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Legal Framework and Regulations for Environment and Disaster Risk Management - Technical Session 3

Themes and Objectives of the Technical Session 3

International Conventions and treaties and inter institutional cooperation

International treaties and protocols, institutional mechanisms and networks, and transboundary issues of environmental resources and systems have implications for disaster risk management and vulnerability of regions.
Objectives: Explain the instruments and regulations of inter-institutional cooperation in case of disaster prevention, management and mitigation, show, with examples the weaknesses and strengths in the Indian context; discuss necessary improvements

Natural resource and conservation laws

Legal provisions pertaining to environment and natural resources including land, water, forests, energy, ocean, water bodies, rivers, biodiversity, wildlife, native people, etc. have implications for various aspects/stages of disaster risk management
Objectives: To discuss the available legal instruments for the management of natural resource – show, with examples (legal cases), their application/non application and relevance for DRM/DRR and outline the strengths and weaknesses

Pollution and waste related laws

Legal provisions on pollution/contamination of atmosphere, water, ozone layer, land by way of emissions, discharges or waste disposal, storage of materials, provide options for actions relating to hazards, vulnerability, disaster impact and recovery stages in disaster management
Objectives: Present and discuss the available legal instruments for the pollution control and waste management – show, with examples (legal cases), their application/non application and relevance for DRM/DRR and outline the strengths and weaknesses

Safety and disaster laws

Legal provisions relating to various aspects or stages in the safety & emergency preparedness and response, and holistic disaster management, have implications on environmental quality, sustainability and its protection for sustainable development
Objectives: Present and discuss the available legal instruments for safety and disaster management – show, with examples (legal cases), their application/non application and relevance for DRM/DRR and outline the strengths and weaknesses

EIA, Site Clearance and audits: Standards and Codes/Guidelines

Standards/codes and notifications/guidelines for environmental decision making and procedures, including qualify, emission, discharge and disposal standards, strategic instruments – EIA, site clearance, consent, audit, etc. have implications to various aspects/stages of actions in disaster risk management.
Objectives: Explain the system of standards, codes and guidelines (focus on EIA) relevant for DRM/DRR and summarise its deficiencies in relation to DRM/DRR.

Case Laws on Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction – Environmental Jurisprudence

Legal cases of litigations, pleadings and proceedings of various court cases at different levels and their decisions on aspects of environmental degradation/protection have implications for different aspects of disaster prevention/mitigation, vulnerability, impact or post-disaster relief or recovery.
Objective: To understand how judiciary has interpreted the exiting legal , statutory and constitutional provisions to address and environment, ecological security, Human rights and DRR

Inter Institutional cooperation – necessity and challenge for DRM/DRR

Objectives: Explain the instruments and regulations of inter-institutional cooperation in case of disaster prevention, management and mitigation, show, with examples the weaknesses and strengths in the Indian context; discuss necessary improvements

Accepted Contributions - Abstracts

Effectiveness of Environmental Legal Systems for the Protection of Environment: A Study of the Tribal Areas of Himachal Pradesh
V.B. Negi Assistant Registrar, IGNOU Regional Centre, Chauhan Niwas Khalini, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, 171002, email: negivbhagat@rediffmail.com.
Ms. Jaishree Assistant Professor, Government P.G. Degree College Chamba, Himachal Pradesh, email: jaishree1.dhar@gmail.com.

The environment is a protean term as it readily assumes different forms and characters but it is defined to mean the natural and human made world of the particular areas. Therefore, the environment includes the ecosystem including biodiversity and natural resources; all areas and structures modified or built by humans; and all factors affecting human health and the quality of human life including cultural heritage and amenity exist within the area, however the economic and social matters are excluded to confine the concept of the environment to its common-usage. The human impacts on the environment are not circular because it simply focuses on regulating that part of the environment that can be controlled by humans. The development activities in the present time are being carried out without keeping in mind the consequences of the ecological imbalance, by degradation of the environment for attaining over all socio-economic upliftment of its masses in shortest possible time leading to natural disaster.

The hill state of Himachal Pradesh, like rest of the states in the country, also embarked upon the path of economic development for realisation of social upliftment and could not escape the damage caused to environment by the development activities for the economic benefit of its people particularly to the Tribal areas of the state, which has now started making its adverse impact on the state’s ecology. Further, population pressure on land and other natural resources also leads to degrade the environment for timber and fuel wood etc. in addition to various development activities including construction of large scale Hydro Power Projects being carried out in the state to achieve the economic growth and to make Himachal Pradesh Power state. Since the environment is one of the most important feature for the survival of human life, which is considered as a basic fundamental human right and a social goal now a days, therefore, the damaged environmental condition of these vulnerable areas can be redirected by making a ecological sustainable development by effective implementation of environment legal system and properly enforcement and implementation of the provisions of Environmental Laws by the state government to protect the natural resources of the area. This paper is an attempt to address these issues with particular emphasis to evaluate the effectiveness of the response to overexploitation of natural resources and environmental loss as well as climate change. This paper also elaborates the best available method that provides the simplest, most systematic, comprehensive and meaningful framework with the effective predictive system currently available to evaluate the effectiveness of an environmental legal system, to protect the environment and natural resources of this Hill State.

