Acts and Legislation UPSC Notes

Acts and Legislation UPSC Notes

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  • Acts and legislation form the backbone of legal systems worldwide, shaping societies, safeguarding rights, and establishing frameworks for governance. These legal instruments are crucial for maintaining order, protecting citizens, and promoting justice. In this article, we will explore the significance of acts and legislation, their key features, and their impact on various aspects of our lives.

Acts and Legislation UPSC Notes – Lec 8

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Acts and Legislation Shaping India’s Environmental Landscape

India’s environmental policies are fortified by a robust legal framework comprising various acts and legislations. This article explores key components of this framework, addressing critical issues such as wildlife protection, forest conservation, and environmental impact assessments.

Census of Asiatic Lion and Supreme Court Judgements

The Census of Asiatic Lions is a pivotal initiative for monitoring and preserving this endangered species. Concurrently, Supreme Court judgments play a crucial role in interpreting and upholding environmental laws, ensuring their effective enforcement.

Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, and its 2021 Amendment

The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, forms the bedrock of wildlife conservation in India. The 2021 amendment strengthens these provisions, aligning them with contemporary challenges and refining the legal framework for enhanced protection.

Here is a detailed table:

Provisions Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 2021 Amendment
Year 1972 2021
Objective Conservation of wildlife and prevention of poaching and illegal trade Strengthening conservation efforts, addressing new challenges
Key Amendments Various amendments over the years addressing specific species, habitats, and conservation measures Significant amendments to enhance penalties, introduce new offenses, and incorporate modern technologies
Notable Changes Establishment of Wildlife Advisory Board, creation of protected areas, regulation of hunting Increased penalties for wildlife offenses, inclusion of more species under the Act, emphasis on technology for monitoring and enforcement
Impact Significant improvement in wildlife conservation and habitat protection Strengthened legal framework to address contemporary wildlife conservation challenges
Enforcement Implemented by state and central authorities with the support of wildlife officers and law enforcement agencies Enhanced mechanisms for enforcement and monitoring, involving technology and coordination among different agencies
International Collaboration India is a party to CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Continued collaboration with international organizations for the conservation of global biodiversity

Please note that the specifics of the 2021 Amendment would require access to the text of the amendment itself and any associated documentation. You may want to refer to the official sources or legal databases for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Whale Vomit and its Legal Implications

Here is a detailed table:

Aspect Description
Substance Ambergris, commonly known as whale vomit, is a waxy, grayish substance produced in the digestive system of sperm whales.
International Protections Sperm whales, the source of ambergris, are protected under international agreements. The International Whaling Commission (IWC) imposes a moratorium on commercial whaling.
CITES Regulations Ambergris is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). International trade may be subject to CITES restrictions.
National Legislation Countries may have specific laws regulating the collection, possession, and trade of ambergris. Prohibitions on harming sperm whales and restrictions on trade may apply.
Endangered Species Status Sperm whales may be classified as endangered or vulnerable species in some countries, triggering additional protections and regulations.
Found Ambergris Legal debates exist regarding the status of ambergris found on beaches – whether it is considered “treasure trove” and belongs to the finder or is subject to wildlife protection laws.
Use in Perfumes While ambergris has historically been used as a fixative in high-end perfumes, there is a growing trend toward synthetic alternatives due to ethical and legal considerations.

It’s important to note that the legal implications can vary depending on the specific laws of each country and any recent changes in international agreements. Individuals and businesses involved in the trade or use of ambergris should seek legal advice to ensure compliance with applicable regulations.

Whale Vomit and Legal Implications

Legal Context Details
Relevant Legislation in India The Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 prohibits the possession and sale of ambergris, also known as “whale vomit.”

Sperm whales, the source of ambergris, are a protected species in India.

Prohibition in India Illegal to possess or sell ambergris due to the protection status of sperm whales.

Provisions under the Wildlife Protection Act aim to prevent the exploitation and trafficking of protected species.

International Trade Restrictions India, Australia, and the United States have domestic laws prohibiting the trade and possession of ambergris.

This contrasts with the legality of trade in many other countries where it is considered legal.

Ambergris Usage and Value Ambergris is a naturally excreted waste product from sperm whales. – Used in various industries, including the perfume industry.

Known for its unique and pleasant scent, often used as a fixative in high-end perfumes.

Economic Significance Valued in the market with higher qualities fetching more than $27 a gram.

