You are on page 1of 6

THE WILDLIFE ACT OF 1972 THE WILDLIFE ACT OF 1972 was passed to make provision for control of wild

life by formation of Wild life Advisory Board, regulation on hunting and establishment of sanctuaries, national parks. The Parliament enacted the Wildlife Act in the year 1972. The wildlife Act provides for the state wildlife advisory boards, regulations for hunting wild animals and birds, establishment of sanctuaries, natural parks, regulation for trade in wild animals, animal products, and judicially imposed penalties for violating the Act. Harming endangered species listed in the schedule I of the Act is prohibited throughout India. An amendment to the Act in 1982, introduced provisions permitting the capture and transportation of wild animals for the scientific management of animal population. An amendment in the year 1991 resulted in the insertion of the special chapters dealing with the protection of specified plants and the regulation of zoos. This also recognized the needs of tribal and forest dwellers and changes were introduced to advance their welfare. THE WATER (PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF POLLUTION) ACT OF 1974 The Water Act of 1974 was the result of discussions over a decade between the center and states and was passed by the Parliament. The Act vests regulatory authority in the state boards and empowers these boards to establish and enforce effluent standards for factories discharging pollutants into bodies of water. The Water Cess Act of 1977 was passed to help meet the expenses of the Central and State water boards. The Act creates economic incentives for pollution control through a differential tax structure (higher rates applicable to defaulting units) and requires local authorities and certain designated industries to pay a cess (tax) for water consumption. To encourage capital investment in the pollution control, the Act gives a polluter a 25% rebate of the applicable cess upon installing effluent treatment equipment and meeting the applicable norm. The 1988 amendment strengthened the Acts implementation provisions and a board may take decisions regarding closure of a defaulting industrial plant. The water act is comprehensive and applies to streams, inland waters, subterranean waters, sea or tidal waters. The legislation establishes a Central Pollution Control Board, and State Pollution Control Boards for Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tripura and West Bengal, as well as the Union Territories. Each board, Central or state, consists of a chairman and five members, with agriculture, fisheries and government-owned industry all having representation. THE AIR (PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF POLLUTION) ACT OF 1981 The Air Act of 1981, states that all industries operating within designated air pollution control areas must obtain a permit from the state board. The states are also required to provide emission standards for industry and automobiles after consulting the Central Board To implement the decision taken at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held at Stockholm, 1972 Parliament enacted the nation wide Air Act under article 253 of the Constitution. The framework of this Act is similar to the Water Act of 1974. To have an integrated approach to environmental problems, the Air Act expanded the authority of the Central and State boards established under the Water Act, to include Air pollution control. States not having water pollution boards were required to set up Air pollution boards. Under the Air Act, all industries operating within designated air pollution control areas must obtain a permit from the State Board. The states are also required to provide emission standards for industry and automobiles after consulting the Central Board. The 1987 amendment strengthened the

enforcement and machinery and introduced stiffer penalties. It also introduced a citizen's initiative provision into the air act and extended the Act to include noise pollution. THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT (EPA) OF 1986 The EPA was passed to protect and improve human environment and to prevent hazards to human beings, other than plants and property. The EPA was passed to protect and improve human environment and to prevent hazards to human beings, other than plants and property. In the wake of Bhopal Gas tragedy, the government of India enacted the Environmental (Protection) Act of 1986 (EPA) under Article 253 of the constitution. The purpose of the Act is to implement the decisions of the United Nations Conference on Human environment of 1972. The EPA is an umbrella legislation designed to provide a framework for Central Government coordination of the activities of various Central and State authorities established under previous laws, such as Water Act and Air Act. Since the Act entered the statute book, the Act has served to back a vast body of subordinate environmental legislations in India. The scope of the EPA is broad, with "environment" defined to include water, air, land and the inter relationships which exists among water, air and land and human beings and other living creatures, plants, microorganisms and property. The law also promulgates rules on hazardous waste management and handling. Guidelines for diversion of forest land The Forest Act is administered by forest officers who are authorized to compel the attendance of witness and the production of documents, to issue search warrants and to take evidence in an enquiry into forest offences. The forest Act is administered by forest officers who are authorized to compel the attendance of witness and the production of documents. THE FOREST (CONSERVATION) ACT OF 1980 With the rising rate of deforestation and the resulting environmental degradation, the Central Government enacted the forest (conservation) Act in 1980. The Act prohibits the deletion of a reserved forest, or the diversion of forestland for any non-forest purpose, and prevents the cutting of trees in a forest without the prior approval of the Central government. Contravention of the Act attracts up to 15 days in prison. HUMAN RIGHTS On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights the full text of which appears in the following pages. Following this historic act the Assembly called upon all Member countries to publicize the text of the Declaration and "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded principally in schools and other educational institutions, without distinction based on the political status of countries or territories." The many linkages between protection of human rights and protection of the environment have long been recognized. The 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment declared that "man's environment, the natural and the man-made, are essential to his well-being and to the enjoyment of basic human rights--even the right to life itself." In its decision 2001/111 the Commission on Human Rights invited the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to consider organizing a joint expert seminar "to review and assess progress achieved since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in promoting and