Legal Protection, Economic Gain and Right to Struggle: A Case study of mineral mining in coastal area of Kerala
Dr S.Mohammed Irshad, Assistant Professor, Jamsetji Tata Centre for Disaster Management, Tata Institute of Social Science, mohammed.irshad@tiss.edu or mohammedirshad31@gmail.com

Mining areas in the country are characterized as both an area of immense ‘development potential’ and ‘war zone’. This is a national picture of mining economy, even if there are legal provision to protect the environment and displacement yet mining is continuing even in the war zones. This paper is about the story of two villages in Kerala’s coastal area where mineral mining has washed away to villages and the worst part is that late 2004 Tsunami causes some of the worst impact in these areas. Seawater heavily flooded through the heavy pit resulted by mining. The recent CRZ notification challenges the local people’s anti-mining struggle. The modes of operandi of companies which are mining the entire coastal area are not abided by the provisions of the Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act 1957. This paper discusses this issue in detail with case studies.

Environmental Degradation and Interpretation of Existing Legal Provisions
Somya Gupta & Tanya Verma, Students of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow.

This paper seeks to deal with the various legal issues that concern environmental degradation in India. Environmental degradation happens through depletion of resources such as air, water and soil, destruction of ecosystems and the extinction of wildlife. There are many factors like population growth, urbanization, etc. that contribute to environmental degradation. Lack of attention paid to the conservation of environment leads to various natural disasters. Despite the many legislations and laws that have been passed in India and other countries to limit the problem of environmental degradation, it still continues to be a huge threat to our environment. Existing environment laws in India are made up of a number of different instruments, which is why it remains difficult to identify a coherent body of comprehensive laws concerning the environment. This is related to the fact that distinct concerns have been addressed in different enactments. This is also due to the division of powers between the centre and the states and the fact that water regulation is mostly in the hands of the states. The lack of a specified body of laws concerning the environment leads to unsatisfactory judicial decisions given in environment law concerning case, like the Bhopal Gas Tragedy Case and the Narmada Bachao Andolan Case.

There are many such loopholes that the environment laws provide, which need to plugged in if there is anything concrete that wants to be done to protect the environment. This paper highlights the various legal aspects of this problem and also brings to light the various reforms that could be made to make the laws concerning this issue more concrete and also provides methods for disaster risk reduction. That could be made in order to deal with this problem more effectively.

Disaster Management: its impact in Law and Development
Hitesh Agrawal, IV Semester and Naiana Jain, II Semester, Nirma University, Ahmedabad

This paper discusses about Disaster management, its Stages, Objectives, Authorities, Legal provisions and cases related to it. Disasters result from the combination of hazards, conditions of vulnerability and insufficient capacity or measures to reduce the potential negative consequences of risk. On the basis of origin, there are two types of disasters: Natural Disasters (earthquake, landslide etc.) and Human Induces Disasters (Nuclear Disaster, Chemical Disaster etc.).
There are various Vulnerability Zones shown in the main paper with Diagrams. Section 2 Clause (e) of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 defines Disaster management and why it is necessary.
Disasters are extreme events which cause a great loss to life and property. They pose a serious threat to the normal life as well as the process of development and strike with sudden violence, tearing bodies, destroying lives and structures. Disaster Planning can be tacit in four stages:
Mitigation - Minimizing the effects of disaster. Preparedness - Planning how to respond.
Response - Efforts to minimize the hazards created by a disaster. Recovery - Returning the community to normal.
National Policy on Disaster Management has many objectives, amongst some are promoting a culture of prevention, preparedness and resilience at all levels through knowledge, innovation and education. Encouraging mitigation measures based on technology, traditional wisdom and environmental sustainability.• Mainstreaming disaster management into the developmental planning process and etc. Disaster Management Act, 2005 lays down institutional, legal, financial and coordination mechanisms at across levels. The paper describes about various Chapters given in the Act, from Chapter I to XI, its diverse provisions, committees established under and functions. One of the main goals of DM, and one of its strongest links with development, is the promotion of Sustainable livelihoods and their protection and recovery during disasters and emergencies. The paper also describes about Bhopal gas disaster that how it was disaster and what relief has been provided to victims and M.C. Mehta’s Case and other cases.

