parties to the convention have met annually from 1995 in Conferences of the Parties (COP)
to assess progress in dealing with climate change. In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was concluded
and established legally binding obligations for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse
gas emissions.[2] The 2010 Cancn agreements state that future global warming should be
limited to below 2.0 C (3.6 F) relative to the pre-industrial level.
Parties to UNFCCC are classified as
Annex I countries: industrialized countries and economies in transition
Annex II countries: developed countries which pay for costs of developing countries
Non Annex I countries: Developing countries.
Annex I countries which have ratified the Protocol have committed to reduce their emission
levels of greenhouse gasses to targets that are mainly set below their 1990 levels. They may do
this by allocating reduced annual allowances to the major operators within their borders. These
operators can only exceed their allocations if they buy emission allowances, or offset their
excesses through a mechanism that is agreed by all the parties to UNFCCC.
Annex II countries are a sub-group of the Annex I countries. They comprise the OECD members,
excluding those that were economies in transition in 1992.
Developing countries are not required to reduce emission levels unless developed countries
supply enough funding and technology. Setting no immediate restrictions under UNFCCC serves
three purposes:
it avoids restrictions on their development, because emissions are strongly linked to industrial
capacity they can sell emissions credits to nations whose operators have difficulty meeting their
emissions targets they get money and technologies for low-carbon investments from Annex II
countries.
Developing countries may volunteer to become Annex I countries when they are sufficiently
developed.
There are 41 Annex I countries and the European Union is also a member.
There are 24 Annex II countries and the European Union. Turkey was removed from the Annex
II list in 2001 at its request to recognize its economy as a transition economy. These countries
are classified as developed countries which pay for costs of developing countries:
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CONFERENCES OF THE PARTIES


1995: COP 1, The Berlin Mandate
The first UNFCCC Conference of Parties took place in 28 March - 7 April 1995 in Berlin,
Germany. It voiced concerns about the adequacy of countries' abilities to meet commitments
under the Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) and the Subsidiary Body for
Implementation (SBI).
1996: COP 2 took place in July 1996 in Geneva, Switzerland. Its Ministerial Declaration was
noted (but not adopted) July 18, 1996, and reflected a U.S. position statement presented by
Timothy Wirth, former Under Secretary for Global Affairs for the U.S. State Department at that
meeting, which:
Accepted the scientific findings on climate change proffered by the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) in its second assessment (1995); Rejected uniform "harmonized policies"
in favor of flexibility; Called for "legally binding mid-term targets".
1997: COP 3 took place in December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. After intensive negotiations, it
adopted the Kyoto Protocol, which outlined the greenhouse gas emissions reduction obligation
for Annex I countries, along with what came to be known as Kyoto mechanisms such as
emissions trading, clean development mechanism and joint implementation. Most
industrialized countries and some central European economies in transition (all defined as
Annex B countries) agreed to legally binding reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of an
average of 6 to 8% below 1990 levels between the years 20082012, defined as the first
emissions budget period. The United States would be required to reduce its total emissions an
average of 7% below 1990 levels; however Congress did not ratify the treaty after Clinton
signed it. The Bush administration explicitly rejected the protocol in 2001.
1998: COP 4 took place in November 1998 in Buenos Aires. It had been expected that the
remaining issues unresolved in Kyoto would be finalized at this meeting. However, the
complexity and difficulty of finding agreement on these issues proved insurmountable, and
instead the parties adopted a 2-year "Plan of Action" to advance efforts and to devise
mechanisms for implementing the Kyoto Protocol, to be completed by 2000. During COP4,
Argentina and Kazakhstan expressed their commitment to take on the greenhouse gas
emissions reduction obligation, the first two non-Annex countries to do so.
1999: COP 5 took place between October 25 and November 5, 1999, in Bonn, Germany.
2000: COP 6, The Hague, Netherlands
2001: COP 6, Bonn, Germany (resumed from Hague).
The agreements included:

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Flexible Mechanisms: The "flexibility" mechanisms which the United States had strongly
favored when the Protocol was initially put together, including emissions trading; Joint
Implementation (JI); and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) which allow industrialized
countries to fund emissions reduction activities in developing countries as an alternative to
domestic emission reductions.
2001: COP 7, Marrakech, Morocco
2002: COP 8, New Delhi, India. COP 8 adopted the Delhi Ministerial Declaration that, amongst
others, called for efforts by developed countries to transfer technology and minimize the
impact of climate change on developing countries.
2003: COP 9, Milan, Italy
2004: COP 10, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2005: COP 11/MOP 1, Montreal, Canada.
It was the first Meeting of the Parties (MOP-1) to the Kyoto Protocol since their initial meeting
in Kyoto in 1997. It was therefore one of the largest intergovernmental conferences on climate
change ever. The event marked the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol.
2006: COP 12/MOP 2, Nairobi, Kenya
2007: COP 13/MOP 3, Bali, Indonesia
Agreement on a timeline and structured negotiation on the post-2012 framework (the end of
the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol) was achieved with the adoption of the Bali
Action Plan.
2008: COP 14/MOP 4, Poznao, Poland
2010: COP 16/MOP 6, Cancn, Mexico
The outcome of the summit was an agreement adopted by the states' parties that called for the
100 billion USD per annum "Green Climate Fund", and a "Climate Technology Centre" and
network. However the funding of the Green Climate Fund was not agreed upon.
2011: COP 17/MOP 7, Durban, South Africa
The conference agreed to a legally binding deal comprising all countries, which will be prepared
by 2015, and to take effect in 2020. There was also progress regarding the creation of a Green
Climate Fund (GCF) for which a management framework was adopted. The fund is to distribute
US$100 billion per year to help poor countries adapt to climate impacts
2012: COP 18/MOP 8, Doha, Qatar

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The Conference produced a package of documents collectively titled The Doha Climate
Gateway over objections from Russia and other countries at the session. The documents
collectively contained:
An eight year extension of the Kyoto Protocol until 2020 limited in scope to only 15% of the
global carbon dioxide emissions due to the lack of participation of Canada, Japan, Russia,
Belarus, Ukraine, New Zealand nor the United States and due to the fact that developing
countries like China (the world's largest emitter), India and Brazil are not subject to any
emissions reductions under the Kyoto Protocol. Language on loss and damage, formalized for
the first time in the conference documents.
The conference made little progress towards the funding of the Green Climate Fund.
Russia, Belarus and Ukraine objected at the end of the session, as they have a right to under the
session's rules. In closing the conference, the President said that he would note these
objections in his final report.

SUBSIDIARY BODIES TO THE UNFCCC


A subsidiary body is a committee that assists the Conference of the Parties. Subsidiary bodies
include:
Permanent

The Subsidiary Board of Implementation (SBI) makes recommendations on policy and


implementation issues to the COP and, if requested, to other bodies.

The Subsidiary Board of Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) serves as a link between
information and assessments provided by expert sources (such as the IPCC) and the COP,
which focuses on setting policy.

Temporary

AWG-LCA (Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention)

AWG-KP (Ad Hoc Working Group on Kyoto Protocol)

The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
sets binding obligations on industrialised countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
The UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty with the goal of achieving the
"stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent
dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system."
The Protocol was adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, and entered into force on 16
February 2005. As of September 2011, 191 states have signed and ratified the protocol. The
United States signed but did not ratify the Protocol and Canada withdrew from it in 2011. Other

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United Nations member states which did not ratify the protocol are Afghanistan, Andorra and
South Sudan.
Under the Protocol, 37 industrialized countries and the then European Community (the
European Union-15, made up of 15 states at the time of the Kyoto negotiations) ("Annex I
Parties") commit themselves to limit or reduce their emissions of four greenhouse gases (GHG)
(carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride) and two groups of gases
(hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons). All member countries give general commitments.
At negotiations, Annex I countries collectively agreed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions
by 5.2% on average for the period 2008-2012, relative to their annual emissions in a base year,
usually 1990. Since the US has not ratified the treaty, the collective emissions reduction of
Annex I Kyoto countries falls from 5.2% to 4.2% below base year.
Emission limits do not include emissions by international aviation and shipping.
The Protocol allows for several "flexible mechanisms", such as emissions trading(ET), the clean
development mechanism (CDM) and joint implementation (JI) to allow Annex I countries to
meet their GHG emission limitations by purchasing GHG emission reductions credits from
elsewhere
The CDM and JI are called "project-based mechanisms," in that they generate emission
reductions from projects. The difference between ET and the project-based mechanisms is that
ET is based on the setting of a quantitative restriction of emissions, while the CDM and JI are
based on the idea of "production" of emission reductions. The CDM is designed to encourage
production of emission reductions in non-Annex I Parties, while JI encourages production of
emission reductions in Annex I Parties.
The production of emission reductions generated by the CDM and JI can be used by Annex I
Parties in meeting their emission limitation commitments. The emission reductions produced
by the CDM and JI are both measured against a hypothetical baseline of emissions that would
have occurred in the absence of a particular emission reduction project. The emission
reductions produced by the CDM are called Certified Emission Reductions (CERs); reductions
produced by JI are called Emission Reduction Units (ERUs). The reductions are called "credits"
because they are emission reductions credited against a hypothetical baseline of emissions.

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CHAPTER 8: INTIATIVE TAKEN BY INDIA IN THE


FIELD OF ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE.
NATIONAL ACTION PLAN ON CLIMATE CHANGE (NAPCC)
The National Action plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) was released on 30th June, 2008 to state
Indias contribution towards combating climate change. The plan outlines Eight National
Missions running through 2017.
The Eight Missions of NAPCC

National Solar Mission


National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency
National Mission on Sustainable Habitats
National Water Mission
National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem
National Mission for a Green India
National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture
National Mission on Strategic Knowledge on Climate Change

A Ninth Mission - Government to Prepare a National Bio-energy Mission. The mission, to


be launched during the 12th Five-Year Plan, will offer a policy and regulatory environment
to facilitate large-scale capital investments in biomass-fired power stations, Minister of New
and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah said. It will also encourage development of rural
enterprises.

NATIONAL RIVER CONSERVATION PLAN


The Ganga Action Plan (GAP) Phase - I which was taken up as 100% Centrally funded scheme
and aimed at preventing the pollution of river Ganga and to improve its water quality. The plan
was started in June 1985. The program of river cleaning was extended to other major rivers of
the country under two separate schemes of GAP Phase - II and the National River Conservation
Plan (NRCP). Yamuna and Gomati Action Plans were approved in April 1993 under Ganga Action
Plan Phase - II. Programs of other major rivers were subsequently approved in 1995 under
NRCP. After launching of NRCP in 1995, it was decided to merge GAP II with NRCP.

NATIONAL GANGA RIVER BASIN AUTHORITY (NGRBA)


Building on lessons from the past, the Government of India (GoI) has developed a new and
more comprehensive vision for clean-up and conservation of the Ganga, led by the
establishment of the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) in 2009. The NGRBA has
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been given a mandate to develop a multi-sector program (the NGRBA Program) for ensuring
pollution abatement in the Ganga.
The NGRBA has been established as a collaborative institution of central and state
governments. It is chaired by the Prime Minister, with membership comprising of key GoI
ministers and the Chief Ministers of the five basin states. NGRBA also has nine members
representing civil society. Each of the five states has also constituted a State Ganga River
Conservation Authority (SGRCA), to coordinate and implement the NGRBA Program at the state
level. The central Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has been designated as the nodal
agency for the program. The NGRBA is constituted under the Environment Protection Act of
1986, which gives it strong regulatory and enforcement powers.
Initially, the NGRBA programme will set up the NGRBAs operational-level institutions, address
the critical knowledge needs, design the investments program and implement the obvious
priority investments. The programme will address multiple sources of pollution, including
wastewater, solid waste and non-point sources. It would also seek to maintain adequate instream flows and other measures for ecological restoration of the river.
The costs of the NGRBA Program will be shared in 70:30 ratio between the central and state
governments. In that regard, the program follows the model of centrally sponsored schemes,
whereby the central government gives grants to states for achieving specific objectives, while
requiring the states to share some of the costs.
The World Bank intends to support the NGRBA initiative in the long term through provision of
substantial financing, knowledge support, and assistance in building a consortium of financiers.

NATIONAL GREEN TRIBUNAL (NGT)


The National Green Tribunal has been established on 18.10.2010 under the National Green
Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental
protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of
any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to
persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. It is a
specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes
involving multi-disciplinary issues. The Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down
under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice.
The Tribunal's dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters shall provide speedy
environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts. The
Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally
within 6 months of filing of the same. Initially, the NGT is proposed to be set up at five places of
sittings and will follow circuit procedure for making itself more accessible. New Delhi is the
Principal Place of Sitting of the Tribunal and Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai shall be the
other 4 place of sitting of the Tribunal.

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(Apart from it there are many Legislation and Rules & Regulation formulated by GoI in order to
protect our environment And Wildlife.)

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CHAPTER 9: CURRENT AFFAIRS ON ENVIRONMENT


AND ECOLOGY
THE CENTRAL ZOO AUTHORITY OF INDIA APPROVED EXCHANGING
WHITE TIGRESS AGAINST PUMA PAIR FROM RUSSIA
The Central Zoo Authority of India approved exchanging white tigress from the Delhi Zoo
against a pair of puma, which is also called cougar, panther or mountain lion, from the
Krasnoyarks Park of flora and fauna, Roev Ruchey in Russia. This pair of puma would arrive soon
from Russia. This pair would be among other foreign species such as South American jaguars as
well as grey kangaroos which are nestled at National Zoological Park, New Delhi.
The puma weighs approximately 60-100 kg. This is the threatened species and the geographic
range of puma is largest than any terrestrial mammal in western hemisphere.
The approval was finalised between India and Russia during 3rd meeting of sub-group on
leopard/tiger conservation held in Moscow back in September 2012. As per the agreement,
India would provide 1-2 years old white Royal Bengal tigress from the Delhi zoo to the Russian
Krasnoyarks Park.
In the past, pair of grey kangaroos from Australia, a pair of jaguars from South America as well
as three African antelopes were introduced in zoo.

AMERICAN SCIENTIST SUGGESTED THAT REFREEZING ARCTIC COULD


HELP DEAL WITH CLIMATE CRISIS
An American scientist David Keith, who is the professor of applied physics at Harvard University
offered solution to global warming when he suggested that refreezing Arctic using certain
modified jets could help in dealing with the climate crisis.
The scientist used climate models for suggesting that by injecting the reflective particles in
atmosphere, there could be a reduced amount of sunlight which reached the Earth. This in turn
could help in tricking the regional effect which might bring back ice to Arctic.
He claimed that penetration of sunlight could be reduced by merely 0.5 percent for restoring
the sea-ice surrounding North Pole. The research conducted by the scientist suggested that this
entire operation was possible to accomplish with certain modified Gulfstream jets which could
cost approximately 8 billion dollar annually.
It is important to note that overall amount of the ice in Arctic Ocean had reached all-time
lowest in September 2012. However, while this scientist believed that action should definitely

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be taken for dealing with the pollution that was discharged in the atmosphere, he still doesnt
advocate action which his study suggested.

