Environment Management

What We Do

India’s economic growth over the past few years has raised the prospect of eliminating extensive poverty within a generation. But this growth has been clouded by a degrading physical environment and the growing scarcity of natural resources that are essential for sustaining further growth and eliminating poverty. It is no coincidence that the poorest areas of the country are also the most environmentally-stressed regions, with eroded soils, polluted waterways, and degraded forests. Simultaneously, rapid growth has unleashed greater public awareness and an unprecedented demand for the sound management of natural resources including air, water, forests, and biodiversity. Environmental sustainability is rapidly emerging as the next major development and policy challenge for the country, and will be central to the 12th Five Year Plan which is currently under preparation.

We are working on the main challenges in Water Pollution, Air Pollution, Green Belts, Environmental goverance and climate change.


Pollution: Water, land and air contamination associated with growth are increasing exponentially. Rapid investment in the manufacturing sector, that includes 17 highly polluting industries that are on the Central Pollution Control Board’s “Red List”, has fuelled this growth. The share of the most polluting sectors in India’s exports has increased dramatically during the last decade suggesting that India could be emerging as a net exporter of pollution-intensive commodities. These trends indicate the need for greater investment in environmental management.

Natural Resources, Ecosystems, and Biodiversity: In rural areas, poverty has become intertwined with resource degradation – poor soils, depleted aquifers, and degraded forests. To subsist, the poor are compelled to mine and overuse these limited resources, creating a downward spiral of impoverishment and environmental degradation. There is growing pressure to better protect India’s pockets of mega-biodiversity which are increasingly recognized as being of immense significance for global biodiversity, yet are increasingly threatened. Greater investment in the protection of these natural assets would yield a double dividend of poverty alleviation and improved sustainability of growth. 

Coastal Zone Management: India’s coastal zone is endowed with fragile ecosystems including mangroves, coral reefs, estuaries, lagoons, and unique marine and terrestrial wildlife, which contribute in a significant manner to the national economy. Economic activities such as rapid urban-industrialization, maritime transport, marine fishing, tourism, coastal and sea bed mining, offshore oil and natural gas production, aquaculture, and the recent setting up of special economic zones have led to a significant exploitation of these resources.In addition to the contribution of increased economic activity, coastal development and livelihoods are under stress due to a higher incidence of severe weather events, which have the potential to inflict irreversible damage to lives and property, for communities that are traditionally poor and vulnerable to economic shocks.

Environmental Governance: The pace of infrastructure investments, which could reach $500 billion in the 12th Five Year Plan, calls for integrated and coordinated decision-making systems. This is made especially challenging by fragmented policies and multiple institutional legal and economic planning frameworks, with often conflicting objectives and approaches.

Environmental Health: The health impacts from pollution are comparable to those caused by malnutrition and have a significant impact on the productivity, health and the quality of life. Environmental health challenges are largely caused by poverty-related risks associated with poor access to basic services, such as safe drinking water and sanitation, and poor indoor air quality. The contamination of surface waters and the spread of pathogens are promoted by the alteration of catchments and watersheds that have accompanied rapid urbanization and intensive farming. Despite significant improvements in rural water supply and sanitation over the past few decades, water-related diseases still account for a large number of avoidable child deaths every year.

Climate Change: India is highly vulnerable to climate change due to a combination of; (i) high levels of poverty, (ii) population density, (iii) high reliance on natural resources, and (iv) an environment already under stress (for instance water resources). By the mid-century, the mean annual temperature in India is projected to increase 1.1º to 2.3 º C under the moderate climate change scenario of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (A1B), with anticipated deterioration of agro-climatic conditions. In the higher portion of that range, the loss to Indian GDP would be greater than the world average and could be close to 5 %. Simultaneously, there is likely to be greater variability in rainfall, leading to a higher risk of increased frequency and severity of droughts, floods, and cyclones.

Reflecting the size of its economy and population, India is ranked as the sixth largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the world. However, by most measures, India would be classified as a low-carbon economy. It has: (i) a low intensity of emissions per unit of GDP ( on par with the world average); (ii) per capita emissions that are among the lowest in the world (at about 10 percent of the developed country average) and (iii) forest cover that has stabilized. However, India’s emissions are set to grow substantially due to its sustained economic growth.

More Activities from Suryachandra foundation

Water & Sanitation

Health risks may arise from consumption of water that is contaminated with infections agents, toxic chemicals, and radiological hazards.

Rural Development

Providing quality education for underprivileged rural children, a unique approach to education through innovative programs and technology.


Rural livelihood development with programs spread across farming, irrigation, water conservation, fisheries, marketing of products, and more.