THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala’s environment faces a major threat with its rivers and wells becoming highly polluted, area of dense forest and paddy fields decreasing rapidly and air in three major cities marking rise in level of air pollution.
The White Paper on Environment, cleared by the Cabinet on Wednesday, points to alarming indicators on environmental destruction.The Cabinet said the government is committed to preserve clean air and water, and good soil in addition to the state’s biodiversity.As part of creating an environment-friendly economy, the specialities of environment will be understood and studies will be made on impact on it.
The White Paper aims to open up a debate with an aim to identify the area of protection activities.
The idea is to maintain a balance between socio-economic development and environmental protection.
Follow-up activities for the White Paper are planned. A panel will be set up to review the progress of activities and modify the action plan.The protection activities will be carried out in association with various departments, with the active involvement of the public.
A LOOK AT THE PAPER
The White Paper says the state makes use of only 60 pc of its water resource from 44 rivers. Kerala has 64 lakh wells with 200 per sq km. However, 80 pc of wells are polluted
Compared to the data from the National Forest Survey 2013, the forest area --- very dense and moderately dense --- has come down. However, open forest area has increased by 1,423 sq km. The total forest area has been identified to be 11,309 sq km. Of this, 13 pc comprises plantations
The area of wetland is 1.61 lakh Ha with total 4,354 wetlands. Total area of mangroves increased from 5 sq km in 2009 to 9 sq km in 2015