It is significant that after Independence in 1947 the consti tution makers and national leaders had the wisdom to emphasise the protection and improvement of the environment. Consequently, India is one of the few countries of the world whose constitution lays adequate stress on the need for protection and careful use of natural resources. Article 48(A) states that "the State shall endeavour to protect and improve the environment and to safeguard the forests and wild life of the country". Article 51 (A)g imposes a duty on the citizens to protect and improve the natural environment including forests, lakes, rivers,

wildlife and to have compassion for all living creatures. The Directive Principles also recognise the importance of maintaining the natural heritage as part of the total environment.