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INVITING UNCONTROLLED GROSS DISASTER AVOIDING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: A CALL TO GREEDLESS POLICYMAKERS, SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS TO UNITE

Dr. Malay Kumar Deb,

In the later nineteenth century, the mysterious engineer and scientist Nicola Tesla once told:“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency,  and vibration.” Now in the 21st century, the whole world has started to realize the facts and vibrations from nature and society after enough destructions that already had been done by the empowered mankind against mankind knowingly or unknowingly. The energy and that too green energy, green living, green technology, green materials are nowadays are universal in engineering, research, and development to follow yet very rare in practice. It is because of the fact that we did not receive good vibrations from our recent past ruled by mankind against mankind and nature. At the same time, the frequencies of the mistakes are high despite the warnings and awareness activities from the ethical and professional engineers, social activists, and scientists throughout the world; either Einstein, Stephane Hockings, 2,700 scientists that warned US-Mexico wall endangers wildlife or a child climate-change-activist, a little by age but massive in voice Greta Thunberg. The result is visible as Climate Change, Water scarcity, and degrading-Biodiversity and degrading-state of the Health is a fact and not just fiction anymore. 

An actual realization of erstwhile so-called 'development' of mankind and earth presently replaced by 'Sustainable development,' which is defined as a development that fulfills the needs of the present earth and mankind without affecting the capability of future generations to meet their individual needs. It is unfortunate that the greeds of more and more of certain classes are a significant concern towards achieving 'sustainable development.' Although, sustainable development is the amalgamation of social,economic,and environmental development,which areinter-connectedbutdepend on the lifestyle practices at the local, national, regional and global levels and class to class. The Nobel Laureate Economist, Mr. Abhijit Banerjee when writes that the poor don’t have any money, energy, and employment left, and very few richer become richest is a real concern to understand that itsthe  time to reduce the greeds at the top somewhere in the mankind. The greed should not govern the needs, and if it happens, the result is devastation, sometimes out of control of mankind, even if there is enough money though showered.The impact will be the worst, and it’s a wake-up call to mankind for its own sustainability.   

Henk A.M.J. ten Have, MD, Ph.D., Professor, Center for Health Care Ethics at Duquesne University, wrote a book titled ‘Wounded Planet.’ The author has shown how the biodiversity crisis is worse than climate change. This was also the conclusion of experts meeting in Paris on the status of ecosystems. More than 1 million species will be thrashed in the next successive decades. Plants, insects, and other creatures will be permanently lost. Growing food in certain areas like the American Midwest will no longer be possible. 75% of the world population is already breathing unsafe air, andat least 2 million people use contaminated drinking water (WHO).

The Eastern Himalaya biodiversity 'hotspot,' which has been currently scaled up as Indo Burma 'hotspot,' is the second-largest positioning itself after the Mediterranean basin with an area 2,20,60,000 sq.km. The region now extends from central Nepal to North-East India, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and Hainan Island in southern China, Myanmar, Thailand, and on to Indochina, after that south to Isthmus of Kra in the Malaysian peninsula. The Indian states of Sikkim, Darjeeling Hills of West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura are included in this region.Northeast India, spread over 2,62,379 sq.km., epitomizes the transition zone between the Indian, Indo-Malayan, and Indo-Chinese biogeographic regions and a connecting link of the Himalayan Mountains and Peninsular India. It is one of the wealthiest biomes of the world, dense in endemism and rare species but now under continuous threats. 
Various Construction activities, whether it is housing or commercial developments, or infrastructure, all are silently and sometimes harshly damaging natural habitats, erasing wildlife andplant species to some or large extent.The construction industry, therefore, has a vital role in exercisingto protect sensitive areas and put balance into the ecology. The environmental disaster in Brazil caused huge losses when a Dam is collapsed. The reclamation of land in the South China Sea caused another environmental disaster. The high power country like China created its own piece of land in the middle of the seawith serious flaws inenvironmental impact assessment (EIA). The Canal project in Istanbul is another kind of invited disastrous-project. The scientist Saydam,a professor of environmental engineering at Hacettepe University in Ankara says, “We are warning about this project, saying, it’s not feasible due to oceanographic reasons if you decide to join the two seas you cannot think of the next five or ten years, or the next election, or the anniversary of the Turkish republic—you have to think in terms of geological time because once you do this, there will be no way to turn back."The linking of the Black Sea with the Marmara Sea needed more cautious study than the government has done. Similarly, the "Environmental Disaster by Jeju Naval Base Construction" is another piece of disregard for engineering and science. The suggested sea route creates an environmental disaster, flaws in the EIA conducted by the Government, and change of absolute preservation zone by the Governor of Special Self-Governing Province. It is not known yet if the recommendations to the Government of the Republic of Korea and theIUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) on the raised environmental concerns are taken place. In New Guinea, the Ok Tedimining project continued dumping toxic waste into the river invited environmental disaster where It is expected to take 300 years to clean up the waste.
The fencing between political boundaries between countries threatens the extinction of animals from bio-diversity.The animals that come in contact with border-fences become victims by getting electrocution and entangled. Yet these deaths only represent the short-term significance.Longer-term effects include hindrance of movement and admittance to vital sources of water and food, genetic disintegration of populations, and compounded habitat-loss. The 670-kilometer border between Croatia and Slovenia is planned 349 kilometers of fencing,out of which approximately 150 kilometers are of razor-wire fences. The criteria of the European wildlife-conservation frameworkwas not fulfilled, especially against which "ensures the conservation of a wide range of rare, threatened or endemic animal and plant species," as pronounced by the European Commission. India and Bangladesh share a 4,097 km long porous border, which bends through paddy fields, plains, hills, and rivers. This borderland is densely populated; the people areliving in the vicinity have several cross-border connections."Border fences rarely work to stop migration," as pointed by Reece Jones, associate professor, University of Hawaii, and author of Violent Borders: Refugees and the Right to Move. 

