The United Nations Conference On Human Environment convened at Stockholm in 1972 laid down the basics of environmental reform to be followed by countries.
- Man has the fundamental right to freedom, equality and adequate conditions of life in an environment of quality that permits a life of dignity and well being
- Man bears a solemn responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations
UN General Assembly of 1972 designated June 5 as the World Environment Day. Provisions regarding protection of environment were incorporated into the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act passed in 1976. Article 48-A states " The state shall endeavor to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wildlife of the country". This is a chapter on directive principles of state policy.
Article 51-A says " 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". It is a fundamental duty. Wildlife Protection Act was followed by Water Forest Act. There is no lack of legislature, but there is lack of interest in the employment of these rules. Fortunately, Indian judiciary has stepped in at the right time most often than not.