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

EnvironmentSubscribe to Environment

Adaptation and Political Ecology

The discourse on environmental sustainability and political ecology raises several questions on material inequality, poverty, increasing population and disproportionate allocation of resources, but we often overlook the critical question of what we need to sustain and to what extent? The lack of financial resources and its constant interplay with the developmental goals of the states have created economic uncertainties and provided us with a solid rationale to not act on curtailing carbon emissions. However, the relevance of ecological sustainability compels us to move beyond the instrumental reasoning of materialistic economic goals and strengthen the discourse on prioritising the subsistence rights of poor and marginalised societies. There is no doubt that the unprecedented vulnerability and inadequate coping capacity of least developed nations cause massive damage and hinder the prospects for risk aversion strategies simply because they cannot bear the cost of implementing adaptation policies.

The Road Ahead for Environmental Impact Assessment in India

One of the most contentious changes proposed in the draft environmental impact assessment notification, 2020 in India is the circumvention of public consultations for the expansion of projects for up to 50% of their original capacity. Similar exemption from public hearing, albeit for 40% capacity expansion, has been permitted as a special case for the coal mining sector since 2017. The minutes of the meetings of the coal mining expert appraisal committee between August 2017 and January 2021, which reviewed the requests for coal mine expansion, are analysed herein. It was found that the expert appraisal committees had effectively sidelined the environmental- and non-compliance-related concerns and that the review and approval process was influenced by the pressure from external stakeholders with vested interests.

 

The Irreversibility of Change in Climate

Climate-resilient development should be commensurate with social justice.

Urban History of Atmospheric Modernity in Colonial India

Dust and Smoke: Air Pollution and Colonial Urbanism, India, c1860–c1940 by Awadhendra Sharan, Hyderabad: Orient BlackSwan, 2020; pp xxiv + 319, `895. 

Extreme Flooding Events and Land Cover Change

This discussion is a response to Aniket Navalkar’s article “Extreme Flooding Events and Land Cover Change: An Empirical Assessment of Western India” (EPW, 16 October 2021).

 

Paw Prints in Antiquity

Mega Mammals in Ancient India: Rhinos, Tigers, and Elephants by Shibani Bose, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2020; pp 360, 1,495.

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.

 

Pages

Back to Top