International Journal of Social Science & Economic Research
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Ashir Mehta

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Ashir Mehta
Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Faculty of Arts, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara 390002, Gujarat, INDIA

Mehta, Ashir. "ENVIRONMENTAL VULNERABILITY AND SOCIAL WELL-BEING." Int. j. of Social Science and Economic Research, vol. 3, no. 8, Aug. 2018, pp. 4002-4022, Accessed Aug. 2018.
Mehta, A. (2018, August). ENVIRONMENTAL VULNERABILITY AND SOCIAL WELL-BEING. Int. j. of Social Science and Economic Research, 3(8), 4002-4022. Retrieved from
Mehta, Ashir. "ENVIRONMENTAL VULNERABILITY AND SOCIAL WELL-BEING." Int. j. of Social Science and Economic Research 3, no. 8 (August 2018), 4002-4022. Accessed August, 2018.

[1]. A. M. Freeman (2003)
[2]. See Appendix1 , Fig B for a diagrammatic exposition of the subject.
[3]. Ligia Noronha, 2001 attempts to decipher the meaning and underlying dynamics of the term vulnerability:- "The essence of vulnerability is that which refers to the potential for a negative outcome or outcomes in socio-economic and health status as a result of external events: be they natural, economic, political, or social."(Glewwe and Hall 1998, Moser 1998 as quoted by Noronha 2001)." These negative outcomes has three aspects:
[i]. The external event that either stresses or threatens - this is the driver or pressure;
[ii]. The vulnerability of the exposed unit, individual or group, as defined by the predisposition to be stressed by events, or the sensitivity leading to illness, harm, or some other negative outcome-this predisposition can be genetic, psychosocial, or biological. But it is essentially an inability to anticipate negative outcomes and manage risks.
[iii]. The resiliency of individuals or a group, which is the capacity to cope or respond to stress in different ways, resulting in different categories of vulnerability [namely, "1. Physical and material 2. Social and Organizational 3. Motivational and attitudinal"- Anderson and Woodrow (1989) as quoted in Noronha (2001)]. Thus resiliency is related to coping with crises after they occur."
[4]. "Marginal urban environments are sited in and/ or around negative externalities. These negative externalities are natural or man-made features of urban environments that make nearby residence unattractive because they entail actual or potential ongoing problems for local residents and/or threats of disaster. The most widespread features of the natural environment are probably steep slopes, which make access and construction difficult and may threaten landslides; flood plains, swamps and other water margins, which may cause problems for access and construction and health, and may threaten floods; and zones threatened by tectonic activity. Industrial production sites are probably the most problematic man-made feature of urban environments, with their threat of environmental pollution or even major disaster, but rubbish dumps, burial grounds, borrow pits, airport flight-paths and high-tension electric cables also figure prominently in creating undesirable residential locations in Third World cities."-(Main and Williams, 1999, page 153).
[5]. Hamish Main and Stephen Wyn Williams (1999), page 151.
[6]. Global environmental Outlook-3, See, page 12
[7]. Ibid, page 11
[8]. "An ecosystem is considered to be healthy and functioning well if it is active; maintains its organization, connectivity and autonomy over time; and is resilient to stress ." Constanza 1995. (as quoted in Noronha, 2001)
[9]. The Human Development Report 2003 overall focus is on the commitments in the Millennium Development Goals. Among 18 targets of the MDGS , (Targets 2,5,8,9and 10) are directly linked to sustainability and sustainable development issues.(see )
[10]. TEDDY (TERI Energy Data Directory and Yearbook). 2004/05, page 430.
[11]. The Indian Express ,May 3, 2004 , "Mumbai's air quality the worst in India, says CPCB."
[12]. The concept of sustainability comes from "Our Common Future", the report that arose from the World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987, in which sustainable development has been defined as "meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987, Brundtland Report, Oxford University Press, Oxford). This definition has been widely adopted especially since the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development."-
[13]. The terms quality of life and well being are used interchangeable in the document because they almost mean the same thing. "The well being achievement of a person can be seen as an evaluation of the 'wellness' of the person's state of being (rather than say, the goodness of her contribution to the country, or her success in achieving her goals). The exercise, then is that of assessing the constituent elements of the person's being seen from the perspective of her own personal welfare."(Sen, A. K. , 19990, page 36). These constitutent elements 'of the person's being' finds mention in the definition of quality of life of the individual and is central in explaining societal quality of life.
[14]. Chapter 6 , Societal quality of life, from the book Quality of Life( ) , page 160
[15]. Self-defined quality of life, page 33, in Quality of Life and the individual.
[16]. Percapita carbon dioxide emissions increased from 0.8 metric tons in 1990 to 1.2 metric tons in 2002. India, along with Japan, is among five largest producers of carbon dioxide after United States, China and Russian Federation. -2006 World Development Indicators.(pp161)
[17]. TEDDY (Teri Energy Data Directory and YearBook)2004/05, page409.
[18]. Ibid, page 409.
[19]. It should be noted that this is the first comprehensive study on toxic Volatile compounds in ambient air in locations situated within industrial settings. VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) include many carcinogens that can exert long term , even fatal effects at very low concentrations. (for the report see SmokeScreen : Ambient Air quality in India, available on www.sipcotcuddalore,com)
[20]. TEDDY (Teri Energy Data Directory and Yearbook) 2004/05, page 429. For impacts of industrialization on human well being, see 'Industry at any Cost', available at
[21]. Ibid , page 429. TERI quotes a study by the George Foundation (1999), Bangalore on lead poisoning in India.
[22]. Chapter 1, State of Environment Report, India 1999, Ministry of Environment and Forests;
[23]. Smokescreen , page . 2006
[24]. Further, "Kirk Smith, estimates that lost health life years (calculated as disability-adjusted life years of dalys) could range from 12 million to 17 million each year. Sick days could cross over 2 billion each year. The burden of disease from cookstoves comes right after dirty water and lack of sanitation (which contribute over 10 per cent of the disease burden and malnutrition, over 22 per cent of the disease burden in India)."- Sunita Narain, (Business Standard, 08.07.2003. The High end killer).
[25]. TEDDY (Teri Energy Data Directory and Yearbook) 2004/05, page 422.
[26]. Nagdeve, 2002, Environment and Health in India, Paper will be psented at the IUSSP Regional Population Conference on 'Southeast Asia's Population in a Changing Asian Context at Bangkok, Thailand, 10-13 June 11.
[27]. Ibid, page 12.
[28]. This section on land degradation has been compiled from Nagdeve, 2002.
[29]. Solidwaste: nature of problem. Causes/sources and state of solid waste in India compiled from TEDDY ONLINE 2004/05; while the impacts of solid waste on human well being is compiled from national human development report 2001.

Environmental vulnerability arises from poorly managed ecosystem posing deleterious or negative anthropogenic pressures on ecosystem functions. While well - managed ecosystems reduce risks and vulnerability, poorly managed systems can exacerbate them by increasing risks of floods, drought, crop failure or disease. Susceptibility of ecosystem services to a sustained level of stress over a period in time disrupts and impairs the "level and composition of the stream of environmental services that people receive."