[EnB] Environment and Biodiversity Basics Notes

Environment and Biodiversity Basics :

·     The average temperature of the earth is 16ºC.

·   The most unique feature of the earth is its buffering action due to which a neutral pH (pH7)is maintained in the soil and water bodies.

· The diversity of living organisms is comprised of five kingdoms of life. Monera,
Prototictista,Fungi, Plantae and Animalia.

·     The environment may be defined as the surroundings or conditions in which an organism lives or operates.

·      The human beings (Homo sapiens sapiens), evolved more than two million years ago.

·  Petroleum is also called mineral oil. Like petroleum, natural gas is a mixture of gaseous hydrocarbons

·    The earliest human ancestors, the Australopithecines which walked upright, evolved around 3.5 million years ago in South Africa.

·      Remains of Neanderthals have been found in Europe, Asia and Africa.

·     At certain depth of the soil, all the pore spaces between soil particles are saturated with water. This depth is called Water table
·    Earth has four major habitats-(1) Terrestrial (2) Freshwater (3) Estuarine (Where rivers meet the ocean) and (4) Ocean

·    The term niche means the sum of all the activities and relationships of a species by which it uses the resources in its habitat for its survival and reproduction.

·     An adaptation is thus, “the appearance or behaviour or structure or mode of life of an organism that allows it to survive in a particular environment”.

·     Speciation is the process by which new species are formed and evolution is the mechanism by which speciation is brought about.

·     Two basic forms of population growth curves can be identified. (i) ‘J’ shaped growth curve and the (ii) ‘S’ shaped or sigmoid growth curve.

·     Succession that occurs on land where moisture content is low for e.g. on bare rock is known as xerarch. Succession that takes place in a water body, like ponds or lake is called hydrarch.
·     The interaction that occurs among different individuals of the same species is called intraspecific interaction while the interaction among individuals of different species in a community is termed as interspecific interaction.

·   Standing crop biomass is the amount of the living matter at any given time. It is expressed as gm/unit area or kilo cal/unit area

·    Jajmani system: Each village is grouped into (i) jajmans and (ii) service provider castes who are paid in cash or kind. Jajmans are land owners. They come from upper castes while service provider castes are at a middle or lower level.
·    Timber accounts for 25% of all photosynthetic materials produced on the earth and about half of the total biomass produced by a forest.

·   Asprin, which is probably the world’s most widely used drug was developed according to a chemical “blueprint”, from a compound extracted from the leaves of tropical willow trees.

·  In 1950 the Government of India began the annual festival of tree planting called the Vanamahotsava. Gujarat was the first state to implement it.

·   Tehri power project which is a 260.5m high earth and rock fill dam near the Tehri town in Garhwal Himalayas. The project site is situated a little downstream the junction of Bhagirathi and Bhilganga rivers
·      The Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps ) is an example of rare species of India.

·         India has nearly 45,000 species of plants and 75,000 species of animals.

·    Tetraethyl lead (TEL) is used as an anti-knock agent in petrol for smooth and easy running of vehicles.

·       Under the “Montreal Protocol” amended in 1990 it was decided to completely phase out CFCs to prevent damage of ozone layer.

·         Noise level is measured in terms of decibels (dB). W.H.O. (World Health Organization) has prescribed optimum noise level as 45 dB by day and 35 dB by night. Anything above 80 dB is hazardous.

·    Pollution of water bodies by mercury causes Minamata disease in humans and dropsy in fishes. Lead causes displexia, cadmium poisoning causes Itai – Itai disease etc.
·   ‘Eu’ maens well or healthy and ‘trophy’ means nutrition. The enrichment of water bodies with nutrients causes entrophication of the water body.

·     The sudden and explosive growth of phytoplankton and algae impart green colour to the water is known as water bloom, or “algal blooms”. These phytoplankton release toxic substances in water that causes sudden death of large population of fishes. This phenomenon of nutrient enrichment of a water body is called eutrophication.

