The essential principles of environmental law include sustainable development, precautionary principle, polluter, equity.

What are the essential principles of environmental law?

Introduction –

The essential principles of environmental law include sustainable development, precautionary principle, polluter, intergenerational equity. The human civilization and industrilization of the world disturbed the atmosphere of the eart, human being interfeared the law of nature by their experiments. They Polluted water, soil, air through their development. Mainly these development came from Europe and American continent. The African and Asian countries are now explioting the earth resources, uptill now huge consumption were made by developed countries.

Gobal warming, lack of natural resources, lack of pure water creates problems to human beings now so we try to find these resources on other planets like moon or mars. We have already damaged our food production by use of chemical and access biotechnology to break the rules of nature. So it cost us in next future by lack of pure water, changes in atmosphere, increase in sea level, air pollution etc.

So here we try to see the history of Environmental Laws in the world and how to works in today’s senario where developed countries already consumed lots of natural resources and now they want to prohibit the consumption limit on remaining natural resources. Here we try to analyze Environmental laws and history of it. How Environmental law executed through Globalization and International Laws and treaties.

What is Environmental Law ?

Environmental Laws is a collection of laws made by the various countries through their own state environment laws with international treaties and agreements related to environment protections. The main objects of these laws is to protect the natural resources of the earth like minirals, forests fisheries, soil fertility etc.

Human civilization has a biggest achievment in their generation and that is industrilization which developed them but hamper the nature very badly through that process. Air pollution, water pollution and over consumption of natural resources which made by nature through thousand of years. Therefore after world war-II formation of United Nation we tried to protect Environment through International Law and try to avoid conflict between various countries Environment laws.

Through the United National Environment Programme policy was made for all the countries of the world to guide how to protect environment through Sustainable development plan made by the organization. All the member countries of the United Nation has Environment policy guided by United Nation Environment programme organization. In which rules and regulation, punishment theory and future planning for Environment protection is made.

History of Environmental Law –

The Stockholm Conference organized by the United Nation in 1972 is the major step taken by the world for protection of Environment of the earth but the problem was that to keep the balance of economical development and protection of Environment of the earth together. The history of Human civilization cames from revolution of settlement and farming skills of human beings.

The Invention of Agreeculture skill of human being actual depends on natural atmosphere so the unpredictability of food production creates nutrition problems to the human being from earlier nomadic human being who had availablity of variety of foods which is not the feature of agreecultural human beings. The human population drastically increase after 19th century because of medical development which creates earth problem more critical.

The consumption of natural resources by the human being since last 200 years is the problem of availability in future because they used it very fast and creat keos for the future generation. So realization of Air pollution, water pollution, and consumption of forest land creat problems for the human beings in next generation. The Stockholm conference was organized to made a policy to protect the nature by themself creating regulations and laws.

Types of Environmental Law –

The Environment law is rapidly evolving area of legal practice which is divided mainly in two fields, one is pollutants and the other is natural reserv conservation. The area of Environment laws extended day by days through energy, agreeculture, real estate through use of land. The International Environment governance, international trade, sustainable development and growth, climate change, food laws these also extended areas of Environment Laws.

  • International Environment Laws
  • Central Government Environment Laws
  • State Government Environment Laws
  • Local Municipalties
  • Non profit Environmental Organization
  • Law Firms
  • Corporate Council

Before the formation of United Nation Environment Programme Organization there was no united policy for the world environment protection earlier. After establishment of globalization policy and international trade the international law was established through international treaties and agreements between the countries. So through United Nation Environment Programmes Organization and various private non profit organization fights for environment protection through writ petition filling in the court and awareness in the society towards environment.

Principles of Environmental Laws –

After intitives taken by the United Nation and establishment of United Nation Environment Programme Organization in 1972 there was lots of activism happen for the environment protection through the World Commission for Environmentand Development in 1987. Earth summit in Rio Declaration in 1992 also made the structure of how the Environment laws to be made. Therefore various policies and conferences made the following principles for the Environment laws.

  • The Precautionary Principles
  • The Prevention Principles
  • The Pollutors pays principles
  • The Integration Principles
  • The Public Participation Principles

There is activism through non profit organization for environment protection going on with law professionals and law firms also therefore establishment of how environment law should be work was established. There is criticism on the activist and environment policy maker for obstacle created by them to world economy by prohibiting and making regulations which is not possible for execution. In developing countries and under developed countries lots of currption and bad governance towards execution of environment laws execution.

Sustainable Development and Environmental Law –

The sustainable development means without damaging our future generation to make a development with protecting environmental principles. Because there is always debate over use of natural resources from the development countries more than other countries of the world. The global warming issues and ozon layer damage issues arises more prominently after 1970’s.

Therefore  sustainable development theory came in to Environment issues to tackle while executing the Environmental Laws. 4.5 bllion years life of earth preserved various natural resources from its formation, but the buman beings consumed most of the resources in just last 200 years. It creats problems to the atmosphere of the earth and the other species of the it.

