Communities and legal action

India’s strong environmental protection norms were meant to reduce the imbalance in negotiating positions between the promoters of industrial projects and those likely to be affected by them. Judged on that metric alone, they have largely met with failure. The effects of the violations of these norms have tended to fall disproportionately on people who suffer from several other forms of deprivation that limit their access to the tools of governance and justice. There remains a vast gap between law and practice, one that often looks insurmountable. This series of essays by Kanchi Kohli, published on www.myLaw.net between 2014 and 2016, distills her enormous experience of effectively moving the levers of environmental governance while working with affected communities. For those who want to work to secure environmental justice, it contains important lessons that can be used to make the best of the system of Environmental Impact Assessments, compensatory afforestation law, and the land acquisition law, to name just a few. With the release of all the essays together in this document, we are excited that many more people will be able to access and use them to bridge the gap between the law and practice of environmental law.

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