ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Environment conservationSubscribe to Environment conservation

Who Will Guard the Guardians? State Accountability in India's Environmental Governance

Effective public accountability is a prerequisite for protecting India's environment and the environmental human rights of all Indians. However, the question of what factors promote the accountability of public institutions remains under-researched in India. The recent and ongoing attempts by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to undermine environmental regulations beg a fundamental question that has yet to be debated adequately: Who will guard the guardians? In this essay, we discuss the importance of divided administrative jurisdictions for fostering relations of accountability in public institutions. Specifically, we highlight the divided jurisdiction that the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 creates in the regulation of mining and other non-forestry activities in forest areas and its implications for bolstering relations of accountability in environmental governance. Amidst serious attempts to undermine these arrangements, we ask the readers and policymakers to consider the importance of public accountability for transforming India’s national environmental regulatory framework.

​We Did It!

When we found light, not only fire, But also the fluorescent bulb bright, we did it. To think that we could keep sunlight, All through the night, we did it. When we ploughed the earth, but forgot to nurture it. Got our food and plundered it, we did it. When we made those mines, And said clean...

Origin of Conservation Refugees

The conservation of biodiversity and natural resources can help offer a sustainable supply of goods and services to fulfil the right of people to development and livelihood. However, the conservation record is not inspiring in India and across the world, when its social, economic, and cultural impacts on local people are considered. Conservation projects that exclude local people may conserve natural resources to an extent but not people’s access to livelihoods. By being a densely populated country, India cannot encourage the strategy of “pristine nature” in its conservation initiatives.
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