PERSPECTIVES ON ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND POLICY

PERSPECTIVES ON ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND POLICY

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In this article we will be discussing the PERSPECTIVES ON ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND POLICY.

Environment’s conservation is not the present-day matter, but it has been trouble since the Vedic times. When we look back to the past, the trees, rivers, mountains, animals and land were venerated as the traditional standards in every section of the society. It was believed that these elements of the biodiversity are Gods themselves and if anyone harms them was liable for punishment. From the immemorial times in our country, there were not only trees but also rivers that were reverenced and however regarded as sanctified rivers such as Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Godavari, Narmada, Kaveri; and animals like cow, tiger, elephant, bull, snake; birds like peacock and swan etc. are still considered as revered.

Part 4A[1], Article 48 A of our Constitution implies a fundamental duty “to protect and improve the ordinary environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have empathy for living creature”. In the 7th schedule[2] list 3 of concurrent list, the entries for water storage, regulation of mines, agriculture related education and protection from pests, fisheries, protection of animals, etc. are mentioned which gives authority to both central and state government to implement laws in this respect. In our nation, the enactment which rules the environment related matters is ‘The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986’, which aims at the protection and advancement of an environment by taking care of the living creatures who are residing there. This law came into existence after India’s participation in the Conference of United Nations, functioning on the Human Environment in the year 1972 for the conservation and refinement of the environment. Therefore, every element of this biome possesses its own worth and with a view to track its improvement and restricts its overuse and misuse, the legislator of our sovereign state arose with this law for the genuine application of the accessible resources.

LEGISLATIONS CONCERNING ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION IN INDIA.

Concerning, the preservation of the environment from ill- treatment, the law with rules and regulations were enacted and amended with the requirement of time. The environment includes air, water, land and biodiversity, that is, animals, flora and fauna. In view of, lack of cognizance, the misuse of environmental resources was done without considering about the future generations. After estimating, the prevailing situations these laws implemented as every citizen has the Right to Life under Article 21[3]. These legislations are as follows:

  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
  • The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977
  • The Air(Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
  • The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
  • The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
  • Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980
  • Biological Diversity Act, 2002
  • National Green Tribunal Act, 2010
  • The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960

The execution of these laws encouraged in the amelioration of the environment’s health. It gave recommendations for the utilization of the resources that were once exploited because of the lack of significance given to the ecosystem. The usefulness of forest in our habitat as trees gives us oxygen which is mandatory for our survival, it is needed during rainy season as trees are the very fine observant of water and maintain the soil’s fertility. The significance of trees was noticed in Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra vs. The State of UP[4].

In Banwasi Seva Ashram vs. The State of UP[5], remarked that the forests are much desired national benefit and disturbing it has resulted in depletion of an economy. These have prolonged unfavorable consequences on national wealth. The court offered coequal merit to the right of forest dwellers by granting liability to NTPC to discover a substitute plot, exhibit limitation and subsistence allowance, give free transportation, reserve jobs and furnish prerequisites of road, water supply, health care and electricity.

There are few animals that are on the edge of disappearance so those governments commenced projects like project tiger, project elephant and also opened reserves for birds and animals which exceedingly changed their pollution. Nine tiger reserves were open and now there are 45 reserves over the entire nation in 1973. In 1992, the Project Elephant was initiated with the aim of preserving the dwindling species of elephants. These are given protection against poachers and unnatural causes of deaths.

INITIATIVES BY THE GOVERNMENT

In the financial year of 2019 -2020, the budget allotment for the Ministry of Environment was expanded by 10.4 percent which is also called as ‘green budget’ by the Nations Prime Minister with the reason of encouraging the electric vehicle, reducing air pollution and promoting afforestation. Some other measures have been undertaken by the government to carry both, awareness and conservation of the environment and natural resources. Some of those are as follows:

  • FAMA Scheme: In the year 2015, the Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid &) Electric Vehicles in India, was began with the motif of promoting the manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicles and for the sustainable growth. In 1st stage its main goals were:   Demand creation, Technology platform, Pilot project and charging infrastructure for the period of 2 years. In 2nd stage it focuses on demand incentives, establishment of a network of charging stations, administration of the scheme including publicity (Information, Education and Communication) activities.
  • CAMPA Fund: Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority were entrenched in 2009 under the chairmanship of the Union Minister of Environment & Forests for observing, technical assistance and assessment of compensatory afforestation activities. It denotes to advance afforestation and regeneration activities as a way of compensating the forest land converted into non- forest land.
  • LED Bulb Mission: In this yojana LED bulbs were circulated among 35 Crores households to enhance the use of solar stoves and battery chargers in our nation to have a clean environment and sustainable development automatically.
  • CPCB: Central Pollution Control Board, legal institution established in the year, 1974 under the Water Pollution Act, 1974 and under Air Pollution Act, 1981. The functions of CPCB fall under two levels i.e., national and state respectively. It issues methods to avert the air and water pollution and ameliorate the quality of air, plan, organize and train the personnel those who are involved in prevention and control of air and water pollution.

CONCLUSION:

Environmental issues, all over the globe are the burning topic. The only solution can be the joint efforts of the community and the legislature. Thus, International Environmental laws with national and state enactments had become a stepping stone which not only brought the entire world against this menace but also created awareness among each and every citizen. So let’s together put our greatest foot ahead to fabricate a admirable environment and the community for us and wildlife to live in.

WRITTEN BY –

KABERI SHARMA


[1] Deals with the Fundamental Duties that were added by the 42nd and 86th Constitutional Amendment Acts.

[2] Defines and specifies allocation of powers and functions between Union and the states.

[3] No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by the law.

[4] 1985 AIR 652, 1985 SCR (3) 169

[5] 1991 SCR (3) 402

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