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It is important for the future of the planet and the future generations that we stop the destruction and devastation of the limited resources available to us. One essential aspect of stopping such devastation is to practice sustainable living, sustainable farming and green living. The idea also encompasses soil conservation, water conservation and reforestation. All these measures contribute to environmental sustainability.
Wipro, through its TISTprogram has been working with farmers in countries like Nicaragua, Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda apart from India to show them sustainable farming methods and to plant trees in order to improve the green cover. It offers these farmers incentives to plant 25,000 trees in their lands; with this simple step, it has managed to plant 50,000 trees in the last two years. From its inception, this single project has improved the green cover in these countries by 25-40 acres, which is no mean feat.
What is sustainability?
Policies towards the environment and our ecology are meant to serve as a lighthouse, a beacon to others on how to work towards the welfare of the society as a whole. When methods are employed to prevent depleting of our natural resources like water, soil, fossil fuel and other limited resources, it is called sustainability. There are many facets to the concept of sustainability, though the most common one deals with our environment and the delicate balance of our biosphere.
Avoiding the use of excessive pesticides in order to get better yield will help to keep the natural nutrients in the soil; not rotating the crops and not allowing the soil to rejuvenate can harm the soil, washing away the top layers and leading to desertification. On the other hand, if you wait between yields, the soil can replenish itself, and the ground water level will also increase as the soil is resting and holding onto the rain water. Allowing a breather between harvesting and the next sowing, can help the soil and the water table. This is one of the fundamentals of sustainable farming.
Environmental sustainability also includes taking care of the biosphere, which includes the air, green cover, rivers and lakes and the flora and fauna. One of the greatest threats facing our environment is that though we are aware of the harmful effects of forest fires and the resultant pollution, the government machinery is slow to act and so many countries still work on the premise of laws framed decades back or older.
There are forests being burned in Africa, which has been linked to desertification. In other words, we know it is happening and that it should be stopped, but we are not gripped with the sense of urgency that will force us to act now. This is where, corporate sustainability is a compensating factor to government inaction or even worse, its myopic policies.
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