In dire straits!

Published: Thursday 15 November 2001

assumed a gargantuan proportion. And the reasons for this are embedded in social and economic patterns such as pervasive poverty, wasteful production, hedonistic consumption, disparity of wealth distribution and their debt burden.

This has been stated in the state of the environment reports conducted by United Nations Environment Programme (unep) and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (norad). The four countries studied by unep and norad are India, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The report underlines that all these countries suffer from air pollution, land degradation and biodiversity loss. In India, freshwater resource management and hazardous waste management also need immediate attention.

In Bangladesh, the key environmental issues include water pollution and scarcity and the threat of natural disasters. Water issues as well as environmental effects of rural-urban migration and solid waste management need to be addressed in Bhutan. In Sri Lanka, waste disposal issues, pollution of inland water and depletion of coastal resources are a matter of grave concern.

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