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seminars/ meeting

A national workshop on Environment and Human development has been conducted on 3rd & 4th November 2009 at Thiruvananthapuram by Environment Management Agency Kerala in collaboration with Kerala State Pollution Control Board under the sponsorship of Kerala State Planning board and UNDP. Discussion papers were presented by Scientist, technocrats and academicians of regional, national and international reputations. The following are the recommendations of the workshop aimed at developing strategies under the state plan schemes.

Government of Kerala
Department of Environment
Environment Management Agency Kerala

Summary of the points emerged in the brainstorming workshop on Environment and Human Development on 3rd and 4th November, 2009 at Thiruvananthapuram
    The National Workshop on Environment and Human Development was organized by Environment Management Agency Kerala in collaboration with the Kerala State Pollution Control Board under the auspices of the Planning Commission programme on “Strengthening State Plans for Human Development” sponsored by UNDP. Kerala State  Planning Board provided the resources for holding the workshop.
    The theme of the workshop was environment management in the state with focus on health related aspects of sanitation systems. The participants included representatives from local self governments, government departments, scientific institutions and civil society organisations. The inputs from Suchitwa Mission, Health specialists from Medical Colleges, Environment management related industrial enterprises, Indian Institute of Technology Mumbai and Community organisations like Kudumbashree State Poverty Eradication Mission provided insight into the imperatives of action and available options in environment management. Following points emerged from the active interaction of participants in the deliberations.
•    The waste management systems in the state are in the growing phase and issues are largely identified and collated. However, environmental management strategies are yet to take into account the strategic  necessity of minimizing waste, segregating and treating it in the most safe ways.
•    Collection and collation of data is happening but using this for generating information for facilitating strategic planning is not prevalent. This aspect of environmental monitoring needs to be strengthened.
•    Highlighting the linkage between the state of environment and health hazard needs to be taken seriously and  strengthening  the community based systems for tracking and monitoring vector population dynamics in the neighbourhoods will be a desirable activity for the local bodies. The community based institutions like Kudumbashree can also be very effective in networking for this purpose.
•    Apart from sewage treatment in the organized sewerage networked habitations, putting up scientifically designed septic tanks needs to be inculcated in the households. Local bodies may need to be more proactive in this endeavour.
•    For dealing with the chemical contamination in agriculture and food chain, sensitizing the practitioners including farmers and applicators is an issue. Extensive publicity campaign – in fact extension strategy needs to be considered for environmental precautions in general.
•    The publicity campaign under this extension strategy can include the following aspects also
    Minimizing and recycling waste and treating biodegradable  waste at household level itself.
    Establishing common facilities like treatment plants and scientific sanitary land fills for clusters of local bodies or habitations.
•    Several technologies are available for treatment of waste including municipal solid and liquid waste. This includes those for scientific land fills, use of living systems (Soil Biotechnology) and chemical based (Ferrous chloride based treatment, available in Kerala). [Soil biotechnology (SBT) option was presented by Prof HS Shankar of IIT Mumbai and Ferrous chloride based treatment has been used by M/S Cochin Minerals and Rutile Ltd for Sabarimala Pamba cleaning.] What needs to be done is to appraise these and utilize these based on the locational circumstances and budget.