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  • Writer's pictureRamesh Chaurasia

Can development and environmental protection go hand in hand?


Can development and environmental protection go hand in hand?

In the last fifty years or so, for economic growth and development, we have destroyed the only planet that meets our survival needs. Although we saw endless astounding advancements, all of them came at the cost of mother nature. The soaring emissions of the greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide have led to increased levels of pollution in the air becoming a major cause of respiratory diseases. According to recent data, Delhi is one of the most polluted cities in the world. What is scarier is that the impact of greenhouse gases emissions is not limited to only pollution. It is causing a rise in the average global temperature and leading to a volatile climate. Apart from this, developmental activities have pushed existing natural resources on the verge of extinction, thus affecting not only the present generation but the future generation as well.

Development is indeed important to support the ever-increasing human population and we cannot deny the advantages that come with it. But unsustainable development becomes a cause of grave concern. As people all over the world have started to notice the environmental costs of unbalanced economic and technological development, they are realizing the need for a balanced development that has minimal effects on our planet. The words of activist Damu Smith said, “We can have environmental justice and positive economic development that generates jobs for communities, but at the same time fosters a cleaner environment. They are not mutually exclusive,” makes it clear that it is not true that development can take place only at the expense of our environment. Developmental activities that cause environmental destruction are unsustainable and unchecked. Therefore, as all of the environmentalists suggest, sustainable development is the key.

Also Read:- Circular Economy and the four R's to promote Environmental Sustainability

The growing need for sustainable development

Why is sustainable development gaining so much prominence today? This is because it ensures economic and technological growth that would meet the needs of the present generation while protecting the existing resources and our environment for the generations to come. Sustainable development is certainly not possible without the combined efforts of environmentalists and economists. A collaboration between these two sets of experts is imperative to devise novel strategies. Let us see some of the examples of sustainable development which are very basic but immensely significant:-

1) Shifting to cleaner fuels

We all are aware that fossil fuel combustion releases huge amounts of greenhouse gases and since they are non-renewable natural resources, they are also depleting at a very fast rate. Hence, the government has taken many initiatives to switch to renewable sources of energy such as solar energy and further steps in the same direction will prove immensely helpful for sustainable development.

2) Organic Farming

About 80 percent of India’s population is engaged in agricultural activities. And when it comes to the development of the agricultural sector which is the primary economic sector of the country, though the green revolution played a crucial role in it, its repercussions on the environment cannot be ignored. Therefore, today there is a need to focus on organic farming that involves the utilization of biological fertilizers, manure, and practices like crop rotation and mixed farming to increase the agricultural produce.

3) Creation of green spaces

Urban green spaces are another important example of sustainable development. Properly maintained open spaces like parks help in a huge way in improving the environmental conditions of the urban areas.

What should be done?

I strongly believe that one of the vital factors that are preventing us from adopting sustainable development practices is their exorbitantly high costs. Hence, providing industrial authorities with incentives to shift to cleaner fuels and adopt other practices that minimize the impact of industrial activities on nature will help in paving the way for sustainable development. Also, before going ahead with any developmental project, its environmental consequences should be assessed and efforts should be made to minimize them.

Moreover, the sustainable development goals of the UN have been framed keeping in mind the need for sustainable development. Therefore we should constantly work towards their direction.

Apart from all this, education plays s significant role in every arena. So, to promote sustainable development, it should be included in the curriculum of students who are the future of the nation to equip them with all the knowledge required to find sustainable solutions to every problem.

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Author-Ramesh Chaurasia

A superior and highly experienced entrepreneur in the field of business for quite a long time now. Also, a philanthropist, author and public speaker who believes in working towards the overall well being and betterment of the society as a whole.

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