High demand in the perfume industry contributes to its economic significance.

Legal Implications of Possession or Sale Legal consequences, including fines or penalties, for individuals found in possession or involved in the sale of ambergris in contravention of wildlife protection laws.

Please note that the legal implications and details provided. Legal situations may vary, and it’s essential to consider the specific laws and regulations in each jurisdiction.

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Environment Protection Act, 1986

Here is a detailed table:

Aspect Description
Year Enacted 1986
Objective The Environment Protection Act aims to provide for the protection and improvement of the environment. It empowers the central government to take measures to address environmental issues.
Key Provisions Empowers the central government to take necessary measures to protect and improve the quality of the environment.

Authorizes the establishment of authorities for environmental protection.

Regulatory Authorities The Act led to the establishment of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) to enforce environmental laws and regulations.
Pollution Control Provides for the regulation and prevention of water and air pollution.

Empower authorities to set standards for emissions and discharge of pollutants.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) The Act mandates the preparation of environmental impact assessments for certain projects that may have significant environmental impacts.
Penalties and Enforcement Specifies penalties for offenses such as the release of pollutants beyond permissible limits.

Empowers authorities to take punitive actions against violators.

Public Participation Encourages public participation in environmental decision-making processes.
Notification of Rules The Act empowers the government to issue notifications and rules for effective implementation.
Amendments The Act has undergone amendments over the years to address emerging environmental challenges.
Legal Framework Forms a cornerstone of India’s legal framework for environmental protection and conservation.

Please note that this table provides a general overview, and for a more detailed understanding, you may want to refer to the text of the Environment Protection Act, 1986, and any subsequent amendments. Additionally, the specifics may vary based on the context and legal interpretations.

Indian Forests Act, 1927, and Forest Conservation Act, 1980

Here is a detailed table:

Indian Forests Act, 1927

Aspect Description
Year Enacted 1927
Objective The Indian Forests Act, 1927, aims to consolidate the laws relating to forests, the transit of forest produce, and the duty leviable on timber and other forest produce.
Classification of Forests The Act categorizes forests into reserved, protected, and village forests, each subject to different rules and regulations.
Control and Management Empowers the government to declare reserved forests, control access, and regulate activities within these forests.
Offenses and Penalties Specifies offenses related to unauthorized extraction of forest produce and damage to forests, with associated penalties.
Transit of Forest Produce Regulates the transit of forest produce through passes and requires payment of specified duties.
Village Forests Provides for the regulation of village forests, where communities may have certain rights and responsibilities.
Government’s Authority Grants substantial authority to the government for the management, protection, and conservation of forests.
Amendments The Act has seen amendments over the years to address changing environmental and conservation needs.

Forest Conservation Act, 1980

Aspect Description
Year Enacted 1980
Objective The Forest Conservation Act, 1980, aims to conserve forests and wildlife by restricting the diversion of forest lands for non-forest purposes, except under certain conditions and with prior approval.
Prior Approval Requirement Requires prior approval from the central government for diverting forest land for non-forest purposes like mining, industry, or other developmental projects.
Exceptions Specifies circumstances under which diversion may be allowed, including projects of strategic importance or those benefiting the environment.
Penalties for Violations Imposes penalties for unauthorized diversion of forest land without prior approval.
Amendments The Act has been amended to enhance its effectiveness and address emerging conservation challenges.

These tables provide a general overview, and for comprehensive details, you should refer to the actual texts of the Indian Forests Act, 1927, and the Forest Conservation Act, 1980, along with any amendments that may have been made since my last update in January 2022.


Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001

Here is a detailed table:

