Andhra Pradesh State of the Environment: A report from ENVIS

The report has a number of recommendations regarding environmental care and protection that not only influences governmental policy, but also citizen action

The Andhra Pradesh State of the Environment Report is available at the Environmental Information System (ENVIS) cell of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) here

A number of recommendations flow from the trends indicated that should influence not only governmental policy but also citizen action. All sectional chapters do bring out responses required in some detail. However, they require to be discussed in the light of the current state of environment.

The following recommendations in brief are for further discussions and follow-up: 

  • Database for understanding the extent of damages on human health, ecosystems and species be strengthened in all wings of Government.

  • All concerned departments should evolve a database which will enable reporting on SOE of the above critical elements. This will also enable policies to be changed or framed by Government. Even citizens, and industries could benefit from such a database as thenthey would have all the information required to force, initiate or facilitate action.

  • The regulatory agencies should monitor grossly polluted areas closely and suggest remedial action like relocation or even adopting cleaner technologies wherever necessary. The use of land around industrial and thermal plant areas should be strictly regulated with thick green covered buffer zone to avoid urbanisation and residential development too close to polluting industries. Special measures are required to combat air and noise pollution. Mining projects should adopt sustainable practices and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has to be strenthened.

  • Greater accent has to be laid on production of electricity from non-conventional sources and adoption of clean technologies in power production.

  • Measures to check rural-urban drift especially to larger metros have to be based on proper attention to towns. Also, healthy environment and other facilities need to be ensured in villages. Strict enforcement of landuse regulations especially protection of green areas, conservation of lakes, enforcement of building regulation with FSI standards have to be strictly carried out to avoid urban congestion and squalor. In fact, a proper land use policy should be evolved and implemented for the state as a whole.

  • Bio-medical waste, industrial solid waste and municipal waste, the bane of our society, have to be better managed. A lot of foresight and scientific temperament has to go into the management of all waste.

  • Making it a community effort, monitoring mechanisms should be introduced through universities, research institutions, non-governmental organisations, colleges and even selected high schools to monitor water, soil and air quality as well as biodiversity in nearby areas.

  • Taxonomic studies and ethno knowledge studies have to be stepped up with the help of universities, Botanical societies and Zoological societies. They should be coordinated by a State Biodiversity Board. In fact, this Board could start work of documenting biodiversity by having village biodiversity registers. The Board should arrange for community involvement in conservation of sacred groves rocks, wetlands etc. It should also promote sustainable use of medicinal plants and non-timber forest produce.

  • Top priority should be given to small water conservation projects, systematic watershed development reforesting catchment areas of rivers like Musi and Manjira, and also of barren hills. Kolleru and Pulicat lakes need special attention. Encouragement of conjunctive use of surface and ground water is essential. Watershed development with communities participating in it will help conservation. Water quality monitoring of rivers and lakes has to be strengthened with local participation.

  • Species like Tiger, Great Indian bustard, Slender Lories, Jerdons Courser should receive special attention. All efforts should focus on the needs of such species so that aspects / factors which threaten their habitats are taken care of Schemes like better and easy compensation for cattle kills, expeditious settlement of cases against poachers should be encouraged. Promotion of ecological tourism management in sanctuaries and national parks would go a long way in our race against time to protect our environment. Joint Forest Management (JFM) with real involvement of bonafide community stake holders must be encouraged. In all such areas and heritage sites, ecological tourism enforcing do's and don't's should be allowed.

  • Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) should be conserved, strictly implementing coastal management plans for total conservation of ecologically sensitive areas. Conservation and regeneration of mangroves, creation of shelterbelts and avoidance of aquaculture in CRZ would definitely be a move in the right direction. Promotion of poly culture has to be given a top priority. ater management

  • Epidemiological studies linking environment and health should be commissioned. These are sample indicators to show whether or not development has taken place on a sustainable mode.

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