In 2015 with the intitives of the United Nation the sustainable development policy were made to implement the protection principles of Environmental issues. If we not solved the problem of natural resources then it creates future generation life in danger for food or the atmospher for living. So to   protect our future generation and nature there is needed sustainable development plan which was made in 2015.

Environmental Law in India –

The Central Pollution Control Board and the various States Pollution Control Boards were established to regulate the Environmental laws in India. The National Green Tribunal were established to entertain the disputes regarding Environmental issue to take quick action towards these issues outside the traditional court where pendancy of cases were the major issues.

  • Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974.
  • Air (Prevention and Control Pollution) Act 1981.
  • Environment (Protection) Act 1986.
  • E-Waste(Management) Rules2016 (Amended in 2018).
  • Batteries (Management & Handling)Rules 2001 ( Proposed to Amend in 2020).
  • Bio-Medical Waste Management Rules 2016.
  • Plastic Waste Management Rules 2016 ( Proposed to Amend in 2021).
  • Solid Waste Management Rules 2016.
  • Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules2016.
  • Hazardour and other Waste(Management and Transboundry Movement)Rules 2016.
  • Manufacture, Strorage and Import of Hazardous Chemicals Rules 1989.
  • Coastal Regulation Zone Notification 2019
  • Environment Impact Assessment Notification 2006.
  • Wild Life (Protection) Act 1972.
  • Forest (Conservation) Act 1980.
  • Public Liability Insurance Act 1991.
  • Biological Diversity Act 2002.

We have seen the legal professional M.C. Mehta had various writ petition for Environmental Protection in India which shows that there is not just government is serious about the Environment but the non profit organizations and some environmental activist also active for the protection of Environment in India.

Indian government and the state government made lots of rules and regulation to protect the environment but there is always pressure though various Industries to relaxation in various licenses of Environment which hamper there growth so the government always balance the Economy and the Environment laws to protect it.

Features of Environmental Law –

  • The United Nation formed the United Nation Environment Programme Organization in Stockholm conference to protect the Environment in 1972.
  • The member countries of the United Nation agreed to follow the policies made by the United Nation Environment Programme Organization.
  • The International Laws and treaties,agreements are the principle base of implementing the policies of Environmental protection in the world.
  • The sustainable Development Policy made by the United Nation in 2015 to preserve the natural resources to our next generation.
  • International Laws, Central Government Laws, State Laws and Local Government bodies are the executor of the Environmental laws and policies of the United Nation.
  • Non profit organization, law professionals, Law firms and private organization are the protecter of the Environment through agitation and writ petition in the court for Environment.
  • As far as India is concern water pollution and Air Pollution Act were made before 1990  but to extent the protection of whole environment the Indian Government made the Environment Protection Law 1986.
  • As per the guidelines of United Nation Environment Programme and non profit NGO’s the policies programmes are regularly made for the protection of Environment.
  • Earth summit in Rio Declaration in 1992 made the principles of Environmental laws to regulate it in the world as mentioned in the earlier.
  • There is very difficult to maintened the economic growth with protection of Environment in practically, because usage of natural resources are so heavy that if we probit it then it affect the world trade and economy.

Critical Analysis of Environmental Law –

The human civilization first polluted the soil of the earth through their presence in construction and cutting lots of forest land for farming and making their cities. The next pollution came in to the existance through Industrial Revolution and science revolution these polluted the water and air very badly till now. The European colanization and trade were exploited most of the natural resources of the world and created the wealth for themself, this affected the other countries.

The formation of the United Nation has influence of European and American continent who is explioted most of the natural resources with trade and consumption. In the United Nation most of the developing countries alleged that todays prohibition on the activites of usage of natural resources are not fair to us for the above reason. Therefore there is always conflict between European. American countries and other continent of the world for natural resources.

The United Nation Environment Programme made very good policies for the protection of Environment but to execute it was controvercial, there is always criticism for these policies by Industralist and businessman to obstacles to doing the businesses and trade. There is too many licenses to run the businesses which makes very difficult to do the business, indirectly it affects the economy and social structure of employeement.

Conclusion –

Actually we just highlighted the air pollution, water pollution, and global warming problems comes under Environmental issues but it is not true it also tackle the issue of social justice problems and poverty, equality and distribution of natural resources though the society. Environment law activist or attorney’s  can fight for public interest towards environmental issues is concern.

The Environmental laws and policy made by the United Nation Environment Programme is very effective but to excute on the ground level to protect the Environment is very difficult. There is always criticism about environment polcies and laws from the various industries. So to make the balance between econimical growth of the world trade and to protect the environment is very difficult.

The awareness about Environmental problems to the society is require because the Green Revolution cames with soil pollution and Industrial Revolution cames with Air pollution and water pollution. Preservation of forest land is another issue with land usability by the human beings. There is other living things depends on the earth and its resources but human beings always try to take authority of these natural resources so to protect other species of the earth is another problem.


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