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Environmental Governance - Environmental Institutions/Environmental Legislations
                                                                                                    December 21, 2017

Environmental Institutions


1. Ministry of Environment & Forests:

• The Ministry of Environment & Forests is the nodal agency in the administrative structure of the Central Government, for the planning, promotion, co-ordination and overseeing the implementation of Environmental and Forestry programmes.
• The Ministry is also the Nodal agency in the country for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
• The principal activities undertaken by Ministry of Environment & Forests consist of
a) Conservation & survey of flora, fauna, forests and Wildlife,
b) Prevention & control of pollution,
c) Afforestation & regeneration of degraded areas,
d) Protection of environment in the framework of legislations,
e) Welfare of animals.
• The main tools utilized for this include Environmental surveys, impact assessment, control of pollution, regeneration programmes, support to organizations, research to solve solutions and training to augment the requisite manpower, collection and dissemination of environmental information and creation of environmental awareness among all sectors of the country’s population.

2. Central Pollution Control Board:
• The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), is statutory organisation, was constituted in September, 1974 under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974.
• CPCB was entrusted with the powers and functions under the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.
• It serves as a field formation and also provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
• Principal functions of the CPCB, as spelt out in the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, and the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, to
(i) Promote cleanliness of streams and wells in different areas of the States by prevention, control and abatement of water pollution, and
(ii) Improve the quality of air and to prevent, control or abate air pollution in the country.
• In India, states do not pursue independent environmental policy of their own but adopt the policies formulated at the national level subject to such variations as may be necessary to suit to the local conditions. The central government has also been issuing guidelines to the states on various environmental matters.

3. Indian Board for Wildlife (IBWL)
• National Board for Wild Life is a “Statutory Organization” constituted under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
• Primary function of the Board is to promote the conservation and development of wildlife and forests.
• It has power to review all wildlife-related matters and approve projects in and around national parks and sanctuaries.
• No alternation of boundaries in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries can be done without approval of the NBWL.

4. National Green Tribunal

• The National Green Tribunal has been established for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected there with or incidental thereto.
• It is a specialized body equipped with the necessary expertise to handle environmental disputes involving multi-disciplinary issues.
• The Tribunal shall not be bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of Natural Justice.
• The Tribunal’s dedicated jurisdiction in environmental matters shall provide speedy environmental justice and help reduce the burden of litigation in the higher courts.
• The Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of filing of the same.

5. National Tiger Conservation Authority

• The National Tiger Conservation Authority is a statutory body under the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change constituted under enabling provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, as amended in 2006, for strengthening tiger conservation, as per powers and functions assigned to it under the said Act.

6. Wildlife Crime Control Bureau

• The Government of India constituted a statutory body, the Wildlife Crime Control Bureau in 2007, by amending the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, a special Act to protect the wildlife in the country.
• The bureau would complement the efforts of the state governments, primary enforcers of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and other enforcement agencies of the country.

7. Genetic Engineering Approval Committee

• It functions under the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
• It is the apex body to accord environmental approval of activities involving large scale use of hazardous microorganisms and recombinants in research and industrial production.
• It is also mandated with approving the release of genetically engineered organisms and products into the environment, including experimental field trials.

8. Central Zoo Authority

• The Central Zoo Authority of India (CZA) is the body of the government of India responsible for oversight of zoos.
• It is an affiliate member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
• The Central Zoo Authority has been constituted under the Wild Life (Protection) Act.
• The main objective of the authority is to complement the national effort in conservation of wild life.
• Every zoo in the country is required to obtain recognition from the Authority for its operation.

9. National Afforestation And Eco-Development Board

• The National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board (NAEB) is responsible for promoting afforestation,tree planting, ecological restoration and eco-development activities in the country, with special attention to the degraded forest areas and lands adjoining the forest areas, national parks, sanctuaries and other protected areas as well as the ecologically fragile areas like the Western Himalayas, Aravallis, Western Ghats, etc.
• It evolve mechanisms for ecological restoration of degraded forest areas and adjoining lands through systematic planning and implementation, in a cost effective manner.
• It restore fuelwood, fodder, timber and other forest produce on the degraded forest and adjoining lands in order to meet the demands for these items.
• It sponsor research and extension of research findings to disseminate new and proper technologies for the regeneration and development of degraded forest areas and adjoining lands;

10. Wildlife Institute Of India

• The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate change, Government of India.
• WII carries out wildlife research in areas of study like Biodiversity, Endangered Species, Wildlife Policy, Wildlife Management, Wildlife Forensics, Spatial Modeling, Eco-development, Habitat Ecology and Climate Change. WII has a research facility which includes Forensics, Remote Sensing and GIS, Laboratory, Herbarium, and an Electronic Library.

11. Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority

• Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) has been created by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
• It creates Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF) by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
• The CAMPA Bill has established a Permanent National Compensatory Afforestation Fund under the Public Account of India. It also allows states to establish State Compensatory Afforestation Funds. The National Fund will be under the central government, and managed by a National Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA). The central government will appoint a State CAMPA in each state. The State CAMPA will be responsible for the management of the State Fund.

12. Zoological Survey of India

• The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) was established to promote the survey, exploration and research of the fauna in the region.
• The activities of the ZSI are coordinated by the Conservation and Survey Division under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India.
• Primary objectives are: Exploring, Surveying, Inventorying and Monitoring of faunal diversity in various states, selected ecosystems and protected areas of India; Taxonomic studies of the faunal components collected; Status survey of Threatened and Endemic species; Preparation of Red Data Book, Fauna of India and Fauna of States.
• Secondary objectives are: GIS and Remote Sensing studies on recorded animal diversity as well as on threatened species; Chromosomal Mapping and DNA Barcoding.

13. Botanical survey of India

• The Botanical Survey of India (BSI) is the apex research organization under the MOEF for carrying out taxonomic and floristic studies on wild plant resources of the country.
• The prime objectives of the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) is to undertake intensive floristic surveys and collect accurate and detailed information on the occurrence, distribution, ecology and economic utility of plants in the country.

14. Forest Survey of India

• Forest Survey of India (FSI) is engaged in the assessment of the country’s forest resources on a regular interval.
• It is involved in forest cover assessment of the country on biennial basis by interpretation of satellite data on a two-year cycle and presents the information in the form of ‘India State of Forest Report’.
• It also form inventory of forests and Trees Outside Forests (TOF) in both urban and rural areas.

15. Animal Welfare Board of India

• The Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) scheme relates to provision of assistance for the following type of activities:
a) Financial assistance to animal welfare organizations for maintaining the stray animals in distress and for their treatment (financial assistance based on the number of animals kept for their fodder, water, minor treatment etc).
b) Human education programmes for the welfare of animals are implemented by the AWBI. Capital expenditure at the Board’s headquarters i.e. expenditure on non-recurring items such as purchase of assets/equipments.
c) Expenditure on a variety of other animal welfare activities such as rescue of cattle from illegal smuggling and transportation, rehabilitation of rescued circus animals, lab animals, inspections, legal expenses in connection with court cases pertaining to animal welfare, mobile clinics is also incurred.


1. IPCC:

• The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the international body for assessing the science related to climate change.
• The IPCC was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.
• IPCC assessments provide a scientific basis for governments at all levels to develop climaterelated policies, and they underlie negotiations at the UN Climate Conference – the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

2. WMO:

• The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 191 Member States and Territories.
• WMO provides a framework for international cooperation in the development of meteorology and operational hydrology and their practical application.

3. UNEP:

• The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda, promotes the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development within the United Nations system and serves as an authoritative advocate for the global environment.
• UNEP work encompasses: Assessing global, regional and national environmental conditions and trends; Developing international and national environmental instruments and Strengthening institutions for the wise management of the environment.

4. SCAR:

• The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) is an inter-disciplinary committee of the International Council for Science (ICSU).
• SCAR is charged with initiating, developing and coordinating high quality international scientific research in the Antarctic region (including the Southern Ocean), and on the role of the Antarctic region in the Earth system.

5. Global Environment Facility:

• It unites 183 countries in partnership with international institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs), and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives.
• The GEF provides grants for projects related to biodiversity, climate change, international waters, land degradation, the ozone layer, and persistent organic pollutants.
• The GEF also serves as financial mechanism for the following conventions:
a) Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD)
b) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
c) UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)
d) Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
e) Minamata Convention on Mercury

6. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources:

• It is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.
• It is involved in data gathering and analysis, research, field projects, advocacy, lobbying and education.

7. World Nature Organization:

• The organization is focused on promoting activities, technologies, economies, and renewable energies which are regarded to be environment friendly; and reducing the impact of climate change.

8. World Wide Fund for Nature:

• It is an international non-governmental organization founded in 1961, working in the field of the wilderness preservation, and the reduction of humanity’s footprint on the environment.