Page 1

March 2011

Volume 1 No. 3

Green Gover nance Climate Change...People do matter

From the Editor’s Desk


nvironmental governance could be categorized in terms of ‘global’, ‘national’ and ‘state’ (policies, rules and regulations and their broad implementation)’ and the cutting edge of all – at the ‘local level’. It is interesting to note that certain issues such as the demand for equity and fair play, hegemony of powerful and role of vested interests, attempts by parties to incur least cost for complying with any legal framework, need and practicality to involve all the stakeholders are some common manifestations observed throughout all the levels of environmental governance ranging from local to state, to national and at international levels. However, there is significant difference in terms of complexities of issues at hand, process of consensus building, decision making and extent of direct involvement of the concerned stakeholders. Consequences of non-compliance are also different at various levels of the environmental governance. Environmental Governance Group (EnGG) believes that integrating the concerns of the common man in an organic fashion through ‘Community Centred Governance’ is the best way to address the issues arising from the impact of climate change. We believe that communities have a vast fund of knowledge and practical local solutions that are easily implementable. What is required is an instrument that allows them to consolidate all their knowledge, connect it with the vast nebula of regulations and laws that apply to their lives, and empower them to engage with the governance structure in a constructive and resultoriented manner. The instrument should be

amenable to interpretation and comprehensive use by the often illiterate communities resident in climate change affected areas, yet scientifically backed and rigorous enough, and worthy of presentation to state authorities. In this regard we at EnGG are experimenting with a field based project to develop a Climate Change Score Card (CCSC) which is envisaged to connect the missing dots explained above by consolidate people’s opinion and facilitate an informed dialogue between communities and the local governance structures. CCSC would systematically integrate information on local governance, local climate science & livelihoods and support communities to prioritize issues & provide a platform for dialogue with relevant decision makers. In this endeavour, knowledge development and management is very crucial and key to community centred environmental governance. Green Governance is one of our knowledge development initiatives where we share our insights and learning’s and in-turn learn from the readers. We have been overwhelmed with the number of people getting back to us on the previous issues. This issue lays more emphasis on environmental governance and rights. The link between environmental governance and rights is explored from a historical perspective by Mr. Srikant who has been closely following social movements in India. Ms. Prarthana traces the decline of the ‘commons’ as an impact of negligent environmental governance. We hope that other sections would be of interest to the readers. We look forward to your comments and suggestions

About us Public Affairs Centre (PAC) is a not for profit organization, established in 1994 dedicated to improving the quality of governance in India. The focus of PAC is primarily in areas where citizens and civil society organizations can play a proactive role in improving governance. Environmental Governance Group works at PAC to address governance issues in the environment and climate change affected areas . For more details visit

Editorial Team     

R. Suresh, Director, PAC J. Jangal Prarthana Rao Kuldip Gyaneswar Pavan Srinath

Inside this Issue Editor’s Desk


Guest Columns


Green Manifesto


Project Updates


Green Library


Blog & Media Gallery


* Underlined texts in green color are active hyperlinks

Green Governance

Page 2

Environmental Governance and Rights i n Indi a

E Mr. Patibandla Srikant Programme Officer Public Affairs Centre

nvironmental concerns were largely ignored within the conventional governance process. However, the need for conservation of environment and occasional natural disasters like cyclone, earth quake, and tsunami among others had turned our concerns towards environment. In addition to the above, issues like ozone depletion, acid rain, climate change, had called in for urgent attention of national governments all over the world. The magnitude of the environmental issues required specialized groups within the government machinery with sound knowledge over environment and issues surrounding it. It is in this backdrop that the concept of environmental governance came into being. Environmental governance can be defined broadly as the structures and process that make policies related to environment and oversee the implementation of such policies, apart from acting as advisor on environmental issues to the government. The primary aim of environmental governance is to bring in transparency, accountability and efficiency on issues related to environment. In India, The Department of Environment (DoE) was established in 1980. Later the DoE was inducted in to the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoE&F) that was established in 1985. The earlier National Committee on Environmental Planning and Coordination (NCEPC, later termed as NCEP) was originally part of Department of Science and Technology (DST) and was disbanded in 1983. The establishment of MoE&F at the national level gave impetus to environmental governance in India.

Mr. Srikant’s primary interest includes the cusp of development, grassroots movements and rights. He has recently submitted his doctoral thesis on social movements and rights.

