Environmental Policies are the sum total of the values to which a person or a group of persons or institutions social, legal and governmental – consider as important in their relationships with one another. Environmental policies have to be formulated in the credible of social morals and values. Let us know more about the Environmental Policies in India.
The goals of the Environmental Policies may be formulated in several ways – to protect human health, ensure the viability of wildlife, preservation of historic monuments, stopping further degradation of the environment etc.
The policy is the overall environmental intention and direction forming the backbone and skeletal framework, from which all other environmental components are hung including environmental management systems, audits, assessments, and reports.
In the early years of Independence, there was no precise environmental policy and not many attempts were made to frame any specific policy or law for the protection of the environment. This period had more stress on the development of infrastructure with little concern for environmental issues. Various environmental concerns like sewage disposal, sanitation, public health etc., were dealt with different ministries of government. However, the concern for environmental protection was reflected in the national planning process and forest policy.
In February 1972 a National Committee on Environmental Planning and Co-ordination (NCEPC) was established in the Department of Science and Technology. This was the apex advisory body in all the matters pertaining to environmental protection and improvement. The committee was assisted by Department of Science and Technology and an Office of the Environmental Planning and Co-ordination (OEPC) was set up under the direction of the Chairman of the committee.
The Government of India set up a committee in January 1980 under the Chairmanship of Shri. N.D. Tiwari, then Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission to review the existing environmental legislation and recommend legislative measures and administrative machinery for environmental protection. The committee stressed the need for the proper management of the country’s natural resources of land, forest and water in order to conserve the nation’s ecological bases.
National Environment Policy, 2006
The National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development, 1992 was one of the first attempts of the Government of India to develop a policy framework for environmental protection. The National Forest Policy, 1988 and the Policy Statement for Abatement of Pollution, 1992 are some other policy frameworks that advocate effective environmental management at the national level.
However, a need was felt to bring together the guiding principles of all these documents and develop a comprehensive national environmental policy. Consequently, the National Environment Policy was put together after widespread consultation and was approved by the Union Cabinet on 18th May 2006. The National Environment Policy, 2006 (NEP, 2006) does not displace earlier policies but builds upon them.
Objectives of the National Environment Policy, 2006
Following are the objectives that were kept in mind while framing the National Environment Policy, 2006 by MoEF, Government of India.
- Conservation of Critical Environmental Resources – To protect and conserve critical ecological systems and resources, and invaluable natural and man-made heritage, which are essential for life-support, livelihoods, economic growth, and a broad conception of human well-being.
- Intergenerational Equity – To ensure judicious use of environmental resources to meet the needs and aspirations of the present and future generations.
- Integration of Environmental Concerns in Economic and Social Development – To integrate environmental concerns into policies, plans, programmes and projects for economic and social development.
- Efficiency in Environmental Resource Use – To ensure efficient use of environmental resources in the sense of the reduction in their use per unit of economic output, to minimize adverse environmental impacts.
- nvironmental Governance – To apply the principles of good governance (transparency, rationality, accountability, reduction in time and costs, participation, and regulatory independence) to the management and regulation of the use of environmental resources.
- Enhancement of Resources for Environmental Conservation – To ensure higher resource flows, comprising finance, technology, management skills, traditional knowledge and social capital for environmental conservation through mutually beneficial multistakeholder partnerships between local communities, public agencies, the academic and research community, investors, and multilateral and bilateral development partners.