What changes can you make in your habits to become more environment friendly?
We can become more environment friendly in various ways. We can pursue the maxim of three R’s i. e., Reduce, Recycle and Reuse and contribute to this mission in a very effective way.
. What would be the advantages of exploiting resources with short – term aims?
The advantage is to reap huge profit without any accountability.
.How would these advantages differ from the advantages of using a long – term perspective in managing our resources?
Exploiting resources with short – term aim is just to reap huge profit while using with a long – term perspective is to reap the benefit in a sustainable manner so that these will last for the generations to come.
.Why do you think there should be equitable distribution of resources? What forces would be working against an equitable distribution of our sources?
Mother earth is for all. Every living being has an equal right to the vast resources of the earth. If anybody is using excessively means somewhere else somebody is being deprived of it. And then the struggle begins which leads to imbalance in the environment.
But there is handful of rich and powerful industrialists to see these resources just as a means to reap huge profits. They are the main threats to equitable distribution of our resources.
.Why should we conserve forest?
Forests are ‘biodiversity hotspots’.
The biodiversity of an area is the number of species found here. However, the range of different life forms (bacteria, fungi, ferns, flowering plants, nematodes, insects, birds, reptiles and so on) is also important. One of the main aims conservation is to try and preserve the biodiversity we have inherited. Experiments and field studies suggest that loss of diversity may lead to a loss of ecological stability.
.Suggest some approaches towards the conservation of forests.
Forest resources ought to be used in a manner that is both environmentally and developmentally sound. In other words, while the environment is preserved benefits of the controlled exploitation go to the local people a process in which decentralized economic growth and ecological conservation go hand in hand.
.Find out about the traditional systems of water harvesting/ management in your region.
Water harvesting is an age – old conceptin India. Khadins, tanks and nadis in Rajasthan, bandharas and tals in Maharashtra, bundhis in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, ponds in the Kandi belt of Jammu region, and eris (tanks) in Tamil Nadu, surangams in Kerela, and kattas in Karnataka are some of the ancient water harvesting including water conveyance, structures still in use.
In Rajasthan, khadins are more prevalent. First designed by the Paliwal Brahmins of Jaisalmer, western Rajasthan in the 15th century, this system is still used in many parts of the state.
A khadin, also called a dhora is designed to harvest surface runoff water for agriculture. Its main feature is a very long (100 – 300 m) eastern embankment built across the lower hill slopes lying below gravelly uplands.
Sluices and spillways allow excess water to drain off. The khadin system is based on the principle of harvesting rainwater on farmland and subsequent use of this water- saturated land for crop production.
.Compare the above system with the probable systems in hilly/ mountainous areas or plains or plateau regions.
Water harvesting system in the hilly areas are quite different from those of plain areas. Like in Himanchal Pradesh, parts of it 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 done by a common agreement between 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 villages. In addition to irrigation, water from these kulhs also percolated into the soil and fed springs at various points.
.Find out the source of water in your region/ locality. Is water from this source available to all people living in that area?
The sources of water in my locality are ground water and the municipality supply. Sometimes, especially in summer season, water from these sources becomes scant.
.Would changes would you suggest in your home in order to be environment – friendly?
By pursing the maxim of there R’s i.e., Reduce, Recycle and Reuse, we can save the environment in a effective way.
Reduce means to use less. I would save electricity by switching off unnecessary lights and fans prefer to walk or cycling than using a vehicle, turn off the engine at red lights, repair leaky taps, and would not waste food etc.
Recycle means collect used things like plastic, paper, glass and metal items and recycle these materials to make required things instead of synthesizing or extracting fresh plastic paper, glass or metal.
And Reuse refers to use things again and again. For example, instead of throwing away used envelopes, they can be used by reversing.
.We saw in this chaper that there are four main stakeholders when it comes to forests and wildlife, which among these should have the authority to decide the management of forest pproduce? Why do you think so?
Out of the four stakeholders viz., the local people the Forest Department, the industrialists, and the wildlife and nature enthusiasts, I think the best authority to dicide the management of forest produce will be the local people i. e., the people who live nearby or in the forests. Because, the local people use the forest in a sustainable manner. for centuries, the local people had been using the forests but they had developed such practices that an optimum amount of produce is left for all generations to come. besides, the traditional use of forest areas by shepherds etc. only ensure the balance in the forests ecology.
Further, management of forests by keeping the local people out only lead to damage of the forests. In fact, forest resources ought to be used in a manner that is both environmentally and developmentally sound, i.e., keeping the environment preserved, the benefits of the controlled exploitation go to the local people.
.How can you as an individual contribute or make a difference to the management of (a) forests and wildlife, (b) water resources and (c) coal and petroleum?
(a) Forests and wildlife: Forests resources cannot be handled without an active participation of the local people. An example of it is of sal forests of Arabari which underwent a remarkable recovery. So, I will ensure people’s active participation. I will also ensure an equitable distribution of resources in a sustainable manner so that all and not just a handful of rich and powerful people, benefit from the development of these resources.