Outmoded fishing-gears, frequently used in tropical seas, leaddamage to marine ecosystems. The artisanal fish-fences, which are built using wooden poles and nets, used to be harvested in local mangroves. The fishes are funneled into a holding structure as the water regresses at the low-tide.Nature Communicationspublished a study that expressed while the impacts of these were presumed to be sustainable and lower than the other available techniques, they carrya higher impact than understood previously. It also found that these fisheries are causing destruction on mangroves, seagrass, meadows, as well as coral reefs.Richard Unsworth from Swansea University said, "Because they are unselective, they catch more than 500 species, many as babies or which are of conservation concern,". The researchers added that in a 10-year period, these fisheries reduced the local reef fish-density by half. The researchers stated, "We find fish fences to disrupt vital ecological connectivity, exploit more than 500 species with high juvenile removal, and directly damage seagrass ecosystems with cascading impacts on connected coral reefs and mangroves," 

The spreading of foraging and crop-land turning forests and grasslands over to agriculture, particularly animal-agriculture,may turn into a severe future disaster. Because it requires extensive land–destroys native plantswith dependable animalspecies and their habitat. Also, animal farming juices soil nutrients and pollutes the environment by waste runoff from farms,which causes blooms algae that eat oxygen in water, killing essential bacteria, and destroying healthy ecosystems. As agriculture remains to trust on fewer to fewer species and diversities of crops and livestock, and as wild relatives are gradually endangered, the need to preserve the genetic diversity of crop-species and domestic animals for later generations grows progressively. Shifting away from animal agriculture might free up millions of acres that could be returned to their natural state, thus allowing balanced, diverse ecosystems to the purpose.Researchers from the University of Bayreuth have disseminated their works in Nature Communications and shown how climate change negatively impacts the earth's conservation regions by 2070. A total of 245,844 protected areas are currently registered worldwide. With the growth of the humanpopulation, the more land requires more food. The years from 1950 to 1980, the increase in the amount of cropland was higher compared to the growth in cropland from the years 1700 to 1850. To meet the requirements of need or greed as mankind convert Amazon rainforests to cropland or overlay the natural habitats consisting of many species, the ability of the sustainability of the ecosystem, and diverse forms of life decreases. In some cases, species are extinct.Some species also have been forced to extinction by illegal hunting or overharvesting. Some species of fish have been over-harvested, and their populations are in rapid falloff. Also, recent agriculture costs biodiversity in another way like farmers around the world are instructed to adopt standardized varieties of crops such assoy,  rice, bananas, and corn. The reason for which the genetic diversity of these species reduces and some valuable genes may sooner or later disappear in sum from the population. In due course, the species is less adaptivein fighting diseases, and the elimination of some helpful genes may hamper the ability of a speciesto resist environmental changes.
Transport systems often cover vast distances or form widespread networks, affecting biodiversity locally and regionally. Direct impacts include road kills (mostly mammals), disturbance (increased noise,felling of roadside trees, etc.), fall, and polluted runoff. Most such influences occur at the events of the construction stage or result from vehicle operations. Indirect impacts are mostly more serious for biodiversity, as upgraded entree to remote areas recurrently leads to unsustainable exploitation of the local resource,population change and, land-use. Substantial efforts must be through to ensure economic development is not at the expense of natural resources that support rural livelihoods.Wherever upgraded transport systems provide closer access to wildlife habitats and markets, collisions with vehicles can occur anywhere but are mutual where migration or access paths have been crossed by newly constructed roads. These collisions may be reduced using road bumps, speed restrictions, and an amalgamation of wildlife accesses  and fencing. However, the practical suitability of introducing these measures needs careful assessment. Speed limits may not be obeyed with; fencing may be too costly or filched. Projects require to consider these factors into account and emphasizethe careful siting of transport routes as a chosen way of plummeting death.Both habitat loss and disturbance may be reduced by careful routing,thus may reduce the negative environmental impacts. Correspondingly, additional resources may be allocated to balanceand rehabilitate habitat, far from the construction sites. In some sensitive areas, screening with trees or shrubs may help reduce disturbance, but roadside planting is rarely carried out in rural areas. The barrier affects species when they are unable or unwilling to cross a transport route, which obstructs gene flow within a population. Roads, waterways, and railways all act as barriers, so bridges, tunnels and wildlife accesses are essential even for small species with low movement; on known migration routes; or along admittance paths to feeding areas, breeding sitesor watering holes. The practical, localized, and global factors are the paramount basic features on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) whichareframed to balance the environment, including biodiversity, economic and social considerations duringthe development stage of planning. It is usually applied at a project level, often as part of consent procedures for individual proposals with or without mistakes but hardly followed in reality. An EIA must be initiated at the same time as pre-feasibility or feasibility studies. At the project level, impacts on biodiversity may be attributable to route selection or siting, construction activities, and operation or use (including maintenance of infrastructure). 

