Please refer to the Environment and Sustainable Development Notes Class 11 Economics given below. These revision notes have been designed as per the latest NCERT, CBSE, and KVS books issued for the current academic year. Students will be able to understand the entire chapter in your class 11th Economics book. We have provided chapter-wise Notes for Class 11 Economics as per the latest examination pattern.
Revision Notes Chapter 9 Environment and Sustainable Development Class 11 Economics
Students of Class 11 Economics will be able to revise the entire chapter and also learn all important concepts based on the topic-wise notes given below. Our best teachers for Grade 11 have prepared these to help you get better marks in upcoming examinations. These revision notes cover all important topics given in this chapter.
Environment — Definition and Functions
Environment is defined as the total planetary inheritance and the totality of all resources.
It includes all the biotic and abiotic factors that influence each other.
While all living elements—the birds, animals and plants, forests, fisheries etc.—are biotic elements, abiotic elements include air, water, land etc.
Functions of the Environment: The environment performs four vital functions
(i) It supplies resources: resources here include both renewable and non-renewable resources.
Renewable resources are those which can be used without the possibility of the resource becoming depleted or exhausted. That is, a continuous supply of the resource remains available.
Examples of renewable resources are the trees in the forests and the fishes in the ocean.
Non-renewable resources, on the other hand, are those which get exhausted with extraction and use, for example, fossil fuel
(ii) it assimilates (absorb) waste
(iii) it sustains life by providing genetic and bio diversity and (iv) it also provides aesthetic (beauty) services like scenery etc.
The environment is able to perform these functions without any interruption as long as the demand on these functions is within its carrying capacity.
This implies that the resource extraction is not above the rate of regeneration of the resource and the wastes generated are within the assimilating capacity of the environment.
Absorptive capacity means the ability of the environment to absorb degradation.
To make matters worse, global environmental issues such as global warming and ozone depletion also contribute to increased financial commitments for the government.
Thus, it is clear that the opportunity costs of negative environmental impacts are high.
State Of India’s Environment
India has abundant natural resources in terms of rich quality of soil, hundreds of rivers and tributaries, lush green forests, plenty of mineral deposits beneath the land surface, vast stretch of the Indian Ocean, ranges of mountains, etc.
The black soil of the Deccan Plateau is particularly suitable for cultivation of cotton, leading to concentration of textile industries in this region.
The Indo-Gangetic plains — spread from the Arabian Sea to the Bay of Bengal — are one of the most fertile, intensively cultivated and densely populated regions in the world.
India accounts for nearly 8 per cent of the world’s total iron-ore reserves.
However, the developmental activities in India have resulted in pressure on its finite natural resources, besides creating impacts on human health and well-being.
The priority issues identified are
(i) land degradation
(ii) biodiversity loss
(iii) air pollution with special reference to vehicular pollution in urban cities
(iv) management of fresh water and
(v) solid waste management. Land in India suffers from varying degrees and types of degradation stemming mainly from unstable use and nappropriate management practices.
You may be aware of the Chipko Movement, which aimed at protecting forests in the Himalayas. In Karnataka, a similar movement took a different name, ‘Appiko’, which means to hug.
The per capita forest land in the country is only 0.06 hectare against the requirement of 0.47 hectare to meet basic needs, resulting in an excess felling of about 15 million cubic metre forests over the permissible limit.
India is one of the ten most industrialised nations of the world.
But this status has brought with it unwanted and unanticipated consequences such as unplanned urbanisation, pollution and the risk of accidents.
Environment and economy are interdependent and need each other.
What is needed is sustainable development: development that will allow all future generations to have a potential average quality of life that is at least as high as that which is being enjoyed by the current generation.
The concept of sustainable development was emphasised by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), which defined it as: ‘Development that meets the need of the present generation without compromising the ability of the future generation to meet their own needs’.
The present generation can promote development that enhances the natural and built environment in ways that are compatible with
(i) conservation of natural assets
(ii) preservation of the regenerative capacity of the world’s natural ecological system
(iii) avoiding the imposition of added costs or risks on future generations.
To achieve sustainable development, the following needs to be done
(i) Limiting the human population to a level within the carrying capacity of the environment.
The carrying capacity of the environment is like a ‘plimsoll line’ of the ship which is its load limit mark.
(ii) Technological progress should be input efficient and not input consuming
(iii) Renewable resources should be extracted on a sustainable basis, that is, rate of extraction should not exceed rate of regeneration
(iv)For non-renewable resources rate of depletion should not exceed the rate of creation of renewable substitutes and
(v)Inefficiencies arising from pollution should be corrected.
Strategies For Sustainable Development
Use of Non-conventional Sources of Energy: India, as you know, is hugely dependent on thermal and hydro power plants to meet its power needs. Both of these have adverse environmental impacts. Thermal power plants emit large quantities of carbon dioxide which is a green house gas. It also produces fly ash which, if not used properly, can cause pollution of water bodies, land and other components of the environment.
Wind power and solar rays are good examples of conventional but cleaner and greener energy sources but are not yet been explored on a large scale due to lack of technological devices.
LPG, Gobar Gas in Rural Areas:
Households in rural areas generally use wood, dung cake or other biomass as fuel.
This practice has several adverse implications like deforestation, reduction in green cover, wastage of cattle dung and air pollution.
To rectify the situation, subsidised LPG is being provided. In addition, gobar gas plants are being provided through easy loans and subsidy.
As far as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is concerned, it is a clean fuel
— it reduces household pollution to a large extent.
Wind Power: In areas where speed of wind is usually high, wind mills can provide electricity without any adverse impact on the environment.
Wind turbines move with the wind and electricity is generated.
Solar Power through Photovoltaic Cells: India is naturally endowed with a large quantity of solar energy in the form of sunlight.
Plants use solar energy to perform photosynthesis. Now, with the help of photovoltaic cells, solar energy can be converted into electricity.
These cells use special kind of materials to capture solar energy and then convert the energy into electricity.
This technology is extremely useful for remote areas and for places where supply of power through grid or power lines is either not possible or proves very costly.
This technique is also totally free from pollution.
India is also leading an International body called International Solar Alliance (ISA).
Mini-hydel Plants: In mountainous regions, streams can be found almost everywhere.
Mini-hydel plants use the energy of such streams to move small turbines. The turbines generate electricity which can be used locally.
Traditional Knowledge and Practices: Traditionally, Indian people have been close to their environment.
They have been more a component of the environment and not its controller.
If we look back at our agriculture system, healthcare system, housing, transport etc., we find that all practices have been environment friendly. Only recently have we drifted away from the traditional systems and caused large scale damage to the environment and also our rural heritage.
Biocomposting: In our quest to increase agricultural production during the last five decades or so, we almost totally neglected the use of compost and completely switched over to chemical fertilisers.
The result is that large tracts of productive land have been adversely affected, water bodies including ground water system have suffered due to chemical contamination and demand for irrigation has been going up year after year.
Farmers, in large numbers all over the country, have again started using compost made from organic wastes of different types.
Biopest Control: With the advent of green revolution, the entire country entered into a frenzy to use more and more chemical pesticides for higher yield. Soon, the adverse impacts began to show; food products were contaminated, soil, water bodies and even ground water were polluted with pesticides. Even milk, meat and fishes were found to be contaminated.
To meet this challenge, efforts are on to bring in better methods of pest control. One such step is the use of pesticides based on plant products.
Neem trees are proving to be quite useful.
Mixed cropping and growing different crops in consecutive years on the same land have also helped farmers.