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Environment Education: Global Issues and Policies (Volumes I & II). Edited by Saikat Kumar Basu and Sudip Datta Banik. Publisher: APH Publishing Corporation, New Delhi, India, 2009. ISBN: 9788131304921. Total pages: 662. Price (Hardbound): Indian Rs.2195.00 & US $48.78.

Review By M. Azim Khan

Guyana Journal, April 2011

This two volume series has been an exciting reading for an environmental enthusiast like me. The foremost joy has been to note that the two editors did a grand job of bringing diverse schools of thoughts under one roof. To my mind that is indeed a commendable job on the part of the editors. Another important aspect of this peer-reviewed edited volume is the diverse disciplines that have been covered, starting from Environmental Chemistry to Ecosystem Studies, and from different branches of Social Sciences (including Anthropology, Demographics, Archaeology, Health Sciences, Environmental Management, Law and Policy Studies, Economics and Ethics) to Agricultural Studies and Natural Sciences; these broad range of disciplines have been captured in over 600 pages. Third and last strength observed in this seminal work has been the fact that contributors came from different countries and continents, giving it an additional international dimension in highlighting major environmental issues from their own perspectives. The contributors include well respected, internationally recognized, distinguished scholars, researchers, academics and reviewers from the related fields. This work is divided into 2 volumes with 3 different sections containing 25 chapters in total, an impressive peer-reviewed collection of diverse range of information, data, views, opinions and reviews of existing available literature.

This hard covered two volume set with an attractive cover has been divided into three broad sections to accommodate a wide diversity of thoughts in print. The three broad sections are: I. Environmental Pollution and Conservation; II. Environmental Policy Issues in Global Perspective; and III. Human Population Health, Environmental Conscience and Management Strategies. The first section represented in volume one highlights predominantly in and around environmental pollution and conservation with varied perspectives. It includes articles on polyaromatic hydrocarbons (Chapter 1), green house gas emission (Chapter 2), arsenic pollution (chapter 3), toxic heavy metal pollution (chapter 5), trace metal pollution (chapter 6), economic importance of wheat rusts (chapter 7), biological control of pests (chapter 8), plant aquaporins (chapter 9), gene technology for cold hardiness (chapter 10), socioeconomic and environmental aspects of sacred grooves (chapter 11) and native plant revegetation and reclamation (chapter 12). Section II and III represent volume 2 of the current series, with section II comprising of articles highlighting broadly on environmental issues and policies. The chapters included are environmental problems of Taiwan (chapter 13), environmental degradation (chapter 14) and sustainable development (chapter 15) both from Nigeria, water management in western Canada (chapter 16), and lastly aspects of environmental sovereignty (chapter 17). The third and last section consists of 8 chapters focussing on health issues, demographics, ethics, economics and other facets of Social Sciences. These are environmental carrying capacity (chapter 18), nutritional stress (chapter 19), genetic diseases at molecular level (chapter 20), socio-cultural aspects of ecocide (chapter 21), ecological ethics (chapter 22), environmental education (chapter 23), green finance (chapter 24) and environmental archaeology (chapter 25).

The preface highlights on the strengths of such a multi-disciplinary approach, while the preface by Honourable Vice Chancellor of Vidyasagar University commemorates the incredible hard work and dedication demonstrated by the two editors in bringing out this volume. Both volumes are accompanied by a lofty introduction by the editors, which deserves special mention since they included the fundamental aspect of environmental issues and linked them to history, society, academia, technological innovations and global politics in the delicate network of socialism, market economy and broad based environmental philosophy. The introduction indeed touches the deep sense of the commitment of the editors and the contributors for coming together a long way and generate a common platform for highlighting divergent environmental issues across the planet.

The overall quality of the bound hard cover volumes, papers used in printing, and general gate up of the volume deserves special appreciation. The greatest criticism that could be raised against this work is its divergent nature. Too many topics have been included under one roof, which may turn overwhelmingly broad and diverse for some readers. However, the editors have rightly pointed out that this is the strength of this seminal work while being looked at with a different perspective. Although the cost of the production does not seem to be too much reader friendly; however, I would strongly recommend this a prized library collection. In addition to scholars, researchers and academics in the field, this will also cater to the delights of general readers.

M. Azim Khan, PhD is Professor and Chairman, Department of Weed Science
KPK Agricultural University Peshawar, KPK 25130, Pakistan.