Environment and Us

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By M.C. Linthoingambee

As we braced ourselves to the announcement of a storm, did any of us take a moment to think what we have done wrong? The Cyclone Mahasen has been one of the recent leading breaking news heating up the news buzz around the world with Bangladesh, Burma and Sri Lanka being the badly hit regions. Perhaps now, we can admit ourselves to the declaration that the Earth’s ecosystem is deteriorating badly each day. Not to mention the recent outburst of the Hurricane Sandy creating chaos to the lives of the people of New York City. The weather is fickle minded that even with the advance technologies it is hard to determine the strike of a natural calamity stating that Mother Nature never discriminates. Keeping the effects of nature calls to minimal, one must not easily turn a blind eye to the harms man causes to the environment rapidly. The ongoing nuclear test conducted at sea, the production of harmful chemicals, cutting down trees, etc. adds on to these massive attacks by humanity to the Environment. With due consideration to the above, Legislators around the world have come up with the influences to protect our Environment. The term “International Environmental Law” circumscribing under the fractions of Public International Law is one of the leading laws increasing height in the present day. Hoping to relieve the stress of Ozone layer depletion, Global Warming, destruction of tropical rain forest, dumping of hazardous waste, international trade of endangered species, marine plastic pollution of ships, etc. This particular set of law mainly came into being in the 1970s originating from the Stockholm Conference on the Environment in 1972. Today, the International Co-operation to treaties, resolutions to save the Environment have increased rapidly in due effect of realizing the importance of Nature. The significance of catering to the interaction of humanity and Nature is clearly dealt with in the Environmental Laws.

The first significance of safeguarding Nature through the realms of Environmental Law first arose with the Chernobyl blast that immensely took away innocent lives recorded as one of the major blast that occurred in history. Dating back it would be rude to forget the effect of nuclear power at the Japanese region of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Even though it has been contended upon that the world has enough nuclear power to destroy the earth over and over for more than a 100 times, man still fails to learn. Pollution is one of the leading attribute of development. The smog from factories, the dust from construction sites, noise pollution from the electrical items inside the house, etc are the results of such changes. Are we really contending these acts as developments? We never know when we have to build a Noa’s Ark when God decides to rebel against the human force. Reflecting on our own mistakes of dumping garbage and other ill will towards the wild, a certain reaction called “Pollution Remediation” has been developed. It is the act of removing impurities from the Earth’s soil, water, air, etc.

Our Indian Constitution also demands for the protection of the Environment wherein it is clearly stated that it is the duty of the state to ‘protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country’. It imposes a duty on every citizen ‘to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers, and wildlife’. Reference to the environment has also been made in the Directive Principles of State Policy as well as the Fundamental Rights. The Ministry of Environment and Forests has also been established to promulgate a cure for the rapid decline to the purity of Nature. In 1986, India came up with its first legislation called the Environment (Protection) Act to help protect the effects of Environment. Several organizations like the United Nations, European Union, etc have also signed a number of treaties and resolutions to help benefit the environment. Organization like the Greenpeace has devoted their entire lifetime to protecting the environment. Volunteers of the organizations are constantly ganging up to sign petitions, stage protest to save what is little left of the Environment so far. They have recently come up with a recent outreach called “Switch on the sun”, an initiative stating that instead of fearing for high electricity bills we must resort to the means of using the sun as a renewable resource to save Electricity. As such, the modernist society has realized the effect of the melting polar ice caps, the rise in the temperature and to that effect certain voluntary organizations have grouped together the battle of saving earth. Being Indians, we must not forget the idea of the Chipko Movement which once resulted in saving more than a dozen trees from falling. If we could all remember that for every tree we cut, we must plant two more trees than the earth would remain sound for us and the future generations.

The Bhopal gas Tragedy also left one of the biggest effect destroying and disrupting the balance of nature with the loss of thousands of lives, India cried to the effect done to its citizens. The tsunami that recently struck Japan also did no less than engulfing loses and aftermaths to the Earthquake as the world watched on. India has also witnessed a high rise of Public Interest Litigations (PIL) filed by MC Mehta against the developing pollution in the rivers of Ganga, the Gangetic dolphins who once swam through the waters of the river are in the verge of extinction today.  “With every piece of paper we tear and waste, a tree is cut down to cater to that lost. With every chopstick cut from a bamboo tree, a tree is cut to cater to that lost.With every drop of water lost the chances of Water, Water Everywhere but not a single drop to drink increases.” The Environmental Law is on a fast rise in order to promulgate the results of protecting the Environment so that the beauty of Nature remains for the years to come and do not go into extinction like the dinosaurs that disappeared. If you can spear some time, teach your kids to garden instead of buying a set of gaming videogames. Save Earth.

(M.C. Linthoingambee is an undergraduate pursuing B.Com. LL.B(H). An avid blogger, poet, a seasonal artist and a foodie, she is also a life member to the Indian Society of the Red Cross.)

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