NCERT Book for Class 12 Political Science Contemporary World Politics Chapter 8 Environment and Natural Resources
Class 12 Political Science students should refer to the following NCERT Book chapter Contemporary World Politics Chapter 8 Environment and Natural Resources in standard 12. This NCERT Book for Grade 12 Political Science will be very useful for exams and help you to score good marks
Contemporary World Politics Chapter 8 Environment and Natural Resources NCERT Book Class 12
ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS IN GLOBAL POLITICS
In this book we have discussed ‘world politics’ in a fairly limited sense: wars and treaties, rise and decline of state power, the relationship between the governments that represent their countries in the international arena and the role of inter - governmental organisations. In Chapter 7, we expanded the scope of world politics to include issues like poverty and epidemics. That may not have been a very difficultstep to take, for we all think that governments are responsible forcontrolling these. In that sense they fall within the scope of world politics. Now consider some other issues. Do you think they fall within the scope of contemporaryworld politics?
Throughout the world, cultivable area is barely expanding any more, and a substantial portion of existing agricultural land is losing fertility. Grasslands have been overgrazed and fisheries overharvested. Water bodies have suffered extensive depletion and pollution, severely restricting food production. According to the Human Development Report 2006 of the United Nations DevelopmentProgramme, 1.2 billion people in developing countries have no access to safe water and 2.6 billion have no access to sanitation, resulting in the death of more than three million children every year. Natural forests — which help stabilise the climate, moderate water supplies, and harbour a majority of the planet’s biodiversity on land—are being cut down and people are being displaced. The loss of biodiversity continues due to the destruction of habitat in areas which are rich in species.
A steady decline in the total amount of ozone in the Earth’s stratosphere (commonly referred to as the ozone hole) poses a real danger to ecosystems and human health. Coastal pollution too is increasing globally. Although the open sea is relatively clean, the coastal waters are becoming increasingly polluted largely due to land-based activities. If unchecked, intensive human settlement of coastal zones across the globe will lead to further deterioration in the quality of marine environment.
You might ask are we not talking here about ‘natural phenomena’ that should be studied in geography rather than in political science. But think about it again. If the various governments take steps to check environmental degradation of the kind mentioned above, these issues will have political consequences in that sense. Most of them are such that no single government can address them fully. Therefore they have to become part of ‘world politics’. Issues of environment and natural resources are political in another deeper sense. Who causes environmental degradation? Who pays the price? And who is responsible for taking corrective action? Who gets to use how much of the natural resources of the Earth? All these raise the issue of who wields how much power. They are, therefore, deeply political questions.
Although environmental concerns have a long history, awareness of the environmental consequences of economic growth acquired an increasingly political character from the 1960s onwards. The Club of Rome, a global think tank, published a book in 1972 entitled Limits to Growth, dramatising the potential depletion of the Earth’s resources against the backdrop of rapidly growing world population. International agencies, including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), began holding international
conferences and promoting detailed studies to get a more coordinated and effective response to environmental problems. Since then, the environment has emerged as a significant issue of global politics. The growing focus on environmental issues within the arena of global politics was firmly consolidated at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 1992. This was also called the Earth Summit. The summit was countries of the First World, generally referred to as the ‘global North’ were pursuing a different environmental agenda than the poor and developing countries of the Third World, called the ‘global South’. Whereas the Northern states were concerned with ozone depletion and global warming, the Southern states were anxious to address the relationship between economic development andenvironmental management.
1. Which among the following best explains the reason for growing concerns about the environment?
a. The developed countries are concerned about protecting nature.
b. Protection of the environment is vital for indigenous people and natural habitats.
c. The environmental degradation caused by human activities has become pervasive and has reached a dangerous level.
d. None of the above.
2. Mark correct or wrong against each of the following statements below that describe the Earth Summit:
a. It was attended by 170 countries, thousands of NGOs and many MNCs.
b. The summit was held under the aegis of the UN.
c. For the first time, global environmental issues were firmly consolidated at the political level.
d. It was a summit meeting.
3. Which among the following are TRUE about the global commons?
a. The Earth’s atmosphere, Antarctica, ocean floor and outer space are considered as part of the global commons.
b. The global commons are outside sovereign jurisdiction.
c. The question of managing the global commons has reflected the North-South divide.
d. The countries of the North are more concerned about the protection of the global commons than the countries of the South.
4. What were the outcomes of the Rio Summit?
5. What is meant by the global commons? How are they exploited and polluted?
6. What is meant by ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’? How could we implement the idea?
7. Why have issues related to global environmental protection become the priority concern of states since the 1990s?
8. Compromise and accommodation are the two essential policies required by states to save planet Earth. Substantiate the statement in the light of the ongoing negotiations between the North and South on environmental issues.
9. The most serious challenge before the states is pursuing economic development without causing further damage to the global environment. How could we achieve this? Explain with a few examples.
Please refer to attached file for NCERT Class 12 Political Science Environment and Natural Resources
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