top of page

Environmental Protection Laws in India

Updated: Apr 10

Environment laws in deal with the protection of the environment and its various resources. It is essential for every nation to protect its natural resources from overconsumption and pollution and to adhere to international standards of environmental norms and regulations. The Constitution of India has recognised the protection of the environment as one of the fundamental duties of every citizen. Article 51(A) states: 'It shall be the 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.' For the states, it is recognised as a duty under the Directive Principles of State Policy, Article 48A, which mandates the 'Protection and improvement of the environment and safeguarding of forests and wildlife.' The State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.

In India, there is also a portfolio for Environment in the parliament, namely the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, which is responsible for planning, promoting, coordinating, and overseeing the implementation of environmental and forestry programs in the country. The broad objectives of the Ministry are the conservation and survey of flora, fauna, forests, and wildlife; prevention and control of pollution; afforestation and regeneration of degraded areas; protection of the environment; and ensuring the welfare of animals.

There are various legislations in India that deal with the protection of the environment, with each legislation addressing specific categories of environmental issues. The important legislations for environmental protection in India are as follows:

  • The Forest Conservation Act 1980

  • The Wildlife Protection Act 1972

  • The Environmental Protection Act, 1986

  • The Air and The Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act

  • The Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act

  • Noise Pollution Acts and National Green Tribunal Act

  • The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010

  • The Hazardous Waste Management Regulations


Environmental Laws in India

The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010: The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010: The National Green Tribunal Act establishes a specialized judicial body equipped with expertise solely for the purpose of adjudicating environmental cases in the country. The Tribunal is tasked with providing an effective and expeditious remedy in cases relating to environmental protection, conservation of forests and other natural resources, and enforcement of any legal right relating to the environment. The Tribunal’s orders are binding, and it has the power to grant relief in the form of compensation and damages to affected persons. According to the National Crime Records Bureau report 2020, major environmental offenses were registered under the following categories:

  • The Forest Act and The Forest Conservation Act

  • The Wildlife Protection Act

  • The Environmental Protection Act, 1986

  • The Air and The Water (Prevention & Control of Pollution) Act

  • The Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act

  • Noise Pollution Acts and National Green Tribunal Act

There were 34,676 environmental cases registered in 2020 and 61,767 registered in 2021. Major offences registered in 2020 were under The Cigarette and Other Tobacco Products Act, Noise Pollution Act, and The Forest Act & The Forest Conservation Act."

 

FAQs on Environmental Laws in India

  1. What are environmental laws in India? Environmental laws in India refer to a set of legal regulations enacted to protect the environment, natural resources, and biodiversity, and to regulate activities that may impact the environment.

  2. Which government body is responsible for formulating and enforcing environmental laws in India? The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) is the primary governmental authority responsible for formulating, implementing, and enforcing environmental laws in India.

  3. What are some key environmental legislations in India? Some key environmental legislations in India include: The Environmental Protection Act, 1986 The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 The Biological Diversity Act, 2002

  4. What does the Environmental Protection Act, 1986 entail? The Environmental Protection Act, 1986, provides the framework for the protection and improvement of the environment. It empowers the central government to take measures to protect and improve environmental quality, control pollution, and manage hazardous substances.

  5. What is the objective of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972? The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, aims to protect wildlife and their habitats, regulate trade in wildlife and their products, and establish protected areas for conservation purposes.

  6. How does the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 contribute to environmental conservation? The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, aims to conserve forests and biodiversity by regulating activities such as deforestation, diversion of forest land for non-forest purposes, and mining in forest areas.

  7. What are the primary objectives of the Water and Air Acts in India? The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, aim to prevent and control water and air pollution, respectively, by regulating industrial emissions, setting standards for pollutant levels, and promoting pollution control measures.

  8. Are there any recent developments in environmental laws in India? Yes, India has been continuously updating its environmental laws to address emerging environmental challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. Recent developments include amendments to existing laws and the introduction of new regulations to enhance environmental protection and sustainability.

 


276 views0 comments

Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page