Environment Protection Laws are essential for safeguarding the natural environment against potential damages due to human activities. Many legal firms in India specialize in cases related to these laws. The constitution of India has provisions for the protection and conservation of the environment and the sustainable use of resources. Part IVA of the Indian Constitution consists of the Fundamental Duties and asks every citizen of India to protect and conserve the natural resources and overall environment. Seven of the best environmental laws in India are discussed below:
National Green Tribunal Act, 2010
The NGT Act 2010 provides for the setting up of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for the fast and effective disposal of disputes and cases related to the conservation and protection of forest cover. It also enforces legal rights pertaining to the environment and giving compensation to the affected parties in such cases. It came into force from October 18, 2010, via notification number S.O. 2569(E). NGT also regulates and supervises emissions and violations by industrial establishments.
The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981
Also known as the 'Air Act,' it ensures the prevention, control, and reduction of air pollution through any source and also for the establishment of Boards at the central and state levels to carry out the tasks mentioned above. The Act has provisions to fight air pollution by preventing the use of pollution-causing fuels and substances while regulating industries that cause air pollution. It also empowers the State Governments after consulting the SPCBs to designate any area in the state as an air pollution control area. It also allows the SPCBs to test the air quality in the air pollution control areas, inspect air pollution control equipment, and their manufacturing procedure.
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, came into force as a preventive provision for water pollution and conservation of sources of fresh water. It also provides for the enactment of boards for carrying out the task. The Act also aims at prohibiting the discharge of pollutants in the water bodies, such as rivers and lakes beyond a certified limit. The Water Act has also set up a central authority, i.e., CPCB, which sets the provisions for prevention and control of water pollution. The last amendment for The Water Act came in 2003.
The Environment Protection Act, 1986
The Environment Protection Act, 1986 (Nature Act") accommodates the security and improvement of the natural environment. The Environment Protection Act sets up the structure for research, planning, and implementation of long haul necessities of natural wellbeing. It also sets out an arrangement of quick and sufficient reaction to threats to the natural environment. It is an umbrella enactment intended to give a system to the coordination of focal and state specialists built up under the Water Act, 1974 and the Air Act. The expression "environment" is comprehended in an extended-term under s 2(a) of the Environment Act. It incorporates water, air, and land just as the interrelationship which exists between water, air and land, and individuals, other living animals, plants, and property.
The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972
The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 was passed with an objective for protecting the fauna of the country efficiently, by curbing illegal hunting, smuggling and illicit trade of wildlife and its derivatives. The latest amendment came in 2003 and the penalties for offences under the act were made stricter. Recent suggestions from the central committees recommended harsher punishments for the violations. The aim of the act is to protect the listed species of flora and fauna from getting extinct.
The Forest Conservation Act, 1980
The Forest Conservation Act, 1980, was established to regulate the provisions for environmental protection. It sets up regulations for the use of forest and its resources and makes it mandatory to seek government approval for the same. It is the most critical Act which deals not only with forest conservation but also with the usage of forest-based resources such as wood, bark, etc.
The Scheduled Tribes and Others Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006
The Act provides for recognition of rights of the traditional forest dwellers and forest-dwelling scheduled tribes. It also serves as a blanket law for protecting the habitat of those tribes and the resources on which they depend. It has provisions for Environmental laws in India provide for the conservation of the overall environment and related resources.
Experts from legal firms for Setting up business in India agree that these laws are necessary for the protection of the natural environment. They also serve as a shield against the violators of environmental laws. It is because of the strict enforcement of such laws that India ranks among top nations who are working towards environment conservation. A recent success of the environmental laws came in the form of the jump seen in the numbers of tigers in the wild in India. Along with the above-discussed environment acts, there are several other laws which are aimed at protecting the environment and conserving natural resources.