NHRC chairperson justice (retd) Arun Kumar Mishra on Saturday said it was time to identify and plug gaps, and “act sternly against violators” of norms in implementation of environmental laws.
In a written message issued by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the eve of World Environment Day, he also said that society has to find a balance between the need for development and preserving the ecosystem and climate.
“As part of the global fraternity, we have to stick to the emission norms to allow us breathe fresh and clean air. We have to save our green belts, prevent unmindful illegal mining, shrinking water bodies, disposal of plastics and domestic waste, promotion of bio-fuel technologies and sharing it with others to develop alternative energy sources, solar and wind apart from nuclear and hydro technologies is the call of the day,” he said.
The concept of global village can be realised only when the developed economies appreciate the need and aspirations of the people in developing economies to live in a world which is homogenous, and gives equal opportunity to all to realise the rights at par with their fellow human beings in developed nations, Mishra said in his message.
“They need to shoulder more responsibility for checking climate change without passing the burden of sacrifices only on the developing economies,” he added.
“It is time to identify and plug gaps and act sternly against violators of norms in implementation of environmental laws. Enforcement of policies the world over and sticking to the commitments made at global summits is of utmost significance for achieving the goals,” reads the message.
Extending his greetings on the eve of World Environment Day, he said it is observed on June 5 every year since 1973 as part of the United Nations Environment Program to build awareness about the need to protect environment to save life on planet earth.
But ‘Save Environment’ is no more a slogan now. Climate change is affecting people’s lives around the world. Access to their rights to potable water, food, health and the clean environment are top priority, he said.
“This year’s theme for the World Environment Day, very aptly surmises that ‘It’s only one Earth’, and we all have to think globally and act locally to save planet earth from degradation. We have to find a balance between the need for development and preserving our ecosystem and climate,” Mishra said.
The national human rights institutions can play a very effective role for preventing degradation of environment and climate, endangering life on the planet earth, the statement said.
At Glasgow Summit, India has shown the way to the world by making a commitment, despite its challenges of development, to cut green house gas emissions to net zero by 2070, it said.
The responsibility is to be shared by the individuals besides the efforts of systems of the governance, including states, municipal authorities, panchayati raj Institutions, on a war-footing, he said.
The local bodies, such as panchayats and state human rights commissions, civil society organisations have to act in tandem in building awareness for promoting and protection of environment at grassroots, the NHRC chief said.
Protection of environment is a constitutional duty and the observance and celebration of the Environment Day is to be essentially seen as a day of duty cast upon every human being to at least not harm our ecosystem, biodiversity and environment, he added.