Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Government of India just released a "State of the Environment" report. I can't find the original report, but there is a lot of coverage:

BBC News:

The State of the Environment report says that at least 45% of India's land area is "degraded due to erosion, soil acidity, alkalinity and salinity, water logging and wind erosion".
in the past, a combination of rainfall and surface and groundwater supplies were sufficient for the population. But now it says that rainfall has become more erratic, groundwater supplies are becoming more depleted and surface water is becoming more polluted.
"with an economy closely linked to a natural resource base", India faces big challenges in the future including a scarcity of water and lower crop yields.
...the level of respirable suspended particulate matter--the small pieces of soot and dust that get inside the lungs--had gone up in all the 50 cities across India studied by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and the Central Pollution Control Board.
10 percent of its wild flora and fauna are on the threatened list... The main causes, according to the report, were habitat destruction, poaching, invasive species, overexploitation, pollution and climate change.
about 700 million Indians directly face the threat of global warming today, as it affects farming, makes droughts, floods and storms more frequent and more severe and is raising the sea level.
On the plus side:
over two-thirds of the degraded 147 million hectares can be regenerated quite easily, ... and India's forest cover is gradually increasing
India contributes around 5% of global carbon dioxide emissions. That is about a quarter of the emissions of China and the US. ... Indian per capita emissions are one-twentieth of the US and one-tenth of Europe and Japan.



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