·     The sewage water can be treated to make it safe for disposal into water bodies like rivers, lakes etc. Thetreatment involves three stages: primary, secondary and tertiary. This includes 1.sedimentation, 2. coagulation/flocculation, 3.filtration, 4.disinfection, 5.softening and 6.aeration. The first four steps are of primary treatment. The first three steps are involved in primary treatment remove suspended particulate matter. Secondary treatment removes organic solids, left out after primary treatment, through their microbial decomposition. Effluents after secondary treatment may be clean but contain large amounts of nitrogen, in form of ammonia, nitrates and phosphorous which can cause problem of eutrophication upon their discharge into a receiving water body such as river, lake or pond. The tertiary treatment is meant to remove nutrients, disinfect for removing pathogenic bacteria, and aeration removes hydrogen sulphide and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide and make water healthy and fit for aquatic organisms. This treatment of waste water or sewage is carried out in effluent treatment plants especially built for this purpose. The residue obtained from primary treatment one known as sludge.

·         The worse case of nuclear pollution was the cherndoyl disaster in Russia occured in 1986 but the effects still longer today.

·      Radiation damage can be divided into two types: (a) somatic damage (also called radiation sickness) and (b) genetic damage. Somatic damage refers to damage to cells that are not associated with reproduction. Effects of somatic radiation damage include reddening of the skin, loss of hair, ulceration, fibrosis of the lungs, the formation of holes in tissue, a reduction of white blood cells, and the induction of cataract in the eyes. This damage can also result in cancer and death. Genetic damage refers to damage to cells associated with reproduction. This damage can subsequently cause genetic damage from gene mutation resulting in abnormalities. Genetic damages are passed on to next generation.
·     A traditional unit of human-equivalent dose is the rem, which stands for radiation equivalent in man. At low doses, such as what we receive every day from background radiation (< 1 m rem), the cells repair the damage rapidly. At higher doses (up to 100 rem), the cells might not be able to repair the damage, and the cells may either be changed permanently or die. Cells changed permanently may go on to produce abnormal cells when they divide and may become cancerous.

·         Atmosphere of asbestos mines contains asbestos dust which causes asbestosis, silica
causes silicosis,

·         Leukemia and lymphoma are cancers which are initiated in blood-forming cells. Most
cancers are named after the organ concerned e.g. Cancer that begins in lungs is lung
cancer and the one in skin is known as melanoma. The cancer-causing agents are known
as carcinogens. Agents present in the environment are the environmental carcinogens.

·        Excessive use of pesticides
particularly herbicides like 2,4dichlorophenoxyacetic
acid (2,4-D) has been
associated with a 200-800% increase of NHL (Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma) – one
type of cancer in Sweden. Pesticides such as toxaphene, hexachlorocyclohexane
(BHC), trichlorophenol, dieldrin, DDT are known to cause lymphatic cancer in rats and mice.

·       Once the level of nitrates in soil exceeds 10 ppm it may become harmful. In areas where ground water is the only source of drinking water, this causes methaemoglobinaemia particularly in bottle fed infants who are very sensitive to this pollutant.

·   Methaemoglobin is formed when iron in the haemoglobin molecule is oxidized from Fe2 + (ferrous) to Fe 3 + (ferric) form. Due to reduced carrying capacity for oxygen the babies
gradually acquire a blue tinge and hence the name – “Blue Baby disease”. Symptoms
are sleeping, poor feeding, decreased energy, etc. Nitrates can be removed from the
water by processes like electrodialysis and reverse osmosis. Nitrites in the water can be
oxidized to nitrates by introducing a strong oxidant like ozone in the water.``
·         In Japan, mass mercury poisoning (Minamata disease) was observed in 1960s, caused by
eating fish from Minamata Bay which were contaminated with methyl mercury

·     Typical symptoms of mercury poisoning are irritability, excitability, loss of memory, insomnia, tremor and gingivitis

·     Itai-itai disease first reported from Japan in 1965 was attributed to cadmium contamination in water and rice caused by discharge of effluents from a zinc smelter into a river. The deposits of coal dust makes miners lungs look black instead of a healthy pink and hence the name black lung disease. Black lung disease is the common name for pneumoconiosis (CWP) or anthracosis,

·       Dengue is also called Breakbone Fever, or Dandy Fever . Dengue is caused by a virus transmitted through a mosquito called Aedes aegypti or Asian tiger mosquito.

·        Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease) in cattle is caused by aninfectious agent that has a long incubation period, between two and five years.

·         Mortality refers to the death of individuals.

·         Natality is an expression of the addition of new individuals in a population.

·         Water on earth is classified into following three types:

(a) Fresh water: It is inland water and its salt content is less than 5 ppt or 0.5%;

(b) Marine water: It occurs in seas, oceans and its salt content is more than 35 ppt or

(c) Brackish water: It’s salt content is more than 5 ppt but less than 35ppt. It is present in
estuaries, salt marshes and salt lakes. A lot of underground water in Rajasthan, Gujarat,
Haryana and Punjab is brackish.

