In India, environmental protection was not much of an issue till the mid-1980’s. That is, environmental protection as a whole was never seriously considered. The government did enact various legislation pertaining to the environment in the 1970’s and 80’s; most notably the Water Act, 1974, Air Act, 1981, Indian Forest Policy, 1988. But it took two major pushes, one from the international community and one from the national community, to create the Environment Protection Act. Continue reading India’s Environment Protection Act, 1986
Soon after the Stockholm convention on Environment, the Indian government responded positively by passing an act for the protection of India’s wildlife (both terrestrial and aquatic) and their habitats. Ever visited a Wildlife Sanctuary or a National Park? Taken a safari to enjoy the animals in the wild? Well, all that was possible only after the enactment of this Act. Continue reading India’s Wildlife Protection Act, 1972
India’s humongous and lavish spread of ecosystems such as forests, grasslands, wetlands, deserts, coastal and marine has been a subject of global admiration. India boasts of being one of the seventeen (17) most-biodiversity rich countries (technically known as the “mega diverse countries) in the world. So, how does this make India better than other countries? […]
Conservation for the sake of conservation is a romantic notion. But in reality, it’s far from it.
Conservation today requires the cooperation of many stakeholders, including the locals, different levels of government, corporations and even the potential economic benefit of the area in question.
Unfortunately, the last factor seems to be held in highest regard in most places around the world; this is especially true in developing countries like India. If an area has the potential for giving a boost to the economy through development, that will be pursued at the cost of ecological protection.
Here’s an interview with Dr. George Schaller, a renowned field biologist, conducted by Scroll.in.
He talks about how conservation methods have changed, how our priorities have changed, what is lacking and how he has tried to make a difference in conservation around the world.
(A guest post by Nidhi Singh. Check out her blog, The Brown Little Sparrow!)
John Muir an author, environmental philosopher and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States, said that the clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness. And I am sure most of you will agree with him. But you’ll also agree with the fact that we are losing that way, that too at a very fast rate.
In India the total forest and tree cover area is 79.42 million hectare, which is 24.16 percent of the total geographical area as per the report of India State of Forest Report (ISFR). But, the rate of degradation of these forests is quite alarming and forest fires are playing a major role in that. According to a report of the Forest Protection Division, of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF), 3.73 million hectares of forests are affected by fires, annually in India.
The process of EIA, though globally accepted and followed, still have many differences specific to the conditions in each country. In India, EIA has been a mandatory process since the EIA notification became part of India’s legislation in 1994. Since then, many amendments and modifications have been made by the government to improve (or dilute) the EIA process.
It is important to note that EIA still remains a huge challenge in developing countries. This is because they are still keen on achieving the economic prosperity of the West. However, EIA is posing a big challenge to these governments by making them think twice about mindlessly expanding their businesses and industries. This can be seen in this post, as I describe the key regulations passed by the Indian government over the course of 12 years. Continue reading How are Environmental Impact Assessments regulated? A look at the legislation in India
For the last few years, 30th November has been celebrated by a select few communities all over the world as Remembrance Day. On this day, species that have become extinct are remembered and talked about. Along with this, awareness is spread among the younger population about the dangers that animals and plants face in the wild today. Taking on this unique and admirable tradition, I’d like to remember the Asiatic Cheetah. It is not yet extinct in the world; however, it is certainly extinct in India (a minor tweak to the tradition).