Environmental Protection Versus Development: A Shift From Anthropocentrism To Eco–Centrism
The paper deals with the environmental protection versus development. In the introduction part the historical aspect is discussed. Need not to say the earth is unique in the solar system in the sense that it is the only place that sustains life. Life on earth has passed many stages of dynamic evolution. Human beings represent just the latest in this evolutionary period. Starting from their evolution human being has tried to achieve progress. In their endeavour to achieve that, they have now threatened the sustainability of the earth. The paper further discusses the modernization‘s impact on the environment. Without environmental protection, development cannot sustain. Environmental security is a part of sustainable development without which development cannot be a holistic thing. The paper also focuses on the various environmental conference and summit which has adopted a more nature–centred approach towards environmental problems. Further the paper also emphasizes on the judicial approach to the problems as reflected in some important cases and the legislative policies on the matter. It seems here that development has to look into the aspects of social equity, environmental sustainability and people‘s participation. In the end, the paper concludes that growth alone cannot be termed as development. There is a need to understand that our needs are related. Until and unless human being comes forward to help each other, the objective of sustainable development can never be achieved. The shift from anthropocentrism [hood of the mankind] to eco–centrism [for the sake of nature] has been reflected in the various approaches whether being a conference, summit or the judicial and legislative approach.
Section 2[a] of the Environment [Protection] Act states, ―environment includes water, air and land and the inter–relationship which exists
among and between water, air and land, and human beings, other living creature, plants, micro–organism and property.
Ibid; Ishopanishad; the concept of devaruna also emphasises the same; see also, Samiul Hasan , Philanthropy and Social Justice in
Islam, AS Noordeen, Kuala Lumpur, at pp. 2–7.
Sachidananda Pandey v. State of West Bengal  2 SCC 295: AIR 1987 SC 1109.
Preamble paras 1, 2, 4 and 6 and Principle 8.
The World Commission on Environment and Development [Brundtland Commission] Report, 1987.
Michacl Redclift , The Meaning of Sustainable Development, 23 Geoforum 305, at p. 399 extracted in Lakshman D. Guruswamy [Ed.
(1999)], International Environmental Law and World Order, West Group, St. Paul Minn, at pp. 323–25; Daniel Barstow Magraw and Lisa D.
Hawke , ―Sustainable Development‖ in Daniel Bodansky, Oxford Handbook of International Environmental Law, Oxford University
Press, at pp. 613, 618–19.
Principles 3, 4 and 5 of the Rio Declaration, 1992.
Dwivedi , India‘s Environmental Policies, Programmes and Stewardship, at p. 54.
T.N. Godavarman Thriumalpad v. Union of India  10 SCC 606: AIR 2003 SC 724, at p. 737 per Justice Arjit Pasayat.
Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra v. State of Uttar Pradesh  2 SCC 431: AIR 1985 SC 652, at p. 656.
Samatha v. State of Andhra Pradesh  8 SCC 191: AIR 1997 SC 3297, at p. 3343.
 10 SCC 664: AIR 2000 SC 3751, at paras 88–89. The Court further observed: ―On full development, the Narmada has a potential of
irrigating over 6 million ha of land and generating 3000 Mw of power. The present stage of development is very low with only 3 to 4 Maf of
waters being used by the party States for irrigation and drinking water against 28 Maf availability of water at 75 percent dependability as
fixed by NWDT and about 100 Mw power developed. 85 percent of the waters are estimated as flowing waste to sea. The project will provide
safe and clean drinking water to 8215 villages and 135 towns in Gujarat and 131 villages in desert areas of Jalore District of Rajasthan,
though against these only 241 villages are getting submerged artially and only four villages fully due to the project.‖
Narmada Bachao Andolan v. Union of India  10 SCC 664, at para 267.
About growth of large dam culture as a feature of modernisation and globalisation and the story of WCD and its legitimacy, see, Kader
Ismal , Introduction: World Commission Dams Report, Dams and Development, 16 Am. U. Intl‘l. Rev., at p. 1411.
Executive summary, The Report of the World Commission on Dams,  16 Am. U. Intl‘l. Rev., at p. 1435.
Ibid, at p. 1445.
Baxi Upendra , What Happens Next Is Up to You: Human Rights at Risk in Dams and Development, 16 Am. U. Intl‘l. Rev., at p. 1507:
―Dam projects can result in communities living ‗for decades starved of welfare and development investments‘. This misery is not confined
to large dams, but is a feature of all major public projects [at least in the South] where the mere formation of executive intention to locate
these in certain areas entails suspension of all developmental activities.
The Report of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal with the Decision, Vol. V, Government of India, New Delhi, .
According to one estimate [WaIter D‘Souza] the evictees numbered 30 million by 1999 and only 25 percent have been rehabilitated.
Iyer Ramaswamy R. , Water: Perspectives, Issues, Concerns, Sage Publications, New Delhi, at pp. 126–129.
For a discussion see, Justice Kirpal B.N. in Narmada Bachao Andolan v. Union of India  10 SCC 664.
T.N. Godavarman Thriumalpad v. Union of India  10 SCC 606: AIR 2003 SC 724.
Rural Litigation and Entitlement Kendra v. State of Uttar Pradesh  Supp 1 SCC 504.
M.C. Mehta v. Union of India  12 SCC 118: AIR 2004 SC 4016; per Justice Y.K. Sabharwal, at para 48.
Bhat P. Ishwara , Fundamental Rights, at Chapter 8.
N.D. Jayal v. Union of India  9 SCC 362: AIR 2004 SC 867.
Leelakrishnan P. , Environmental Law in India, 2nd Edn., Lexis Nexis Butterworths, New Delhi, at pp. 194-12.
There is considerable body of statutes [about 200] directly or indirectly governing the field. Dubey Indrajit.
Leelakrishnan P. , Environmental Law in India, 2nd Edn., Lexis Nexis Butterworths, New Delhi, at p. 192.
The Environment Protection Rules, 1986, the Hazardous Wastes [Management and Handling] Rules, 1989, Noise Pollution Rules, 2000,
Biomedical Waste [Management and Handling] Rules, 1988, Ozone Depleting Substances [Regulation and Control] Rules, 2000, Coastal
Regulation Zone Notification and Environment Impact Assessment Notification.
Leelakrishnan P. , Environmental Law in India, 2nd Edn., Lexis Nexis Butterworths, New Delhi, at p. 277.
 10 SCC 606: AIR 2003 SC 724.
M.C. Mehta v. Kamal Nath  1 SCC 388.
Ibid, per Justice Kuldip Singh.
 6 SCC 496: AIR 2001 SC 3215.
 2 SCC 718: AIR 1999 SC 812, at pp. 820–1.
 5 SCC 647: AIR 1996 SC 2715.
M.C. Mehta v. Union of India  4 SCC 463: AIR 1988 SC 1037, at p. 1115 [Ganga pollution case]; M.C. Mehta v. Union of India  2
SCC 435: AIR 1998 SC 617 [Vehicular pollution case].
 10 SCC 510.
For an elaborate discussion see, Dubey Indrajit , Environmental Jurisprudence: Polluter‘s Liability, Lexis Ncxis Butterworths, New
David C. Cole , Free Enterprise v. Government Regulation: Decision–making and Regulation in the Korean Economy, Asian Affairs,
Vol. 7, No. 2, [November–December, 1979], at pp. 79–83.
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