Sustainable Development: Issues and Challenges
MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
MED 2 Free Solved Assignment Jan 2022
SECTION – 1
Q. 1. Explain the concept of sustainable development. Discuss its principles of Intragenerational equity and Justice.
Ans. The concept of sustainability first appeared in the first World Conservation Strategy published by the World Conservation United 1980. The proposed definition of sustainable development was
Sustainable Development: Maintenance of essential ecological processes and life support systems, the preservation of genetic diversity and the sustainable utilisation of species and eco-systems.
The Brundtland Report: These early definitions emphasised the concepts of critical natural capital and biological diversity and made little or no reference to the economic and social pillars of sustainability.
Seven years later, in 1987 the Brundtland Report described sustainability as:
“Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
Deliberately, the Brundtland definition was not very strict. Nevertheless, it introduced important key concepts that have continued to influence the use of the concept.
The Brundland definition thus addresses inter-generational and development issues and builds on a recognition of the concept of limitations on the environment’s ability to met present and future needs. MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
Following the Brundtland Report, the term sustainable development started entering the vocabulary of policy planners and policy-makers.
Reflecting this, by the mid-1990s, the definitions of sustainable development began to involve the simultaneous pursuit of economic, social and environmental objectives.
However, this move was not accompanied by criteria and guidelines on how to handle the three dimensions.
Rather, a win-win approach was increasingly advocated in which all three dimensions are comprehensively integrated and trade-offs are avoided to the extent possible.
The three-dimensional conceptualization thus offered various actors and institutions the opportunities for a fairly wide scope of interpretation and use of the sustainability dimensions.
As a consequence, various academic disciplines, in particular environmental economics, sought to set up more binding and measurable definitions of the sustainability concept. Traditional economic disciplines tend however to focus most on the relation between environment and economics. MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
Along with the development of the definition of sustainable development, procedural aspects gained prominence as well.
In terms of process, sustainable development is perceived less as an ultimate outcome and more as a pathway to change.
Thereby, more emphasis is put on factors that influence decision making such as organisational culture, availability of information, the rationality of decision-making, and the use of impact assessment tools.
The EU SDS is, in fact, a good example of a document with much emphasis on the procedural aspects.
Groundwater is an example of renewable resources. These resources are replenished by nature as in the case of crops and plants.
However, even these resources may be overused. For example, in the case of groundwater, if we use more than what is being replenished by rain then we would be overusing this resource.
Non-renewable resources are those which will get exhausted after years of use. We have a fixed stock on earth which cannot be replenished.
We do discover new resources that we did not know of earlier. New sources in this way add to the stock. However, over time, even this will get exhausted.
Intra-Generational Equity and Justice (Global, Regional and Country Levels)
Intra-generational equity is concerned with equity between people of the same generation. This is separate from inter-generational equity, which is about equity between present and future generations. MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
Intra-generational equity includes considerations of distribution of resources and justice between nations. It also includes considerations of what is fair for people within any one nation.
Many countries are implementing or at least considering policies to counter increasingly certain negative impacts from climate change.
An increasing amount of research has been devoted to the analysis of the costs of climate change and its mitigation, as well as to the design of policies, such as the international Kyoto Protocol.
Post-Kyoto negotiations, regional initiatives, and unilateral actions. Although most studies on climate change policies in economics have considered efficiency aspects, there is a growing literature on equity and justice.
Climate change policy has important dimensions of distributive justice, both within and across generations, but in this paper we survey only studies on the intragenerational aspect, i.e. within a generation.MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
We cover several domains including the international, regional, national, sectoral and inter-personal, and examine aspects such as the distribution of burdens from climate change, climate change policy negotiations in general, implementation of climate agreements using tradable emission permits and the uncertainty of alternatives to emission reductions.
There are various conventions for dividing up the world into groups of nations of similar wealth and degrees of industrialisation.
None of them are particularly satisfactory. One way is to speak of the first world (high-income, industrialised nations with a capitalist economy), the second world (communist nations) and the third world(low income nations).