protecting human rights in relation to environmental questions and in the framework of Agenda 21." All over the world, people are experiencing the effects of ecosystem decline, from water shortages to fish kills to landslides on deforested slopes. The victims of environmental degradation tend to belong to more vulnerable sectors of societyracial and ethnic minorities and the poorwho regularly carry a disproportionate burden of such abuse. Increasingly, many basic human rights are being placed at risk, as the right to health affected by contamination of resources, or the right to property and culture compromised by commercial intrusion into indigenous lands. Despite the evident relationship between environmental degradation and human suffering, human rights violations and environmental degradation have been treated by most organizations and governments as unrelated issues. Just as human rights advocates have tended to place only civil and political rights onto their agendas, environmentalists have tended to focus primarily on natural resource preservation without addressing human impacts of environmental abuse. As a result, victims of environmental degradation are unprotected by the laws and mechanisms established to address human rights abuses. Human Right Act 1993 An Act to provide for the constitution of a National Human Rights Commission. State Human Rights Commission in States and Human Rights Courts for better protection of Human Rights and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. VALUE EDUCATION Awareness of environmental issues and the need for a sustainable relationship with earth has increased greatly in recent years, and continues to grow. Even so, the will to face hard decisions is largely absent; and the actions taken so far have not been enough to counteract the steady deterioration in the quality of the environment. The chief impediment to overcoming this deterioration is failure to develop sustainable behaviour patterns among the majority of the world's people. What is needed is a fundamental transformation of people's attitudes and practices. To bring this about will require deliberate and coordinated efforts and time. The World Commission on Environment and Development stressed that the next few decades would be crucial in this respect. The longer the delay, the fewer the opportunities and the greater the obstacles. Only a new worldview and morality can change the basic relation of people to the earth. People's behaviour is a matter of choices based on values. But individuals, groups and societies are often divided within themselves, and with one another, over which values to choose. This is especially true when the resources of life are limited or are poorly understood. Ethics help resolve such conflicts. By pointing out what is right and what is most worthwhile, they encourage people to think about the most important issues involved in their choices. Ethics do not give easy answers to the dilemmas of life, but they do encourage people to choose the options that serve the best interests of others as well as themselves. They also motivate people to make the sacrifices such choices often require. In a world of limited resources, conflicting values, and competing individuals and groups, ethics are the way human beings learn to cooperate with each other and the rest of life for the mutual wellbeing of all. Ethics are therefore essential for sustainability. It has always been so. Every society that has treated the land and the people well has had an effective conservation ethic. What is unprecedented today is the need for a world ethic of sustainability. A world ethic is needed because: 1. Individual actions now combine to have global effects. For the first time in human history, we must be individually conscious of our impacts on the planet. Since value

