Department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology of the RWTH Aachen University

Posts from Amina-Laura Schild

Amina-Laura Schild
Working as a consultant at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; holds an M.Sc. degree in Applied Geography; lived in: Sweden, USA and Ireland; main interests: Environmental and climate change, adaptation to climate change, climate change negotiations, water, urban geography; current research: Climate change in India and its impacts on water resources; contact:

Indian women on the move?


After the terrible gang-rape of a 23-year-old student in Delhi on December 16, India and the role of women in India have been in the centre of global attention. Observing thousands of women going on the streets and protesting for a better acceptance in society, it looks like India is undergoing a rapid change. However, listening to some comments by Indian politicians such as Botsa Satyanarayana, Andhra Pradesh Congress president, who described the Delhi gang-rape as a ‘small incident’ and further stated that women should not go outside during late hours, it seems that a lot still has to be done (Ronamai 2012).


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1st International Conclave on Climate Change – Clean Energy and Energy Security

From October 12th to October 14th the 1st International Conclave on Climate Change with the focus on Clean Energy and Energy Security took place at Hitex, Hyderabad’s convention centre. This conference was organised by the Centre of Climate Change which belongs to the Engineering Staff College of India, Hyderabad. During this conference researchers, company representatives and government officials from over 20 countries met to discuss energy security and energy consumption which is not only a social and environmental problem but also a great challenge in terms of development. Germany was the prime country partner in course of the Germany + India year 2011-2012 so the majority of international speakers came from Germany and German organisations such as GIZ. Read more »

The pollution of the river Ganga

Safe drinking water and sanitation services are common issues in most rapidly growing developing cities. Varanasi is no exception; however, the situation in Varanasi is different compared to the ones of other cities at a similar development stage. Varanasi’s water supply is highly dependent on the Ganga, which is considered to be sacred and purifying by the Hindus. Immersion and ablution in its water are daily procedures for the inhabitants as well for the numerous pilgrims. Every day, around 60,000 people take a holy dip in the Ganga in Varanasi. Furthermore, religious practices, such as burning of corpses, aggravate the pollution of the river. This extreme focus of daily life along the river makes Varanasi’s water situation more unique but also more urgent than in other cities (Mishra 2005). Read more »

Varanasi’s Environmental Burdens

According to the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), an environmental burden is a hazard to human well-being. It results from human activities that influence the environment in a negative way. Environmental burdens can be categorised depending on the spatial range and the type (IIED 2001). Table 1 shows examples of urban environmental burdens and their different scales. Varanasi mainly faces local and city-regional burdens such as inadequate household access to water and sanitation, river water pollution and air pollution. Read more »