Abstract: Conservation of natural resources through sustainable ecosystem management and development is the key to our secured future. The management of ecosystem involves inventorying and monitoring, and applying integrated technologies, methodologies and interdisciplinary approaches for its conservation. Hence, now it is even more critical than ever before for the humans to be environmentally literate. To realise this vision, both ecological and environmental education must become a fundamental part of the education system at all levels of education. Currently, it is even more critical than ever before for the humankind as a whole to have a clear understanding of environmental concerns and to follow sustainable development practices. The degradation of our environment is linked to continuing problems of pollution, loss of forest, solid waste disposal, and issues related to economic productivity and national as well as ecological security. Environmental management has gained momentum in the recent years with the initiatives focussing on managing environmental hazards and preventing possible disasters.
Environmental issues make better sense, when one can understand them in the context of one’s own cognitive sphere. Environmental education focusing on real-world contexts and issues often begins close to home, encouraging learners to understand and forge connections with their immediate surroundings. The awareness, knowledge, and skills needed for these local connections and understandings provide a base for moving out into larger systems, broader issues, and a more sophisticated comprehension of causes, connections, and consequences.
Environmental Education Programme at CES in collaboration with Karnataka Environment Research Foundation (KERF) referred as ‘Know your Ecosystem’ focuses on the importance of investigating the ecosystems within the context of human influences, incorporating an examination of ecology, economics, culture, political structure, and social equity as well as natural processes and systems. The ultimate goal of environment education is to develop an environmentally literate public. It needs to address the connection between our conception and practice of education and our relationship as human cultures to life-sustaining ecological systems. For each environmental issue there are many perspectives and much uncertainty. Environmental education cultivates the ability to recognise uncertainty, envision alternative scenarios, and adapt to changing conditions and information. These knowledge, skills, and mindset translate into a citizenry who is better equipped to address its common problems and take advantage of opportunities, whether environmental concerns are involved or not.
Ramachandra T.V., Subash Chandran M D., Gururaja K V and Sreekantha, 2007. Cumulative Environmental Impact Assessment, Nova Science Publishers, New York.
Abstract: An ecosystem is a complex of interconnected living organisms inhabiting a particular area or unit of space, together with their environment and all their interrelationships and relationships with the environment having a well-maintained ecological processes and interactions. It is characterized by the abundance of individual species populations; interspecies relationships; activity of organisms; physical and chemical characteristics of environment; flows of matter, energy, and information; and description of changes of these parameters with time. Hence, its surroundings can be categorised into physical and biological environment, which are self-defined, self-maintained and self-sustained dynamic natural systems. The physical environment comprises of lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere, while the living beings in the biosphere constitute biological environment. The biosphere contains many delicate biological processes that have taken billions of years to evolve and there is a natural equilibrium for life sustaining processes dependent on relatively slow rates of recycling. These natural processes as well as resources are being over driven by human activities to meet the growing demands of the population. These developmental activities by humans ignoring the ecosystems and functional aspects are instrumental in bringing about irreversible changes in the ecosystem and their environment.
The concern now is on the rise for the changes due to human induced activities that are proving detrimental, as it has exceeded the recycling rates of natural processes, which are altering the very nature of the environment. These changes are drastic, both to the environment and its inhabitants alike. Under such circumstances, it is necessary to do a retrospective analysis of the present situation to identify the degree of seriousness of different kinds of anthropogenic activities on the environment, plausible measures to curb further damaging to environment and better ways to live in harmony with the environment.
Sameer Ali, G. R. Rao, Divakar K. Mesta, Sreekantha, Mukri Vishnu, M. D. SubashChandran, K. V. Gururaja, N. V. Joshi, and T. V. Ramachandra., 2007. Ecological Status of Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Prism Books Pvt Ltd., Bangalore.
Eccological status of a particular region is determined by assessing its biodiversity, prevailing conditions of the environment and their interactions. Such an assessment is carried out through the estimation of species composition and their relative abundance with reference to space and time in a region. Prioritising the region based on these helps to evaluate and emphasise the protection needs of a habitat, considering its local and global distribution, habitat preference and threats to species and habitats. ENVIS centre at Indian Institute of Science has planned to bring out a series on ecosystem conservation and management in the Western Ghats. This document is the first in the Sahyadri Conservation Series (Sahyadri Conservation Series - I, ETR - 19), on Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary which documents the species diversity, composition, and community and population ecology along with habitat conditions, and suggesting management strategies considering the socio-economic-ecological linkages in the region.
Ramachandra T.V., 2006. Management of Municipal Solid Waste, Commonwealth Of Learning, Canada and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Printed by TERI Press, New Delhi.