While much of the so-called second world no longer fits this category, the term ‘third world’ is still widely used.
Some people divide the world into developed nations and developing nations, depending on how advanced they are towards the goal of industrialisation.
But since development can have a variety of meanings, and since industrialisation is not the only possible goal of development, these terms are somewhat inadequate.
An attempt to use terms that are less political and less value-laden has involved the division of the world into north and south.MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
Most of the affluent countries are in the northern part of the globe, including Japan, the USA, Canada and the countries that make up Europe; and most low-income countries are south of them, including those in Asia, Africa and South America.
While Australia is geographically located in the southern hemisphere, it is considered to be a part of the ‘north’, which makes the division confusing.
The Greenhouse problem raises many equity issues, including the unfair distribution of the impacts of global warming, the question of which countries should remedy the situation and the distribution of impacts arising from measures taken to reduce greenhouse emissions.
Even the elevation of the greenhouse warming problem above other environmental problems has come under criticism for being a manifestation of how the inte people dominate those of low-income nations.
Third-world activists argue that desertification and resulting famines in Africa are neglected issues because they do not impact upon people in high-income countries the way greenhouse warming might:
“The millions of deaths in dozens of countries did not make the tragedy global, because it took place in the Third World. It remained ‘local’.
Thermometers registering a few degrees more in the United States, however, succeeded in turning climatic change into a ‘global’ issue for all the governments of the industrialised North and the entire scientific community was immediately mobilised.”
More importantly, people in the less industrialised low-income countries do not feel that they should share in the costs of reducing greenhouse emissions when they have played such a minor role in creating them.MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
Ironically, it could be some of the poorest nations that suffer the worst consequences of doing nothing.
Q. 3. Examine the various parameters to be considered for assessing Sustainable Development.
Ans. The ethical principle of equity, particularly inter-generational equity, is central to the concept of sustainable development.
Yet governments all over the world are adopting sustainable development policies that reinforce existing inequities and create new ones.
These policies have been strongly influenced by environmental economists of the neo-classical school.
They involve monetary valuation of the environment and the use of financial incentives aimed at using market mechanisms to allocate scarce environmental resources.
However these policies tend to remove decision-making power from the community and cause some sections of the community to bear more than their fair share of environmental burdens.
Conversations about inter-generational equity occur across several fields. They include transition economics, social policy, and government budget-making.
Intergenerational equity is also explored in environmental concerns, including sustainable development, global warming and climate change.MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
Conversations about inter-generational equity are also relevant to social justice arenas as well, where issues such as health care are equal in importance to youth rights and youth voice are pressing and urgent.
There is a strong interest within the legal community towards the application of inter-generational equity in law.
There are regular and seemingly obligatory references to the rights and interests of present and future generations.” in contemporary international legal instruments dealing with sustainable development.
They indicate that the global society has come to recognize the use of natural resources in an inter-temporal context.
These references also demonstrate that intergenerational equity has become integral to international law dealing with environmental protection, resource utilization and socio-economic development.
Inter-generational equity, as employed in current international instruments, contains two distinct components which have inter-temporal implications regarding the utilization of resources.
The first calls for fairness in the utilization of resources between human generations past, present and future. MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
This requires that a balance be attained between meeting the consumptive demands of existing societies and ensuring that adequate resources are available for future generations.
The inter-temporal aspect of resource distribution and consumption has become an increasingly important issue, especially in view of growing threats of environmental degradation and resource depletion arising out of current consumption patterns.
The second concept is referred to as “intra-generational equity,” that is fairness in utilization of resources among human members of present generations, both domestically and globally.
Schachter has contended that intra-generational equity as manifest in “distributive justice” has become a de facto legal principle for developing countries and in general by industrialized countries.
In both its “intra” and “inter”generational dimensions, inter-generational equity also provides a valuable conceptual mechanism for bridging mutual concerns between environmental protection, socio-economic development and human rights law.