MOU SIGNED BETWEEN MYSORE ZOO AND LEIPZIG ZOO IN GERMANY


FOR TRANSPORTING FOUR SLOTH BEARS
Zoo authorities of the Mysore Zoo and Leipzig zoo in Germany signed a MoU on 1 December
2012 according to which four sloth bears will be transported to the zoo in Germany. Leipzig zoo
in Germany is well known for its management of vulnerable nocturnal mammal. In return to
transportation of these sloth bears, India will get access to expertise as well as knowledge of
handling these bears. This is actually the primary feature of MoU which is signed between the
zoos of two countries.

NEWLY DISCOVERED COLOURFUL SPECIES OF FISH NAMED AFTER US


PRESIDENT OBAMA
A recently discovered colourful, freshwater species of fish known as Darters, was named after
the re-elected US President Barack Obama in the first week of December 2012. The species of
fish was named so because of Obamas global vision towards environment conservation as well
as protection.
Five new colourful, freshwater fish species was discovered in the eastern North America in river
drainages and they were named after 4 US presidents and vice-president. This species of fish
has bright blue and orange colours. Darters are known as the tiniest members belonging to the
family of perch. They have the ability to move under, into or around the rocks as well as
sediments on beds of fast-moving and clean waterways.

ARCTIC SEA ICE MELTING AREA LARGER THAN THE AREA OF US


UN weather agency claimed that the area of Arctic Sea ice, which even huger than the US had
melted in 2012. It demonstrated that climate change was very evident. The report by UN
weather agency was released at the UN climate talks which are taking place in Doha, Qatar at
present. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) claimed that this Arctic sea ice melting was
extreme and record-breaking which had hit the Earth in 2012.
The instances of climate change were very much evident this year because droughts ruined
almost 2/3rd of United States and western Russia as well as southern Europe. On the other
hand, floods swamped West Africa. Heat waves were leaving Northern Hemisphere scorching.
However, what dominated over everything was that the ice cover was reaching record lowest,
especially in North Pole from March to September. The area of ice melt was 11.83 million
square kilometers, which is even larger than the area of US.
WMO has the concern that the rate at which ice is melting is alarming and the changes are
evident in turn on the oceans and biosphere of Earth. The reason why this is happening is

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because of the increasing concentration of greenhouse gases in atmosphere, which is reaching


record high.
There is an attempt to ensure that temperature does not rise over 2C in the preindustrial
times. As of now, the temperatures have risen around 0.8C.

OCEAN ACIDIFICATION DISSOLVING SHELLS OF SEA CREATURES


CAUSING DISASTER IN FOOD CHAIN
A new research in the fourth week of November 2012 found that the sea snails shells are
dissolved due to global warming, which is leaving them defenceless against their predators. The
research found that the waters around Antarctica have become acidic because of the rising
carbon dioxide levels. The rising carbon dioxide levels were corroding protective layer or shells
of the swimming snails.
This situation was even worse in Polar Regions since the gas becomes soluble in the cold water.
Scientists predicted that average acidity of these oceans will be triple all over the world and this
will be the first time in around 20 million years.
In the research, scientists checked the shells which were collected from molluscs from Southern
Ocean surface, with the help of microscope. They found that the ones from acidic regions had
their shells dissolved across the whole length. What caused this was the fact that deep water
which was already rich in carbon dioxide was mixed with the surface that was affected by the
greenhouse gas.
British Antarctic Survey revealed that the effect of ocean acidification was happening in the
oceanic populace already. Decline in the pteropod populations might occur much sooner than
the projected date in Southern Ocean surface waters. Destruction of this crucial group of
mollusks called pteropods could lead to disaster in the food chain.

TONGARIRO VOLCANO ERUPTED IN THE NORTH ISLAND REGION OF


NEW ZEALAND
The Tongariro Volcano in Mount Tongariro at Tongariro National Park, New Zealand erupted on
21 November 2012. This volcano left behind massive plume of ash billows up to 3 kilometers in
the skies of Tongariro National Park in the North Island of New Zealand.
The volcano erupted with a grumble at 1:25 pm about 300 kilometers away from Wellington
City of New Zealand. The volcano was used as the backdrop in many scenes and sequences of
the Hollywood movie, Lord of the Rings film Trilogy.
Mount Tongariro Volcano, located in Tongariro National Park of the Taupo Volcanic Zone of the
North Island of New Zealand is a compound volcano. Located in the south western part of Lake
Taupo, the volcano is the northernmost volcano of the three active volcanoes of the central

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North Island region. This Volcano consists of 12 cones and has erupted more than 70 times
since 1839.
The Tongariro National Park is a dual World Heritage site and first park to win the recognition of
National Park in New Zealand, because of its natural beauty, peaks like peaks of Ngauruhoe and
Ruapehu.

GREENHOUSE GASES LEVEL REACHED RECORD HIGH IN 2011: WMO


SURVEY REVEALED
World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on 20 November 2012 in the annual Greenhouse
Gas Bulletin revealed that the atmospheric volume of the greenhouse gases, which are often
blamed for the change in atmosphere, had hit the record in 2011.
The volume of the main greenhouse gas- carbon dioxide grew at almost identical rate in
previous 10 years and it touched 390.9 parts per million (ppm) or 40 percent above the preindustrial level, as per the survey.
There had been an increase on an average by 2 ppm for last decade. Since the beginning of the
industrial era from 1750, the fossil fuels had remained the main source of around 375 billion
tonnes carbon which was released in atmosphere.
According to the secretary of WMO- General Michel Jarraud, around a billion tonnes of extra
carbon dioxide would be there in the environment for centuries causing warming of planet
even more. The oceans are already becoming acidic because of uptake of carbon dioxide and
the repercussions are being faced by coral reefs and underwater food chains.
In past three years, the level of methane has also increased rapidly after leveling off for around
7 years. The third greenhouse gas- nitrous oxide had its volume increased in 2011. Nitrous
Oxide has a long-term climatic impact which is 298 times larger than carbon dioxide.

GREENLAND CONTINUOUSLY LOST 200 MILLION TONNES ICE EVERY


YEAR SINCE 2003
Scientists at the University of California (UCI) in the third week of November 2012 confirmed
that Greenland was losing 200 million tonnes ice every year ever since 2003 and this in turn will
have a huge impact on the sea levels.
According to the latest analysis, scientists who study the changing mass of this island with the
help of satellite data, support the trends which were reported initially without including the
record-breaking melting of ice of previous two summers.
According to the researcher Isabella Velicogna of UCI, Greenland is one place where ice melting
is taking place rapidly and this in turn is contributing to the rising sea levels. Velicogna analyses
the data which is being used in the recent studies from the GRACE or Gravity Recovery and
Climate Experiment that detects major changes on Earths surface. This is done by GRACE by
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checking the increase of decrease in gravity level, something which is directly associated with
the mass below two GRACE satellites.
Approximately, 200 million tonnes ice is required for filling the railroad coal cars in order to
encircle Earth. Princeton University, on the other hand applied another approach for analysing
GRACE data. It was established that during 2003 as well as 2004, this low mass remained
centred along Eastern coast of Greenland. In the year 2005 till 2006, the mass loss became less
in northeast but increased in southeast. Also, there was more mass loss along northwest coast
from 2007-2010.

AUSTRALIA CREATED WORLDS LARGEST MARINE RESERVE TO PROTECT


OCEAN ENVIRONMENT
Australia on 16 November 2012 created the world's largest network of marine reserves,
protecting more than 2.3 million square kilometres of ocean environment.
The announcement came after years of planning and consultation. The Marine reserve created
is going to expand the protection of creatures such as the blue whale, green turtle and the
critically endangered populations of grey nurse sharks, and dugongs.
The plan extension cover six marine regions and it was first made public in June 2012.
Australia is home to some incredible marine environments which include the Perth Canyon in
the south-west and the stunning reefs of the Coral Sea and by creating Worlds largest Marine
Reserve is becoming a world leader on environmental protection.
However, the Marine reserve creation is going to ruin coastal communities and it will also affect
thousands of jobs with a serious impact on US $ 2 billion aquaculture Industry. It was also
criticized by the Commonwealth Fisheries Association.
As per the cost analysis by the Australian Marine Alliance it was found that the marine reserve
creation would affect 60 regional communities ,36000 jobs lost and a displacement of 70-80
trawler operators while the cost of seafood imports would soar.

BOMBAY NATURAL HISTORY SOCIETY RELEASED A REPORT INDICATING


GROWTH IN VULTURE POPULATION
The research paper published by the scientists of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS)
presents a positive report about the change in the number of vultures, which resulted in a
catastrophic decline in its number by more than 99 percent in past two decades. The study
reveals that there has been a marginal rise in the population of Vultures between 2011 and
2012.
The population of vulture during early nineties saw a dramatic fall and by 2003, its population
saw a record fall of 95 percent, which by 2008 reached to an alarming mark of more 99 percent.
In 1980s there population ranged to about 4 crore but by 2011 there was a dramatic fall
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recorded in its population and it reached to a mark of about 1 lakh. The Study also issued a
warning that the stabilization on the number of this bird is encouraged but this increase in
number and stabilization is yet a weak figure.
Sudden fall in the number of vultures that flies in the high sky, was the use of diclofenac, the
painkiller drug that is used for administering cattle. Actually, the digestive system of vultures is
capable enough to digest disease causing pathogens that is found in the rotten meat, but it also
lacks the critical enzyme, that can easily break-down the diclofenac. This diclofenac causes a
sudden renal failure in vultures just after eating the remains of cattles, treated with diclofenac
as drug.
In the year 2006, a ban was created on the use of diclofenac in the South-Asian region and this
ban resulted in the fall in the number of deaths reported in case of these vultures.

UTTARAKHAND NAMED BEST PERFORMING STATES IN TERMS OF


ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS
The state of Uttarakhand on 29 October 2012 tops the Environmental Performance Index (EPI)
list of being best-performing States and Union territories in terms of environmental well-being
released by Planning Commission.
Uttarakhand is followed by Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh, Sikkim, and Andhra Pradesh on the
Planning Commissions Environmental Performance Index (EPI) list. Environmental well-being is
one of the considerations for decentralization of funds to the States under the Gadgil formula.
The State of Uttarakhand was given a cumulative score point of 0.8123 which is followed by
Himachal Pradesh with score point of 0.7316, Chandigarh with 0.7270, Sikkim (0.7149), and
Andhra Pradesh with 0.7147 of Score point.
Mizoram, Kerala, Goa, Sikkim, Tripura, Puducherry and Andaman and Nicobar, with an average
score of 1, were ranked as the best States in terms of air quality.
Amazingly, except for Uttarakhand, all the States met the prescribed national ambient air
quality standard in respect of the sulphur dioxide which is of 20 micrograms per cubic metre.
In terms of Nitrogen oxide, the national standard set of 30 microgram per cubic metre was not
met by more than 10 states. Also, in term of suspended particles no states met the 60
microgram per cubic metre national standard except state of Goa, Kerala, and Mizoram.
Water quality standards, of all the states indicated a very pathetic standard except for Himachal
Pradesh, which has set up 100 per cent treatment capacity for sewage, the treatment capacity
in the remaining States ranges from 0 (13 States) to less than 20 per cent (8 States) and more
than 50 per cent in four States.

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Delhi, Punjab, Rajasthan, Daman and Diu, and Puducherry extract more water than they
recharge, but Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Puducherry are the
only States which show a semblance of adherence to river water quality.
Talking about forest conservation, Chandigarh, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and
Madhya Pradesh are among the five best-performing States that have preserved forests as well
as increased cover.

COP 11 HELD IN HYDERABAD: EMPHASISED ON THE WELL BEING OF


BIODIVERSITIES
The XIth Conference of the Parties (COP 11) - Convention on Biological Diversity was organised
by the Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India from 8 October to 19 October
2012. Eleventh meeting of the COP 11 was held at Hyderabad International Convention Centre,
and the conference included a high-level ministerial segment meet that was organised by India
in consultation with the Bureau and Secretariat and it took place from 17 October to 19
October 2012.
Mobilisation of financial resources was the theme for the COP 11 summit. The next round of
the conference is scheduled to take place in Korea after 2 years. Finding out the commendable
solution by discussions over the issues of the Earths bio-diversity is the main agenda of the
conference. The conference was attended by more than 5000 delegates from 180 countries.
Enrollment of about 14,400 participants in the convention made it the largest biodiversity
gathering of its time.

DEMANDS OF DEVELOPING AND DEVELOPED COUNTRIES

African countries like Namibia demanded developed nations to stand by their promise fund
allocation for saving the bio-diversity, made in the 2010 protocol

The developed nations stood by their demand of creating a baseline of the investments
made by now and how much more was needed

Discussions on Identified Targets of Nagoya Protocol:

Discussion over the 20 identified targets at 2010 Nagoya Protocol was also done to find out
the problems that it faced for implementation.

INDIAS STAND
India also demanded steps to be taken for ecosystem restoration and establishment of a
relationship between biodiversity and climate change, identification of ecologically and
biologically significant areas in marine ecosystems.

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India to Chair the Conference for Next Two Years as its President: India will be Chairing the
Conference as its President for next two years. The Union Environment and Forests Minister
Jayanthi Natarajan took over the charge of COP-11 as its President for next two years.

The Union Environment and Forests Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, who took over the charge
of COP-11 as its President for next two years emphasised on the issue of resource
mobilization that remained an unfinished agenda of COP-10 at Nagoya in Japan

Manmohan Singh the Prime Minister of India announced a grant of $50 million for
strengthening the institutional mechanism of biodiversity conservation in India and other
developing countries by the name of Hyderabad Pledge

The Prime Minister also launched the high level segment of the 11th conference of parties
during the UN Convention on Biodiversity meeting at Hyderabad. This conference was the
first conference after the launch of Decade of Biodiversity by United Nations in 2011.

The high level meet took place during the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (UNBD) that
was declared by the United Nations General Assembly following its resolution 65/161. This plan
was designed to find out the solutions for the objectives like Strategic Plan for Biodiversity and
the Aichi Biodiversity Targets. Across the UNBD, a trial to encourage government and
representatives of different countries to develop, implement and communicate the results
established by their national strategies designed for fine implementation of the strategic plan
over biodiversity.