Aspect Description
Year Enacted 2001
Objective The Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001, aims to provide for the establishment of an effective system for the protection of plant varieties, the rights of farmers, and plant breeders while encouraging the development of new varieties of plants.
Protection of Plant Varieties Provides a framework for the protection of plant varieties through the grant of intellectual property rights, encouraging investment in research and development in the field of plant breeding.
Farmers’ Rights Recognizes and protects the rights of farmers in relation to their contributions in conserving, improving, and making available plant genetic resources for the development of new plant varieties. Includes the right to save, use, sow, resow, exchange, share, or sell farm-saved seed or planting material.
National Plant Variety Registry Establishes a National Plant Variety Registry to maintain a register of plant varieties and to administer the protection and registration process.
Rights of Breeders Recognizes and protects the rights of plant breeders by providing them with exclusive rights over the registered varieties for a specified period, allowing them to control the production, sale, and distribution of the propagating material of the protected variety.
Essential Components of Legislation – Registration of plant varieties. – Criteria for registration. – Duration of protection. – Rights of farmers. – Establishment of Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority. – Establishment of the National Gene Fund. – Farmers’ rights to be evolved as a registered variety. – Rights of the breeder. – Exemptions for certain acts by farmers.
Farmers’ Rights Protection Authority Establishes the Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority to oversee the implementation of the Act and to protect and regulate the rights of farmers.
Benefit-Sharing Mechanism Introduces a benefit-sharing mechanism to ensure that local communities, farmers, and breeders benefit from the commercialization of plant varieties developed from their contributions.
Amendments The Act may be amended to address evolving issues and challenges in the field of plant varieties and farmers’ rights.

This table provides a general overview, and for a more detailed understanding, you should refer to the actual text of the Protection of Plant Variety and Farmers’ Rights Act, 2001, along with any amendments.

Biodiversity Act, 2002

Here is a more detailed table:

Aspect Description
Year Enacted 2002
Objective The Biological Diversity Act, 2002, aims to preserve India’s biological diversity and provides a mechanism for the equitable sharing of benefits from the use of traditional biological resources and knowledge. It addresses issues related to conservation, sustainable use, access to genetic resources, and fair benefit-sharing.
Key Provisions – Conservation of biological resources. – Sustainable use of biological resources. – Access to genetic resources and associated knowledge. – Fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the utilization of biological resources.
National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) – Responsible for matters related to access requests by foreign individuals, institutions, or companies. – Deals with matters related to the transfer of research results to foreigners. – Comprises a chairperson, three ex officio members, one member representing the Ministry dealing with Tribal Affairs, and two members representing the Ministry dealing with Environment and Forests.
Establishment of Authorities – National Biodiversity Authority (NBA). – State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs). – Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) at the local level.
Prohibitions – Prohibits the transfer of biological resources and associated traditional knowledge to any foreign entity without prior approval of the NBA.
National Biodiversity Fund – Established to support the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in India.
Biodiversity Definition – Biodiversity is defined as “the variability among living organisms from all sources and the ecological complexes of which they are part, and includes diversity within species or between species and of ecosystems”.
Role of NBA – Facilitates, regulates, and advises the Government of India on matters relating to conservation. – Comprises a Chairperson and three ex officio members.

Please note that this table provides a general overview, and for a more detailed understanding, you should refer to the actual text of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002.

Forest Rights Act, 2002, Biological Diversity Act, 2002, Forest Rights Act, 2006, and National Green Tribunal Act, 2010

These acts collectively recognize the rights of forest-dwelling communities, promote sustainable forest management, and establish a specialized tribunal for expeditious disposal of cases related to environmental protection.

Forest Rights Act, 2006

Here is a more detailed table:

Aspect Description
Year Enacted 2006
Objective The Forest Rights Act, 2006, aims to recognize and vest the forest rights and occupation of forest-dwelling communities, including Scheduled Tribes and other traditional forest dwellers, who have been residing in such forests for generations but whose rights have not been recorded.
Key Provisions – Recognition and vesting of forest rights. – Protection of habitats of primitive tribal groups. – Empowerment of Gram Sabhas in the management of forests. – Rights to protect, regenerate, conserve, and manage community forest resources.
Recognition of Rights The act recognizes individual and community rights over forest lands and resources, promoting sustainable forest management while ensuring the rights of forest-dwelling communities.
Gram Sabha’s Role Gram Sabhas play a central role in the implementation of the act, including the identification of beneficiaries, verification of rights, and management of community forest resources.
Habitat Protection Special provisions are made for the protection of habitats of primitive tribal groups, ensuring their cultural and livelihood interests.
Implementation Authority The act designates the State Forest Rights Committees (SFRCs) and District Level Committees (DLCs) to oversee the implementation of the act at the state and district levels, respectively.

