Kerala state is rich in natural resources such as land, soil, water, flora and fauna. It is necessary to focus on how management of these resources affects the quality and life of the environment and people. Natural resource management specifically focuses on a scientific and technical understanding of the resources, identifying the ecological significance and life-supporting capacity of these resource bases. Construction materials such as river sand, laterite and fireclay, china clay, etc are indiscriminately exploited for various purposes. As such the riverine ecology, paddy wetlands and adjoining laterite terrains are facing environmental problems of various magnitudes.
The Environmental Sciences Group was initially established in CESS to tackle the various environmental issues of the State. Later, this was transformed into a full-fledged Environmental Sciences Division (ESD) to address various environmental issues that emerged out of developmental imperatives in the State.
ESD undertakes interdisciplinary studies covering physical, chemical, and biological processes in various fragile ecosystems. The division is also engaged in assessment of the rich natural resources of the State with special reference to construction materials and their sustainable utilization. ESD focuses on investigating the state of the environment, and undertakes studies to understand the carrying capacity of designated regions and projects. The Environmental impact assessment (EIA) studies of development projects and policies incorporate human relationships, perceptions and policies towards attaining environmental wellbeing of the state and its people. Besides carrying out research in paleo-climate and quaternary geology efforts are also on to understand the impact of climate change on the natural resource base in Western Ghats through quantitative analysis of environmental parameters proposed to be collected through long-term monitoring that could lead to implementation of adaptation/mitigation strategies in the State.