As Paul Bigelow Sears said, – “How far must suffering and misery go before we see that even in the day of vast cities and powerful machines, the good earth is our mother and that if we destroy her, we destroy ourselves.”
It seems there’s a recent interest in Associating climate change with “Over Population” and that such countries such as India And China have to do more than just containing the global warming.
Climate disasters are on peak. Around 70% of the disasters are now climate related – up around 50% from last two decades. It come up with higher price tag and now the cost of responding to these disasters has risen up to tenfold in this decade.
Environmental issues are now a Global concern, not as Imaginative Brain Scrambler, it’s a Harsh reality. This issue will greatly impact both current and future generations and all other species as well. We are certain beyond a reasonable doubt, the issue of the environment change is real, serious and immediate and this poses significant risk to national security, human health, food chain or production and to the other interconnected web of organisms.
The Concept of Environmental Protection is Not a new concept, but an Ancient One. It can be traced to Hindu mythology, the Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads elaborately vignetted the trees, plants, wildlife and their importance in our society.
The ancient scriptures encrypted the constant attention for the protection of environment.
There are writings which galore, to show that in ancient India every individual had to practice the Dharma to protect and to worship nature. Charak Samhita (medical Science book of 900 BC – 600 BC) give many instructions for the use of water for maintaining its purity.
The practice of Deforestation or cutting down of trees is punitively prohibited and punishments were prescribed for the such acts in Yajna Valka Smriti. On the contrary, Kautalya’s Arthashastra, written in the Mauryan period, by Kautaliya (Chanakya); realized the necessity of forest administration.
Evidences from ancient civilizations of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa Civilization has further proved that the small population lived in consonance with the ecosystem to maintained their needs & harmony with the environment.
In jurisprudence as well, we’ve a Right (claim) which is jural co-relative of Duty and jural opposite to Liberty. It is Articulated that – If there’s a claim, the others have a Duty (obligation) towards such claim and such presence depicts the Absence of liberty in others.
Thus, it is implied that we have a Duty towards the environment.
The present notion of reality is somewhat like the “Two Truths in Buddhism” : –
The Relative Truth – Where everything is a perception and The Ultimate truth Where the things are exactly what is supposed to be. (Objective reality).
Mahayana Buddhism suggests that there are great warriors are walking the path from ignorance to enlightenment, and who can in turn, guide us on the same path.
Plato wrote a philosophy, called “The Cave.” Where a character tries to enlighten the other people that the images on the wall are only shadows, and that there is a beautiful and colorful world outside these caves. But they will not believe him, and will even begin to see him as a blasphemer, or an enemy.
But, on reflection a part of the appeal is also its philosophical and religious underpinnings… “Yes!” and at a very basic level, issue depicts two levels of reality: who our everyday existence and a deeper, more significant, underlying the reality. Because of our ignorance’s, we mistake the everyday this world for something real and objective, and this is the cause of our sufferings.
CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION AND 42ND AMENDMENT ACT
The 42nd Amendment in 1976 added a new part IV-A dealing with Fundamental Duties in the Constitution of India.
The Stockholm Declaration of 1972 was perhaps the first instance to conserve and protect the human environment at the international level. It’s Preamble states, “The need for a common outlook and common principle to inspire and guide the people of the world in the preservation and enhancement of the human environment”.
The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 defines as “Environment includes water, air and land. The interrelationship which exists among and between air, water, land and human beings, other living creatures, plants, micro – organism and property”.
Article 51-A (g), says that “It shall be duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life and to have compassion for living creatures”.
Article 48 -A of the constitution says that “the state shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country”.
Article 21 – was the first to recognized the right to live in a healthy environment. The right of a person to the pollution free environment is a part of the basic jurisprudence of the land held in -(Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra Vs. State) .
“It’s the unmitigated time that the general public, public entities, state and central governments must realize the damage, which our development process has made to this environment”.
BUILDING A GREENER ENVIORNMENT: A DISCUSSION
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.”
– Mahatma Gandhi
“Current Situation is like the wool that has been pulled over our eyes–that you are safe.”. Greevist believe that we can lead a rebellion, and the rebels of this rebellion will crackdown the framework that holds this idea of wool in place, and free mankind from this pollution through their technological advancement.
It is one of the most thought provoking, inventive, pioneering, influential and it’s also full of philosophical and religious allegories waiting for interpretations on these environmental situations.
As India’s on a roadway to be a Technological & Economical Superpower, on the contrary it also has to deal with the walloping crisis of trash, sewage, sanitation and Hygienic issues as well.
