Case BriefsHigh Courts

Uttaranchal High Court: A Division Bench of Rajiv Sharma, ACJ. and Lok Pal Singh, J., gave directions to the State Government against the encroachment upon the Alpine meadows in the State.

The petition was sought to conserve and preserve Bugyal (Alpine meadows) situated below the area of Roopkund in District Chamoli. Referred to as the ‘Nature’s own gardens’, the area was primarily meant for grazing the sheep and goats and comprises of life-saving medicinal plants. It had been prayed to direct the forest department to make a Policy for the protection of Aali-Bedini-Bagzi Bugyals, consequently restricting grazing of sheep and goats to local shepherds hence making it non- commercialized. The petition also directed to remove permanent fibre huts constructed by the Forest department made of concrete base thereby restricting the overnight stay of the tourists in the local surroundings plus put an end to the gathering of ‘Keera Jari’ (Yarsagambu, a medicinal plant) as the area suffered from soil erosion, pollution and poaching of animals.

The Court concluded that it was the duty of the State to protect and improve the environment, forests and wildlife of the country as per Article 48A of the Constitution of India following which it also underlined the fundamental duty towards the environment of each individual under Article 58A(g).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Accordingly, the bench disposed of the PIL with following directions:

  1. To remove all the permanent structures from Bugyals.
  2. To constitute the Eco-Development Committees.
  3. To restrict the number of tourists to 200 visiting the alpine meadows.
  4. To ban overnight stay in the Alpine.
  5. The commercial grazing of cattle was banned and only the local shepherds alone would be permitted to graze their cattle on the Bugyals by restricting the number of cattle.
  6. To conduct systematic survey of its flora.
  7. Every forest division should have a herbarium of important medicinal, rare, threatened and botanically interesting plants for reference and done only through government/public sector, as recommended by the experts.

[Aali-Bedini-Bagzi Bugyal Sanrakshan Samiti v. State of Uttarakhand, 2018 SCC OnLine Utt 760, order dated 21-08-2018]

Conference/Seminars/LecturesLaw School News

Society for the Advancement of Animal and Environmental Welfare, Friends Beyond Species (National Law University Odisha, Cuttack) will be hosting the first of its kind conference in collaboration with Humane Society International India on Animal and Environmental Welfare with specific emphasis on Wildlife Conservation and Emerging Trends on 25th – 26th September, 2018.

As a pioneering venture the Journal for Animal and Environmental Welfare (JAELW) will also be launched at the aforementioned event publishing the shortlisted research papers. In pursuance of this the Society for the Advancement of Animal and Environmental Welfare (NLUO) hereby invites your valued contributions for the 1st Issue of the mentioned journal in the form of research papers.

Theme: Wildlife Conservation and Sustainability

Sub-themes

  1. Human-wildlife interactions: Does conservation lead to conflict?
  2. Community Conservation: A critical tool for wildlife protection
  3. Environmental Entrepreneurship as a tool for livelihood of local communities and conservation
  4. Illegal Wildlife Trade: Technology enables policing and traceability
  5. Role of citizen science in wildlife management
  6. Institutional governance and legal requirements for co-existence
  7. Live elephant trade in India: Legal and Illegal
  8. Use of social science in wildlife conservation
  9. Zoo: Wildlife Conservation or Violation of Animal Rights
  10. Wildlife Crimes and Law: International Accords and Treaties
  11. National Policy and Legal Framework to curb wildlife trade
  12. Tourism Industry, Environment and Wildlife – Impact and Legal Challenges

Important Dates

  • Last date for Abstract submission: 20th August, 2018
  • Intimation to authors (short listing of abstracts): 23rd August, 2018
  • Last date for payment of registration fee: 1st September, 2018
  • Last date for final paper submission: 16 September, 2018; 23:59 hours

Submission Guidelines: Submissions may be in the form of Articles (3,500-6,000 words).

The word count is exclusive of footnotes. The body of the manuscript should be in Times New Roman, size 12 with 1.5 spacing.

