12 Class Political Science Chapter 8 Environment and Natural Resources Notes
|Environment and Natural Resources
Environment and natural resources class 12 notes, Class 12 political science chapter 8 notes here we will be learn about Environmental Movements, Global Warming and Climate Change, Conservation of Natural Resources etc.
❇️ Environment and Natural Resources : –
🔹 Environment and natural resources generally describe all the elements available in nature. These can be : –
- Physical such as soil, water, forests, fisheries and animals, minerals (e.g. copper, bauxite, etc).
- Gases (e.g. helium, hydrogen, oxygen, etc).
- Abstract such as solar energy, wind energy, landscape, air, water and so forth.
❇️ Earth Summit : –
🔹 Earth Summit A conference held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) in June, 1992 to deal with various environmental problems.
❇️ Agenda 21 : –
🔹 Agenda 21 The Earth Summit recommended a list of practices in reference of development to attain sustainability which is called Agenda 21.
❇️ UNFCCC : –
🔹 UNFCCC The 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change provided that parties should act to protect the climate system with common but differentiated responsibilities.
❇️ Kyoto Protocol : –
🔹 Kyoto Protocol An international agreement sets targets for industrialised countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.
❇️ Common Property Resource : –
🔹 Common Property Resource It means that resources are owned commonly as a group and each member of the group has his share of rights and duties.
❇️ Environmental Problems : –
🔹 Environmental problems are mainly related to the impacts of human activities on environmental resources. These generally take the form of pollution, depletion or degradation of water, air and soil.
🔹 At the global level, awareness about the environmental degradation and its consequences on economic growth arose as a political issue from 1960’s onwards.
❇️ United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) : –
🔹 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) held international conferences and began holding international conferences and promoting detailed studies to get a more coordinated and effective response to environmental problems. Since then, Environment has emerged as an important issue of global politics.
❇️ Environmental Concerns in Global Politics : –
- Some of the environmental concerns at the global level are as follows : –
🔹 Cultivable land is scarcely expanding around the world, while a large amount of existing agricultural land is losing fertility. Fisheries have been overharvested and grasslands have been overgrazed.
🔹 Water bodies have been depleted and polluted. drinking water and 2.4 billion do not have access to sanitation, resulting in the deaths of over three million children per year
🔹 Natural forests are being cut down and people are being displaced. Natural forests contribute to stabilise the climate, moderate water supplies and house the bulk of the planet’s species on land. The deterioration of habitat in areas which are rich in species is contributing to the loss of biodiversity.
🔹 The ozone hole (a gradual decrease in the total amount of ozone in the Earth’s stratosphere) poses a serious threat to ecosystems and human health.
🔹 Coastal pollution is also on the rise around the world. Although the open sea is relatively clean due to land-based activities coastal waterways are becoming increasingly polluted. If left unchecked, intensive human settlement of coastal zones around the world would worsen the quality of the marine environment
❇️ Main causes of climate change : –
- The main causes of climate change are
🔹 Increased use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas to generate electricity, run cars and other forms of transport and power manufacturing and industry.
🔹 Practicing afforestation because living trees absorb and store carbon dioxide.
🔹 The increase practices of intensive agriculture which emits greenhouse gases like methane and nitrous oxide depletes the ozone hole.
❇️ Global commons : –
🔹The resources which are not owned by anyone but rather shared by a community are known as commons, for example a common room, a community centre, a park, or a river.
🔹 In the same way in the world, there are some areas which are located outside the sovereign jurisdiction of any one state and hence require common governance by the international community.
🔹 This is known as res communis humanitatis or global commons. They include earth’s atmosphere, Antarctica, the ocean floor and outer space.
❇️ Protection of Global Commons : –
🔹 Cooperation among the global commons is not easy. A number of agreements have been signed such as the Antarctic treaty 1959, the Montreal protocol 1987, the Antarctic environment protocol 1991.
🔹 All the ecological issues face major problems of achieving consensus on common environmental agendas on the basis of vague scientific evidence and time frames. In that sense the discovery of the ozone hole over the Antarctic in the mid-1980s revealed the opportunity as well as dangers inherent in tackling global environmental problems.