PLAN AND PROGRAMMES LAUNCHED DURING COP11 CONFERENCE

BirdLife International on 16 October 2012 launched an e-Atlas of Marine-Important Bird


Areas during COP11. The e-Atlas would act as an inventory and carry data of around 3000
important bird areas from across the world and can play a major role in conserving the
Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) target for protection of 10 percent coastal and
marine Areas by 2020

The NTCA (National Tiger Conservation Authority) also declared its plan to create a national
database for tigers, the flagship species of India proving a unique identification code and
number to each one of these big cats in India. This was declared by the member secretary
of NTCA, Rajesh Gopal during an event organized with a theme Have We Turned the Corner
in Tiger Conservation

CONCLUSION
Amid the discussions and concerns, the COP 11 conference failed to reach to a concrete
decision of making resource mobilisation and fund arrangements done. Indian Prime Minister
allocated a fund of $50 million for strengthening the mechanism for preserving the biodiversity
in India and other Developing nations. Although several steps and things were critically
discussed and concerns were raised to achieve better results and face the upcoming challenges.

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TEC RECOMMENDED A 10-YEAR MORATORIUM ON ALL FIELD TRIALS OF


GM FOOD CROPS
TEC (Technical Expert Committee), in its interim report recommended a 10-year moratorium on
all field trials of Genetically Modified (GM) food crops, including Bt Cotton. In its interim report,
it suggested that the present regulatory system and protocol for conducting the field trials were
unsatisfactory and inadequate, requiring major changes, restructuring and strengthening.
TEC Committees recommendation is based on the current overall status of food safety
evaluation of Bt transgenic including the data on Bt Cotton and Bt Brinjal examined by the TEC
and in accordance with the precautionary principle.
TECs suggestion for a moratorium on field trial was welcomed by environmentalists. In fact, the
moratorium is necessitated by the potential harm of GM crops to human health, that of
livestock and biodiversity and the possibility of field trials to contaminate regular crops and
food supply. Five-member TEC was appointed by the Supreme Court of India.

SUPREME COURT LIFTED BAN ON TOURISM IN CORE TIGER RESERVE


AREAS
The Supreme Court on 16 October 2012 had lifted its interim ban on tourism in core areas of
tiger reserves across the country.
The ban came into consideration a day after the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)
notified fresh guidelines.
As per the new Guidelines, a maximum of 20 per cent of the core area is going to be outlined
for regulated tourism. Also, the state governments will put in place site-specific frameworks for
each tiger reserve.
It was in 24 July 2012 that the Supreme Court had imposed an absolute ban on tourism in core
areas of 41 tiger reserves across the country.
The Supreme Court Citing the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) guideline directed
that the state governments are required to prepare their own tiger conservation plans under
the Wildlife Protection Act. It directed them to prepare the plans within six months and submit
it to the NTCA for approval.

INDIA TO GET WARMER BY 2 DEGREE CELSIUS BY 2030: SCIENTIST OF


IISC AND IIT
Scientist of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai
together made a Projection that India may warm up by 1.7 to 2 C by 2030s and up to 4.8
degree Celsius by 2080s.

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The Scientist had pointed out more warming over the northern areas, especially the Himalayas
and Kashmir.
The projections were made for the period of 1860 to 2099 which is based on new climate data,
models and new emission scenarios termed as Representative concentration pathways.
Also as per the scientist Rainfall is predicted to increase from four per cent to five per cent by
2030s and from six per cent to 14 per cent towards the end of the century in 2080s compared
to the 1961- 1990 baseline.
All these new projections should be used in future assessment of impact of climate change and
adaptation planning.
However, also contradicting analysis was presented which has indicated that limiting warming
to roughly 2 C by the end of this century is unlikely since it requires an immediate ramp down
of emissions.

DOLPHIN DAY OBSERVED IN BIHAR TO CREATE AWARENESS ABOUT


GANGETIC DOLPHINS
Dolphin Day was observed on 5 October 2012 in Bihar. The state government declared to
observe 5 October as the Dolphin Day in the state every year. This came as a part of world wild
life week that was being observed by the state from second to eight October.
This was an act to increase awareness about conservation of one of the rarest and critically
endangered Gangetic Species. The Gangetic Dolphin that is scientifically known as Platanista
Gangetica is also the National Aquatic animal of India. To conserve the aquatic species the
Deputy Chief Minister of the State Sushil Kumar Modi declared that a Dolphin watch center
would be developed at places where these Dolphins are still visible. To raise the awareness this
center will also be used as a site for tourists attraction. During the day long observation of
Dolphin Day, films and documentaries related to dolphins were screened in the state.
Dolphins of Ganga are into regular attack by the Poachers for its oil that acts as an ointment
and aphrodisiac as well as for the flesh. The species has been declared to be an endangered
species by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). Gangetic Dolphins is
covered by the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act under its 1st Schedule. The Vikramshila Gangetic
Dolphin Sanctuary located in the Bhagalpur district of Bihar is the one and only sanctuary for
preservation of this endangered species.

SAVE GANGA, SAVE DOLPHIN CAMPAIGN INITIATED IN UTTAR PRADESH


Save Ganga, Save Dolphin, the three day campaign was initiated on 5 October 2012 by the Uttar
Pradesh Forest Department in association with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The team also
included local volunteers and 14 NGOs. The campaign was a state-initiative to create awareness

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to conserve the Gangetic Dolphins one of the critically endangered species of the Gangetic
River System. These dolphins are scientifically named as Platanista Gangetica.
To cover a distance of about 2,800 kilometers in the Gangetic River System that flows within
the state, 18 boats were flagged off by Raja Mahendra Aridaman Singh, the Transport Minister
of the state. The campaign that also aims at identifying the population of the dolphins in the
river system and it ended with the declaration by Akhilesh Yadav, the Chief Minister of the state
on 7 October 2012.
The Ganga Dolphins are also called as the Tigers of Ganga as it enjoys the position in Ganga that
is equivalent to that of the tiger in the forest. In the last two surveys conducted in the year
2005 and 1982, the population of this species recorded was 1,600 and 4000 to 5000
respectively.
The survey was conducted in the river Ganga and its tributaries across the state. In Ganga, this
campaign started from Bijnor and ended at Varanasi. In the Chambal River it started from
Rajghat of Morena District in Madhya Pradesh to Pachneda of Etawah at the confluence of the
river with Yamuna and further it will be carried out from this place to yamunas confluence with
Ganga at the Sangam in Allahabad. The campaign also included a survey in the Saryu River in
Ayodhya and Rapti in Garakhpur, Ghagra and Geruwa from Katarniaghat Wild Life Sanctury to
Dohrigaht in Mau District of Uttar Pradesh. In Ken River the survey was done from the Banda to
Chilla and from Rampur to Deoara in the Sone River. In Betwa River the campaign started from
Orchha and ended at Hamirpur.

SUPREME COURT OF INDIA BANNED MINING ACTIVITIES IN GOA


The Supreme Court on 5 October 2012 banned until further orders on all mining operations, in
all 90 mines which also includes transportation of mined iron ore and manganese in leases, in
Goa.
The Forest Bench comprising Justices Aftab Alam, K.S. Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar
granted the stay on a writ petition filed by the Goa Foundation, an environmental action group,
and asked the Central Empowered Committee to give its response in four weeks. The court
made it clear that no mineral, whether lying at a mine head or stockyard, would be transported
until further orders.
The failure of the State government of Goa to control illegal mining has led to large-scale
destruction of both forest land and non-forest land and had adversely affected the livelihood
of local people, especially the rural poor.
The Goa Foundation pointed out that the Justice M.B. Shah commisssion, appointed in
November 2010, said illegal activities in mining had been going on in the State since 2000. All
90 mines were functioning without the mandatory permission from the National Board for
Wildlife and 33 of them were located within 1.5 km of wildlife sanctuaries.

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GREAT INDIAN BUSTARD AND LESSER FLORICAN GOT SHONKALIYA


REGION TO BREED
The endangered birds, Great Indian Bustard and Lesser Florican have got a dedicated land for
breeding in the Shonkaliya Region of Ajmer District, Rajasthan. The villagers of Ajmer District
have agreed to conserve 30 hectares of land for the breeding activity of these endangered
birds.
Population of the Great Indian Bustard (the state bird of Rajasthan) is reportedly not sizeable
with six males, present in the area. The Great Indian Bustard needs to lure at least three to four
females in number for making of the family. Nests of the Great Indian Bustard have been
noticed in the crop fields of the area.
The Lesser Floricans are available in a large number as compared to the Great Indian Bustards
in the region. Nest of lesser Floricans have also seen around the crop lands of the area.
Floricans make a visit to this north-western region of the country during their breeding season
of advancing monsoons.
This move of conservation of the Lesser Floricans and the Great Indian Bustard is an initiative to
use MNREGA, the job guarantee scheme of the central government as a conservative tool. At
the time of Manju Rajpal, the former collector of Ajmer district, the villagers of Shonkaliya
agreed to earmark a dedicated zone in 30 hectare of land for breeding of the birds from their
total of 100 hectares. From 1st May to 30th September entry of cattle as well as people will be
restricted in the protected land.

18TH INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR PRESERVATION OF THE OZONE LAYER


CELEBRATED WORLDWIDE
On 16 September every year, from 1995 onwards the International Day for the Preservation of
the Ozone Layer is celebrated. This date was designated by the United Nations General
Assembly in its resolution 49/114, to memorialize the signing of the Montreal Protocol on
Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. With this, The Montreal Protocol is celebrating its
25th anniversary this year.
The theme for this years celebration was Protecting our Atmosphere for Generations to come.
In India it was celebrated at at the Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New
Delhi. Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister of State for Environment & Forests Government of India was
the Chief Guest.
This celebration around the world offers a chance to focus attention and action at the global,
regional and national levels on the protection of the ozone layer.
The ozone layer is a layer in Earth's atmosphere which contains relatively high concentrations
of ozone (O3). The ozone layer is mainly found in the lower portion of the stratosphere from
approximately 20 to 30 kilometres (12 to 19 mi) above Earth. It protects the earth from harmful
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ultraviolet radiation. Scientist in the 1970s discovered that the layer was thinning as a result of
the release of CFCs which resulted in the development of ozone hole.
In 1985 national around the world signed an agreement and developed a framework for
cooperative activities to protect the ozone layer in Vienna which is known by Vienna
convention for the protection of ozone layer.

ZSN AND IUCN RELEASED DATA OF HUNDRED SPECIES FEARING


EXTINCTION
The Zoological Society of London and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
released a list of 100 different species to be first in line for extinction from 48 different
countries during the World Conservation Congress held in Republic of Korea on 11 September
2012. Tarzans Chameleon, The Spoon-Billed Sandpiper, The Pygmy Three-Toed Sloth, The
Saola, The Brightly Coloured Willow Blister, Loughshare Tortoise-Angonoka, Rio Pescado
Stubfoot Toad and Northern Muriqui- Wooly Spider Monkey are some of the most important
species fearing extinction.
Some of these threatened species from India and South-East Asia are the Great Indian Bustard
along with the White-bellied Heron, the Peacock Tarantula as well as the Spoon-billed
Sandpiper of India. The report also includes the name of the Sumatran and Javan Rhinos, which
are considered to be the extinct species by now.
The species that have been counted in the Red List of IUCN is White-bellied Heron, also known
as the Imperial Heron. Estimations state that its number may be in between 70 to 400. As per
Bird life International, the White-bellied Bustard is mainly found in the eastern foothills of Great
Himalayas mainly in the north-east India, Bhutan, hills of North Bangladesh, North, West and
Central Myanmar. These can be seen in small and big rivers adjacent to the subtropical
broadleaf forests. The experts from Species Survival Commission (SSC) have suggested the
development of hydel power projects as the identified reason for this increase in downfall in
the number of different species. The commission suggested that to bring these species back
from the verge of extinction adverse use of river based habitats must be eliminated and captive
rearing and release program should be brought into practice.
Peacock Tarantula with its habitat in the reserve forests of Nandyal and Giddalur in Andhra
Pradesh is facing a challenge of survival because of the degradation in the habitat caused due to
the cutting of timber and firewood. Great Indian Bustard, numbered to be in between 50 to
249 is also facing a challenge because of the agricultural developments. To protect the species
it was recommended to create a community reserve along with few protected areas nearby
Indira Gandhi Nahar Project. The number of Indian Spoon-billed Sandpiper has dropped down
to be in between 240 to 400. The rhinos with an identified number of 250 across the world are
facing the biggest threat as these are hunted for their horns.

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PARLIAMENTARY PANEL ON AGRICULTURE RECOMMENDED TO BAN GM


FOOD CROPS
In a major setback to the production of genetically modified (GM) foods in the country, a
parliamentary panel on agriculture asked the government to ban all field trials of GM crops
until it develops until it develops a better system of monitoring and oversight.
In the 389-page report submitted in the parliament on 9 August 2012, the panel also demanded
a complete probe into how permission was granted in 2009 for the commercialisation of Bt
brinjal (also known as aubergine, or eggplant). Bt Brinjal was developed by Pune-based Mahyco
(Maharashtra Hybrid Company) in a joint venture with US seed giant Monsanto.
The Genetic Engeneering Appraisal Committee had cleared the commercialization of Bt Brinjal
on 14 October 2009, though soon after its clearance it was caught amidst bitter controversies
ranging from its environmental impacts to ethical concerns such as corporate control of the
food supply and intellectual property rights. Bt cotton was the only GM crop before Bt Brinjal
which had got clearance for commercialization.

NASAS SCIENTISTS WARNED EARTH MIGHT FACE MORE HEAT WAVES


Scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) warned that most of Earth's land
areas might face an extreme summer heat wave than they did between 1951 to 1980. Scientists
revealed that over the past 30 years the northern hemisphere has witnessed more "hot"
(orange), "very hot" (red) and "extremely hot" (brown) summers.
Scientists noted that Earth's northern hemisphere, which comprises of 90 percent of the
planet's land has become much more likely to experience an extreme summer heat wave
compared to a base period from 1951 to 1980.
The researchers described how "extremely hot" summers has become a routine over the past
30 years. Since 2006, about 10 percent of land area across the Northern Hemisphere has
experienced these temperatures each summer. Study show how heat waves in Texas,
Oklahoma and Mexico in 2011, and in the Middle East, Western Asia and Eastern Europe in
2010 fall into the new "extremely hot" category.

