What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to
put it on
Environmental degradation has become a common concern for humankind over the
past few decades. The distinctive nature of the present environmental problems
is that they are caused more by anthropogenic means than by natural
Mindless consumerism and economic growth have started to
demonstrate pernicious effects on Mother Nature. In spite of this, the pace and
desire for economic development have never ceased. It is the branch economics
that has dictated environmental policy and its effect on the resources.
has been placed on the role of science and technology as a catalyst for
integrating ecology with economics to heal the damage cause to the environment.
In this process, sustainable development became a buzzword to fight against
human greediness and save resources for future generations.
Environmental degradation is the deterioration of the environment through
depletion of resources such as air, water and soil; the destruction of
ecosystems and the extinction of wildlife. It is defined as any change or
disturbance to the environment perceived to be deleterious or undesirable.
Environmental impact or degradation is caused by the combination of an already
very large and increasing human population, continually increasing economic
growth or per capita affluence and the application of resource depleting and
polluting technology. Environmental degradation is one of the Ten Threats
officially cautioned by the High Level Threat Panel of the United Nations.
United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
defines environmental degradation as The reduction of the capacity of the
environment to meet social and ecological objectives and needs. Environmental
degradation is of many types.
When natural habitats are destroyed or natural
resources are depleted, the environment is degraded. Efforts to counteract this
problem include environmental protection and environmental resources management.
Causes of Environmental Degradation are as follows:
Climate Change: Climate change occurs due to pollution of the atmosphere by greenhouse gases
(and by other) is now regarded as one of the major global environmental
issues. It occurs largely as a result of the burning of fossil fuels,
emissions from agriculture, and land-use changes that accompanies the
destruction, clearance and burning of forests. Climate change already has
noticeable ecological and social effects, and its projected impacts could
potentially result in profound changes in global mean surface temperature,
sea level, ocean circulation, precipitation patterns, climatic zones,
species distributions and ecosystem function.
Stratospheric Ozone Depletion: The depletion of stratospheric ozone occurs due to the pollution of the
atmosphere by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which are another serious
environmental issue. It is a significant concern because the lack of
protective ozone at high altitudes results in increased levels of harmful
solar ultraviolet (UV-B) radiation reaching the earth's surface, causing a
range of health-related issues and ecological impacts.
Degraded Air Quality: There are various forms of air pollution which are significant, particularly
at regional and local scales, as they seriously degrade the air quality;
worldwide, According to various reports, approximately one billion people
who reside in areas that mainly include industrial cities suffer the most
from the pollution .Many air pollutants are responsible for the degradation
of air quality, but some key pollutants include particulate matters such as
oxides of nitrogen, oxides of sulphur, lead and various aromatic
compounds (such as benzene). Many air pollutants may cause aggravate respiratory
and vascular illnesses; some are known carcinogens; and some can cause damage to
vegetation and, in turn, produce a range of ecological effects.
Degraded Water Quality: Water quality can also be seriously degraded by
impurities caused by pollutants, giving rise to a range of many
health-related and ecological effects. A major source of water pollution
is the terrestrial run-off to inshore waters that occurs in many coastal
locations; such as surface run-off may contain significantly elevated levels
of nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural land and from human
settlements. Many other human activities lead to water pollution, including
mining and industrial processes, which may discharge of toxic effluents. Oil
spills, accumulation of plastics and the bio accumulation of persistent
organic chemicals are some of the other causes of serious degradation of the
Deforestation: It has been estimated that around half of the world's
mature forests have been cleared by humans. Deforestation occurs for a
variety of reasons, but the majority of deforestation now occurs when
tropical forests are cleared for agriculture and pastoralism; other reasons include the destruction
of trees for charcoal production and the selective logging of forests for
timber. Whilst tropical forests cover only around 6% of the earth's surface,
they are an essential part of the global ecosystem and of the biosphere: they
help to regulate climate; they protect soils from erosion; and they provide
habitats for a vast number of plant and animal species. One estimate suggests
that around 90% of the world's species are found in tropical forest.
Effects of environmental degradation:
Physical Environment: Healthy physical environment is the basic
requirement for our economic and social soundness. Need of the hour is that
there should not be air, water and even noise pollution. The refreshing
atmosphere will improve the health standard of the people. It will build
sound mind and sound body. Consequently health, energetic and efficient
working force will add considerably to the production and the productivity
of the nation.
Economic Environment: Our economic development and growth is also
considerably affected by economic environment. The survival and success of a
business enterprise is fully decided by the economic environment and market
Loss of Biodiversity: Biodiversity is vital to sustain balance of the
ecosystem in the form of combating pollution, restoring nutrients,
protecting water sources and stabilizing climate. Deforestation, global
warming, overpopulation and pollution are few of the major causes for loss
Loss for Tourism Industry: Speedy activities of tourism industry is also
responsible for the worsening of environment that rely on tourists for their
daily livelihood. Environmental damage in the form of loss of green cover,
loss of biodiversity, landfills, increa air and water pollution can be a big turn off
for most of the travellers.