Today, with the GDP growth rate of about 7.2 %, India stood as the 6th largest economy. It’s a general principle that, when the Economy Prospers and the cash Flow increases, the pace of Industrialization and Urbanization of natural resources to witness a steady rise and India is no exception to it.
Consequently, the issues like environment pollution, water scarcity, and slightly higher temperature have caught the national attention, and too requires a Emergent action to adopt a Sustainable Economic model of development.
When I look at the rate of resource depletion of Soil erosion, fish stocks, and the climate changes strangely disturbs every ecosystem present, I witness a world which is not slowly but, inexorably degrading
I call it a “De-Narrative reality”—which is the reverse of this fast phasing development with less rich biodiversity.
Entwine Collaboration: The aspirations and the pretension to align economic efforts with the environment should not be restricted only to the government. The Industries, regulatory bodies and the government must delicately and intricately entwine themselves on this trellis. It’ll be marveled with environmental benefits and overall economic viability and this will bring a steer giant leap towards adopting sustainable economic models.
We have the opportunity to put forward sustainability from a marginal ethical concern to a crux of developmental strategies, related to water access, food security, transport and other countless areas, on sustainable footing.
It’s not nice to try to fool Mother Nature. It’s our Moral duty to owes its existence to the living world that we share with other species. We owe the living world an opportunity of the life-creating processes of natural selection, population dynamics, and exchange cycles.
The debt of Humanity can only be paid by Protecting the environment, it can compelled through legal procedure under Necessitas non habet legem ( Necessity knows no law ) or Jus Necessitatis (Act done in Necessity).
The fundamental Principle laid down by the Supreme Court is that “Precautionary principle” and the “Polluter Pays Principle” are essential features of “sustainable model of development”.
The basic concept behind this principle is that “if you make a mess, it becomes your duty to clean it up”
PALRI village” in Gurugram has set an example by building a pond and reviving another water body under the integrated watershed management programme (IWMP), enhancing the ground level in the village by around 4 feet. Earlier, the villagers were largely dependent on water tankers and could not use groundwater for drinking because it was hard water.
Delhi Ridge Case: To save the Delhi ridge from destruction an order from the Supreme Court was obtained directing NCT of Delhi to declare it as ‘Reserved Forest’.
The liability of the environment offender is part of the process of ‘Sustainable Development’ and as such polluter is liable to pay the cost to the individual sufferers as the liability for damaging the ecological environment.”
The Doctrine of Public Trust:The ‘public trust’ doctrine was referred to by the Supreme Court in M.C. Mehta v. Kamal Nath The doctrine extends to natural resources such as rivers, forests, sea shores, air etc., for the purpose of protecting the eco-system. The State is a trustee for holding the natural resources and thus cannot commit breach of Trust”.
Holistic Adjudication: In recent years, Supreme court has recently adopted a more holistic and structural approach for incorporating the strict liability in this intertemporal perspective. The origin of this tendency is highlighted in landmark cases such as Ratlam v. Municipal Corp. and Olga Tellis.
CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS
Sustainable Model: It generally means, “Development without harming the environment”.
For this to happen, we need to establish the need for industry-government collaborations to jointly prepare a road map to Sustainable success.
Criminal liability: – The powers vested to the Pollution Control Boards are not enough to prevent pollution. These boards have a limited power only to launch the prosecution against offenders in the court – which eventually defeats the purpose and object of the environment protection law due long delays in deciding the matters.
Thus, it is imperatively necessary to give evident powers to the Board or must recognize the criminal punishment is that aspect.
Role of Panchayat and Municipalities: – Article 243-G authorizes the legislature of State to endow the Panchayats with such powers and authority as may be necessary to enable them to function as institution of self-government.
Constitutionally, Panchayats are empowered to take interim measure for the environment such as: water management, soil erosion or degradation, forestry and even for the promotion of Ecological Aspect by deterring the Exemplary Damages. Such liability is not subject to any of the exceptions under the tort principle of strict liability in Rylands v Fletcher case.
Green investment: -China invested a lot in green energy, let our people also enjoy it so that we can grow green and live a quality life. Let’s strive for a blue sky, clean water and clean soil so that we can continue to live on our sacred Motherland.
Awareness: – How can we increase awareness of environmental protection.
The answer is simple, in two words: “Education and Information”. Green Action Over Green Tea.
Re Think: – Consume Less, Repeat, Reuse Reduce the use of electricity & water consumption. Reusable bags are the way to go. If you can’t reuse it, refuse it.
“Teach your kids to use Dustbins, before you teach them how to use a Phone”
Let us reconnect with nature, and recommit to creating a cleaner, greener and healthier planet.