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Biodiversity & Environment

State of India’s Environment Report 2023

  • 29 Mar 2023
  • 4 min read

For Prelims: CSE, DTE, Air Pollution, Plastic Waste, Municipal Solid Waste, Landfills.

For Mains: State of India’s Environment report 2023.

Why in News?

Recently, State of India’s Environment report 2023 was launched by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and DTE (Down to Earth) magazine, covering an extensive gamut of subject assessments, ranging from climate change, agriculture and industry to water, plastics, forests and biodiversity.

  • The report is the annual publication, focusing on climate change, migration, health and food systems. It also covers biodiversity, forest and wildlife, energy, industry, habitat, pollution, waste, agriculture and rural development.
  • CSE is a public interest research and advocacy organisation based in New Delhi.

What are the Key Highlights of the Report?

  • Encroachment:
    • Over 30,000 water bodies have been encroached on in the country and India is generating 150,000 tonnes of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) every day — more than half of which is either dumped in landfills or remains unattended.
  • Air Pollution:
    • Four years and 11 months is the average duration of life lost to air pollution in India.
    • Rural India is losing more years due to air pollution-related health issues than the urban belt.
    • Rural India needs 35 % more community health centers.
  • Environmental Crimes:
    • Environmental crimes continue unabated — courts need to decide on 245 cases every day to clear the backlog.
  • Extreme Weather Events:
    • Between January and October 2022, India witnessed extreme weather events on 271 days.
    • These extreme weather events claimed over 2,900 lives.
  • SDGs:
    • Over the past five years, India’s overall global rank in meeting the United Nations-mandated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has slipped by nine places — ranking 121 in 2022.
    • India ranks below four south Asian countries — Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
      • India is facing challenges in 11 of the 17 SDGs, including SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 3 (good health and wellbeing), SDG 5 (gender equality) and SDG 11 (Sustainable cities).
  • Plastic Waste:
    • While the magnitude of the problem related to Plastic Waste remains gargantuan, a plethora of policies and urgency are on the right path.
    • Cities are becoming waste-wise, learning to segregate at source, minimise plastics and reuse reprocess waste into wealth.
  • Agriculture:
    • In agriculture, strong evidence is emerging of the efficacy of traditional and regenerative farming methods.
    • On the issue of forests and biodiversity, losses of forests are a dark truth, but at the same time more and more communities are demanding rights over forests – what is more, these rights are being granted.

What are the Recommendations?

  • We need to have a common minimum programme that brings all countries together on the only issues that matter for humanity: how to avert the existential crisis we face today and how to build a just and inclusive world order.
  • In fact, the pandemic treaty is a welcome development in this direction.

Source: DTE

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