Environmental Issues Class 12 Biology



Progression in the industrial, agricultural and technological fields has resulted in more risks on the environment rather than the benefits. On the other hand, the population explosion has immensely damaged natural resources because of uncontrolled exploitation. Increased population implies more pressure on the day to day requirements; like electricity, water, consumer goods including food and clothing. There is a huge requirement of raw materials for the infrastructure of roads, housing, bridges, and many other projects rely upon natural sources such as wood, soil and metals.  In an attempt to fulfil the evergrowing demands, there is disproportionate exhaustion of natural resources. Some of the human activities have made there way easy to many environmental issues like pollution, natural disasters and the depletion of biodiversity. The major problems our country is facing are air pollution, water pollution, land pollution and noise pollution. Apart from pollution, deforestation, habitat destruction, and many natural calamities have further added pressure on the resources.  Even though the situation was worst in between 1947-1995, the interventions from the government have helped to curb the seriousness of issues to some extent. Our government has introduced a number of schemes to conserve environmental sources. But, after the year 2010,  both India and the world has once again witnessed a serious depression of environment and natural sources. 

Table Of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Major environmental issues in India

    2.1  Pollution in India

    2.2  Excessive use of groundwater

    2.3 Climate Change

    2.4 Use of Plastics

    2.5  Loss of Biodiversity

Major environmental issues in India

Though pollution tops the list, deforestation, depletion of underground water tables, damage to the mineral resources such as forests, and sand are also posing a serious threat. Deforestation has further resulted in the degradation of farmland, loss of biodiversity and poor health of the ecosystems. Health issues like infections, birth defects and mental illnesses have increased as a result of pollution. Global warming is another cause of concern which is growing at a rapid pace. 

1. Pollution in India

 India has witnessed a profound amount of pollution. This is even more worse in the metro cities like Delhi, Calcutta, and Mumbai. As far as India is concerned, the primary sources of pollution are; the rapid burning of fossil fuels, burning of fuelwood and biomass and the ineffective waste management strategies that lack organized garbage and waste treatment plans. We are also facing a serious shortage of technical facilities that help in mitigating the natural calamities like floods and outbreak of epidemic diseases. Despite a lot of oceans around, the country is facing drought in many states. Some of the regions have very poor access to the basic need - clean drinking water. In many localities, the sewage treatment system is still a dream. In addition to water pollution, there has been a drastic depletion in the soil quality as a result of excessive use of pesticides and insecticides. On the other hand, urbanization and industrialization have welcomed a substantial level of noise pollution.

2. Excessive use of groundwater

As the monsoons are slowly shrinking, groundwater irrigation by digging bore wells has witnessed an unexpected raise. Extracting a lot of underground water led to a falling level of groundwater tables. We won`t be surprised if the government declares the majority of our cities as completely dry.

3. Climate Change

 India is witnessing an all-time high temperature in the past 5 years. In May 2016, Phalodi in Rajasthan has touched a record high temperature of 51 degrees celsius. If this continues, the Himalayan glaciers are expected to be completely melted down to cause serious floods in the north-east region. India is vulnerable to floods, tsunami that hit in the past decade was one of the best examples of this. 

4. Use of Plastics

 India is leading in polymer production and usage. Though the government is serious about plastic usage, people still use a lot of plastic in the form of wrappers, covers, and the packets used for food packing. The recent data from the Plastindia Foundation says that  India’s per capita plastic consumption grew up to 8-kilo grams in the year 2018 which was about 4 kgs during 2006.  By the end of  2020, this is expected to grow Up to 27 kg.  A plastic beverage bottle takes up to 500 years to decompose naturally hence it is one of the burning issues to be addressed with high priority.

5. Loss of Biodiversity

 Habitat destruction, exploitation of animal and plant habitats as well as the commercial misuse of various plants and animals is turning a nightmare for the country`s ecosystem. Based on the data depicted by the department of forestry, more than 70  species of plants and animals in India are listed as critically endangered. Such a phenomenon has led to the loss of indigenous species like Siberian crane, Himalayan wolf, and Kashmir stag.