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Nagaland

Making World Environment Day an action, not an event

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By EMN Updated: Jun 05, 2019 12:20 am
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A DIPR feature
Dimapur, June 4 (EMN): World Environment Day is the United Nation’s principal vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for the protection of the environment and is observed on the 5th of June every year. It was established by the UN General Assembly in the year 1972 and was first observed in the year 1974.

Since then, it has been a flagship campaign for raising awareness on emerging environmental issues such as marine pollution, human overpopulation, global warming, sustainable consumption and wildlife crime and has become a global platform for public outreach with participation from over 143 countries annually.

It is observed each year with a new theme that major corporations, nongovernmental organisations, communities, governments and individuals worldwide adopt to advocate environmental causes.

The theme for World Environment Day 2019 is “Air pollution” with China as the global host. Approximately 7 million people around the world die prematurely each year from air pollution with about 4 million of these deaths occurring in Asia-Pacific. World Environment Day 2019 will urge governments, industry, communities, and individuals to come together to explore renewable energy and green technologies, and improve air quality in cities and regions across the world.

Closer to home, the deteriorating air quality is evident in the ambient air quality reports of Dimapur and Kohima districts compiled by the Nagaland Pollution Control Board under the National Air Monitoring Programme (Namp).

Graphs illustrating the Annual Average Concentration of Particulate Matter (RSPM) for four air monitoring stations in Dimapur and Kohima are given below. The annual average concentration of Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) during 2011-2018 shows that the RSPM levels exceed the permissible annual average limit of 60µg/m3.

 

The ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change has finalized and launched the National Clean Air Program on the 10th of January 2019 as a time bound national level strategy for pan India implementation to tackle the air pollution problem across the country in a comprehensive manner.

Under the NCAP, the air quality levels 102 cities of India have been identified to have exceeded the prescribed National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). These cities have been classified as non-attainment cities and Dimapur and Kohima are included under the same.

In this regard, an action plan has been prepared and shall be implemented by the state in coordination with the Nagaland Pollution Control Board and various stakeholder departments such as department of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, department of Industries & Commerce, Urban Development department, Transport department, municipal or town councils, traffic police, department of New and Renewable Energy, department of Legal Metrology & Consumer Protection, Town Planning, border roads agencies, PWD and district administrations.

The major sources of air pollution in Nagaland can be traced to sources such as road dust from poorly maintained roads, vehicular emissions further enhanced by traffic congestion, burning of waste, emissions from small scale industries and construction and demolition activities.

While all stakeholders have their own role to play in controlling the level of air pollution, the theme for this year’s World Environment Day is also a call to all citizens to come forward and play their part in dealing with air pollution.

Open burning of waste is a major contributor to the air pollution levels and as such, citizens are advised not to throw or burn their waste in open public spaces. Segregation of waste should be practiced at the source of waste generation and handed over to authorized agencies for proper disposal of waste.

Ban on open burning of waste have also been notified by the Nagaland Pollution Control Board as well as the concerned authorities in the local dailies as per section 15 of the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016. Citizens are therefore requested to show concern and abide with the rules mentioned.

Over the years, the number of vehicles has increased immensely contributing to air pollution from vehicular emissions. While walking and opting for eco-friendly means of transport such as cycling are best for the environment.

Likewise, simple vehicle maintenance such as regular oil changes, air-filter changes, and spark plug replacements can lengthen the life of your car as well as improve fuel economy and minimize emissions. Keeping tires properly inflated also saves fuel by reducing the amount of drag a car’s engine must overcome.

Deforestation occurring especially with increasing urbanization has been a rising concern in recent decades especially since the recognition that it is the cause of climate change. It is also common knowledge that trees provide us with the oxygen we breathe, absorb carbon dioxide which is a greenhouse gas (and thus a major contributor to global warming) and also add aesthetic value while lowering the temperature of a place by providing shade and through transpiration of water.

With all these benefits in mind, it is important to encourage the protection of existing trees as well as to plant more of them for a healthy environment.

This World Environment Day, all government departments, organizations, school/college Eco Clubs and concerned individuals are requested to play their part in spreading awareness about the importance of breathing fresh, healthy air and adopt practices which will improve the quality of the air we breathe. Let us all join hands in minimizing air pollution and work for a greener, healthier and better Nagaland.

Source: Nagaland Pollution Control Board

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By EMN Updated: Jun 05, 2019 12:20:13 am