Environmental Law– Principles and Policies in India
Environment policies of the Government of India includes legislations related to environment. In the Directive Principles of State Policy, Article 48(a) says “the state shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country”; Article 51-A states that “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.”
India is one of the parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) treaty. Prior to the CBD, India had different laws to govern the environment. The Indian Wildlife Protection Act 1972 protected biodiversity. It was amended later multiple times. The 1988 National Forest Policy had conservation as its fundamental principle. In addition to these acts, the government passed the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 and Foreign Trade (Development and Regulation) Act 1992 for control of biodiversity.
Notably, the government has passed various legislations to curb the damage caused to the environment such as the Environmental Protection Act, 1986, Forest Conservation Act, 1980, Water Prevention and Control of Pollution Act, 1974, Biological Diversity Act, 2002, Public Liability Insurance Act 1889 and National Green Tribunal Act, 2010.
According to Article 48 (A) of the Indian Constitution, the state shall try to protect and improve the environment. It should also endeavor to safeguard forests and wildlife of the country.
According to Article 51(A) (g) of the Indian Constitution, every citizen of India has a fundamental duty to protect and improve the natural environment including forest, lakes, rivers, and wildlife and should have compassion for living creatures.