Green criminology is a branch of criminology that involves the study of harms and crimes against the environment broadly conceived, including the study of environmental law and policy, the study of corporate crimes against the environment, and environmental justice from a criminological perspective.

Green criminology applies a broad ”green” perspective to environmental harms, ecological justice, and the study of environmental laws and criminality, which includes crimes affecting the environment and non-human nature.

It has displayed interest in a variety of harms against animals, a significant portion of that literature examines crimes against wildlife, wildlife trafficking, and poaching.

Moving beyond mainstream criminology’s focus on individual offenders, green criminology also explores state failure in environmental protection and corporate offending and environmentally harmful business practices.



The latest revolution going on regarding saving the crimes against environment in the very context of our state Uttarakhand can be visibly seen in the protests relating saving the 2200 trees proposed to be cut to widen the highway from delhi to Dehradun regardless of instituting any other alternative route or a eco centric option. As a matter of fact the Urban Forestry is the sustained planning, planting, protection, maintenance, and care of trees, forests, green space and related resources in and around cities and communities for economic, environmental, social, and public health benefits for people.

Uttarakhand High Court in Mohd Salim v State of Uttarakhand in 2017 declared Ganga and Yamuna as Juristic persons. (Later an SLP was filed in the Supreme Court of India. An interim stay was ordered by the SC and the judgement does not overrule the decision.) Not only rivers, in 2014 SC in the landmark judgement of Animal Welfare Board v A Nagaraja said that “animals have dignity, honour and their rights to privacy must be protected from unlawful assault”

Forests” forms a part of Concurrent list under Schedule 7 of the Constitution of India and hence both State and Central government has the power to make laws for it. The word “tree” per se is not even mentioned in the constitution. Article 51-A(g) of the Fundamental rights states that “it is the fundamental duty of every citizen to protect and preserve forests, lakes and rivers and to have compassion for every living being.” The phrase “living being” can be interpreted to include trees as well.

The Uttar Pradesh Protection of Trees in Rural and Hill Areas Act, 1976. The provisions are almost the same as provision for tree authority, tree officer, etc. Every legislation gives exemplary powers to the tree officer in deciding whether the felling of trees should be allowed or not, he has the power to arrest even without a warrant. These powers rest with the tree officer completely. The tree preservation laws follow the general structure of the criminal law. Even after the provision for tree authority, it is the tree officer who decides whether the felling of trees should be allowed or not. So, the real authority lies with the tree officer. Hence it clearly states the accountability of the crime conducted against trees.

Uttarakhand Ground Water (Regulation and Control of Development and Management) Act, 2016 has been amended in 2019 but not approved by the state government till date. Now this affects the ground water level of all the regions in the state where commercial real estate is permitted without any clearances of who owns the natural strota of water on the private plot the latest amendment clearly states that commercial units shall not use unlimited water and create unequitable distribution in the areas outside the municipality where jal sansthan has still not taken over. But clearly the rules are flouted and failure of the government is present.

We cannot ignore that no land reforms and misusage of sec 143 of the land revenue act have been extremely detrimental to the locals of the state. Not only the environment is tarnished with personal greed but the ecological balance has been tossed to the verge of inviting great disasters in the form of landslides, cloud bursts, deforestation, climate change, perishing of many bird species, lessening of tigers, etc.



Legal rights of nature are being recognized by many countries all across the globe. New Zealand became the 1st country to recognise a river as a legal entity when it recognized the rights of the Whanganui River and said that it can sue and can be sued as a separate legal being. This status was given when the parliament of New Zealand passed the Te Awa Tupua [Whanganui River Claims Settlement] Bill 2017.

Ecuador was the 1st country to constitutionally recognise the rights of nature. Its constitution says that “nature has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital life cycles, structures and its processes in evolution.” Recognition of rights of nature is very necessary as the threat to nature is increasing day by day. It is important to protect them as a human being in his obsession with better technology, physical infrastructure and development is threatening even the existence of these natural beings and as a result survival of living beings. Even legally protected areas like natural parks, sanctuaries are becoming victims of this development process.


  1. Approval by state government of the amendments in the acts be it ground water, land reform, forest, bio diversity etc.
  2. Stricter legislations of implementation of existing laws and credible enactments.
  3. Legal status to trees ,water bodies, animals
  4. Creation of sanctuaries and no meddling with nature.
  5. Sustainable development in the state and status to be provided to the state as a whole where legislation of not more than 20% usage of non sustainable material to be used in construction.
  6. Mining to be restricted and tenders to be limited.
  7. Farming promotion schemes to be opened to all land buyers by limiting the conversion of land from agricultural to commercial relooking at sec 143 of the up land revenue act applicable in Uttarakhand.
  8. Sustainable modes of rain water harvesting to be made mandatory.
  9. Green structure awards and incentives to be introduced.
  10. United Nations agenda for 2030 for sustainable development goals to be acquired by each and every state and country heads and made into a prime goal is the key to save the environment.




You cannot copy content of this page

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial