Cultural Heritage Has a Lot to Teach Us About Climate Change

While cultural heritage sites are under threat from rising sea levels and melting permafrost, indigenous knowledge such as that of Assam’s Majuli communities can provide the key to unlocking adaptive climate change strategies. (Republished from The Conversation and The Wire) Museums, archaeological sites and historical buildings are rarely included in conversations about climate change, which tend to focus on the wider impact and global threats to our contemporary world. Yet these threats impact everything, from local cultural practices to iconic sites of outstanding universal value. In light of this, it’s worth exploring the relationship between our heritage and the changing […]

THE POLITICS OF SUSTAINABLITY

The years 1992 and 2015 are historic for the environment movement, wherein each of the years witnessed important treaties and conferences, redefining plethora of academic and policy initiatives of past, present and future. Be it the Sustainable Development Goals, Paris Climate Treaty, Agenda 21 or Rio Declaration on Environment and Development among others. These signal to a major shift in international commitments to both sustainability and development. Conversely, pinning down the technical, normative or political definitions of sustainability is a difficult prospect. Over the years, especially due to rising incidence of natural catastrophe, it has come to resonate more with […]

Eradicating the Tuberculosis Epidemic from Indian Landscape

India bears world’s highest burden of tuberculosis (TB), accounting for more than one-fourth of all TB infections. As such in 2016, TB accounted for approximately 1.7 million deaths, reflecting that India, despite its focused and concerted efforts on behalf of diverse stakeholders, has a long way to go. In this light the Indian Prime Minister recently advanced the TB elimination goal by 5 years, given its control and prevention poses a challenge at multiple levels such as correct diagnosis, strong public health schemes, continuing medical treatment, drug resistance, funding, nutrition etc. Let us look at some of the macro- level […]

Earth Overshoot Day and Our Environment Real-Time

As per the Global Footprint Network (GFN) the world has already consumed this year’s annual budget of natural resources. Having reached its maximum limit on 1st August itself, the earth overshoot day serves as an annual report card, reminding us of our promises to reduce carbon footprint, control climate change and conserve our environment. Notably, humans already overshot nature’s annual budget in early 1970s itself and ever since this has been creeping up. Another significant fact is that every day, every minute past the overshoot day is equivalent of drawing down from the natural resource savings than living of interest. To understand […]

Energy & Climate Policy Trends

We are witnessing a dynamic change in the energy sector and the geopolitics around it. With fast stride towards the decarbonizing the economies, to developments such as lowered cost of solar power, electric vehicle era and secured fossil fuel supply— all together are changing demand-supply and production-consumption patterns of energy. Even then, approximately 1.2 billion people lack access to electricity and to clean cooking fuel. While at one end we are preparing for a world of autonomous vehicles, on the other end we are still battling the energy poverty with people lacking basic amenities. Notably, the Agenda 2030 focuses on […]

Energy Policy Making for Optimal Resource Management

The global oil demand is expected to remain healthy for the next few years, especially in the developing countries of Asia and Africa. Though currently suffering from a slowdown due to the US-China trade war and the rise in renewable technological innovation, one cannot simply write-off oil or for that matter any other conventional fuel like coal or gas, as it forms an integral part of the new energy mix of many nations (both developing and the developed) even today, which deploy tools of policy making for the purpose. However, the new energy mix, of the present age, brings the […]

Integrated Planning is Vital for Sustainability

There is mounting evidence pointing towards the contribution of urban centers in global climate change, extinction of flora and fauna and large scale pollution. They indeed are counted as the main source of green-house gas emissions, especially in light of the economic, social and cultural activities of the human population which have failed on the sustainability parameters. This calls for an integrated planning which entails land management and developing potential means for mitigation of the biodiversity and environmental loss. To begin with, UNDP and UNEP define integrated development planning as an approach that simultaneously advances multiple benefits across the three […]

Environment Action versus Activism

This year, on environment day, world over people joined in the #Beat Plastic Pollution movement. Typically, there was a crescendo of events discussing plastic ban given its side-effects on our ecosystem. Often, such one-day events or more like one-time wonders are erased from people’s minds. It is then pertinent to keep them alive through continuous effort— which a mere agenda, without any action, is unequipped to do.  We need governments and national actions plans to implement such causes, which are no less than a social movement. Environmentalism then is a social movement which has the capability to influence human activity […]

Public Health Policy and Climate Change

Health, since eons of centuries has been subject to environmental events and influence. In the current scenario too, the fluctuating climate patterns world over are marked by heat waves, thunderstorms, heavy rainfall, floods, rise in sea level, glacier melting, extended droughts, more intense storms like cyclones, hurricanes etc. all are capable of posing as a challenge to the health policy of nations and individuals. While climate change has been recognized as a global threat, it is important to realize the health risks it poses; and equally important for the governments of the world is also to prepare themselves for the […]

India & Green Economy

The last few years have been tough for India, not just in context of economic reforms but also environment— specifically in terms of climate. As per the India Meteorological Department, 2017 was the fourth warmest year of the country, with the last quarter of 2017 being the hottest since 1901. In the beginning of the 20th century, India, a British colony then, suffered from significant climate change marked by severe droughts and famines, which were further fueled by fatal British economic policies. Notably, India’s economic backwardness wasn’t due to any niggardliness of geography, but was rather anthropogenic. There was no […]