Report of the Two-Day Webinar on “Future of Environmental Litigation in India” held on 7th and 8th August, 2020
In an age when India is witnessing a staggering rise in industrialisation and development, the country is correspondingly facing environmental degradation at a rapid pace. Large scale deforestation, increasing levels of pollution, rise in frequency of natural disasters, rampant depletion of natural resources, extinction of wildlife among many other anthropogenic induced factors are evidence of this deteriorating ecological condition. At the outset, there is no denying that such drastic changes have severe consequences to the natural world. As the human race also makes up a significant portion of the eco-system, such environmental degradation also poses dire consequences to the lives and well-being of humans, over and above creating a strain on natural environment. In order to deter these damaging consequences from materialising, it is essential that a robust legal system regulating environmentally damaging anthropogenic activities exist. In particular, the presence of a sound judicial system to reinforce these regulations is crucial. Today, there is a plethora of constitutional and legislative provisions on environmental protection in India. In addition to this, over the past few decades, environmental activism and litigation has captured an increased momentum. Several
NGO’s, non-state actors, public spirited individuals and members of civil society have taken to courts to vindicate the ‘rights of nature’ by fighting unwarranted attacks on the environment. Parallelly, the National Green Tribunal and the mainstream judiciary have demonstrated the zealous vehemence in combating environmental assaults by enforcing accountability on authorities duty-bound to protect the environment. Besides this, the judiciary has also played a pivotal role by developing and strengthening the environmental jurisprudence in India.