Abstract: Solid material thrown away as unused from various sectors such as agricultural, commercial, domestic, industrial and institutional constitutes solid wastes. This places an enormous strain on natural resources and seriously undermines efficient and sustainable development. Management of Municipal Solid Waste discusses the ways to salvage the situation through efficient management of solid wastes from waste generation to final disposal. The various processes such as waste generation, collection, storage, processing, recovery, transport, and disposal, are explained with the support of case studies. The book discusses reduction of waste at the source and to foster implementation of integrated solid waste management systems that are cost-effective and protect human health and the environment.
Ramachandra T.V., 2006. Soil and Groundwater Pollution from Agricultural Activities, Commonwealth Of Learning, Canada and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Printed by TERI Press, New Delhi.
Abstract: This book introduces the major agricultural activities in India and their impact on soil and groundwater. It lists the basic aspects of agricultural activities and introduces soil properties, classification and processes, and groundwater characteristics, movement, and recharge aspects. It further discusses soil and groundwater pollution from various sources, impacts of irrigation, drainage, fertilizer, and pesticide. Finally, the book dwells upon conservation and management of groundwater and soil.
Vijay Kulkarni and Ramachandra T.V., 2006. Environmental Management, Commonwealth Of Learning, Canada and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Printed by TERI Press, New Delhi.
Environmental Management has become one of the most used terms in recent times. But, what exactly does the term mean and entail? Environmental management helps to investigate and manage the environment within the context of human influences, incorporating an examination of economics, culture, political structure, and social equity, as well as natural processes and systems. This book discusses in detail the various issues relating to environmental management, including the fundamentals; the various environmental policies, legislations and international treaties; the concept of environmental impact assessment; environmental auditing; life cycle assessment; various environmental management system standards; issues and techniques, and environmental design and economics.has become one of the most used terms in recent times. But, what exactly does the term mean and entail? Environmental management helps to investigate and manage the environment within the context of human influences, incorporating an examination of economics, culture, political structure, and social equity, as well as natural processes and systems. This book discusses in detail the various issues relating to environmental management, including the fundamentals; the various environmental policies, legislations and international treaties; the concept of environmental impact assessment; environmental auditing; life cycle assessment; various environmental management system standards; issues and techniques, and environmental design and economics.
Ramachandra T.V., Ahalya N. and Rajasekara Murthy, 2005. Aquatic Ecosystems: Conservation, Restoration and Management, Capital Publishing Company, New Delhi
Abstract: Aquatic Ecosystems perform numerous valuable environmental functions. They recycle nutrients, purify water, recharge ground water, augment and maintain stream flow, and provide habitat for a wide variety of flora and fauna and recreation for people. A rapid population increase accompanied by unplanned developmental works has led to the pollution of surface waters due to residential, agricultural, commercial and industrial wastes/effluents and decline in the number of water bodies. Increased demands for drainage of wetlands have been accommodated by channelisation, resulting in further loss of stream habitat, which has led to aquatic organisms becoming extinct or imperiled in increasing numbers and to the impairment of many beneficial uses of water, including drinking, swimming and fishing. Various anthropogenic activities have altered the physical, chemical and biological processes within aquatic ecosystems. An integrated and accelerated effort toward environmental restoration and preservation is needed to stop further degradation of these fragile ecosystems. Failure to restore these ecosystems will result in sharply increased environmental costs later, in the extinction of species or ecosystem types, and in permanent ecological damage.
Ramachandra T.V. and Ahalya N., 2004. Wetland ecosystem in India: Conservation and Management, Monograph- DEF Environmental Research Update, Journal of Environmental Biology
Publisher: Monograph- DEF Environmental Research Update, Journal of Environmental Biology (http://www.jeb.co.in/)
Ramachandra, T.V. 2003. Ecologically Sound Integrated Regional Energy Planning, Nova Science Publishers, Huntington, NY 11743-6907.
Sudhira H.S., Ramachandra T.V. and Jagadish K.S., 2003. Urban Sprawl Pattern analysis using GIS, Aicra Publishers, Bangalore.
Publisher: Aicra Publishers, Bangalore
Abstract: Urbanisation has evinced interest from a wide section of the society including experts, amateurs, and novices. The multidisciplinary scope of the subject invokes the interest from ecologists, to urban planners and civil engineers, to sociologists, to administrators and policy makers, students and finally the common man. With the development and infrastructure initiatives mostly around the urban centres, the impacts of urbanisation and sprawl would be on the environment and the natural resources. The wisdom lies in how effectively we plan the urban growth without - hampering the environment, excessively harnessing the natural resources and eventually disturbing the natural set-up. The research on these help urban residents and policymakers make informed decisions and take action to restore these resources before they are lost. Ultimately the power to balance the urban ecosystems rests with regional awareness, policies, administration practices, management issues and operational problems. This publication on urban systems is aimed at helping scientists, policy makers, engineers, urban planners and ultimately the common man to visualise how towns and cities grow over a period of time based on investigations in the regions around the highway and cities. Two important highways in Karnataka, South India, viz., Bangalore - Mysore highway and the Mangalore - Udupi highway, in Karnataka and the Tiruchirapalli - Tanjavore - Kumbakonam triangular road network in Tamil Nadu, South India, were considered in this investigation.
Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing data were used to analyse the pattern of urbanisation. This was coupled with the spatial and temporal data from the Survey of India toposheets (for 1972), satellite imageries procured from National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) (LANDSAT TM for 1987 and IRS LISS III for 1999), demographic details from the Census of India (1971, 1981, 1991 and 2001) and the village maps from the Directorate of Survey Settlements and Land Records, Government of Karnataka. All this enabled in quantifying the increase in the built-up area for nearly three decades. With intent of identifying the potential sprawl zones, this could be modelled and projected for the future decades. Apart from these the study could quantify some of the metrics that could be used in the study of urban sprawl.
Ramachandra, T.V., Kiran R and Ahalya N. 2002, Status, Conservation and Management of Wetlands, Allied Publishers Pvt Ltd, Bangalore.
Abstract: Aquatic ecosystems are dynamic and depend on various interdependent and inter-related factors that are vital for their existence and in maintaining the ecological balance. Various anthropogenic activities have impaired ecological conditions in many ecosystems. This monograph gives an account of the essentials in limnology, which helps in understanding the nature and extent of the problems and also provides an insight into the use of Geographic Information System as an effective tool for resource inventorying, monitoring and management.
The monograph consists of four chapters, and the first one gives an overall view of the inland aquatic bodies as complex ecological systems. It begins with the formation of lakes, and the various physical, chemical and biological factors that determine these ecosystems. The physical factors covered include morphometry, density, light, etc., and the lake chemistry determined by various anions and cations are discussed in detail. The biological parameters include phytoplankton, zooplankton, waterfowl and fish communities that play an important role in freshwater biodiversity, and are presented with diagrams for easy understanding. The monograph gives an in depth view of the lake zones, productivity, and seasonal changes in the lake community with various energy relationships. The concept of food chain and food web in an aquatic ecosystem is also presented with illustrations. Lastly, the various anthropogenic activities that have deteriorated the quality of water are listed with the restoration strategies.
Ramachandra, T.V., Rajasekara Murthy. C and Ahalya.N. 2001, Lake 2000-Proceedings of International Symposium on Restoration of Lakes and Wetlands, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.
Abstract: Lakes and wetlands play a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance. They are sinks for incoming contaminants and recycle and maintain the impaired conditions. These fragile ecosystems are threatened due to rapid urbanisation and industrialisation. A co-ordinated and quick action is needed to restore and preserve them. Failure to do so will cost mankind dear in that it will indirectly support the extinction of species and permanent ecological damage. Restoration helps in restructuring and recreating the ecosystem to its former pure state. Restoration of lakes and wetlands is viewed in the watershed context. The major hurdle in watershed restoration is institutional and educational. Effective restoration can be achieved through collaboration among scientists, economists, administrators, policy makers and local people.
Ramachandra, T.V., 2000. Energy Alternatives: Renewable energy and energy conservation technologies, Karnataka Environment Research Foundation, Bangalore.
Abstract: Energy systems should be consistent with environmental, economic and social sustainability in order to ensure regional sustainable development. This enhances both current and future potential to meet the human needs and aspirations. Sustainable development, a process of change, in which, the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments , the orientation of technological development and institutional change are in harmony. National energy programme should prioritize the development of renewable energy sources, which offer the potentially huge sources of primary energy.
The path for sustainability in the next millennium is the low energy path through wise use of energy. Energy conservation and energy efficiency measures would certainly result in meeting the energy demand with as little as half the primary supply at current levels. This requires profound structural changes in socio-economic and institutional arrangements. Environmentally sound, technically and economically viable energy pathways will sustain human progress in the long term future giving a fair and equitable share of the underprivileged and poor of the developing countries.
Renewable energy is considered by some as the only hope for the survival of planet yet by others it is viewed as a marginal resource with limited resource. All too often, however, the facts behind the role that renewable energy can, and will, play in the regional energy scene are disguised or ignored as rival camps distort the evidence to suit their own objectives. It was in the light of this confusion that the Energy Research Group at Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science undertook investigation in Kolar and Uttara Kannada Districts in Karnataka State, India to identify the potential contribution of several types of renewable energy sources: Solar, Wind, Hydro, Bioenergy, etc.