Environmental Development Project


save mother earth

“We live in a culture where people are more offended by ‘swear’ words and middle fingers than they are by famine, warfare and the destruction of our environment.” 

-Unknown [1]

Outline of this page:

The problem
Environmental degradation is the single biggest threat to future generations, with disproportionate effects on vulnerable populations.

Our strategy
Providing rural communities with the knowledge and resources to build more environmentally friendly and sustainable lifestyles.

Our work
Community-led agriculture and water projects for local populations, solar-cooker provision, biodegradable bag production, tree-planting, and conservation.

Last updated: September 2020

Keep reading to learn about the reasons for our policy interventions, and to see a breakdown of our policy methodology and costs.

Click to view the enlarged system map
  • A secluded place

Wider Context

The environment: a neglected human resource: Our environment has historically been taken for granted. Economic development and industrial production saw the exploitation of natural resources and emission of wastes at unsustainable rates, using methods which degrade the environment, making it increasingly difficult to maintain the practices which support us. Moreover, our planet is finding it challenging to sustain many forms of life, with current rates of species extinction up to 1,000 times the rates typical of Earth’s past [2]. Biodiversity loss is not only a moral issue, but a substantial threat to the delicate ecosystems essential for human survival. The fact is that the human species must work to protect the environment, conserve natural resources, adapt to the predicted impacts of climate change, and mitigate further impacts in order to survive.

We’ve already seen the effects of an unprotected environment on economic development and human health

1. Crop failures cost low-income countries highly dependent on agriculture millions/year, making their economies increasingly insecure due to progressively unpredictable weather patterns [3].

2. Losses and damages due to climate change costs vulnerable nations billions/year [3].

3. Air pollution from unsustainable fuel-use and waste disposal kills an estimated 7 million people every year, with even more affected by a vast array of cardiovascular diseases which are both difficult and expensive to treat [4].

4. The adverse effects of air pollution, decreased access to clean water due to climate change, and greater food insecurity due to crop failures and droughts strike vulnerable groups more brutally as a result of COVID-19 [5].

Protecting the environment is essential to securing human health, peace, livelihoods, homes, and the economy.

India: The country already deals with a number of socioeconomic disadvantages which make the nation particularly sensitive to environmental degradation.

In terms of climate change, 2020 is predicted (more than 99.9%) to be ranked among the five warmest years on record [6], with weather events increasing in severity and magnitude. India is afflicted harder than the other countries because

1. India houses a high number of agricultural workers, particularly in rural areas like Tamil Nadu. This means the livelihoods of a large proportion of India’s population, specifically that of women, depend on the agricultural sector, an insecure job market with high exposure to the climatic impacts of floods and droughts and the negative medical effects associated with pesticides [7].

2. High proportions of Indians live in poverty, are subject to food insecurity, lack the financial capital to migrate, are susceptible to disease, and have limited access to clean water.India already struggles to ensure agricultural production can meet the needs of its population: in 2016, 195 million Indians were reported chronically undernourished [7]. This only intensifies with accelerating climate change.

In regard to air pollution, it was disclosed to be the 5th leading risk to death worldwide in 2017 [8]. India is hit harder than the other countries and reported to be the 5th most polluted country in the world [9] because

> When it comes to air pollution, studies show that poorer nations are more at risk [4]. As a result of the widespread impoverishment in India, rudimentary stoves are used for cooking purposes [10]. Further, as the 2018 UN General Secretary remarks, “women and girls, in particular, will pay the price … because, in times of disaster, women and girls always suffer disproportionately” [3]. Respectively, it is obvious that women and children are the most exposed to such polluting stoves and fuels in their homes, thus bearing the brunt of the burden of air pollution.

Concerning water contamination and soil degradation, the disposal of wastes in landfills is reported to pollute bodies of water and lead to soil degradation, a process that threatens agriculture. India is struck harder than the other countries because

> Poor areas in India with few hopes for economic development are paid by richer nations to dispose of their waste. In fact, India is ranked the 6th top country being used as a dumping ground of worldwide waste [11].


Sustainable development must be a global goal in order to meet our present needs without compromising the future needs of our progeny.

Prioritising the environment in development projects: Any further human development cannot come at the expense of the environment. Global carbon dioxide emissions per year from fossil fuels have been drastically increasing with industrial production associated with economic development. Policy approaches must therefore focus on decreasing the emission of toxic wastes into the environment that are a result of large-scale development projects targeted at economic advancement.

Conserving what we still have: Another policy point emphasizes the importance of conservation efforts. Our existing natural resources are limited and under great threat from unsustainable industrial production practices, as well as climate change. It is necessary to make active and strong efforts to protect existing ecosystems, water supplies, air quality, and soil. Natural resources cannot be taken for granted and require active protection before they reach an ecological ‘tipping point’, at which point retrieving these resources will be significantly more challenging, and in some cases, out of reach [12].

Adaptation – prepare for the unavoidable: Globally, 95% of our food supplies rely on soil quality [13].Soil degradation from mismanaged waste disposal, climatic changes, poor irrigation systems, and the over-use of pesticides therefore poses a substantial threat to global food supplies. Thus, local farmers in disadvantaged areas must be supported by giving them access to information about sustainable farming practices, as well as by providing the resources to perform adaptive measures in preparation for climate change [14].

