5 years in, India’s Swachh Bharat Mission has succeeded in its ambitious goal of making India ODF. However, much still needs to be done before we can declare the project an unqualified success on all fronts.
Rooftop gardening is not just a hipster hobby nor just an activity with cosmetic benefits. It comes with real advantages for health and the environment and also can provide employment and socialisation opportunities.
In my previous post, I wrote about the potential of microbes to change the face of the agricultural industry. A critical player in the health of soil ecosystems, microbes are responsible for nitrogen fixation and phosphate solubilisation actions that nourish crops.
Our soil is one of the most prominent reasons that life is possible on this planet. By definition, soil is particulate surface material made up of various minerals as well as organic matter. Soil supports and nourishes plant and animal life by providing it with nutrients.
Before 12,000 BC, when a climate change event occurred, man was more of a hunter-gatherer. Farming was ‘invented’ in different places: in West Asia about 12,000 BC, in Africa about 10,000 BC, in South America and China about 8000 BC. From these places, agriculture spread to Europe, northern Europe, Sudan and Native Americans between 7000 BC and 1 AD.
Approximately 4 billion years ago, even before the era of gigantic reptiles, the first form of life appeared on Earth. A prokaryote – a unicellular organism that lacks a membrane-bound nucleus, mitochondria, or any other membrane-bound organelle.
While Swachh Bharat Abhiyan is a recognised media success, the absence of big-picture thinking is a serious threat to the success of the mission. And it will do nothing to solve the sanitation time bomb we are sitting on. We need to collectively explore sustainable solutions that address India’s sanitation challenges holistically without compromising our environment.
Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs is called sustainable development. Introduced as a concept in a 1987 report which showed the links between poverty, inequality and environmental degradation and how we could move to a fairer world without compromising livelihoods or the environment.
In 2009, a team of scientists from around the world came together to create what they called a Planetary Boundaries Framework. This framework identified nine processes that must be monitored to maintain life on earth.