Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card # 192 - Describe a problem that affects the environment

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a problem that affects the environment in the area where you live.

You should say:

  • what the problem is
  • what causes it
  • what people feel about the problem

and explain what you think could be done to solve it.


Model Answer 1:
The environmental problem is a very big issue in today’s world. In fact, there is hardly any country or city in this world which did not have to deal with this problem or is not still struggling with it. So, naturally, the place, where I live, is not immune from environmental problems either. However, the environmental problem, my city is facing can be considered a bit different from other places.

To give some details, the environmental problem, that my area is facing today, is deforestation. But, I bet that the majority of the people, where I live, didn’t even know before 10 years that such a problem could actually exist! But, they came to a rude awakening when they found out to their utmost shock that more than 50 per cent of the trees, which once provided them shed and clean air on a hot summer day, had just vanished.

Of course, the culprit to blame for such deforestation can squarely fall upon the urbanization efforts of our local city government, which is trying to construct more and more new buildings for commercial purposes. Some new buildings are also being erected in order to accommodate the rising population who are moving into our city for a better life and better employment opportunities. Then also, the trees on both sides of the roads, which were planted a long time ago as a part of the “city beautification effort”, are gone to make the roads even wider. So, in essence, people like me feel that it is an all-out attack on our city ecosystem, which was saving it for a long time, in the name of urbanization and modernization.

I believe, in order to stop this environmental problem or deforestation, the local city government must take a comprehensive plan to plant more trees in a ring that surrounds our entire city. Besides, city dwellers should also be encouraged or even be given incentives to plant any kind of trees on whatever empty space they have in their front yard or back yard. Finally, people can also plant different kinds of trees on their rooftops to increase the number of living trees in their city.


Sample Answer 2:
Many problems negatively affect the environment in our area, but the density of population, in my opinion, is the most severe one. While in many countries, less than 100 people live in one square kilometre, we have got more than a thousand people living per square kilometre. This is a huge problem both for the environment and the living standard.

About the problems it creates, traffic congestion has become a common scenario on roads and it kills people's valuable time each day besides causing sound and air pollutions. Secondly, the crime rate is rising at an alarming rate. Furthermore, several unplanned and risky constructions have been established, and as a consequence, the environment is getting polluted and seems like no one cares!

Many reasons have contributed to the outburst of this large population in the city where I live. The most influential reason is the consolidation of the industries and businesses in this city. Most of the factories, offices, universities, hospitals, and facilities of our country are located in this city and people from all parts of the country come here to find a career or better life. The political reason not to take strict measures to decentralise the city is fueling it up.

People already feel the heat of this uncontrolled population rise. We all suffer from the problems it creates, and often talk about it. But I have not seen any real planning or effective actions to solve this problem yet. Unfortunately, the political leaders who could take initiatives to lessen the problem are busy with their political agenda more than public interests.

To solve it, I believe, decentralisation should be in place. Industries, offices and factories that can be moved outside the city should be relocated promptly. Also, local government can be empowered to support and improve rural areas and invest in the development projects in their areas. People naturally want to live in a place where they can find a job and get the necessary amenities. If that can be ensured throughout the country, this problem can be reduced to a great extent and city environments would become less polluted and more liveable again.


Part 3 – Two-way discussion:

Q. What causes environmental problems?

Q. What should the government do to protect the environment?

Q. What should we do to protect the environment?

Q. What other measures can you think of to protect the environment?

Q. How should we educate children to protect the environment?

Q. What’s the difference between the old and the young as regards environmental protection?


Similar Cue Card Topics

Your ability to talk about this Cue Card Topic would also enable you to talk about the following Cue Card Topics as well:

  1. Describe a type of pollution in your city.
  2. Describe a problem you face in your city.
  3. Describe air or sound pollution in your city.
  4. Describe something you would like to change in your hometown.
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 3.82 (45 Votes)

Nesimi Bayramli
Good practice materials.
Mankala Sai
I live in ... area and factors that affect our area are sound population and unemployment. Primarily, our area is famous for cloth manufacturing (cotton, polyester etc) and this manufacturing doesn't include any large-scale machines. The machines people use are nearly 5m to 7m in length and they are called power looms. Many people have established small factories near their houses. This has become a major concern in our neighbourhood because workers run those machines 24 by 7. Dwellers around these small factories find it hard to sleep at night especially families having newborn babies and elder people.As this is the main earning source for a great number of people in my area, this is unavoidable. People, though suffer to a great extent, do not complain to the authorities to kerb this problem.And some parents, due to their economic problems, don't encourage their children to attend schools and instead, they send their children to work. This, in a long run, increases the unemployment. The major cause of this problem is the uneducated "parents". Indeed, the parents should provide better education to their children which is hard to achieve in our area.To solve the problem the power looms should be relocated far away from the residential area and serious action should be taken for the violation of this rule. Rather than sending children to work due to financial hardship, parents should send their offspring to nearby government schools which are funded by the state.
Very beautifully explained.