conflicts and competition for scarce resources are worldwide in scope, the ethical principles to resolve them must be shared globally. 2. There is no longer an effective ethic of sustainability in any major society in the world. The chief value for large numbers of people today is growth in personal levels of consumption. This value is reinforced by powerful commercial interests who use the mass media very effectively. Reductionist and mechanistic views of the world prevent people from seeing earth as a whole. The absence of an adequate ethic of sustainability is a major factor responsible for the failure to meet basic human needs, for growing inequities and loss of freedom in the use and enjoyment of nature, for loss of diversity and integrity of cultures and ecosystems, and for destruction of the capacity of the biosphere to support future generations. The need for a world ethic of sustainability - an ethic that helps people cooperate with one another and nature for the survival and wellbeing of all individuals and the biosphere - could not be greater. DISASTER MANAGEMENT The word Disaster is from a French word Desastre meaning bad or evil star. However this is a very narrow conception of disaster and in our context, any disaster means a situation in which there is a sudden disruption of normalcy within society causing widespread damage to life and property. Typology of disaster- A disaster can be either natural [rain, flood, cyclone, storm, land slides, earthquake, volcanoes] or man made [war including biological, arson, sabotage, riots, accident (train, air, ship), industrial accidents, fires (forest fires), bomb explosions, nuclear explosions and ecological disasters]. The discussion here is confined to the natural disasters. Pre- Independence, droughts and famines were the biggest killers in India. The situation has changed due to a combination of factors like irrigation development, food security measures. Floods, cyclones, droughts, landslides, avalanches and earthquakes are some of the major natural disasters that repeatedly and increasingly affect the country. Vulnerability- Vulnerability is defined as the extent to which a community, structure, service, or geographic area is likely to be damaged or disrupted by the impact of particular hazard, on account of their nature, construction and proximity to hazardous terrain or a disaster prone area. Basic concepts of Emergency Management- The basic concept suggests that the same management strategies can be applied to all emergencies. Emergencies do not just appear one day, rather they exist throughout time and have a life-cycle of occurrence, and hence the management strategy should match the phases of an emergency in order to mitigate, prepare, respond and recover from its effect. There are four phases in Emergency Management: Mitigation, Preparedness, Response and Recovery. The four phases are visualized as having a circular relationship to each other (Emergency Management Cycle). The activities in one phase may overlap those in the previous one.

Mitigation refers to activities which actually eliminate or reduce the vulnerability or chance of occurrence or the effects of a disaster. Mitigation phase begins with conducting hazard identification and vulnerability analysis which are essential to the planning of all other phases. Preparedness is a state of being ready to react promptly and effectively in the event of an emergency. Being prepared means that a plan of action exists for an emergency so that it is clear as to what to do before the emergency occurs. In some cases, such as a flood or hurricane, an early warning gives several hours to act. However, often no prior warning of an impending emergency, such as with earthquakes, tornadoes, explosions, or major fires is possible. Preparedness for any emergency, especially those, which strike without notice, requires a plan. It is essential to identify the resources available, and ways to utilize them. It must also be reasonably certain that the plan will work in an emergency situation. Preparedness Plan - The purpose of a plan is to provide a systematic way of responding to an emergency situation. The following aspects should be taken into consideration in the development of Emergency Preparedness Plan Identification of possible emergency situations which may occur in an _ area _Deployment of officer in charge in case of emergency Developing a strategy for activities likely to be undertaken and resources which could be of use _Identifying government bodies responsible to respond in case of emergency _Establishment of Emergency Operation Center (EOC) or Control Room to carry on emergency operations Response activities occur during and immediately following a disaster. They are designed to provide emergency assistance to victims of the event and reduce the likelihood of secondary damage. The five basic stages of response to an emergency or disaster are (i) Notification/ Warning, (ii) Immediate Public Safety, (iii) Property Security, (iv) Public Welfare, and (v) Restoration. The length of each stage depends upon the emergency situation. Recovery is the final phase of the emergency management cycle. Recovery continues until all systems return to normal, or near normal. Short term recovery returns vital life support systems to minimum operating standards. It grows out of the response effort. During the response phase, emergency repairs to buildings are made as protective measures against further damage or injury. Short-term recovery is the restoration of vital services and facilities to minimum standards of operation and safety. Severely damaged buildings are scheduled to be replaced or removed, water and sewer repairs are made, electricity and telephone services returned to normal. Long-term recovery may continue for a number of years, as the community slowly returns to preemergency or better conditions. Long-term recovery may include the complete redevelopment of

damaged areas. During short-term recovery, buildings are repaired and peoples immediate needs are taken care of and assistance programmes are put into effect. There is no clear-cut distinction when long-term recovery begins. They are not two distinctly different phases of recovery. Longterm recovery is simply those recovery efforts, which are still in operation long after the disaster and includes everything from complete redevelopment of the disaster area to mitigation efforts to prevent a similar disaster on an on-going basis for years after the emergency. The recovery phase of emergency management is just as vital as the mitigation, preparedness, and response phases. A key element in the recovery phase is to develop and implement ways to reduce community's vulnerability to a repeat of a similar emergency and also continued liaison with the State Headquarters and the Central Government for assistance.