The footnotes should be in Times New Roman, size 10 with single spacing. Submissions must conform to the OSCOLA format of citation and include a 250 word abstract that briefly summarises the paper.

The last date for submission of abstract is 20th August, 2018

The last date for submission of complete paper is 15th September, 2018.

Submissions are to be e-mailed tocaew@nluo.ac.in with the subject heading ‘Volume I – JAELW Submission’.

The e-mail should indicate which sub-theme the paper is intended for. Further, it should also contain the name of the author, qualifications, title of the manuscript and contact information.

Please note that no information that could identify the author should be included in the manuscript. Co-authorship is allowed.

Registration fee and details

For Students (Single Author) – Rs 700; Co-authorship – Rs 1200

For Academicians/Professionals (Single Author) – Rs 1000; Co-authorship – Rs 1500

Candidates who only want to attend the conference, can get themselves registered by sending a mail at caew@nluo.ac.in along with some essential details (Name, University’s Name, Contact details) latest by 23 August 2018 (23:59 hours) Registration Fee (for candidates who only want to attend the conference)- Rs 400

Accommodation: Rs 500 per day/per head

Mode of Payment will be conveyed to the participants after the shortlisting of abstracts is done.

Contact: For submissions and/or queries, write to us at: caew@nluo.ac.in.

  • Meghna Lal (Convener): 9406955452
  • Ayushi Hatwal (Co-convener): 8763276308
Click HERE for Information Brochure.

Case BriefsInternational Courts

European Court of Justice (ECJ): The ECJ has declared that Malta has failed to fulfil its obligations under EU law by adopting a certain derogation regime not complying with the strict conditions laid down by the Directive on the conservation of wild birds.

Directive 2009/147/EC of European Parliament and of the Council of 30 November 2009 on the conservation of wild birds (Directive) provides that Member States must take the requisite measures to establish a general system of protection for several bird species. Nevertheless, Member States may derogate from that obligation where there is no other satisfactory solution, to permit, under strictly supervised conditions and on a selective basis, the capture, keeping or other judicious use of certain birds in small numbers. In 2014 and 2015, Malta adopted several measures authorising the capture of seven species of finches by means of traditional nets (‘clap-nets’) to benefit from the derogation laid down in the Directive. The European Commission considered these measures not meeting the conditions of the Directive and therefore approached ECJ.

The Court ruled that measures adopted by Malta did not comply with the Directive since they did not contain any reference to the absence of another satisfactory solution. The Court recalled its case-law WWF Italia, C-60/05, EU:C:2006:378 according to which the Member States may authorise actions affecting the protected species only on the basis of decisions containing a clear and sufficient statement of reasons which refers to the conditions of the Directive. Court further noted that the minutes of the meetings of the Ornis Committee cited by Malta did not reveal any in-depth assessment of alternative solutions. The Court determined that Malta has not complied with the condition that derogation must concern only ‘small numbers’ of birds as derogation did not ensure the maintenance of the population of the species concerned at a satisfactory level. In that regard, the Court noted in particular a 2007 study by NGO BirdLife Malta and defects in Malta’s assessment of ‘reference population’.

The Court further remarked that the condition of trapping in small numbers was not met and recreational trapping of birds could not be considered judicious. Additionally, the Court considered that the condition that only the selective live-capturing of finches can be permitted was not met either by the non-selective nature of the method of capturing using nets. Finally, the Court found that Malta has not adduced evidence that the derogation at issue was used under strictly supervised conditions as the density of license holders and registered trapping stations in Malta was very high, and merely 23% of hunters were subject to individual checks. To corroborate this, the Court mentioned trapping inside ‘Natura 2000’ sites.

After making these observations, ECJ concluded that the Republic of Malta has failed to fulfil its obligations under Article 5(a) and (e) and Article 8(1) of Directive read in conjunction with Article 9(1) of that directive. [European Commission v. Republic of Malta, Case C-557/15, order dated 21-06-2018]