ADDRESSING ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

‘Sustainable Development’ is the only key phrase that can address the environmental issues faced globally and has the full potential of guaranteeing quality life not only to the present generations but also to the future generations. There have been regular efforts at the state, national and international level to prepare a long term policies to address the environmental concerns as the same have assumed dangerous proportions today. In this regard the immediate concern is the climate change being witnessed for the past some time and it needs to be taken as the first alarming bell towards destruction of life and property on this planet if not addressed seriously as well as with utmost urgency. Given the pace and extent of warming across India it is felt that the much talked about and deliberated long term planning to improve the situation will serve no purpose in the present scenario in the states witnessing recurring weather furies with lives of the people at stake. The adverse impact on wild life, agriculture, incidence of diseases, local weather, rise in sea level, more heat waves etc in the long run can be addressed only if the life of people currently at stake is saved by taking certain drastic measures and for that the people will have to play a significant role themselves without depending on the government. It does not mean that government has no role at all. It has a secondary role as compared to the people who have a primary duty to ensure that they do not resort to any such activity that affects the environment adversely. Analysis of different meteorological variables available from weather stations across the nation presents a dismal scenario with upward trend in mean monthly temperature, and downward trend in relative humidity, annual rainfall and number of wet days in a year besides rate of carbon dioxide release into atmosphere having increased 30 times during the last over three decades. Kashmir Valley witnesses severe summers nowadays. People across the country in general and particularly in our state need to take queue from the Ladakhis who have not only maintained their traditional practices beneficial for healthy environment but also welcomed certain latest innovations to make the region conducive for sustainable development. In this regard the building of artificial glaciers to compensate the water shortage in summers is a unique example. Similarly there was a practice in the Valley’s Srinagar district where snow received in winter used to be stored in a deep dry well on the foot hills of Zabarwan near the Jyestha Mata Temple and the same was used by local ice cream hawkers in summer. The weather fury that we face nowadays has not come by itself but due to our utter carelessness and negligence. We need to communicate with nature and understand that it has always been conveying the probability of forthcoming disasters well in time. A startling statistical analysis conducted recently has put a big question mark against the role of the government on the issue especially so far as plantation drives are concerned. It is a reality that plantation can go a long way in reversing the climate change effect but as per the revealed data regarding plantation drives being conducting across India after mid fifties today there should have been no place for any further plantation drives. This clearly implies that either the plantation drives have remained confined to paper work only or else there is no after care of the plantations after the drives are over. This is a serious issue that needs to be probed by the government to re-strategize its policy towards sustainable development. In such a scenario there is a dire need to adopt a serious approach to capture and use the traditional knowledge and experiences from some undisturbed ecological areas across the globe and not only implement such traditional eco-projects in the state but also promote traditional construction patterns instead of raising concrete jungles for residential accommodations. While on one hand it would end a lot of ailments of the people that have resulted due to use of non-traditional construction materials, at the same time it would inch towards sustainable development at a greater pace.