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Environmental Economics - Essay Example

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India is one of the fastest growing countries in the world. It is also home to more than 1.3 billion people. With the opening up of the economy in 1991, the country has seen rapid growth across all industries. …
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Environmental Economics
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Download file to see previous pages Such rapid growth has brought about unprecedented pressure on the environment. It has been a challenge for India to ensure sustainable growth without hampering its environment beyond the acceptable norms. The key concerns that the country is facing today include its vulnerability to climate change, ability to maintain the balance between environmental concerns and development, setting the research and development priorities and mitigation of poverty amongst its masses (Dayal, Vikram and Chopra, Kanchan). It is important to recognize that natural resources are the prime source of all material inputs to economic activities. The environment acts as a sink of the various kinds of waste generated through human activity on a regular basis. A proper balance between the developmental needs of the country and its environmental concerns is necessary in order to pursue the path of sustainable development. Sustainable Development involves a durable and balanced approach to economic growth providing social protection and justice to all and ensuring environmental conservation all the time. Environmental Economics involves the relationship between environment and development. Three major aspects that are responsible for exhaustion of natural resources are over-population, over-production and over-consumption. In addition, there factors also lead to generation of massive quantities of waste if not managed properly. The equation between welfare and human development with protection of natural resource and natural environment has to be a balanced one for continued existence. Hence, while protecting environment is a must, without development it will be unsustainable and therefore it is essential to recognize that the two realities of growth and environment are to co-exist. The Government of India has recognized the importance of sustained development and its Ministry of Environment & Forests issued the National Environment Policy (NEP) in 2006, as a “response to our national commitment to a clean environment as mandated in the Constitution in Articles 48A and 51A (g) and strengthened by judicial interpretation of Article 21.” (Ministry of Environment and Forests, Corporate Environmental Responsibility). The objective of the NEP is to bring to the mainstream all environmental issues in development activities. The governing subject of the policy is that “while conservation of environmental resources is necessary to secure livelihoods and well-being of all, the most secure basis for conservation is to ensure that people dependent on particular resources obtain better livelihoods from the fact of conservation than from degradation of the resource.” One of the primary requirements for growth is land. This limited resource is under severe constraint in India and two environmental issues are rigidly tagged to this constraint, the use of agricultural land for industrial purposes and forest land for all development activities. The law of the country mandates that any use of agricultural land for industrial purposes and clearing of forests for developmental activities are to the strictly cleared by the concerned State or Central Government. Forest clearances are to be granted only after careful consideration of the impact of forest diversion on biodiversity, wildlife, water and the local community. Similarly, agricultural land must be cleared by the local government before using for non-agriculture activities. Similar protective measures have also ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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