When I was a student at the NLSIU National Law School of India University Dr. KPS Chauhan was a spirited faculty of Environmental law and also served in the Ministry of Environment and Forests I was told.But for one I must thank him for his overall dedication to the field of Environmental Science.
For long Environment has been a neglected issue and the backlash of which being felt now there is a widespread concern over environmental matters.Environment is going to be one of key concern among communities at large and needs management ,sustenance and governance.It is not just policies but an awareness and involvement of all environmental matters and issues. Many youngsters around the world are taking to study environment as a subject.I met a young lady from Germany Clara Nicolai who is bent on environmental science.
The problem of Environmental science as I see it is that it is Hydra-headed.The solution of one problem creates another and the expertise needed is diverse.Why do we have Environmental problems in the world today? Growth in population creates increased consumption leading to consumption maladies like waste management and pollution.This is going to be a vicious circle intensifying with time leading to unpredictable consequences if not timely managed and appropriated.
The problem of Global Warming as we see today is a result of decades of human consumption with an ignorance of environmental issues until the problems of the environment began to pop up triggering a global concern.
There are two kinds of environmental problems to my observation.Some which are discreet, fleeting and temporary and the other kinds which could be termed as long term and lasting.But may it be stated without remorse that problems of the environment are going to be a business of mankind employing various kinds of manpower in the future.If environmental problems of any kind are let to continue it will create contamination of various kinds leading to disease and withering.A proactive approach of a transnational nature can result in environmental management that results not just in sustainable development but in more efficient national and global economies.
But the good side of Environment Management is that every problem has a solution and it takes time ,effort and understanding to take the U turn.In many issues regarding the environment Courts have involved themselves leading to mandatory implementation and accountability.
Much of what is mentioned above is known to all.The question is how can we have a more inclusive Environmental Management regime.The solution lies to a large extent in waste recycling instead of arbitararily releasing them into the environment.The fact of the matter is that what is waste in a given situation is an input for another domain.Understanding and implementing this at all levels is the most important aspect of Environmental Management though may be with some riders.Consider the aspect of Global Warming as we see today is the result of years of pumping green house gases into the environment increasing carbon content and creating warming.Much of this carbon inputs must have come from industrial exhausts; which is largely curtailed today.The challenge facing mankind is to re-channelize these industrial wastes into another process to salvage its contents which can further be an input into another process.
Some of the blatant signs of environmental contamination can be seen around.Rivers slowly getting degraded as drains with effluents...large green hills and hillocks stripped of the flora for human habitation, encroachment of forest lands and the like.Such occurrences may seem inevitable but must be managed not to upset the environmental balance.
There are modern jargons like EIA Enironmental Impact Assessment though not totally misplaced but has limitations.A day is not far when most of our forests would be encroached upon in some form or the other for human use or purposes.Large conduits might run through the forests of tomorrow carrying various utilities say cooking gas for example.They might have negative impact on the environment but is inevitable.There has been negligence in the overall gamut of environmental management which needs redemption as of now and lessons learned in the past implemented in the future.
One of the strategies to implement a comprehensive environment policy is to approach the problem without fail from a microscopic level and advancing steadily into the global level.The microscopic level has a bearing on the global level.The microscopic level would be a range of say 100meters from a reference point.What are the environmental issues one faces at this level.Maybe waste management.How is waste managed.Is there a comprehensive and fool proof method?Within this domain there is the problem of sanitation.Sanitation might a a more broader issue but it starts at this microscopic level.How is waste management undertaken at this level.The best solution for solid non sanitary waste would be to ignite them in some local home based furnace so that it can save electric power consumption and soot fed into plants.A very clean and precise method of waste management.At the end of the day it enriches the soil.It must be understood clearly the waste mentioned here has nothing to do primarily with sanitation which a totally different issue.The next level could be Macroscopic level 1 which would cover a radius of five kilometers from the reference and could involve rivulets and drains and some shrubs and trees.The drains must have filters which collect solid materials and also drains must have simple water of effluent purification devices or systems.The solid wastes accumulated at this level could be used as fuel.They could be collected sorted and sold as some form of fuel for stoves in kitchens.The next level would be Macroscopic level 2 which would mean a city.Then it is the province level and next the country level and next the International level and finally the Global level.Each of these levels are interconnected in some form or the other and proper management at some level makes Environmental Management at a higher level easier.A city might have pollution problems from Industrial complexes..A province might have Forest Management problems..A country might have the problem of interconnection of water sources in some form or an integrated EIA Environmental Impact Assessment issue...at an International level it would mean Environmental issues that concern two counties which are neighbours and Global level might be issues like Global warming.
Issues of the Environment must not be left to chance and must be treated as a comprehensive social and business venture so that there is smooth transgression of Environmental Management from one level to the other creating a very safe and refined environment for people and communities at large and the activity of Environmental Management be used to improve the economic performance of societies.