This evolving complementarity is a new phenomenon, as suggested by proponents of environmental justice in general and indigenous peoples’ rights in particular.
The international community agrees that states must pursue development which is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.
Perspectives differ, however, on the most effective means for addressing current needs within this paradigm without also prejudicing future needs.
Efforts to promote sustainable development should ideally balance attention to environmental, social and economic needs and aspirations.
View-points diverge, however, on the most appropriate ways for balancing this attention.
Law and policy makers still must define appropriate criteria to balance equitable, environmental and economic considerations in an inter-temporal context.
As will be discussed below, international instruments to date do not adequately meet this challenge.MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
Also, some have argued that, at least with regard to non-renewable resources, the rights and responsibilities emanating from principles of intergenerational equity can realistically only apply to future generations within one’s own nation state and not toward future generations elsewhere.
This perspective reflects a narrow statist view that does not accord with the current reality of increasing socio-economic interdependence among states regarding utilization of resources.
It holds that any further extension of the concept would be “Politically unmanageable and insupportable as a practical matter.”
Q. 4. Examine the main features of the community oriented approach to sustainable development.
Ans. Sustainable Development is above all about development that is sustainable. As we like to put it at the Economic Commission for Africa, sustainable development is the merger of human well-being and natural resource stewardship.
It focuses on the quality of life for present and future generations and encompasses the economic, social and environmental contexts of development.
It entails complex processes with many interacting factors, which affect the lives of everyone and make it everybody’s business.
Achieving sustainable development therefore requires participatory and multi-stakeholder approaches, involving a wide range of actors: Governments, private sector, Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs), academia, grassroots organisations and other interest groups MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
The mention of partnerships over 40 times in the WSSD Declaration and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation placed on partnerships as a strategic approach to narrowing the gap between policy and practice in the quest for sustainable development.
And, during the Summit process, 209 partnership initiatives were launched to address five priority areas of sustainable development, namely, Water and sanitation, Energy,health and environment Agriculture, and Biodiversity and Ecosystem management – i.e. the WEHAB Initiative of the UN Secretary General).
Since then, the number of partnerships for si the Eleventh Session of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-11) and 291 by CSD-12.
Sustainable development means building our communities so that we can all live comfortably without consuming all of our resources. We make an impact on our environment through how we live our lives.
Another way to say this is that we all leave an ecological footprint. Imagine yourself in a garden. If you were to run around the garden wearing heavy boots, you would probably do a lot of damage to the fruits and vegetables growing there.
If you were to walk carefully through the garden in bare feet, you would be able to eat just as many fruits and vegetables as the person wearing heavy boots, but you would also be leaving a lot more for yourself and others to eat the next day.
It is the same thing with our resources. Living in a sustainable way means leaving more of things we all need to share, like water, energy, clean air and forests, for future generations.
SECTION – II
Q. 6. (a) Judicial Interpretations
Ans. Judicial Interpretations: The Indian judiciary has taken a major initiative towards environmental protection and sustainable development.
It is due to the commitment of the judiciary that has led to the emergence of the innovative use of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) as a tool for social and environmental justice in India. There are two ways in which judiciary has contributed to environmental protection in India.
The judiciary has not only introduced procedural innovations to provide much wider access to justice but it has included a right to a healthy environment within the ambit of the right to life’ enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution by a positive and expansive interpretation.
In various cases, the judiciary has held that the basic requirement of a decent quality of life is to live in a healthy environment. MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
For instance, this right was given judicial recognition in the Dehradun Lime Quarries Case (Rural Litigation and Entitlements Kendra v.
State of Uttar Pradesh, 1987) and reaffirmed in the Sriram Gas Leak Case (MC Mehta v. Union of India, 1987) and many other cases were decided on the same lines.
Dehradun Lime Quarries Case, 1987: Letter received from the Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra Dehradun was treated as a Writ Petition and notices issued.