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ANNEXURE-A
LIST OF NATIONAL PARKS
No Name

State

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11

Anshi National Park


Balphakram National Park
Bandhavgarh National Park
Bandipur National Park
Bannerghatta National Park
Vansda National Park
Betla National Park
Bhitarkanika National Park
Blackbuck National Park, Velavadar
Buxa Tiger Reserve
Campbell Bay National Park

12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21

Chandoli National Park


Corbett National Park
Dachigam National Park
Darrah National Park
Desert National Park
Dibru-Saikhowa National Park
Dudhwa National Park
Eravikulam National Park
Fossil National Park
Galathea National Park

22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31

Gangotri National Park


Gir National Park
Gorumara National Park
Govind Pashu Vihar
Great Himalayan National Park
Gugamal National Park
Guindy National Park
Gulf of Kachchh Marine National Park
Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
Hemis National Park

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Area (in
km)
Karnataka
250
Meghalaya
220
Madhya Pradesh
448.85
Karnataka
874.20
Karnataka
106.27
Gujarat
23.99
Jharkhand
231.67
Orissa
145
Gujarat
34.08
West Bengal
117.10
Andaman
and 426.23
Nicobar
Maharashtra
317.67
Uttarakhand
1318.5
Jammu and Kashmir
141
Rajasthan
250
Rajasthan
3162
Assam
340
Uttar Pradesh
490.29
Kerala
97
Madhya Pradesh
0.27
Andaman
and 110
Nicobar
Uttarakhand
1552.73
Gujarat
258.71
West Bengal
79.45
Uttarakhand
472.08
Himachal Pradesh
754.40
Maharashtra
361.28
Tamil Nadu
2.82
Gujarat
162.89
Tamil Nadu
6.23
Jammu and Kashmir
4100

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32
33
34

49
50
51
52

Harike Wetland
Hazaribag National Park
Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary (Indira Gandhi Wildlife
Sanctuary and National Park)
Indravati National Park
Jaldapara National Park
Ntangki National Park
Kalesar National Park
Kanha National Park
Kanger Ghati National Park (Kanger Valley)
Kasu Brahmananda Reddy National Park
Kaziranga National Park
Keibul Lamjao National Park
Keoladeo National Park
Khangchendzonga National Park
Kishtwar National Park
Kudremukh National Park
Madhav National Park
Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park (Wandur
National Park)
Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park
Manas National Park
Mathikettan Shola National Park
Middle Button Island National Park

53
54
55
56

Mollem National Park


Mouling National Park
Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary
Mount Harriet National Park

57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68

Mrugavani National Park


Mudumalai National Park
Mukurthi National Park
Murlen National Park
Namdapha National Park
Nameri National Park
Nanda Devi National Park
Nandankanan National Park [Not Verified]
Navegaon National Park
Neora Valley National Park
Nokrek National Park
North Button Island National Park

35
36
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48

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Punjab
Jharkhand
Tamil Nadu

86
183.89
117.10

Chhattisgarh
West Bengal
Nagaland
Haryana
Madhya Pradesh
Chhattisgarh
Andhra Pradesh
Assam
Manipur
Rajasthan
Sikkim
Jammu and Kashmir
Karnataka
Madhya Pradesh
Andaman
and
Nicobar
Andhra Pradesh
Assam
Kerala
Andaman
and
Nicobar
Goa
Arunachal Pradesh
Rajasthan
Andaman
and
Nicobar
Andhra Pradesh
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Mizoram
Arunachal Pradesh
Assam
Uttarakhand
Orissa
Maharashtra
West Bengal
Meghalaya
Andaman
and

1258.37
216
202.02
100.88
940
200
1.42
471.71
40
28.73
1784
400
600.32
375.22
281.50
14.59
500
12.82
0.64
107
483
288.84
46.62
3.5
321.55
78.46
200
1985.24
137.07
630.33
133.88
88
47.48
144

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69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78

Orang National Park


Palani Hills National Park
Panna National Park
Pench National Park
Periyar National Park
Phawngpui Blue Mountain National Park
Pin Valley National Park
Rajaji National Park
Nagarhole National Park (Rajiv Gandhi National Park)
Rani Jhansi Marine National Park

79
80

Ranthambore National Park


Saddle Peak National Park

81
82
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91

Salim Ali National Park


Sanjay National Park
Borivili National Park (Sanjay Gandhi National Park)
Sariska National Park
Satpura National Park
Silent Valley National Park
Sirohi National Park
Simlipal National Park
Singalila National Park
South Button Island National Park

92
93
94
95
96
97
98

Sri Venkateswara National Park


Sultanpur National Park
Sundarbans National Park
Tadoba National Park
Valley of Flowers National Park
Valmiki National Park
Van Vihar National Park & Zoo

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Nicobar
Assam
Tamil Nadu
Madhya Pradesh
Maharashtra
Kerala
Mizoram
Himachal Pradesh
Uttarakhand
Karnataka
Andaman
and
Nicobar
Rajasthan
Andaman
and
Nicobar
Jammu and Kashmir
Madhya Pradesh
Maharashtra
Rajasthan
Madhya Pradesh
Kerala
Manipur
Orissa
West Bengal
Andaman
and
Nicobar
Andhra Pradesh
Haryana
West Bengal
Maharashtra
Uttarakhand
Bihar
Madhya Pradesh

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78.81
736.87
542.67
758
305
50
807.36
820
643.39
256.14
392
32.55
9.07
466.7
104
866
524
237
41.30
845.70
78.60
5
353
1.43
1330.12
625
87.50
461.6
4.45

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LIST OF TIGER RESERVE


S.No.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37

State
Assam
Assam
Assam
Arunachal Pradesh
Arunachal Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Bihar
Chhattisgarh
Chhattisgarh
Jharkhand
Karnataka
Karnataka
Karnataka
Kerala
Tamil Nadu / Kerala
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Mizoram
Orissa
Rajasthan
Rajasthan
Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu
Kerala
Uttar Pradesh
Uttarakhand
West Bengal
West Bengal
Chhattisgarh
Orissa

Tiger Reserve
Kaziranga Tiger Reserve
Manas Tiger Reserve
Nameri Tiger Reserve
Namdapha Tiger Reserve
Pakhui Tiger Reserve
Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam Tiger Reserve
Valmiki Tiger Reserve
Indravati Tiger Reserve
Guru Ghasidas National Park
Palamau Tiger Reserve
Bandipur Tiger Reserve
Nagarhole (extension) Tiger Reserve
Bhadra Tiger Reserve
Periyar Tiger Reserve
Annamalai Tiger Reserve
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve
Bori-Satpura Tiger Reserve
Kanha Tiger Reserve
Panna Tiger Reserve
Pench Tiger Reserve
Melghat Tiger Reserve
Pench Tiger Reserve
Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve
Sahyadri Tiger Reserve[1]
Dampa Tiger Reserve
Simlipal Tiger Reserve
Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve
Sariska Tiger Reserve
Kalakad-Mundathurai Tiger Reserve
Mudumalai National Park
Parambikulam Tiger Reserve
Dudhwa Tiger Reserve
Corbett Tiger Reserve
Buxa Tiger Reserve
Sunderbans Tiger Reserve
Udanti & Sitanadi Tiger Reserve
Satkosia Tiger Reserve

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Total Area (km2)


859
2840
344
1985
862
3568
840
2799
2899
1026
866
643
492
925
1019
1162
1486
1945
542
758
1677
257
620
569
5 00
2750
1334
866
800
321
391 [11]
811
1316
759
2585
1580
988

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38
39
40
41
42
43

Chhattisgarh
Karnataka
Madhya Pradesh
Karnataka
Tamil Nadu
Karnataka

44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53

Karnataka
Andhra Pradesh
Maharashtra
Maharashtra
Uttar Pradesh
Orissa
Madhya Pradesh
Goa
Uttar Pradesh
Rajasthan

Achanakmar Tiger Reserve[2]


Dandeli-Anashi Tiger Reserve
Sanjay Dubri Tiger Reserve
Bannerghatta tiger and lion reserve
Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (Pro)
Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife
Sanctuary
Kudremukh Tiger Reserve
Kawal Tiger Reserve
Nagzira-Navegaon Tiger Reserve
Bor Tiger Reserve
Pilibhit Tiger Reserve
Sunabeda Tiger Reserve
Ratapani Tiger Reserve
Mhadei Tiger Reserve
Suhelwa Tiger Reserve
Mukundara Hills Tiger Reserve

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963
875
831
104
524
540 [3]
360[12]
893

1089
856
674

LIST OF WETLANDS
Name

State

Area (km)

Ashtamudi Wetland
Bhitarkanika Mangroves
Bhoj Wetland
Chandra Taal
Chilika Lake
Deepor Beel
East Calcutta Wetlands
Harike Wetland
Hokersar Wetland
Kanjli Wetland
Keoladeo National Park
Kolleru Lake
Loktak Lake
Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary
Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary
Pong Dam Lake,
Renuka Wetland
Ropar
Rudrasagar Lake
Sambhar Lake

Kerala
Orissa
Madhya Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh
Orissa
Assam
West Bengal
Punjab
Jammu and Kashmir
Punjab
Rajasthan
Andhra Pradesh
Manipur
Gujarat
Tamil Nadu
Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh
Punjab
Tripura
Rajasthan

614
650
32
.49
1165
40
125
41
13.75
1.83
28.73
901
266
123
385
156.62
.2
13.65
2.4
240

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Sasthamkotta Lake
Surinsar-Mansar Lakes
Thrissur Kole Wetlands
Tsomoriri
Upper Ganga River (Brijghat to Narora Stretch)
Vembanad-Kol Wetland
Wular Lake

Kerala
Jammu and Kashmir
Kerala,
Jammu and Kashmir
Uttar Pradesh
Kerala
Jammu and Kashmir

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3.73
3.5
546.25
120
265.9
1512.5
189

LIST OF BIOSPHERE RESERVES


Sr. No Name

State

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18

Gujarat
Tamil Nadu
West Bengal
Himachal Pradesh
Uttarakhand
Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka
Arunachal Pradesh
Madhya Pradesh
Andhra Pradesh
Orissa
Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh
Assam
Sikkim
Kerala, Tamil Nadu
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Meghalaya
Assam
Madhya pradesh

Great Rann of Kutch


Gulf of Mannar
Sunderbans
Cold Desert
Nandadevi
Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
Dehang-Dibang
Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve
Seshachalam Hills
Simlipal
Achanakamar - Amarkantak
Manas
Khangchendzonga
Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve
Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve
Nokrek
Dibru-Saikhowa
Panna

Area
(km)
12454
10500
9630
7770
5860
5520
5112
4981.72
4755
4374
3835
2837
2620
1828
885
820
765

FOREST REPORT-2011
The details of the India State of Forest Report, 2011 (ISFR) published by Dehradun based
Forest Survey of India is as follows:

India State of Forest Report 2011 is the twelfth such report. The first report was published
in 1987.
Forest and tree cover of the country is 78.29 million hectare, which is 23.81% of the
geographical area. This includes 2.76% of tree cover.

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The forest and tree cover would work out to 25.22% after exclusion of 183135 square
kilometre above the altitude 4000 m from the total geographical area of the country as
these areas do not support tree growth.
In the hill and tribal districts of the country, a decrease in forest cover of 548 square
kilometre and 679 square kilometre respectively has been reported as compared to the
previous assessment.
The north eastern States of the India account for one-forth of the countrys forest cover.
There is a net decline of 549 square kilometre in forest cover as compared to the previous
assessment.
Mangrove cover has increased by 23.34 square kilometre during the same period.
The total growing stock of Indias forest and tree outside forests is estimated as 6047.15
million cum which comprises 4498.73 million cum inside the forests and 1548.42 million
cum outside the forests.
The total bamboo bearing area in the country is estimated to be 13.96 million hectare.
The total carbon stock in the countrys forests is estimated to the 6663 million tones.
Andhra Pradesh has lost the maximum forest cover281 sq kmas compared to 2009
Northeastern states saw an unprecedented loss in forests this year. The region which
accounts for nearly one-fourth forest cover of the country has seen a decrease of 549 sq km
of forests
The other states that lost forest cover are Kerala (24 sq km), Chhattisgarh (4 sq km),
Maharashtra (4 sq km), Uttar Pradesh (3 sq km), Gujarat (1 sq km) and Chandigarh (0.22 sq
km)
Punjab registered maximum growth of 100 sq km forest cover followed by Jharkhand (83 sq
km), Tamil Nadu (74 sq km), Andaman and Nicobar Islands (62 sq km), Rajasthan (51 sq km),
Odisha (48 sq km) and Bihar (41 sq km)
Other states that registered forest growth include Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka,
Goa, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand and West Bengal
A total of 548 sq km forest cover has decreased in the 124 hill districts of the country
In the 188 districts of the country dominated by tribal population forest cover has
decreased by 679 sq km
The mangrove cover in the country has increased by 23.34 sq km. They are now spread over
an area of 4661.6 sq km
The total growing stock of Indias forests and trees is now 6,047.15 million cubic metre
which comprises of 4,498.73 million cubic metre of growing stock inside the forests and
1,548.42 million cubic metre outside the forests
FSI has for the first time estimated the growing stock of bamboo.
Total bamboo bearing area in the country is 13.96 million hectare (ha).
Arunachal Pradesh has maximum bamboo-bearing area of 1.6 m ha followed by Madhya
Pradesh (1.3 m ha), Maharashtra (1.1 m ha) and Odisha (1.05 m ha)
The dense forest cover (lands with tree canopy density of 70 per cent and above) increased
by 43 sq km since 2009 and stand at 83,471 sq km.
The dense forests now account for 2.54 per cent of the geographical area of the country

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The moderately dense forest (lands with tree canopy density between 40 per cent and 70
per cent) now occupy 320,736 sq km and account for 9.76 per cent geographical area of the
country
The moderately dense forest saw an increase of 498 sq km
The area covered by open forests (lands with tree canopy density between 1O per
cent and 40 per cent) saw a decrease of 908 sq km and stand at 287,820 sq km.
In Andhra Pradesh, the survey says, the forest cover has decreased due to harvesting of
short rotation crops followed by new plantation and forest clearance in the encroached
areas
In the Northeast, the decrease in forest cover has been attributed to shortening of shifting
cultivation cycle and biotic pressure
The reason for increase in forest cover in Punjab, Odisha, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Bihar and
Tamil Nadu is enhanced plantation in and outside forests and effective protection measures
As per the assessments of 2011 (data period 2008-09) as published in ISFR-2011and the
assessment of ISFR-2009 (data period 2006-07) there has been a marginal decrease of 367
sq. km in the forest cover of the country. The forest cover in the northeast between these
two assessments has declined by 549 sq. km.
The loss of forest cover to the extent of 549 sq km in the seven north eastern States has
been primarily due to prevailing socio-cultural practice of shifting cultivation in these states.
Loss in other states like Andhra Pradesh (281 sq. km) and Kerala (24 sq. km) is reported due
to harvesting of short rotation plantations like Eucalyptus, Acacia mangium, rubber etc. 15
States have reported cumulative gain of 500 sq. km which is mainly due to afforestation and
conservation activities undertaken in these States.

