In the plan document it was said that we should carefully nurse our renewable resources of soil, water, plant and animal life to sustain our economic development.
A concern was expressed on the degradation of these natural resources that has caused deterioration in the quality of life.
A full-fledged Ministry of Environment and Forest was set up in 1985 to look into this issue. A provision of Rs. 40 crores was made for this purpose.
In the Seventh Five Year Plan 1985-90 two sections were devoted to Environment. It envisaged formulation of a “National Conservation Strategy” to see that the goals of sustainable development are met in future.
In its documents it was also said that non-governmental organisations, voluntary agencies and private sector should be encouraged to take an active role in this effort.
The seventh plan provided an outlay of Rs. 350 crores for the centre, Rs. 75-71 crores for the states and Rs. 2.20 crores for the Union Territories.
In the Eighth Plan 1992-97, apart from various areas of concern that have considerable brought about degradation in the environmental scenario, the following major tasks:
1. To protect the natural environment.
2. To regenerate and restore degraded ecosystems and increase their productivity and to generate employment through these activities.
3. To decentralise control over nature and natural resources.
4. To develop and share an understanding of nature and natural resources.
5. To formulate a national policy for the environment and an appropriate institutional and legal framework to support the policy.
6. To ensure coordinated and integrated Government action aimed at conserving nature and sustainable use of natural resources.
7. To make individuals and institutions more accountable to the people for the action impinging on environment and ecosystem.
8. To monitor the state of environment.
The total public sector outlay for Ecology and Environment provided in the Eighth Plan was Rs. 1660 crores-Rs. 675 crores for the Centre, Rs. 985 crores for the States and Union Territories.