The Ministry in its initial areas promoted alternative energy sources in the form of gobar gas in rural India. In the early 1990s, the Ministry gained more teeth with environmental impact assessment (EIA) and environmental clearance mandatory for big projects like dams, industries, mining, nuclear power plants, and other infrastructure projects. During this period, the Indian judiciary also became environmentally pro-active and pronounced environment-

friendly judgments. For instance, the judiciary brought in the issue of pollution in a big way thereby addressing environmental concerns and rights of the people. The judiciary for the first time brought in the idea of right to life with dignity, thus going beyond the right to life. As a consequence, environmental issues like pollution came under much wider criticism. In spite of environment related policies in place, there appears to be certain setbacks at the implementation level. One major issue that seems to have been ignored is the livelihoods of the people in granting environmental clearance. As a result, many environmental movements in India today are centred on livelihoods of the people in the context of dams, industries, nuclear power plants, mining, and other infrastructure projects. Such movements often articulate their demands in the form of rights based upon their life styles and livelihoods. The conflict over livelihoods is mainly due to the mis-management in allocating resources like land and water. In this context, it is pertinent to address people’s rights through environmental governance. A strict adherence to people’s rights would automatically ensure transparent, accountable and efficient environmental governance. Therefore, environmental governance could be manifested as a means to achieve the fulfilment of rights. A degraded environment either due to cyclone or tsunami or climate change or any other environment disaster would directly or indirectly infringe upon basic human rights. A proper environmental governance would also ensure equity and justice that form the basis of modern understanding of human rights. Such human rights based environmental governance would help in sustaining resources for the future. Therefore, it is essential to create reliable and accountable environmental governance structures that would help in protecting and ensuring basic rights like life, health, livelihood, apart from protecting the rights of future generations.

Green Governance

Page 3

Declining Common Property Resources Result of Negligent Environmental Governance


ndia is the second most populous country in the world. Due to the increasing pressure of population, there is an increasing demand of land for agricultural and non-agricultural purposes. This has resulted in over exploitation of land resources making some of it totally unproductive or degraded. To meet the ever increasing demands of food and fodder, Common Property Resources (CPRs) are being seen as a prospective means to add areas to the productive systems. Common Property Resources (CPR) is a part of the social and institutional arrangements made to meet the everyday requirements of village communities which are identified by access, common use and communal purposes. The common property is like resource to all the members of the community – especially to those who are land less and poor as their dependency is heavy upon these resources. This includes lands officially classified as waste, permanent pastures and other grazing land, tree crop & groves, barren & uncultivable land, catchments area and roadside. Though there is no single definition of the CPR, the most accepted one in India is the one by Dr. N. S. Jodha – ‘ (T)hose (non exclusive) resources in which a group of people have co-equal use rights. It is community’s natural resources, where every member has access and usage facility with specific obligations, without anybody having exclusive property rights over them. India had a very good system of self sufficient village community system since ancient times. The community was well aware of the fact that, it was inevitable for them to protect the common resources as their lives and livelihoods were dependent on them. The traditional ways of governance was environment sensitive and was based on the concept of conservation and sustainability. Things changed during the colonial period when land became the property of the state and the state started regulating the

land. This continued even after independence. A number of laws have been enacted related to land as land is a ‘State subject’. The governance mechanism has played a vital role in the present day condition / fate of CPRs. In Karnataka all lands which are not the property of individuals or of groups legally capable of holding property belongs to the State Government. The state has the power to transfer the land to the insufficient holders’ ex- servicemen, persons from SC & ST communities, etc. Several studies conducted in the state show that about 75% of the CPR has declined due to many factors like acquisition of land for developmental activities and illegal encroachments. Most of the CPRs left over are those degraded lands which are incapable for cultivation while those that are fertile have been encroached. Whatever is left also is not managed properly. The ‘gomal land’ which is fertile in nature has been encroached by neighbouring farmers and landless people. In addition to this, scarcity of rainfall and other natural calamities have further reduced the productivity of land in these areas which are more difficult to quantify. It is high time that we looked at remoulding our approaches towards environmental governance to minimize the decline of quality and quantity of common resources. It is unfortunate that the Indian legal system does not directly recognize CPRs. Hence there is a need to articulate CPRs from the legal point of view in order to control further degradation of these important resources.

