ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Review Of Environment And DevelopmentSubscribe to Review Of Environment And Development

Introduction

Why a Review of Environment and Development? The Review of Environment and Development has been ­imagined to address social, political and economic ­issues ­related to environment and ecosystems, at all scales from local to global. In particular, it is intended to capture the dialectical...

Governance of Waste

Well-versed in the production of waste, corporate capital has not generally focused on capitalising on waste. The discards of consumption, previously approached broadly as mere waste, have recently found rebirth in an increasingly corporate waste market in India. Ranging from contracts for waste collection and incineration-plant installation to sales of recyclables, formal businesses are entering the business of revaluing waste, often to the detriment of India’s already existing informal waste sector that has long conducted its own waste-based businesses. This new, increasingly corporate, business of waste is intimately connected to a new waste governance regime in India. Concerns regarding two symbolically significant waste streams, municipal solid waste and electronic waste, illuminate waste beyond its “management,” and demonstrate its embeddedness in matters of consumerism, informal-sector livelihoods, and urban ecology.

Why Do Institutions Shy Away from Action?

Coastal zone management authorities—which were created for the implementation of Coastal Regulation Zone notifications to regulate the use of space for the entire coastline of India at the state level—are relinquishing their powers. Across coastal states, a particular diffidence is seen in taking cognisance of CRZ violations and addressing them. First, when does an institution refuse to use the powers assigned to it? Is it when the powers to enforce are not balanced by protection to them? Or is it when there is a lack of political will? Second, are the instances of inaction borne out of a fear of backlash or a sheer lack of leadership amongst the members to take bold decisions? The paper concludes with identifying a few of the factors that can make the institutions act.

The Industrial Project and Organised Labour

This paper looks at the responses of organised labour to the “development” project exemplified by the steel plant, the big dam and the power plant. More precisely, it analyses the presence (or not) of an ecological critique in trade union/labour responses to industrial projects. The paper explores theoretical connections between class-based politics and ecological questions. It delineates some of the specific processes and conditions which can facilitate the entry of ecological issues into the imaginations of a trade union, using the experiences of the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha in central India in the process. It argues that “class consciousness” is hardly a deterrent for an engagement with ecology, if one adequately understands the definitions of “class,” labour and production. In India’s specific context, the coming together of the concerns and imaginations of the industrial worker and the Adivasi peasant/farmer can facilitate this conversation between “red” and “green” imaginations.

The Forest Rights Act

The Forest Rights Act represented a historic step forward for forest management in India, and it is often hailed as such. However, it did not emerge from struggles for the control over forests alone, but was a product of an ongoing intersection between political conflict, features of Indian capitalism, and the conceptions of “environment” and “development” in India’s political discourse. In that sense, it is not only an “environmental” legislation, but an economic and social one, and one that belongs to a particular political conjuncture, representing both its limitations, and more importantly, its liberatory possibilities. This paper looks at the FRA in this context and explores how it grew out of this kind of politics, being marked both by the constraints of this period, and by the spaces it created for genuinely new conceptions and processes of development.

The Task of the Climate Translator

Climate translations or stories must move between different registers to imaginatively engage with and express life in the Anthropocene. They must give visible form to the diverse climate imaginaries that proliferate in the world. These stories, however, remain unexamined. Following Walter Benjamin, translation is here conceptualised as a movement across domains wherein the translated version need not literally adhere to the original, but should rather aim to carry its echo. An instance of the form potential climate translations might assume is provided through an ethnographic account of human–animal relations in the Indian Himalaya. It compares and contrasts mainstream scientific accounts of animal endangerment/extinction and conflict to embedded but distinct Himalayan stories of multispecies relationality. These seemingly different accounts share a recognisably similar consciousness of human impact, inter-species entanglements, and climatic change.
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