• Ramesh Chaurasia

Increasing Environmental Vulnerability and its Solution

Updated: Dec 22, 2021


Ramesh Charasia-Increasing Environmental Vulnerability and its Solution

The population of the world has reached its zenith. Only 4 billion people were residing on this planet in 1974, but in less than thirty years the population has almost doubled. Such drastic changes in the demographic patterns of the planet are unfolding dreadful consequences, on our physical as well as social environment. Apart from endangering the existing natural resources, this ever-increasing population is one of the major reasons behind the shifts in long-term weather patterns and increasing global warming.

I believe that the two changes; demographic changes and climate changes work simultaneously to make the environment vulnerable to natural disasters.

Deforestation: a primary cause of natural calamities

The increasing population exerts pressure on the natural resources and calls for the establishment of more settlements, more agricultural land, and urbanization. This is not possible without clearing forests. The felling of an enormous number of trees is the primary cause of soil erosion and land degradation which is responsible for landslides. Moreover, the absence of trees reduces the water holding capacity of the trees. This gives rise to two extreme conditions:-

The soil loses its fertility and becomes barren land. No crops can be cultivated in such a land making it prone to drought.

At the time of heavy rain, since soil cannot hold the water well, surface run-off takes place leading to a flood-like situation.

Climate Change: cause of natural calamities

We all are aware of how deforestation and other human activities are resulting in an increased emission of greenhouse gases which contribute to the surge in the average global temperature. In consequence of this, the polar ice caps are melting, triggering floods in low-lying areas.

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Developmental Activities and their link with natural calamities

I feel that it is of immense importance to assess the impact of any massive development project on the environment, checking whether in the future it can make a region vulnerable to disasters. Let me take the example of the construction on slopes of young mountains. This type of activity is greatly responsible for landslides.

The Possible Solution to this

Firstly, I feel that to deal with environmental vulnerability, the need of the hour is to include environmentalists while forming mechanisms for disaster management because both go hand in hand.

Secondly, while one hand, it is necessary to constantly work towards stepping up the sustainable patterns of consumption of natural resources but on the other hand, to mitigate the effects of this rising environmental vulnerability, adaptation is the solution that policymakers all around the globe are encouraging. UN has also stated in the Sustainable Development Goals that we must, “strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.”

Adaptive Strategies

What adaptation means is taking a proactive approach and preparing for the current and future effects that are expected due to climate change so that we reduce our vulnerability to its negative effects. It is integral to dealing with rising environmental vulnerability. Some of the ways that I feel we can go about it are:

The risks of disasters must be identified, evaluated, and monitored to make sure that the warnings about the same are disseminated as early as possible.

Innovative ways must be adopted to plan for the heatwave and high temperature and build resilience for the same. This includes proper arrangements for food security at the time of drought. Also, flood defenses can be built and water permeable pavements can be installed.

It must be ensured that people do not inhabit regions that are highly prone to disasters. For instance, port cities built on the shores of the countries expose a large population to the risks of tsunamis.

When attempts are made to boost the resilience of the populations, it is significant that the focus is primarily on people belonging to the marginalized communities, who lack the resources to satisfy even the necessities of life, support networks, and resources, and alternative livelihood options.

Concluding Statements

Natural disasters have catastrophic consequences. More often than not, they lead to a disastrous loss of life and property, pushing people further into poverty and distress. Therefore, in the end, I would like to say that we should take cognizance of the fact that development through sustainable ways is the key to reducing environmental vulnerability.

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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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