Increased population pressure and advanced technologies of development in the recent past have resulted in several environmental problems that have considerable implications for sustainable economic development of India. Industrialization, globalization, increasing competition for land, water and other resources through developmental activities have caused colossal damage to the environment besides putting food security of India at risk.
Climate change has become an issue of serious concern globally and has a direct large scale impact on the land and aquatic biosphere. It has manifested in terms of frequent occurrence and repetition of unlikely events like droughts, tsunamis, melting of glaciers and rising sea levels. Ecological disturbances have led to loss of biodiversity, change in soil and water quality and shifting dynamics of flora and fauna. Major impact has been due to green house gas emission-associated climate change. This change in climate is particularly accentuated in mountain environments, with more pronounced impact at high elevations as well as high latitudes. Over the coming decades, mountain regions like Himachal Pradesh with an economy closely tied to its natural resource base are reported to face a major threat because of projected changes in climate than adjacent low lands. The change may affect on-site values with in mountain regions, such as biodiversity, agriculture, forests, water and other sources of livelihood.
Today, every major indicator shows a deterioration in natural systems i.e. forests are shrinking, deserts are expanding, crop lands are losing top soil, the stratospheric ozone layer continues to be thin, the number of plant and animal species are diminishing, air and water pollution has reached health threatening levels and damage from acid rain can be seen on every continent. Fossil fuels - much used energy sources worldwide are depleting and global trends have shown increasing significance of renewables relative to conventional energy.
However, in spite of large developments, food security because of huge population pressure has always been the biggest concern of the mankind. Nations, communities and Governments have been struggling with the issue since long. Particularly, it's a prime agenda for the developing world including India. Recent decades have seen even bigger challenges on this front. The future looks even bleaker with food shortage issue looming large. The challenge is how to feed the growing population by producing more on a stagnant or shrinking landscape; with lesser input costs and with lesser hazards to the eco-system. Besides, there is an increasing risk of diseases and threats to agriculture and aquatic biosphere from changing weather patterns. Another adjunct to this problem is how to add to the income of agricultural producers so as to sustain their motivation to grow crops. This also leads to the question as to how to add value to what is being produced and how to make the transaction in agro products smooth, safe and reliable.
The need of the hour in India in general and Himachal Pradesh in particular is to create knowledge based bio - economy and require global commitment with regional initiatives to make our agriculture and environment sustainable. Thus implementation of every environmental policy, programme, project and plan comes down to the common denominator of Environmental Education. “Environmental education is an integrated process which deals with man’s relationship with his natural and manmade surrounding including relation of population growth, pollution, resource allocation and depletion, conservation, technology and urban and rural planning to the local human environment”. Environment education is intended to promote the awareness and understanding of the local & regional environment with its global ramification. It is, therefore, critical that the future workforce be educated in Environmental Sciences to improve the quality of life, evolve innovative sustainable development technologies and to generate human resource with enormous employment opportunities. Moreover, Himachal Pradesh situated in the Himalayan region is an excellent laboratory to study the impact of climate change and new technologies because no other single region in the world provides a better picture of structural variation of vegetation under the influence of altitude. Thus, Dr. Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan, the first of its kind in Asia has established a new department on Environmental Science on 27th August, 2008 with following mandates and missions.
Professor & Head
Department of Environmental Science
College of Forestry
D YS Parmar University of Horticulture & Forestry
Nauni-173 230, Distt. Solan (H.P.)
Tel. No. : 91-1792-252023 (Office)
Fax : 91-01792-252023, 252279 (Fax)
E-Mail : email@example.com