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Environmental Protection Act

Various Environmental Protection Act and Conventions | 2021

Study Notes Based People, Development and Environment Unit of UGC NET Syllabus 2019

Important Environmental Protection Act

Important Study Notes Based on Unit-IX People, Development, and Environment, As there will be always surprised question-based on this Unit, So you need to have depth knowledge of Environmental Topics. All topics of UGC NET PAPER 1 Sylalbus have been covered step by step.

Unit-IX People, Development and Environment Study Notes Topic Wise

  1. Development and environment: Millennium development and Sustainable development goals
  2. Human and environment interaction: Anthropogenic activities and their impacts on the environment.
  3. Environmental issues: Local, Regional and Global; Air pollution, Water pollution, Soil pollution, Noise pollution, Waste (solid, liquid, biomedical, hazardous, electronic), Climate change and its Socio-Economic and Political Dimensions. 
  4. Impacts of pollutants on human health.
  5. Natural and energy resources: Solar, Wind, Soil, Hydro, Geothermal, Biomass, Nuclear, and Forests. 
  6. Natural hazards and disasters: Mitigation strategies. 
  7. Environmental Protection Act (1986), National Action Plan on Climate Change, International agreements/efforts -Montreal Protocol, Rio Summit, Convention on Biodiversity, Kyoto Protocol, Paris Agreement, International Solar Alliance. [THIS POST]
  8. MCQ Based on People, Development and Environment(Check MCQ Section)

Environmental Protection Act of 1986

19th November 1986, Environment Protection Act came into force in the Parliament of India in the wake of the Bhopal Tragedy. It is under Article 253 of the Indian Constitution. The Environment Protection Act is mainly for the protection and development of the environment from the danger of human beings, other living beings, plants, and property.

It mainly focuses on the prevention and development of pollution in the environment and the causes of human health if any accident happens.

National Action Plan on Climate Change

National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) an initiative formulated by the Government of India on 30th June 2008 to deal with future policies and programs for climatic improvement and adjustment. It put together the national plan on water, renewable energy, energy efficiency agriculture, etc.

The executions of the Action plan are constituted under 8 missions that are responsible to achieve the goals of adaptation and improvement. They are as follows:

National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) an initiative formulated by the Government of India on 30th June 2008 to deal with the future policies and programs for climatic improvement and adjustment. It put together the national plan on water, renewable energy, energy efficiency agriculture, etc. The executions of the Action plan are constituted under 8 missions that are responsible to achieve the goals of adaptation and improvement. They are as follows:

  • National Solar Mission – The main objective is to use solar energy for power generation and other uses. To promote the use of solar power, this initiative was started in 2010.
  • National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency – The main objective is to save and promote maximum energy by developing new policies and measures. In 2009, the Prime Minister’s Council approved it on Climate Change.
  • National Mission on Sustainable Habitat – It emphasized Energy conservation on urban waste, management recycling which includes the production of power from waste, development of energy efficiency in buildings, and use of public transport. Prime Minister approved this mission in 2011.
  • National Water Mission – To improve water efficiency through pricing and other measures. The main objective of the mission is to help to preserve water, minimize wastage, and to make sure that the distributions of water are done on an equitable basis across and within the states. Ministry of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation are the members who supported this mission.
  • National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem – It aims to preserve the biodiversity, forest conservation, and other ecological problems that are causing problems in the Himalayan region.
  • National Mission for a “Green India” – Its main goal is to expand the forest and promote “Green India” by protecting, refurbishing, and enhancing the forests in India which are diminishing. It’s taking various measures in responding to climate change by adopting and taking different steps towards it. In 2014, the Ministry of Environment and Forests got the go-ahead to work on this from the Cabinet.
  • National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture – The main objective is how climatic change affects crops and their development through various mechanisms. For example, in areas where there are more rains, it focuses on integrated farming, use of water efficiently, soil health management, etc. It got approval from the government in 2010.
  • National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change – It aims for the climatic changes and its impact. The mission tries to improve through research and international collaboration. The mission is run by the Department of Science and Technology.

International Agreements/efforts 

Environmental Conventions and Protocols Short Notes

Various Environmental Protection Act and Conventions | 2021

[1971] Ramsar Convention

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (Convention on Wetlands)

The Convention on Wetlands is the intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.

