The Ministry of Environment & Forests started functioning from 4th January, 1985. The Ministry plans, promotes and coordinates environmental and forestry programmes. The Ministry's main activities include conservation and survey of flora, fauna, forests and wildlife; prevention and control of pollution; afforestation and re-generation of degraded areas, protection of the environment and research related to these topics. The tasks are being fulfilled through environmental impact assessment, eco-regeneration; assistance to organizations implementing environmental and forestry research; extension, education and training to augment the requisite manpower, collection, and dissemination of environmental information and creation of awareness at the national level.
The following subjects have been allotted to this Ministry:
- Environment and ecology; including environment in coastal water, mangroves and coral reefs, but excluding marine environment on the high seas;
- Botanical Survey of India;
- Zoological Survey of India;
- National Museum of Natural History;'
- The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974;
- The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 198 1;
- Environment (Protection).Act, 1986;
- The Indian Forest Act, 1927;
- The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960;
- The Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972;
- The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980;
- Public Liability Insurance Act, 199 1;
- Biosphere Reserves Programmes;
- National Forest Policy and Forestry Development in the country, including Social Forestry;
- Forest policy and all matters relating to forest and forest administration in so tar as the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are concerned;
- Indian Forest Service;
- Wildlife preservation and protection of wild birds and animals;
- Fundamental research, including coordination thereof and higher education of Forestry;
- Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park;
- National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board;
- National Assistance to Forestry Development Schemes;
- Central Ganga Authority;
- Prevention of cruelty to animals;
- Indian Plywood Industries Research Training Institute, Bangalore; and
- Central Zoo Authority.
The Ministry has three main wings, namely;
(a ) Environment & Forests;
(b) National Afforestation and Eco-Development Board;
(c) National River Conservation Directorate.
1. Seven regional offices of the Ministry which are located at Bangalore, Bhopal, Bhubaneshwar, Lucknow,Ranchi, Shillong and Chandigarh, perform the functions of monitoring and evaluation of on-going forestry development projects and schemes with specific emphasis on conservation of forests and follow up of implementation of conditions and safeguards laid down by the Ministry for project activities where environmental clearance is given.
2. The Ministry has also the following subordinate offices:
(iii) National Museum of Natural History;
(vi) National Zoological Park.
3. For the attainment of its objectives, the following autonomous bodies/registered societies have also been funded by the Ministry:
Environment & Ecology
(i) Central Pollution Control Board, Delhi.
(ii) G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Env, & Development, Almora.
(iii) Centres of Excellence
(a) Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad.
(b) Centre for Ecological Sciences, Bangalore.
(c) Centre on Mining Environment, Dhanbad.
(d) C.P. Ramaswarny Aiyar Centre for Environment Education, Madras.
(e) Salim Ali Centre of Omithology and Natural History, Coimbatore.
Forests and Wildlife
(a) Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education (ICFRE)
(i) Forest Research Institute, Dehradun.
(ii) Institute of Wood Science and Technology, Bangalore
(iii) Institute of Forest Genetics & Tree Breeding, Coimbatore.
(iv) Tropical Forest & Research Institute, Jabalpur.
(v) Arid Zone Forest Research Institute, Jodhpur.
(vi) Institute of Rain and Moist Deciduous Forest Research, Jorhat.
(vii) Temperate Forest Research Centre, Shirnla.
(viii) Centre for Social Forestry and Eco-rehabilitation, Allahabad.
(ix) Centre for Forest Productivity, Ranchi.
(x) Institute of Forestry Research and Human Resource Development, Chhindwara.
(b) Indian Plywood Industries Research and Training Institute, Bangalore.
(c) Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal.
(d) Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.
(e) Animal Welfare Board of India, Madras.
(f) Central Zoo Authority, New Delhi.
4. The Ministry also has one Public Sector Undertaking viz. Andaman & Nicobar Forest Plantation Development Corporation at Port Blair.