Communicating environmental laws: development of outreach material

Aarthi Sridhar, Marianne Manuel

India’s environmental laws and policies such as the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification (2011), the Environmental Protection Act (1986), the Wildlife Protection Act (1972), the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification (2006) and the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers [Recognition of Forest Rights] Act (2006), to name but a few, are intended to secure the survival and rights of the nation’s ecosystems, biodiversity, common pool resources and natural-resource-dependent communities.

These legal frameworks are however often poorly understood or even wholly unfamiliar to concerned local communities and administrators alike, paving the way for widespread environmental violations, appropriation of commons, destruction of biodiversity and natural habitats and breaches of human and livelihoods rights.

To enhance awareness and understanding of environmental policies and also enable communities, particularly fisher communities and their unions, to better secure their coastal environments, marine resources, and livelihoods rights, we produce a number of local language resource materials. These materials simplify legal texts and delineate the scope of protection for the environment and community rights afforded by different legal frameworks, in easy-to use and easy-to-reference formats.

We use these materials in our legal capacity building workshops conducted across our coastal field sites around India and also distribute them to fisher communities and coastal administrators through our partner networks.


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