Environment and Development

Environment and Development

Environment and Development

The term environment is defined in many ways. It is totality of physical, chemical and biotic components. Environment protection should be accorded high national priority from sustainability point of view. Similarly, development is crucial for the socio-economic betterment. Therefore, environment and development should go hand-in-hand for sustainability of development endeavors.

Environment problems: 

Environment problems

Various parts of the country are beset with such problems. The nature and the scale of problems of environment should be studied before relating it to development.

The problems of environment are –

  • Land degradation caused by water and soil erosion, salinity and alkalinity, river action and other factors,
  • Forest area encroached upon and diverted to other uses,
  • Loss of biodiversity leading to the extinction of plant, animal and microbial species,
  • Damage to mountain ecosystem due to extensive deforestation and consequent erosion of valuable topsoil.
  • Wetlands are polluted and exploited, affecting bird and aquatic life,
  • Agricultural system is poorly planned and ill executed irrigation system causes soil erosion,
  • Pollution arising from toxic wastes and non-biodegradable consumer article is increasing,
  • Global warming due to build-up of green-house gases in the atmosphere which has serious repercussions such as sea level rising, glaciers melting and increasing flood,
  • Urban slums are increasing due to increasing movement of resource poor families to towns,
  • Impact on women as they need to travel long distances to fetch water and collect fire woods.

Inter-relationship between development and environment:

Environment and Development

Development and environment are closely interrelated. Development itself is the main cause of environmental degradation, and it can be done with less and less environment impacts. The relationship between them can be explained as: –

  • Economic development and environmental protection are taken as a part of zero sum game, gaining one objective implies corresponding loss of another,
  • Development is concerned with exploitation of natural resources, nature cannot sustain it,
  • In context of Nepal, goals of growth and environment protections both are essential,
  • Both goals can be harmonized over a range. They conflict in a few extreme situations,
  • Some environment activist oppose development projects raising the issues of environment degradation and rights of tribal groups. But they need to give up extreme and fanatical position,
  • However, one should not ignore or underplay environment concerns. There are many safeguards to reduce and eliminate risks of development projects.
  • Developing countries are committed to development because most of them are suffering from poverty, unemployment and inadequate social services, so they are compelled to compromise with environmental issues.  
Environment and Development
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