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

EnvironmentalismSubscribe to Environmentalism

Extreme Flooding Events and Land Cover Change

Land use change through developmental activities and deforestation is widely regarded as the primary driver of extreme flood events. This perception is typical of a reading of disasters influenced by environmentalism. The alarm bells of large-scale environmental damage are rung after every extreme...

Mahatma of the Mountains

Sundarlal Bahuguna, who applied Gandhi’s non-violent tools to fight environmental injustice, holds a special place in independent India’s environmental history.

Research Radio Ep 12: How Effective are Institutions for Climate Policy in India?

In this episode, we speak to Navroz K Dubash and Shibani Ghosh about the effectiveness of Indian institutions and policies to address the global environmental crises.

Tribal Rights and Heritage Conservation in the Western Ghats of Karnataka

In the context of Karnataka, the implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 in the heritage sites of the Western Ghats makes for an important case study of how the concerns of tribals and indigenous people are often marginalised in the debates around conservation. Analysing the process of assigning heritage status to the sites located in the state, reports of government committees on the conservation and global studies show that conservation models that vouched for exclusion of human habitants in ecologically sensitive areas failed to conserve biodiversity. Hence, the adoption of an inclusive and participatory approach is the need of the hour.

Rediscovering E F Schumacher in the 21st Century

The surprising relevance of a 20th Century economist in the age of global warming and climate change

Maharashtra’s War on Plastic

A brief investigation into the effects of the plastic ban in Maharashtra reveals that such regulations are riddled with arbitrariness and the absence of any accurate assessment of the scale of the problem of plastic waste. Further, such bans have the unintended consequence of creating a downturn in the plastic recycling sector, a sector which—in the absence of municipal support—handles much of the plastic waste of urban centres like Mumbai.

Can Celebrating Himalaya Diwas Save the Himalayan Ecology?

Since 2015, 9 September has been officially observed as Himalay Diwas or Himalaya Day in Uttarakhand. Some important considerations emerge from this. First, what is the potential of Himalay Diwas in highlighting the environmental issues faced by the region? Second, when research has shown that the past environmental movements (in the state) have actually been misrepresented and have created environmental injustices for the local populations (Bandyopadhyay 1999; Rangan 2000), to what extent does Himalay Diwas address these local voices? Finally, does the day receive attention from and appeal to the masses? The article intends to explore the conception of the Himalayas and the environment evident in the case of the Himalay Diwas celebrations. [1]

Today's Environmentalism

Environmental activism in India comprises two streams. The first focuses on protected areas and relies on the bureaucracy that often misuses its powers against communities that live in close contact with nature. The second focuses on protecting nature to safeguard people's livelihoods and health. The environmental agenda should focus on the reassertion of people's rights over natural resources, and this should be coupled with an action-oriented promotion of nature-friendly cooperative enterprises in sectors like quarrying, and mineral and sand mining.

Evolution of Institutions for Climate Policy in India

The growing focus on climate policy in India is not matched by an equivalent level of attention to institutions . Effective institutions are also needed for the design, coordination and implementation of policy. This paper examines the functioning of institutions, organised around three periods: pre-2007; 2007 to 2009 and 2010 to mid-2014. Several key themes emerge: First, the formation of climate institutions has often been ad hoc and is inadequately geared to India's co-benefits based approach to climate policy. Second, there is a lack of continuity in institutions, once established. Third, coordination across government has been uneven and episodic. Fourth, while various efforts at knowledge generation have been attempted, they do not add up to a mechanism for sustained and consistent strategic thinking on climate change. Fifth, the overall capacity within government remains limited. Sixth, capacity shortfalls are exacerbated by closed structures of governance that only partially draw on external expertise.

Environmentalist of the Poor

For more than two decades Anil Agarwal was India's most articulate and influential writer on the environment. His work was marked by his striking ability to synthesise the results of specialised scientific studies; his knack of communicating this synthesis in accessible prose; and the insistence that it was not enough for the environmentalist to hector and chastise, but offer solutions as well even if the state was unwilling to accept them as yet.

Greening the Earth

Environmentalism: A Global History by Ramachandra Guha; OUP, New Delhi, 2000; pp 161, Rs 295, (hardbound).
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