Hitesh Agrawal, Naiana Jain

Evolution and Impact of International Environmental Jurisprudence in India
Archita Phookun, Sophia S Mustafa, Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow, archita.phookun@gmail.com

The difference between animals and humans is that animals change themselves for the environment, but humans change the environment for themselves. Ayn Rand

Through this paper, the researchers try to understand the evolution of Environmental Jurisprudence in India and how it has applied all the major environmental principles and further interpreted their existing laws to bring the environment under its realm.
Firstly, the paper provides the historical background of how environmental jurisprudence became a part of the global legal scenario with the help of landmark cases; secondly, it discusses in detail, the major environmental principles like sustainable development, precautionary and polluters’ pay principles with reference to the major litigations that have transformed these principles into legal norms. Further, it emphasizes the impact of these cases on the present Environmental Law regime. The paper also includes the development of Indian Environmental Law and how the judiciary has adopted and interpreted these aforementioned principles to suit the needs in India to protect the environment and mitigate or prevent industrial disasters like the Bhopal Gas Leak. The stand of the Indian judiciary on cases relating to developmental projects on one side and environmental protection on the other have been critically examined and their implications have been assessed.

The judiciary through Article 21 of the Indian Constitution has played a key role in guaranteeing wholesome environment as an important fundamental and human right. In conclusion, the paper deals with the doctrine of Public Trust and how a balance needs to be created between development and environmental well-being of the people. The researchers have adopted the doctrinal method of research as it proved to be an extremely useful mode which pertained to the needs and requirements of the paper.

Bhopal gas tragedy : Saga of The Divided World

Vijita S. Aggarwal, USMS, GGS Indraprastha University, Kashmere Gate, Delhi, vijitaaggarwal@yahoo.com

The Bhopal gas tragedy is the worst industrial disaster in human history. Twenty-five thousand people died and five hundred thousands were injured. Furthermore, the victims of the tragedy had to suffer an inordinate delay and tardiness in receiving either an adequate compensation or satisfaction in bringing the erring to justice. The injustice done to the victims of Bhopal raises important issues related to differences in corporate governance, the regulatory environment and compliance, and jurisprudence across developed and developing nations. With the backdrop of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, this paper attempts to investigate two different but related themes. These being, firstly, as to whether developing countries are more disposed to have such disasters as compared to developed countries, and secondly, whether the deleterious consequences of these disasters are likely to be more serious in developing countries than developed countries. The paper explores this by looking at differences in corporate orientation towards safety, the enforcement of the existing regulations by the regulatory bodies as well as systems, processes, methods and practice of the judicial systems in the developed country in comparison to the developing countries to pre-empt or to deal with such disasters.

Sustainable Development and Natural Resource Management – A Legal Perspective
Archita Phookun and Anupam Pandey, archita.phookun@gmail.com & anupam1090@gmail.com

Through this paper the researchers try to give a brief insight into the evolution and growth of sustainable development in the international as well as national scenario with the help of legal instruments and hallmark cases. Firstly, the paper gives a brief introduction on what ‘sustainable development’ is and the Brundtland Report of 1987 which brought out this concept in the global arena. Secondly, the paper talks about the growth of this concept with reference to Rio Declaration and decided ICJ, WTO and other international cases. Further, it talks about various factors that have influenced legal change in this field. Another important concept covered by this paper is the analysis of the substance and current law on the subject. A nominal law in force may fall short of the purpose to achieve global natural resource management. Contribution of various international agencies to the growth of environmental and natural resource management jurisprudence has also been dealt with in the paper. Further the role of non- governmental organizations in the furtherance of ‘sustainable development’ has also been included. The paper emphasizes that the only way of achieving sustainable development is through participation of all sectors in genuine social partnership and dialogue with a sense of common purpose. Further, the paper gives an Indian perspective of the concept of ‘sustainable development’ with reference to municipal laws and important case laws. It also talks about enhancing legislative and judicial capacities in developing countries such as India. Lastly, the paper includes the main areas of improvement and suggestions and recommendations for the same. An all encompassing model Sustainable Development Act for every nation and required conclusions have also been included.

Legal Framework and Regulations for Environment and Disaster Management (Safety and disaster laws)
Nishant Buragohain, M.A. in Disaster Management, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, sunnybura@gmail.com

The current study, “Sustainability of Community Based Disaster Risk Reduction (CBDRR) Programme: The case of Duryug Pratirodh Samiti (DPS) in Dhemaji District of Assam” is an attempt to study the factors contributing to the sustainability of the CBDRR programme which was implemented in Dhemaji district of Assam. The National Disaster Management Act was passed in 2005 in India. The state has taken up the responsibility of reducing the vulnerabilities of the communities and thus create a safer world for them. It has been seen that implementing agencies have to follow a strict deadline for the completion of the project. It is well understood that the intent of the donor agencies and the implementing agencies is good and to create safer conditions for the communities through the CBDRR programmes. This study tries to highlight the importance of having a long-term approach and customized programme based on the ground conditions. The study also highlights other factors of sustainability of the CBDRR programme such as the role of Gram Panchayat, Linkages to Development Activities, Focus on Vulnerability Reduction and not only on Risk Reduction, and Incentives to the Community. The case study is based on field data collected from 10 villages in Dhemaji district (Assam) between May-July 2010 and October-November 2010.
Keywords: Sustainability, CBDRR, Gram Panchayat, Vulnerability Reduction, Risk Reduction


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