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Creating environmental responsiveness among people

Aug 27, 2010

The Annual Report to the People on Environment presents an overview of different environmental components and aims to create greater environmental consciousness among citizens. It seeks to generate a national debate on key environmental issues and challenges that must be addressed to ensure a rapid and sustained economic growth.

Report to the People on Environment and Forests 2009-2010

Publisher: Ministry of Environment and Forests, 2010

The vision of a country includes pursuing a development process that is environmentally sustainable. The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has sought to achieve this aim of conserving and protecting the environment by implementing various policies and programmes.


It has been the continued endeavour of the Ministry of Environment and Forests to strengthen the policy and regulatory frameworks that govern the environment and forests of the country. Over the last one year, various measures both institutional as well as legislative, have been initiated or given a renewed impetus. Numerous initiatives have moved from the stage of concept to implementation, while many other new concepts have been initiated.

The Ministry also serves as the nodal agency for international cooperation on matters pertaining to environment and natural resource conservation.

The present report aims to generate greater awareness and environmental consciousness amongst our citizens. The objective of the report, therefore, is to generate a national debate among various stakeholders on the key environmental issues and challenges that must be addressed to ensure a rapid and sustained economic growth.

The Annual Report to the People on Environment is presented in four chapters. The first chapter sheds light on the mandate of the MoEF and explains the need for this report. The chapter also includes major policies and programmes of the Ministry and its achievements for 2009-10 and goals for 2010-11.

The second chapter presents the State of the Environment covering air environment, water environment, solid waste management, forestry, biodiversity and wildlife, coastal resource management and climate change and its impact.

Environmental themes provide their present state and issues of concerns, related policy and legal measures and recent initiatives taken by the Ministry to address these issues. Issues for debate under each of these themes have also been discussed. The third chapter discusses the need for inclusive growth, while the fourth chapter presents issues for debate for each of these themes in detail.

The key issue for water environment is pollution of surface water sources, including rivers and lakes. The key issues for the air environment are increase in ambient air pollution in urban areas and indoor air pollution due to use of biomass as cooking fuel in rural areas. The critical issue regarding solid waste management is lack of proper disposal facility to prevent pollution from waste disposed on land. The critical issues for the forest sector include degradation of forest resources, forests fires and livelihood issues of forest-dependent communities.

Rise in the cases of bio-piracy highlights the urgent need to resolve complexities in access and benefit sharing of the available resources to ensure their benefits reach the traditional users. The key issue for coastal resources is degradation of mangroves and corals due to various developmental activities. Climate change affects many natural and human systems.

The key sectors expected to be affected are coastal areas, water resources, forests, agriculture and health. To mitigate the impacts of climate change, the Government of India has launched National Action Plan on Climate Change in 2008.

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