(b) Water resources: During our day – to- day life knowingly or unknowingluy we waste water which must be stopped. I will ensure that I would cultivate habits so that water can be saved, Further, by pursuing any ater harvesting technique, we can also conserve water.
(c) Coal and petroleum: These are main source of energy today. We can save them in many ways. For example:
(i) Using florescent tubes.
(ii) Switching off unnecessary electric and electronic devices.
(iii) Using solar devices.
(iv) Prefer walking or cycling than using vehicle.
(v) Even if we use vehicle, it should be turned off while waiting on red lights.
(vi) Using stairs instead of lifts.
(vii) Keeping the air pressure in the tyres right.
.What can you as an individual do to reduce your consumption of the various natural resources?
The consumption of various natural resources can be reduced in the following ways:
(i) Saving electricity by switching off unnecessary lights and fans.
(ii) Use of fluorescent tubes.
(iii) Using the stairs instead of lift.
(iv) Prefer walking or cycling than to use vehicle.
(v) Turning off the engine of the vehicle while waiting on red lights.
(vi) Repairing leaky taps.
(vii) By not wasting food etc.
.What is Kulh?
It is a local system of canal irrigation evolved in some parts of Himachal Pradesh.
.Name two water intensive crops.
(i) rice (ii) Sugarcane.
.What would be the advantages of exploiting resources with short – term aims?
The advantage is to reap huge profit without any accountability.
.Why maintaining a biodiversity is important?
Because experiments and field studies suggest that a loss of diversity may lead to a loss of ecological stability.
.Can you say whether the water is polluted or not on the basis of your observations?
On the basis of the pH, it can be determined whether the water is polluted or not. The pH of pure water is neutral. But, the pollution changes the pH.
.What are the various interests of local people living near forests?
The local people need large quantities of firewood, small timber and thatch. Bamboo is used to make slats for huts, and baskets for collecting and storing food materials. Implements for agriculture, fishing and hunting are largely made of wood. Also, forests are sites for fishing and hunting In addition to people gathering fruits, nuts and medicines from the forests, their cattle also graze in forest areas or feed on other fodder which is collected from forests..
.What is the reason behind the protest of large dams?
Criticisms about large dams address three problems in particular:
(i) Social problems because they displace large number of peasants and tribals without adequate compensation or rehabilitation.
(ii) Economic problems because they swallow up huge amounts of public money without the generation of proportionate benefits.
(iii) Environmental problems because they contribute enormously to deforestation and the loss of biological diversity.
The people who have been displaced by various development projects are largely poor tribals who do not get any benefited from these projects and are alienated from their lands and forests without adequate compensation.
.Who are the stakeholders of forest resources?
The various stakeholders of forest resources are:
(i) The people who live in or around forests, as they are dependent on forest produce for various aspects of their life.
(ii) The Forest Department of the Government, which owns the land and controls the resources from forests.
(iii) The industrialists – from those who use ‘tendu’ leaves to make bidis to the ones with paper mills – who use various forests produce, but are not dependent on the forests in any one area.
(iv) The wildlife and nature enthusiasts who want to conserve nature in its pristine form.
.How forest resources should be used?
Forest resources ought to be used in a manner that is both environmentally and developmentally sound. In other words, while the environment is preserved, the benefits of the controlled exploitation go to the local people. A process in which decentralized economic growth and ecological conservation go hand in hand.
.How did the British and later the policies of the Governments in independent India cause damage to forest resources?
Before the British came and took over most of our forest areas, people had been living in these forests for centuries,. They had developed practices to ensure that the resources were used in a sustainable manner. After the British took control of the forests, these people were forced to depend on much smaller areas and forest resources were becoming over – exploited. The Forest Department in independent India took over management of forests from the British but local knowledge and local needs continued to be ignored in the management practices. Thus, vast tracts of forests have been converted to monocultures of pine, teak or eucalyptus. In order to plant these trees, huge areas were first cleared of all vegetation. This destroyed a large amount of biodiversity in the area.
.How industry is affecting the forest?
Industry considers the forest as merely a source of raw material for its factories. And huge interest groups lobby the government for access to these raw materials at artificially low rates. Since these industries have a greater reach than the local people, they are not interested in the sustainability of the forest in one particular area. for example, after cutting down all teak trees in one area, they will get their teak from a forest farther away. They do not have any stake in ensuring that one particular area should yield an optimal amount of some produce for all generations to come.
.What was ‘Chipko Andolan’ (‘Hug the Trees Movement’)?
The Chipko Andolan was the result of a grassroot level effort to end the alienation of people from their forests. the movement originated from an incident in a remote village called Reni in Garhway during the early 1970s. There was a dispute between the local villagers and a logging contractor who had been allows to fell trees in a forest close to the village. On the particular day, the contractor’s workers appeared in the forest to cut the trees while the men folk were absent. Undeterred. the women of the village reached the forest quickly and clasped the tree trunks thus preventing the workers from felling the trees. Thus, the contractor had to withdraw.
The Chipko movement quickly spread across communities and media, and forced the government, to whom the forests belongs, to rethink their priorities in the use of forest produce.
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