DTE launches annual ‘State of India’s Environment In Figures’

Annual book comes ahead of Environment Day & amid Stockholm+50

By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 02 June 2022

Down To Earth June 2 launched the State of India’s Environment 2022: In Figures. The annual e-book is a unique compendium of data on environment and development assessed, analysed and presented by the magazine along with experts from Delhi-based non-profit Centre for Science and Environment.

The compendium, brought out in the run-up to the World Environment Day (June 5) every year. This year’s launch also coincided with the beginning of Stockholm+50, a global meeting convened by the United Nations General Assembly to commemorate half a century of the 1972 international gathering that discussed human environment for the first time.

This year’s gathering is expected to further the cause of arresting global warming and planning ahead for that. Such planning is heavily dependent on understanding the current situation. The DTE annual and its more descriptive print counterpart can play an important role to that end.

“Most of the data that the volume carries is based on official government statistics that are available in the public domain,” said DTE Managing Editor Richard Mahapatra underscoring the need for steady analyses.


Here are some key data sets in the report and what they say

  • On agriculture: While the cost of cultivation has increased in India by almost 35 per cent (2012-13 to 2018-19), the share of the income from cultivation in an agricultural household has gone down to 37 per cent in 2018-19 from 48 per cent in 2012-13. Simultaneosly, 50 per cent of agricultural households in the country are reeling under debt — more tha Rs 74,000 per household on an average. Some 29 farmers / farm labourers die by suicide in India daily.
  • On solid waste: In 2019-20, India generated 3.5 million tonne of plastic waste. Only 12 per cent of this was recycled, and 20 per cent was burnt. The remaining 68 per cent remains unaccounted for, which means it is in the environment (land and water) or in dumpsites. Our hazardous waste generation went up by 5 per cent between 2019-20 and 2020-21, while our e-waste generation increased by 32 per cent between 2018-19 and 2019-20.
  • On air pollution: Reducing air pollution to meet the World Health Organization’s standards would add 2.2 years to global life expectancy, finds the report. In India, the life expectancy will go up by 5.9 years if the country meets the WHO levels of PM2.5.
  • On climate change: In 2022, India recorded its hottest March, with an early onslaught of heatwaves. The country reported 280 heatwave days between March 11 and May 18, the highest in the past 10 years. This is almost double of what the country experienced in 2012, the second highest heatwave year in the past decade. 
  • On food and food systems: More than 1.7 million Indians die due to diseases attributable to unhealthy diet. The diet of an Indian, on an average, lacks in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains.  

“Data is about measurement and the better we measure, the better we will get at management — this is what we know and this is why we put together this dataset each year. It helps us make sense of the changes we see in our world; it helps us understand what needs to be done,” said Down To Earth Editor Sunita Narain.

You can purchase your copy here.

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