Indian National Green Party


National Policy-Environment

1.1 Principles
The Indian National Green Party recognise that the Earth’s life support systems are fundamental to maximising human welfare.
In pursuit of our goals, the Indian National Green Party will ensure equity and social justice, and that those sectors of the community least able to bear the cost of redressing environmental degradation will not be disadvantaged.
In formulating an Environment Policy, the Indian National Green Party are striving for ecological sustainability through:
a) the protection of biological diversity and the maintenance of ecological integrity;
b) the use of material resources in accordance with the Earth’s capacity to supply them and to assimilate wastes arising from their use; and
c) equity within and between generations.
Where there are threats of serious or irreversible environmental damage, decisions should err on the side of caution, with the burden of proof resting with technological and industrial developers to demonstrate that the planned projects are ecologically sustainable.
To become ecologically sustainable, our society must change over time from one which recognises no physical or ecological limits, to one which lives within the capacity of the Earth to support it and allows for the Earth to sustain the diversity of living things. This means that ingenuity must be used to do more with less, the trend to more efficient use of physical resources and energy must be accelerated, and the limits within which society and the economy function must be explicitly recognised. To enable targets to be set and progress to be measured, these limits must be defined as early as possible. The Indian National Green Party set the following goals and limits as essential for the achievement of ecological sustainability in our country.
1.2 Goals
The Indian National Green Party aim to:
a) achieve an ecologically sustainable society, both in India and globally, which lives within the capacity of the Earth to supply renewable resources and to assimilate wastes;
b) ensure that human activities maintain the biological diversity of all named organisms at the level of subspecies and of all other organisms, through the adequate protection of the ecological communities of which they are part;
c) hold the amount of water captured for human use from surface aquatic systems and provide environmental flows to all river systems and their dependent ecosystems;
d) limit the amount of water drawn from groundwater systems to rates not greater than they are replenished;
e) reduce emissions of Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gases;
f) eliminate human-induced release of ozone-depleting substances in the upper atmosphere;
g) reduce the total quantity of solid, liquid and gaseous wastes (including those from non-point sources) annually disposed into the environment;
h) maintain or restore the natural diversity and productivity of soil in agricultural and pastoral areas;
i) reduce the total amount of land occupied by human infrastructure (transport, buildings, roads) and agriculture (grazing, cropping);
j) facilitate closer liaison among rural, urban, tribal and indigenous peoples in India, such that all might benefit from indigenous knowledge of our land in order to further its management in ways which are sustainable;
k) provide for increased participation by local communities in planning and implementing strategies to protect the environment;
l) increase environmental awareness leading to a desire by all Indians to protect the environment; and
m) apply the principle of intergenerational equity in all environmental programmes.
1.3 Short Term Targets
1.3.1 Biological Diversity
The Indian National Green Party will work to:
a) ensure funding and enforcement of habitat recovery plans for endangered species;
b) implement, as a matter of urgency, national legislation to control the clearing of native vegetation, with complementary provisions at state and/or local level; and
c) establish a comprehensive and viable system of terrestrial and marine protected areas managed primarily to protect biodiversity; the system will include all remaining areas of high wilderness value, and will also protect wild and scenic rivers which remain in essentially pristine condition;
d) prohibit automatic mining rights and mining exploration on agricultural land.
1.3.2 Forests and Wood Production
The Indian National Green Party will work to:
a) end logging of old growth and other high conservation value native forests immediately, and over time complete the phase-out of most logging from native forests, including regrowth forests;
b) adopt a Wood Products Industry Plan that will accelerate the transition from native forests to plantations by encouraging the fullest possible domestic processing of wood from plantations, and increased recycling. As a complement to the plan, we will provide a package of retraining and other assistance for workers facing displacement from the native forest-based industry;
c) integrate commercial wood production into diversified agricultural enterprises, and provide marketing mechanisms to facilitate this; and
d) support the development of alternative fibre industries where they are more ecologically sustainable.
1.3.3 Mining and Mineral Exploration
The Indian National Green Party will work:
a) to prohibit mineral exploration and mining as well as extraction of petroleum and gas in nature conservation reserves, including national parks, wilderness areas and other areas of outstanding nature conservation value;
b) to ban all new sand-mining operations in the coastal zone.
1.3.4 Marine Environments and Fishing
The Indian National Green Party will:
a) work to establish a comprehensive system of marine reserves in Indian waters; and
b) for existing fisheries, work to immediately prohibit an increase in level of harvest, and determine as a matter of urgency the requirements for ecological sustainability and regulate the catch accordingly, with a substantial safety margin to ensure sustainability
1.3.5 Climate Change and Ozone Depletion
The Indian National Green Party will work to:
a) reduce emissions of Carbon Dioxide and other greenhouse gases and to have clear national, regional and local energy policies adopted to enable this target to be reached;
b) support an international protocol that makes these greenhouse gas emission targets binding for all industrialised countries; and
c) phase out production of carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, CFCs and halons immediately, and HCFCs and methyl bromide by 2005.
1.3.6 Machinery of Government
The Indian National Green Party will work to:
a) legislate to establish a Commission with independent funding to examine and report on the environmental performance of public authorities;
b) strengthen the Environment Protection Act 1986.
c) ensure the development of publicly accessible, well resourced, compatible, coordinated networks of data monitoring and data-based legislated State of Environment reporting at local government, state/territory or regional, and national levels;
d) ensure the Government maintains and exercises those constitutional powers which are applicable to the environment, with State environmental policy to be supervised and subject to a minimum set of stringent national standards.