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

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Are We Reforesting Adequately?

Reforestation or afforestation should aim at providing carbon sink and a much-needed biodiversity.

Governing Sacred Groves

Sacred groves are widely recognised for their religious, cultural, and ecological value. They are an intrinsic part of traditional and indigenous practices of forest governance. However, the contemporary sacred forest system is not an autonomous world. Its sociopolitical landscape is not confined only to the village either. Based on extensive fieldwork in Jharkhand, this paper argues that sacred groves have evolved to be dynamic spaces of multilevel institutional interactions and contestations. Their conservation is contingent on the intersectional dynamics of indigenous, state, and institutional processes. Classical approaches of sacrality of the nature and forms of forest worship need to be combined with the concerns of the local environment, democracy, gender, caste, conservation, and culture.

Need for a Comprehensive Monitoring Framework of Indian Forests

Forests are one of the crucial ecosystems in the world covering about 31% of the global terrestrial area (FAO 2020). More than 1.6 billion people worldwide are dependent on various forest resources and about 350 million people rely directly on them for their livelihoods, also contributing greatly to strengthen the overall gross domestic product (GDP) of nations (World Bank 2002; Li et al 2019). This has led to a decrease in forests globally due to the conversion to other land use and unsustainable extraction of timber and non-timber forest products (NTFPs) to meet the demands of the growing population (FAO 2020). Owing to the numerous benefits that forests provide, a comprehensive framework focusing on a multidimensional aspect is necessary for sustainable management and effective utilisation.

Climate Crisis and Environmental Degradation

“Climate refugees” are on the rise with people losing their lands and livelihoods due to climate hazards. India is one of the most vulnerable countries and suffers from the severity of the climate crisis. People living along the shoreline are in jeopardy because of extreme weather events. In the last 26 years, severe erosion has changed the coastline. Appropriate policy support is necessary to build climate resilience.

Challenges in Regulating Water Pollution in India

With rapid industrialisation and urbanisation, the problem of water pollution in India has escalated dramatically over the last few decades. The regulatory apparatus, has, however, lagged behind. Major gaps in standard setting, including lack of standards for ambient water quality, poor monitoring and weak enforcement by the pollution control boards are the major proximate causes. Controlling water pollution will require a concerted effort to address these regulatory failures.

Why India Needs a Coal Mines Environment Authority

Given India’s continued dependence on coal to supply power for industrial and residential consumers at affordable prices, the country needs a unified coal mines environment authority staffed with multidisciplinary expertise to assess and minimise the adverse environmental impacts of coal mines with an integrated approach to ensure more efficient, effective, and transparent environmental governance. This authority must be created by enacting a sustainable coal mining bill before private sector commercial coal mines commence operations.

Repudiating Chipko Village’s Identity and Existence

Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan-led division bench of the High Court of Uttarakhand in its judgment of 14 July 2021 dismissed the petition of villagers of Reini, known for the Chipko movement, expressing doubts about their identity and integrity. Unmindful of the fact that the distressed petitioners had approached the court seeking protection of their lives and ecology, the court penalised them for the “abuse of PIL jurisdiction.” The judiciary and government have continued to ignore the repeated attempts of the people to seek relief and frequent warn-offs in the form of disasters in this region.

An Assessment of Mandatory Corporate Social Responsibility Expenditure

The response of firms towards the corporate social responsibility guidelines and its impact on the funding of Sustainable Development Goals is investigated.

Private Sector Participation in Solid Waste Management and Regulatory Strategy

In most developing countries, waste is managed by government bodies who allocate a large amount of resources but rarely obtain the desired results. Taking this problem into account, this article explores the relationship between environmental policy and firms engaged in solid waste management by studying the case of four firms in the SWM industry in India. Five factors could have an impact on SWM firms in India—demand for waste, awareness among waste generators, segregation as a habit, encouraging decentralisation, and state support. Appropriate policy measures to create awareness about the demand for waste can become a powerful addition to the existing tools since market forces can drive the waste management activity more effectively.

Environmental Accounting in India

Does the present income accounting system represent the real value of the wealth of the economy? If not, how do we evaluate the performance economy? How can the present evaluation method accommodate different aspects of the economy, society, and the environment? If these aspects are not considered in the evaluation process, can it be justified socially or environmentally? In this paper, we discuss the limitations of conventional income accounting, recent developments in environmental accounting at the international level, the progress and challenges of environmental accounting in India, and the way forward.

Climate Change and the Human Condition

The Climate of History in a Planetary Age by Dipesh Chakrabarty, New Delhi: Primus Books, 2021; pp 290, ` 995 (hardcover).

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