To be an environmental world power
- Kanak Mani Dixit, Kathmandu based journalist, talked about the need of environmental cooperation in South Asia.
- The northern half of subcontinent from Brahmaputra basin to Indus- Ganga plain are running through environmental distress.
- All around the globe, people across the border are joining hand to save our common good but in South Asia this is not happening due to erosion of ‘civility in geopolitics’.
- He observe that wildlife, disease vectors, aerosols and river flows do not respect national boundaries. The environmental trends must be addresses at regional inter-country level.
- The economic and demographic forces are arrayed against the rivers and their right-of-way.
- He raised some concerns about environment in South Asia
- The subcontinent is running out of the resource due to the demands of industrialisation and urbanization.
- Continuation of the colonial-era irrigation model based on flooding the fields depleted water resources.
- Air pollution is damaging New delhi, Kathmandu and Lahore alike but there is no collaboration.
- Construction industry’s demand in Bihar is destroying the chure/shiwalik range of Nepal.
- The rivers were destroyed because of run-of the river hydroelectric schemes in uttrakhand, Sikkim and north east.
- Natural drainage of river is destroyed by highways and railway tracks elevated above the flood line, and bunds encircling towns and cities.
- Reduced flows and urban/industrial effluents have converted our great rivers into sewers.
- Our rivers carry hundreds of tonnes of plastics daily into the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.
- High-dam construction led to siltation of river belly. There is no way to de-silt big reservoir when fills up with sand and mud.
- Excessive melting of central Himalaya due to ‘atmospheric brown cloud. This cloud is made up of ‘black carbon’ containing soot and smog sent up by stubble burning, wood fires, smokestacks and fossil fuel exhaust, as well as dust kicked up by winter agriculture, vehicles and wind.
- Seet lahar, the ground hugging fog, led to distress of millions of the poorest and shelter-less people of the plains.
- UNEP also mention about the massive climate change in South Asia, especially from the rising sea level.
- Due to this, the entire Indian Ocean coastline will be affected, but the hardest hit will be the densely populated deltas where the Indus, the Irrawaddy and the Ganga-Brahmaputra meet the sea.
- The problem of ‘climate refugee’ will reduce the national boundaries as they move in mass for survival. As for example Farraka Barrage led to movement of lakhs of people from downstream Bangladesh to India. They live undocumented here.
- UN environment programme has choosen India to be the ‘host country’ for World Environment Day for 2018.
- He advised India to take the lead as India is the biggest polluter as well as most vulnerable to environmental damage.
- China has been resolutely tackling air pollution and promoting clean energy. But there is need of more active civil participation.
- He raised concerns about considering environmental activists as anti-national, anti-development in media and social media in recent times.
- He observe that task of preserving the forests and landscapes is primarily the responsibility of indigenous community.
- He observe that there is need for rise of ‘organic environmentalism’ from the grassroots and makes state authority accountable.
- He observe that there is a need of building ‘environmental system’ consist of state and society to protect the South Asia from environmental damage.