The main allegations therein related to unauthorised and illegal mining operations carried on in the Mussoorie Hills and the area around adversely affecting the ecology of the area and leading to environmental disturbances.
In July, 1983 this Court directed all fresh quarrying to be stopped.
Sriram Gas Leak Case, 1987: In the Shriram Gas Leakage Case, where a gas leak in the factory caused one person to die and hundreds of others were taken ill in an area adjoining Delhi, the Court ordered closure of the chlorine plant,
the setting up of a victim compensation scheme and reopening of the plant under specific directions, all within a span of ten weeks of the gas leak.
Shriram Gas Leak Case, by a writ petition (12739 of 1985):-– M.C. Mehta filed a PIL to close and relocate Shriram’s caustic chlorine and sulphuric acid plants away from thickly populated section of Delhi. MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
On December 4, 1985 one month after the filing of PIL, Oleum gas leaked out from the same complex affecting several people.
District Magistrate Delhi made order under section 133 subsection (1) of Cr.P.C., directing and requiring Shriram to cease carrying out manufacture of Hazardous and lethal chemicals including Chlorine, Oleum, etc. at their establishment at Delhi.
In its judgement the court tried to strike a balance between the requirements of employing science and technology to improve the quality of life and the elimination of risk by hazardous products of the industrial activity.
Ganga Pollution Case, 1988:– In this case, the Supreme Court ordered a number of tanning (and therefore polluting) industries located on the banks of the river Ganga to either set up effluent plants or shut down.
Moreover, the court also ordered about 5,000 industries located in the Ganga basin to install effluent treatment plants and air pollution control devices.
For the implementation of its orders, the court also issued directions to the Central Government, Uttar Pradesh (UP) Pollution Control Board and the District magistrate.
Stone Crushers Case, 1992: On May 15 this year, the Supreme Court delivered a landmark judgement in response to a public interest suit demanding the closure of the 300-odd stone-crushing units in and around New Delhi.
Unlicensed units were immediately closed and the rest are to be shut down by August 15. All units are to be relocated in a zone which will be created by the Haryana government at Pali village within six months MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
According to M.C. Mehta, who filed the case seven years ago, “No crusher will be allowed within 2 km of the urbanise limit of Delhi.”
The court held that while environmental problems were implicit in development, they could not be permitted to grow into health hazards. It also hauled up civic and pollution control authorities for failing to deal with the problem…
Environmental Awareness Case, 1992: Succeeded in getting orders from the Court that all over the country the cinema theatres will exhibit two slides free of cost on environment in each show failing which their licenses will be cancelled, a minimum 5 to 7 minutes will begiven by the television network in the country to television programmes on environment apart from giving a regular weekly programme on environment.
Environment has become a compulsory subject up to 12th standard from academic session 1992 and University Grants Commission will also introduce this subject in higher classes in different universities.
Delhi Vehicular Pollution Case, 1994: Against vehicular pollution in India the Supreme Court delivered a landmark judgement in 1992.
A retired Judge of the Supreme Court was appointed along with three members to recommend measures for the nationwide control of vehicular pollution.
Orders for providing Lead free petrol in the country and for the use of natural gas and other mode of fuels for use in the vehicles in India have been passed and carried out.
Lead-free petrol had been introduced in the four metropolitan cities from April 1995; all new cars registered from April 1995 onwards have been fitted with catalytic convertors; COG outlets have been set up to provide CNG as a clean fuel in Delhi and other cities in India apart from Euro 2 norms. MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
As a result of this case, Delhi has become the first city in the world to have complete public transportation running on CNG.
Coastal Areas Case, 1996: Despite Coastal Zone Regulation Notification of February 1991, none of the coastal states had formulated coastal zone management plan, with the result that haphazard construction and industrial activity was being permitted anywhere in the coast leading to large scale damage to coastal ecology and loss of livelihood to lakhs of fishermen and other indigenous communities dependent on marine resources.