MINERALS AND THEIR USES


Aluminum: Is the most abundant metal element in the Earths crust. Bauxite is the main
source of aluminum. Aluminum is used in the United States in packaging, transportation, and
building. Guinea and Australia have about one-half of the worlds reserves. Other countries
with major reserves include Brazil, Jamaica, and India.
Bauxite: A general term for a rock composed of hydrated aluminum oxides. It is the main ore
of alumina to make aluminum. Also used in the production of synthetic corundum and
aluminous refractories.
Antimony: A native element, antimony metal is extracted from stibnite and other minerals.
Antimony is used as a hardening alloy for lead, especially storage batteries and cable
sheaths, also used in bearing metal, type metal, solder, collapsible tubes and foil, sheet and
pipes, and semiconductor technology.
Stibnite (the main ore of Antimony): The sample in the photo contains 71.8 percent
antimony and 28.2 percent sulfur. It is the most important ore for antimony. Stibnite is used
for metal antifriction alloys, metal type, shot, batteries, in the manufacture of fireworks.
Antimony salts are used in the rubber and textile industries, in medicine, and glassmaking.

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Asbestos: Because this group of silicate minerals can be readily separated into thin, strong
fibers that are flexible, heat resistant, and chemically inert, asbestos minerals are suitable
for use in fireproof fabrics, yarn, cloth, paper, paint filler, gaskets, roofing composition,
reinforcing agent in rubber and plastics, brake linings, tiles, electrical and heat insulation,
cement, and chemical filters
Barium: Used as a heavy additive in oil-well-drilling mud, in the paper and rubber industries,
as a filler or extender in cloth, ink, and plastics products, in radiography ("barium
milkshake"), as getter (scavenger) alloys in vacuum tubes, deoxidizer for copper, lubricant
for anode rotors in X-ray tubes, spark-plug alloys. Also used to make an expensive white
pigment.
Beryllium: Beryllium alloys are used mostly in applications in aerospace, automobiles,
computers, oil and gas drilling equipment, and telecommunications. Beryllium salts are used
in fluorescent lamps, in X-ray tubes and as a deoxidizer in bronze metallurgy. Beryl is the
source of the gem stones emerald and aquamarine. Sample in photo contains 14 percent
beryllium oxide.
Coal: One of the worlds major sources of energy. In the United States, coal provides
approximately 23% of all the energy consumed. Coal is used to produce more than half of all
the electrical energy that is generated and used in the United States.
Coal is a very complex and diverse energy resource that can vary greatly, even within the
same deposit. In general, there are four basic varieties of coal, which are the result of
geologic forces having altered plant material in different ways. These varieties descended
from the first stage in the formation of coal: the creation of peat or partially decomposed
plant material.
Lignite: Increased pressures and heat from overlying strata causes buried peat to dry and
harden into lignite. Lignite is a brownish-black coal with generally high moisture and ash
content and lower heating value. However, it is an important form of energy for generating
electricity. Significant lignite mining operations are located in Texas, North Dakota,
Louisiana, and Montana.
Subbituminous Coal: Under still more pressure, some lignite was changed into the next rank
of coal subbituminous. This is a dull black coal with a higher heating value than lignite that is
used primarily for generating electricity and for space heating. Most subbituminous reserves
are located in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Washington and Alaska.
Bituminous Coal: Even greater pressure results in the creation of bituminous, or soft coal.
This is the type most commonly used for electric power generation in the U.S. It has a higher
heating value than either lignite or subbituminous, but less than that of anthracite.
Bituminous coal is mined chiefly in Appalachia and the Midwest. Also used to make coke.
Anthracite: Sometimes also called hard coal, anthracite forms from bituminous coal when
great pressures developed in folded rock strata during the creation of mountain ranges. This

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occurs only in limited geographic areas - primarily the Appalachian region of Pennsylvania.
Anthracite has the highest energy content of all coals and is used for space heating and
generating electricity
Chromite (chromium): Some 99 percent of the world's chromite is found in southern Africa
and Zimbabwe. Chemical and metallurgical industries use about 85% of the chromite
consumed in the United States.
Cobalt: Used in superalloys for jet engines, chemicals (paint driers, catalysts, magnetic
coatings, pigments, rechargeable batteries), magnets, and cemented carbides for cutting
tools. Principal cobalt producing countries include Democratic Republic of the Congo,
Zambia, Canada, Cuba, Australia, and Russia. The United States uses about one-third of total
world consumption. Cobalt resources in the United States are low grade and production
from these deposits is usually not economically feasible.
Columbite-tantalite group (columbium is another name for niobium): Columbite is a natural
oxide of niobium, tantalum, ferrous iron, and manganese. Some tin and tungsten may be
present in the mineral. Columbium, in the form of ferrocolumbium, is used mostly as an
additive in steel making and in superalloys for such applications as heat-resisting and
combustion equipment, jet engine components, and rocket subassemblies, in cemented
carbides, and in superconductors. Brazil and Canada are the worlds leading producers.
Copper: Used in electric cables and wires, switches, plumbing, heating, roofing and building
construction, chemical and pharmaceutical machinery, alloys (brass, bronze, and a new alloy
with 3% beryllium that is particularly vibration resistant), alloy castings, electroplated
protective coatings and undercoats for nickel, chromium, zinc, etc., and cooking utensils. The
leading producer is Chile, followed by the U.S., and Indonesia.
Feldspar: A rock-forming mineral, industrially important in glass and ceramic industries,
pottery and enamelware, soaps, abrasives, bond for abrasive wheels, cements and
concretes, insulating compositions, fertilizer, poultry grit, tarred roofing materials, and as a
sizing (or filler) in textiles and paper. Albite is a feldspar mineral and is a sodium aluminum
silicate. This form of feldspar is used as a glaze in ceramics.
Fluorite (fluorspar): Used in production of hydrofluoric acid, which is used in the
electroplating, stainless steel, refrigerant, and plastics industries, in production of aluminum
fluoride, which is used in aluminum smelting, as a flux in ceramics and glass, and in steel
furnaces, and in emery wheels, optics, and welding rods.
Gold: Used in dentistry and medicine, in jewelry and arts, in medallions and coins, in ingots
as a store of value, for scientific and electronic instruments, as an electrolyte in the electroplating industry. South Africa has about half of the worlds resources. Significant quantities
are also present in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, and Russia.
Gypsum: Processed and used as prefabricated wallboard or as industrial or building plaster,
used in cement manufacture, agriculture and other uses.

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Halite (Sodium chloride--Salt): Used in human and animal diet, food seasoning and food
preservation, used to prepare sodium hydroxide, soda ash, caustic soda, hydrochloric acid,
chlorine, metallic sodium, used in ceramic glazes, metallurgy, curing of hides, mineral
waters, soap manufacture, home water softeners, highway de-icing, photography, herbicide,
fire extinguishing, nuclear reactors, mouthwash, medicine (heat exhaustion), in scientific
equipment for optical parts. Single crystals used for spectroscopy, ultraviolet and infrared
transmission.
Iron Ore: About 98% of iron ore is used to make steel one of the greatest inventions and
most useful materials ever created. While the other uses for iron ore and iron are only a very
small amount of the consumption, they provide excellent examples of the ingenuity and the
multitude of uses that man can create from our natural resources.
Powdered iron: Used in metallurgy products, magnets, high-frequency cores, auto parts,
catalyst. Radioactive iron (iron 59): in medicine, tracer element in biochemical and
metallurgical research. Iron blue: in paints, printing inks, plastics, cosmetics (eye shadow),
artist colors, laundry blue, paper dyeing, fertilizer ingredient, baked enamel finishes for
autos and appliances, industrial finishes. Black iron oxide: as pigment, in polishing
compounds, metallurgy, medicine, magnetic inks, in ferrites for electronics industry. Major
producers of iron ore include Australia, Brazil, China, Russia, and India.
Kaolin: Also known as "china clay" is a white, aluminosilicate widely used in paints,
refractories, plastics, sanitary wares, fiberglass, adhesives, ceramics, and rubber products.
Lead: Used in lead batteries, gasoline tanks, and solders, seals or bearings, used in electrical
and electronic applications, TV tubes, TV glass, construction, communications, protective
coatings, in ballast or weights, ceramics or crystal glass, tubes or containers, type metal, foil
or wire, X-ray and gamma radiation shielding, soundproofing material in construction
industry, and ammunition. The U.S. is the world's largest producer and consumer of refined
lead metal. Major mine producers other than the U.S. include Australia, Canada, China, Peru,
and Kazakhstan.
Galena: A lead sulfide, the commonest ore of lead. Sample in photo contains 86.6 percent
lead.
Limestone: A sedimentary rock composed mostly of the mineral calcite and comprising
about 15% of the Earth's sedimentary crust. Uses are numerous. Limestone is a basic
building block of the construction industry (dimension stone) and the chief materials from
which aggregate, cement, lime, and building stone are made. 71% of all crushed stone
produced in the U.S. is either limestone or dolomite. As a source for lime, it is used to make
paper, plastics, glass, paint, steel, cement, carpets, used in water treatment and purification
plants, in the processing of various foods and household items (including medicines).
Lithium: Lithium compounds are used in ceramics and glass, in primary aluminum
production, in the manufacture of lubricants and greases, rocket propellants, vitamin A
synthesis, silver solders, underwater buoyancy devices, batteries.
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Manganese: Essential to iron and steel production. The U.S., Japan, and Western Europe are
all nearly deficient in economically mineable managanese. South Africa and the Ukraine have
over 80% of the world's reserves.
Mica: Micas commonly occur as flakes, books, or sheets. Sheet muscovite (white) mica is
used in electronic insulators (mainly in vacuum tubes), ground mica in paint, as joint cement,
as a dusting agent, in well-drilling muds, and in plastics, roofing, rubber, and welding rods.
Molybdenum: The two largest uses of molybdenum are as an alloy in stainless steels and in
alloy steelsthese two uses consume about 60% of the molybdenum needs in the United
States. Stainless steels include the strength and corrosion-resistant requirements for water
distribution systems, food handling equipment, chemical processing equipment, home,
hospital, and laboratory requirements. Alloy steels include the stronger and tougher steels
needed to make automotive parts, construction equipment, gas transmission pipes. Other
major uses as an alloy include tool steels, for things like bearings, dies, machining
components, cast irons, for steel mill rolls, auto parts, and crusher parts, super alloys for use
in furnace parts, gas turbine parts, and chemical processing equipment.
Molybdenum also is an important material for the chemicals and lubricant industries. Moly
has uses as catalysts, paint pigments, corrosion inhibitors, smoke and flame retardants, dry
lubricant (molybdenum disulfide) on space vehicles and resistant to high loads and
temperatures. As a pure metal, molybdenum is used because of its high melting
temperatures (4,730 F) as filament supports in light bulbs, metal-working dies and furnace
parts. Major producing countries are China, Chile, and the U.S.
Nickel: Vital as an alloying constituent of stainless steel, plays key role in the chemical and
aerospace industries. Leading producers include Australia, Canada, Norway and Russia. Large
reserves are found in Australia, Cuba, New Caledonia, Canada, Indonesia, the Philippines,
and Russia.
Platinum Group Metals (includes platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, osmium, and
ruthenium): They commonly occur together in nature and are among the most scarce of the
metallic elements. Platinum is used principally as catalysts for the control of automobile and
industrial plant emissions, as catalysts to produce acids, organic chemicals, and
pharmaceuticals. PGMs are used in bushings for making glass fibers used in fiber-reinforced
plastic and other advanced materials, in electrical contacts, in capacitors, in conductive and
resistive films used in electronic circuits, in dental alloys used for making crowns and
bridges, in jewelry. Russia and South Africa have nearly all the worlds reserves. The sample
in the photo is Sperrylite; it is of very rare occurrence but of interest as the only native
compound of platinum.
Potash: Usually chloride of potassium. Used as a fertilizer, in medicine, in the chemical
industry, and is used to produce decorative color effects on brass, bronze, and nickel. Can
also be potassium sulfate, potassium-magnesium sulfate, and potassium nitrate. Is an
essential mineral for vegetable and animal life.

