TS Inter 1st Year Environmental Education Study Material Chapter 21 Global Conferences Sustainable Development

Telangana TSBIE TS Inter 1st Year Environmental Education Study Material 21st Lesson Global Conferences Sustainable Development Textbook Questions and Answers.

TS Inter 1st Year Environmental Education Study Material 21st Lesson Global Conferences Sustainable Development

Essay Questions

Question 1.
Write an essay an Environmental issues and problems.
Environmental issues and problems are being experienced in almost all countries of the world today. However, the intensity of the issues differ from country to country. The intensity depends largely on the size and rate of growth of population, the quality and technologies available to the people, the level of socio-economic development, and environmental awareness. As the effects are being felt across the globe a call for Collective effort by all concerned is the only solution to redress these environmental problems and to protect the planet for future generations. The first such concerted action was initiated by the United Nations Conference in the year 1972.

Stockholm Declaration 1972 :
The first United Nations (UN) conference that focused on international environmental issues was held in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1972. It reflected a growing interest in conservation issues worldwide and laid the foundation for global environmental governance. The final declaration of the Stockholm Conference was an environmental “manifesto that was a forceful statement of the finite nature of Earth’s resources and the necessity for humanity to safeguard them. The Stockholm Conference also led to the creation of the United, Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in December 1972 to co-ordinate global efforts to promote sustainability and safeguard the natural environment.

Documents created during the conference influenced international environmental law; one notable example was the final declaration, which elucidated 26 principles concerning the environment.

The final declaration was a statement of human rights as well as an acknowledgment of the need for environmental protection. The first principle began ‘Man has the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life, in an environment of a quality that permits a life of dignity and well-being. The need to preserve the environment was not placed in opposition to economic development.

Soon after the Stockholm Declaration, the Indian Government amended the constitution and included Article 48-A and 51A(g)

TS Inter 1st Year Environmental Education Study Material Chapter 21 Global Conferences Sustainable Development

Brundtland Commission 1983 :
Post Stockholm, concerns for the environment continued to grow. There was widespread deforestation, industrial pollution and environmental degradation. The ozone hole, the warming of the earth, increased carbondioxide in the environment – all added to the growing environmental concerns. A need was felt to link environmental concerns with industrial development and growth.

Accordingly, in 1983 the United Nations established the ‘World Commission on the Environment and Development’ or, as commonly referred, the ‘Brundtland Commission’. The Brundtland Commission Report – ‘Our Common Future‘ in 1987 used the epochal definition of Sustainable Development. It is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”.

Rio Declaration 1992 – Agenda 21 :
Twenty years after Stockholm, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The Earth Summit, as it was called adopted the ‘Rio Declaration’. An action plan of 40 chapters called Agenda 21 was adopted by over 100 Nations. Agenda 21 was geared towards achieving Sustainable Development in the 21st century. The ‘Rio Concept’ can be summarised as :

  • Equal consideration of environment, society and economy :
  • Inter-generational solidarity keeping in mind the needs of the future generations;
  • A global consensus and political commitment at the national and international levels;
  • Involvement of the Non-Government Organisations (NGOs);
  • Provides a blue print for the governments to attain a balance between the environment and the needs of the population and
  • A Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) was established to follow up the Rio agreements, and it monitors the agreements of the Earth Summit at the local, national, regional and international levels.

The Rio Summit Follow up :
The Rio Summit was followed by several other Conferences to focus on Sustainable Development. The focus was on following the path of ‘Sustainable Development’ in all countries in all parts of the ecosystem whether on land, water or air. The effort has also been an all-inclusive development that reaches all sections of the population with a special focus on vulnerable sections like women, children or the marginalised.

A five year review of the progress of the ‘Earth Summit’ was held in 1997 by the United Nations General Assembly. This was followed by a ten year review in 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Millennium Development Goals :
In 2000, the largest-ever gathering of world leaders agreed to a set of time bound and measurable goals for combating poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination against women, to be achieved by 2015.

The Montreal Protocol 1987 is a treaty that focussed on the protection of the ozone layer. It sought to phase out ODSs (Ozone Depleting Substances) which damage the ozone layer. Countries agreed to an accelerated phase out schedule for CFCs (chloro fluorocarbons), used in refrigerants and aerosol sprays, which were largely responsible for the problem. Subsequently in 2001 HCFCs (hydrochloro ftuorocarbons) too were banned or their use sevorely restricted. NASA has reported that the ozonejayerlsrecovering, in part due to reduced, concentrationS’oTCFC’S and other Ozone depleting substances which were phased out under the Montreal Protocol. It is believed that the ozone layer will return to the 1980 levels between 2050 and 2070.

This treaty is regarded as an outstanding example of international co-operation. All 197 member countries of the United Nations have now accepted legally binding obligations to phase out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances.

TS Inter 1st Year Environmental Education Study Material Chapter 21 Global Conferences Sustainable Development

The Kyoto Protocol 1997 is an international agreement that aims to reduce global warming caused by human activities. It placed restrictions on the amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are emitted by developed countries. It separated countries into two groups, developed nations and developing nations. Emission limitations were placed only on developed countries. Developed countries agreed to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by about 5% by 2012 based on 1990 levels. It was signed in 1997 and came into force in 2005 after being ratified by 127 countries.

The Kyoto Protocol marked a break from earlier treaties. Earlier treaties had merely suggested that governments should make voluntary efforts to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. The Kyoto Protocol, however, set mandatory limits of greenhouse emissions for nations which signed the accord. However, the US, one of the most polluting countries, has not ratified the agreement. Canada withdrew from the treaty in 2012.

In 2011 climate change negotiations were held in Durban. The outcome was a step forward in establishing an international agreement beyond Kyoto. It was agreed to cut carbon emissions in all countries, including developed countries and several major developing countries.

United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – or Rio+20 :
The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development or Rio+20 (20 years after the 1972 conference) – took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012. It resulted in a focused political outcome document, which contains clear and practical measures for implementing sustainable development. The Conference also adopted groundbreaking guidelines on green economy policies.

The Paris Protocol in 2015 marked a significant milestone in the global conferences on climate control. The treaty focuses on the alarming rise in average global temperatures that is taking place as a result of carbon emissions. It is believed that if global temperatures rise by more than 2 degrees Celsius, it will have disastrous consequences for all. All member countries, therefore, have made voluntary pledges to cut carbon emissions. However, it is not legally binding. An agreement to set a goal of limiting global warming to “well below 2°C” was agreed upon. The agreement calls for zero net anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions to be reached during the second half of the 21st century.

Countries would strive to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. The 1.5°C goal will require zero emissions sometime between 2030 and 2050, according to scientists,. The landmark treaty has been signed by 196 nations. The Paris Agreement is likely to come into effect by 2020 and will replace the 1997 Kyoto protocol as the new international law for global emissions reduction.

There was a major set back, however, in June 2017. Donald Trump, President of the USA announced that his country was pulling out of the climate agreement. Ironically, that makes the USA the only country in the world which is not party to the treaty.

Nearly fifty years have gone by since the ‘Stockholm Declation of 1972. The world as a whole is committed towards combating hunger, disease, illiteracy, poverty and reducing inequalities. We will succeed in our endeavour only if we practise the principle of Sustainable Development.

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