·         The important global environmental issues are:
• green house effect and global warming
• biodiversity loss
• desertification
• depletion of ozone layer
• acid rain
• oil spills
• dumping of hazardous wastes

·         Ultra violet (UV) radiation, with wavelengths shorter than visible spectrum has high
energy. UV radiations can be divided into three forms: UV-A (wavelength between
320-400nm), UV-B (wave length lesser than 280 nm), and UV-C (wavelength
lesser than 280 nm). UV-C is most damaging to biological systems.

·         One chlorine atom can break down 1,00,000 ozone molecules.

·         Measures to prevent ozone (O3) layer depletion Global awareness and action on the part of world community in the form of Helsinki (1989), Montreal (1990’s) conventions and protocol have had some important success on this front. A complete ban on the use of CFCs and other ozone destroying chemicals is recommended. Further, use of HCFCs (Hydrochloric fluorocarbons) as a substitute for CFCs is being recommended on temporary basis because HCFCs are relatively less damaging to ozone layer as compared to CFCs, but they are not completely ozone safe.

·     Acid rain is caused by atmospheric pollution from acidic gases such as sulphur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen emitted from burning of fossil fuels. Acid rain damage cuticle of plant leaves resulting etiolation of foliage. This in turn reduces
photosynthesis. Reduced photosynthesis accompanied by leaf fall reduces plant and crop

·   Norman Myers, a British Ecologist, developed the concept of hot spots in 1988 to designate priority areas for in situ conservation. According to him, the hot spots are the richest and the most threatened reservoirs of biodiversity on the earth.

The criteria for determining a hot spot are:
(i) The area should support >1500 endemic species,
(ii) It must have lost over 70 % of the original habitat
Twenty-five biodiversity hot spots have been identified in the world
Among the 25 hot spots of the world, 2 are found in India namely western ghats and the eastern Himalayas. These two areas of the country are exceptionally rich in flowering plants, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and some species of mammals.

·         The trans-Himalayan region with its sparse vegetation has the richest wild sheep and goat
community in the world. The snow leopard (Panthera uncia) and Black-necked Crane
(Grus nigricollis) are found here. The Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps) which is highly endangered bird, is found in (Gujrat) region, rich in extensive grasslands.

·         According to the Red List by IUCN( International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, IUCN)), in India, 44 plant species are critically endangered.,113 endangered and 87 vulnerable. Amongst animals, 18 are critically endangered, 54 endangered and 143 Vulnerable.

·         Conservation efforts can be grouped into the following two categories:

1. In-situ (on-site) conservation includes the protection of plants and animals within
their natural habitats or in protected areas. Protected areas are land or sea dedicated to protect and maintain biodiversity.

2. Ex-situ (off-site) conservation of plants and animals outside their natural habitats.
These include botanical gardens, zoo, gene banks, seek bank, tissue culture and
Some of the main sanctuaries in India are:
The Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve- Uttaranchal, Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh,
Bandhavgarh National Park- Madhya Pradesh, Ranthambhor National Park-Sawai
Madhopur, Gir National Park-Sasangir (Gujarat) etc.

Wildlife lovers eager to see magnificent Bird Sancturaty at Bharatpur, Rajasthan as it is the second habitat in the world that is visited by the Siberian Cranes in winter and it provides a vast breeding area for the native water birds, Great Indian bustard is found in the Indian deserts. In wesern Himalayas, one can see birds like Himalayan monal pheasant, western tragopanm koklass, white crested khalij pheasant, griffon vultures, lammergiers, choughs, ravens. In the Andaman and Nicobar region, about 250 species and subspecies of birds are found, such as rare Narcondum horn bill, Nicobar pigeon and megapode. While the national parks and sanctuaries in South India, too. For e.g. Madumalai in Tamil Nadu and Bandipur Tiger Reserve and Nagahole National Park in Karnataka.

Many National Parks and Sancturies have been established to preserve wildlife in their
natural environment. Some of them are given below along with important species found there.