A writ petition was filed on behalf of Indian Council for Environment-Legal Action (ICELA) and the Supreme Court delivered a landmark Judgement banning industrial/ construction activity within 500 metres of the High Tide Line and set a time limit for the coastal states to formulate coastal management plans.
Taj Mahal Case, 1997: The Supreme Court after examining all the reports about Taj Trapezium said that there were active contributors to the air pollution in the said area. All the 292 industries were to approach/apply to the GAIL before 15.2.1997 for grant of industrial gas-connection.
The industries which were not in a position to obtain gas-connections were to approach UPSIDC before 28.2.1997, for allotment of alternative plots in the industrial estates outside.
Those industries, which neither applied for gas-connection nor for alternate industrial plots should stop functioning using coke/coal as fuel in the said area w.e.f. 30.4.1997. The supply of coke/coal to these industries was stopped forthwith.
Prawn Farming Case, 1997: This case brought into force for the first time the non-implementation of the CRZ notification. MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
Though the notification was enacted, it was never brought into force and the petitioner filed this writ for stoppage of intensive and semi-intensive type of prawn farming in the ecologically fragile coastal areas and for prohibiting use of wastelands and wetlands for prawn farming.
The petitioner also sought for the constitution of a National Coastal Zone Management Authority to safeguard the marine and coastal areas.
The allegation of the petitioner was that the coastal states were allowing big business houses to develop prawn farms on a large scale in the coastal States in violation of the EPA, 1986 and various other provisions of law.
Further in Chhetriya Pardushan Mukti Sangarsh Samiti v. State of UP, 1990, and in Subhash Kumar V.
State of Bihar, 1991 case, the Suprime Court emphasized that right to live include the right to enjoyment of pollution free water and air for full enjoyment of life.
The Indian judiciary adopted the technique of public interest litigation for the cause of environmental protection in many cases. MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
The Supreme Court and High Courts shaded the inhibitions against refusing strangers to present the petitions on behalf of poor and ignorant individuals.
The basic ideology behind adopting PIL is that access to justice ought not to be denied to the needy for the lack of knowledge or finances. In PIL a public spirited individual or organisation can maintain petition on behalf of poor and ignorant individuals.
In the area of environmental protection, PIL has proved to be an effective tool.
In Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra vs. State of U.P.
(i) the Supreme Court prohibited continuance of mining operations terming it to be adversely affecting the environment. In Indian Council for Enviro-Legal Action vs. Union of India
(ii), the Supreme Court cautioned the industries discharging inherently dangerous Oleum & H acid. The Court held that such type of pollution infringes right to wholesome environment and ultimately right to life. In another case M.C. Mehta vs. Union of India
(iii) the Supreme Court held that air pollution in Delhi caused by vehicular emissions violates right to life under Article. 21 and directed all commercial vehicles operating in Delhi to switch to CNG fuel mode for safeguarding health of the people.
In Church of God in India vs. KKR Majestic Colony Welfare Association the Supreme Court asked the tanneries to close their business. In this manner, our judiciary has used the tool of PIL quite effectively for the cause of environmental protection.
But the judiciary has shown wisdom in denying false petitions seeking to advance private interests through PIL as evident from the decision of the Supreme Court in Subhash Kumar vs. State of Bihar. MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
Hence, PIL has proved to be a great weapon in the hands of higher courts for protection of environment and our judiciary has certainly utilized this weapon of PIL in best possible manner.
(b) The Earth Summit
Ans. The Earth Summit: The Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro was unprecedented for a UN Conference, in terms of both its size and the scope of its concerns.
Twenty years after the first global environment conference, the UN sought to help governments rethink economic development and find ways to halt the destruction of irreplaceable natural resources and pollution of the planet.
Hundreds of thousands of people from all walks of life were drawn into the Rio process. They persuaded their leaders to go to Rio and join other nations in making the difficult decisions needed to ensure a healthy planet for generations to come.
