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Legal Aspect of Environmental Resource Management

Updated on January 15, 2010

Legal Aspect of Environmental Resource Management

Introduction:

Population of the world is increasing day by day but resource is limited. Human have been using resource, environmental or natural resource, from the beginning of their life history. The excessive use of the natural resource (directly and converted) has began after the revolution of industrialization. Human being are using natural resources both renewable and nonrenewable including coal, gas, oil, water etc. to make their life easier. But the excessive and unplanned use of these resource we, human being,  have faced a lots of problem like green house effect, water, air and soil pollution, drought, flood, ice melting and sea level rise etc. these phenomenon makes us tense instated of easy life. For these we, human being, are thinking and searching a management system for natural resource and a definite guideline, policy and law for the use of natural resources. The guideline, policy and law which made till now are not sufficient.       

Environmental resource:

Environment:

Everything that affects an organism during its lifetime is collective known as its environment.

Resource:

resource is any physical or virtual entity of limited availability, or anything used to help one earn a living. On the other hand resource is any substance which has functional capability and extracted by affordable coast. 

Resources have three main characteristics: utility, quantity (often in terms of availability), and use in producing other resources.

Natural resource:

Natural resources are derived from the environment. Natural resource are structure and process that human can use for their own purpose but can not create.

Types of natural Resource:

On the basis of origin, resources may be divided into:

Biotic:

Biotic resources are the ones which are obtained from the biosphere. Forests and their products, animals, birds and their products, fish and other marine organisms are important examples. Minerals such as coal and petroleum are also included in this category because they were formed from decayed organic matter.

A biotic: 

A biotic resource comprise of non-living things. Examples include land, water, air and minerals such as gold, iron, copper, silver etc.

On the basis of the stage of development, natural resources may be called:

Potential Resources:

Potential resources are those which exist in a region and may be used in the future. For example, mineral oil 

Actual Resources:

Actual resources are those which have been surveyed, their quantity and quality determined and are being used in present times. For example, the petroleum and the natural gas.

On the basis of renewability,

Renewable Resources:

Renewable resources are the ones which can be replenished or reproduced easily. For example:  sunlight, air, wind, etc.

Non-renewable Resources:

Non-renewable resources are formed over very long geological periods. Minerals and fossils are included in this category.

On the basis of ownership, resources can be classified into:

Ø  Individual,

Ø  Community,

Ø  National, and

Ø  International  resources:

Resource management:

Natural resource management refers to the management of natural resources such as land, watersoilplants and animals, with a particular focus on how management affects the quality of life for both present and future generations. Natural resource management is congruent with the concept of sustainable development, a scientific principle that forms a basis for sustainable global land management and environmental governance to conserve and preserve natural resources.

Natural resource management specifically focuses on a scientific and technical understanding of resources and ecology and the life-supporting capacity of those resources.

Legal aspect for resource management:

After the revolution of industrialization in 18th century human beings have been using natural resources both renewable and nonrenewable including coal, gas, oil, water etc. to make their life easier. But the excessive and unplanned use of these resources we, human being, have faced a lot of problem like green house effect, water, air and soil pollution, drought, flood, ice melting and sea level rise etc. This phenomenon makes us tense.

The causes of these problems are

·         Lack of proper knowledge to using resources.

·         The lack of definite guideline to use the natural resources.

·         Lack of adequate policy and law.

·         Lack of institutional framework.

·         Violation of law, which are existing.

·         Weakness of the enforcement of law.

Due to these causes and to recovery these problems to protect the environment and conserve environmental resources laws are needed. It is also need to proper management of environmental resources.

International laws for environmental resources management:

 Wetland management: The Ramsar Convention 

The Ramsar Convention (The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance, especially as Waterfowl Habitat) is an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands, i.e., to stem the progressive encroachment on and loss of wetlands now and in the future, recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value.

The convention was developed and adopted by participating nations at a meeting in Ramsar on February 21971, and came into force on December, 1975.

The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance now includes 1,801 sites (known as Ramsar Sites) covering around 1,630,000 km², up from 1,021 sites in 2000. The nation with the highest number of sites is the United Kingdom at 166; the nation with the greatest area of listed wetlands is Canada, with over 130,000 km², including the Queen Maud Gulf site at 62,800 km².

Tanguar hoar is the Ramsar site in our country, Bangladesh.

Environmental management: The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development

The Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, often shortened to Rio Declaration, was a short document produced at the 1992United Nations "Conference on Environment and Development" (UNCED), informally known as the Earth Summit. The Rio Declaration consisted of 27 principles intended to guide future sustainable development around the world.

Some of the principles contained in the Rio Declaration in the aspect of environment

1.       Environmental Protection in the Development Process

2.       State Cooperation to Protect Ecosystem

3.       Reduction of Unsustainable Patterns of Production and Consumption

4.       Capacity Building for Sustainable Development

5.       Public participation

6.       National Environmental Legislation

7.       Compensation for Victims of Pollution and other Environmental Damage

8.       State Cooperation to Prevent environmental dumping

9.       Internationalization of Environmental Costs

10.    Environmental Impact Assessments

11.   Notification of Natural Disaster

12.   Peace, Development and Environmental Protection

13.   Resolution of Environmental Disputes

14.   Cooperation between State and People

Ozone layer protection: Montreal Protocol

The Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of a number of substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion. The treaty was opened for signature on September 161987 and entered into force on January 11989 followed by a first meeting in Helsinki, May 1989. Since then, it has undergone seven revisions, in 1990 (London), 1991 (Nairobi), 1992 (Copenhagen), 1993 (Bangkok), 1995 (Vienna), 1997 (Montreal), and 1999 (Beijing). It is believed that if the international agreement is adhered to, the ozone layer is expected to recover by 2050.

National laws for environmental resources management:

Bangladesh has some remarkable laws for managing and conserving the environment and environmental resources. Among these some of laws are the follows.

The Bangladesh Wild Life (Preservation) Order, 1973

Bangladesh Environmental Conservation Act, 1995

The Environmental Court Act, 2000

The Environmental Conservation Rules, 1997

The Building Construction Act, 1952

The Brick Burning Act, 1989

The Environmental Pollution Control Ordinance, 1977

The Water Pollution Control Ordinance, 1970

 The Private Forest Ordinance, 1959

The Forest Development Cooperation Ordinance, 1959

The Attia Forest (Protection) Ordinance, 1982

The Pesticide Ordinance, 1971

The Agricultural Past Ordinance, 1962

The Cultivable Waste Land Utilization Ordinance, 1959

The Ground Water Management Ordinance, 1985

The Embankment and Drainage Act, 1952

The Protection and Conservation of Fish Act, 1950

Recommendation conclusion:

The existing laws have some limitation that can not protect the environment and environmental resources. There are some conflict among the environmental resource management and the development activities. It has to minimize the limitation and these conflicts.

There is no clear instruction how to use and manage the environmental resources till now. For example coral resource.

 In Bangladesh has also no regulation or act for the coal, oil and gas mining.  For these some part of ‘Lowachara National Park’ destroy by the mining company “Oxidental”.

It need to clear instruction and make laws for the managing environmental resources.

It needs to clear define for the cooperation among people, NGOs and Government.

It also need to public participation for environmental resources management.

It has to implementation the laws strictly. 

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