State Environment and Forest Ministers Conference

State Environment and Forest Ministers’ Conference adopted Resolution on Protecting Environment

The two-day State Environment and Forest Ministers’ Conference concluded at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi on 7 April 2015. The conference started on 6 April 2015. The two-day conference, which was participated by 30 ministers from different state looked upon a wide range of issues like waste to wealth, ease of doing business, TSR Subramanian committee recommendations, forest, wildlife, pollution-related issues, biodiversity and climate change. The conference concluded with adoption of a Resolution that seeks to frame measures to amend regulations to improve ease-of-doing business while protecting the environment.

The Main highlights of the Resolution

Waste Management
  • Establish effective mechanism for source segregation of waste by generators and arrange door-to-door collection of segregated solid waste in all urban areas within two years and put in place authorised waste recycling arrangements for the waste processing
  • Ensure that recycled materials from construction and demolition waste are mandatorily used in non-load bearing structures
  • Ensure that industrial area/zone/cluster plans mandatorily have waste recycling units;
  • Share common treatment storage and disposal facilities (TSDFs) for hazardous waste with other States
  • Arrange a web-based platform for integration of various kinds of approvals with respect to waste management
  • Enforce effective plastic waste management and e-waste management by involving Producers through Extended Producers Responsibility
Wildlife
  • To ensure effective implementation of the Indian Forest Act, 1927 comprehensive amendment to the law required.
  • State Forest Departments to objectively assess the animal population of species and carefully consider the option of population management.
  • Delineation of Eco-sensitive Zones must be completed by 30 June 2015. In case the boundary of a Protected Area is along interstate border, the states concerned will work jointly for finalizing the proposal based on the parameters recommended by National Board of Wildlife (NBWL).
  • All tiger range states will constitute State level Steering Committees and prepare Tiger Conservation Plans including voluntary village relocation from core/critical tiger habitats.
Restoring Green Cover of India
Protect, restore and enhance India’s green cover and take steps to:
  • Constitute State, District and Cluster level Committees as per Green India Mission (GIM) guidelines within three months
  • Identify landscapes based on bio-geophysical and socio-economic parameters
  • Identify and propagate indigenous species suited to their local environment
Pollution related Issues
  • Work towards developing a national environment and forest database for expedited integration of clearances and enforcement of stipulated safeguards
  • Resolved that the provisions on violations need to be rationalised and civil penalty provisions be incorporated in Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and pollution related Acts
  • To establish Green Platform for creating environmental database to the Project Proponent and for filing compliances
  • Resolved that guidelines on sustainable sand mining and sustainable and environment friendly building norms be issued at the earliest
  • To adopt pollution criteria for categorisation of Red, Orange and Green categories of industries and that a Committee be constituted with State representatives
  • To give consent to operate with the validity period of five years in respect of Red categories, 10 years for Orange categories and one time consent for Green category
Treatment of Sewage
  • Make treatment of sewage and granting consents to the Municipal authorities mandatory under the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974
  • To revisit Standard treatment of sewage proposed by CPCB and secondary treated sewage be recycled and used for non-potable purposes
Biodiversity
  • Resolved that States that have not yet notified State specific Rules under Section 63 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 will notify the same by December 2015 and States whose rules are not in consonance with the Act will amend the rules by December 2015
  • States will consider declaring at least one Biodiversity Heritage Site in 2015-16
  • States shall put in place a transparent and effective mechanism for access to biological resources in their jurisdiction as envisaged under Section 7 and recently issued Access and Benefit Sharing (ABS) guidelines by June 2015
Climate Change
  • States shall prepare a shelf of projects immediately and will submit at least 1 project of up to 10 crore rupees for National Adaptation Fund/National Clean Environment Fund and 1 project costing up to 30 crore rupees for Adaptation Fund Board (AFB) within 30 days
  • States will prepare demonstration projects under Climate Change Action Programme (CCAP) during Financial Year 2015-16 and will submit at least 1 project worth up to 10-25 million US dollars for submission to Green Climate Fund.