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Workshop on Tourism, policies and Encroachment Tiruvananthapuram 2 nd  July 2007  
  Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Although Public participation is a fu...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>The potential benefits of Public partic...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Public Participation at Statutory Publi...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>  Information for participation – </li>...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>  Other  challenges </li></ul><ul><li>R...
Enhancing Public Participation in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>No accountability- PCBs, State or Minist...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Quality of Information … </li></ul><ul>...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Stories from experience……. </li></ul><u...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Bangalore  Namma Metro  (our metro) but...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Administrative attitudes to limit publi...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>While International treaties move progr...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>The Boston Metro story – An  interestin...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>New Zealand – The Resource Management A...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Sri Lanka- Scoping process has recently...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Non Statutory Public participation </li...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Widespread public protests , rallies, s...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>The Handi Gondi Rocks of Ramnagar:  </l...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><ul><li>Reengineering of the  Environmental...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><ul><li>MOEF CHALO: People stormed into the...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>The way forward…………. </li></ul><ul><li>...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Increased Access to Information  </li><...
Enhancing Public Participation  in  Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Providing support to public on Legislat...
Environment Support Group 105,East end B Main Jayanagar 9 th  Block Bangalore -560069 Tel: 22441977/26531339 Email:esg@esg...
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Enahancing public participation in decision making (2)

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  1. 1. Workshop on Tourism, policies and Encroachment Tiruvananthapuram 2 nd July 2007  
  2. 2. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Although Public participation is a fundamental and important aspect of many administrative and legislative decision making of environmental governance in democratic countries, yet the very terms ‘Public’ and ‘Participation’ are continuously being redefined in increasingly constricting ways. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>The potential benefits of Public participation are multifold as it can bring important information, innovative approaches and solutions and enhance public perception of plans and helps make projects viable. </li></ul><ul><li>But Public needs and grievances are not of concern to the state or project proponents. Accepting genuine public participation in design and implementation of projects is normally perceived as a nuisance by decision-makers and investors. </li></ul><ul><li>Adverse project impacts such as displacement, environmental destruction and consequent depression in quality of life amongst the affected fail to cause any distress to the expert decision makers </li></ul>
  4. 4. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Public Participation at Statutory Public Hearings - </li></ul><ul><li>A Nightmare </li></ul><ul><li>Merely a public relations exercise with no commitment to comprehending concerns of affected communities. </li></ul><ul><li>PR Skills and strategies applied with different degrees of sophistication to mystify issues and distract attention from real concerns. </li></ul><ul><li>Panel generally biased - in future no involvement of local government representatives or eminent citizenry </li></ul><ul><li>Hearing are procedural and tend to justify decisions already made </li></ul><ul><li>Not all voices are heard </li></ul><ul><li>Level of Public engagement varies based on degree of comfort allowed with the presence of police and goons hired serving role of intimidation. </li></ul><ul><li>Limited possibility of conflict resolution </li></ul><ul><li>No feedback provided to Public with rationale for decisions – results in polarising debate </li></ul>
  5. 5. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li> Information for participation – </li></ul><ul><li> A closely guarded secret </li></ul><ul><li>Public inadequately informed (EIA’s mostly fraudulent, plagiarized, not comprehensive and of poor quality) </li></ul><ul><li>Not available in time </li></ul><ul><li>Not available widely </li></ul><ul><li>Available mainly on websites </li></ul><ul><li>Often times deliberate choice of Hearing location to make participation inconvenient to affected communities </li></ul><ul><li>Announcement restricted to newspaper ads and no innovative approaches of community communication adopted. </li></ul><ul><li>Information presented in highly sophisticated and expert driven language, with little appreciation of communicating to a diverse and often illiterate population. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li> Other challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Regulatory Agencies unfriendly to public </li></ul><ul><li>Help lines, FAQs, lacking </li></ul><ul><li>No assistance after office hours </li></ul><ul><li>Public outreach, citizen training initiatives absent </li></ul><ul><li>Public representations often not acknowledged, and issues ignored in consideration of final decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Audio/video aids, training programs, completely lacking </li></ul>
  7. 7. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>No accountability- PCBs, State or Ministry </li></ul><ul><li>Laws not suitably amended to appreciate public needs </li></ul><ul><li>No Evaluation Process either at the State or central levels </li></ul>
  8. 8. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Quality of Information … </li></ul><ul><li>Dandeli Mini Hydel Dam EIA –EIA Ernst & Young plagiarized EIA of another dam (Tattihalla dam) . Got caught but no criminal action taken. Susequently TERI prepared another EIA which was found to be fraudulent. Yet no action initiated. </li></ul><ul><li>Consultants generally get away with supplying rubbish: In the BMIC EIA Socio-Economic impact survey data included only the name of Head of affected family and his address. Today this has resulted in widespread conflict and mass litigation. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Stories from experience……. </li></ul><ul><li>Bangalore’s Master plan 2015 finalized despite protests against poorly presented information </li></ul><ul><li>Public participation limited to commenting on colorful maps, displayed only in one location, and with minimal participation of Panchayats, Town Councils and communities across a large metropolis. </li></ul><ul><li>Maps difficult to comprehend without any effort to process information for ease of understanding by the public. </li></ul><ul><li>French consortium which prepared the plans unaware of local considerations. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Bangalore Namma Metro (our metro) but for who? </li></ul><ul><li>The residents and traders have been demanding Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) should hold public hearings to know the socio economic and environmental impacts of the project. </li></ul><ul><li>Alignment fixed by Judicial Commission following conflict – but without widespread empirical evidence for appropriate alignments. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Administrative attitudes to limit public understanding of project impacts increasing conflict and misunderstanding. The widespread resistance to projects in Kalinganagar and Nandigram are only the most profiled of a whole range of conflicts. </li></ul><ul><li>Projects thrive while people are driven out of their homes, their livelihoods snatched, arrested, jailed and even killed for raising their concerns </li></ul>