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Pyrite: Used in the manufacture of sulfuric acid and sulfur dioxide; pellets of pressed pyrite
dust have been used to recover iron, gold, copper, cobalt, nickel, etc.; used to make
inexpensive jewelry.
Quartz (Silica): As a crystal, quartz is used as a semiprecious gem stone. Cryptocrystalline
forms may also be gem stones: agate, jasper, onyx, carnelian, chalcedony, etc. Crystalline
gem varieties include amethyst, citrine, rose quartz, smoky quartz, etc. Because of its
piezoelectric properties quartz is used for pressure gauges, oscillators, resonators, and wave
stabilizers; because of its ability to rotate the plane of polarization of light and its
transparency in ultraviolet rays it is used in heat-ray lamps, prism, and spectrographic lenses.
Used in the manufacture of glass, paints, abrasives, refractories, and precision instruments.
Rare Earth Elements: Industrial consumption of rare earth ores is primarily in petroleum fluid
cracking catalysts, metallurgical additives, ceramics and polishing compounds, permanent
magnets, and phosphors. Rare earth elements are lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium,
neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium,
erbium, thulium, ytterbium, and lutetium.
Silicon or Silica (commonly called quartz): Used in manufacture of special steels and cast
iron, aluminum alloys, glass and refractory materials, ceramics, abrasives, water filtration,
component of hydraulic cements, filler in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, paper, insecticides,
rubber reinforcing agent - especially for high adhesion to textiles, anti-caking agent in foods,
flatting agent in paints, thermal insulator. Fused silica is used as an ablative material in
rocket engines, spacecraft, silica fibers used in reinforced plastics.
Silver: Used in photography, jewelry, in electronics because of its very high conductivity, as
currency - generally in some form of an alloy, in lining vats and other equipment for chemical
reaction vessels, water distillation, etc., catalyst in manufacture of ethylene, mirrors, electric
conductors, batteries, silver plating, table cutlery, dental, medical, and scientific equipment,
electrical contacts, bearing metal, magnet windings, brazing alloys, solder. Silver is mined in
approximately 56 countries. Nevada produces over one-third of the U.S. silver. Largest silver
reserves are found in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Peru, and China.
Sodium Carbonate (Soda Ash or Trona): Used in glass container manufacture, in fiber glass
and specialty glass, also used in production of flat glass, in powdered detergents, in
medicine, as a food additive, photography, cleaning and boiler compounds, pH control of
water.
Sulfur: Used in the manufacture of sulfuric acid, fertilizers, chemicals, explosives, dyestuffs,
petroleum refining, vulcanization of rubber, fungicides.
Tantalum: A refractory metal with unique electrical, chemical, and physical properties that is
used mostly as tantalum metal powder in the production of electronic components, mainly
tantalum capacitors. Alloyed with other metals, tantalum is also used in making cemented
carbide tools for metal working equipment, and in the production of superalloys for jet
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engine components. Australia, Brazil, Canada, Congo (Kinshasa), Ethiopia, and Rwanda are
leading tantalum ore producers. There is no tantalum mine production in the United States.
The sample photograph is tantalite, a source for tantalum.
Titanium: Titanium is a strong lightweight metal often used in airplanes. When titanium
combines with oxygen, it forms titanium dioxide (TiO2), a brilliant white pigment used in
paint, paper, and plastics. Major deposits of titanium minerals are found in Australia,
Canada, India, Norway, South Africa, Ukraine, and the United States. The sample in the
photo is a mineral collectors specimen of titanite (or sphene). However, it is not typical of
the black sands often used to produce titanium metal or TiO2 pigment.
Rutile: Titanium dioxide. Used in alloys, for electrodes in arc lights, to give a yellow color to
porcelain and false teeth.
Tungsten: Used in metalworking, construction and electrical machinery and equipment, in
transportation equipment, as filament in lightbulbs, as a carbide in drilling equipment, in
heat and radiation shielding, textile dyes, enamels, paints, and for coloring glass. Major
producers are China, Korea, and Russia. Large reserves are also found in the U.S., Bolivia,
Canada, and Germany.
Vanadium: Used in metal alloys, important in the production of aerospace titanium alloys, as
a catalyst for production of maleic anhydride and sulfuric acid, in dyes and mordants, as
target material for X-rays. Russia and South Africa are the worlds largest producers of
vanadium. Large reserves are also found in the U.S., Canada, and China. The sample photo is
vanadinite, an ore of vanadium and lead
Zeolites: Used in aquaculture (fish hatcheries for removing ammonia from the water), water
softener, in catalysts, cat litter, odor control, and for removing radioactive ions from nuclear
plant effluent.
Zinc: Used as protective coating on steel, as die casting, as an alloying metal with copper to
make brass, and as chemical compounds in rubber and paints, used as sheet zinc and for
galvanizing iron, electroplating, metal spraying, automotive parts, electrical fuses, anodes,
dry cell batteries, fungicides, nutrition (essential growth element), chemicals, roof gutters,
engravers' plates, cable wrappings, organ pipes, in pennies, as sacrificial anodes used to
protect ship hulls from galvanic action, in catalysts, in fluxes, in phosphors, and in additives
to lubricating oils and greases. Zinc oxide: in medicine, in paints, as an activator and
accelerator in vulcanizing rubber, as an electrostatic and photoconductive agent in
photocopying. Zinc dust: for primers, paints, sherardizing, precipitation of noble metals,
removal of impurities from solution in zinc electrowinning. Zinc is mined in about 40
countries with China the leading producer, followed by Australia, Peru, Canada, and the
United States.

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MCQS ON ENVIRONMENT
1. Which of the following is not one of the major environment problems resulting from
human interference in the nitrogen cycle?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Nitrous oxide release increases global warming.


Increased acid rain.
Stratospheric ozone depletion.
Eutrophication.

2. Which of the following is not a major greenhouse gas?


a)
b)
c)
d)

Water vapour
Ntrogen
Methane
Carbon Dioxide

3. The 1987 Montreal Protocol was signed for which of the following reasons?
a)
b)
c)
d)

To phase out the use of CFC's, found to be causing depletion of the ozone layer
To ban nuclear testing in tropical oceans
To stop the global trade in products made from endangered tigers
To begin converting from fossil fuel use to more renewable energy sources to reduce
the anthropogenic greenhouse effect

4. Approximately what proportion of the global land surface is used for agriculture and
grazing by the world's 6 billion people?
a)
b)
c)
d)

One tenth
One eightieth
Three quarters
One third

5. Which of the following is not a major positive feedback mechanism in which the
activity of humans to increase global climate temperatures leads to an even further
increase?
a) Global warming causes increased CO2 release from biomass decomposition
b) Tropical deforestation causes warming and drying so that remaining forests begin to
decline
c) Global warming causes increased rainfall, plant growth and photosynthesis
d) Global warming causes snow to melt in polar regions and therefore increases global
albedo

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6. What is the primary reason for targeting 'biodiversity hotspots' for conservation?
a) They are the only areas where species are seriously threatened in the world.
b) They are areas where people do not live and conservation would therefore not be
effecting the economic development of the area.
c) To protect all areas of threatened species would not allow for new species to
develop.
d) The number of species threatened far exceeds our capacity to protect them and we
can therefore only concentrate on areas of highest species diversity
7. Which of the following is not one of the prime health risks associated with greater UV
radiation through the atmosphere due to depletion of stratospheric ozone?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Damage to eyes
Increased liver cancer
Reduced immune system
Increased skin cancer

8. What was the message that the Club of Rome were trying to send to the world in
1972?
a) Nuclear power is the answer to the world's resource limitations.
b) Humans were heading on a path to massive environmental degradation and resource
exhaustion
c) Global populations will naturally start to decline and therefore the world's problems
will begin to subside
d) None of this
9. Which of the following is not a reason for more optimism that humans are not heading
into an environmental Armageddon in the future?
a) People are beginning to accept the significance of human-environment relationships
and international collaboration to curb environmental problems is beginning
b) The technology for alternative sources of energy (other than fossil fuels) has been
developed and is only waiting for the appropriate economic conditions for
widespread implementation
c) The development of genetic modification technology is allowing humans to engineer
their own resources no matter what the environmental conditions are.
d) Environmental science now has a much greater understanding of the impacts of
human activities and the response of environmental systems
10. An impact assessment, whether health impact assessment, environmental impact
assessment, social impact assessment, environmental technology assessment should
be:
a) Prospective
b) Apathetic
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c) Retrospective
d) Subjective
11. Which of the following is a mixture of decomposed organic matter and is usually dark
in colour?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Clay
Podzol
Humus
Loam

12. Soil acidity is measured by the concentration of which cation?


a)
b)
c)
d)

Calcium
Hydrogen
Magnesium
Sodium

13. Why is it important to apply nitrogen fertiliser at an appropriate time of year?


a)
b)
c)
d)

Fertiliser requires a threshold level of soil water to work


Fertiliser is more expensive during certain months of the year
The fertiliser only works above 10oC
During winter, nitrate is more easily leached from the soil when there is no
vegetation cover

14. Which of the following is not a major factor for producing regions in the Biospehere?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Temperature regime
Humans
Moisture availability
The concentration of soil organisms

15. Which of the following is not a biogeographical realm?


a)
b)
c)
d)

Paleotropic
Chaparral
Nearctic
Palaearctic

16. Under what temperature range do you find the Taiga?


a)
b)
c)
d)

Where there is between 1 and 5 months with mean temperature above 20oC
Where temperatures never exceed 10oC
Where only 1 month of the year has a mean temperature above 10oC
Where there is between 1 and 5 months with the mean temperature above 10oC

17. Which Biome is often transitional between tropical rainforests and hot deserts?
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a)
b)
c)
d)

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Deciduous
Taiga
Chaparral
Savanna

18. What climatic condition are xerophytic plants specifically adapted to?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Cold temperatures
Saline conditions
Extreme pH levels
Limited moisture availability

19. Which of the following species characteristics is not associated with fire-prone savanna
areas?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Large above ground biomass storage


Burrowing animals
Rapid shoot growth
Large below ground biomass storage

20. Why are using rainforest biomes for large scale agriculture unsustainable?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Because it is too wet


Because soils are nutrient poor
Because temperatures are too warm
Because the soils are too thin

21. Which Biome is characterised by rapid nutrient cycling and high biomass?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Deciduous forests
Tropical rain forests
Tundra
Savanna forests

22. If a species is endemic, it is:


a)
b)
c)
d)

Confined to a particular area


Widely distributed but with large gaps between regions
Confined to ground level and rarely reaches heights above a metre
Forming symbiotic relationships with other plants

23. What is the name of a species that is highly connected to the entire food web and
whose loss may result in ecosystem collapse?
a) Keystone species
b) Limiting species
c) Top species

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d) Vital species
24. Which of the following does not help regulate global carbon dioxide concentrations?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Releasing carbon dioxide following decay


Storing carbon in the soil and biomass
Absorbing carbon dioxide for photosynthesis
Alterations in rainfall patterns

25. Which of the following is an organism that survives on dead organic matter?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Rhizome
Detritus
Saprovore
Omnivore

26. On average, what percentage of energy is passed on to a consumer in the next trophic
level?
a)
b)
c)
d)

60%
10%
80%
0.2%

27. Nutritional eutrophication can cause bloom in which of the following populations?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Phytoplankton
River reeds
Salmon
Water fleas

28. CNG stands for:


a)
b)
c)
d)

Compressed Natural Gasoline


Compressed Natural Gas
Compressed Nitrogen Gas
Compressed Neon Gas

29. Which of the following is a major pollutant causing acid rain?


a)
b)
c)
d)

Carbon dioxide
Sulphur dioxide
Hydrogen peroxide
Carbon monoxide

30. The phenomenon of corrosion of marble due to acid rain:

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a)
b)
c)
d)

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Marble Fever
Marble Cancer
Marble Rain
Marble Pain

31. An alternative source of energy to fuel energy:


a)
b)
c)
d)

Tidal Energy
Petroleum
Nuclear Energy
Compressed Natural Gas

32. The best way to dispose plant waste:


a)
b)
c)
d)

Burning
Composting
Dumping in a water body
Incineration

33. The term dead with respect to a water body refers to:
a)
b)
c)
d)

The inability of a water body to sustain aquatic life


The ability of a water body to sustain aquatic life
The inability of a water body to flow
The heating or cooling of a water body

34. A water borne disease:


a)
b)
c)
d)

Small Pox
Meningitis
Diarrhea
Cholera

35. Example of renewable resource is:


a)
b)
c)
d)

Clay
Sand
Water
Fossil fuels

36. Reservoirs, lakes, ponds, rivers and canals contain percentage of fresh water:
a) 77.2%
b) 22.4%
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c) 0.36%
d) 30.3%
37. Which one of the following groups constitutes the fossil fuels?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Natural gas, oil and wood pieces


Oil, wood pieces and dry dung
Coal, wood pieces and oil
Coal, oil and natural gas

38. When biosphere turns into human dominated environment, it is called:


a)
b)
c)
d)

Noosphere
Troposphere
Mesosphere
Thermosphere

39. Water logging occurs in:


a)
b)
c)
d)

sandy soil
gravel soil
loamy soil
clayey soil

40. To rectify acid soil one of the following is used:


a)
b)
c)
d)

Urea
Phosphate
Nitrate
Lime

41. The plants commonly sown for crop rotation are:


a)
b)
c)
d)

Cajanus and Dalbergia


Cajanus and Aeschyomene
Dalbergia and Trigonella
Trigonella and Trifolium

42. If the same crop is repeatedly grown in a field:


a)
b)
c)
d)

Nitrogen starvation may result


Specific mineral deficiency may arise
Soil will become prone to diseases
Water level in soil will recede

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43. Percentage amount of fresh water is:


a)
b)
c)
d)

10%
25%
3%'
17%

44. Forests are:


a)
b)
c)
d)

Exhaustible resource
Non-renewable resource
Inexhaustible resource
Non-degradable resource

45. The largest amount of fresh-water on our planet is available in:


a)
b)
c)
d)

Lakes and streams


Polar ice caps and glaciers
Rivers
Underground

46. Which resource is believed to exhaust first?


a)
b)
c)
d)

Gold
Tin
Coal
Natural gas

47. Which of the following forest types is most widespread in India?


a)
b)
c)
d)

Tropical evergreen forest


Tropical deciduous forest
Temperate forest
Scrub forest

48. Ramsar convention is related to conservation of:


a)
b)
c)
d)

Tiger
Elephants
Crop genetic diversity
Wetlands

49. A significant effect of climate change on account of global warming on terrestrial plants
will be on:
a) Stomatal mechanism
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b) Amino acid composition of cereal grains


c) Phenology
d) Bark formation in trees
50. A tree, which is popular in social forestry programme in India, is:
a)
b)
c)
d)

Shorea robusta
Ailanthus excelsa
Cedrus deodara
Callistemon lanceolatus

51. The great Indian Rhino has its natural home in:
a)
b)
c)
d)

Kaziranga National Park


Corbett National Park
Sunderbans
Kanha National Park

52. According to the Botanical Survey of India, the total number of plant species in India is
about:
a)
b)
c)
d)

45,000
75,000
17,000
30,000

53. Assertion (A): Bt cotton is a transgenic crop which has been introduced in India, but is
being opposed on environmental grounds. Reason (R): CrylAc protein in Bt cotton has
been found to be toxic and allergenic to human beings.
a)
b)
c)
d)

Both (A) and (R) are true and (R) is the correct explanation of (A).
Both (A) and (R) are true but (R) is not correct explanation of (A).
(A) is true but (R) is false
(A) is false but (R) is true

54. C2F3C13 gas:


a)
b)
c)
d)

absorbs ultraviolet radiations


affects troposphere ozone
forms aerosols in stratosphere
absorbs infrared radiations

55. Which of the following shows bioaccumulation and contaminate food chains?
a) Pesticides
b) Polychlorinated biphenyls
c) PAN

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d) All of the above


56. The most efficient method of biodegradable urban solid waste management is:
a)
b)
c)
d)

Landfills
Pelletisation
Gasification
Composting

57. Pollutants in soil can be broken down by micro organisms. The process is called:
a)
b)
c)
d)

Probiotics
Bioremediation
Bioaugmentation
None of the above

58. Match list I and list II and select the correct answer using codes given below the lists
List I

List II

(a) Ozone depletion

(I) Basel convention

(b) CO2-, reduction

(II) Kyoto Protocol

(c) Sustainable development

(III) Rio Summit lopment

(d) Hazardous waste

(IV) Montreal Protocol

Code:

a)
b)
c)
d)

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

(I)
(IV)
(II)
(IV)

(IV)
(II)
(III)
(III)

(III)
(III)
(IV)
(II)

(II)
(I)
(I)
(I)

