The planet and its resources are precious. The presence of life on our planet ‘Earth’ is unique. The planet is full of resources, both renewable and non-renewable. However, the sad truth is that humans wantonly exploit the planet. Our generation should understand the importance of environmental conservation.
Environment conservation efforts become easy If people understand the importance of the environment for future generations. Wanton resource exploitation should be stopped to ensure conservation of the environment for the future.
‘Conservation of Environment’ is the practice of protecting the environment and natural resources.
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Importance of the conservation of environment
Environmental conservation is essential because of the following reasons:
- For agriculture: Agriculture relies on the environment. India is a country with an agriculture-based economy, and it is also the highest contributor to the GDP of India. Activities for the conservation of the environment for agriculture include prevention of soil erosion, floods.
- For fisheries: Water bodies are equally crucial for our survival on planet earth. Not just for water but also seafood as their primary source of food. Overfishing and water pollution can be the cause of the exploitation of water bodies.
- For climate: Human activities considerably affect the climate. Greenhouse gases, when linked with global warming, adversely affect the climate, resulting in increased droughts, floods, rise in sea level and extreme heat and cold. Conservation of natural resources reverses the adverse effect of human activities.
- Protects human life: Conservation of environment will help preserve and improve human life and health. If the environment is destroyed, new diseases may emerge, and species of herbs and plants that may help in medicine production may be destroyed.
- Protection of earth: Conservation of environment protects and safeguards the environment, reducing the amount of harm we inflict on the planet. Nothing will be left for future generations if we do not conserve the environment at this point.
- Preserve biodiversity: Environment conservation helps preserve biodiversity, water, and land-based ecosystems and energy flow throughout the biosphere.
Methods of environment conservation
Methods of environment conservation are as follows:
- Forest conservation: Afforestation and reforestation help conserve the forest and are responsible for trapping and absorbing considerable carbon dioxide. Citizens should conserve forests for the future. It is also necessary to enact stringent laws for forest conservation. For instance, the Forest Conservation Act 1980 was enacted to conserve the country’s forests. The act strictly regulates the use of forest and forest land for non-forest purposes. The Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, was enacted to recognise the rights of the forest-dwelling scheduled tribes and other traditional forest dwellers over forest areas. Another act enacted to consolidate the law related to the forest was the Indian Forest Act of 1927. Furthermore, the act regulates the transit of forest produce and the leviable duty on timber and other forest produce.
- Soil conservation: Soil conservation helps control soil erosion and improve the soil for agriculture. Planting more trees is essential as it prevents soil from blowing away. The use of chemicals should be minimised to avoid soil erosion.
- Managing waste: Solid waste is produced by market areas, industries, homes, settlement areas and other locations. Managing solid waste keeps the environment healthy. Municipalities conduct programs that manage solid wastes, designate litter bins all over the town, and collect the waste.
- Recycle: It is high time to be aware of recycling as long as possible. Glass, paper, plastic, and even metal are reusable. Therefore, litter should not be thrown away after original use. Almost 90% of the bottles that can be recycled do not even reach the recycling plant.
Reducing water consumption: Clean and fresh water is life-sustaining for humans and should not be taken for granted. Water should be saved as much as possible. Water conservation is the best method of saving water. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, provides provisions for the prevention and control of water pollution. The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, was enacted to prevent and control water pollution. The act also provides provisions to maintain or restore the wholesomeness of water in the country.
The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 is also popularly known as the Water Act. The Act has the provision for the Establishment of the board to prevent water and pollution control.
Control of air pollution: Avoid chemical fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides, and insecticides as they pollute the environment. Avoiding cars and using public transport will help in controlling pollution.
The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 is an act to prevent and control air pollution. The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, is also popularly known as the Air Act. It establishes the Boards at the Central and State levels to carry out the functions as provided under the Act. The Act empowers the state government to declare any area within the state as Air Pollution Control Area. Such a declaration is made only after consultation with the State Pollution Control Board.
- Public awareness: Making people aware of the consequences of activities. Educating people by various means like social media, seminars, and traditional media can go a long way in creating awareness.
National Green Tribunal
The National Green Tribunal was established under The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 for expeditious and effective disposal of cases related to the environmental protection and conservation of forests.
The National Green Tribunal Act also includes the conservation of natural resources and the implementation of environmental conservation laws. The Act came into force on 18 October 2010.
On the enactment of the National Green Tribunal Act, 2010, the National Environment Tribunal Act, 1995, and the National Environment Appellate Authority Act, 1997, were repealed.
Legislative frameworks for the conservation of environment
Environment Protection Act, 1986
The Environment Protection Act, 1986, helps protect and improve the environment. The Act establishes a framework to study, plan, and implement the long-term requirement of environmental safety.
It lays down a system of speedy and adequate response to a situation that threatens the environment. Umbrella legislation provides a legal framework to coordinate with central and state authorities.
The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972
The objective of enacting the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972 was to effectively protect the wildlife of the country and control poaching, smuggling, and illegal trade.
The Forest Conservation Act, 1980
The objective of enacting the Forest Conservation Act of 1980 was to conserve the forests in the country. The act restricts and regulates the de-reservation of forests and uses forest land for non-forest purposes.
Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991
The objective of enacting the Public Liability Insurance Act of 1991 is to provide for damages to the victim of an accident resulting from handling a hazardous substance.
Conservation of environment is necessary to protect our mother earth because natural resources such as coal and petroleum are depleting at a high speed. Because natural resources are depleting at a very high rate, the focus should be on the development of renewable resources to protect the environment.
The environment is an essential factor for living on the earth and is one factor that makes the planet different from other planets. But as the environment is depleting at a very high rate, it has become necessary to conserve it. We must preserve this environment for the next generation, and we must preserve it and return it similarly.
What is environmental conservation?
Environment conservation denotes preventing, managing, and conserving natural habitats and species.
What are ways of environmental conservation?
The common method of environment conservation are as follows:
- Using cloth or jute bags instead of plastic bags
- Using less water
- Proper waste management
- Sustainable Development
Why is Environment Conservation Important?
Conserving the environment is necessary as life on earth will not be possible without the environment. Therefore, to save life on earth, protecting the environment is essential.
Which authority hears an appeal against the order of the National Green Tribunal, and within how many days?
The Supreme Court is empowered to address the appeals filed against the order of NGT on an application to be filed for such purpose within 90 days of communicating the tribunal’s order.
Which environmental law legislation provides relief and compensation to the victims of environmental damage?
Section 15 of the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 provides relief and compensation to the victims of environmental damage. The act states that it will provide compensation to the victims in cases of:
- Pollution and environmental damage or accident resulting when handling hazardous substances,
- Restitution of damaged property,
- Restitution of environment of the concerned area(s).