References Study on regional environment and social Assessment by TERI, Bangalore Study by CEERA, NLSIU under the Sujala Watershed Project

Ms. Prarthana Rao Programme Officer Public Affairs Centre

Ms. Prarthana is a trained environmental planner. Having worked largely on social and environmental management through implementation of urban development programmes, she is currently involved in designing tools to promote citizen engagement in addressing governance issues.

Green Governance

Page 4

Green Manifesto for Tamil Nadu

K Participants of the Round Table on 11th March at Chennai

Press Release of Green Manifesto at Chennai

eeping the recent legislative elections in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Public Affairs Centre, Bangalore, India initiated the process of developing a Green Manifesto for Tamil Nadu. In collaboration with Earth Smiles, Chennai & People’s Action for Development (PAD), Tuticorin, and with the support of ANSA-SAR, it organized a round table on 11th March of 2011 bringing together like minded people, institutions & organizations to deliberate on the same. Over 25 participants representing civil society organizations, community based organizations, think tanks, workers’ unions & federations from across the state participated in the event. The attendees reached a consensus on the need & the objective of a ‘Green Manifesto’ & decided to come together under the banner of ‘People’s Coalition for Green Tamil Nadu’, to take this initiative forward. Subsequently a Green Manifesto was drafted & was released simultaneously in various parts of the state, including Chennai, Ramanathapuram, Thoothukudi, Salem & other districts. The Green manifesto sets the tone for green governance agenda. Thematic salient issues are listed below:

Green Manifesto being released in Ramanathapuram, Tamil Nadu

Green Manifesto being released in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu

(a) Promoting sustainable AgricultureIssues such as shrinking land-human ratio, climate change impact, organic farming, need to preserve indigenous knowledge systems, water management, check on corporatisation of agriculture & GM crops, harmful impacts of chemical fertilizers are covered. (b) Protecting the CoastNeed to revisit CRZ 1991, bio-conservation of marine parks, community participation in coastal zone management authorities, safe & sustainable fishing practices, protecting the customary rights of fishing communities, preventing pollution into sea, bio-shield promotion, prevention of mineral mining near coast, shun setting up of thermal power plants on the coast, etc.

(c) Making Cities greener and cleanerIntegrated public transport, green transport, bicycle promotion, vehicle pollution control, solar energy for buildings, Ecosan toilets, energy efficient practices, ban on plastics, etc. (d) Green industrial developmentTax holidays & subsidies to industries to be removed, strict compliance to EIA, PCB to be more accountable & transparent, comprehensive disaster management plan with off-site details, comprehensive community centric rehabilitation & resettlement, CSR with environmental concerns. (e) Conserving forest and tribal rightsCommunity participatory forest management, afforestation programmes to be strengthened (f) Fostering an alliance for Green future – promoting organic food, environmental studies to be enhanced in educational system, better seed banks at district levels, multi crop agricultural & plantation system, minimal carbon/ ecological foot prints in developmental activities, climate change and adaptation measures. The Coalition will be monitoring the incorporation of green agenda in political parties’ election manifestos & election process. Even in postelection scenario it intends to promote greengovernance in all facets of development & broader governance.

For a copy of the Green Manifesto please visit:

Green Governance

Page 5

Green Manifesto - Puducherry


he round table consultation organized by Public Affairs Centre, Bangalore in collaboration with Earth Smiles, and PAD on the 10th of March was a resounding success leading to the formation of The People’s Coalition for a Green Tamil Nadu and subsequently the release of the Green Manifesto for Tamil Nadu in different parts of the state. As a participant of the round table, Holistic Approach for People's Empowerment (HOPE), Puducherry spearheaded a similar exercise along with its NGO partners in Puducherry and drafted a Green Manifesto for Puducherry and released it on 2nd April, 2011, to great success. The Union Territory of Puducherry is located on the east coast about 162 kms south of Chennai (Madras) on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. Located in a fragile eco-zone, Puducherry has been a facing a number of environmental issues which threaten the lives and livelihoods of the common people. Issues

ranging from coastal pollution, over-exploitation of ground water, release of effluents to water bodies, beach erosion to name a few of them. Realizing the graveness of the situation and with an urge to bring a change, a group of individuals & institutions under the banner of Puducherry Environment Council (PUDENCO) felt that it is high time in India that a green agenda is paid due importance in elections. With the legislative assembly elections due in mid April, it was an opportunity to initiate and develop a Green Manifesto for Puducherry.