• Kaziranga sanctuary (Assam) – One-horned rhinoceros
• Manas sanctuary (Assam) – Wild buffaloes
• Gir forest (Gujarat) – Lions, chital, sambar, wild bears
• Kelameru bird sanctuary (Andhra Pradesh) – Pelicans and marine birds
• Dachigam sanctuary (Jammu and Kashmir) – Kashmir stags, Himalayan tahr, wild
goats, sheep, antelopes.
• Bandipur sanctuary (Karnataka) – Indian bison, elephants, langurs
• Periyar sanctuary (Kerala) – Elephants, barking deer, sambhar
• Kanha National Park (Madhya Pradesh) – Tiger, leopards, wild dogs
• Simipal National Park (Orissa) – Mangroves, marine turtles lay eggs
• Bharatpur bird sanctuary (Rajasthan) – Ducks, herons
• Corbett National Park (Uttaranchal) –Tigers, barking deer, sambar, wild bear, rhesus
• Jaladpara sanctuary (West Bengal) – Rhinoceros
·         Thirteen biodiversity- rich representative ecosystems , largely within the forest land ( total area – 53,000 sq. km. ),have been designated as Biosphere Reserves in India.
·         A Biosphere Reserve consists of core, buffer and transition zones.
 (a) The core zone is fully protected and natural area of the Biosphere Reserve least
disturbed by human activities. It is legally protected ecosystem in which entry is not allowed except with permission for some special purpose. Destructive sampling for scientific investigations is prohibited.

(b) The buffer zone surrounds the core zone and is managed
to accommodate a greater variety of resource use strategies, and research and educational activities.

(c) the transition zone, the outermost part of the Biosphere Reserve, is an area
of active cooperation between the reserve management and the local people, wherein
activities like settlements, cropping, forestry , recreation and other economic that are in harmony with the conservation goals. Till date there were 553 biosphere reserves located in 107 countries.

·         Crocodile breeding and management project
This project was started in 1976 with FAO - UNDP assistance to save three endangered crocodilian species, namely, the fresh water crocodile, salt water crocodile and the rare gharial. Eleven sanctuaries have been declared specially for crocodile protection including the National Chambal Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.

·         The Wildlife Protection Act (1972) contain provisions for penalties or punishment
to prevent poaching and illegal trade. India is also a signatory to the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

The Convention entered into force on 1st July, 1975. In addition to this, India is also a
signatory to Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), which it signed on 29th
December, 1993 at Rio de Janeiro during the Earth Summit. The Convention has
three key objectives:
1. Conservation of biological diversity,
2 Sustainable use of biodiversity and
3. Fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising out of the utilization of genetic resources.

·         Habitat protection is the main in-situ approach. The Protected Area Network for
habitat protection includes national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, biosphere reserves,
sacred groves or sacred forests.

Ex-situ conservation is doen by setting up botanical gardens, zoos, gene banks and
seed banks, cryopreservation and preservation of germplasm.

·         IUCN and WWF are among the leading international organizations concerned withbiodiversity conservation. The Wildlife Protection Act (1972) and Biodiversity Act (2002) at the national level and The CITES and The Convention on Biodiversity at the international level regulate the trade in biodiversity and promote its conservation and sustainable use.

·         The forty second amendment Clause (g) to Article 51A of the Indian constitution made it a fundamental duty to protect and improve the natural environment.

·         There is a directive, given to the State as one of the Directive Principles of State Policy(DPSP) regarding the protection and improvement of the environment. Article 48A states “The State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country”.

·         The department of Environment was established in India in 1980 to ensure a healthy
environment for the country. This later became the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 1985. This Ministry has overall responsibility for administering and enforcing environmental
legislations and policies.

·         The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1974 and
Amendment, 1988

The main objective of this act is to provide prevention and control of water pollution and maintaining or restoring of wholesomeness and purity of water

·         The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act of 1977
The Water Cess Act was passed to generate financial resources to meet expenses of the Central and State Pollution Boards. The Act creates economic incentives for pollution control and requires local authorities and certain designated industries to pay a cess (tax) for water effluent discharge.

·         The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act of 1981 and amendment,
The main objectives of this Act are to improve the quality of air and to prevent, control and abate air pollution in the country
States not having water pollution boards were required to set up air pollution boards.
• Under the Air Act, all industries operating within designated air pollution control areas must obtain a “consent” (permit) from the State Boards.

• The states are required to prescribe emission standards for industry and automobiles
after consulting the central board and noting its ambient air quality standards.