The rich biodiversity of our planet earth with an enormous variety of beautiful nature and life-forms along with healthy ecosystems make a complex natural system of interrelated species. Insects, bats, butterflies, and birds pollinate flowers and feed on pests. Microbes inplants and animals are abundant in soils and nature. These life-forms maintain balance and compensate nutrients so that life can redevelop, translate atmospheric nitrogen to soil nitrogen-compounds energetic for plant growth, and live in connotation with plant roots to enable the uptake of water and nutrients.Major threats to Biodiversity while unappreciation of the importance of biodiversity remain the major and prevailing threat to conservation inventiveness. The major threats to biodiversity are mainly habitat destruction, uncontrolled commercial exploitation of natural resources, the destruction of forests, reclamation of wetlands,etc,a temporary and unsure extension of high input agriculture, unsustainable industrial development and, conversion of rich biodiversity sites for human settlement and, destruction of coastal areas. The scientists warn that if such a drastic reduction in biodiversity occurs, it could result in a catastrophic disaster, especially when compounded by climate change. 

The first-ever in North-East India, theInternational Conference of BIMSTEC countries on"Water, Energy, and Bio-diversity for sustainable development of BIMSTEC countries" was organized by the Institution of Engineers (India) at Agartala, Tripura, from 12-14 Dec 2019 wherefrom clear messages were brought to the concerns of the policymakers, industrialists, engineers, biologists, and scientists and emphasize to work together to conserve the region when it is not too late yet. The widened crisis of water, energy, biodiversity, and associated parameters like food security, environment security, sustainable constructional practices were discussed, and various recommendations were put before the policymakers. Hindukush and Himalaya are an environmentallysingle entity where water, energy, and bio-diversity potential is still good and need to be conserved. There are scopes for modeling sustainable development for the concerned BIMSTEC countries (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Srilanka, Thailand, Nepal, and Bhutan) by acutely designing interconnecting parameters and factors before the things are worse. The advanced technology, food, and drinking water security, sustainable eco-system services, depleted GWL and scarcity of GW resources, the challenges of GW quality deterioration from the sources of geogenic origin namely, Arsenic, fluoride, Iron, NO3,& inland salinity, and precaution, mitigation, remediation as necessary to safeguard ever increasing demand for water, erosion and sedimentation of rivers mainly, the Brahmaputra and its major tributary area concern and challenges, Immediate attention through innovative techniques/approaches, flash flood and consequential devastation, public awareness on priority to sensitize people about challenges, do’s, and don’ts are discussed with various technical and policy-making notes. The conference recommends utilizing and practicing the facilities of renewable energy and promoting waste-heat utilization, awareness, and inclusion of the same in high school textbooks,  regional cooperation from the BIMSTEC countries on the issue of biodiversity conservation, water sharing and energy generation. The conference agrees for the protection of vital species like bees, butterflies,and small animals, which have an essential role in food production by plantation.

Though it is a good start with the BIMSTEC countries initiatives towards sustainable development, Tripura as a 3rd smallest state needs to understand its high essence bio-diversity which needs to be conserved with suitable policies and subsequent implementation. The ongoing development process is in the very first stage and it is high time to consider the views of scientists and engineers in the planning itself. The ongoing faulty planning towards the challenges of urbanization, construction trends are a major concern towards achieving sustainable development in Tripura. At the same time, conservation of its biodiversity, natural resources, and human populations shall be thoughts greedlessly to meet up realistic, sustainable development for future generations. The greedless policymakers, engineers, and scientists must unite together to protect the state and to make it a disaster-resilient society by achieving sustainable development in its true meaning.  



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