59. The lion - tailed macaque is endemic to:


a)
b)
c)
d)

Andaman and Nicobar islands


Lakshadweep
Nilgiri
Arunachal Pradesh

60. Most poisonous pollutant in water is:


a) Lead
b) Zinc
c) Phosphate
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d) Arsenic
61. National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) was established in:
a)
b)
c)
d)

1986
1988
1999
2004

62. Major pollutants of motor vehicular emission in India are:


a)
b)
c)
d)

Oxides of nitrogen and lead


Diesel particulates and carbon monoxide
Ozone and carbon dioxide, other toxics
All of the above

63. Which is NOT a controlling method of Eutrophication?


a)
b)
c)
d)

The wastewater must be treated before its discharge into water streams
It can be minimised by removing nitrogen and phosphorus at the source
Physico-chemical methods can be adopted
Algal bloom release toxic chemicals during eutrophication

64. The establishment of national parks and sanctuaries came under:


a)
b)
c)
d)

in-situ conservation of biodiversity


ex-situ conservation of biodiversity
Natural development Plan of Biodiversity
All of the above

65. The criteria for the selection of species under ex-situ conservation is/are:
a)
b)
c)
d)

vulnerability of the species of extinction


ecological importance of the species
economic and aesthetic importance of the species
All of the above

66. Which is an ozone depleting?


a)
b)
c)
d)

N2O
CFC-12
CFC-11
All of these

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67. High concentration of pollution in India is due to:


a)
b)
c)
d)

absence for sound environmental legal regime


lack of environmental enforcement at local level
generation of high biomedical wastes
All of the above

68. The highest premature deaths in India are mainly due to:
a)
b)
c)
d)

outdoor air pollution


indoor air pollution
both of the above
None of the above

69. The Environmental Protection Act was enacted in:


a)
b)
c)
d)

1986
1985
1987
1972

70. Fresh water achieves its greatest density at:


a)
b)
c)
d)

4C
0C
-4C
100C

71. The regional environmental problem is:


a)
b)
c)
d)

desertification
ozone depletion
climatic changes
All of these

72. The major stratospheric ozone layer (hole) over Antarctica was discovered in:
a)
b)
c)
d)

1983
1985
1987
1980

73. The most rigorous global environmental issues are:

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a)
b)
c)
d)

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acid rain & air pollution


global warming & ozone depletion
noise & water pollution
All of the above

74. The Sardar Sarovar Project will provide irrigation to:


a)
b)
c)
d)

2 million hectares of land


4 million hectares of land
10 million hectares of land
6 million hectares of land

75. The Sardar Sarovar Dam Project is located at:


a)
b)
c)
d)

Tapi River
Narmada River
Sabarmati River
Mahi river

76. Who amongst the following formed Narmada Bachoao Andolan?


a)
b)
c)
d)

S.L. Bahuguna
Medha Patkar
Arundhati Roy
Javed Ah

77. The true statement is/are:


a)
b)
c)
d)

India is not a signatory to Kyoto protocol


Sardar Sarovar Project will threaten the livings of more than 150,000 people
Tehri dam project envisages the generation of 2400 MW of electricity
All of the above

78. The result of integrated environmental, economic and social needs to achieve both an
increased standard of living in the short term, and a net gain or equilibrium among
human, natural and economic resources to support future generations, is:
a) Environmental Impact Assessment
b) Sustainable development
c) Biological magnification
d) Environmental analysis

79. Which of the following is not requiring clearance from Ministry of Environment and
Forests?

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a)
b)
c)
d)

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Chemical Industries
Power and Refineries
Textile and Rubber Industries
Hotel Industries

80. Environmental Impact Assessment is:


a) the study of impact on environment of proposed action like policy, plan or project
b) a process of anticipating or establishing the changes in physical ecological and socioeconomic component of the environment
c) both of the above
d) None of the above
81. The developmental activities requiring environmental impact assessment are:
a)
b)
c)
d)

Construction activities and manufacturing industries


Mining and power generation projects
Both of these
None of these

82. How many projects in the list of Schedule I of Environmental Impact Assessment
guidelines require environmental clearance from Ministry of Environment and Forests?
a)
b)
c)
d)

17
21
23
25

83. The statement/s that is/are correct regarding Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)
Act, 1994:
a) Responsibility for implementation of EIA notification lies with ministry of
Environment and Forests
b) EIA notification is applicable to all States or Union territories
c) Schedule I of the guidelines list the projects requiring environmental clearance
d) All of the above
84. The correct pair is:
a)
b)
c)
d)

The Institute of Remote Sensing-> Anna University


Institute of Remote Sensing (CSIR) -> Delhi
The Institute of Remote Sensing -> India Science Centre
Institute of Public Administration -> Dehradun

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85. What is the harm from the depletion of Earth's ozone layer
a)
b)
c)
d)

The average temperature of earth's surface will increase gradually


The oxygen content of the atmosphere will decrease
Increased amount of Ultra violet radiation will reach earth's surface
Sea levels will rise as the polar ice caps will gradually melt

86. Acid rain is formed due to contribution from the following pair of gases
a)
b)
c)
d)

Methane and ozone


Oxygen and nitrous oxide
methane and sulpher dioxide
Carbon dioxide and sulpher dioxide

87. Which of the following is a prime health risks associated with greater UV radiation
through the atmosphere due to depletion of stratospheric ozone?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Damage to digestive system


Increased liver cancer
Neurological disorder
Increased skin cancer

88. Which of the following is not a consequence of global warming?


a)
b)
c)
d)

rising sea level


increased agricultural productivity worldwide
worsening health effects
increased storm frequency and intensity

89. Which of the following is not a primary contributor to the greenhouse effect?
a)
b)
c)
d)

carbon dioxide
carbon monoxide
chlorofluorocarbons
methane gas

90. The increase in the concentration of CO2 in our environment in last fifty years; since
1960 is about
a)
b)
c)
d)

20%
10%
14%
6%

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91. The depletion in the Ozone layer is caused by


a)
b)
c)
d)

Nitrous oxide.
Carbon dioxide.
Chlorofluorocarbons.
Methane.

92. The presence of high coliform counts in water indicate


a)
b)
c)
d)

Contamination by human wastes.


Phosphorus contamination.
Decreased biological oxygen demand.
Hydrocarbon contamination.

93. How the biological oxygen demand gets affected with the increased presence of
organic matter in water?
a)
b)
c)
d)

the oxygen demand increases


the oxygen demand decreases
the oxygen demand remains unchanged
None of the above

94. Which of the following is not a major source of groundwater contamination?


a)
b)
c)
d)

agricultural products
landfills
septic tanks
underground storage tanks

95. Which of the following is not considered as part of water use planning?
a)
b)
c)
d)

waste water treatment


water diversion projects
storm sewer drainage
salinization

96. The stage in which the biological processes is used to purify water in a wastewater
treatment plants is called
a)
b)
c)
d)

secondary sewage treatment


primary sewage treatment
wastewater reduction
biochemical reduction

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97. Groundwater mining in coastal areas can result into


a)
b)
c)
d)

Increase in the salinity of groundwater.


Decrease in the toxicity of groundwater.
Decrease in the salinity of groundwater.
Increase in the water table.

98. The three primary soil macronutrients are


a)
b)
c)
d)

Carbon, oxygen, and water.


Copper, cadmium, and carbon.
Potassium, phosphorus, and nitrogen.
Boron, zinc, and manganese.

99. Among the following environmental pollutants has the problem of biomagnificationsa)
b)
c)
d)

SO2
NO3
Hg fungicides
O3 & CO2

100. An increase in the atmospheric level of automobile exhaust gases does not lead toa)
b)
c)
d)

Pb Pollution
O2 Pollution
Particulate air pollution
VOC Pollution

101. The compound mainly responsible for pollution which caused the ill famed Bhopal gas
tragedy wasa)
b)
c)
d)

NH4OH
CH3NCO
CH3NH2O
CHCl3

102. In recycling of mineral elements within an ecosystem, the responsible direct acting
organism are calleda)
b)
c)
d)

Decomposers
Producers
Primary consumers
Secondary consumers

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103. Eutrophication of water bodies resulting to killing of fishes is mainly due toa)
b)
c)
d)

Non-availability of food
Non-availability of light
Non-availability of oxygen
Non-availability of essential minerals

104. The pyramid of biomass will be inverted in the ecosystem ofa)


b)
c)
d)

Forests
Ponds
Grasslands
Drylands

105. Primary productivity at the climax stage of a succession isa)


b)
c)
d)

Higher then consumption


Lower then the consumption
Equal to consumption
Not related to consumption

106. The pyramid of number of a parasitic food chain in forest ecosystem isa)
b)
c)
d)

Always inverted
Always upright
Mixture of inverted & upright
Sometimes inverted and sometimes upright

107. The most stable ecosystem could bea)


b)
c)
d)

Ponds
Oceans
Desert
Forest

108. Pollution of big cities can be controlled to large extent bya)


b)
c)
d)

Wide roads and factories away from city


Cleanliness drive and proper use of pesticides
Proper sewage and proper exit of chemicals from factories
All of the above

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109. The Ecological pyramid that is always upright


a)
b)
c)
d)

Pyramid of energy
Pyramid of biomass
Pyramid of number
None of the above

110. In India, Tropical rain forest occurs ina)


b)
c)
d)

Jammu and Kashmir


Andaman & Nicobar
Uttar Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh

111. In which of the following the maximum plant diversity is founda)


b)
c)
d)

Tropical evergreen forests


Tropical moist deciduous forests
Sub tropical mountain forests
Temperate moist forests 10.

112. A cows herbivorous diet indicates that it is a(n)


a)
b)
c)
d)

secondary consumer.
decomposer.
primary consumer.
producer.

113. Which of the following organisms fix nitrogen in aquatic ecosystems?


a)
b)
c)
d)

Fungi
Chemoautotrophs
Cyanobacteria
phytoplankton

114. Which of the following statements is (are) true?


a) An ecosystems trophic structure determines the rate at which energy cycles within
the system.
b) Chemoautotrophic prokaryotes near deep-sea vents are primary producers.
c) There has been a well-documented increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide over the
past several decades.
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d) Both B and C are true.


115. The fundamental difference between materials and energy is that
a)
b)
c)
d)

Energy is cycled through ecosystems; materials are not.


Materials can be converted into energy; energy cannot be converted into materials.
Energy can be converted into materials; materials cannot be converted into energy.
Materials are cycled through ecosystems; energy is not.

116. The concept that energy cannot cycle through an ecosystem is best explained by
a)
b)
c)
d)

The law of conservation of energy.


The principle of biomagnification.
The second law of thermodynamics.
The competitive exclusion principle.

117. Subtraction of which of the following will convert gross primary productivity into net
primary productivity?
a)
b)
c)
d)

the energy fixed by photosynthesis


the energy contained in the standing crop
the energy used by heterotrophs in respiration
the energy used by autotrophs in respiration

118. The difference between net and gross primary productivity would likely be greatest for
a)
b)
c)
d)

Prairie grasses.
Sphagnum moss in a bog.
Phytoplankton in the ocean.
An oak tree in a forest.

119. Which of these ecosystems accounts for the largest amount of Earths primary
productivity?
a)
b)
c)
d)

open ocean
savanna
tundra
tropical rain forest

120. The total biomass of photosynthetic autotrophs present in an ecosystem is known as


the

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b)
c)
d)

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Net primary productivity.


Standing crop.
Gross primary productivity.
Secondary productivity.

121. Which of the following most directly relates to the current biodiversity crisis?
a)
b)
c)
d)

increased atmospheric carbon dioxide


ozone depletion
the rate of extinction
introduced species

122. Which of the following terms includes all of the others?


a)
b)
c)
d)

Genetic diversity
species diversity
biodiversity
ecosystem diversity

123. The most accurate assessments of current extinction rates probably come from studies
of
a) Reptiles, because they are ectothermic and susceptible to population declines during
frequent past glacial periods.
b) Birds and mammals, because they are relatively well-known taxa.
c) Marine invertebrates, because of their relatively long and complete fossil history.
d) Insects, because they comprise the vast majority of extant multicellular organisms.
124. According to most conservation biologists, the single greatest threat to global
biodiversity is
a)
b)
c)
d)

Insufficient recycling programs for nonrenewable resources.


Global climate change resulting from a variety of human activities.
Stratospheric ozone depletion.
Alteration or destruction of the physical habitat.

125. Introduced species can have important effects on biological communities by


a)
b)
c)
d)

Preying upon native species.


Displacing native species.
Competing with native species for resources.
Doing all of the above.

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126. Which of the following does not represent a potential threat to biodiversity?
a)
b)
c)
d)

importing a European insect into the United States to control an undesirable weed
letting previously used farmland go fallow and begin to fill with weeds and shrubs
Building a new mall on a previously unoccupied piece of midwestern prairie.
harvesting all of the oysters from an oyster bed off the Atlantic coast

127. Important abiotic factors in ecosystems include which of the following?


I. temperature
II. Water
III. Wind
a)
b)
c)
d)

I only
II only
I and II only
I, II, and III

128. All of the following statements about ecology are correct except:
a) Ecology is the study of the interactions between biotic and abiotic aspects of the
environment.
b) Ecology is a discipline that is independent from natural selection and evolutionary
history.
c) Ecologists may study populations and communities of organisms.
d) Ecology spans increasingly comprehensive levels of organization, from individuals to
ecosystems.
129. Which of the following levels of organization is arranged in the correct sequence from
most to least inclusive?
a)
b)
c)
d)

ecosystem, community, population, individual


community, ecosystem, individual, population
individual, population, community, ecosystem
population, ecosystem, individual, community

130. All of the following would have a direct effect on the amount of precipitation in an
area except
a)
b)
c)
d)

Mountain ranges.
Air circulation cells.
Continental drift.
Ocean currents.

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131. The biogeographic realms described by Darwin, Wallace, and others are associated
with patterns of
a)
b)
c)
d)

Precipitation and temperature.


Continental drift.
Climate.
Rocks and soil.

132. Which of the following are correct statements about light in aquatic environments?
I. Water selectively reflects and absorbs certain wavelengths of light.
II. Photosynthetic organisms that live in deep water probably utilize red light.
III. Light intensity is an important abiotic factor in limiting the distribution of
photosynthetic organisms.
a)
b)
c)
d)

I only
I and III only
II and III only
I, II, and III

133. A localized group of organisms that belong to the same species is called a
a)
b)
c)
d)

Biosystem.
Community.
Population.
Ecosystem.

