Chapter 8 - Environment and Natural Resources :Important Questions and Answers

List of Questions and Answers

1.The Earth Summit which was held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil focused on _________.
(a) Terrorism
(b) Global Poverty
(c) Environmental issues
(d) Health epidemics

Ans:(c) Environmental issues.

2.The poor and developing countries of the third world are called as ___________.
(a) Global North
(b) Global East
(c) Global South
(d) Global West

Ans: (c) Global South

3.Why does mineral industry invite criticism and resistance in various parts of the globe?Give any one major reason.

The mineral industry's extraction of earth, its use of chemicals, its pollution of waterways and land etc, continue to invite criticism and resistance in various parts of the globe.

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4.Assess the role of democratic negotiations in responding to regional aspirations.


  • The best way to respond to regional aspirations is through democratic negotiations rather than through suppression.
  • An example, In 80s militancy had erupted in Punjab; problems were persisting in the North-East; students in Assam were agitating; Kashmir valley was on the boil.
  • Instead of treating these as simple law and order problems, the Government of India reached negotiated settlement with regional movements.This helped in reducing the tensions existing in many regions.

5.What is the Kyoto Protocol?

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement setting targets for industrialised countries to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. Certain gases like Carbon dioxide, Methane, Hydro-fluoro carbons etc. are considered at least partly responsible for global warming - the rise in global temperature which may have catastrophic consequences for life on Earth. The protocol was agreed to in 1997 in Kyoto in Japan, based on principles set out in UNFCCC.

6.How can we protect the rights of the indigenous people with regard to the environment ?


  • Issues related to the rights of the indigenous communities have been neglected in domestic and international politics for very long.
  • During the 1970s, growing international contacts among indigenous leaders from around the world aroused a sense of common concern and shared experiences.
  • The World Council of Indigenous Peoples was formed in 1975.
  • The Council became subsequently the first of 11 indigenous NGOs to receive consultative status in the UN.

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7.Why were developing countries exempted from the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol?

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreed that the largest share of historical and current global emissions of greenhouse gases has originated in developed countries.It was also acknowledged that per capita emissions in developing countries are still relatively low. China, India, and other developing countries were, therefore, exempted from the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol.

8. Mention the steps taken by the government of India to protect the environment.

Following are the steps taken by the government of India to protect the environment:

  • India's National Auto-fuel Policy mandates cleaner fuels for vehicles.
  • The Energy Conservation Act, passed in 2001, outlines initiatives to improve energy efficiency.
  • The Electricity Act of 2003 encourages the use of renewable energy.
  • Importing natural gas and encouraging the adoption of clean coal technologies are some efforts made by India to protect the environment.

9.What is meant by the term "geo-politics of natural resources" ?

Resource geopolitics is all about who gets what, when, where and how. Resources have provided some of the key means and motives of global European power expansion and they have also been the focus of inter-state rivalry. Western geopolitical thinking about resources has been dominated by the relationship of trade, war and power.

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10.What were the outcomes of the Rio Summit?


  • The Rio Summit produced conventions dealing with climate change, biodiversity, forestry, and recommended a list of development practices called 'Agenda 21'.
  • There was a consensus on combining economic growth with ecological responsibility.
  • Some critics pointed out that Agenda 21 was biased in favour of economic growth rather than ensuring ecological conservation.

11.Which among the following best explains the reason for growing concerns about the environment?
a.The developed countries are concerned about protecting nature.
b.Protection of the environment is vital for indigenous people and natural habitats.
c.The environmental degradation caused by human activities has become pervasive and has reached a dangerous level.
d.None of the above.

Ans: c - The environmental degradation caused by human activities has become pervasive and has reached a dangerous level.

12. Mark correct or wrong against each of the following statements below that describe the Earth Summit:
a. It was attended by 170 countries, thousands of NGOs and many MNCs.
b. The summit was held under the aegis of the UN.
c. For the first time, global environmental issues were firmly consolidated at the political level.
d. It was a summit meeting.

a - Correct
b - Wrong
c - Correct
d - Wrong

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13.Which among the following are TRUE about the global commons?
a. The Earth’s atmosphere, Antarctica, ocean floor and outer space are considered as part of the global commons.
b. The global commons are outside sovereign jurisdiction.
c. The question of managing the global commons has reflected the North-South divide.
d. The countries of the North are more concerned about the protection of the global commons than the countries of the South.

Ans:(a) - The Earth's atmosphere, Antarctica, ocean floor and outer space are considered as part of the global commons.

14. What is meant by the global commons? How are they exploited and polluted?

There are some areas or regions of the world which are located outside the sovereign jurisdiction of any one state, and therefore require common governance by the international community. These are known as global commons.
Examples of global commons are earth's atmosphere, Antarctica , the ocean floor, and outer space.
List on exploitation and pollution of global commons:

  • The outer space as a global commons shows that the management of these areas is thoroughly influenced by North-South inequalities.
  • The earth's atmosphere and the ocean floor, the crucial issue here is technology and industrial development.
  • The ozone hole over the Antarctic in the mid-1980s revealed the opportunity as well as dangers inherent in tackling global environmental problems.
  • Difficulty of achieving consensus on common environmental agendas on the basis of vague scientific evidence and time frames.