What is an Environmental Movement

An environmental movement can be defined as a social or political movement, for the conservation of the environment or for the improvement of the state of the environment. The terms ‘green movement’ or ‘conservation movement’ are alternatively used to mean the same. The environmental movements favor the sustainable management of natural resources. The movements many times stress the protection of the environment via changes in public policy. Many movements are mainly focus on ecology, health and human rights.

Environmental movements range from the highly organized and formally institution ones to the radically informal activities.The dimensional scope of various environmental movements ranges from being local to almost global.

Major Environmental Movement in India

The major environmental movement in India during the period of 1700 to 2000 are as following:-


This movement was started the year 1700 by Sage Sombaji against deforestation. A place named khejarli in the state of Rajasthan. One of the ladies named “Amrita Devi” wants to save the scared trees in the Village Which were being cut down by the king soldiers for a place. Amrita Devi protested with the Bishnoi Community against this and during the protest 363 people from the Bishnoi Community were killed. When the king of this region came to know about the protest ordered to stop the protest and declared the region as a protected area.


This movement was started in Chamboli district and later in District Tehri Garhwal in the year 1973. The main objective was to prevent the illegal Cutting of trees and protect the trees in Uttarakhand. Some Leaders of this movement such as Sundarlal Bahuguna, Gaura Devi told the villagers about the importance of trees. The main highlight of this movement was women’s of Tehri Garhwal was also involved in the protest and they hugged the trees and due to this, this is also known as Hug the trees movement.


It is an evergreen forest in Palakkad District in Kerala. The main aim was to protect the Silent Valley from the hydroelectricity project. One of the projects was named Hydroelectric which was set up across the Kunthipuzha River which runs through the Silent Valley. Various NGOs opposed this project. Due to the public pressure, The Indira Gandhi government declared that the valley will be protected and as a national reserve forest in  1985.


Many environmentalists started to protest against the production of hydroelectricity that is known as Narmada Bachao Andolan. Narmada River which flows through the States of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. This movement was started in 1985 with the objective of preservation of the environment and ecosystems of the valley.


This movement also called the name “Green Game Political Populism”. The Community of singhbhum in Jharkhand protested against the policy of the government in 1982. According to the policy, The government wanted to replace the natural soil and forests with the highly priced teak.


The word “Appiko” means expressing affection towards the trees. Panduranf Hegde started this movement in 1983. The main objective was conservation and proper utilization of forests or to promote afforestation on denuded lands. As the trees were cut down by the contractors of the forest department.


A dam was constructed which according to the people causes submergence of the forest areas along with the tehri. Local people started this movement, This protest was mainly against the environmental consequence of the weak ecosystem.



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