🔹 Thus, the history of outer space as a global common shows that the management of these areas is thoroughly influenced by North-South inequalities. The crucial issue here with earth’s atmosphere and ocean floor is technology and industrial development.
❇️ Major problems of ecological issues : –
🔹 A major problem underlying all ecological issues relates to the difficulty of achieving consensus on common environmental agendas on the basis of vague scientific evidence and time frames.
The discovery of the ozone hole over the Antarctic in the mid 1980’s revealed the opportunity as well as dangers inherent in tackling global environmental problems.
At he same time, the history of outer space as a global commons shows that the management of these areas is thoroughly influenced by North-South inequalities.
As with the Earth’s atmosphere and the ocean floor, the crucial issue here is technology and industrial development. This is important because the benefits of exploitative activities in outer space are far from being equal either for the present or future generations.
❇️ Common but Differentiated Responsibilities : –
🔹 By Common but differentiated responsibilities we mean that the state shall cooperate in the spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the earth’s ecosystem. Over various contributions of global environmental degradation the states have common but differentiated responsibilities.
🔹 The developed countries acknowledge that the responsibility they bear in the international pursuit of sustainable development in view of the pressures their societies place on the global environment and of the technological and financial resources they command.
❇️ How to implement the idea of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities : –
- We could implement the idea with the help of conventions and declarations : –
🔹 The Rio-Summit held in June 1992 produced conventions dealing with climate change, biodiversity, forestry and recommended a list of developed practices called Agenda 21.
🔹 The 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climatic Change (UNFCCC) also emphasised that the parties should act to protect the climate system on the basis of common but differentiated responsibilities;
🔹 An international agreement known as Kyoto Protocol set targets for industrialised countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions which support for global warming.
❇️ Difference opinion of environmental conservation : –
- There is a difference of opinion between the North and the South over the issue of environmental conservation.
🔹 The Northern states want to discuss environmental issues as it stands now. They want everyone to be equally responsible for ecological conservation.
🔹 Whereas, the South or developing countries feel that much of the ecological degradation in the world is the product of industrial development undertaken by developed countries. They, therefore believe that a more responsibility of ecological conservation should be taken by the North itself
🔹 Moreover, they believe that since developing countries are still under the process of industrialisation and they must be subjected to same restrictions, which apply to the developed countries.
❇️ Rio summit : –
🔹 In the Rio summit, 1992, it was accepted that special needs of the developing countries must be taken into account in the development and interpretation of rules of international environmental law and is called the principle of ‘common but differentiated responsibilities
🔹 As per the Rio declaration, states must cooperate on a global scale to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the Earth’s ecosystem. According to different contributions of global environmental degradation, states share a common responsibility but with different approach.
🔹 Like the developed countries fulfill their responsibility with respect to sustainable development due to the societal pressures on the global environment as well as the technological and financial resources commanded by them.
❇️ Kyoto Protocol : –
🔹 The Kyoto Protocol is a international agreement which has set targets for industrialised states to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. Certain gases like Carbon dioxide, Methane, Hydro-fluoro carbons etc. are considered at least partly responsible for global temperature which may have catastrophic consequences for life on Earth. The protocol was agreed to in 1997 in Kyoto in Japan, based on principles set out in UNFCCC.
❇️ Common Property Resources : –
🔹 Common property refers to common property for the group. It generally means that the group members have both the rights and duties related to the nature, levels of use and the maintenance of a given resource.
❇️ India’s Stand on Environmental Issues : –
🔹 India has signed and ratified Kyoto Protocol. 1997 in August 2002. Developing countries like India and China were exempted from the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol because their contribution to the greenhouse gases during industrialisation was not significant. However, the critics of the Kyoto Protocol point out that both India and China, along with other developing countries, will be among the leading contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.
🔹 At the G-8 meeting in June 2005, India pointed out that the per capita emission rates of the developing countries are a tiny fraction of those in the developed world. Abiding by the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities, India viewed that major responsibility of curbing emission rests with the developed countries, which have accumulated emissions over a long period.
