- On 5th June 1972, environment was first discussed as an item of international agenda in the U.N. Conference of Human. There for 5th June is celebrated all over the world as World Environment Day.
- The Wildlife (Protection) Act was passed in 1972, followed by the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974, the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and subsequently the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
- Though the 42nd amendment
- Article-48-A of the constitution provides:
- "The state shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard forest and wildlife of the country
Article 51-A (g) Provides:
It shall be duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.
The Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972
- Provides the basic framework to ensure the protection and management of wildlife.
- Has 7 Chapters, 66 Sections and 6 Schedules. The Act with its various amendments provides the necessary tool to prevent damage to the wildlife.
- With the amendment of the Act in 1991, powers of the State Governments have been withdrawn almost totally.
- Now the State Governments are not empowered to declare any wild animal a vermin. Further by addition of provision, immunization of livestock within a radius of 5 km from a National Park or sanctuary has been made compulsory
ENVIRONMENT (PROTECTION) ACL 1986
- A more effective and bold measure to fight the problem of pollution.
- The genesis of the Environmental (Protection) Act, 1986, is in Article 48A (Directive Principles of State Policy) and Article 51A (g) (Fundamental Duties) of the Indian Constitution.
- The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 has 26 Sections and it has been divided into four chapters relating to i) Preliminary, i) General Powers of the Central Government, ii) Prevention, Control, and Abatement of Environmental Pollution, iv) Miscellaneous.
- The minimum penalty for contravention or violation of any provision of the law is an imprisonment for a term which may extend to five years or fine up to one lakh rupees, or both. The Act prescribes a special procedure for handling hazardous substances.
- Act, 1986 has relaxed the rule of "Locus Standi" and because of such relaxation even a common citizen can approach the Court provided he has given a notice of sixty days of the alleged offence and his intention to make a complaint
NATIONAL FOREST POLICY-1988
- The principal aim is to ensure environmental stability and maintenance of ecological balance including atmospheric equilibrium which are vital for sustenance of all life forms, human, animal and plant.
- Conserving the natural heritage of the country by preserving the remaining natural forests with the vast variety of flora and fauna, which represent the remarkable biological diversity and genetic resources of the country.
- Checking soil erosion and denudation in the catchments areas of rivers, lakes, reservoirs
- Checking the extension of sand-dunes in the desert areas of Rajasthan and along the coastal tracts.
- Increasing substantially the forest/tree cover in the country and Increasing the productivity of forests to meet essential national needs Creating a massive peoples movement with, the involvement of women, for achieving these objectives and to minimise pressure on existing forests
BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY ACT, 2002
- It was born out of India's attempt to realize the objectives enshrined in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 1992
- An Act to provide for conservation of biological diversity, sustainable use of its components and fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising out of the use of biological resources, knowledge and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
- Three-tier structure to regulate access to the biological resources, comprising of National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), State Biodiversity Boards (SBB) and Biodiversity Management Committees (BMC) at the local level
THE SCHEDULED 'TRIBES AND THER TRADITIONAL FOREST DWELLERS (RECOGNITION OF FOREST RIGHTS) ACT, 2006
- Provides for the restitution of deprived forest rights across India, including both individual rights to cultivated land in forestland and community rights over common property resources.
- The Act is significant as it provides scope and historic opportunity of integrating conservation and livelihood rights of the people.
FRA is a potential tool
- To empower and strengthen the local self-governance
- To address the livelihood security of the people
- To address the issues of Conservation and management of the Natural Resources and conservation governance of India.
- Nodal Agency for the implementation is MoTA
- The maximum limit of the recognizing rights on forest land is 4 ha. National Parks and Sanctuaries have been included along with Reserve Forest, Protected Forests for the recognition of Rights.
- The Act recognizes the right of ownership access to collect, use, and dispose of minor forest produce which has been traditionally collected within or outside village boundaries.
- Term "minor forest produce" to include all non-timber forest produce of plant, origin, including bamboo, brush wood, stumps, cane, tussar, cocoons, honey, wax, lac, tendu or kendu leaves, medicinal plants and herbs, roots, tubers and the like.
