The environment is the immediate surroundings of a man. It consists of abiotic and biotic factors. It includes all living and non- living organisms which are existing in the surroundings. The environment consists of all the factors, elements, and conditions which are required by an organism to grow.

Before World War 1 and the age of industrialization, people used to live in clean surroundings without any issue of diseases harming them or to the environment. But slowly after Industrialisation began and World War 1 took place between various countries including Russia, Turkey, Austria, Japan, France, etc, people became more prone to chronic diseases.

There were various issues like depletion of ozone, loss of trees, disposal of toxic waste in rivers, arable soil started alarming at a rapid rate, this led to a need for Legislation.

As many issues and problems related to the health of people and surroundings around them started coming up, there was a need for Environmental Legislation at both national and international levels.

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This led to the making of Environmental law. It is considered to explain specific regulations, treaties, and statutes which are framed to protect nature from many damages. There is a National and International Legislation present in every country worldwide, which addresses these issues. The law strictly pertains that if any private entity or an individual goes against the provision, then he will be liable for the consequences as imprisonment or fine. It is considered as a network that manages resources of nature. It plays an active role in protecting resources for present and future generations, habitats, the health of humans, and animals.

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There are certain restrictions, which are levied on pollution, contamination, or hunting. It can be seen in a national scenario where the citizens of that nation have to follow the national laws and international scenario where its a global law.

Environmentalism has always been influenced by context. India also developed throughout the years, later applied in this context. There has been an increasing change that was found in Indian Legislation after it’s Independence. The Indian Legislation slowly started developing after independence and later took the initiative to establish Environmental Legislation in the country. India has shown a significant position in its legislation and judiciary concerning matters related to environmental protection.

The environment is an essential fraction of our lives. It is the place where we live. It plays an important part in our lives and directly or indirectly stimulates our behaviour towards society. We should look after our surroundings through the process of conservation. Scientific advancement and rapid industrialization caused a lot of damage to the ecological system. Both these causes lead to the enactment of Environmental law globally. It focuses on establishing courts, tribunals, and appellate authorities along with scientist or a group of scientists of high ranking and experience who can help in providing proper resolving the disputes which are related environment.

(a)The major purpose is securing humans and the environment from practices that can harmful to both. The role is to make sure some practices by individuals or private entities do not cause harmful effects to humans, wildlife, and the environment.

(b) It helps to solve disputes by later providing a proper solution for environmentally related issues. (c) It lays down certain procedures to dispose of waste properly in soil and water. It provides a maximum limit for emissions of waste from industries into the air or water. It also provides rules related to handling substances that can be hazardous. (d) It helps victimized parties to get relief in the form of compensation for the damages which have been caused by the other party. (e) Pollution level and environmental issues are kept in check by the officers and a committee that is made under this law.

International Environmental Law deals with the concept of Environmental matters on International platforms. This term was first coined by Sands and Peel in 2012. This term included substantive, procedural, and institutional rules of International law whose main aim was the protection of the environment from a global perspective. The law supervises and keeps a check on environmental issues through bilateral and multilateral agreements signed between the countries internationally. There has been significant development of IEL in international perspective, starting from the signing of Bilateral treaties for the regulation of fish supply and competing the economic interest in the 19th Century. At beginning of the 20th Century, the agreements started focussing on waters present on boundary territories, freshwater fisheries, and conservation of present resources.

– Boundary Water Agreement 1909 was signed between Canada and the United States focussed that the water which is presented on boundaries shouldn’t be polluted by the boundary countries.

– Convention on International boundary and Water Commission 1889 was signed between the United States and Mexico to administer water rights agreements in countries.

– There were various treaties like Trading at North West Coast of America 1824, which was agreed and was signed between two superpowers- Russia and the United States

In 1945, the United Nations Organisation and its various other organs were established.

An agreement called Salient Spring 1962 was recognized which analyzed the pesticides and use of fungicides in the fields. UN Conference on Conservation and Utilisation of Resources 1949 emphasized on conservation of natural resources in the present world. Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)1970 established a committee to look after the matters of Environmental Degradation.

– Trial Smelter Arbitration Case:

This case has been considered as a landmark case that overlooked the issue of transboundary pollution. Under this case, there was a lot of pollution in air from the Canada smelting factory which circulated across the boundary of both nations and later destroyed several crops in Washington. After 15 years, the arbitration panel introduced the ‘polluter pay principle’. The arbitral panel suggested and brought a new principle portraying that the polluter nation is responsible to indemnify the damage which has been caused to the victim nation. It focused on transboundary pollution was considered an important case that leads to the making of IEL.

