‘North Eastern states most environmentally sustainable’

January 12th, 2010 - 10:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Jan 12 (IANS) The northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Sikkim, along with Uttarakhand, have been rated the highest on the environment sustainable index (ESI), developed by think-tank Centre for Development Finance (CDF) here.
The ESI has been developed as a composite index from 40 key environmental indicators grouped into nine thematic sub-indices — air quality and pollution, water quality and availability, land use and agriculture, forest and biodiversity, waste management, energy management, health impact, population pressure and environmental budget.

According to the index, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Meghalaya, Tripura and West Bengal figure among the more sustainable states.

Among the larger states - in terms of size and ecomomy - Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh rank low in the chart, while Tamil Nadu and West Bengal have managed to balance economic growth and environmental quality.

States with abundant natural resources such as Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Goa fall in the medium and less sustainable categories in ESI 2009.

“The overall ESI is aggregated from data on various aspects of the environment and environmental policy in order to understand the larger picture of sustainability, while the sub-indices provide more specific information about environmental sustainability in particular issue areas such as water, air, land and forest cover,” CDF director Jessica Wallack.

The CDF has also launched India’s first website to assist pollution monitoring.

“The website or the pollution map will aim to support more meaningful tracking of environmental change by creating a repository on pollution monitoring,” said Rajesh Rangarajan, senior researcher at CDF and head of the Online Pollution Map Initiative.

He said the website makes existing pollution data more accessible and informative by transforming it into user-friendly visual displays, which link pollution levels and monitoring sites to specific places in the country.

In the first phase, CDF has developed the pollution map for Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.

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