Mitigation – soften the blows of climate change: The impacts of climate change will be catastrophic if mitigating measures are not taken. It is necessary to actively reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and create greener spaces. Further, it is necessary to ensure future generations are informed and involved in this process to ensure that they are able to continue the essential work started by their ancestors.

Our approach

One of our agro-beneficiaries with her organic crop produce

1. Resource Management

Through our Green Initiative, we work to conserve natural resources that are vital for ecological systems and human survival: water, clean air, and soil.

In collaboration with the Central Government of India, we work towards the CLEAN INDIA scheme to reduce plastic use by encouraging women in our vocational training centers to manufacture more sustainable cotton bags as an alternative to plastic bags.

2. Local community support

We work to support local farmers in maintaining their lands through our irrigation and organic farming schemes.

We provide local farmers with guidance to avert them from having to sell their land to real-estate developers.

3. Solar cookers

We provide solar cookers, instruments that have been presented as a particularly promising policy response. They are cheap, help reduce food insecurity, and offer a non-polluting and renewable source of energy to the groups most vulnerable to the effects of traditional, solid-fuel cookers: poor women and children in rural areas.

4. Protect the vulnerable

Our projects aim to help the already vulnerable to reduce their vulnerability to climate change and environmental degradation in the future. Caste, gender, age, health, and social class make a significant difference in one’s vulnerability to climate change [15].Financial and social constraints can make the difference between survival and death in a changing climate. Thus, through our female development, child protection, and human rights projects, we fight to protect the vulnerable.

Our current projects

1. Green initiative
2. CLEAN INDIA scheme
3. Tiruvannamalai – Annamalai reserve forest area protection
4. Tree planting
5. Solar cookers


[1]Source – Reddit

[2] Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2006) Global Biodiversity Outlook 2. Montreal, 81 + vii pages. https://www.cbd.int/doc/gbo/gbo2/cbd-gbo2-en.pdf.

[3] United Nations Secretary-General. “Secretary-General’s remarks on Climate Change [as delivered].” (2018). https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/statement/2018-09-10/secretary-generals-remarks-climate-change-delivered.

[4] World Health Organisation. “9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air, but more countries are taking action.” (2018). https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/02-05-2018-9-out-of-10-people-worldwide-breathe-polluted-air-but-more-countries-are-taking-action.

[5] McDonald, A.J. et al. “Indian Agriculture, Air Pollution, and Public Health in the Age of COVID.” World Development Vol. 135 (November 1, 2020). Doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105064.

[6] World Meteorological Organisation. “Show Your Stripes: heat continues in 2020.” (June 2020). https://public.wmo.int/en/media/news/show-your-stripes-heat-continues-2020.

[7] Pritchard, Bill. “Walking a Tightrope: India’s Challenges in Meeting the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda with Specific Reference to Climate Change.” Asia Pacific Journal of Environmental Law Vol. 19 (2016) pp. 139-147. http://0-heinonline.org.pugwash.lib.warwick.ac.uk/HOL/Page?handle=hein.journals/apjel19&div=10.

[8] Narain, Urvashi. “Air Pollution: Locked Down by COVID-19 but not Arrested.” The World Bank,2 July 2020, https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/immersive-story/2020/07/01/air-pollution-locked-down-by-covid-19-but-not-arrested

[9] IQ Air. “World’s most polluted countries 2019 (PM2.5).” https://www.iqair.com/world-most-polluted-countries, 2019.

[10] Anenberg, Susan C. et al. “Cleaner Cooking Solutions to Achieve Health, Climate, and Economic Cobenefits.” Environmental Science & Technology Vol 47, no. 9 (2013) pp. 3944-3952. DOI: 10.1021/es304942e.

[11] Dwyer, Cameron. “20 Countries that Are Used as Dumping Grounds for your Waste.” When On Earth, When on Earth Magazine, https://whenonearth.net/20-countries-that-are-used-as-dumping-grounds-for-your-waste/

[12] National Geographic. “Climate change driving entire planet to dangerous ‘tipping point’.” (Nov 2018). https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/environment-and-conservation/2019/11/climate-change-driving-entire-planet-to-dangerous-tipping.

[13] The University of Sheffield. “Soil loss: an unfolding global disaster.” (Dec 2015). https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/news/nr/soil-loss-climate-change-food-security-sheffield-university-1.530115.

[14] Ramborun, V., Facknath, S., and Lalljee, B. “Moving toward Sustainable Agriculture through a Better Understanding of Farmer Perceptions and Attitudes to Cope with Climate Change.” Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension Vol. 26, No. 1. (2020) pp. 37-57. http://0-dx.doi.org.pugwash.lib.warwick.ac.uk/10.1080/1389224X.2019.1690012.

[15] Gupta, Joyeeta. “The Paris Climate Change Agreement: China and India.” Climate Law Vol. 6, No. 1-2. (2016) pp. 171-181. https://heinonline.org/HOL/P?h=hein.journals/climatla6&i=179.