IELTS Speaking Section Part 1, 2 and 3 - Environment

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IELTS Speaking Section Part 1 - Talking about Familiar Topics


Do you like trees? 

Yes I do like trees. There are so many advantages that we get from trees. I live in a tropical country, and trees provide a shade for pedestrians, protecting them from the sunburn. Almost every part of a tree is beneficial for human. The wood can be used to make furniture, paper, and lumber. The leaves of certain trees can be used for making dyes. Trees produced sap used for making rubber. Even the green waste of a tree is useful, as it can break down into humus that makes soil more fertile.

Are there many trees in your hometown? 

Yes, there are so many trees in my hometown, especially in the wooded areas. Some of this wooded area has become teak plantations protected by the government. My hometown is well-known for its high-quality teak. For a reason of sustainability, teak is strictly regulated. We even have a certification for teak, which ensures the sustainable process of harvesting, transporting and selling teak. 

Do you think there are enough trees in urban area?

No, there are not enough trees in cities, and this is one of many reason why we have environmental problems like pollution, flooding, and land subsidence. More and more trees are being cut down for the sake of establishment. We now have more malls, apartments, and skyscrapers than trees.

The local government has put a lot of effort to plant more trees and build city parks. Trees in urban area are usually marked with white and blue paint, which means that they are protected by the law. Cutting them down is illegal. There will even be a serious legal consequence if someone is damaging these trees. Even cutting their branches will require certain permission from the local authority. So, I can say that some local governments have taken serious measures to protect the environment.

What are the benefits of planting more trees? 

There are a lot of benefits of planting trees, and I'll try to explain some of them. First of all, trees can improve the air quality, since it absorbs carbon dioxide and produces oxygen. Trees also prevent erosion and help stabilize the soil. The leaves and the branches help reduce the impact of strong wind and provide a shade during the dry season. Some trees also produce fruit that can be consumed or even sold. My parents plant tropical fruit like mango, snake fruit, jicama and papaya in their backyard. They also use every available space for planting spices and herbs. Sometimes, the kitchen garden produces abundant crops so some of them is sold to small vendors.

IELTS Speaking Section Part 2 - Self-Presentation (Cue Card)


Describe the environmental pollution in your city. 

You should say: 

What type of pollution it is

Why it happened

What are the effects of this pollution

Explain how can this pollution be controlled

What type of pollution it is

In my city, the water is extremely polluted. Well, the air is a little bit polluted as well, but the government has taken some serious measures to reduce air pollution. The farm also has problem with oil degradation, but it is not that severe compared to the pollution level of water, especially the surface water.

Why it happened

This happens because there are a lot of industries located in the upstream, such as lumber mills, that dispose their industrial waste in the river. Besides industrial waste from lumber mills, the water is also polluted by agricultural waste, since there are many rice fields and tobacco plantations located near the river bank. The chemicals used in agriculture, such as fertilizer and pesticide have become a serious problem, especially in the downstream. The city is yet to have a good water treatment, so there is a lot of household chemicals like detergent being disposed to the river. Sometimes, people who live near the river simply throw their garbage to the river, so we can see plastic bottles and plastic bags floating here and there.

What are the effects of this pollution

I think there will be short-term effects and long-term effects of such pollution. Well, since the water is highly polluted now, it will be unsafe for the people to swim in the river, leave alone drinking the water. Garbage floating in the river definitely becomes an eyesore. There are also some long-term effects of water pollution. First of all, the polluted water flowing through the river will end up in the sea, and it could potentially threaten the life of many marine species. Water pollution, air pollution, and soil pollution can also affect the health people, considering the amount of hazardous chemicals from both industrial and domestic waste. 

Explain how can this pollution be controlled

There have been some efforts taken to reduce pollution in my city. However, most of them are not so effective and are often ignored by the people, mainly because of the lack of awareness. Many people still live in poverty, so telling them to stop littering won't be an ultimate solution. People are more concerned about their livelihood, rather than environment. In my opinion, there has to be a stricter regulation for those who dispose waste in the river, and there have to be serious consequences for those who violate the rules. Industry will have their permit revoked by the authority if they cannot comply with the regulation. Individuals who throw garbage in the river will have to pay a fine. This will not only raise people's awareness, but also force everyone to have a sense of responsibility and to do real actions to save the environment. Seriously though, empty jargon like save the mother earth, life is better with trees, or be a part of the solution, not part of the pollution won't do any good unless we have a clear regulation. Raising people's awareness may be effective in developed countries, but not in my city.

IELTS Speaking Section Part 3 - Discussion

Environmental Problems

What is the most serious environmental problem in your country?

Recently, the country is having a serious problem with forest fire. The fire is usually caused by illegal logging and palm oil plantation. People clear the vegetation by burning the forest. The slash-and-burn method sometimes goes wrong and the fire becomes out of control. It could be worse during the dry season because the fire could erratically spread to other areas, including protected forest areas.

Are people concerned about environmental issues in your country?

In the case of forest fire, yes, people are very concerned. The destruction of such natural habitat also threatens some exotic animals like orang utans and tigers, some of which are already on the brink of extinction. There are some cases of elephants attacking villages or destroys farms. The villagers are clearly not the ones responsible for this, but they have to deal with the problem because some wild animals run away from their habitat and consider these people as a threat. We can't blame the animals either, they don't attack humans for no reason.

The locals are not the only ones being concerned about this. The forest fire also becomes the concern of international community, since the haze could sometimes reach neighboring countries. The haze disrupts daily activities and compromises the health of the citizens. The constant exposure to the haze can cause serious respiratory illness.

Have the people put enough effort in solving environmental problems in your country?

No, they haven't. This is why forest fire still becomes a serious problem. In most cases, the perpetrators are being punished, but the companies that hired them to clear the land may just get away with it. These companies should get their permit revoked and pay the damage caused by their illegal practices. The people in general can't do much to prevent forest fire, because they don't have the power and resources to do such thing. However, they can urge the government to take these matters more seriously.

As an individual, what can they do to help solve environmental concerns?

As I said, the people can't do much when it comes to dealing with environmental issues like forest fire. Some conservationists may try to save endangered animals, relocating them to different parts of the forest. Some others may express their concern by protesting. Authorities will try to stop the fire from spreading. 

Some people may try some preventive actions too. There are more and more people who recycle their waste, reduce the use of plastic, and replace plastic bottles with re-usable water bottle. Well, people also reduce the use of paper because they know that paper is made of trees. The more paper they waste, the more trees are being cut down.

Do you think young generations are more aware of environmental issues?

Yes, young people are more aware of the environmental issues because they are now witnessing the devastating impacts of illegal logging, pollution, chemical waste, and many other issues related to the environment. Older people do not have the same level of awareness because in the past, the impact of environmental issues might not be as concerning as what we feel these days. For example, the town where my father used to live as a child was forested areas surrounding a farm community. But now everything has changed, and all he can see now are paper mills, lumber mills, factories, and all the waste that come out of them. Knowing this, now he has a lot of reasons to be worried.

Extreme weather, resource depletion, the extinction of animals and plants, flood, landslide and other natural disasters, disease that seem to appear out of nowhere, all these things make the young people aware of what have been done wrong by their previous generations and of course, they become more concerned about the environment.

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