• Act granted power to the Board to ensure compliance with the Act including the
power of entry for examination, testing of equipment and other purposes and power
to take the sample for the purpose of analysis of air or emission from any chimney, fly
ash or dust or any other outlet in such a manner as may be prescribed.

Notably, the 1987 amendment introduced a citizen’s suit provision into the Air Act and extended the Act to include noise pollution.

·         The Environment (Protection) Act of 1986
In the wake of the Bhopal tragedy, the government of India enacted the Environment
(Protection) Act of 1986 Section 3 (1) of the Act empowers the centre to “take all such measures as it deems necessary or expedient for the purpose of protecting and improving the quality of the environment and preventing, controlling and abating environmental pollution”. Specifically, the Central Government is authorized to set new national standards for the quality of the environment (ambient standards) as well as standards for controlling emissions and effluent discharges; to regulate industrial locations, to prescribe procedures for managing hazardous substances; to establish safeguards preventing accidents, and to collect and dismantle information regarding environmental pollution.


Ø  The Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972 and Amendment, 1982

In 1972, Parliament enacted the Wild Life Act (Protection) Act. The Wild Life Act provides for state wildlife advisory boards, regulations for hunting wild animals and birds, establishment of sanctuaries and national parks, regulations for trade in wild animals, animal products and trophies, and judicially imposed penalties for violating the Act. Harming endangered species listed in Schedule 1 of the Act is prohibited throughout India. Hunting species, like those requiring special protection (Schedule II), big game (Schedule III), and small game (Schedule IV), is regulated through licensing. A few species classified as vermin (Schedule V), may be hunted without restrictions. Wildlife wardens and their staff administer the act.

Ø  The Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980

First Forest Act was enacted in 1927. This is one of the many surviving colonial legislations.
It was enacted to consolidate the law related to forest, the transit of forest produce and the duty livable on timber and other forest produce. Subsequently, the Forest (Conservation) Act was promulgated in 1980 to make certain reforms over the preceding Act of 1927.The
1927 Act deals with the four categories of the forests, namely reserved forests, village
forests, protected forests and private forests . Alarmed at India’s rapid deforestation and resulting environmental degradation, Centre Government enacted the
Forest (Conservation) Act in1980. Under the provisions of this Act, prior approval of the Central Government is required for diversion of forestlands for non-forest purposes. An Advisory Committee constituted under the Act advises the Centre on these approvals.

Ø  Biodiversity Act 2000

The main intent of this legislation is to protect India’s rich biodiversity and associated
knowledge against their use by foreign individuals and organizations without sharing the benefits arising out of such use, and to check biopiracy. The Act provides for setting up of a National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) and Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) in local bodies. NBA and SBB are required to consult BMCs in decisions relating to use of biological resources or related knowledge within their jurisdiction and BMCs are to promote conservation, sustainable use and documentation of biodiversity.

This bill seeks to check biopiracy, protect biological diversity and local growers through a three-tier structure of central and state boards and local committees. These will regulate access to plant and animal genetic resources and share the benefits. The proposed National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) will deal with all cases of access by foreigners. Its approval will be required before obtaining any intellectual property right on an invention based on a biological resource from India, or on its traditional knowledge. It will oppose such rights given in other countries. The NBA will enjoy the power of a civil court. In addition, centre may issue directives to state if it feels a naturally rich area is threatened by overuse, abuse or neglect.

Ø  Wetland Convention (Ramsar Convention)

It is an international convention came in force in 1975. The convention provides the
framework for international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetland
habitats. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) serves as the Depositary for the Convention, and its secretariat, the Ramsar Bureau, is in Gland, Switzerland. India became signatory to this convention on in 1981. The Convention aims to halt the loss of wetlands and to ensure the conservation of fauna and flora and their ecological processes.
Obligations of parties include:

• designating one or more wetlands for inclusion in the list of Wetlands of International
Importance (e.g. six Ramsar wetlands in India).
• promoting wise judicious use of wetlands, including mangroves.
• promoting conservation of wetlands through establishment of nature reserves.
• irrespective of their listing under the Convention and managing wetlands for the benefit of water fowl.
• promoting training in the field of wetland research, managing and warding.
• consulting with other parties about implementation of the convention, especially with regard to trans frontier wetlands, shared water systems, shared species, and
development of wetland projects.convention, nations committed themselves to protecting the ozone layer and to co-operate with each other in scientific research to improve understanding of the atmospheric processes and serious consequences of ozone depletion. The convention provides for future protocols and specified procedures for amendment and dispute settlement.
Ø  Montreal Protocol