Biological Diversity Act, 2002

Aspect Description
Year Enacted 2002
Objective The Biological Diversity Act, 2002, aims to conserve India’s biological diversity and provide a mechanism for the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from the use of biological resources and traditional knowledge associated with them.
Key Provisions – Conservation of biological resources. – Sustainable use of biological resources. – Access to genetic resources and associated knowledge. – Fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the utilization of biological resources.
National Biodiversity Authority The act establishes the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) responsible for matters related to access requests, transfer of research results to foreigners, and overseeing biodiversity conservation efforts.
Biodiversity Fund It provides for the establishment of a National Biodiversity Fund to support the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity in India.
Local Level Committees The act facilitates the establishment of Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) at the local level to regulate access to biological resources and associated traditional knowledge.

National Green Tribunal Act, 2010

Aspect Description
Year Enacted 2010
Objective The National Green Tribunal (NGT) Act, 2010, aims to provide for the establishment of a specialized tribunal for the effective and expeditious disposal of cases related to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources.
Key Provisions – Adjudication of civil cases related to environmental laws. – Handling of matters concerning the conservation of forests, wildlife, and biodiversity. – Establishment of the National Green Tribunal to hear and dispose of cases.
Powers of the Tribunal The NGT has powers to hear appeals and resolve disputes arising from environmental laws and regulations. It promotes access to justice in environmental matters.
Jurisdiction The NGT has jurisdiction over civil cases involving environmental issues, and it provides an avenue for the resolution of disputes and the enforcement of environmental laws.
Composition of the Tribunal The NGT is composed of judicial and expert members with expertise in environmental matters, ensuring a comprehensive and informed approach to cases.

Please note that these tables provide a general overview, and for more detailed information, you should refer to the actual texts of the respective acts along with any amendments.


Acts-and-Legislation-UPSC-Notes
Acts-and-Legislation-UPSC-Notes

Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act (CAMPA Act), 2016

The CAMPA Act aims to mitigate the environmental impact of developmental activities by promoting afforestation and conservation efforts.

Here is a more detailed table:

Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016

Aspect Description
Year Enacted 2016
Objective The Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016, aims to provide for the establishment of funds under the public accounts of India and the states for compensatory afforestation, additional afforestation, and other ecological restoration activities. The act seeks to ensure that funds collected for compensatory afforestation are effectively utilized for environmental conservation and regeneration.
Key Provisions – Establishment of the National Compensatory Afforestation Fund (NCAF) and State Compensatory Afforestation Funds (SCAFs). – Utilization of funds for compensatory afforestation, additional afforestation, wildlife conservation, and other related activities.
Compensatory Afforestation Planning The act outlines the process for planning compensatory afforestation projects, including the identification of areas for afforestation and the types of species to be planted.
Management of Funds The act establishes the National and State Authorities to manage and oversee the utilization of funds. The National Authority supervises and monitors the activities of the State Authorities.
Utilization of Funds Funds collected under the act are utilized for compensatory afforestation, additional afforestation, wildlife management, and other activities to mitigate the adverse environmental impact of diversion of forestland for non-forest purposes.
Monitoring and Reporting The act emphasizes the importance of monitoring, evaluation, and reporting on the activities funded under CAMPA to ensure transparency and accountability.
Local Community Involvement The act encourages the involvement of local communities, tribal groups, and other stakeholders in planning and executing afforestation projects.
Penalties for Non-compliance The act specifies penalties for non-compliance with its provisions, ensuring accountability in the utilization of funds and the success of afforestation projects.

Please note that this table provides a general overview, and for a more detailed understanding, you should refer to the actual text of the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016.

National Wildlife Action Plan 2017-31

This plan outlines strategic measures for wildlife conservation, emphasizing habitat preservation and community involvement.

Here is a more detailed table:

Third National Wildlife Action Plan (2017-2031)

Aspect Description
Duration 2017-2031
Issued by Union Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change (MoEFCC)
Objective The NWAP aims to provide a strategic framework for wildlife conservation, sustainable development, and the preservation of genetic diversity in India. It recognizes the impact of climate change on wildlife and includes actions for mitigation and adaptation.
Components – Ecosystems – Conserving natural habitats – Preservation of genetic diversity – Sustainable utilization of species and ecosystems – Recovery of threatened species and aquatic ecosystems – Integrated management of coastal and marine ecosystems – Adaptation to climate change – Integrated sustainable management of aquatic biodiversity – Eco-tourism, nature education, and participatory management
Themes 17 themes are identified in the NWAP, addressing various aspects of wildlife conservation, habitat protection, and sustainable use.
Conservation Actions 103 conservation actions are outlined to address specific challenges and goals in wildlife conservation.
Projects 250 initiatives organized around the five main components and 17 themes, contributing to the overall goals of the NWAP.
Emphasized Aspects – Ecosystems – Conserving natural habitats – Preservation of genetic diversity – Sustainable utilization of species and ecosystems – Recovery of threatened species and aquatic ecosystems – Integrated management of coastal and marine ecosystems – Adaptation to climate change – Integrated sustainable management of aquatic biodiversity – Eco-tourism, nature education, and participatory management
Climate Change Considerations Recognizes the impact of climate change on wildlife and incorporates actions for mitigation and adaptation within the plan.

