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Act And Policies - 5 | Environment for UPSC CSE PDF Download

Amendment Rules, 2018

  • Phasing out of Multilayered Plastic (MLP) is now applicable to MLP, which are non-recyclable, or non energy recoverable, or with no alternative use.
  • Central registration system for the registration of the producer/importer/brand owner.
  • A national registry has been prescribed for producers with a presence in more than two states, a state-level registration has been prescribed for smaller producers/ brand owners operating within one or two states.
  • Explicit pricing of carry bags has been omit ted.

Wetlands (Conservation And Management) Rules 2017
Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017 supersede the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 for effective conservation and management of wetlands in the country

Key features
Decentralisation of wetland management. Under the new rules, the powers have been given to the State governments so that protection and conservation can be done at the local level. The central government has mainly retained powers regarding monitoring.

The new rules have replaced the Central Wetlands Regulatory Authority (CWRA) with the National Wetland Committee, which has a merely advisory role. The State or UT Wetlands Authority will have to prepare a list of all wetlands and also will develop a comprehensive list of activities to be regulated and permitted within notified wetlands and their zone of influence.

The new rules also prohibit encroachments on wetlands, solid waste dumping, discharge of untreated waste and effluents from industries and human settlements. It prescribes that conservation and management would be based on the principle of wise use, which is to be determined by the Wetlands Authority.

Shortfalls We have earlier read the definition of wetland given by Ramsar convention earlier in this topic. The 2010 wetland rules followed the definition of Ramsar convention. However, the 2017 rules, in the definition of wetland do not include river channels, paddy fields, man-made water bodies/tanks specifically for drinking water purposes and structures specifically constructed for aquaculture, salt production, recreation, and irrigation purposes. By this new definition (exclusion of aforesaid wetlands) close to 65 % wetland in the country will lose the status of wetlands. The management and protection awarded to river channels, man-made wetlands will be no more effective as they are not considered wetlands. The definition of wetlands and its inclusion is done by the respective state/ UT. This may lead to a lack of uniformity in defining and conserving the wetlands in the country.

The older provision of appealing to the National Green Tribunal does not exist in the 2017 Rules.

There is also no timeline specified for phasing out solid waste and untreated waste from being dumped into wetlands. The new rules do not take into account the Jagpal Singh vs State of Punjab (2011) judgment of Supreme Court for the restoration of encroached wetlands throughout the country.

Key to wetland conservation is not just understanding regimes of multiple uses but conserving and managing the integrity of the wetland ecosystem.

Do you know?

  • Gujarat has the largest area of wetland in the country. Lakshadweep has the highest percentage of wetland in its own geographical area for a state / UT.

National Green Tribunal (NGT)

  • The Preamble of the act provides for the establishment of a National Green Tribunal for the effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources, including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto (The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010).
  • With the establishment of the NGT, India has joined the distinguished league of countries that have a dedicated adjudicatory forum to address environmental disputes.
  • India is third country in the world to full fleged green tribunal followed by new Zealand and Australia.
  • The specialized architecture of the NGT will facilitate fast track resolution of environmental cases and provide a boost to the implementation of many sustainable development measures.
  • NGT is mandated to dispose the cases within six months of their respective appeals.
  • [For more details on national green tribunal refer Shankar IAS academy’s polity part II material]

The Ozone Depleting Substances Rules 

  • The Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control)Rules, 2000 under the Environment (Protection) Act, in July 2000.
  • These Rules set the deadlines for phasing out of various ODSs, besides regulating production, trade import and export of ODSs and the product containing ODS.
  • The Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Rule, 2000 were amended in 2001, 2003, 2004 and
    2005 to facilitate implementation of ODS phase-out at enterprises in various sectors.
  • 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.
  • Similarly, use of halons is prohibited after 1st January 2001 except for essential use. Other ODSs such as carbon tetrachloride and methylchoroform 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.
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