In order to deal with noise pollution, this year, the government of Maharashtra has called for an eco-friendly Diwali celebration. The pollution board is looking at banning firecrackers producing noise more than 65 decibels. While this is a good initiative, the implementation has not been fast enough as firecrackers based on older regulations have already reached the market.
Much has been talked and said about the tree hugging movement or the Chipko movement in India. Often referred to as a movement spearheaded by women, it brought forth the actual significance of environmental education and the dynamic role played by women in implementing what they learn from such basis lessons of environmental education. Women’s participation and environmental education are the twin pillars that set the foundation for the success of the Chipko movement. The movement began in the Himalayan regions, where forests are the main source of livelihood.
Environmental pollution has become a global issue. One of its bad effects is that it leads to depletion of the ozone layer, causes climate changes, makes ground water toxic, causes health hazards and so on. The absence of adequate environmental laws worsens the situation further.
The concept of environmental education is not a new one as a major part of human knowledge is derived from nature. Environment pollution in different forms continues to trouble us but environmental education makes it possible for us to understand the clear outcome of human activity on the environment. Those who want to pursue environmental education seriously shall also study related disciplines that include physical science, biological science, social science and applied science. Environmental education courses can be pursued at Graduate and Post-graduate levels.
In India, environmental education begins early in schools and colleges but it is not confined to issues such as the conservation of plants and animals. It extends to learning about the functioning of the natural system and about the impact of activities of human beings on the environment.
Further, environmental education involves spreading awareness and educating the public, about environmental challenges through print materials, internet, media campaigns, workshops, camps, seminars and rallies. The Chipko movement, for instance, is a classic example of how awareness about environmental issues brings about a great change among the masses.
Modern business houses are often referred as soulless corporations. This is because they pose a threat to the environment and violate environment laws often. Pavan Sukhdev heads the United Nation’s investigation into how to stop destruction of the natural world. He states those business corporations often tend to pollute the environment as they place more importance to achieving their short term goals. In the process, they ignore the long term environmental hazards.
The government of India has enacted stringent environmental laws to combat environmental pollution in the country. However, India still relies mainly on fossil fuels, for its electricity supplies. Based on the reports of the International Energy Agency, India will become world’s third largest carbon emitter, by 2020, with a yearly CO2 emission of 2 billion tons. There are many environmental issues that we are facing in India. We have faced 18 life-threatening heat waves between the years 1980 and 1998. About 3000 people died in Andhra Pradesh, because of these heat waves. Global warming has become a serious issue across the world and one that is much talked about. The recurring climate change patterns continue to cause worry because it paves the way for various health hazards, such as heat stress, respiratory illness and other communicable diseases.
One of the largest international NGOs in China, Greenpeace has slammed a lawsuit on Wal-Mart, for selling genetically modified (GM) rice in China. This environmental organization, Greenpeace has been active in China for some years now. The organization has been working to stop commercialization of transgenic food. However, for the first time, it has flexed its legal rights and taken a legal action, to stop commercial sale of GM rice in China. Greenpeace has alleged that Wal-Mart is posing a threat to the health of the Chinese consumers by selling GM rice, which is illegal in China. Consumption of such dangerous food can violate the legal right of the consumers too. In fact, China has banned the GM crops due to its potential health hazards and environmental harms. However, GM crops are being cultivated, sold and traded in China, due to their higher pest resistance.
India legal news reports indicate that all’s not fizzy with Coca-Cola in Kerala. The company is facing a serious legal charge in Kerala. The Kerala government will soon set up a tribunal to recover Rs.216.26 crores from the world famous soft drink giant. The amount is sought as a compensation, for environmental harm and violation of environmental laws, by the company. The damage was caused because of their bottling plant and it affected the people of a village called Plachimada of Palakkad district. The company is reported to have caused serious environmental harm through its bottling plant, which is already closed, following sustained protests and stand taken by the court. The state government’s cabinet decided to set up the tribunal based on the report submitted by a panel headed by K. Jayakumar, the Additional Chief Secretary.
Environment laws are doing little to implement actual changes in the way a society conducts its activities. Rising pollution and increasing levels of deforestation continue to play havoc with our environment. Be it air or water, pollution is prevalent everywhere. It puts us in danger, each and every one in this country is affected by it. In recent years, water pollution has become a serious problem across the country, mostly due to the presence of untreated effluents, chemicals and pesticides in it.