The Ministry of Environment and Forests is primarily concerned with the implementation of policies and programmes relating to conservation of the country's natural resources including lakes and rivers, its biodiversity, forests and wildlife, ensuring the welfare of its animals and prevention and abatement of pollution. While implementing these policies and programmes, the Ministry is guided by the principle of sustainable development and enhancement of human well-being. The Ministry also serves as the nodal agency in the country for the United Nations Environment Programme (External website that opens in a new window) (UNEP), South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (External website that opens in a new window) (SACEP), International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and for the follow-up of the United Nations' Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The Ministry is also entrusted with the issues relating to multilateral bodies such as the Commission on Sustainable Development (External website that opens in a new window) (CSD), Global Environment Facility (External website that opens in a new window) (GEF) and of regional bodies like Economic and Social Council for Asia and Pacific (External website that opens in a new window) (ESCAP) and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (External website that opens in a new window) (SAARC) on matters pertaining to environment.
The main objectives of the Ministry are conservation and survey of flora, fauna, forest and wildlife, prevention and control of pollution, afforestation and regeneration of degraded areas, protection of environment and ensuring the welfare of animals. These objectives are well supported by a set of legislative and regulatory measures aimed at the preservation, conservation and protection of environment. Beside these legislative measures, a National Conservation Strategy and Policy Statement on Environment and Development, 1992; National Forest Policy-1988, a Policy Statement on Abatement of Pollution-1992, and National Environment Policy-2006 have also been evolved. These objectives are sought to be fulfilled through environmental impact assessment, eco-regeneration, assistance to organisations implementing environmental and forestry research, education and training, dissemination of environmental information and international cooperation and creation of environmental awareness.