Economics: Environment and Sustainable Development: Problems and Sustainable Development (For CBSE, ICSE, IAS, NET, NRA 2022)

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Environment can be defined as the conditions and circumstances that surround someone. It includes all the biotic i.e.. , living things and abiotic i.e.. , non-living, factors that influence each other in nature.


  • Environment provides renewable resources i.e.. , resources which are replenished easily over time and non-renewable resources i.e.. , resources which can get exhausted or depleted over time.
  • The environment absorbs, cleans and recycles harmful wastes and byproducts through various natural processes.
  • The environment sustains life by providing biodiversity.
  • The environment is also important from the aesthetic point of view.


With the rapid use of resources, a lot of accompanying environmental problems has emerged which are as follows:

Environmental Problems


Pollution refers to an undesirable change in the quality of a natural resource. Pollution is caused by a pollutant. A pollutant is a waste material or substance which is harmful for the ecosystem. The different types of pollution are as follows:

Air Pollution

Air pollution occurs when harmful or excessive quantities of substances are introduced into Earth՚s atmosphere.

Water Pollution

Water pollution is the contamination of water bodies by pollutants discharged directly or indirectly into water bodies without adequate treatment to remove harmful compounds.

Noise Pollution

Noise pollution is an excessive and displeasing environmental noise that disrupts the activity or balance of human or animal life.


Degradation is the process in which the beauty or quality of something is destroyed or spoiled. It is act of lowering something or someone to a less respected state. There are mainly two types of degradation which are as follows:

Soil Degradation

Soil degradation refers to an undesirable or deterious change or disturbance in the quality of the soil. The soil hence becomes unfit or unsuitable for growing plants and crops.

Habitat Degradation

Habitat degradation refers to the process in which habitats lose their normal functioning or quality to support native life due to human activities.

Depletion of Resources

Resource depletion is an economic term referring to the exhaustion of raw materials in an area or region. It is a process of consumption of a resource faster than it can be replenished.

Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development is a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come. Sustainable development has been defined in many ways, but the most frequently quoted definition is from our common future, also known as the Brundtland Report. According to this definition, “Sustainable Development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” .

Achieving Sustainable Development

Sustainable development can be achieved by adopting the following measures:

Achieving Sustainable Development


Finding substitutes for non-renewable resources and using renewable resources judiciously.


Recycling refers to using the resource again and again or to re-process the existing resources for more beneficial use.


To use less or economize.

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