Closing the Environmental Enforcement Gap
Environmental harm and related human impacts constitute one of the greatest costs of India’s accelerated industrialization. There are gross gaps in the enforcement of environmental law, and citizens and communities are often disempowered in processes for environmental decision-making and environmental impact management. In response, Namati is partnering with the Centre for Policy Research to clarify the processes of environmental regulation in India, and experiment with institutional and community-based interventions to improve environmental outcomes.
The Environmental Justice Program works at three levels. Firstly, it strives to demystify the existing environmental regulatory framework, particularly the legislations for the siting and approval of industrial and infrastructure projects. To raise legal awareness of these regulations, the program will develop communication material and literature in media and language appropriate for different community groups. Secondly, the program works with communities to “ground-truth” violations of law. The program engages in community-based assessments to investigate the extent of compliance and violation of environmental regulations by industrial actors. The process involves educating communities on the conditions required by law, tracking violations at the source, and facilitating critical dialogue about these activities and their implications. Thirdly, the program conducts research on the environmental regulatory framework with respect to the new challenges and discourses of environmental governance.
Through these efforts, the program strives to add to the collective action on environment conservation and livelihoods security. The activities of the program are undertaken in collaboration with local organizations and research groups for the sustained engagement that environmental issues deserve.
CPR is an independent and non-partisan research institute and think tank. Its main objectives are to provide thought leadership and creative solutions to address pressing intellectual and policy issues. It is one of the 27 national social science research institutes recognized by the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), Government of India. It is set apart by its multi-disciplinary approach and unique blend of scholarship and practical expertise. CPR’s faculty have considerable impact on policy and public debates.