The strategy of prevention consists of raising public awareness, strict enforcement of laws, statutory assessment of environmental impact of projects and efforts to regenerate the productivity of ecosystems.
The raising of public awareness is effective in some cases in refraining people from harmful activities, once they are convinced of the dangers.
Strict laws, rigorously implemented, can prevent environmental destruction through stringent punitive measures making an undesirable action very expensive for the offender.
Statutory environmental impact assessment of all projects and activities before their implementation can prevent degradation through obligation on the executing agencies to undertake compensatory measures.
Destruction can also be prevented by regenerating nature and increasing the productivity of the ecosystems.
The strategy of regulation is best applicable where projects have come up. It requires that:
(i) A detailed report should be prepared identifying the sources of pollution by the project or activity and indicating in a realistic and time-bound manner the measures required to be taken;
(ii) A similar report should be prepared about domestic and agricultural pollution, especially from pesticides, locating sources and suggesting remedial measures;
(iii) Functioning of the Central and State Pollution Control Boards should be strengthened and be made more open;
(iv) Comprehensive and realistic standards should be formulated for environmental pollution and for procedures and standards for assessing environmental damage;
(v) Industries should be made to recognise, if necessary by a dialogue with the government the cost on economy of environmental effects and be persuaded to show greater leadership and responsibility by controlling pollution through built-in measures;
(vi) Public participation in prevention and control of pollution and environmental degradation should be facilitated by providing necessary technical help and by the governments setting up appropriate machinery for speedy response to investigation and disposal of public complaints;
(vii) For encouraging public vigilance, incentives should be offered for reporting instances of violation of laws relating to pollution, forests, wildlife and other environmental issues; and
(viii) The regulatory functions of the Government should be decentralised, especially in relation to pollution with essential training and equipment being provided to representatives of communities.