Corruption is a substantial obstacle in our endeavours to constraint climate change. It sounds weird, but when we peel some layers off it, we get to see a dirty picture. Contemporary India is struggling with several moral and administrative issues to rectify but, nature doesn’t seem to find empathisers. When it is about our climate and nature, time is always scarce as we humans can’t control the damage.
The need of the hour is to address the hindrances caused for immediate results of government policies working towards grappling onto the few last strands of environmental remunerations.
The Indian government has several schemes in place to tackle the increasing delinquency of climate change such as- National River Conservation Plan, Ecomark Scheme of India (ECOMARK) – Ecomark Labelling, National Afforestation Programme: A Participatory Approach to Sustainable Development of Forests, National Action Programme to Combat Desertification and Grants-in-aid Scheme for Voluntary Agencies.
The aim of these, and several other initiatives, is to increase the forest and tree cover over those areas of the country where it is less or negligent. This can be done with the help of afforestation and regeneration of degraded forests. We need to safeguard the remaining forests, wildlife and water resources. These schemes also aim at surveying of innumerable regions for identification of new species (conservation and protection of forests, rivers, biodiversity wetlands, wildlife and eco-sensitive zone) and prevention of contamination (air, water, noise and industrial pollution).
A better environmental governance is frantically needed today. However, to attain that we will have to get rid of the pile of corruption.
Earlier this year, the Madhya Pradesh Lokayukta busted an Indian Forest Service officer – divisional forest officer S K Palshi, and detained disproportionate assets worth over 30 crore rupees.
“We have recovered Rs 15 lakh cash, four cars, jewellery worth Rs 30 lakh. Some of the details of properties of the DFO are — houses and plots in Mandsaur, Neemuch, Ratlam, Indore and Bhopal, and an LPG agency in the name of his wife Ranjana Palshi,” said O.P. Sagoriya, district Superintendent of Police (Lokayukta), Ujjain in an interview to a newspaper.
On the other hand, Nagpur Deputy Conservator of Forests Deepak Bhatt was caught red handed with Rs 19.25 lakh for managing transfers of forest guards by Anti-Corruption Branch Deputy Superintendent of Police Sanjay Purandare, few months ago. Also, a Forest Department official was caught taking a bribe of Rs 1.50 lakh for illegal felling of trees by ACB.
If such things, like felling the trees for money, continue, then how do we expect to have a better green cover? Similarly, we always hear about illegal poaching of tigers, rhinos and elephants from reserves and jungles. This means that the forest department isn’t doing its job which, in return, cause irreversible damages to the habitat and ecology.
The natural habitat, as well as the climatic conditions in several areas, is on its way south. The only means to help us halt global warming or guard whatever is left is to work on generating greater awareness of corruption in the environs affiliated agencies. This logic couldn’t be more obvious. If the money to protect climate change will not support the required strategy than we all will be in serious trouble.
Corruption aggravates the effects and expenditures of climate change and thus hinders our capability to fight it.
The corruption in environmental supervisory constricts and weakens the efficiency of the administration systems. This is because corruption decreases the social and economic cost of implementing environment protection schemes. In a corrupt setting, actors prioritise personal profits at the cost of socially optimal consequences leading to the disaster of safeguarding the environment which inevitably contributes to climate change.
Corruption largely funds to the elimination of species, manipulation of natural resources, along with the pollution and degradation of ecologies and wildlife habitats, and spread of diseases and hostile species.
The biggest question here is do we have a strategy to keep a check on whether these agencies are achieving what they should?
Are, our local communities included in the construction of these environmental schemes, who are the biggest contributors to the ground level work in restoring the environment.
We the citizens of India need to focus are interests in the non-conventional zones of corruption. Political scams and industrial favours have become more common than religious festivals in India, hence, we need to correlate issues and understand their interdependence to develop better solutions to the life threating problems faced by us.
Climate change is of crucial importance to us as well as the world and the biggest hindrance in our way to find solutions is corruption. With time slipping out of our hand, we cannot afford to let our limited recourse go in vain.
When corruption seems to majorly affect the poor and middle class of India, with such delinquent pores in our conservational gambit no one is apart from its effects. This concern not only brings all Indian class and masses together but also forces us to pursue collaborative efforts as only the restriction in corruption can let us save the last strands of a healthy environment.