Please note that this table provides a comprehensive overview and for more detailed information, you should refer to the official document of the Third National Wildlife Action Plan (2017-2031).


Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

EIA is a critical tool for assessing the environmental consequences of proposed projects. The 2017 amendment to EIA Rules and the 2020 draft introduce significant changes, influencing the clearance process for various projects.

Here’s a detailed table:

Aspect Description
Purpose of EIA – Tool for evaluating environmental consequences of a project or development proposal. – Considers positive and negative impacts on the environment, economy, and society.
Contributor iFluids Engineering
Goal of EIA – Identify potential environmental effects of a project early in the planning process. – Aim to avoid, reduce, or offset adverse effects.
Steps for EIA 1. Define the scope of the assessment.

2. Collect baseline data.

3. Identify potential impacts.

4. Determine the significance of impacts.

5. Develop mitigation measures.

6. Prepare an EIA report.

Key Stages in EIA Process 1. Screening: Identifying whether a project requires a full EIA.

2. Alternatives: Exploring alternative project options.

3. Preliminary Assessment: Initial assessment of potential impacts.

4. Scoping: Defining the scope and key issues.

5. Mitigation: Identifying measures to reduce or eliminate adverse impacts.

6. Main EIA Study and Environmental Impact Statement: In-depth analysis and reporting.

7. Review and Monitoring: Assessing the EIA report and monitoring the project’s environmental performance.

EIA Report Document summarizing the assessment process, findings, and proposed mitigation measures.
Significance Determination Assessing and determining the significance of identified environmental, economic, and social impacts.
Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Comprehensive document presenting the main EIA study, outlining potential impacts, proposed mitigation measures, and alternatives considered.
Review and Monitoring Ongoing assessment and monitoring of the project’s environmental performance post-implementation.

This table provides a detailed overview of the EIA process and its key components, it is important to refer to relevant EIA guidelines and regulations.


Classification of Projects

Projects are classified based on their potential environmental impact, ensuring a tailored approach to their assessment and approval.

Exempted Projects and INO Ruling

Certain projects may be exempted from detailed scrutiny, while the “IN Principle” ruling sets standards for projects in ecologically sensitive areas.

Here’s a detailed table:

Exempted Projects

Category Examples
Category A Projects Offshore projects are generally exempt from public hearings.
Industrial Estates and Parks Projects within industrial estates or parks approved by authorities.
Road and Highway Expansions Expansions without further land acquisition.
Highway Projects of Strategic and Defense Importance Exemption from environmental clearance if 100 km from the Line of Control.

INO Ruling

Project Details
India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) Aims to build a detector inside a mountain in Tamil Nadu to study neutrinos.
NGT Ruling NGT ruled that committees and expert groups on Western Ghats must be applied to the INO project.

Public Consultation Changes

Year Details
2020 Draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification reduced exempt activities from 9 to 7. Large industries and projects are not exempt from public consultation according to the Government of India.

This table provides a breakdown of exempted projects, the specific INO project, and changes in public consultation regulations. Please note that for specific details, you should refer to the relevant legal documents and guidelines for environmental impact assessments in India.


2017 Amendment to EIA Rules 2006

This amendment expands the authority of state governments in granting environmental clearances, particularly for mining projects. It empowers state governments for river valley or irrigation projects and introduces changes in irrigation technology without increasing dam height.

