Protection of environment for sustainable development
Global warming is the term used to describe a gradual increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and its oceans, a change that is...
The protection of environment is needed for sustainable development. The Industrial pollution, degradation of forests, depletion of ozone layer, the green house gases results in global warming and climate which will have an adverse impact on environment and human health. There is a need for conservation of Biodiversity, protection of wetlands and prevention of environmental pollution, promotion of ecological balance enables sustainable development..
The United Nation Organisation passed several UN conventions like Ramsar Convention on protection of wetlands, and UN convention on Biodiversity etc. World Environment Day is being celebrated across the world on 5th June every year.
Global warming and climate change
Global warming is the term used to describe a gradual increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere and its oceans, a change that is believed to be permanently changing the Earth’s climate. Even though it is an ongoing debate, it is proved by the scientists that the planet is warming.
Global warming is for real The average global temperatures are higher than they have ever been during the past millennium, and the levels of CO in the atmosphere have e crossed all previous records. The climate is changing. The earth is warming up, and there is now overwhelming scientific consensus that it is happening, and human-induced. With global warming on the increase and species and their habitats on the decrease, chances for ecosystems to adapt naturally are diminishing.
The role of forests in the national economy and in ecology was emphasized in the 1988 National Forest Policy, which focused on ensuring environmental stability, restoring the ecological balance, and preserving the remaining forests. Other objectives of the policy were meeting the need for fuelwood, fodder, and small timber for rural and tribal people while recognizing the need to actively involve local people in the management of forest resources.
Also in 1988, the Forest Conservation Act of 1980 was amended to facilitate stricter conservation measures. The 2009 Indian national forest policy document emphasizes the need to combine India's effort at forest conservation with sustainable forest management. India defines forest management as one where the economic needs of local communities are not ignored; rather forests are sustained while meeting nation's economic needs and local issues through scientific forestry.
Protection of wetlands
Wetlands are complex ecosystems and encompass a wide range of inland, coastal and marine habitats. They share the characteristics of both wet and dry environments and show immense diversity based on their genesis, geographical location, hydrological regimes and substrate factors. They include flood plains, swamps, marshes, fishponds, tidal marshes natural and man-made wetlands.
Among the most productive life support, wetlands have immense socio-economic and ecological importance for mankind. They are crucial to the survival of natural biodiversity. They provide suitable habitats for endangered and rare species of birds and animals, endemic plants, insects besides sustaining migratory birds. India has a wealth of wetland ecosystems distributed in different geographical regions.
India is also a signatory to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and the Convention of Biological Diversity; Apart from government regulation, development of better monitoring methods is needed to increase the knowledge of the physical and biological characteristics of each wetland resource, and to gain, from this knowledge, a better understanding of wetland dynamics and their controlling processes. India being one of the mega diverse nations of the world should strive to conserve the ecological character of these ecosystems along with the biodiversity of the flora and fauna associated with these ecosystems.
Conservation of biodiversity
Conservation of Biodiversity is the need of the hour. The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 is a federal legislation enacted by the Parliament of India for preservation of biological diversity in India, and provides mechanism for equitable sharing of benefits arising out of use of traditional biological resources and knowledge.
The Act was enacted to meet the obligations under Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), to which India is a party. The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) was established in 2003 to implement India’s Biological Diversity Act 2002.
Wildlife conservation is the practice of protecting endangered plant and animal species and their habitats. Among the goals of wildlife conservation are to ensure that nature will be around for future generations to enjoy and to recognize the importance of wildlife and wilderness lands to humans.
Many nations have government agencies dedicated to wildlife conservation, which help to implement policies designed to protect wildlife. Numerous independent nonprofit organizations also promote various wildlife conservation causes. Wildlife conservation has become an increasingly important practice due to the negative effects of human activity on wildlife. Wildlife Conservation Act 2002 was enacted to protect wildlife in India
Ozone depletion describes two distinct but related phenomena observed since the late 1970s: a steady decline of about 4% per decade in the total volume of ozone in Earth's stratosphere (the ozone layer), and a much larger springtime decrease in stratospheric ozone over Earth's polar regions. The latter phenomenon is referred to as the ozone hole. In addition to these well-known stratospheric phenomena, there are also springtime polar tropospheric ozone depletion events.
The details of polar ozone hole formation differ from that of mid-latitude thinning, but the most important process in both is catalytic destruction of ozone by atomic halogens. The main source of these halogen atoms in the stratosphere is photo dissociation of man-made halocarbon refrigerants (CFCs, freons, halons).
These compounds are transported into the stratosphere after being emitted at the surface. Both types of ozone depletion were observed to increase as emissions of halo-carbons increased. CFCs and other contributory substances are referred to as ozone-depleting substances (ODS). This is used to protect the ozone layer which protect humans from ultra-violet rays of Sun.
Environmental impact assessment
An environmental impact assessment (EIA) is an assessment of the possible impacts that a proposed project may have on the environment, consisting of the environmental, social and economic aspects. The purpose of the assessment is to ensure that decision makers consider the environmental impacts when deciding whether or not to proceed with a project.
The International Association for Impact Assessment (IAIA) defines an environmental impact assessment as "the process of identifying, predicting, evaluating and mitigating the biophysical, social, and other relevant effects of development proposals prior to major decisions being taken and commitments made."
EIAs are unique in that they do not require adherence to a predetermined environmental outcome, but rather they require decision makers to account for environmental values in their decisions and to justify those decisions in light of detailed environmental studies and public comments on the potential environmental impacts.
Environment and Indian Constitution
The Indian Constitution guarantees justice, liberty and equality to all citizens of the country. In Maneka Gandhi's case the court gave a new dimension to Article 21. It held that the right to 'live' is not merely confined to physical existence but it include within its ambit the right to live with human dignity. The same view was reflected by Court in Francis Coralie V. Union Territory of Delhi said that the right to live is not restricted to mere animal existence. Article 21 also constitute right to get pollution free water and air.
Article 48 of Directive Principles of State Policy directs that the State to take steps to organize agriculture and animal husbandary on modern and scientific lines. Again Article 48-A requires the State to take steps to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country.
In M.C. Mehta (II) V. Union of India, the Supreme Court, relying on Article 48-A gave direction to Central and State Governments and various local bodies and Boards under the various statutes to take appropriate steps for the prevention and control of pollution of water. Article 51-A says that it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and impove the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife, and to have compassion for living.