IELTS Cue Card Sample 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:
Environmental problem is a very big issue in today’s world these days. In fact, there is hardly any country or city in this world which hasn’t had to deal with this problem in these modern times. So, naturally, the place, in which I live, is not immune from it either, even though, the environmental problem, my place is facing, can be little different from other places.

Anyway, 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 “city beautification” effort, are also gone to make the roads even wider.  So, in essence, people like me feel that it is an all-out attack on our city eco system, which was saving it for a long time, in the name of some so-called urbanization and modernization.

Anyway, 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 roof tops to increase the number of living trees in their city.


Sample Answer 2:
There are so many problems that negatively affect the environment in our area and among these, 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 around a thousand people living in one square kilometre. Because of this high population and population density in city areas, lots of problems are arising.

The expenditure to support living is quite high compared to the average earning of the people, heavy traffic has become a common scenario in the roads and as a consequence, lots of time is killed every day. The lower economic people are not getting the proper education and hospital facility, crime has increased than ever, lots of unplanned and risky constructions have been established, the environment is getting polluted and seems like no one cares.

There are many reasons that caused this outburst of this mass population in our city and among those, the most influential reason is the centralisation of the industry in this city. Most of the factory, offices and organisations are located in this city and people from all area of the country are coming here to find a living. Unemployment in rural areas is another reason why people are trying to stay here. The political reason not to take strict decisions on making equal opportunity in the country is another reason. The businesses and job opportunity attract people to come and live here in this city.

People can feel the heat of this uncontrolled population and the problems are creating for that but they have little control over it. We all suffer from the problems and talk about it but I have not seen any big movement to solve this problem. On the other hand, the political leaders who can take initiatives to lessen the problem are sometimes corrupted to take appropriate and honest steps.

There are lots of theories to solve this problem and seems like we all know about it. First of all, decentralisation should be done and industries and factories that can be moved to other areas should be moved promptly. Proper education and job sectors should be ensured so that people can earn their living in their cities rather than coming here. Local government can be formed to support and improve each area of the country. Each local government should be able to invest and decide on the development projects in their area.

People naturally want to live in a better place where they can find the necessary infrastructure, daily needs and can earn a living. If that can be ensured throughout the country, this problem can be reduced.


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 3.90 (44 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.