State of India’s Environment Report 2023

Why in News?

  • Recently, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) released the State of India’s Environment Report 2023.
  • The report is the annual publication of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and Down To Earth (magazine).The report focuses on Climate change, migration, health, and food systems.
  • The report also covers biodiversity, forest and wildlife conservation, energy, habitat, pollution, industry, waste, agriculture, and rural development. CSE is a New Delhi based public interest research and advocacy organization.

Major Highlights of the Report-

  • Encroachment- About 30,000 water bodies have been encroached on in the country and India is producing 150,000 tonnes of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) every day, more than half of which is either dumped in landfills or remains unattended.
  • Air Pollution- Four years and 11 months is the average duration of life lost to air pollution in India.
  • Rural India is losing more years due to air pollution-related health issues than the urban area.
  • Rural India requires 35 percent more community health centres.
  • Environmental Crimes- Environmental crimes continue unabated- courts require to decide on 245 cases every day to clear the backlog.
  • Extreme Weather Events- During January to October 2022, India experienced extreme weather events on 271 days.
  • These extreme weather events claimed more than 2,900 lives.
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Over the last five years, India’s overall global rank in achieving the United Nations-mandated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has slipped by nine places – ranking 121 in 2022.
  • India ranks below four south Asian countries- Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
  • India is facing difficulties in 11 of the 17 SDGs, including SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 3 (good health and wellbeing), SDG 5 (gender equality) and SDG 11 (Sustainable cities).
  • Plastic Waste- While the magnitude of the problem related to Plastic Waste remains massive, a plethora of policies and urgency are on the right path.
  • Cities are becoming waste-wise, learning to segregate at source, reduce plastics and reuse reprocess waste into wealth.
  • Agriculture- In agriculture, robust evidence is emerging of the efficacy of traditional and regenerative farming methods.
  • On the issue of forests and biodiversity, losses of forests are a dark truth, but at the same time more and more communities are demanding rights over forests – what is more, these rights are being granted.


  • We need to have a common minimum programme that brings all countries together on the only issues that matter for humanity- how to prevent the existential crisis we face today and how to develop a just and inclusive world order.
  • Thus, the pandemic treaty is a welcome development in this direction.

India’s Performance on Sustainable Development Goals-

  • India has dropped three spots to rank 120 on the list of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) adopted as a part of the 2030 agenda by 192 United Nations member states in 2015.
  • In 2021 India ranked 117 out of 192 nations.
  • India’s overall SDG score was 66 out of 100.
  • India’s ranking dropped primarily due to challenges in 11 SDGs such as zero hunger, good health and wellbeing, gender equality, and sustainable cities and communities.
  • India also performed badly in dealing with quality education and life on land aspects.
  • In 2021, India particularly had suffered on the fronts of ending hunger and achieving food security, achieving gender equality and building resilient infrastructure, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and fostering innovation.

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