Widescreen: World Environment Day: Dangers India faces

Forests: About 21 per cent of India's land area is forest

Deforestation continues to be a big issue in India. It may have added to forest cover in the past decade, but a large percentage of the addition is degraded forest cover. (AP Photo)

India's biggest environmental threat is its burgeoning population

From 1.21 billion currently, India's population is estimated to overtake China's population of 1.34 billion sometime between 2025 and 2050. Having between 16-18 per cent of the world's population on 2.4 per cent of world's total area puts immense pressure on its natural resources. The problem is with the demographics; already having one of the youngest populations in the world, the average Indian is expected to become younger. This, in turn, will lead to an increase in the population because of an increase in the childbearing age. Expect severe water shortages, soil degradation and erosion, deforestation, air, noise and water pollution. (AP Photo)

The glaciers in the Himalayas are melting causing them to retreat

While The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has admitted that it made a blunder when it said that the glaciers in the Himalayas will melt completely by 2035, there is no denying the fact that they the glaciers have melted over the past few decades and will continue to melt. These glaciers feed most of India's rivers and are the main source of fresh water supply for domestic use, agriculture and power generation. (AP Photo)

Sunderbans: The largest mangrove forest in the world continues to be threatened by global warming

The largest mangrove forest in the world is home to approximately 425 species of wildlife, including 300 species of birds and 42 species of mammals, including the Royal Bengal Tiger continues to be under threat. Not to mention the thousands of people who depend on the Sunderbans for their livelihood. (AP Photo)

The coral reefs in the Andamans and Lakhswadeep are under threat

India's island paradises might experience the horrors of hell in the near future. The coral reefs that protect the ocean's ecosystem have been steadily eroding over the years due to global warming. With the corals depleting, the marine life and the livelihoods of many people is under serious threat. (AP Photo)

Water scarcity: Many environmental experts feel that India's rapidly vanishing fresh water resources may its biggest challenge in the coming years


One of the biggest environmental issues that India is facing is scarcity of water. Many experts feel the current demand of an estimated 829 billion cubic yards of water will double by 2050, and exceed the 1.4 trillion cubic yards that India has at its disposal. (AFP Photo)

The Ganges, a river in need of a rebirth: The Ganges might be India's most sacred river, but also one of the dirtiest


Approximately, more than 400 million people live along the Ganges River and about 2,000,000 persons ritually bathe daily in the river, they are putting themselves at risk. It is filled with chemical wastes, sewage and even the remains of human and animal corpses that carry major health risk.

Various efforts to clean the river like the Ganga Action Plan have failed in spite of spending over Rs 900 crore. (AP Photo)

Unequal growth caused by factors like illegal mining and industrialization have angered the local populace

Illegal mining has forced tribals and villagers out of their traditional habitats; this has caused anger and resentment, helping fuel insurgencies and uprisings. (AP Photo)

Coal and its effects: About 70 per cent of the electricity generated comes from coal fired power plants

India has a huge dependence on coal for meeting its energy requirements and this is not about to change even as it throws other non-conventional means like nuclear and solar into the mix. The high costs of clean energy will mean that its use of coal for generating power will continue for the next two decades. (AP Photo)

The endangered Bengal tiger: Getting a fresh lease of life

The tiger population has been going up with an increased effort to protect it; also the awareness created by the media about the threat to its survival has made the government clamp down poaching and sale of its parts. (AP Photo)

The golden Langur: Considered sacred by many, the primate is one of the most endangered species in India


Out of the estimated 8,000 that remain, 1,500 are in India, very little is know about them. They live mostly on the tree-tops and seldom descend to the ground. (AP Photo)