The of steps to promote discussion and debate about

preservation of environment is a pressing issue. Every person, organisation and
institution has an accountability and duty to protect it. Environmental
protection encompasses not only pollution but also sustainable development and
conservation of natural resources and the ecosystem. In today’s era, the
necessity of environmental awareness and enforcement is more demanding and
urgent than ever before. Despite provisions in Indian Constitution providing
for Environmental protection and many statutory provisions, the environment degradation
continues. The main cause for environment degradation is lack of effective
enforcement of various laws. The emergence of NGOs represents an organised
response by civil society especially in those areas in which the state has
either failed to reach or done so in adequately. The importance of public
awareness and NGOs involvement in environmental protection is acknowledged
worldwide. NGO’s have been taking a number of steps to promote discussion and
debate about environmental issues, outside the broad spheres of popular media
and the educational system. Advocacy and awareness is especially crucial in
promoting concepts such as sustainable development, natural resource conservation
and the restoration of ecosystems. NGOs can sensitize policy makers about the local
needs and priorities. They can also contribute significantly by undertaking
research and publication on environment and development related issues. It is
necessary to support and encourage genuine, small, local level NGOs in
different parts of the country which can provide much needed institutional
support specific to the local needs. NGOs can make the following contributions:

Conducting education and citizen awareness
programmes in the field of environment

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Fact – finding and analysis

Filing public interest litigations

Innovation and experimenting in areas
which are difficult for government agencies to make changes in

Providing expertise and policy analysis

Providing factual and reliable information
with a network of professional expert staff

Working in collaboration with the
government for capacity building and promotion of community    participation in environmental awareness
and protection and

Working out at the grassroot level and
reaching far – flung areas with or without the government invitation.

due regards to the importance of the role of NGOs in motivating the society for
participation in environmental conservation programmes the Ministry has
launched several programmes, which are being implemented with their active
participation. These programmes aim at spreading environmental consciousness
not only among the student community, professionals and other intellectuals but
also general public.

Words: Environment, NGOs, Conservation, sustainable
development, Evaluation.