Environment Laws in Pakistan

Environmental laws cover the legal aspects of everything that may affect our environment and surroundings. From our roads, public parks, buildings, and forests down to our air quality and natural resources. This responsibility is mentioned in the Quran, thus it falls not only onto the government but every business and individual in society.

Protecting the environment is an obligation by society to ensure a better future for generations to come. In this article, we will be exploring the laws in Pakistan that are in place to protect the environment, along with what individuals can do if they wish to report an environmental issue to the relevant authorities.

Environment law Environmental laws Pakistan
Surah 16 Al-Nahl (The Bee) Verse 15 “He has placed into the earth firm mountains, so it does not shake with you, as well as rivers, and pathways so you may find your way.”

The Environmental laws in Pakistan

The main law that deals with the preservation and improvement of the Environment in Pakistan (the Environment laws of Pakistan) is the Environment Protection Act 1997. Along with this, the following laws are also in place:-

  • The Punjab Environmental Tribunal Rules, 2012
  • Pollution Charge for industry (Calculation and Collection) Rules, 2001
  • The Punjab Environmental Protection (Administrative Penalty) Rules, 2013
  • Punjab Environmental Protection (BTS) Regulations, 2012
  • The Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency Review of Initial Environemntam Examination and Environmental Impact Assessment Regulations, 2000
  • The Environmental Samples Rules, 2001
  • Punjab Bio-safety Rules 2014
  • The Punjab Prohibition on Manufacture, Sale, Use and Import of Polythene Bags (Black or any other Polythene Bag below fifteen micron thickness) Ordinance, 2002
  • National Environmental Quality Standards (Certification of Environmental Laboratories) Regulations, 2000
  • The Punjab Prohibition on Manufacture, Sale, Use and Import of Polythene Bags (Black or any other Polythene Bag below fifteen micron thickness) Rules, 2004
  • Punjab Environmental Protection (Motor Vehicles) Rules, 2013
  • The Punjab Hopital Waste Management Rules, 2014
Environment law Environmental laws Pakistan
Surah 39 Az-Zumar (The Troops) Verse 21 “Do you not see that Allah sends down rain from the sky—channelling it through streams in the earth—then produces with it crops of various colours, then they dry up and you see them wither, and then He reduces them to chaff? Surely in this is a reminder for people of reason

Factors that affect the environment in Environment laws of Pakistan

In Pakistan, the Pakistan Environmental Protection Department oversees the enforcement of Environment laws in Pakistan and the day-to-day issues and concerns of the general public, corporations, and organizations with regard to environmental issues. Factors that can affect the environment can be (but are not limited to) the following:-

  • Pollution (of any kind)
  • Dust
  • Poor Waste Management
  • Recycling
  • Water Sanitization
  • Water contamination
  • SMOG/Poor air quality
  • Forest, Ocean and Wildlife standards and development

Along with this, efforts to rehabilitate areas and eradicate known problems to the environment are within the scope of the Pakistan Environmental Protection Department. In recent times we have also seen the judiciary take proactive steps and enforce measures to control the environment and to promote our surroundings.

Environmental justice rested on right to life (Article 9 of the Constitution), meaning a right to a healthier and cleaner environment, Environmental justice was an amalgam of the constitutional principles of democracy, equality, social, economic and political justice guaranteed under the objective resolution, the fundamental right to life, liberty and human dignity (Article 14 of the Constitution) which included the international environmental principles of sustainable development, precautionary principle, environmental impact assessment, inter and intra-generational equity and public trust doctrine environment and its protection were central in the scheme of constitutional rights.

Right to environemnt that was not harmful to the health or well-being of the people and an environment that protected the present and future generations was an essential part of political and social justice and even more integral to the right to life and dignity under our constitution.

PLD 2015 Lah. 522

How to report an Environmental Issue in Pakistan

If there are issues that you are aware of that are negatively impacting our environment and against the Environment laws of Pakistan, you could submit an application to the Environmental Protection Department to address the matter. In extreme cases, you could report the matter to the Police to issue an FIR and can rely on the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) under the following provisions-

  • Pakistan Penal Code Section 268 – Public Nuisance
  • Pakistan Penal Code Section 269 – Negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life
  • Pakistan Penal Code Section 270 – Malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life
  • Pakistan Penal Code Section 277 – Fouling of water of public spring or reservoir
  • Pakistan Penal Code Section 278 – Making atmophere noxious to health
  • Pakistan Penal Code Section 284 – Negligence conduct with respect to poisonous subsance
  • Pakistan Penal Code Section 285 – Negligence conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter
  • Pakistan Penal Code Section 286 – Negligence conduct with respect to explosive substance
  • Pakistan Penal Code Section 290 – Punishment for Public nuisance in cases not otherwise provided for

If you are facing this type of issue, and wish to seek legal advice, please contact us on via WhatsApp on 03085510031

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