Patterns of Production: Particularly the production of toxic components, such as lead in gasoline, or poisonous waste – are being scrutinized in a systematic manner by the UN and governments alike:MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
• Alternative sources of energy are being sought to replace the use of fossil fuels which are linked to global climate change;
• New reliance on public transportation systems is being emphasized in order to reduce vehicle emissions, congestion in cities and the health problems caused by polluted air and smog;
• There is much greater awareness of and concern over the growing scarcity of water.
The two-week Earth Summit was the climax of a process, begun in December 1989, of planning, education and negotiations among all Member States of the United Nations, leading to the adoption of Agenda 21, a wide-ranging blueprint for action to achieve sustainable development worldwide.
At its close, Maurice Strong, the Conference Secretary-General, called the Summit á “historic moment for humanity. MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
Although Agenda 21 had been weakened by compromise and negotiation, he said, it was still the most comprehensive and, if implemented, effective programme of action ever sanctioned by the international community.
Today, efforts to ensure its proper implementation continue, and they will be reviewed by the UN General Assembly at a special session to be held in June 1997.
Q. 9. (a) SAARC initiatives in protection of sustainable development
Ans. SAARC Initiatives: Geographically, the Indian subcontinent is a peninsular region in south-central Asia,
rather resembling a diamond which is delineated by the Himalayas on the north, the Hindu Kush in the west, and the Arakanese in the east, and which extends southward into the Indian Ocean with the Arabian Sea to the southwest and the Bay of Bengal to the southeast.
With all seven countries included, the area covers about 4.4 million km2 (1.7 million mo), which is 10% of the Asian continent or 2.4% of the world’s land surface area.
India, Pakistan, Bhutan share common rivers, watershed areas, mountains and parameters such as soil, climate and vegetation.MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
Economic changes and population increases are threatening the ecology of the Himalayas.
In recent years deforestation in the foothills and the Middle Himalayas and overgrazing on the high pastures have led to soil erosion and other environmental problems.
Disaster-proneness: Among various natural hazards, earthquakes, landslides, floods and cyclones are the major disasters adversely affecting very large areas and population in the Indian sub-continent.
These natural disasters are of:
(i) geophysical origin such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, land slides, and
(ii) climatic origin such as drought, flood, cyclone, locust, forest fire.
Though it may not be possible to control nature and to stop the development of natural phenomena but the efforts could be made to avoid disasters and alleviate their effects on human lives, infrastructure and property.
History: Since SAARC countries share a common history they share a set of socio-economic features. MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
Due to colonial exploitation these have more or less similar problems such as depleted natural resources, poverty, low levels of technological development and skills, etc.
Socio-economic Conditions: The socio-economic conditions pf SAARC countries create enormous pressures on the natural environment of the region.
These countries comprise 20% of the world’s population but generate only 2% of the world’s GNP. Environmental protection is of utmost importance here because of the high level of poverty.
Since the resource population ratio is extremely low, the exploitation of resources at unsustainable levels is inevitable in this region.
Culture: Historically, great respect for plants, animals as well as an attitude of living in harmony with them prevails in the SAARC region. Thus, there is a tradition of conservation, environment-friendly lifestyles.
However, there are common environmental concerns of the countries in the South Asian region which include deforestation, loss of bio-diversity, population explosion, water availability and land degradation, atmospheric pollution, marine and coastal pollution, etc.
Therefore, it is necessary to coordinate and cooperate in the areas of law and policy regarding environment. MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
At present, the SAARC Charter takes cognizance of the common problems, interests and aspirations of the peoples of South Asia and the need for joint action and enhanced cooperation.
However, it does not include any specific mention of environmental protection goals. At the third summit meeting of SAARC in Kathmandu, a collective effort for protecting the region’s environment was discussed for the first time.
There is regional study, the most productive result of the SAARC initiative on environment. However, something concrete is to be done.
Environment Action Plan: Early implementation of the SAARC Environment Action Plan was called for at the tenth meeting in Colombo (1998) and members committed to prepare National Environmental Action Plans and State of the Environment Reports.