The Convention was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971 and came into force in 1975. Since then, almost 90% of UN member states, from all the world’s geographic regions, have acceded to become “Contracting Parties”.

  • The Convention was signed on the 2nd of February, 1971.
  • The 2nd of February each year is World Wetlands Day.
  • The number of parties to the convention (COP) is 171.
  • The Ramsar Convention Secretariat has its headquarters in Gland, Switzerland
  • Montreux Record under the Ramsar Convention is a register of wetland sites on the List of Wetlands of International Importance.
  • Currently, two wetlands of India are in Montreux record: Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan) and Loktak Lake (Manipur).
  • Chilika Lake (Odisha) was placed in the record but was later removed from it.
  • The United Kingdom has the world’s largest number of Ramsar sites i.e 175.
  • As of now, 27 sites of India are listed as Ramsar Sites.

Read here for more details – https://www.ramsar.org/wetland/india

[1972] Stockholm Declaration

The Stockholm Convention was held in Sweden from June 5-16, 1972. The object behind this convention was to “create a basis for comprehensive consideration within the United Nations of the problems of the human environment,” and to “focus the attention of Governments and public opinion in various countries on the importance of the problem.”

The Stockholm convention paved the way for other international conventions on the preservation of the environment such as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, 1973.

This convention led UNEP to coordinate global action for the protection and preservation of the environment in December 1972.

In the same line, the Parliament of India passed the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Forest Conservation Act, 1980 to give effect to the Stockholm convention.

[1973] CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international treaty to prevent species from becoming endangered or extinct because of international trade. Under this treaty, countries work together to regulate the international trade of animal and plant species and ensure that this trade is not detrimental to the survival of wild populations.

In 1963, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) called for an international convention on the trade in animal species and their products. A first draft of the Convention was produced in 1964, and in 1973, CITES was signed by 21 nations in Washington, DC.

  • India is a CITES Party since 1976.
  • Also known as Washington Convention
  • It is administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  • It was signed on March 3, 1973 (World Wildlife Day is celebrated on March 3).
  • Out of 34 global biodiversity hotspots in the world, India has 4 of them: Western Ghats, Sundaland, Himalayas, and Indo-Burma region.
  • As an active CITES Party, India prohibits the international trade of endangered wild species.

[1979] Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)

CMS is also known as the Bonn Convention. It is the only convention that deals with taking or harvesting of species from the wild. It currently protects 173 migratory species from across the globe. Enforcement Year: The Convention came into force on November 1, 1983.

Signed: 6 November 1979

Migratory species threatened with extinction are listed on Appendix I of the Convention. CMS Parties strive towards strictly protecting these animals, conserving or restoring the places where they live, mitigating obstacles to migration and controlling other factors that might endanger them. Besides establishing obligations for each State joining the Convention, CMS promotes concerted action among the Range States of many of these species.

Migratory species that need or would significantly benefit from international cooperation are listed in Appendix II of the Convention. For this reason, the Convention encourages the Range States to conclude global or regional agreements.

  • India has been a party to the Convention since 1983.
  • India has signed a non-legally binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with CMS on conservation and management of Siberian Cranes (1998), Marine Turtles (2007), Dugongs (2008), and Raptors (2016).

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is an international treaty with three main objectives:-

  1. Conservation of biodiversity
  2. Sustainable use of biodiversity
  3. Fair and equitable sharing of the benefits which occur from the genetic recourses.  
  4. It is a legally binding treaty to conserve biodiversity that has been in force since 1993
  5. The CBD Secretariat is based in Montreal, Biodiversity Authority (NBA). Canada and operates under the United Nations Environment Programme.

This treaty was signed on 5th June 1992 and was effective from 29th December 1993. Over 196 countries participated in Rio de Janeiro.

The COP-10 also adopted a ten-year framework known as “Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-
2020”, which provides a set of 20 ambitious yet achievable targets, collectively known as the Aichi
Targets for biodiversity.

Montreal Protocol

The Montreal Protocol on Substance is a global agreement to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of various substances that are responsible for ozone reduction. The main objective of the Montreal Protocol was to protect the ozone layer by taking different steps to manage the production and consumption of depleting substances (ODS) and to remove it completely.

It was agreed on 26 August 1987, and entered into force on 16 September 1989, following the first meeting in Helsinki, May 1989.

