EJ Matters Vol 3. Issue 9: Environment Ministry Proposes Comprehensive Dilution Of India’s Environmental Laws & More..

There has been systematic dilution of India’s forest and biodiversity protection laws for several years now.   But the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change now proposes to fundamentally change the essential characteristic of India’s environmental jurisprudence with fundamental changes that it proposes to India’s umbrella environmental law, the Environment Protection Act, 1986, and also the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974, Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 and Public Liability Insurance Act, 1991. 

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Environment Justice Matters_ Vol3. Issue 8

The Yale Centre for Environmental Law and Policy and Columbia University’s Earth Institute issued the  2022 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) report recently.  It is projected as a “data-driven summary of the state of sustainability around the world” and uses “40 performance indicators across 11 issue categories” to rank “180 countries on climate change performance, environmental health, and ecosystem vitality”. India has been ranked at the bottom of this list, scoring merely 18.9 points of a possible 100.

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Environment Justice Matters Vol 3. Issue. 6 | Large Gaps In Bengaluru’s Urban Planning Process & More

The IPCC sixth assessment report released early April notes that climate misinformation can jeopardise climate action  and weaken public demand for mitigation and adaptation measures. The  report  acknowledges the role of misinformation in fuelling polarisation, saying, “Together with the proliferation of suspicions of “fake news” and “post-truth”, some traditional and social media contents have fuelled polarisation and partisan divides on climate change in many countries.”

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Environment Justice Matters- Vol3. Issue 3 | Sidestepping Climate Change Accord Commitments In Support Of Mega Projects |Amulya K. N. Reddy

A key strategy promoted to tackle climate change, especially from the North, is to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground and shift to renewables.  Which, as Thea Riofrancos argues in Foreign Policy, is fraught with serious inconsistencies even if this involves  shifting the mining of minerals critical to the renewable energy transition to the Global North. ”Global north onshoring does not repair the forms of environmental harm disproportionally meted out in the global south”, he argues. Besides, this would create new problems which primarily affect oppressed populations within affluent countries. 

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Environment Justice Matters Vol. 3 Issue 2 |  Universal Periodic Review Of The Human Rights Council 

The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 appears poised to be the next victim of the continuing onslaught on environmental protections by the Union Government. The Wildlife Protection (Amendment) Bill, 2021 endangers several common but declining species of wildlife by allowing them to be classified as “vermin” and thus be opened up to being hunted. Several species that were previously protected under the Schedules of the Act have been removed in the amendments without any justification.

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Environment Justice Matters Vol. 3 Issue 1 | Prof. M K Prasad | The Mekedatu Project

Leading environmentalist, rationalist, educator and philosopher from Kerala, Prof. M K Prasad, lost his battle with COVID on 17th January 2022.   Prof. Prasad was the inspirational force behind the successful Save Silent Valley Movement, which forced former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi to stop the dam that would have destroyed the rainforest

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Environment Justice Matters- Vol 2. Issue 22

The All Saints Church congregation and the wide public came together on 28th November demanding the 150-year-old heritage church be protected from a concrete station box which Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) proposes to build by destroying the biodiversity-rich sacred grove. Steps for emergency acquisition of the grove were initiated by Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB).  This section of the Metro is financed by the European Investment Bank. Besides destroying the biodiversity-rich garden, which foregrounds the heritage Church, it is a space used for all church gatherings. Besides, students of Arpana Special School and residents of the Old Age Home run by the church use this space every day. Cutting soil, uprooting 150-200 years old trees, digging deep, blasting and construction activities merely 20 meters from the fragile church could result in its collapse. 

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Environment Justice Matters- Vol 2. Issue 19

On 9th October 2021, the floating village Champu khangpok at Loktak Lake, Manipur celebrated World Migratory Bird Day organised by All Loktak Lake Areas Fisheries Union Manipur (ALLAFUM) in partnership with Ngamee Lup, Pumlen Pat Khoidum Lamjao Kanba Apunba Lup, Environment Support Group and Indigenous Perspectives. Renowned ornithologist Dr. S. Subramanya spoke on the critical importance of protecting wetlands like Loktak for protecting and conserving water birds, as he highlighted the wetland is a habitat of the Central Asian-Indian Flyway and East Asian-Australasia Flyway for migratory birds.

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Environment Justice Matters- Vol 2. Issue 18

Cyclone Gulab, and it’s Arabian Sea counterpart Shaheen, are drawing interest from experts who have commented on the rarity of cross-peninsula cyclonic activity. This is only the latest evidence of how the climate crisis is manifesting in India, bringing with it new vulnerabilities and amplifying existing ones. Anil Padmanabhan, drawing upon the work of meteorologist Sulochana Gadgil, argues that it is time for a tectonic shift in how we understand the monsoon and its increasingly uneven distribution – across regions and time – due to climate change.

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Environment Justice Matters- Vol 2. Issue 17

During March and June 2021, ESG worked with administrators of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike and Karnataka Government, senior representatives of regulatory agencies,  representatives of multiple sectors across Bengaluru, academicians and experts, and importantly the wide public, in 9 webinars held through the 2nd major lockdowns imposed due to COVID  in developing “Make Bengaluru Climate Friendly: A blueprint for integrated, participatory and inclusive urban governance”.

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Environment Justice Matters- Vol 2. Issue 15

“Leafing through the field notes, this annotated page in particular is very worrying. Over the last 2 years, the pandemic has devastated life everywhere and changed the social order. While the rich can plan to leave the pandemic affected planet for a few minutes into zero gravity with space travel, the poor are grappling for breath every minute…”.  Bhargavi S Rao, Trustee, ESG presents the lesser known ground realities which are largely hidden by prevailing aggressive promotion of mega solar parks such as in Pavagada.

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Environment Justice Matters- Vol 2. Issue 14

The first ‘Lake walk’ (originally scheduled for Saturday, 7th August 2021) is now rescheduled for Saturday, 21st August at Subramanyapura kere and Uttarahalli kere in Bangalore South.  By participating in this walk, you would be able to appreciate the importance of protecting the natural terrain to ensure lakes are functional, besides also  appreciating distinctive narratives of the lakes: their history, ecology, life of lake communities, in addition to overarching legal frameworks that assist in building progressive imaginaries.

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Environment Justice Matters- Vol 2. Issue 13

Scientists have provided fresh evidence linking heatwaves that ravaged western Canada and the US with climate change. They termed the occurrence of the phenomenon “virtually impossible” without human influence. This explainer in the Indian Express decodes the phenomenon of ‘heat dome’, the basis of the unprecedented heatwave in North America. Lou Del Bello in conversation with climate resilience entrepreneur Barath Mahadevan, provides a glimpse of what went wrong in the West and some lessons for South Asia in countering heatwaves.

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Environment Justice Matters- Vol 2. Issue 10

Dr. Tekur, a dear friend and trustee of ESG, left us on 16th May 2021 after he lost his valiant struggle with Covid. As a young doctor he served in the Indian Army, and was even selected to be one of three who would be India’s first cosmonaut, till a training injury put him out of contention. He left the Army as a Captain and dedicated his life to being the People’s Doctor. A very popular General Physician and pediatrician, Dr. Tekur also helped shape Community Health Cell, now Sochara, in its formative years. He spared no effort to be of help and to the very end was in the midst of patients working to save thousands from COVID and other ailments. Yet he found time to paint, and did so with such professional dexterity and beauty. Dr Tekur will be remembered by so many he trained in public health through his work life, and by thousands of children who were eager to see their doctor who always sent them away with a polo mint and an evergreen smile. All of us at ESG miss him so very much.

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