NIAS Wednesday Discussion- Mr. Sayan Banerjee will speak on "Draft EIA Notification 2020 and its Potential Impact on the North-eastern States of India"

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Title: Draft EIA Notification 2020 and its Potential Impact on the Northeastern States of India


Speaker: Sayan Banerjee

               Ph.D. Scholar, NIAS


Chair: Anindya Sinha


Date & Time: 09 September, 2020 at 4.00 PM


Abstract: The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) of the Government of India recently came up with draft Environment Impact Assessment Notification 2020 (EIA 2020). This is supposed to amend the currently applicable 2006 notification and pave the way for future environmental regulation for development projects in the country. The clauses in this controversial draft include granting post facto environmental clearance to polluting industries, limiting participation of project affected communities and public in general and exempting various development projects from undergoing environmental legal scrutiny. With the fear of possible large scale, irreversible damages to India’s fragile ecosystems, several environmental groups across the country have campaigned against this draft. In this talk, I will point towards the possible negative impacts that the ecology and society of the northeast Indian states could experience, if this draft is finalized and promulgated.

The northeastern region of our country is a bio-cultural hotspot but is facing large-scale deforestation and multiple cycles of natural disasters, including floods, earthquakes and landslides. Ecologically sound and participatory development planning is expected in this region, but successive governments have time and again expedited extractive regimes through dam building or mineral extraction without much development in the region. The draft EIA 2020 could be even more disastrous for the region as large-scale ecosystem alteration could increase the future climate vulnerability of the region. Reduced public participation could even subvert special constitutional provisions by disrupting life, livelihoods and local cultures. Several youth organizations and environmental groups have started an agitation in the region against this notification, which have often overlapped with sub-national interests. I will make some preliminary observations related to the nature and future prospects of these new formations, especially in the context of the widespread degradation of the environment in the region.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020