In conversation with famous environmentalist Peepal Baba, Vice Chancellor of the TERI School of Advanced Studies Leena Srivastava, and a budding entrepreneur Bhavuk Garg who is adding the 4th R of replacement with newspaper pencils. How can we save the environment?
A 24-year-old entrepreneur Bhavuk Garg is saving our planet with his brains
Closing our eyes from the reality isn't going to change the truth. In fact, it is going to make things worse just like the current situation of our environment. While global warming is rising at a fast pace, trees are being cut paving way for industries, adding more pollutants to the atmosphere.
The government blames the people and the people blame the government, making it a vicious cycle. Then, who is responsible for the current situation of environment in Delhi?
The common people pray for rain, healthy children, and a summer that never ends," Ser Jorah told her. "It is no matter to them if the high lords play their game of thrones, so long as they are left in peace." He gave a shrug. "They never are.” — Game of Thrones
Once the mud slinging, divisive politics and nationalism rhetoric is removed from the conversation, what are the concerns of the common folk in India? Teri School of Advanced Studies did a recent survey on youth perception on sustainability in government performance and concluded that environmental pollution was the number one development challenge and more than half the respondents perceived that this challenge has remained unaddressed by the Union Government.
The survey aimed to gauge the awareness of the youth about sustainability concerns (SDGs) and to assess their expectation from the General Election 2019 using the lens of sustainable futures and society. It interviewed 400 respondents below the age of 35 on questions about sustainable development goals. It was conducted in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, and was mostly urban and educated, and represented in equal numbers by males and females.
New Delhi, April 2019: Echoing the national concern to enhance livelihood security and sustainability by scaling up institutional mechanisms that reduce the vulnerability of communities and confirm Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Department of Policy Studies, TERI School of Advanced Studies (TERI SAS) concluded a high-level conference titled “SDGs and Sustainable Livelihood: Opportunities and Challenges in India”. Keynote speakers and panellists at the Conference highlighted that despite having an edge in the competitive global market, India was still lagging in generating sustainable livelihood and the new upcoming government needs to prioritise and ensure successful implementation of sustainable development goals (SDGs), which will eventually lead to secure sustainable livelihood for the citizens. The Conference and deliberations will act as a prelude for policymakers, especially since a new government will be formed soon, giving a vision to raise the scale of employability, and to look at innovative policies that can support livelihood projects specifically aimed at sustainable development in urban and rural India.
The idea of sustainable livelihood was conceptualised in the late 1990s by DFID UK, and the concept was largely derived from the participatory approaches. Since then, the concept has become extremely popular among researchers, policymakers and development practitioners. It says that a livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stress and shocks and maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets both now and in the future, while not undermining the natural resource base.
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Experts call for a robust system to implement existing clean-air policies, hail National Clean Air Programme
ONE IN EIGHT DEATHS IN THE COUNTRY IN 2017 WAS ATTRIBUTABLE TO AIR POLLUTION, MAKING IT THE LEADING RISK FACTOR FOR DEATH ACROSS INDIA
NEW DELHI: Creating a robust system to implement existing clean-air policies, promoting coordination between the Centre and states, and devising stateand district-level pollution control plans are vital to improve air quality, experts say.
One in eight deaths in the country in 2017 was attributable to air pollution, making it the leading risk factor for death across India, said a state-level disease burden study published in Lancet Planet Health on Thursday.
The statewise breakup of data, however, shows that there is a three and six-fold variation in deaths and healthy life-years lost because of pollution. The heterogeneity among the states needs to be addressed by identifying local sources of pollution and developing policies to address them.
We need detailed emission inventories that not only tell us the type of pollutant but also what proportion of it is coming from where and what are the chemical properties. We get data on this from various studies conducted by the IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) but we need to strengthen our monitoring systems too,said Tushar Joshi, adviser on occupational and environmental health and chemical safety in the Union health ministry.
The government is in the process of adding more automatic air quality monitoring stations and it is needed in the rural areas too, where typically the high ozone pollution is leading to failing crops. The ozone is high as there is no nitrous oxides to neutralise it, he said.
The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, under which women of poor households are being provided free cooking gas connections to reduce their dependence on firewood, is one step towards addressing the problem, said Sagnik Dey, one of the authors of the study and an associate professor at the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi.
For a county as large as India, source apportionment studies cannot be done everywhere, but modelling studies have shown biggest contributor, for the country as a whole, is use of solid fuels, said Dey.
Experts hailed the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) that aims to reduce PM 2.5 and PM 10 pollutants by 30% and 20% respectively.
The NCAP is a good start as it allows states to formulate their own plans. However, it is more important to improve the coordination among states and with the Centre for effective implementation of already existing and any policies that are introduced in the future, said Dey.
For example, the 15-year diesel vehicles removed from the roads in Delhi are not discarded but sold off to other places where they continue polluting. Would that pollution not come back to Delhi? he said.
Adding to the problem is the slow percolation of policies across the country.This is what we see with low emission diesel or CNG (compressed natural gas) vehicles, which are still not feasible in many parts of the country. The government has brought in the BS (Bharat Stage) VI standards, which may face the same problem, said Kamna Sachdeva, associate professor at the TERI School of Advanced Studies
India will move up to the toughest emission standards of BS-VI from the current BS-IV by 2020, skipping an intermediate level.
Fixing accountability is also needed. â€œThe NCAP should be released incorporating the time-bound pollution reduction targets across sectors with fixed accountability and strong legal backing, said Sunil Dahiya, senior campaigner, Greenpeace India.
And the focus should not just be on the polluting industries and the emissions from thermal power plants.
The government already has norms for the emissions from industries and policy on reducing dependency on fuelbased power. But we often forget that solid fuels are also used in the numerous dhabas across the country, or the dust pollution caused by sweeping, and inefficient municipal waste disposal that leads to people burning household waste. Emphasis should be on these too, said Dr Lalit Dandona, senior author and director of the India StateLevel Disease Burden Initiative
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