🔹 The Indian Government is already participating in global efforts through a number of programmes like India’s Auto- Fuel Policy mandates cleaner fuels for vehicles. The Energy Conservation Act, 2011 outlines initiatives to improve energy efficiency. Electricity Act of 2003 encourages the use of renewable energy and so on.
🔹 The government is also keen to launch a National Mission on Biodiesel, using about 11 million hectares of land to produce biodiesel by 2011-2012. India ratified the Paris Climate Agreement on 2nd October, 2016 and it has largest renewable energy programmes in the world. In 1997, a review of the implementation of the agreements at the Earth summit in Rio was undertaken by India.
🔹 India suggested that the developing countries must get financial resources and clean technologies from the developed countries in order to meet UNFCCC commitments. India also views that SAARC countries should adopt a common position on major global environment issue.
❇️ Environmental Movements : –
🔹 Some of the most significant responses to the challenge of environmental degradation has come from groups of environmentally conscious volunteers working in different parts of the world. These environmental movements are amongst the most vibrant, diverse and powerful social movements across the globe. These movements raise new ideas and long term visions.
❇️ Forest Movements : –
🔹 Forest clearing in the Third World countries continues at fast pace, despite three decades of environmental activism. The forest movements of the South like in Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia, continental Africa and India are faced with enormous pressures. It has been evident that destruction of world’s grand forests has increased in the last decade.
❇️ Movements Against Mineral and Mining Industry : –
🔹 Mineral industry is one of the major industries on the planet. A large number of economies of the South are now being re-opened to MNCs through the liberation of the global economy. This industry faces criticism due to its use of chemicals, its pollution of waterways and land, its clearance of native vegetation, etc.
🔹 For example, the groups and organisations in Philippines campaigned against the Western Mining Corporation (WMC), an Australian based MNC for the extraction of minerals. Both anti-nuclear sentiments and basic rights of the Australian indigenous peoples were denied by this Corporation.
❇️ Anti-Dam Movements : –
🔹 These movements are pro-river movements for more sustainable and equitable management of river systems and valleys. For example, early 1980’s saw the first anti-dam movement in the North; it was the campaign to save the Franklin River and its surrounding forests in Australia. This is an example of wilderness and forest campaign as well as an anti-dam campaign.
🔹 There has been a spurt in mega-dam building in the South, from Turkey to Thailand to South Africa, from Indonesia to China. In case of India, Narmada Bachao Andolan is one of the best known anti-dam movements based on the notion of non-violence.
❇️ Significance of Environmental Movements : –
- Environmental Movements plays a significant role in the society which is discussed below : –
🔸 Creates Awareness It helps to create awareness among the masses as more people become aware regarding the effects of human activities on the environment.
🔸 Alternative Form of Energy is Promoted Environmentalists promote the use of alternative forms of energy to solve conflicts between environmental protection and technological developments. It aimed at improving the world’s economy while addressing climate change with regards to greenhouse gas emissions.
🔸 Recycling Campaigns These movements advocate for re-use and the recycling of non-biodegradable products such as plastics, obsolete electrical equipment and many others.
Major Environmental Movements in India
❇️ Chipko Movement : –
🔹 Chipko Movement The Chipko Movement focused world attention on the environmental problems of the Alaknanda catchment area in the mid-Western Himalayas.
🔹 The main demand of the people in these protests was that the benefits of the forests, especially the right to fodder, should go to local people.
❇️ Appiko Movement : –
🔹 Appiko Movement it is one of the forests based environmental movements of India, often looked at as a continuation of the Chipko Movement. The movement took place in the Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka in the Western Ghats.
🔹 The movement later focused on the rational use of ecosphere through introducing alternative energy resource to reduce pressure on the forest.
❇️ Silent Valley Movement : –
🔹 Silent Valley Movement In 1973, the then State Government of Kerala decided to build a dam across a gorge in the Kunthipuzha River, which flows through the Silent Valley. The proposed project would generate 200 MW of electricity and form the basis for regional economic development.
🔹 The central issues of the Silent Valley protests included the protection of the tropical rainforest, maintenance of the ecological balance and an opposition destructive development.
