People and Environment Notes (UGC NET Paper 1)
People and Environment Syllabus
- Development and environment: Millennium development and Sustainable development goals.
- Human and environment interaction: Anthropogenic activities and their impacts on environment.
- Environmental issues: Local, Regional and Global; Air pollution, Water pollution, Soil pollution, Noise pollution, Waste (solid, liquid, biomedical, hazardous, electronic), Climate change and its Socio-Economic and Political dimensions.
- Impacts of pollutants on human health.
- Natural and energy resources: Solar, Wind, Soil, Hydro, Geothermal, Biomass, Nuclear and Forests.
- Natural hazards and disasters: Mitigation strategies.
- Environmental Protection Act (1986), National Action Plan on Climate Change, International agreements/efforts -Montreal Protocol, Rio Summit, Convention on Biodiversity, Kyoto Protocol, Paris Agreement, International Solar Alliance.
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were eight international development goals for the year 2015 that had been established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration. All 191 United Nations member states at that time, and at least 22 international organizations, committed to help achieve the following Millennium Development Goals by 2015:
1. To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. To achieve universal primary education
3. To promote gender equality and empower women
4. To reduce child mortality
5. To improve maternal health
6. To combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
7. To ensure environmental sustainability
8. To develop a global partnership for development
Each goal had specific targets, and dates for achieving those targets. The 8 goals were measured by 18 targets. To accelerate progress, the G8 finance ministers agreed in June 2005 to provide enough funds to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) to cancel $40 to $55 billion in debt owed by members of the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) to allow them to redirect resources to programs for improving health and education and for alleviating poverty.
India is a signatory to the Millennium Declaration adopted at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2000, and has consistently reaffirmed its commitment towards the eight development goals. The targets of the MDGs converge with India’s own development goals to reduce poverty and other areas of deprivation.
India has witnessed significant progress towards the MDGs, with some targets having been met ahead of the 2015 deadline, however progress has been inconsistent. For instance, while India, according to official national estimates, has achieved the target for reducing poverty by half, it is falling short of achieving the target for reducing hunger. The country has achieved gender parity in primary school enrolment yet it is lagging behind on targets for primary school enrolment and completion. India has made progress in providing clean drinking water however; access to sanitation facilities remains inadequate.
The Millennium Development Goals influenced Development policy formulation and planning globally. Along with bringing critical development challenges to the forefront, they also provided countries with a strong target-oriented agenda. While India has been moving in the right direction in some areas, there is still work remaining in the others. This is therefore an opportune moment to incorporate the lessons learned from the MDGs, into the sustainable development goals and build upon the unfinished MDG agenda.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) replaced the MDGs in 2016.