Hari Pulakkat writes: The country’s water data has been largely hidden from public view, and what was available was poor or untrustworthy. This brings up a question rarely asked by policymakers. If scientists find it difficult to analyse the country’s water resources at the moment, how valid are the reports that forecast India’s water future?
From Policy Forum: India is now facing a water situation that is significantly worse than anything previous generations ever faced. All water bodies near population centres are now grossly polluted. Interstate disputes over river water allocations are becoming increasingly intense. Surface water conditions in the country are bad. However, the groundwater situation is even worse.
Nayantara Narayanan reports: The UPA government left behind a legacy of weakened safeguards for India’s environment, forests and forest-dwelling people. The Narendra Modi government has lost no time in weakening them further. The process has been so accelerated that journalists have struggled to keep pace with them. Here is a look at seven reported changes.
Manu Saunders writes: What will be the consequences if the perceived connection between scientific endeavor and the natural world continues to weaken? Presenting nature study as a pleasant but scientifically irrelevant hobby may have beneficial effects on our health and well-being, but it’ll damage our understanding of environmental issues and therefore our understanding of science.
SciDev Net reports: India, Colombia and Nigeria have the most cases of conflict caused by climate change and environmental disputes, according to a map of global ecological conflict. The Environmental Justice Atlas shows that more than 200 conflicts in India are caused by ecological disputes and scarcities of basic resources such as water and forests.
Vasanth Srinivasan of The Hindu quotes former AAP leader Yogendra Yadav as saying, “there is a crying need for environmental politics” in India, but with the following caveat. “If green politics does not restrict itself as urban environmental activism but emerges as a binding agent of various marginalised groups and concerns, it definitely has a future in India.”
Generating three centimeters of top soil takes 1,000 years, and if current rates of degradation continue all of the world’s top soil could be gone within 60 years, a senior UN official said Chris Arsenault, Reuters ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Generating three centimeters of top soil takes 1,000 years, and if current rates of degradation
Rohini Mohan reports: In under a year, the Modi government has begun to undo policies of fair land acquisition, undermine environmental protection and reverse the fight for tribal rights. The finance, environment and rural-development ministers, and Modi himself, have called these safeguards to protect people’s property, the environment and tribal rights “roadblocks” to economic growth.
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Basudev Mahapatra writes: Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, has “delinked forest clearance from clearance by the National Wild Life Board and halved NBWL clearance requirements from 10km to 5km around forest reserves, besides emasculating the Board by replacing eminent experts and concerned NGOs with rubber stamps. He has also relaxed procedures of the Forest Conservation Act.
Basic protections to safeguard the environment, that were not particularly strong to begin with, are being wiped out. While in general, faster moving transparent government processes are required, the Modi government’s predilection for protecting private corporations at the expense of public welfare, does not bode well for the environment nor the well-being of India’s peoples.
Kabir Arora writes: According to Modi, it is not climate which is changing, it is humans who have changed. And for the same reason, a meagre Rs. 100 Cr. have been set aside for climate change adaptation. Yes Mr. PM, humans have changed a lot, and have made climate far more variable than ever before.
Jay Mazoomdar writes: Narendra Modi does mean business. So his government has gone about eliminating the policy paralyses that many claimed ailed the previous regime. This meant dismantling roadblocks that hamper economic growth. But here is what also happens to be under fire: laws and rules that safeguard India’s environment, forests, wildlife, and tribal rights.
One-day workshop: Charting a course towards a sustainable, equitable and peaceful society Venue: Cerana Foundation, Hyderabad Day: Sunday, 13 July, 2014 Time: 9 am to 6 pm About the workshop: We face one tilting point–environmental degradation and two tipping points–climate change and peak oil. Environmental degradation has already ruined the lives of many people in
Papri Sri Raman reports: The new environment minister, Prakash Javadekar, met Defense Minister Jaitley on June 10 and later announced a policy that would enable India’s border states with Pakistan, China and Burma to clear defense projects falling within 100kms of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), without approaching the union government for environment clearances.
Avay Shukla writes: The most disappointing and worrying aspect of the recent elections, for me, has been the almost complete absence of any debate or discussion on the environment. Some political parties, the BJP included, did make weak proforma noises about it in their manifestos but there was no mention of it in their campaigning.
The lion, tiger, turtle, butterfly, orchid, mudskipper and one-horned rhino will need every helping hand to survive the development ambitions of a nation that believes that economic ambitions can be fulfilled at the cost of its wildernesses. We know that’s not possible and hope that you will move us away from the subcontinent’s biological-climate precipice.
Jay Mazoomdar writes: In its “classified” report titled ‘Impact of NGOs on Development’ sent to a host of government offices including the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), on June 3, the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has named a long list of organizations and activists under its watch, from well-known environmental and anti-nuclear groups to little-known localized outfits.