Environmental Conservation-in situ and ex situ conservation

In-situ conservation means maintenance of biodiversity in natural habitat whereas Ex-situ conservation emphasises the conservation of biodiversity outside natural habitat.The Indian Constitution entails the subject of forests and wildlife in the Concurrent list. The Federal Ministry acts as a guiding torch dealing with the policies and planning on wildlife conservation and Environmental Conservation, while the provincial Forest Departments are vested with the responsibility of implementation of national policies and plans. The Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme initiated by UNESCO  in 1972  is a broad based ecological programme aimed at Environmental Conservation and improvement of the relationship between man and the ... Read more

The Water Prevention and Control of Pollution Act

The Water Prevention and Control of Pollution Act was enacted in 1974 to provide for the prevention and control of water pollution, and for the maintaining or restoring of wholesomeness of water in the country. The Act was amended in 1988. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act was enacted in 1977, to provide for the levy and collection of a cess on water consumed by persons operating and carrying on certain types of industrial activities. This cess is collected with a view to augment the resources of the Central Board and the State Boards for the prevention and ... Read more

The Air Prevention & Control of Pollution

The Air Prevention & Control of Pollution Act is an Act by Parliament to provide for the prevention, control and abatement of air pollution, for the establishment, with a view to carrying out the aforesaid purposes, of Boards, for conferring on and assigning to such Boards powers and functions relating thereto and for matters connected therewith.The objective of the Air Act 1981 is to prevent, control and reduce air pollution including noise pollution. Under provisions of this Act, no person shall, without previous consent of the SPCB, establish or operate any industrial plant in air pollution control area the investor ... Read more

Global warming

Global warming is a term used for a gradual rise of atmospheric temperature and consequent changes in the radiation balance mainly due to human action leading to climatic change at different levels – local, regional and global. As per recent estimates, it has been found that  the surface air temperature over the past 100 years has increased by about 0.5 C to 0.7 C. In the future, it is very likely that rising temperatures  will lead to more frequent heat waves, and virtually  certain that the seas will rise, which could leave low-  lying nations awash in seawater. Warmer temperatures ... Read more

Forest Conservation Act

In order to check rapid deforestation due to forestlands being released by state governments for agriculture, industry and other development projects (allowed under the Indian Forest Act) the federal government enacted the Forest Conservation Act in 1980 with an amendment in 1988. The Act made the prior approval of the federal government necessary for de-reservation of reserved forests, logging and for use of forestland for non- forest purposes. The Forest Conservation Act 1980 was enacted to help conserve the country’s forests. It strictly restricts and regulates the de-reservation of forests or use of forest land for non-forest purposes without the prior approval of ... Read more

Environmental Laws-The Environment Protection Act

The Environment Protection Act is an important legislation that provides for coordination of activities of the various regulatory agencies, creation of authorities with adequate powers for environmental protection, regulation of the discharge of environmental pollutants, handling of hazardous substances, etc. The Act provided an opportunity to extend legal protection to non-forest habitats (‘Ecologically Sensitive Areas’) such as grasslands, wetlands and coastal zones.The Environment (Protection) Act was enacted in 1986 with the objective of providing for the protection and improvement of the environment. It empowers the Central Government to establish authorities charged with the mandate of preventing environmental pollution in all its ... Read more

Ozone layer depletion

Ozone (O3) is a molecule made up of three atoms of oxygen (O), and is mostly found in the strato- sphere, where it protects us from the Sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. Although it represents only a tiny fraction of the atmosphere, ozone is crucial for life on Earth. The stratospheric ozone layer forms a thin shield in the upper atmosphere, protecting life on Earth from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.  It has been called the Earth’s sunscreen.  In the 1980s, scientists found  evidence that the ozone layer was being depleted.  Depletion of the ozone layer results in increased UV radiation ... Read more

Acid rain

The pH of natural rain is found to be in the range from 5 to 7. The term acid rain is customarily applied to precipitation with a pH below 5. Such low pH values are generally possible only in the presence of large amounts of anthropogenic pollution. Sulphuric acid and nitric acid is considered as the principal agents responsible for acid rain. But the major culprit are human beings. Smokes emitted from the industries is the major source of sulphur dioxide whereas smokes emitted from the motor vehicle is the major source of nitrogen oxide. These emissions mixed with atmospheric ... Read more

Global Environmental Issues: Climate change

Climate Change It is the long term change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods of time Though it has been happening naturally for millions of years, in recent years it has accelerated due to anthropogenic causes and has been causing global warming. UNFCCC defines climate change as – “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activitythat alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods” Climate Change Mitigation Alternative Energy sources Renewable energy Nuclear Power Reduce the carbon intensity of ... Read more

Biodiversity: concept, hotspots, threats to biodiversity

Biodiversity is defined as the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part; this includes diversity within species, between species, and of ecosystems. Basically biodiversity is the total number of genes, species and ecosystems of a region. It includes (i) genetic diversity, (ii) species diversity and (iii) ecosystem diversity. Plants and animals constitute only a small component of biodiversity. A biodiversity hotspot is a region with a high level of endemic species. Endemic species are those species that are found  in a certain limited ... Read more