Personification of the Environment: A Fiction of Law

Shivangi Mishra and Amna Rahman Khan
Faculty of Law, Jamia Millia Islamia
New Delhi, India

Volume I, Issue V, 2018

It is the fundamental duty of mankind to protect the environment that nurtures us within the warm embrace of its biosphere. It is most unfortunate, that the human race has devoted its intelligent efforts in systematically devastating nature and depleting the natural resources that have, since time immemorial, caressed us with its natural ways. The Industrial age has mercilessly shattered the branches of the biosphere and the fragile arms of the flora and fauna. Mankind, realizing the state of urgency to protect the environment for its own selfish needs, has developed lofty ideals and a voluminous literature on rules, regulations and laws. Mankind boastfully proclaims to have unleashed a wave of environmental consciousness by virtue of constitutional provisions, penal safeguards and civil ideologies in the sphere of Indian jurisprudence. However, with the rapid explosion in the incidents of environmental crimes, it can be deduced that such preventive measures are emblematic of a pompous exercise rooted in futility. The environment can be protected only when it is personified and regarded as a being that has a compendium of rights of its own. Hence, an efficacious solution to check the alarming levels of environmental crimes is to confer upon the environment a legal personality so that its claims, rights and duties can be delineated. The Human Race, should in turn consider the environment as an animate being that can get injured by deforestation, that can sense pain by the discharge of noxious gases and fumes and that needs to be healed and nursed when industries trample it down.


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