134. The dynamics of any ecosystem include the following major processes:
a)
b)
c)
d)

the flow of energy from sunlight to producers


the flow of energy from sunlight to producers and then to consumers
the flow of energy to producers and the recycling of nutrients
The flow of energy from sunlight to producers and then to consumers, and the
recycling of chemical nutrients.

135. The photochemical smog is produced by


a)
b)
c)
d)

Nitrogen oxides
Hydrocarbons
Nitrogen oxides & hydrocarbons
Solar radiation on NOX & hydrocarbon

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136. Major aerosol pollutant in jet plane emission isa)


b)
c)
d)

SO2
CO
Methane
Flurocarbon

137. Those species whose populations have been seriously depleted and whose ultimately
security is not assured is known
a)
b)
c)
d)

Threatened species
Endangered species
Vulnerable species
Rare species

138. Wild life is destroyed most whena)


b)
c)
d)

There is lack of proper care


Mass scale hunting for foreign trade
Its natural habitat is destroyed
Natural calamity

139. Increased incidence of floods in plains of North India are due toa)
b)
c)
d)

Increased deforestation in catchment areas


Increase in incidence of rainfall
Silting of dams
More area under cultivation

140. The two major aspects of ecosystem are-structure and function. By function we meana) The rate of biological energy flow i.e., the rate of production of respiration of
community
b) Biological or ecological regulation including both regulation of organisms by
environment and relation of environment by the organisms
c) The composition of biological community including species, numbers, biomass
and life history
d) None of the above
141. Micro consumers are popularly known asa)
b)
c)
d)

Primary consumer
Secondary consumer
Tertiary consumer
Decomposers

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b)
c)
d)

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Grasslands
Tropical rain forest
Deserts
Mangroves

143. Succession that occurs on abandoned agricultural fields is best described as


a)
b)
c)
d)

Coevolution.
Primary succession.
Secondary succession.
Prairie succession.

144. The term HOMEOSTASIS refers to


a)
b)
c)
d)

The maintenance of a consistent internal environment.


The ability to conform internal temperature to environmental temperature.
An organisms biotic potential.
The carrying capacity of a population.

145. Which of the following is NOT considered a population?


a)
b)
c)
d)

the ginkgo trees (GINKGO BILOBA) in New York City


the birds in your hometown
the human inhabitants of Pennsylvania
the grizzly bears (URSUS ARCTOS) of Alaska

146. Which one of the following has the largest population in a food chain?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Producers
Primary consumers
Secondary consumers
Decomposers

147. Secondary producers are


a)
b)
c)
d)

Herbivores
Producers
Carnivores
None of the above

148. Which of the following groups contain only biodegradable items?


a)
b)
c)
d)

Grass, flowers and leather


Grass, wood and plastic
Fruit-peels, cake and lime-juice
Cake, wood and grass

149. Which of the following constitute a food-chain?


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a)
b)
c)
d)

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Grass, wheat and mango


Grass, goat and human
Goat, cow and elephant
Grass, fish and goat

150. Which of the following are environment-friendly practices?


a)
b)
c)
d)

Carrying cloth-bags to put purchases in while shopping


Switching off unnecessary lights and fans
Walking to school instead of getting your mother to drop you on her scooter
All of the above

151. What is the rank of India in the world in respect of plant diversity?
a)
b)
c)
d)

10th
12th
5th
6th

152. 'All the plants and animals in an area are interdependent and interrelated to each
other in their physical environment.' What is the name given to this interrelationship
and interdependence?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Physical environment,
Ecosystem
Biome
Food chain

153. What restricts the Tropical Evergreen Forests?


a)
b)
c)
d)

Temperature
Rainfall
Airpressure
Air current

154. Name the forests in which teak is the most dominant species.
a)
b)
c)
d)

Tropical evergreen forests


Tropical thorn forests and scrubs
Tropical deciduous forests
Mangrove forests

155. In which type of forests does Sundari tree belong?


a) Tropical evergreen forests
b) Tropical thorn forests and scrubs
c) Tropical deciduous forests

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d) Mangrove forests
156. In a lake polluted with pesticides, which one of the following will contain the
maximum amount of pesticides?
a)
b)
c)
d)

small fish
microscopic animals
big fish
water birds

157. Identify the correct match of a tiger reserve and the state in which it is located
a)
b)
c)
d)

CorbettMadhya Pradesh
DarraRajasthan
PerambakulamKarnataka
BandipurTamil Nadu.

158. The outermost zone of a biosphere reserve is


a)
b)
c)
d)

manipulation zone
core zone
buffer zone
any of these

159. The worlds biggest GHG emitter


a)
b)
c)
d)

China
USA
India
South Africa

160. The "Vienna Convention" related with environment is basically related with.
a)
b)
c)
d)

International trade in endangered species


Protection of ozone layer
Biodiversity conservation
Preservation of cultural environment

161. Man and biosphere programme is affiliated with.


a)
b)
c)
d)

UNESCO
IUCN
WWF
WIPO

162. Which of the following is a native species of India


a) Two horned rhinoceros

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b) Rhesus monkey
c) Komodo dragon
d) None
163. What is the difference between a threatened species and an endangered species?
a) A threatened species means that the population is likely to become endangered. An
endangered species has population numbers so low that it is likely to become extinct
b) A threatened species is already extinct. An endangered species means that the
populations numbers have increased greatly over the last 5 years
c) A threatened species means that the population is likely to become endangered. An
endangered species is already extinct
d) A threatened species and an endangered species are the same
164. Growing rice results in the release of ________ into the atmosphere
a)
b)
c)
d)

methane
nitrous oxide
ozone
hydroflurocarbons

165. Consider the following statements


1) ocean acidification due to global warming activates coral growth
2) global warming may result in increased agricultural yield in certain parts of the earth
The correct statements
a)
b)
c)
d)

only 1
only 2
both 1 and 2
neither 1 nor 2

166. The year declared by UN as International Year of Forests


a)
b)
c)
d)

2011
2010
2009
2008

167. The only conference of parties held in India


a)
b)
c)
d)

cop-8
cop-9
cop-10
cop-11

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168. Which of the following is not a mission listed under NATIONAL ACTION PLAN ON
CILMATE CHANGE(NAPCC)
a)
b)
c)
d)

national mission on sustainable development


national mission on enhanced energy efficiency
national mission on sustainable Himalayan ecosystem
national mission on strategic knowledge for climate change

169. For providing environmental information to decision makers, policy planners,


scientists and engineers, research workers, etc. all over the country., ENVIS was
established in the year
a)
b)
c)
d)

1979
1980
1981
1982

170. The Himalayan ibex is a type of


a)
b)
c)
d)

goat
deer
ass
cattle

171. Icreased defoliation in plants is caused by


a)
b)
c)
d)

ozone depletion
acid rains
global warming
ground pollution

172. Red data book contains data of


a)
b)
c)
d)

all plant species


all animal species
economically important species
threatened species

173. IUCN (The International Union For Conservation Of Nature And Natural Resources)
headquarters is at
a)
b)
c)
d)

Gland, Switzerland
Paris, France
Vienna, Austria
NewYork, USA

174. Biodiversity

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a)
b)
c)
d)

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increases towards the equator


decreases towards the equator
remains same throughout the planet
has no effect on change in latitude

175. Dodo is
a)
b)
c)
d)

endangered
critically endangered
rare
extinct

176. Blue whale is placed under


a)
b)
c)
d)

endangered
critically endangered
rare
extinct

177. Which method is used for the removal of sulphur dioxide and ammonia from the
polluted air?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Wet scrubbers
Absorption
Gravitational method
Electrostatic precipitator

178. BOD is ______ in polluted water and ______ in potable water.


a) more, less
b) less, medium
c) medium, more
d) less, more.
179. Which pollutants are responsible for bronchitis?
a)
b)
c)
d)

O2, CO2
CO, CO2
SO2, NO2
Cl2, H2S

180. Diesel exhaust is the main source of three highly toxic pollutants that have a
widespread impact on the urban air quality and human health. Name them
a)
b)
c)
d)

SPM, Sulphur dioxide and Nitrogen oxides (NOx)


Suspended particulate matter(SPM), benzene, CO2
Sulphur dioxide, Ammonia, Benzene
Lead, NOx,CO2

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181. Earlier, leaded petrol used to be the most widespread, though easily preventable,
source of urban air pollution in the world. According to WHO (World Health
Organization), 1518 million children in the developing countries are already suffering
from permanent brain damage due to lead poisoning. Why is tetra-ethyl lead added to
petrol?
a)
b)
c)
d)

It prevents engine knocking


Reduces vehicular emissions
Increases life of motor tyres
None of the above

182. What is carpooling?


a)
b)
c)
d)

an interesting computer game


intensive washing of your fathers car
you and your friends sharing a ride to a movie
none of the above

183. A device is fitted to motor vehicles to chemically reduce some gases produced by
internal combustion engines like NOx, CO, and HC into less harmful products. Name
this device.
a)
b)
c)
d)

Tail pipe
Catalytic converter
2-stroke engines
Carburetor

184. Water pollution has become a major problem in the world today. It has an adverse
affect on both the environment and health. What are the main sources of water
pollution in India?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Municipal sewage
Bathing
Industrial discharge
Both a and c

185. What minerals are found in the run-off from agricultural land and treated and
untreated sewage effluents, which are highly responsible for eutrophication of water
bodies?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Phosphorous and carbon


Nitrogen and phosphorus
Potassium and arsenic
Iron and manganese

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186. The GAP (Ganga Action Plan) a project to clean up the polluted waters of the Ganga plans to intercept and divert municipal sewage falling into the river from 25 large
urban conglomerates in three states. Name them.
a)
b)
c)
d)

UP, Haryana and Punjab


UP, Bihar and West Bengal
Himachal Pradesh, UP, and Haryana
Orissa , Bihar and West Bengal

187. Sea turtles are called living fossils for they have been on the earth in their present
form for over 150 million years. Of the five species of sea turtles found in the waters of
the Indian subcontinent, which is the most populous species?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Keneps Ridley
Loggerhead
Olive Ridley
Flatback

188. The Giant Panda is the official symbol of the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature). In
which country is this animal found?
a)
b)
c)
d)

China
India
New zeland
South Korea

189. One of the following bird species was thought to be extinct but has been rediscovered
in India by the BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society) in 2002. Name the species.
a)
b)
c)
d)

Pink-headed Duck
Himalayan Mountain Quail
Forest Owlet
Masked Finfoot

190. Climate change may have an impact on the following:


a)
b)
c)
d)

Agriculture, natural terrestrial ecosystems, and water resources


Air quality, oceans, and coastal zones
Energy and human health
All of the above

191. India would phase out the production and consumption of the controlled ODS (ozonedepleting substances) within the time frame and limits specified in the
a) Vienna Convention
b) Basel Convention
c) Montreal Protocol

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d) Agenda 21
192. By 2100 AD, global temperature is expected to rise by about 2 C and consequently,
the sea level by about 50 cm from the present level. How is a rise in temperature
expected to increase the level of the sea?
a)
b)
c)
d)

By expanding ocean water


By melting mountain glaciers
By causing ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland to melt and slide into the oceans
All of the above

193. In India and elsewhere, biomass can be obtained from


a)
b)
c)
d)

Groundnut shells
Sugarcane bagasse
Rice husk
All of the above

194. Biogas is a methane-rich gas formed by fermentation of animal dung, human sewage
and crop residue. The advantage(s) of biogas is/are:
a)
b)
c)
d)

A clean and smokeless fuel


Slurry left behind is used as fish feed
High potential in rural India
All of the above

195. Proper disposal of hazardous toxic waste is essential as exposure to it can cause
serious problems to the health. Which is potentially the safest means of disposing of
the most toxic wastes: organic solvents, chlorinated hydrocarbons, and oil-base
compounds (including PCBs and dioxins)?
a)
b)
c)
d)

Municipal incineration
Industrial high temperature incineration
Landfills
None of the above

196. India generates about 4.3 million tonnes of hazardous wastes every year. Direct
exposure to two chemicals in hazardous waste can cause death. Name them.
a)
b)
c)
d)

Mercury and arsenic


Cyanide and sulphur
Sulphur and arsenic
Mercury and cyanide

197. Hazardous waste is generated mainly by the industrial sector. It not only causes harm
to the environment but also leads to health problems. A small percentage of the

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hazardous waste is also generated in the house. One of the following is a hazardous
waste that is generated in the house.
a)
b)
c)
d)

Paper
Leftover foodstuff
Old batteries
Plastic bags

198. Which of the following are correct


1) Cartagena Protocol is a regulation on transboundary movement on the biosafety of
handling and use of living modified organisms (LMOs)
2) Stockholm Convention is to Protect human health and the Persistent Organic
environment from persistent organic substances
a) 1
b) 2
c) None
d) Both
199. Which of the following are correct
1) India ranks third in buffaloes, second in cattle and goats.
2) The National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) undertakes suitable
programmes for identification, evaluation of animal genetic resources
a) 1
b) 2
c) Both
d) None
200. Which of the following is incorrect
1) Delhi is the first state to follow the State action plan on Climate change
2) State of Forests Report 2011- Latest State of Forest Report released, shows continued
rise in Indias forest cover.
a) None
b) Both
c) 1
d) 2

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ANSWER KEY
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35

c
b
a
d
c
d
b
b
c
a
c
a
a
b
b
b
d
d
a
b
b
a
a
d
d
b
a
b
b
b
a
b
a
c
a

41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75

d
a
c
a
b
d
b
d
a
a
a
a
c
b
d
d
b
b
c
d
d
a
c
a
d
d
d
d
d
a
d
b
b
a
b

81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115

c
a
d
d
c
d
d
b
b
c
c
a
a
b
d
a
a
c
c
b
b
a
c
b
c
a
a
d
a
b
a
c
c
d
d

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121
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
129
130
131
132
133
134
135
136
137
138
139
140
141
142
143
144
145
146
147
148
149
150
151
152
153
154
155

c
c
b
d
d
b
d
b
a
c
c
a
c
d
d
d
a
c
a
a
d
b
b
a
b
d
a
c
b
d
a
d
b
c
d

161
162
163
164
165
166
167
168
169
170
171
172
173
174
175
176
177
178
179
180
181
182
183
184
185
186
187
188
189
190
191
192
193
194
195

a
d
a
a
b
a
a
a
d
a
b
d
a
a
d
b
a
a
c
d
a
d
b
d
b
b
c
a
c
d
c
d
d
c
b

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36
37
38
39
40

c
d
a
d
d

76
77
78
79
80

b
c
b
c
c

116
117
118
119
120

c
d
d
a
a

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156
157
158
159
160

d
b
c
a
b

196
197
198
199
200

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d
c
d
b
b

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