Green Manifesto being released by Ms. Sunita Narain, Director General of Centre for Science and Environment

The Green Manifesto was released by Ms. Sunita Narain, Director General of Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi on April 2nd, 2011. The Manifesto was also handed over to Shri. V. Narayanasamy, Minister of State, Parliamentary Affairs, Prime Minister's Office, Personal, Public Grievances and Pension on 5th April 2011. It is also being disseminated among the political parties and general public at large.

Green Manifesto being handed over to Shri. V. Narayanasamy, Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office

Karnataka State Climate Change Action Plan


n June 2008, the Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh released the country’s first National Action Plan for Climate Change, which outlined existing and future policies and programs that address climate change mitigation and adaptation, chief among them being the setting up of 8 national ‘missions’ to work on various important sectors, such as solar power, sustainable agriculture, strategic knowledge on climate change and others. Members of the Environmental Governance Group took part in an inception workshop on the Climate Change Action Plan for Karnataka. The workshop was organized in Bangalore on the 14th of February, by the Centre for Sustainable Development (CSD), a city based CSO which has been entrusted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (Government of India) to coordinate the drafting of a state-level action plan for Karnataka to combat climate change. A concept note was developed before the

workshop that highlighted key issues that the group (and PAC) felt strongly about, that needed to be addressed by any state-level action plan that got drafted. Outlining the philosophy and approach of PAC to climate change and sustainable development, the note highlighted the need to attention to climate change adaptation at the state level. The note also made some key recommendations on a number of different issues, such as: learning from Orissa’s debates on their state action plan; the need for quantitative impact and vulnerability assessment, and how we can obtain a lot of information on the same from other published works such as the INCCA 4x4 assessment report; the requirement of a participatory governance and social auditing framework for the planning and monitoring of the state action plan; and the need for a strong programme on building awareness and educating government employees and communities on climate change and its effects.

Our Observations ● Integrate citizen centric monitoring and assessment tools for promoting good governance ● Promote constructive

engagement of the communities in climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives ● Impact and Vulnerabil-

ity Assessments must be backed with scientific research ● Make use of the INCAA

report and its findings

Green Governance

Page 6

PROJECT UPDATES Climate Change: Fitting the Pieces Together

A free online e-learning course


his quarter has been a very productive period for the group and the project. With the completion of the foundation activities (livelihood mapping and activity mapping) the project is progressing to the next level of analysis of climate data and regulations. The project is getting due recognition, as evident from the invitations to present it in Sri Lanka and Oxford. Our network has grown from local to international. The innovative effort to promote accountability in environmental governance by focussing on community centred environmental governance is giving us new insights, learning’s and at the same time posing new challenges as we progress in our effort to make the lives of the coastal communities better. Climate Data Collection and Analysis In order to establish a factual record of the climatic changes occurring in the Gulf of Mannar region, the team undertook several activities. Foremost among the activities was a comprehensive survey of scientific literature that could throw light on the documented impacts of climate change and measurements for the region. This was followed by sustained efforts to procure climate data of relevance to the Gulf of Mannar, to enable in-house analyses of climate change. Procurement and preliminary analysis of Climate Data Apart from the literature survey, efforts are underway to procure extensive sets of climate data to enable independent analyses for the project area.

To undertake this course please visit and register yourself

The Indian Meteorological Department has created “gridded data sets”, containing daily temperature and precipitation information for the entire country, for period ranging from 30-100 years. These products give time-series data for each grid box, typically of the size 1° latitude x 1° longitude. The 1° x 1° approximately corresponds to a resolution of 200 x 200 kilometres (Approximately 125 miles), which is ideal for a region the size of the Gulf of Mannar. The following data sets have been procured at PAC:

 1° x 1° Daily Gridded Rainfall Data for 19012004.

 0.5° x 0.5° Daily Gridded Rainfall Data for 1971 -2005.

 1° x 1° Daily Gridded Temperature Data for 1969-2005.