Here’s a detailed table:

2017 Amendment to EIA Rules and Notification

Aspect Details
Date of Amendment March 14, 2017
Issuing Authority Ministry of Environment, Government of India
Legal Basis Environment (Protection) Act, 1986
Objective of the Notification Evaluate projects that have commenced work without prior environmental clearance to bring them into compliance with environmental laws as soon as possible.
Integrated Environmental Conditions The 2006 amendment to the EIA Notification integrated environmental conditions with building permissions, establishing a new framework and institutional structure to streamline environmental clearance for the construction and building sector.
Changes to 2006 EIA Notification – Removal of some activities from public consultation. – Creation of a list of projects in Category B2 that are exempt from the EIA requirement. – Inclusion of projects such as oil and gas exploration, hydroelectric projects, and irrigation projects in the B2 category.
Exemption of Category B2 Projects Certain projects in Category B2 are exempt from the EIA requirement, streamlining the approval process for specified activities.
Inclusion of New Projects in B2 Category Addition of projects such as oil and gas exploration, hydroelectric projects, and irrigation projects to the B2 category.
Institutional Framework for Building Sector Establishment of a new framework and institutional structure to streamline environmental clearance for the construction and building sector.
Compliance Deadline for Ongoing Projects The notification aimed to bring projects that have started work without prior environmental clearance into compliance with environmental laws as soon as possible.

Please note that this table provides a detailed overview. For specific legal details and the complete context, it is recommended to refer to the actual legal texts, notifications, and amendments issued by the Ministry of Environment, Government of India.


Key Provisions of the 2020 Draft

The 2020 draft introduces crucial provisions, including reduced time for public hearings, project proponents preparing reports, post facto clearance, and penalties for firms violating environmental norms.

Here’s a detailed table:

Key Provisions and Proposals of 2020 Draft EIA Notification

Aspect Details
Approval for Projects Started Without EIA – Introduction of post-facto approval for projects that started without prior environmental clearance.
Public Consultation Periods – Reduced public consultation periods compared to the 2006 EIA Notification.
Exclusion of Certain Projects from Public Consultations – Exclusion of certain projects from public consultations, altering the criteria for public engagement.
Re-categorization of Projects – Re-categorization of projects, potentially changing the level of scrutiny and environmental clearance requirements.
Appeal to National Green Tribunal – Provision for projects to appeal decisions to the National Green Tribunal.
Use of Technology – Provisions for the use of GIS, blockchain technology, and big data analysis to expedite the environmental impact assessment process.
Environmental Clearance Process Stages – Four-stage environmental clearance process: Screening, Scoping, Public Consultation, Appraisal.
Requirement for Prior Environmental Clearance – Projects that need to be presented before an appraisal committee must obtain prior environmental clearance. If no condition requires presentation before the committee, the project proponent can apply for prior environmental permission.
Reduced Time for Public Hearings – One of the major proposals involves reducing the time allocated for public hearings, a critical step in the EIA mechanism.

Please note that the table provides a general overview and for detailed and accurate information, it is advisable to refer to the official text of the 2020 Draft EIA Notification and any subsequent amendments or official documents related to it.


Benefits of EIA

EIA facilitates informed decision-making, screening out environmentally unsound proposals, and saving time and cost. It assists in selecting environmentally friendly options, predicts adverse impacts, creates awareness, and lowers conflicts through stakeholder involvement.

Here’s a detailed table:

Benefits of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

Aspect Details
Prevention of Severe Environmental Damage EIA helps prevent more severe environmental damage and pollution by assessing and addressing potential negative impacts of proposed projects, fostering responsible and sustainable development.
Government Responsibility EIA projects demonstrate government responsibility in preserving and protecting the environment, showcasing a commitment to environmental stewardship. This contributes to public trust and aligns with governmental obligations to safeguard natural resources.
Quality and Transparency in Decision-Making Enhances the quality and transparency of environmental decision-making by providing comprehensive assessments of potential effects on the environment and society, enabling informed and responsible choices in project development.
Public Awareness and Education Improves public awareness and education on environmental issues by involving communities in the decision-making process. Public participation in EIA fosters understanding of environmental impacts and promotes responsible citizenship in environmental conservation.
Environmental and Economic Benefits Achieves environmental and economic benefits, reducing costs and time-bound implementation of project designs. EIA contributes to optimized resource use and helps identify environmentally friendly alternatives for development.
Eco-friendly Development Promotes eco-friendly development by aligning project design and implementation with sustainability principles. EIA encourages the adoption of practices that minimize ecological footprints and contribute to the overall well-being of ecosystems.
Monitoring and Auditing Measures Emphasizes the importance of monitoring project implementation and performance during and after completion. Monitoring and auditing measures ensure that projects adhere to environmental standards, facilitating adaptive management and continuous improvement.
Screening for Environmental Protection Enables decision-makers to identify projects that require full screening to prevent potential environmental damage. EIA serves as a screening tool to assess the environmental implications of projects and determine the level of scrutiny required for each.
Environment Management Plan Facilitates the development of an Environment Management Plan (EMP) to avoid treatment/clean-up costs. Compliance with mandatory environmental laws and regulations is ensured through the implementation of EMP, contributing to responsible project execution.
Public Hearing as a Key Component Considers public hearings as a key component of the EIA process. Public hearings provide a platform for community engagement, allowing stakeholders to express concerns and opinions, fostering inclusivity in decision-making and ensuring a broader perspective is considered.