Several meetings of expert/expert groups have been planned on various aspects of the environment to evolve a common approach for conservation of bio-diversity, trans-boundary movement of hazardous wastes, access to genetic resources, etc.
Moreover, networking and disaster preparedness were given high priority. At New Delhi in April 1992 SAARC ministers decided their stand at United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
Further, the SAARC ministers also met in April 1997 to consolidate a common SAARC position before the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS).
(b) State initiative for sustainable development
Ans. The South Asian countries give a high priority to environmental protection. For instance, in India, through the years, the ministry has passed innumerable laws to help them in their task of environmental protection.
Sadly, all the regulations and acts have not done enough to protect the environment. The greed of many in the governing bodies has led to misuse of the laws and ruthless exploitation of the land, leading to ecological destruction and social injustices.
Most leaders of industry, too, have been lacking in a social conscience. They have exploited our country’s resources and polluted our earth, water and air.
Public apathy has not helped either. We, as citizens of this country have not made our voices heard. The opening up of our economy and globalization has put a greater pressure on our resources, further vitiating our fragile eco-system.
A recent trend which is heartening to note is the role of the Indian Judiciary in environmental protection, which has adopted Public Interest Litigation (PIL) for the cause of environmental protection. This has proved an effective tool.
Legislative Measures MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
Over the years, together with a spreading of environmental consciousness, there has been a change in the traditionally-held perception that there is a trade-off between environmental quality and economic growth as people have come to believe that the two are necessarily complementary.
The current focus on environment is not newenvironmental considerations have been an integral part of the Indian culture.
The need for conservation and sustainable use of natural resources has been expressed in Indian scriptures, more than three thousand years old and is reflected in the constitutional, legislative and policy framework as also in the international commitments of the country.
Even before India’s independence in 1947, several environmental legislations existed but the real impetus for bringing about a well-developed framework came only after the UN Conference on the Human Environment (Stockholm, 1972).
Under the influence of this declaration, the National Council for Environmental Policy and Planning within the Department of Science and Technology was set up in 1972.
This Council later evolved into a full-fledged Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) in 1985 which today is the apex administrative body in the country for regulating and ensuring environmental protection After the Stockholm Conference, in 1976, constitutional sanction was given to environmental concerns through the 42nd Amendment, which incorporated them into the Directive Principles of State Policy and Fundamental Rights and Duties. MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
Since the 1970s an extensive network of environmental legislation has grown in the country.
The MoEF and the pollution control boards (CPCB i.e. Central Pollution Control Board and SPCBs i.e. State Pollution Control Boards) together form the regulatory and administrative core of the sector.
A policy framework has also been developed to complement the legislative provisions.
The Policy Statement for Abatement of Pollution and the National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development were brought out by the MoEF in 1992, to develop and promote initiatives for the protection and improvement of the environment.
The EAP (Environmental Action Programme) was formulated in 1993 with the objective of improving environmental services and integrating environmental considerations in to development programmes. MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
Other measures have also been taken by the government to protect and preserve the environment.
Several sector-specific policies have evolved, which are discussed at length in the concerned chapters. This chapter attempts to highlight only legislative initiatives towards the protection of the environment.
Legislation for Environmental Protection in India
Water Pollution:– Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 represented India’s first attempts to comprehensively deal with environmental issues.
The Act prohibits the discharge of pollutants into water bodies beyond a given standard, and lays down penalties for non-compliance.
Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Cess Act, 1977 provides for a levy and collection of a cess on water consumed by industries and local authorities. It aims at augmenting the resources of the central and state boards for prevention and control of water pollution.
Air Pollution: To counter the problems associated with air pollution, ambient air quality standards were established, under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
The Act provides means for the control and abatement of air pollution. The Act seeks to combat air pollution by prohibiting the use of polluting fuels and substances, as well as by regulating appliances that give rise to air pollution.
