Across the world, poor communities bear a disproportionate burden of the environmental cost of development. Harmful projects such as polluting industrial units, municipal disposal sites or mining projects are usually situated close to poor neighbourhoods. These communities grapple on a daily basis with environmental impacts which exposes them to toxic contamination, adversely affect their livelihoods and impose restrictions on their access to common resources and mobility. These environmental impacts are often an outcome of years of gross violation or non-compliance of environmental regulation governing these projects.
The CPR-Namati Environmental Justice Program has developed a strong network of grassroots legal advocates or community paralegals across four states in India, who work directly with these affected communities. They help the communities to understand relevant laws and environmental regulations and assist them to build evidence about the impacts, approach relevant institutions and seek practical remedies for their problems.
As part of their work, the community paralegals write about their experiences to create public awareness on the use of law outside of courts as well as engage the readers in these issues. This is a collection of published stories written by paralegals working in coastal Gujarat, North Karnataka and Keonjhar, Odisha. Each story chronicles the focussed efforts and creative strategies undertaken by the paralegals and affected communities to close the legal enforcement gap and seek remedies for environmental impacts.
Click here to access the full publication by CPR- Namati Environmental Justice Program.