❇️ Tehri Dam Movement : –
🔹 Tehri Dam Movement The construction of the Tehri Dam is opposed on the ground of seismic data projecting earthquake disaster and displacement of the people of old Tehri town and the neighbouring villages.
🔹 The anti-Tehri Dam Movement is spearheaded by Tehri Baandh Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti (Committee for the Struggle Against the Tehri Dam) founded by the prominent leaders like VD Saklani, Sunderlal Bahuguna and other leaders active in the movement. The movement continued from 1980s to 2004.
❇️ Chilka Bachao Movement : –
🔹 Chilka Bachao Movement The movement began as a grassroots movement and in the subsequent years it evolved in to an organised mass movement.
🔹 The movement attracted international attention due to several issues such as environmental degradation through intensive prawn aquaculture, deprivation of the main support base for the livelihood of the poor fishing communities, pollution of the lake environment, etc.
❇️ Global Warming and Climate Change : –
🔹 ‘Climate change’ and ‘global warming’ are often used interchangeably but have distinct meanings. Global warming is the long-term heating of Earth’s climate system observed since the pre-industrial period due to human activities, primarily fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth’s atmosphere.
🔹 On the other hand, climate change refers to a long-term change in the average weather patterns that have come to define Earth’s local, regional and global climates.
❇️ Causes of Global Warming and Climate Change : –
🔹 One of the major causes of global warming is directly attributable to human activity-specifically to our burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, gasoline and natural gas, which results in the greenhouse effect.
🔹 Whereas the main causes of Climate change are :-
- Increased use of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas to generate electricity, run cars and other forms of transport and power manufacturing and industry.
- Deforestation because living trees absorb and store carbon dioxide.
- Increasingly intensive agriculture which emits greenhouse gases like methane and nitrous oxide.
❇️ Global Initiatives on Climate Change : –
🔹 As climate change is one of the most critical global challenge. This issue is of immense importance for every global citizen. Some of global initiative to prevent climate change are given below : –
🔸 Montreal Protocol, 1987 : –
🔹 It was a historical environmental accord that became a model for future diplomacy on the climate issue. Every country in the world eventually ratified the treaty, which required them to stop producing substances that damage the ozone layer, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). The protocol has succeeded in eliminating nearly 99 per cent of these ozone-depleting substances.
🔸 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), 1992 : –
🔹 It was ratified by 197 countries including the United States. It is also considered a landmark accord or a first global treaty to explicitly address climate change.
🔸 Kyoto Protocol, 2005 : –
🔹 It was adopted in 1997 and came into force in 2005, which is the first legally binding climate treaty. It is an international agreement setting targets for industrialised countries to cut down their greenhouse gas emissions. China, India and other developing countries were exempted from the requirements of Kyoto Protocol.
❇️ Paris Agreement, 2015 : –
🔹 The Paris Agreement requires all countries to set emissions-reduction pledges. Governments set targets, known as nationally determined contributions, with the goals of preventing the global average temperature from rising 2°C (3.6°F) above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to keep it below 1.5°C (2.7°F).
❇️ Conservation of Natural Resources : –
🔹 The sustainable management of the environment and natural resources is vital for political and economic growth as well as for the human well-being.
🔹 When managed well, renewable natural resources, watersheds, productive landscapes and seascapes can provide the foundation for sustained inclusive growth, food security and poverty reduction.
🔹 Hence, conservation of resources means the judicious and planned use as well as reuse of natural resources by avoiding their wastage, misuse and over use.
❇️ Methods of Conservation : –
🔹 Terrace farming in hilly regions, contour ploughing, controlling the shifting cultivation, overgrazing and plugging the gullies. Some of are the import methods of soil conservation.
🔹 Construction of dams to impound rain water, use of sprinklers, drip or trickle irrigation technique, recycling of water for industrial and domestic purposes will help in conservation of the invaluable water resource.
🔹 Minerals are non-renewable resources so they need to be conserved through efficient utilisation, development of better technology of extraction and purification, recycling of minerals and use of substitutes.
🔹 Non-conventional sources of energy example solar, wind or water will have to be developed in order to save conventional sources of energy.