15. Industrialists’ attitude: Industrialists have their own interests for raw materials. Huge interest groups lobby the government for access to these raw materials at artificially low rates. They have no interest in the sustainability of the forest.
16. Bishnoi community on border of Thar desert in western Rajasthan is a group of nature-loving people who have sacrificed lives for conserving flora and fauna. They have a basic philosophy that all living things have the right to survive and share all resources.
Amrita Devi Bishnoi sacrificed her life in 1731 along with 363 others for the protection of Khejri trees in Khejrali village near Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Govt, of India instituted 'Amrita Devi Bishnoi National Award’ for Wildlife Conservation in her memory.
17. Himalayan National Park: Prejudice against the traditional use of forest areas is not justified. The great Himalayan National Park contains alpine meadows which were earlier grazed by sheep in summer. Nomadic shepherds drove their flock from the valley every summer. After the formation of National Park, this practice was stopped. Now it is seen that the grass first grows very tall and then falls over preventing fresh growth.
18. Proper use of forest resources: Forest resources ought to be used in a manner that is both environmentally and developmentally sound. While the environment is preserved, the benefits of controlled exploitation should go to local people. The environment must not be regarded as a pristine collection of plants and animals. It is a vast and complex entity that offers a range of natural resources which should be used with caution for economic growth and to meet our aspirations.
19. Chipko Andolan (Hug the Tree Movement): This movement started to end the alienation of people from their forests. An important event took place in a remote village called Reni in Garhwal during the 1970s. There was a dispute between the local villagers and a logging contractor who had been permitted to fell trees in the forest close to the village. On a particular day, the menfolk of the village were absent. The contractor’s men reached the forest and started felling trees. The women of the village reached the spot. They clasped the tree trunks and thus stopped the felling of the trees. Chipko movement quickly spread across communities. It forced the government to change the laws in favour of people. Destruction of forests affects not just the availability of products, it affects the quality of soil and availability of water also.
20. Peoples participation in the management of forests: In 1972, the West Bengal Forest Department recognised that its efforts to revive Sal forests in the southwestern districts did not succeed. There were frequent clashes between the villages and forest officials. Forest and land-related conflicts were also a major factor in fuelling Naxalism.
At the instance of a forest officer A.K, Banerjee, the Forest Department of West Bengal involved the villagers in the protection of 1272 hectares of Sal forests. Villagers were given employment in harvesting operation. They were given 25 per cent of the harvest and fuelwood and fodder on payment of a nominal fee. The Sal forests of Arabari recovered a lot by 1983 due to these measures.
21. Irrigation methods: Irrigation methods like dams, tanks and canals have been used in various parts of India since ancient times. These were managed by local people and the requirement for agriculture and daily needs was met to a great extent. Now the big dams and canals built by the government have led to the neglect of local irrigation methods. Also, there has been loss of control over the local water sources by the local people.
22. Kulh irrigation method: Over four hundred years ago, parts of Himachal Pradesh had evolved a local system of canal irrigation called kulhs. The water flowing in the streams was diverted to man-made channels and this water was taken to numerous villages down the hillside for irrigation- These kulhs were managed by two or three people who were paid by the villagers. After the kulhs were taken over by the irrigation department, these have become defunct.
23. Shift towards bigger dams: After independence, a number of large dams and canals have been built. These dams store water for irrigation and for generating electricity. But there has been opposition to the construction of big dams such as Tehri Dam on the river Ganga. Also there have been protests by Narmada Bachao Andolan to raising the height of Sardar Sarovar Dam on river Narmada. The following issues are involved in the construction of large dams :
(i) It displaces a large number of peasants and tribals without adequate rehabilitation.
(ii) These projects swallow a large sum of money without delivering proportionate benefits.
(iii) They involve deforestation and loss of biological diversity leading to environmental problems.
24. Water-harvesting: Watershed management puts emphasis on scientific soil and water conservation in order to increase the biomass production. Various organisations have been working on rejuvenating ancient system of water harvesting as an alternative to the mega-projects like dams. Water harvesting is an age old concept in India. Khadins, tanks and nadis in Rajasthan, bandharas and tals in Maharashtra, bundhis in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, ahars and pynes in Bihar, kulhs in Himachal Pradesh, ponds in Kandi belt of Jammu and eris (tanks) in Tamil Nadu, surangams in Kerala, and kattas in Karnataka are some of the examples of the water harvesting techniques.
25. Check dams: In level terrain, water harvesting systems are crescent-shaped earthen embankments or low straight concrete and rubble check dams. Monsoon rains fill ponds beyond the structures. The main purpose of check dams is not to hold surface water, but to recharge groundwater beneath. There are many advantages of stored water on the ground. It does not dry up but spreads to recharge wells and provides moisture for vegetation over a wide area. Also, it does not provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes like stagnant water in artificial lakes.
26. Fossil fuels: Fossil fuels, coal and petroleum are important sources of energy. We have been using increasing amounts of fossil fuels for our basic needs and to manufacture a large number of goods. Coal and petroleum were formed from the degradation of biomass millions of years ago and these resources will be exhausted in the future. One estimate is that at the present usage rate, petroleum will last for 40 years and coal will last for another two hundred years.
27. Pollution due to fossil fuels: Fossil fuels contain hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and sulphur. On burning they produce oxides of carbon, nitrogen and sulphur. If burnt in insufficient oxygen, they produce carbon monoxide which is poisonous. Carbon dioxide is not poisonous but it is a green-house gas causing global warming. Oxides of nitrogen and sulphur are poisonous. Therefore, by using fossil fuels, we are creating air pollution due to the formation of oxides of carbon, nitrogen and sulphur.
28. Control on consumption of energy: We can control the consumption of energy by
(а) taking a bus in place of a personal vehicle,
(b) using CFL in place of bulbs, and
(c) wearing an extra sweater in place of using a heater or sigri on cold days.