This table provides a comprehensive overview of the benefits of EIA, taking into account the prevention of environmental damage, governmental responsibility, public awareness, and various environmental, economic, and social advantages.


Strategic Environmental Assessment

Strategic Environmental Assessment enhances decision-making by incorporating environmental considerations into policies and programs.

Here’s a detailed table:

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA)

Aspect Details
Definition A systematic procedure to assess the environmental impact associated with a program, plan, or policy, integrating economic and social aspects during decision-making.
Purpose – Evaluate environmental impacts of proposed policies, plans, or programs. – Explore and address overall impacts. – Integrate economic and social aspects during decision-making.
Approaches – Analytical and participatory approaches. – Integration of environmental considerations into policies, plans, and programs. – Evaluation of inter-linkages with economic and social aspects.
Systematic Process – Identification of environmental effects. – Reporting of findings. – Proposal of mitigation measures. – Monitoring of environmental effects.
Focus of SEA Deliberately wide, considering custom, tradition, and institutional factors influencing the ownership and management of land.
Scope Encompasses policies, plans, and programs, aiming for a comprehensive assessment of environmental impacts and their interconnections with economic and social considerations.
Participatory Nature SEA involves participatory approaches, allowing stakeholders to contribute to the assessment process, ensuring diverse perspectives are considered.
Monitoring and Mitigation Measures Includes provisions for monitoring environmental effects and proposing mitigation measures to address identified impacts.
Integration with Decision-Making Integrates environmental, economic, and social considerations directly into decision-making processes related to policies, plans, and programs.
Analytical Framework Uses a range of analytical tools and methods to evaluate environmental effects and inter-linkages with economic and social aspects.
Application Areas – National development plans. – Land-use planning. – Policies related to resource management. – Regional development programs.

Please note that SEA is a diverse and adaptable process, and the specifics may vary, including jurisdiction, and the nature of the policies, plans, or programs being assessed.


Classification of Aquatic Ecosystem

The classification of aquatic ecosystems aids in formulating targeted conservation strategies for these vital environments.

Here’s a detailed table:

Classification of Aquatic Ecosystems

Type Description
Freshwater Ecosystems Include lakes, ponds, rivers, and streams. These ecosystems have lower salt content compared to marine ecosystems, allowing for a variety of organisms to thrive.
Marine Ecosystems Encompass the open seas, coastal zones, salt marshes, and wetlands. Marine waters can vary in salinity, being fully saline, brackish, or nearly fresh. Supports diverse marine life adapted to different salt concentrations.
Lentic Ecosystems Smaller ecosystems on land, such as ponds, rivers, lakes, swamps, and streams. Typically characterized by still bodies of fresh water.
Wetlands Standing bodies of water, including marshes and swamps. Plants and animals in wetlands are well adapted to the abundance of water, creating unique and diverse ecosystems.
Coral Reefs Formed by colonies of animals known as polyps. Most corals thrive in shallow, clear waters with maximum sunlight. Coral reefs are crucial for biodiversity and provide habitats for various marine species.

These classifications represent the main types of aquatic ecosystems, each with its unique characteristics and supporting different forms of life. Please note that the diversity within each category can vary, and there are subtypes and specific ecosystems within these broader classifications.

Conclusion:

  • India’s environmental legislation reflects a commitment to balancing development with conservation. The discussed acts and legislations underscore the nation’s dedication to preserving its natural heritage and fostering sustainable practices. As environmental challenges persist, these laws continue to evolve, ensuring a harmonious coexistence between human development and ecological integrity.

Previous Lecture: Biodiversity and its Conservation UPSC Notes PPT

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