On 5 June 1972, Stockholm Conference or UN conference on Human and Environment was held in Sweden, which emphasized environmental degradation and economic dis-balance. It covered It looked after various concepts like transboundary pollution,

improving and conserving natural resources for future generations, poverty eradication. It also focused on protecting human rights and keeping peace globally. Indira Gandhi also took part in the Conference and gave the concept of eradication of poverty. Environmental Impact Assessment was a report which talked about topics like planning, radioactive substances in a nuclear test, renewable and non-renewable resources, sea pollution, and water pollution. In 1989 the UNEP was conducted to oversee environmental pollution. Salient conventions that were a part of UNEP were- Vienna Convention 1985, Montreal Convention 1987, and Convention on Biodiversity. Rio Declaration 1992 or Earth Summit was held in Brazil. It is considered another landmark conference, which leads to the making of IEL. There were a variety of issues which were discussed, including preservation of forest life and wildlife, striking a balance of resources between the present generation and for the future generation, transboundary pollution, eradication of poverty, public participation, national environmental legislation, compensation of victims of pollution, protection of traditional knowledge of indigenous people. Kyoto Protocol 1997 or Kyoto Summit was held in Japan addressing issues on the reduction of greenhouse gases and temperature, carbon training program. This protocol had four objectives- to use sources that are renewable for protection of energy and improvement of reservoirs, encouragement of the use of scientific methods for successful research and development, and to reduce exploitation of natural resources. Johannesburg Conference or Earth Summit 10 or Rio 10 was held in 2002 in South Africa. It focused on topics including water and sanitation, increasing income, development goals in the form of MDG’s and SDG’s. Rio+ 20 Conference was held in 2012. It focused on different concepts like jobs, cities, energy, water, food, ocean, disaster, etc. However, the outcome of this conference was a total failure because of a lack of co-operation and economic crisis which took place in 2008 globally.

India is one of the developing countries in the world. Law plays a vital role in India to preserve its surroundings all across the nation. Indian Legislation has implemented many acts and also made amendments to the provisions in acts. The Judiciary has also played a crucial role in environmental legislation. There is a clear interpretation in the Constitution that outlines the rigid laws which are necessary for the conservation of surroundings in our country which apply to the state and the citizens.

MOEF, SPCB, CPCB have been proportionally independent bodies which join together and forms a system that supervises surroundings related problems in rural and cities.

There has been a sudden climate change seen in our country. We have seen how water is polluted after throwing of garbage from industries or villagers living near the banks of a river or Pooja materials on the banks of River Ganga and Yamuna after Chatt puja or the leftover materials on Juhu beach after Ganpati Visarjan in Mumbai. The contaminants in water have led to a degrading level of water purity in the Nation. There has also been an increase in the level of air pollution in the atmosphere through emissions of smoke from industries, burning of garbage. Mostly the Air Quality Index is at worst when there is a cloud of smoke in the sky after the Diwali night. All this has led to an alarming climate change in our country.

There have been various acts for resolving disputes, controlling water pollution by setting a limit for disposal of contaminants and not discarding toxic waste unnecessarily in water bodies, controlling air pollution through keeping a check on the level of releasing of gases by industries which can be poisonous for human health plants and wildlife, restrictions imposed for smuggling of animal products, prevention on the killing of animals for fun purposes, conserving trees in forest lands, laying down a structured procedure for production and handling of hazardous substances while operating activity and attentive disposal of the same.

There has been an increasing rate of pollution levels which have been reported in India, for the last 10 years. NGT has also played an essential role to look after the cases which have been brought up before them. A new way of knocking the doors of the judiciary was filing petitions by a group of people on for the benefit of the public. Many petitions started coming up before the Judiciary once people got aware of their rights and duties towards the environment. The Supreme Court portrays a predominant role by providing rules for constraining the pollution level in backward areas and metropolitan cities and has also passed landmark judgment related to diversified issues. It has played a distinguishing part in enlarging the extent through addressing environmental related issues.

The apex court passed various judgments against petitions which were filed on behalf of the public. It played a crucial role in situations like (a)People living near rivers used to loiter around and dispose of things in it after some petitions were filed, the Judiciary passed a judgment against disposing of the waste in rivers, (b) a judgment was also passed against the toxic waste which was disposed of in River Ganga by the industries located near it. (c) judgment was passed against using of coals in industries as it would increase the air pollution and leads to a lot of smoke in nearby places (d) Supreme Court brought the concept of absolute liability where the industry was considered to be wholly liable to indemnify the damages caused to the victim party for the breakout of a poisonous gas which escapes from their enterprise. Therefore, we see how the Supreme Court has played a crucial role against such acts and improved the Environmental Legislation in India.

Even though there are a number of legislative activities, the real state of the environment is still gloomy in nature. The water bodies are still choked with sewage and waste from homes and industries. The air quality index in some metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, has been stated to be worse than many busy cities like New York or Chicago.

This legislation is more expensive than any other type of dispute because it involves experts and technicians who can use scientific technologies. Many SPCB suffers from inadequate expertise and funds to attain their objectives.

Although so many acts and judgments have been implemented by the Legislation yet this law is violated repeatedly because of various reasons which are well known to us. The easiest way to save our natural surroundings is to inform citizens. Nationwide programs should be conducted for creating environmental awareness among people about their rights and duties concerning the environment.

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Pollution Level. (2022, Jun 05). Retrieved from

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