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Environmental Performance Index – Indian Perspective

Water PollutionWe all have experienced depleting quality of air, water and other natural resources. With the increasing population and the resulting load on natural resources, we are on the verge of consuming everything that earth has to provide and we may need another planet to survive. ‘Living Planet’-a report by WWF, has already explained in 2012, that the Earth’s 6.8 billion people are already using 1.5 times of our planet’s natural resources.

The load on environmental resources increases with the ever increasing population and rapid unsustainable economic growth. The planning commission of India is trying to convert this unsustainable growth into sustainable. According to it, “monitoring and timely actions for mitigation of negative environmental impacts are important. It also helps to manage negative impacts better and make best possible system to minimize it”.

With concern towards the depleting quality of natural resources, environmental pollution and climate change, the Planning Commission of India is in the process of developing an Environmental Performance Index (EPI) for this year. This index will account environmental parameters like Air pollution, Forest, water quality, water management and Climate change. EPI will address performance of different states in India based on the quality of these environmental parameters. Basically EPIs will be used by Planning Commission to incentivize states for environmental performance through budgetary allocations.

In the year 2012, Andhra Pradesh, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra ranked in top five respectively in overall EPI scores. However, Lakshadweep, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Daman and Diu, Delhi, Arunachal Pradesh and Bihar were the worst performer. (Read more here)

EPI is prevalent in the world from its first introduction as ‘Pilot Environmental Performance Index’ in year 2002 under United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals. Here, it is a method of quantifying and numerically benchmarking the environmental performance of a country’s policies.  EPI was developed by Yale University (Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy) and Columbia University (Center for International Earth Science Information Network) in collaboration with the World Economic Forum and the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission.)

As per 2012 – EPI ranking report by Yale University, countries like Switzerland,  Latvia,  Norway,  Luxembourg  and Costa Rica performed well in year 2012 to secure ranks in top five. However, South Africa, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Iraq secured bottom ranks. India secured 125th position out of 132 countries assessed for EPI ranking. (Read more here)

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