The parties to the Protocol meet once a year to make decisions aimed at ensuring the successful implementation of the agreement. These include adjusting or amending the Protocol, which has been done six times since its creation. The most recent amendment, the Kigali Amendment, called for the phase-down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in 2016. These HFCs were used as replacements for a batch of ozone-depleting substances eliminated by the original Montreal Protocol. Although they do not deplete the ozone layer, they are known to be powerful greenhouse gases and, thus, contributors to climate change.

Kigali Agreement happened during the 28th Meeting of Parties (2016) when the 197 member countries signed the agreement to amend the Montreal Protocol.

Given all of these factors and more, the Montreal Protocol is considered to be one of the most successful environmental agreements of all time. What the parties to the Protocol have managed to accomplish since 1987 is unprecedented, and it continues to provide an inspiring example of what international cooperation at its best can achieve.

Vienna Convention for Protection of the Ozone Layer

It is a multilateral environmental agreement  agreed upon at the 1985 Vienna Conference  and entered into force in 1988.

It acts as a framework for international efforts to protect the ozone layer. These are laid out in the accompanying Montreal Protocol. It does not include legally binding reduction goals for the use of CFCs, the main chemical agents causing ozone depletion.

[1992]United Nations Conference on Environment and
Development, 1992 (Earth Summit/Rio Summit)

Rio Summit or The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit was the major United Nations conference which was held in Rio from 3rd to 14th June 1992.

The main objective of the summit was to stop the destruction of various natural resources and to handle pollution which is affecting the planet. And the condition of the global environment and its association between economics, science, and the environment in a political context. 105 countries participated in the Earth Summit, for this development.

UNFCCC – United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change

The UNFCCC secretariat (UN Climate Change) was established in 1992 when countries adopted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

  • The UNFCCC entered into force on 21 March 1994. Today, it has near-universal membership. The 197 countries that have ratified the Convention are called Parties to the Convention.
  • The convention is legally non-binding but makes provisions for the meeting called ‘protocols’ where negotiating countries can set legally binding limits

REDD+ is a mechanism developed by Parties to the United Nations Framework  Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

It creates a financial value for the carbon stored in forests by offering incentives for  developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in sustainable  development 

Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement which was extended on the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change like to reduce the greenhouse gas emission based on scientific agreement.

It is an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Kyoto Protocol applies to 6 greenhouse gases; carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride. It is an extension to the 1992 UNFCCC.

  • This Protocol was signed on 11th December 1997 and was effective from 16th February 2005 in Kyoto. Over 192 countries participated in this.
  • India has ratified the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol known as the Doha Amendment to the protocol

Read More – Kyoto Protocol

Paris Agreement

Paris Agreement is an international agreement to fight against climate change. The main objective of this agreement was to stop global warming and the threat of dangerous climatic changes. Over 195 countries participated in the Paris Agreement from 30th November to 11th December 2015.

  • The Paris Agreement opened for signature on 22 April 2016 – Earth Day – at UN Headquarters in New York. It entered into force on 4 November 2016.
  • Holding the increase in the global average  temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels

World Charter of Nature

  • It was adopted by United Nations member nation-states on October 28, 1982.
  • It proclaims five principles of conservation by which all human conduct affecting nature is to be guided and judged.
  • All areas of the earth, both land, and sea, shall be subject to these principles of conservation;  special protection shall be given to unique areas, to representative samples of all the different  types of ecosystems and the habitats of rare or endangered species. 
  • Nature shall be secured against degradation caused by warfare or other hostile activities.

International Solar Alliance

In International Solar Alliance over 122 countries participated and the same was initiated by India and founded in the year 2015.

  • The main objective of this alliance is to increase the use of solar energy among the International Solar Alliance member countries in a convenient, safe, affordable and sustainable manner.
  • The vision and mission of the International Solar Alliance are to provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar resource-rich countries where the global community, including bilateral and multilateral organizations, corporate, industry, and other stakeholders, can make a positive contribution to assist and help achieve the common goals of increasing the use of solar energy in meeting energy needs of prospective ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner.
  • Its major objectives include global deployment of over 1,000GW of solar generation capacity and mobilization of investment of over US $1000 billion into solar energy by 2030.
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