This is the right time to start the IAs Prelims 2014 Preparation based on its Syllabus. The Syllabus of the IAS Prelims as given in the IAS 2014 Notification mentions General issues on Environmental Ecology, Bio-diversity and Climate Change - that do not require subject specialization. But the questions asked in the IAS Prelims Exams do require the current orientation of the Subject. All the latest development and reports related to the environmental Science and Ecology needs to be prepared by the Candidates.
What is Environment ?
Environment is the sum total of what is around something or someone. It includes living things and natural forces.The environment of living things provides conditions for development and growth, as well as of danger and damage. Living things do not simply exist in their environment. They constantly interact with it. Organisms change in response to conditions in their environment. The environment consists of the interactions among plants, animals, soil, water, temperature, light, and other living and non-living things. The need to protect and maintain the natural environment is frequently pitted against development objectives as if the two were fundamentally incompatible. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Following Dimension Needs Special Attention
• Environmental sustainability, including the conservation of biodiversity, underpins human well beings. It is essential to the achievements of the other millennium development goals and must therefore be integrated into development strategies across all sectors. But the task force on environmental sustainability maintains equally firmly that environmental strategy must be guided by the public and private human benefits derived from a healthy and functioning environment and this is particularly salient for people living in poverty.
• Conservation strategies that pay insufficient attention to the immediate needs of people are doomed to fail, as are development strategies that fail to take into account the social and human cost of environmental degradation. Achieving environmental sustainability therefore requires carefully balancing human needs with maintaining functioning ecosystem and curbing the pollution of water and air.
• The environment comprises a diversity of ecosystem from forests, grasslands and agro ecosystem to freshwater systems and coral reefs. Each provides a suite of provisioning (goods), regulating, cultural and supporting services-all of which contribute human health well being and livelihood.
Bio diversity is variety of species and ecosystems on earth and ecological processes of which they are part including ecosystem, species and genetic diversity components.
• The UN convention on biological diversity defines biodiversity as variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and aquatic ecological complexes which they are part of. There are various attributes of bio diversity such as composition, structure and function.
• There are various factors which affect the biodiversity of a region which are mostly man made like population growth which increases the pressure on the environment.
• India being a bio diversity rich country is more concerned regarding the loss of it, and with world also increased efforts towards protecting the environment.
Convention on biological diversity is one such step whose 10thCOP meeting recently held in Hyderabad. On Indian measures the government passed bio diversity act 2002, which set up the national bio diversity authority which acts as the nodal authority for conservation work.
• A loss of bio diversity and its effect led to climate change whose effects can be seen in everyday life. Climate change is term which acquired great importance in last 2 decades.
• The reason behind is the loss of diversity and ecological imbalance created by the natural as well as anthropogenic causes. Industrial revolution and increased greed for the resources between the countries in the last century led to the exploitation of these resources and unbalancing the ecosystem.
• The effects of this is pretty evident and clear from ever before such as global warming, change in climatic patterns, climatic extremes are frequent, etc. the temperature of earth increasing at a constant rate and the avg. temperature will increase by at least 2% by the end of the century.
• Some other effects can also be seen like increased level of CO2 increase the temperature, many plants and animal species are forced out of their natural habitat, rising sea level and heavy storm severely damage the coastline. Infectious diseases would become more common as global temperature rise.
• The world is increasingly active towards saving the world from the effects of climate change. An intergovernmental organization work regularly on this and its meeting are held per year to draw a road map for the sustainable development with low or negligible environmental effect, increasing use of greener technology is one such step.
• The major initiatives of government to protect environment and ass well as bio diversity are: - CAMPA, National river conservation directorate, National Ganga river basin authority, Capacity building for industrial pollution management, National green tribunal.