Economic Impact: The huge cost that a nation may have to borne due to
environmental degradation can have huge economic impact in terms of
restoration of green cover, cleaning up of landfills and protection of
endangered species. The economic impact can also be in terms of loss of
tourism industry. The potentials of human economic activity leading to
regional and world-wide conflicts especially as the emission of dangerous
gases into the atmosphere (environmental degradation) results in changes in
agriculture production and inaccessibility of resources eventually causing
Challenges in 21 century
Public HealthMany of the issues we face all tie back into one central
concern – public health. Pollution, water scarcity and overpopulation all
present a clear threat to public health. Nearly one out of every four deaths
each year are directly caused by unhealthy environments, according to the
WHO. Even in developed countries, the growing anti-vaccination movement
threatens public health, causing a resurgence in diseases like measles that
were almost completely obliterated. The health and wellness of human beings
is an important issue to watch. What people eat, drink and breathe in play a
significant role in their wellness. Polluted air and water are a mounting
crisis we need to address.
Water-related challengesAccording to the report of UNICEF 2017) 2.1
billion people lack access to safely managed drinking water services and 4.5
billion lack safely managed sanitation servives. Also 340,000 children under
five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases. Water scarcity already affects
four out of every 10 people and according to UNISDR 90% of natural disasters are
water-related. If we spot some light on UNESCO Report(2017) we found that 80% of
wastewater flows back into the ecosystem without being treated or reused. Around
two-third of the world’s transboundary rivers do not have a cooperative
management framework and agriculture accounts for 70% of global water
PopulationRapid population growth puts strain on natural resources which results in
degradation of our environment. Mortality rate has gone down due to better
medical facilities which have resulted in increased lifespan. More population
simple means more demand for food, clothes and shelter. You need more space to
grow food and provide homes to millions of people. This results in deforestation
which is another factor of environmental degradation
Ecosystems & Endangered SpeciesDue to the list of environmental issues happening on this planet, both
ecosystems and species are affected. In fact, one out of every 10 plants and
animal species is expected to go extinct by 2050. The endangered species list
continues to grow as ecosystems continue to decrease. Lost habitats mean losing
the species that live there. While some may be able to migrate elsewhere, others
are not so lucky.
With the rising temperatures of the Arctic, sea ice melts, which eliminates the
habitat of polar bears. The list of endangered species includes other animals as
The best way to save species is to support organizations dedicated to fighting
species extinction. By supporting the cause, you’re helping to combat the issue.
You can also find laws and government acts available to sign that protect
ecosystems and endangered species.
- Effects of Industrilization and Globalization
Industrialization is the process of developing industries in a country which
brings the social & economic change and changes the face of a nation. It also
plays an important role in modern business and leads to the urbanization. The
industrialization is the basic element of any economy.
The unfair pay rates, working hours and labor disputes may affect the overall
business. The lack of sanitation, pollution and health issues are other negative
sides of the industrialization.
Globalization in modern business is an interconnection of global markets and
managing the overall businesses in a global industry by fulfilling all the
global requirements to perform businesses in the global market. It is one of the
main pillars of overall business and economy.
To run business globally; there are various terms & conditions, policies,
procedures, rules and maximum funding. The proper care should be given to the
research & development and technology sector. There is inequality in income. For
an example, the same company delivers huge salary to the employees in the United
States of America as compared to that running in India, Philippines, or Brazil.
It also affects the capital flow as the maximum generated profit is taken back
to the parent country.
The impact of environmental disasters can be devastating on the social,
economic, and environmental systems of a country or region as well as the global
ecosystem. Environmental disasters do not recognise man-made borders, and
threaten the legacy left to future generations of a clean and supportive
Thus, Governments, International organizations and communities must
work together – at all levels – to lessen the risks associated with
environmental degradation and its contributing factors, such as climate change,
and ensure that vulnerable people are prepared to survive and adapt.
At the same
time, companies, organizations and individuals must also ensure that their work
is environmentally friendly and sustainable. We should always remember that
pollution problems affect us all so each of us has to do his or her best to help
restore ecological balance to this beautiful place we call home.
causes of environmental degradation in India are attributed to the rapid growth
of population in combination with economic development and overuse of natural
resources. Air, water and noise pollution together with water scarcity dominate
the environmental issues in India. According to World Bank estimate, between
India has made one of the fastest progresses in the world, in addressing its
environmental issues and improving its environmental quality. Still, India has a
long way to go to reach environmental quality similar to those enjoyed in
Suggestions to overcome the Problem:
- Social Awareness:
It is the need of the hour to spread social awareness about the dangers of
pollution. It is also required how each individual can contribute to check this
- Population Control:
If environment is to be protected it is essential to check population growth.
- Strict Application of Environment Conservation Act:
The Environment (Protection) Act was passed in 1986 in India. Its objective was
to check deterioration in the quality of environment. This legislative measure
should be strictly enforced.
- Control over Industrial and Agricultural Pollution:
It is necessary for environmental protection that air and water pollution caused
by industrial development should be controlled properly. To avoid agricultural
pollution, use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers should be minimized.
- Afforestation Campaign:
Extensive afforestation campaign should be launched in the interest of
- Water Management:
River waters should be made clean. Moreover, provision should be made to supply
clean drinking water to the rural population.
- Management of Solid Waste:
Planned management of solid waste is very essential. It is suggested that rural
garbage be converted into compost.
- https://www.conservationinstitute.org › Earth Matters
- https://www.conservationinstitute.org › Earth Matters