 'Cyclone e-Atlas', developed by the Regional Meteorological Centre, Chennai. The data set contains over 100 years of information on cyclones, depressions and tropical storms that have affected the Northern Indian Ocean. Analysis of Regulations applicable to the Coast A comprehensive analysis of various policy instruments that govern the coastal area will provide a holistic analysis of the governance framework within which activities are to take place. It is an important key activity that the project team has planned to complete by involving external resource organizations. The identification of a suitable organization to do a good analysis of policy instruments to meet the projects requirements has been a challenging task for the project team. The list of following legislations shall be analyzed by the external resource organization

 Coastal Regulation Zone Notifications, 2010;  State Marine Fisheries Regulation Act  Coastal Aquaculture Authority Act & Rules, 2005

 State Tourism policies  State Industrial Policies Such a comprehensive analysis will identify opportunities available within the system for community inputs into local governance. The analysis will highlight the mandated modus operandi for activities on the coast. The learning from the field will allow us to identify areas of governance failure where due procedure has been ignored, regulations not adhered to and stipulated provisions not given. The analysis will allow detection of contradictions in policy guidelines and its implementation on ground. It will also show the degree of congruence between the different policy instruments.

Green Governance

Page 7

GREEN LIBRARY Dictionary and Introduction to Global Environmental Governance This unique dictionary and introduction to Global Environmental Governance (GEG), written and compiled by two veterans of the international stage, provides a compilation of over 5500 terms, organizations and acronyms, drawn from hundreds of official sources. An introductory essay frames the major issues in GEG and outlines the pitfalls of talking past one another when discussing the most critical of issues facing the planet. It challenges those who are concerned with the management of our planet and its inhabitants to understand and accept a vocabulary common to the often-opposing objectives sought in the many GEG instruments.

Green Watch Guide to dealing with climate change skeptics More on fisheries and fishing communities in India

Where to buy this book:

Global Environmental Institutions Elizabeth R. DeSombre This volume provides an overview of the major global institutions attempting to protect the natural environment. It first considers the United Nations Environment Programme and the other entities within the United Nations that play important roles in global environmental governance. It then examines institutions clustered by issue area, introducing institutions that focus on protecting endangered species and biodiversity, those that govern the ocean environment, those focusing on the atmosphere, and a recent set of institutions that regulate the transboundary movement of hazardous substances. It concludes with current debates on financing international environmental action, gaining widespread participation by states, and the question of whether the institutional structure of global environmental governance can, and should, be fundamentally reformed. Where to buy this book:

Global Environmental Governance James Gustave Speth, Peter M. Haas Written by Gus Speth, one of the architects of the international environmental movement, and accomplished political scientist Peter M. Haas, "Global Environmental Governance" tells the story of how the community of nations, nongovernmental organizations, scientists, and multinational corporations have in recent decades created an unprecedented set of laws and institutions intended to help solve large-scale environmental problems. The book critically examines the serious shortcomings of current efforts and the underlying reasons why disturbing trends persist. It presents key concepts in international law and regime formation in simple, accessible language, and describes the current institutional landscape as well as lessons learned and new directions needed in international governance. Where to buy this book:

UN releases guidebook to help countries access climate financing markets Public opinion on climate change:

Green Governance

Page 8

Reaching out e -way: Reducing carbon foot print The group in its endeavour to constantly reach out to people around the world, tried leveraging on the existing social-networking platforms. This has helped the Environmental Governance Group to reach a wider audience without increasing its carbon foot print. The group redesigned its blog and launched a new blog which has a better layout and a new interface. The group also forayed into the social networking space with a

acebook page.

Media Coverage this quarter

Green Governance is the quarterly e-newsletter of Environmental Governance Group. It seeks to detail the threads of livelihoods in climate change affected geographies, and explore how better governance can lead to mitigation and relief, and support communities in their adaptation to new climate regimes. Views expressed are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily the views of Public Affairs Centre/Environmental Governance Group or its employees. Concerns regarding materials on any the pages may be addressed to Readers are welcome to reproduce materials published in Green Governance. We request clear acknowledgement of Green Governance as the source (including volume number, issue number and publication months). Green Governance is available free of charge. To get a copy, please visit If you would like to receive an Email alert when a new issue of ‘Green governance’ is published, please write to For comments, suggestions and contribution please write to the editor at Public Affairs Centre No.15, KIADB Industrial Area, Bommasandra - Jigani Link Road Bangalore - 562 106 Website:

Affiliated Network for Social Accountability—South Asia Region Institute of Governance Studies 40/6, North Avenue, Gulshan-2, Dhaka Website:

Peoples Action for Development No.4/124, Roachapalayam, Vembar - 628906, Thoothukudi , Tamil Nadu Website:

Green Governance Issue 3  
Green Governance Issue 3  

Third Issue of Green Governance published by Environmental Governance Group, India