Chapter 5: ENVIRONMENT LEGISLATION
and control of pollution] act, 1974:
authority was vested in state pollution control boards and
a central board. The central board would act as a
coordinator between state boards and enact policies.
S.P.C.B’s could enact effluent standards for factories.
could grant or deny consent to discharge in factories.
S.P.C.B had the power to inspect factory premises and
conduct analysis of samples. It could also cutoff water,
electricity to a premise. Provision of citizen suit to was
and control of pollution] Cess act, 1977:
cess shall be applicable on industries which discharge
effluents. The act also gave a rebate of 70% to those
industries which have effluent treatment plants. The cess
amount would be used by government to implement water act,
1974 and give capital grants to C.P.C.B and S.P.C.B.
and control of pollution] act, 1981:
control air pollution and improve quality of air.
had the power to inspect factory premises and conduct
analysis of samples. It could also cutoff water,
electricity to a premise. Provision of citizen suit to was
C.P.C.B/S.P.C.B were increased to include air and noise
operating within designated areas must obtain consent or
permit from the S.P.C.B.
governments were to prescribe emission standards for
industries and vehicles after consulting C.P.C.B.
response to the Bhopal gas tragedy for protecting human
environment and preventing hazards to human health. It is
an umbrella act that provides framework for other
legislation's and provides for coordination between
central government and central and state authorities.
prescribe environment quality standards for emissions and
effluents, regulate industrial locations, collect and
dismantle environment pollution information, establish
safeguards protecting environment and prescribe procedure
to handle hazardous substances.
government authority power to regulate water, electricity
to an industry and power to inspect, examine industries.
file a suit alleging an offense under this act.
Western Ghats - Eco Sensitive Zone
Government of India has notified nearly 57000 sq km area of the Western ghats as eco sensitive zone. The states under which this land is present are Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Eco sensitive zones are declared under the Environment Protection Act.
The mining, quarrying, sand mining projects, thermal power plants and building and construction projects shall be banned under this notification. These industries shall be classified as “Red” category industries. “Orange” category industry shall be strictly regulated. The stakeholders have been given 60 days to make suggestions. After which the notification shall come into force.
However criticisms have been received against the process. The earlier Madhav Gadgil committee had recommended that the entire area be declared eco sensitive. This wasn’t accepted an the Kasturirangan committee declared around 37% of the area as eco sensitive.
The government of Kerala had objected to a large portion being declared eco sensitive as this would have affected livelihoods. Hence the final notification has taken the state government’s views into consideration and allowed for a smaller area to be declared eco sensitive.
state wildlife boards, create Schedules I [endangered], II
[special protection], III [big game], IV [small game], V
[vermin] of animals to categorize them, establish
sanctuaries and national parks, permit capture
of wild animals for hunting, penalties for violations,
into reserved, village, protected and private. A
state may declare a forestland or wasteland as a reserve
forest and sell produce from it. Any unauthorized felling,
quarrying, grazing is an offense. Reserved forests
assigned to a village are village forests.
can declare a forest as protected and prohibit any
commercial exploitation there. Any diversion of forest
land for non forest use needs approval of the center.
biodiversity authority at the center, state
biodiversity boards and district biodiversity
management committees to be setup.
foreign organizations and nationals need to obtain
permission of the NBA before accessing biological
resources or knowledge for use.
monetary benefits arising out of approvals granted by
NBA are to be deposited in the national biodiversity
permission of state biodiversity boards needed before
biological resources can be imported.
can impose terms to ensure equitable sharing of
benefits. Before applying for any I.P.R abroad on basis
of biological resource obtained from India, NBA approval
has the powers of a civil court.
government can declare national heritage sites after
consulting local governments. Center can issue
directives to states if it feels a naturally rich area
is threatened by overuse, abuse, neglect.
is a framework to be respected by all signatories by
enacting national legislation's. Protocol is an
international agreement to support a convention that is
linked to a convention but adds new commitments to it.
[convention on international trade in endangered species
of wild flora and fauna] is an international
agreement between governments. It aims to ensure that
international trade of wild animals and plants doesn’t
threaten their survival.
union for conservation of nature and natural resources]: it’s the world
oldest and largest organization for conservation. HQ –
Gland, Switzerland. Have recognized eight red list
categories of plants and animals. These are extinct,
extinct in the wild, critically endangered, endangered,
vulnerable, low risk, data deficient, not evaluated. The
mandate of I.U.C.N includes help implement conservation
laws, run field projects, support governments and
authorities in policy making.
the depository of this convention and the Ramsar
Secretariat is at Gland, Switzerland. The objective of
this convention is to halt loss of wetlands and conserve
their flora, fauna.
and research, judicious use of wetlands, coordination
amongst nations for implementation.
the Vienna convention on protection of ozone layer this
protocol was implemented to reduce man made ozone
ensures compliance by enforcing bans on hazardous ozone
depleting substances, control on trade with non parties
and technology transfer to developing countries.
6. UN framework convention on
emission of greenhouse gases to ensure that the climate
change isn’t drastic and natural habitat can adapt to the
emissions without affecting food production.
was unveiled at the UN conference on environment and
development [U.N.C.E.D] in Rio de Janiero, 1992 [earth
convention the Kyoto protocol was drafted in 1997 to
reduce global emissions of G.H.G's to 5% less than the
1990’s levels by 2000. Kyoto protocol entered into force
The developed countries are
placed in Annex I and they have the
heaviest responsibility of fighting climate change by
reducing emissions. The countries of O.E.C.D and 12
transition nations were expected to reduce emissions
compulsorily. These nations were also expected to give
grants and loans and transfer technology to less advanced
countries. The financial support is managed by Global
Developing countries like India,
china were non annex countries with no binding targets.
Annex- II a
subgroup of annex-i countries which would provide funding
to poor countries.
Annex- A had the 6 G.H.G’s
like CO2, Methane, CFC, Sulphur Hexafluoride,
Perfluorocarbons, and Nitrous Oxide.
Annex-B was the targets
for annex-i countries.
biological diversity [CBD]: this convention
was signed in 1992 at the earth summit [UNCED]. The
convention has three parts: conservation of biodiversity,
sustainable use of biodiversity, equitable sharing of
benefits that arise out of genetic resources.
Fig 2: Earth Summit
UN Environment Program [U.N.E.P]:
It was created by the UN general assembly at the UN
conference on human environment, Stockholm in 1972. It is
headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya.
Its main mandate is to coordinate
development of environment policy for keeping global
environment under review and bringing emerging issues to
the attention of governments and international community
The divisions of U.N.E.P are:
Environment impact assessment:
is a tool that ensures that the project is environmentally
sound and within the capacity of the ecosystem to
assimilate and regenerate. It improves decision making by
reducing the adverse impact of development projects.
has now become mandatory for 29 development projects with
investment of Rs. 50 Crores or more under the Environment
Protection Act, 1986.
1: the environment appraisal committees are
created for projects like nuclear, thermal, mining,
industry, river valley, and infrastructure development.
Once an application is received it is sent to E.A.C for
approval or rejection recommendation. Once the
recommendations are obtained the ministry of environment
makes final decision in 90 days.
2: a post clearance monitoring is done to check
adequacy of safeguards and make mid course corrections if
Q.The Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee is constituted under the (UPSC CSAT 2015)
Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006
Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999
Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
Ans . C
he Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee (GEAC) is the apex body constituted in the Ministry of Environment and Forests under ‘Rules for Manufacture, Use, Import, Export and Storage of Hazardous Microorganisms/Genetically Engineered Organisms or Cells 1989’, under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.
Score more than 80% marks and move ahead else stay back and read again!