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EIA 2020: Scientists, scholars write open letter to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change

A group of over 500 academics, scientists and researchers from across various educational institutes in India have written an open letter to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change listing their concerns with the Draft Notification of the ‘Environmental Impact Assessment 2020.

The signatories come from over 130 research institutes and universities, including the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs), Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), National Center for Biological Sciences (NCBS), Wildlife Institute of India (WII).

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The letter notes that the Draft Notification, in its current form, is likely to seriously threaten the country’s ecological and environmental security. It adds that the “Draft Notification neither adheres to the fundamental objectives of its parent legislation, the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, nor does it align with our country’s commitments under various international agreements and conventions.”

They write that though many have sent their feedback by the specified deadline, limited circulation and the lack of its availability in most Indian languages hindered inclusive public participation. “Moreover, many traditional communities of rural India, often most affected by unappraised developmental projects, also lack the technology and access to take part in such an exercise.”

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Prof. Kartik Shanker from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru in a release notes: “While a lot of noise is made about iconic species like tigers, turtles and elephants, and there is outrage even about individual animals, the truth is that poorly planned large scale development projects have the greatest negative impacts for biodiversity, ecosystems and people. This notification leaves the door open to projects that may severely impact the environment and yet have little real benefit for people in need.” He is one of the signatories of this letter.

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The signatories strongly urge the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change to withdraw this draft and, instead, strengthen the existing Environmental Impact Assessment 2006 Notification with a new proposal.


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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 10:38:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/eia-2020-scientists-scholars-write-open-letter-to-the-ministry-of-environment-forest-and-climate-change/article32501360.ece

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