‘Nature is sending us a message with the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing climate crisis’ were the words of United Nation’s Environment Chief Inger Andersen in an exclusive interview to guardian.com  Its not just this honorable Danish environmentalist that has echoed the sentiment of nature protection but recently many medical and environmental scientist are of the same view. For more than a century, human being for his own selfish interest is exploiting natural resources without thinking of conserving it and now nature has played with us. There is limit to every human act and this was it. It all began in December, 2019 and till now this pandemic situation is still a nightmare for us.
Prior to COVIS-19, history of humankind has witnessed many pandemic situations like Spanish Flu in 1918, SARS in 2003, EBOLA outbreak in West Africa in 2014, Avian Influenza in 1997 etc. Time and again, Nature warned us about implication of environment exploitation and the current situation is also a severe warning from the nature to adhere to balancing nature with human needs.
No one is sure as to how long the current situation lasts and the governments around the world must wake up and frame a way forward towards green and clean rules and regulations. In Indian context, there is no law which makes felling of trees punishable in urban areas and even if there is a ‘Forest Conservation Act, 1980’ in existence, it does not have any strict punishment for those responsible for cutting down trees. According to section 3B , those responsible for deforestation shall be guilty of punishment of imprisonment up to 15 days which in practicality is not sufficient. This act also only covers conservation of forest area as declared by Central Government. What about other areas?There is also ‘Environment Protection Act, 1986’ but it only deals with environment protection against pollutants and is silent on water bodies conservation and cutting of trees.
It is really essential that government start framing and implementing of what is called as ‘Green Rules’ in policy making which must include protecting habitat of all natural organisms and guarding biodiversity areas. Every individual must be encouraged to plant trees near their surrounding and also proper watering it. Corporations must be strictly instruct to cover the fronts of their corporate offices with trees. Individuals and corporations are also continuously abrasing wild space, thus affecting natural life of wild animals. Laws strictly must be framed for protecting wild life and wildlife area and no construction activities must be done within 5 miles of every wildlife area throughout India.
We should follow example of European Union who in 2019 signed an agreement on ‘Sustainable Finance Rulebook’ which aims to avoid green washing and to allocate resources to finance an economy that will be in tune with the Paris Agreement and which enables to increase the transparency of financial market.
Nature has given a new opportunity to make right of all wrong we are doing with it and India has potential to be a ‘Global Green Leader’ and be a good example before the world of how to balance nature with economy.