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been addressing this issue
since 1977. Under the auspices of UNEP, the nations of the world arrived at The
Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer in Vienna in 1985. Through this
convention, nations committed themselves to protecting the ozone layer and to co-operate with each other in scientific research to improve understanding of the atmospheric processes and serious consequences of ozone depletion. The convention provides for future protocols and specified procedures for amendment and dispute settlement. To pursue the objectives of convention for the protection of ozone layer the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the Ozone layer was agreed to by nations in 1987 and has since been amended five times so far. Its control provisions were strengthened through five amendments to the Protocol adopted in London (1990), Copenhagen (1992), Vienna (1995), Montreal (1997) and Beijing (1999). The Protocol aims to reduce and eventually eliminate the emission of man-made ozone depleting substances. The Vienna Convention and Montreal Protocol are considered as highly effective regime for reducing and possibly, in the future, eliminating –emissions of ozone depleting chemicals into the atmosphere.

The Montreal Protocol uses three kinds of provisions as economic incentives to encourage participation and compliance with the Protocol’s control regime;
(1) entry into forcerequirements,
(2) controls on trade with non-parties, and
(3) research and technology transfer benefits. The Protocol promotes technology transfer to developing countries, thereby offering economic incentives for developing countries to join and comply through a network of 507 monitoring stations located all over the country. Under the National Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Programme, 290 station covering over 90 cities/towns are being monitored by the CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board).

Ø  The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) was adopted during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED - or the “Earth Summit”) in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1992.

The Ministry of Environment and Forest, Central Pollution Control Board, Indian Board
for Wildlife are the main national environmental agencies.
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), is statutory organisation, was constituted in September, 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974. Further, CPCB was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981. It serves as a field formation and also provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

Principal functions of the CPCB, as spelt out in the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981,

(i) to promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the States by prevention, control and abatement of water pollution, and

(ii) to improve the quality of air and to prevent, control or abate air pollution in the country. One of the mandates of CPCB is to collect, collate and disseminate technical
and statistical data relating to water pollution. Hence, Water Quality Monitoring (WQM) and Surveillance are of utmost importance.

Environmental Governance and State Pollution Control Board
The umbrella Act, EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) 1986 added strength to all preceding provisions. Special stipulations were made for industrial, vehicular and noise pollution control in the country.

Ø  Indian Board for Wildlife (IBWL)
The IBWL is the apex advisory body in the field of Wildlife Conservation in the country and is headed by the Honorable Prime Minister of India. The IBWL has been reconstituted w.e.f. 7.12.2001. The XXI meeting of the IBWL was held on 21.1.2002 under the Chairmanship of the Honorable Prime Minister of India at New Delhi.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Health Organisation (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) are some of the main international agencies.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development took place in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg in 2002 (also known as RIO+10) did not substantially change its configuration.
It is headquartered in Nairobi (Kenya).

The implementation of UNEP’s work is done by the following seven divisions:
• Early Warning and Assessment
• Environmental Policy Implementation
• Technology, Industry and Economics
• Regional Cooperation
• Environmental Law and Conventions
• Global Environment Facility Coordination
• Communications and Public Information
Among UNEP’s many initiatives is the “Clean Up the World” campaign, which attempts
to build awareness throughout the world regarding the huge impacts of our modern life

Ø  World Health Organisation (WHO)
Constitution and history
The WHO’s constitution states that its objective “is the attainment by all peoples of the
highest possible level of health.”. Its major task is to combat disease, especially key infectious
diseases, and to promote the general health of the people of the world.
The World Health Organization (WHO)
It is one of the original agencies of the United Nations, its constitution formally coming into
force on the first World Health Day, (7 April 1948), when it was ratified by the 26th
member state. The WHO has 193 Member States.
The WHO is financed by contributions from member states and from donors.
The Regional Offices are:
Regional Office for Africa (AFRO);
Regional Office for Europe (EURO);
Regional Office for South East Asia (SEARO);
Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean
Regional Office for Western Pacific (WPRO);
Regional Office for the Americas (AMRO),

To tackle environment related health hazards WHO has developed Health Environment Link Initiative (HELI). HELI is a global effort by WHO and UNEP to support action by developing country policymakers on environmental threats to health. HELI encourages countries to address health and environment issues as integral to economic Development.

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