Hopefully you are studying this lesson before lunch. Imagine a place where the only water there is to drink comes from a nearby river. You become thirsty so you head down there with a pail. When you arrive, there are two things that catch your eye. Upstream, a woman is washing her family's clothes along the same shoreline. She is using a kind of soap made from animal fat. Between the two of you, there are several cows standing around in the water, drinking. They look like they've been there for a long time. Now, imagine going to the water's edge and seeing all manner of nasty things swimming around in the water. As disgusting as this sounds, the scene described above is repeated thousands of times a day in many areas of the world. Water that you would never dream of drinking in a million years is the only water available to many people. And this is just one of the environmental concerns. In today's lesson, you'll learn about environmental issues in South and Southeast Asia and what nations are doing to combat the problems. India
India and its capital, New Delhi, is composed of land about one-third the size of the United States. Yet, it has a population that is more than three times larger (more than 1.1 billion). As a result, the environment faces many critical issues, such as: •water shortages;
•unclean water sources;
•natural disasters from earthquakes, floods, and typhoons; •soil erosion from unwise agricultural methods.
An ever-growing population naturally results in more pollution. As the industrial sector grows and more people drive cars, air pollution becomes an increasingly difficult problem to handle. Due partially to its location, the temperature average in India is increasing, which accounts for changes in weather patterns. Consequently, periods of drought are increasing. As water shortages occur due to drought, the quality of the water becomes a major issue. In addition, many of India's forested regions are being cleared away for farming and building materials. This leads to major soil erosion, as heavy rains are commonplace. Because trees help to retain moisture in the soil, this plays a part in the water shortages that do occur. To combat the problem, India is heavily involved in the construction of dams and canal systems. Although this has helped to alleviate the situation somewhat, it has also brought about an increase in some diseases that form in stagnated water. The country's leadership is actively seeking ways to protect air, water, and land resources. In addition to air and land pollution, India faces losing many of its plants and animals. Tigers, for example, have been forced from natural habitats, resulting in greater exposure to humans. In an effort to protect these beautiful animals, the Indian government has established a number of natural refuges to keep them from harm. Pakistan
The environmental issues facing Pakistan are different in many respects from those of its neighbor to the east. Pakistan has a much drier climate; consequently, it must guard and protect its water supply even more diligently than India. Like other nations in the region, an ever-growing population is taxing the few natural resources that do exist. The Pakistan Environmental Protection Council, located in the nation's capital city of Islamabad, is working hard to address the issues facing its citizens. For example, Pakistan lacks many of the agricultural innovations that the United States enjoys. As a result, soil degradation, erosion, and pollution are hampering efforts to feed the people and causing increased desertification of the region. Industrial wastes, pesticides, and raw sewage are polluting water supplies, which severely limits the amount of potable water. In addition, Pakistan faces increasing air pollution from heavy industry and inefficient automobiles. Bangladesh
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Due to its location and topography,...