The Structure and Elements of an Inland Wetlands and Water Bodies Act for West Bengal
The IUP Law Review, Vol. II, No. 1, pp. 29-45, January 2012
Posted: 19 Sep 2012
Date Written: September 18, 2012
Wetlands as natural resource systems generate conflicting interests which pose challenge to the paradigm of conservation. In such areas of conflict law becomes an important tool for protection, wise use and conservation of wetlands. It is now understood that wetlands should be managed and conserved irrespective of their size and ownership. Their functional attributes are generally ill-conceived, and therefore, only a selected few are identified for protection and conservation. The ecosystem value of wetlands in general is yet to be established decisively enough for bringing them under the purview of legal restraints. The present paper proposes the structure and basic elements of an Inland Wetlands and Water Bodies Act based on the multiple values and characteristics of wetlands. The elements proposed are expected to provide a foundation for developing legal provisions for prohibitive and restrictive actions in wetlands as well as for wise use of all freshwater inland wetlands of West Bengal in general, and a few important ones in particular.
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