  12. 12. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>While International treaties move progressively to enable Public Participation our domestic laws are being diluted to limit and restrict public participation </li></ul><ul><li>The European Aarhus Declaration mandates involvement of the public from the initial stage of projects and extended involvement beyond the completion of projects. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>The Boston Metro story – An interesting lesson from a bold decision in 1972 not to follow the American model of continued expansion of metropolitan expressways. </li></ul><ul><li>Instead a major investment in rail transit was made. Boston’s Southwest Corridor Project illustrates how a process of community participation in the design of a new below-grade railroad and rapid transit line, along with a linear park and new public facilities, has strengthened neighborhoods and is part of a renewed focus on cycling, walking, public transportation and healthy communities. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  14. 14. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>New Zealand – The Resource Management Act 2001 is based on the Maori Philosophy </li></ul><ul><li>It states two key principles 1.Decisions on environmental matters are most appropriately made by the communities most affected by those decisions </li></ul><ul><li>2. community participation is vital to effective resource management </li></ul>
  15. 15. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Sri Lanka- Scoping process has recently included formal and informal meetings with people who may be affected by the project directly or indirectly or who may have special knowledge of the project area and its environment </li></ul><ul><li>South Africa- ten years after the abolishment of Apartheid and more than five years after the adoption of a new Environment policy, lessons learnt from public involvement were incorporated in the Environmental law reform Process and today SA has a very progressive law building capacity for Public Participation </li></ul>
  16. 16. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Non Statutory Public participation </li></ul><ul><li>Relatively open </li></ul><ul><li>Public intervention and lobbying effective </li></ul><ul><li>Mechanisms and Procedures controlled by public . </li></ul><ul><li>Public creativity through actions, protests and rallies draw widespread attention, widens interest and debate, attracts media attention that decision makers cannot ignore </li></ul>
  17. 17. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Widespread public protests , rallies, street plays, human chains, watchdogs perched on trees, marked citizens efforts to protect trees in Bangalore. Resulted in High Court orders that mandates public involvement in decisions to cut trees in Bangalore . </li></ul>
  18. 18. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>The Handi Gondi Rocks of Ramnagar: </li></ul><ul><li>Sanghamitra Buddha Foundation proposed plans to carve a Buddha statue to compensate the loss of Bamian Buddha detroyed in Afghanistan. This on an impressive rock face formed during the lower proterozoic era threby destroying the 2600-2000 million years of natural history. The project also aimed at a film city, resorts and amusement park. </li></ul><ul><li>Public protests, repeated meetings with PCCF, Karnataka Forest Department, widespread campaign resulted in the Forest Department withdrawing the clearance s and declaring the area as a Santcuary for sloth bears. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><ul><li>Reengineering of the Environmental Clearance process: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2004-2005- Draft National Environmental Policy and Amendment to the EIA notification </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2004-2006-Civil Society Groups Lobby with Members of Parliament, chief Ministers of State, Leaders of opposition, Law Ministry, Prime Minister's Office </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2005- 200 groups from across the country came together and held a two day campaign MOEF SUNO & MOEF CHALO. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A jury listened to people’s voices </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><ul><li>MOEF CHALO: People stormed into the Ministry despite all security and declared the MOEF Dead </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2006:Policy issued despite protests. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Notification finalised only in consultation with industries and disregarding protests from Parliamentarians and environmental groups </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>The way forward…………. </li></ul><ul><li>With a Legal framework that has Failed to guarantee the right of public participation in Environmental decision making </li></ul><ul><li>Initiate an Environmental law reform process to enhance public participation in decision making </li></ul><ul><li>Involve District Planning Committees (per Article 243ZD), and thereby Panchayats and Municipalities in accordance with Constitutional 73 rd and 74 th amendments </li></ul>
  22. 22. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Increased Access to Information </li></ul><ul><li>Advertisements </li></ul><ul><li>Press releases </li></ul><ul><li>News Paper Inserts </li></ul><ul><li>Public Displays on hoardings, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Field Visits </li></ul><ul><li>Videos made with Local community involvement </li></ul><ul><li>Public debates and discussions </li></ul><ul><li>Media support in building public opinion </li></ul>
  23. 23. Enhancing Public Participation in Environmental Decision Making In India <ul><li>Providing support to public on Legislation and its implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Bringing necessary changes in practice with public opinion </li></ul><ul><li>Increased resources for skill training in public and staff </li></ul><ul><li>Redistribution of power in decision making </li></ul><ul><li>Directives and lessons from Aarhus, Indigenous practices and the spirit of Principle 10 of Rio Declaration should be integrated </li></ul><ul><li>Greater public awareness of their rights ,greater willingness of ministries, bureaucrats, regulators, Industry to reach out proactively and work together with their communities, and local governments </li></ul>
  24. 24. Environment Support Group 105,East end B Main Jayanagar 9 th Block Bangalore -560069 Tel: 22441977/26531339 Email:esg@esgindia.org Website:www.esgindia.org
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