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Forty Second amendment in the Constitution of India and Biodiversity Conservation in the Perspective of 21ST CENTURY.

Dr. Jolly Garg, Associate Professor and Head, Department of Botany, D.A.K.P.G. College, Moradabad, U.P. India. mob. no. 9411683385. Email :

The 20th century was marked by both the recognition and creation of array of environmental problems viz. deforestation, climate change, green house effect, Pollution, Sea acidification etc. Subsequently 21st century is bound to bear the burden of resolving these problems and preventing the emergence of more. The 1972, Stockholm Declaration proclaimed that human’s natural and man-made environment are essential to well-being of human beings and to the enjoyment of basic human rights. Stockholm Conference (1972) stimulated the Indian Government to enact Amendment to the Constitution. Consequently Constitution was amended by 42nd Amendment Act, 1976 and Articles 48 A and Article 51 A (g) were inserted in the Constitution in order to support environmental protection and biodiversity conservation including the natural resources viz. forest, lake wild life etc. Article 48 (A): inter alia, provides ‘The State shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country’ i.e. protection and biodiversity conservation of the country. Article 48-A emphasizes on the ‘Protection and improvement of environment’. Article 51 : comprehended ‘The State shall endeavor to promote international peace and security; maintain just and honorable relations between nations; foster respect for international law and treaty obligations’. Article 51A (g) states ‘It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures’; to value and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture; to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers and wild life, and to have compassion for living creatures; to safeguard public property and to abjure violence; to strive towards excellence in all spheres of individual and collective activity so that the nation constantly rises to higher levels of endeavor and achievement.14 While Article 48-A comprehend to ‘environment’; Article 51-A (g) enjoins it as a fundamental duty of every citizen ‘to have compassion for living creatures’. Thus, protection and improvement of natural environment including biodiversity is the duty of the State (Article 51 A g ) and every citizen (Article 48-A) by the Constitution (Forty-second Amendment) Act, 1976 to improve. In the Constitution of India; some important Provisions articles and acts for the Protection of Environmental and biodiversity conservation are Article 14; Article 19 (1) (g); Article 21; Article 48 (A); Article 51; Article 51 (A); Article 253 Indian Penal Code, 1860: Section 268 defined what is public nuisance. Abatement of public nuisance is also a subject of Section 133 to 144 of I.P.C.; only prohibitive provisions. Provisions mentioned in Section 269 to 278 emphasizes prosecution and punishment if there is violation of these provision. In India at present there are strong provisions aimed at protecting the environment from pollution and maintaining the ecological balance viz. Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, amended 1988; The Indian Forest Act, 1927 ; The Biological Diversity Act, 2002 are the mile stones in the protection and conservation of biodiversity. The biosphere or ecosphere is the sum total of all the ecosystems of the world. It is the selfregulating zone of life on Earth. Natural Environment may also defined as the complex interactions of all abiotic and biotic factors which finalizes and ultimately determine its form and survival. The complex interactions of these components with all the environmental factors viz. climate, geography and natural resources also affects human survival and economic activity. Biodiversity is the variety the genetic, species, and ecosystem level. Biodiversity is not distributed evenly on Earth, and is richest in the tropics. Biodiversity generally tends to cluster in hotspots. Biodiversity interconnect the biosphere and ecological services provided by ecosystem viz. Life support system of human race. Conservation of biodiversity includes the preservation of all species, flora and fauna, the enhancement of wildlife habitat, the control of wildlife problems and the sustainable use of forests and wildlife. Components of the Biodiversity are grouped into two categories namely fauna and flora. Fauna includes all the animals including human beings as genus Homo sapiens; flora includes all the living creatures belonging to category Plant including trees, herbs shrubs etc. There exit a balance and collateral evolution between the two essential constituents of biodiversity viz. flora and fauna of the Ecosystem. The Earth Summit held in Rio De Janerio, Brazil in 1992 resulted in the formulation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) the three primary aims of which were to (i) preserve biological diversity on earth in recognition of the goods and services it provides; (ii) promote sustainable utilization of its components; and (iii) facilitate the equitable sharing of the benefits derived from its resources. Since its inception in 1992, as of 2016, the Convention has 196 parties, which includes 195 states including the India and the European Union; all UN member states; with the exception of the United States; have ratified the treaty. India is the eleventh mega-biodiversity center in the world and the third in Asia with its share of ~11% of the total plant resources. The floral wealth of India comprises more than 47,000 species including 43% vascular plants. Nearly 147 genera are endemic too. The vast geographical expanse of the country has resulted in enormous ecological diversity, which is comparable to continental level diversity scales across the world. It has representation of twelve biogeographic provinces, five biomes and three bioregions. The environmental protection and biodiversity conservation are integral parts of sustainable development. In order to make each of us accountable for present growth of human beings and present status of biodiversity, forest and global ecosystem; there is a need of holistic understanding of the relationship between the environment and the development processes taking place in the world. It has become the need of the hour to expand and evolve approaches to twenty- first century to biodiversity and forest conservation’ and to strictly follow the ‘globalenvironmental ecosystem approach implementation’.

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