Fundamental Dilution Of Environmental Laws And Jurisprudence Of India Proposed

The current proposed amendments to four major environmental laws, are effectively a big step away from India’s long held statutory tradition of protecting environmental and natural resources and is a clear indicator of prevailing priority: putting business and commercial interest over environmental protection and safeguarding human rights.  The draft Bills were put out on 1st July 2022 by the Ministry in English, not any of the other Scheduled languages, and the commenting period ends on 21st July 2022.  Never in the history of India has there ever been such a rush to put interests of international and national business empires over that of peoples of India and its biodiversity.   

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Designing A Low Energy Home

The most important aspect of a sustainable house or infrastructure is to create one that consumes less energy in both its production and operation. As human civilization settles down comfortably into a lifestyle of energy and product consumption, we lead ourselves to believe that we can become green by just shifting the source of energy generation, unwilling to fathom that unnecessary product and process creation is the underlying issue. Energy reduction and lifestyle changes can pave the way for true sustainability.

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Pavagada Solar Plant Shines, But At What Cost?

Alternative sources of energy like solar is the way ahead but going forward in this realm requires a need to understand that mega power plants spanning thousands of acres, commissioned by converting habitable lands may not be the right way to do it. Solar plants can coexist with farming, animal rearing and other rural livelihoods. It just needs more dialogue and local people’s participation to suit the local landscapes.

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Reimagining Renewable Energy For This Earth Day

22nd April 2022 will be the 52nd year since the observation of  Earth Day. A day that marked the birth of the modern environment movement across the West. Earth Day in the 1990s became a global call for action drawing attention of the world to the developing environmental crisis as a fallout of the Rio Summit 1992. Now we are enduring climate change impacts. The IPCC report 2022 warns if global carbon emissions are not reduced substantially, heat and humidity will surpass human tolerance and this can seriously impact human health and the economy.

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Two Waste Management Stories From The Dakshina Kannada District

By: Janani S, The author is an architect and researcher on inclusive urbanism at Environment Support Group. Pachnady was still over 2 kilometres away but the stench of garbage reached us early. In 2019, the Pachnady landfill was in the news due to its slide down during the monsoons engulfing the residences and a temple in the vicinity. The solid waste of the city has polluted the groundwater here beyond repair rendering it unfit for drinking. Many of the farmers and other victims await their full compensation even after two years and their livelihoods witness a standstill as they are unable to cultivate in these degraded lands. In this context, we, researchers from the Environment Support Group, visited the waste management facility of Pachanady, Mangalore to get a better understanding of the prevailing situation.

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Can The Ancient Concept Of ‘Vasudaiva Kutumbakam’ Reverse Climate Change?

The 26th Conference of Parties (COP) of UN Climate Change Conference, hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy, will take place from 31 October to 12 November 2021 in Glasgow, UK.  There simply could not have been a more divided world in which such a critical global summit is organised, especially given that decisions taken here have planetary implications.  Following the collapse of the 25th COP held in Madrid, and no COP in 2020 due to COVID pandemic, much hope rested on taking forward a global pact to address climate change and its challenges in this year’s effort.

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Palm Oil Policy Needs Wider Consultation

By Malvika Kaushik, ESG. The NMEO-OP intends to make India, one of the largest importers of palm oil in the world, self-reliant in edible oil production. It proposes price assurances and other economic incentives to persuade farmers to cultivate oil palm. The move is touted as essential for national economic security. Meanwhile, activists are highlighting the dangers of widespread cultivation of oil palm monocultures in the north-east and in the Andaman and Nicobar islands (ANI). There are two key threats. The first is the destruction of fragile ecosystems in these biodiversity hotspots. In the north-east, the diversion of land cultivated under shifting agriculture or jhum could also be an issue. Jhum entails rotation between cultivation and regeneration in different patches of land. It seems to support more biodiversity than monoculture plantations.

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LET US EMBRACE LIFE!

By Janani S, ESG. In Bengaluru, 800 km of Rajakaluve streams crisscross the city. The patches of urban farming and fruit trees that can be grown on its banks, in the no development zone, is a humongous opportunity for the wide public. School children, who currently have very minimal ground connect, would be exposed to touch, feel and stay connected to the earth and water, birds and seasons.

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A Century In Pursuit Of Freedom

Who would have thought that in 2021, an American corporation known to harvest private communications for corporate profit would stand up against the Indian Government, defending the Right of Privacy of Indians. Ironically, here we are in the middle of the pandemic, worrying about how police can zoom in to suspend our fundamental right of expression, or walk into our homes and take away all that is ours, when the administration should, in fact, be ensuring that not one more person suffers, or dies, of COVID.

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Restoring Ecosystems To Address NCD Pandemic

The rise in these two NCDs is largely attributed to degradation of our ecosystems due to urban proliferation with decreasing open green spaces, change in lifestyle over the years driven by the nerve-wracking GDP based economic engines, and socio-cultural changes, with a host of other factors contributing to these conditions.

Bengaluru’s ecosystem once comprised of open green spaces such as parks, urban forests, lakes and open public spaces. Such spaces help reduce temperature, improve air quality, cut noise, and provide space for physical activities such as walking, cycling, playing, exercising that help reduce the burden of these NCDs.

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COVID-19: Why We Must Reorganise Cities To Deal With The Third Wave

There have been innumerable efforts in the past by civil society, trade unions, academia, public health experts and others who repeatedly stressed the crucial importance of strengthening local governance as key to mitigating and managing problems. These efforts have reached various High Courts and the Supreme Court too as Public Interest Litigations, trying to make local governance work. But the hubristic reliance and faith in centralised management has been such that even court orders directing public involvement in decision-making have all been disregarded. The whims and fancies of a few in power have prevailed with technology-based solutions for the pandemic.

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Making Turahalli A Model For Urban Forests

by  Bhargavi S Rao. As the world has become predominantly urban, with the impact of climate change being experienced worldwide, protecting forests everywhere, particularly close to urban areas, is critical.

Forests, especially those near cities, serve in regulating local temperatures, cycling water and nutrients, as repositories of biodiversity, and as a critical resource for the sustenance of rural, pastoral and forest dependent communities. Forests are also sacred spaces for communities that continue to revere shrines inside such spaces. 

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Changing Lives And Livelihoods Of Challakere: First Impressions Of The Unscientific Science City

By Ashwin Lobo, Research Associate, ESG. In January 2021, the ESG team visited these villages to understand the futuristic Science City means to the local communities. The stories we heard left us grasping for reason, as we struggled to fully comprehend just how much they have lost; We also were amazed by their resilience, particularly their feisty spirit to struggle on and protect the last remaining patches of these once pristine grasslands.

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