The term “Forest and Environmental law” is wide encompassing the entire gamut of statutes, treaties, conventions, regulations and policies aimed at protecting the ecology as well as preventing the degradation of natural resources. It involves enforcement of laws related to air, water and land pollution; conservation of wildlife; protection of environmentally protected areas; poaching and other related offences.
We are a leader in environmental and climate change law and help clients in getting necessary approvals from the Ministry of Forest & Environment approvals. Our team is focused on helping our clients mitigate the increasing challenges posed through strict local, national and international environmental regulation. We specialize in litigation side as well as corporate side. This is because the world of environmental law involves both these fields. If you want to deal with issues connected with PILs, conflict issues with PCBs etc., then environmental litigation comes into play. And if you are looking at environmental impact assessment, environmental clearances etc, that comes under the domain of corporate environmental law
As far as law firms are concerned, traditionally the firms in India have lacked a strong environmental law practice. This scenario is now gradually changing and KKLA is doing substantial work in infrastructure and power projects, both of which require addressing forest and environment related issues.
Our consulting firm provides advice on environmental laws, rules and regulations, governmental incentives available to further environmental interests, including tax credits, grants and land use provisions. It also advises its clients on regulatory compliances related to environment protection laws. Our team has in depth knowledge on The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, The Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991, Biological Diversity, 2002 Wild Life Protection Act, 1972; Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 etc. Our team has assisted the Government in developing policies, procedures and systems, obtaining No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from Pollution Control Boards (both central and state) under Air and Water Pollution Acts, minimizing the risk of damage to their corporate reputation by helping them establish a name for responsible environmental stewardship. Our law firm also advises clients on environmental market transactions (carbon trading).
The subject of environmental law is going to gain more importance in coming years. The reason is that there is a direct connection between infrastructure growth and the rule and application of environmental laws. As and when the country will focus on promoting more infrastructures, conflict situations with regard to environmental laws will arise and a consequent need for environmental Consulting firm to interpret and define the environmental strategies of the corporate sector.”
With infrastructure, manufacturing and real estate sectors emerging as the key growth areas for India, the “environmental agenda” has undergone a dramatic change. Consequently, the Consulting on Environmental law is no longer confined to environmental litigation. It now encompasses corporate environmental issues ranging from impact assessment and clearance of projects; building consensus with key stake holders in large projects; and addressing international environmental issues focusing on climate change and carbon credits. In particular, assessing environmental and social impacts prior to setting up operations and obtaining environmental approval from the authorities is now mandatory in most project categories.
This activism in Forest and Environment conservation has led to establishment of the following enduring principles for generations to come:
- The right to life enshrined in the Constitution extends to the “right to a clean and healthy environment”.
- Courts have the power to grant financial compensation as a remedy for the infringement of the right to life.
- “Polluter Pays” rule is sacrosanct, ie, polluters should be held “absolutely liable” to compensate for harm caused by their hazardous activities.
- Natural resources which are fragile or of high ecological value should be maintained and preserved for the public.
- The government is responsible for preventing environmental degradation. Infact the implementation of preventative measures should not be delayed wherever there is the possibility of irreversible damage.
- Green Benches should be set up in all the High Courts of the country dedicated specifically to environmental cases.