Best Book on Environmental Studies


M.P. Poonia

S.C. Sharma

Environmental degradation has been a major concern since about past one century, because of economic growth, large scale urbanisation, population explosion, commercialisation, change in life style and development across the world have caused such a vast impact on our environment that the very existence of man has came under a threat. The degradation has caused major impacts on the earth’s ecosystem and natural resources to an extent that can adversely effect the wellbeing of future generations, the need for sustainable development is the key to the future of mankind. The degradation of our environment is due to continuous problems of pollution, less of forests, solid waste disposal, increasing levels of global warming, the depletion of ozone layer and a serious loss of biodiversity.

In the above background, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development was held in Rio de J aneirv in 1992, and the World Summit on Sustainable Development at Zoharbex in 2002, which have drawn the attention of people to the changing conditions of our environment, there had been a large number of International convention and summits on environmental protection since 1979 (World Climate Conference).

Sustainable development of countries and of the world as a whole, considering the above facts, assumes a great significance, and has become prime necessity. This is possible only when there is education regarding nature and environment. This wiil also create a public pressure on the industry, trade society and the government. This is possible only when the public knows the values and the importance of the environment and of the harmful effects being caused by the environmental degradation. Keeping all the above factors in consideration, the Hon`ble Supreme Court of India in a judgement in 2003, gas directed the University Grant Commission (UGC) to prescribe a course on the subject of “Environmental Studies” for all the colleges as a compulsory subject.

In compliance with the above order of the hon’ble Supreme Court, the UGC has designed a six month core module course for a new subject on “Environment”, which is a compulsory subject at undergraduate level.

This book title as “Environmental Studies” covers the entire UGC syllabus. This book deals with the major environmental concerns that have been mentioned in the above paragraphs. It lays emphasis on a balance view on sustainable development i e development along with environmental concerns, which affects our daily life.

The book has many special features, which most other book do not have. Some of the such features are mentioned hereunder:

The book is written in simple and easy to understand language.

It meet the requirement of “Mandatory Course on Environmental Science” as per AICTE model curriculum. For this purpose, the chapter on “Earth Science” has been added.

This chapter includes earth, solar system, lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere.

A separate chapter have been given on ecology, which includes basic concepts and principles of ecology, ecological succession, poplation ecology, community ecology, ecological relations hips, human ecology, human settlements, origin and evolution of life.

The book has also dealt various natural resources, such as water resources, mineral resources, land (Soil) resources, energy resources, food resources, animal resources and their conservation etc. in great detail as compared to most other books on the subject, the book also contain different types of disasters in detail, such as earthquakes, floods, droughts, cyclones, landslides, tsunami, and main-made disasters with regards to disaster preparedness, mitigation and prevention measures, and response with rescue and relief measures. It also deals with organisation set-up for managing/handling disasters.

A separate chapter is given on “Wastes Management” describing about Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), Industrial Solid Wastes, and Agricultural Solid Wastes and Waste Management Techniques.

The major social problem related to the development is “rehabilitation and resettlement (R&R)”. This book deals various issues related to R&R; the problems of R&R due to development, social impact assessment (SIA) and its study, land acquisition and its impact, socio-economic issues, preparation of R&R policy, plan and programme, mitigation measures etc. have been discussed in detail. This will enable the Reade to understand the problem of R&R, which now-a day is much talked about. This will also help the professional engineers engaged in the developmental activities to understand the problems and take care since beginning which will enable to reduce wastage of time and cost over-run of the project.

The book has also discussed about latest environment friendly measures, like green buildings (sustainable buildings)

A separate chapter have been went on “Environmental protection” incorporating efforts being made on this aspect at international level and at the Indian Government level, Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Carbon Credits, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), and State Pollution Control Boards (SPCB). For most major projects, there is mandatory requirement of getting environment clearance. For this propose one should know about the impacts of the project. For the help of students and professionals the book has gone in detail about the “Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)” the methodology for conducting the EIA study for various projects, forest clearance, Environmental management and its Plan for mitigation in different fields, such as flora and fauna (biodiversity), Catchment area Treatment, landscaping and revegetation, various construction related measures.

Created by : Mukul Seth