Grassroots environmental justice advocates
Environmental Justice
pictures and resources from the frontline
Dear Friends,

Around the world we have crucial laws to protect the environment and the people who depend on it. But too often those laws are paper promises, disconnected from reality.

Grassroots advocates can help bring good environmental laws to life.

In India, grassroots legal advocates working with Namati and the Centre for Policy Research aim to build bridges between government and citizens, regulators and communities, to find remedies to complex environmental challenges.

Here is a new gallery of images by photographer Aubrey Wade that captures these advocates and the coastal communities they serve.
Explore the Gallery
Below are links to practical resources by which grassroots advocates can improve environmental governance, a major study on India's Coastal Zone Management Authorities, and articles about what we have learned.

Find more resources, and meet other practitioners, at the environmental justice hub of the global legal empowerment network.

Effective District Level Coastal Committees, provided for by the CRZ notification of 2011, could have been the key link in ensuring legal environmental protection for coastal regions and communities. The Namati India team investigates: read more...
From delayed reconstitutions of critical state and national level institutions to glaring loopholes in procedures, Meenakshi Kapoor identifies all that stands in the way of effective plans to manage conservation and sustainable coastal development. Read more...
India has had a legal framework and state institutions for managing coastal environments since 1991. However, this is the first comprehensive study of the performance of these institutions. The report outlines four major recommendations to realize the lofty ecological and social aims of the Coastal Regulation Zone notification. Read more...

Environmental justice paralegals in coastal Karnataka help clients obtain these permissions so that they can reside on the coast without fear of the law. Here is an information brochure in Kannada, the local language, that they have prepared with the support of the district administration to help local people, including fishing communities, negotiate the legal process on their own. 

Thanks to the persistent efforts of the environmental justice paralegals in Gujarat, the state government has set up district level institutions for coastal governance in nine coastal districts. These institutions have at least three members from the local communities. Here is a letter that was submitted to the government by the paralegal team in Gujarat on this issue.
New Resources from the Environmental Justice Field
This online tool from The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) provides downloadable training resources on climate change adaptation and mitigation for crucial wetlands and coastal areas: read more...

This International Institute for Environment and Development paper distils lessons from the Forest Rights Resource Centre in Jharkhand that uses the advice and referral model developed by India's Enviro Legal Defence Firm and the Environment Law and Development Foundation (ELDF): read more...

Thank you for reading.

In solidarity,
Manju, Kanchi, Vivek and the entire Namati team

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