NCERT Solutions for Class 12: Ch 8 Environment and Natural Resources Political Science

1. Which among the following best explains the reason for growing concerns about the environment?
(a) The developed countries are concerned about projecting 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.


Answer

(c) The environmental degradation caused by human activities has become persuasive and has reached a dangerous level.

2. Mark correct or wrong against each of the following statements about the Earth Summit:

(a) It was attended by 170 countries, thousands of NGOs and many MNCs.
► Correct 

(b) The Summit was held under the aegis of the UN.
► Wrong

(c) For the first time, global environmen¬tal issues were firmly consolidated at the political level.
► Correct 

(d) It was a summit meeting.
► Wrong

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.


Answer

(a) The Earth’s atmosphere, Antarctica, ocean floor and outer space are considered as a part of global commons.

4. What were the outcomes of Rio-Summit?

Answer

• Rio-Summit produced conventions dealing with climate change, biodiversity, forestry and recommended a list of development practices called Agenda 21.
• It gave the concept of sustainable development to be combined economic growth with ecological responsibility.
• Rio-Summit developed various contentious issues like Commons, Global Commons in global politics of the environment.

5. What is meant by Global Commons? How are they exploited and polluted?

Answer

The areas or regions located outside the jurisdiction of any one state and region, common governance by the international community are Global Commons. They include the earth’s atmosphere, Antarctica, the ocean floor, and outer space.They are exploited and polluted due to:
• Vague scientific evidence, their lack of consensus on common environmental issues.
• North-South inequalities and their exploitative activities and competition lack proper management area out space.
• Technological and Industrial development has also affected the earth’s atmosphere and ocean floor.

6. What is meant by ‘Common but differentiated responsibilities’? How could we implement the idea?

Answer

Common but differentiated responsibilities was the first international step to address climate change and equally responsible for ecological conservation. It mean that the state shall cooperate in the spirit of global partnership to conserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the earth’s ecosystem.

The developed countries acknowledge that the responsibility that they bear in the international pursuit of sustainable development in view of the pressures their societies place on the global environment and of the technological and financial resources they command. We could implement the idea with the help of conventions and declarations:
• The Rio-Summit held in June 1992 produced conventions dealing with climate change, biodiversity, forestry and recommended a list of developed practices called Agenda 21.
• The 1992 United Nations Framework convention on climatic change (UNFCCC) also emphasized that the parties should act to protect the climate system on the basis of common but differentiated responsibilities.
• An international agreement is known Kyoto Protocol set targets for industrialized countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions which support for global warming.

7. Why have issues related to global environmental protection become the priority concern of states since the 1990s?

Answer

Issues related to global environmental protection became the priority concern of states since the 1990s because at the global level, the environmental issues drew the attention of various states at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio-de-Janeiro, Brazil in June 1992 through Agenda 21:
• Rio-Summit 1992 dealt with climatic change, biodiversity and forestry.
• Agenda 21 combined economic growth with ecological responsibilities.
• Kyoto Protocol set targets for greenhouse emissions.

The above-mentioned conferences and summits raised the environmental issues at the global level to take steps by various states to check environmental degradation in a co-operative manner.

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.

Answer

Compromise and accommodation are the two essential policies to save Planet Earth by the states but the states from North and South have different notions towards environmental issues:
• The Northern states (developed countries) were concerned with ozone depletion and global warming, the Southern states (developing countries) were anxious to address the relationship between economic development and environmental management.
• The developed countries of the North want to discuss the environmental issues which stand equally responsible for ecological conservation.
• The developing countries of the South feel that much of the ecological degradation in the world is the product of industrial development undertaken by the developed countries. If they have caused
more degradation, they must also take more responsibility for undoing the damage now.
• The developing counties are under the process of industrialization and they should be exempted from restrictions imposed on developed countries through various conventions like protocol etc.
• The special needs of developing countries must be taken into considerations in the process of development, application, and interpretation of rules of International Environmental Law.

These provisions were accepted in Earth Summit, 1992 while adopting common but differentiated responsibilities.

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.

Answer

The economic development can be achieved even without damaging the global environment through various measures:
• In June 1992, Earth Summit provided some conservative measures for sustainable growth without damaging the environment anymore.
• There have been  many  path-breaking agreements such as the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, the 1987
Montreal Protocol, and the 1991 Antarctic Environmental Protocol.
• Kyoto protocol cut greenhouse emissions from industrialized countries to protect the environment and to develop industries also.
• The purification, consumption, reuse, disposal and treatment of solid waste should be undertaken by the government.
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