- Diversion of forest land for the purpose of schools, hospitals, anganwadis drinking water supply and water pipelines, roads, electric and telecommunication lines, etc
- The rights conferred under the Act shall be heritable but not alienable or transferable gram sabha has been gram designated as the competent authority
COASTAL REGULATION ZONE (CRZ)
- The coastal stretches of seas, bays, estuaries, creeks, rivers and back waters which are influenced by tidal action up to 500 meters from the High Tide Line (HTL) and the land between the Low Tide Line (LTL) and the HTL are declared "Coastal Regulation Zone" (CRZ), on 19.2.1991.
- National Coastal Zone Management Authority (NCZMA) and State Coastal Zone Management Authority (SCZIVIA) for enforcement and monitoring of the CRZ Notification.
- Classification Criteria and Regulatory Norms: The coastal regulation zone has been classified for the purpose of regulation of the permitted activities
- Ecological sensitive area and the area between High Tide Line (HTL) and Low Tide Line (LTL).
- No new construction is permitted except for a few specified most essential activities like Support activities for Atomic Energy Plants and Defense requirements, facilities required for disposal of treated effluents and other port related water front activities
- The area that have been developed up to or close to the shore line which includes the designated urban areas that are substantially built up.
- Buildings permitted only on the landward side of the existing road (or roads approved in the coastal zone Management Plan of the area) or on the landward side of the existing authorized structures as defined in the notification
- The areas that are relatively undisturbed and those which do not belong to either CRZ-I or CRZ- II which includes mainly the rural area and those not substantially built up within designated urban areas.
- The area up to 200 meters from HTL is earmarked as "No Development Zone". No construction is permitted within this zone except for repairs to the existing authorized, structures without exceeding existing FSI, plinth area and density.
- Development of vacant plots between 200 and 500 meters of HTL is permitted in CRZ III for the purpose of construction of dwelling units and hotels/beach resorts subject to certain Conditions
- No untreated sewage effluents, ballast water, ship washes, fly-ash or solid waste from all activities including from aquaculture operations shall be let off or dumped.
- A comprehensive plan for treatment of sewage generating from the coastal towns and cities shall be formulated within a period of one year in consultation with stakeholders including traditional coastal communities, traditional fisher folk and implemented;
- Pollution from oil and gas exploration and drilling, mining, boat house and shipping;
- There shall be no restriction on the traditional fishing and allied activities undertaken by local communities.
WETLANDS (CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT) RULES 2010
- The Ministry of Environment and Forests has notified the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules 2010 in Order to ensure that there is no further degradation of wetlands.
- The rules specify activities which are harmful to wetlands. Central Wetland Regulatory Authority has been set up to ensure proper implementation of the Rules and perform all functions for management of wetlands in India.
NATIONAL GREEN TRIBUNAL (NGT)
- The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 is a Act of the Parliament of India which enables creation of a special tribunal to handle the expeditious disposal of the cases pertaining to environmental issues. It was enacted under India’s constitutional provision of Article 21, which assures the citizens of India the right to a healthy environment.
- India is third country in the world to full-fledged green tribunal followed by New-Zealand and Australia.
- NGT is mandated to dispose the cases within six months of their respective appeals.
- 10 expert members and 10 judicial members although the act allows for up to 20 of each.
- The Chairman of the tribunal/is required to be a serving or retired Chief Justice of a High Court or a judge of the Supreme Court of India .
- Members are chosen by a selection committee (headed by a sitting judge of the Supreme Court of India) that reviews their applications and conducts interviews. The Judicial members are chosen from applicants who are serving or/ retired judges of High Courts.
THE OZONE DELETING SUBSTANCES RULES AND CONTROL RULES, 2000
- Under the (Regulation Environment Protection) Act, in July 2000 These Rules set the deadlines for various ODSs, besides regulation phasing out of production, trade import and exports of ODSs and the product containing ODS.
- These Rules prohibit the use of CFCs in manufacturing various products beyond 1st January 2003 except in metered dose inhaler and for other medical purposes.
- Use of halons is prohibited after 1st January 2001 except for essential use. Other ODSs Such as carbon tetrachloride and methyl chloroform and CFC for metered dose inhalers can be used upto 1st January 2010.
- Further, the use of methyl bromide has been allowed upto 1st January 2015.
- Since HCFCs are used as interim substitute to replace CFC, these are allowed upto 1st January 2040