NCERT Class 11 Economics Chapter 9: Environment and Sustainable Development YouTube Lecture Handouts

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NCERT Class 11 Economics Chapter 9: Environment and Sustainable Development
  • So far, we studied economic development at cost of environmental quality
  • We have to choose sustainable development path now
  • The threat to India՚s environment is of two dimensions — threat of poverty induced environmental degradation and the threat of pollution from affluence and a rapidly growing industrial sector


  • Total planetary inheritance and the totality of all resources and includes biotic (plants, animals) and abiotic (rock and sunlight) factors

Functions of Environment

  • Supplies both renewable and non-renewable resources
  • Assimilate waste
  • Sustain life – genetic and biodiversity
  • Provides aesthetic services
  • Carrying capacity – resource extraction is not above the rate of regeneration of the resource and wastes generated are within assimilating capacity of environment.
  • Rising population and affluent consumption and production standards of the developed world have put stress on environment – many resources are now extinct and waste created is beyond absorptive capacity
  • Absorptive capacity means the ability of the environment to absorb degradation
    • We have added huge health cost due to degraded environment
    • Decline in air and water quality
    • Higher incidence of water borne and air borne diseases
    • Global warming and ozone depletion contribute to higher financial commitments
    • Opportunity cost of negative environmental impact is high
  • Before industrialization, demand for services was less than the supply (implies pollution was within absorptive capacity and rate of extraction was less than rate of regeneration)
  • However, with population and industrialization scenario changed - demand for resources for both production and consumption went beyond the rate of regeneration of the resources; the pressure on the absorptive capacity of the environment increased tremendously

State of India՚s Environment

  • Rich in soil – black, alluvial and so on
  • Rich in water/rivers
  • Large deposits of iron-ore (20 % of world՚s iron reserves) , coal and natural gas
  • Concerns - Air pollution, water contamination, soil erosion,
  • deforestation and wildlife extinction
  • Priority Issues:
    • Land degradation
    • Biodiversity loss
    • Air pollution with special reference to vehicular pollution in urban cities
    • Management of fresh water
    • Solid waste management

Factors Responsible for Land Degradation

  • Loss of vegetation occurring due to deforestation
  • Unsustainable fuel wood and fodder extraction
  • Shifting cultivation
  • Encroachment into forest lands
  • Forest fires and over grazing
  • Non-adoption of adequate soil conservation measures
  • Improper crop rotation
  • Indiscriminate use of agro-chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides
  • Improper planning and management of irrigation systems
  • Extraction of ground water in excess of recharge capacity
  • Open access resource
  • Poverty in agriculture dependent people
  • Per capita forest land in the country is only hectare against the requirement of hectare to meet basic needs, resulting in an excess felling of about 15 million cubic metre forests over the permissible limit.
  • Estimates of soil erosion show that soil is being eroded at a rate of billion tons a year – we lose million tons of nitrogen, million tons of phosphorus and million tons of potassium every year
  • India support population, livestock on geographical area.
  • Vehicular emissions are of particular concern since these are ground level sources and, thus, have the maximum impact on the general population. Number of motor vehicles has increased from about 3 lakh in 1951 to 67 crores in 2003.
  • India is one of the ten most industrialized nations of the world.

Sustainable Development

  • Environment and economy are interdependent and need each other
  • Development that ignores its repercussions on the environment will destroy the environment that sustains life forms
  • It will allow future generations to have average quality of life
  • Concept of sustainable development was emphasized by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) , which defined it as: ‘Development that meets the need of the present generation without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet their own needs’ . – Our Common Future
  • Development as ‘meeting the basic needs of all and extending to all the opportunity to satisfy their aspirations for a better life’
  • Meeting the needs of all requires redistributing resources
  • Edward Barbier defined sustainable development as one which is directly concerned with increasing the material standard of living of the poor at the grass root level — this can be quantitatively measured in terms of increased income, real income, educational services, health care, sanitation, water supply etc.
  • Brundtland Commission emphasizes on protecting the future
  • generation
    • Conservation of natural assets
    • Preservation of the regenerative capacity of the world՚s natural ecological system
    • Avoiding the imposition of added costs or risks on future generations

Daly Suggests Following Steps

  • Limit human population within carrying capacity (like ‘plimsoll line’ of the ship which is its load limit mark)
  • Technological progress should be input efficient and not input consuming
  • Renewable resources should be extracted on a sustainable basis, that is, rate of extraction should not exceed rate of regeneration
  • For non-renewable resources rate of depletion should not exceed the rate of creation of renewable substitutes and inefficiencies arising from pollution should be corrected

Strategies of Sustainable Development

  • Use of Non-conventional Sources of Energy - thermal and hydro power plants; Hydroelectric projects inundate forests and interfere with the natural flow of water in catchment areas and the river basins.
  • LPG, Gobar Gas in Rural Areas – clean fuel with less pollution
  • CNG in Urban Areas – lesser pollution
  • Wind power – high initial cost
  • Solar Power through Photovoltaic Cells - Plants use solar energy to perform photosynthesis. Now, with the help of photovoltaic cells, solar energy can be converted into electricity.
  • Mini-hydel Plants - use the energy of such streams to move small turbines
  • Traditional Knowledge and Practices- Ayurveda, Unani, Tibetan and folk systems
  • Biocomposting – neglect use of chemical fertilizer, earthworms
  • Biopest Control – neem trees, lizard

Pollution Control Boards

  • Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was established in 1974
  • These boards provide technical assistance to governments in promoting cleanliness of streams and wells by prevention, control and abatement of water pollution, and improve quality of air and to prevent, control or abate air pollution in country
  • PCBs prepare manuals, codes and guidelines relating to treatment and disposal of sewage and trade effluents.

Global Warming

  • Gradual increase in the average temperature of the earth՚s lower atmosphere as a result of the increase in greenhouse gases since the Industrial Revolution
  • Increase in carbon dioxide and GHG through the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation makes our planet՚s surface warmer.
  • During the past century, the atmospheric temperature has risen by and sea level has risen several inches.
  • Burning of coal and petroleum products (sources of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone) ; deforestation, which increases the amount of carbon dioxide in atmosphere; methane gas released in animal waste; and increased cattle production, which contributes to deforestation, methane production, and use of fossil fuels.

Ozone Depletion

  • Phenomenon of reductions for ozone in the stratosphere.
  • Affected by CFC from refrigerators, aerosol propellants, and
  • Bromofluorocarbons (halons) , used in fire extinguishers.
  • UBV rays are responsible for skin cancer
  • Reduction of approximately 5 % in the ozone layer was detected from 1979 to 1990
  • Montreal Protocol - banned use of CFC compounds, other ozone depleting chemicals such as carbon tetrachloride, trichloroethane (methyl chloroform) , and bromine compounds known as halons.

Chipko and Appiko

  • Chipko movement in Himalayas
  • Appiko in Karnataka (Salkani forest in Sirsi district) – people saved 12,000 trees – fuelwood, setting up of a paper mill in Uttar Kanara area – hugging of the trees to protect the forest

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