The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (also known as MoEFCC) was formed in 1985. It falls under the jurisdiction of the Government of India. The current Union Minister of MoEFCC is Prakash Javadekar. As the name suggests, MoEFCC is a nodal agency responsible for the accomplishment of policies related to the environment, forests, and climate change.
Duties of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change:
- Prevention and control of pollution
- Conservation and survey of flora
- Conservation and survey of fauna
- Conservation and survey of forests
- Conservation and survey of wildlife
- Afforestation and regeneration of degraded areas
- Protection of the environment
- Ensuring the welfare of animals
These above-mentioned duties of the MoEFCC are well supported by a set of legislative and regulatory measures, aimed towards the conservation of the environment. Besides the legislative measures below mentioned are some policies that also guide the Ministry’s work.
Policies that guide MoEFCC’s work:
- The National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development: This policy entails the guidelines that will help to weave environmental thoughtfulness into the fabric of not just our nation, but in our development process as well. It also examines the nation’s development plans so that they are aligned with our environmental perspective. The policy explains the magnitude of our environmental problems and lists our strategies and action plans, some of them include:
- Population control
- Conservation of natural resources
- Prevention of air and noise pollution
National Forest Policy: The National Forest Policy of 1988 was launched to ensure environmental stability and maintain the ecological balance of the country. Basic objectives of the National Forest Policy include:
- Restoration of the ecological balance by massive afforestation, especially on the unproductive lands and preservation of the existing forests of our nation.
- Conservation of the natural heritage by preserving flora and fauna.
- Encourage efficient utilization of forest produced products and maximize substitution of wood.
- Check for soil erosion.
- Check the extension of sand-dunes in the desert areas of Rajasthan.
- Meet the requirements of fuel-wood, fodder, minor forest produce, and small timber of the rural population.
Policy Statement on Abatement of Pollution: This policy was introduced due to an increasing trend in environmental pollution. Air quality in the major cities of our country has deteriorated! Levels of nitrogen dioxide are increasing in urban cities with growing vehicle emissions. Water is polluted by four kinds of substances: organic waste, waste generated from industrial processes, chemical agents for fertilizers and pesticides for crop protection, and degraded deposits. The goal of this policy is to control and prevent pollution with the combination of command methods, voluntary regulations, financial measures, and awareness promotion. It further includes – waste minimization, reuses or recycle, improvement of water quality, natural resource accounting, institutional and human resource development, and many more.
National Environment Policy: This policy aims at mainstreaming environmental concerns into all developmental activities. Few objectives of this policy are mentioned below:
- Conservation of critical environmental resources.
- Integration of environmental, social, and economic development.
- Ensure poor communities, which are dependable on environmental resources for their livelihoods, have access to these resources.
- Judicious use of environmental resources.
The MoEFCC also serves as the nodal agency in the country for:
- United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
- United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)
- International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
- South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP)
The Ministry is also trusted with the following multilateral bodies for matters of the environment:
- Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD)
- Economic and Social Council for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP)
- South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC)
- Global Environment Facility (GEF)
Sum and Substance:
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is accountable for scheduling, promoting, coordinating, and managing all the environmental projects and programs. The Ministry is liable for the conservation of biodiversity, lakes, rivers, trees, forests, wildlife, ensuring the welfare of animals, and the prevention of pollution in order to control climate change in the country. The motto of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is sustainable development and enhancement of human well-being.