"Large parts of the world, irrespective of their level of economic development, are at the cusp of severe environmental crises. In these regions, the operations of extractive projects such as large scale plantations, mining and industrial development have negated or worsened the economic, social and physical well-being of communities in their neighbourhoods and beyond. Their robust national and regional laws and institutions for the protection and governance of the environment and natural resources have remained on paper and the non-compliance by governments and corporations has had profound effects on community livelihoods, health, access to land and quality of life.
CPR-Namati's Practice Guide for Environment Justice Paralegals is a step in the direction of closing this environmental enforcement gap. The guide provides a methodology for community mobilisers, activists and citizens groups to shift their attention from stating the problem to getting grievances addressed by environmental institutions. The guide is based on four years of work done by the paralegals of CPR-Namati Environment Justice Program to assist affected communities file complaints and seek remedies in over 150 cases of non-compliance in India. The full guide can be accessed here.
We hope that this guide will help local organisations and community groups to address environmental conflicts and seek useful remedies for affected people.
For more EJ paralegal tools, please see Groundtruthing methodology note, report on Groundtruthing of Environmental Violations in Sarguja, Chhattisgarh, report on the Community-Led Ground Truthing of Environmental Violations in Mundra, Kutch, and the Handbook on Legal and Administrative Remedies for Community Level Environment Justice Practitioners.