National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for major pollutants were notified by the CPCB in April 1994.MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
These are deemed to be levels of air quality necessary with an adequate margin of safety, to protect public health, vegetation and property.
Complementing the above acts is the Atomic Energy Act of 1982, which was introduced to deal with radioactive waste.
In 1988, the Motor Vehicles Act, was enacted to regulate vehicular traffic, besides ensuring proper packaging, labelling and transportation of the hazardous wastes.
Environmental Protection: The WPA (Wildlife Protection Act), 1972, provides for protection to listed species of flora and fauna and establishes a network of ecologically-important protected areas. MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (EPA) is an umbrella legislation designed to provide a framework for the coordination of central and state authorities established under the Water (Prevention and Control) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control) Act, 1981.
Under this Act, the central government is empowered to take measures necessary to protect and improve the quality of the environment by setting standards for emissions and discharges; regulating the location of industries; management of hazardous wastes and protection of public health and welfare.
Hazardous Substances: There are several legislations that directly or indirectly deal with hazardous waste.
The relevant legislation is the factories Act, 1948, the Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991, the National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995 and some notifications under the Environmental Protection Act of 1986. Public Liability Insurance Act (PLIA),
1991 covers accidents involving hazardous substances and insurance coverage for these. Where death or injury results from an accident, this Act makes the owner liable to provide relief as is specified in the Schedule of the Act. MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
The PLIA was amended in 1992, and the Central Government was authorized to establish the Environmental Relief Fund, for making relief payments.
Forests: The Indian Forest Act, 1927 was largely based on previous Indian Forest Acts implemented under the British.
The first and most famous was the Indian Forest Act of 1878. Both the 1878 Act and the 1927 one sought to consolidate and reserve the areas having forest cover, or significant wildlife, to regulate movement and transit of forest produce, and duty leviable on timber and other forest produce.
It also defines the procedure to be followed for declaring an area to be a Reserved Forest, a Protected Forest or a Village Forest.
It defines what is a forest offence what are the acts prohibited inside a Reserved Forest, and penalties leviable on violation of the provisions of the ACT With a view to checking further deforestation, the Forest (Conservation) Ordinance, 1980 had been promulgated on 25th October, 1980.
The present Act has replaced the said Ordinance and contains similar provisions. The Act extends to the whole of India except the State of Jammu and Kashmir and came into force on 25th October, 1980.MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
Wildlife: The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 refers to a sweeping package of legislation enacted in 1972 by the Government of India. Before 1972, India only had five designated national parks.
Among other reforms, the Act established schedules of protected plant and animal species; hunting or harvesting these species was largely outlawed.
Biodiversity: The recently adopted Bio-diversity Act, 2002 aims 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….”
The Act provides for the constitution of a National Biodiversity Authority at the national level, State Biodiversity Boards at the state levels and Biodiversity Management Committees at the local levels to implement the provisions of this Act.
The Act provides for the protection of wild animals, birds and plants; and for matters connected therewith or ancillary or incidental thereto.
It extends to the whole of India, except the State of Jammu and Kashmir which has its own wildlife act. It has six schedules which give varying degrees of protection.
Schedule I and part II of Schedule II provide absolute protection offences under these are prescribed the highest penalties. Species listed in Schedule IV are also protected, but the penalties are much lower. MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
Enforcement authorities have the power to compound offences under this Schedule (i.e. they impose fines on the offenders). Upto April 2010 there have been 16 convictions under this Act relating to the death of tigers.
Policies: The above-mentioned legislations are augmented by numerous policies that have been formulated by the government to further the objective of environmental protection in our country.
For instance, the Wildlife Conservation Strategy, 2002, the National Forest Policy, 1988; the Policy Statement for Abatement of Pollution, 1992; and the National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development, 1992.
India has ratified over forty Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MBAS) relating to various components of environmental protection.
Moreover, India has also made remarkable appearance in all major international conferences relating to environmental protection and sustainable development and has tried to follow the guidelines about it.MED 2 Free Solved Assignment
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