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Justice Policy Series, Part 1: Access to Justice

Open Government Partnership, Joseph Foti, Jessica Hickle, Maha Jweied,

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) provides an opportunity for government and civil society reformers to make government more transparent, participatory, and accountable. Working together, government and civil society co-create two-year action plans with concrete commitments across a broad range of issues that are then monitored by OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM). Until recently, access to…

Redress for land and resource rights violations: a legal empowerment agenda

Brendan Schwartz, Lorenzo Cotula, Masalu Luhula, Tomaso Ferrando, Hayden Fairburn,

A recent wave of large-scale commercial investments in agriculture, extractive industries and other land-based sectors has compounded the ‘global resource squeeze’ in low- and middle-income countries. But many communities affected by land rights violations struggle to assert their rights or obtain redress. Demand for legal support outstrips resources and what is available is not always…

Complicity in Destruction II

Amazon Watch,

How northern consumers and financiers enable Bolsonaro’s assault on the Brazilian Amazon. As the world’s largest rainforest, the Amazon provides 20% of our oxygen, houses 10% of the planet’s biodiversity, and helps stabilize the global climate. The world needs it to survive. None understand this better than the indigenous peoples and traditional communities who call…

Manuel Pratique de Protection pour les Défenseur·e·s des Droits Humains en République Démocratique du Congo

Protection International,

Il y a maintenant 10 ans que Protection International a publié son Nouveau Manuel de Protection (NMP). Bien que toujours d’actualité, son contenu peut paraître abstrait au premier abord et il est parfois difficile pour les défenseurs et défenseures (DDH) d’appliquer les concepts et méthodes proposées à leur propre organisation et contexte. De plus, le…

Innovative Financing Solutions for Community Support in the Context of Land Investments

Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment,

Communities affected by agricultural, forestry, and other resource investments urgently need increased funding for legal and technical support. Too many communities struggle to access the support they need to protect their interests, in large part because they cannot afford it. This is in stark contrast to companies, who can generally afford the legal and technical…

Closing the Enforcement Gap: Groundtruthing of Environmental Violations in Bodai-Daldali, Chhattisgarh

Centre for Policy Research, Janabhivyakti, Oxfam India, Namati,

Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO), which is a Public Sector Undertaking, received an environmental clearance in 2003 for bauxite mining in the Kabirdham district of Chhattisgarh. Since the mine became operational in 2003, there have been studies and media reports which have highlighted instances of non-compliance of environmental safeguards. There have also been complaints by…

Closing the Enforcement Gap: Community-led Groundtruthing of Environmental Violations in Mormugao, Goa

Centre for Policy Research, Namati Environmental Justice Program,

The Mormugao Port is located at Vasco bay in the Mormugao taluka of Goa at the point where the Zuari river meets the Arabian Sea. This region is home to thousands of fisherfolk from the Karvi community who live along the beaches of Mormugao, Salcete and Tiswadi talukas. It is a natural  harbour that provides…

WASAIDIZI WA KISHERIA KWA AJILI YA HAKI ZA MAZINGIRA

Centre for Policy Research-Namati Environmental Justice Program,

Kituo cha Sera na Utafiti- Mpango wa Haki za Mazingira wa Namati Utangulizi na Maelezo ya Jumla ya Mwongozo wa Utendaji Maeneo mengi ya dunia, bila kujali viwango vyao vya maendeleo ya kiuchumi, yapo katika ukingo wa mgogoro mkali wa kimazingira. Katika maeneo haya, shughuli za miradi ya uzalishaji kama vile mashamba makubwa, uchimbaji madini…

Guide pratique pour les Auxiliaires de Justice Environnementale

Centre for Policy Research-Namati Environmental Justice Program,

Introduction et Aperçu du Guide Pratique De nombreuses parties du monde, quel que soit leur niveau de développement économique, sont sur le point de connaitre de graves crises environnementales. Dans ces régions, les opérations de projets d’extraction comme les plantations de grande envergure, l’exploitation minière et le développement industriel ont réduit voire dégradé le bien-être…

Q&A: Putting law in people’s hands to demand environmental justice in the United States

Posted by Alayna Chuney in Environment, Land & Natural Resources

Historically, the U.S. environmental movement has focused on litigation and high-level advocacy. The communities who bear the greatest burden of harm who are mostly poor and of color—have had little opportunity to use the law themselves. In 2018, Namati recruited our first crew of legal empowerment advocates. In 2019, we’re working with this group to…

Q&A: Legal empowerment as a beacon for environmental justice in Sierra Leone

Posted by Daniel Sesay in Environment, Land & Natural Resources

To spur economic growth, the government of Sierra Leone has been aggressively courting large-scale agriculture and mining investments. These have often led to the exploitation of communities and environmental devastation. Namati supports communities to protect customary land rights, challenge land grabs, remedy environmental harm, and, if they wish, negotiate fair deals with investors. This Q&A…

Q&A: How legal empowerment advances environmental justice in India

Posted by Vidya Viswanathan in Environment, Land & Natural Resources

In India, mining, industrial development, and other private and public projects damage the environment and endanger the livelihoods of local communities. Despite robust laws on the books, there is a very poor record of compliance. Paralegals on the Centre for Policy Research-Namati environmental justice team support communities to understand and use the law to find…

New Guides Help Communities to Negotiate Fair Contracts with Investors

Posted by Namati, Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment in Environment, Land & Natural Resources, Namati News, Resources & Research

WASHINGTON, DC — With investors increasingly turning to more remote locations for the establishment of forestry, agribusiness, mining, and infrastructure projects, it is critical that communities worldwide gain a practical understanding of contract negotiations, according to two new guides by Namati and the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (CCSI).   Launched today, the Community-Investor Negotiation…

Paralegals share lessons learned on holding community legal trainings

Posted by Centre for Policy Research-Namati in Community Paralegals, Environment, Land & Natural Resources, Resources & Research

Paralegals with Namati and the Centre for Policy Research’s joint environmental justice program (who are called ‘enviro-legal coordinators’ or ELCs for short) have now conducted close to 75 community trainings on India’s Coastal Regulation Zone Notification in Uttara Kannada district. Last month, one of the program’s senior managers, Meenakshi Kapoor, held calls with senior ELCs…

Public is absent in India’s environmental policymaking

Posted by Namati in Advocacy & Systemic Change, Environment, Land & Natural Resources, Namati News

“Public participation [in policymaking] is a sign of a healthy democracy,” yet with very narrow timeframes to participate, the public is crucially absent in environmental policymaking in India, writes Kanchi Kohli, CPR-Namati’s Legal Research Director on Environmental Justice, in this DNA India op-ed.

Passing on regulatory burdens to people is a recipe for disaster

Posted by Manju Menon, Kanchi Kohli in Advocacy & Systemic Change, Environment, Land & Natural Resources

In the following opinion piece, Manju Menon and Kanchi Kohli of the CPR-Namati Environmental Justice Program offer their thoughts on India’s environmental regulation plans. The article was originally published on India’s DNA news website. India’s environmental regulatory failure is now official. Activists and environmental groups had pointed to this much earlier but now all governmental…

Special Blog Series on Coastal Regulations in India

Posted by Namati in Advocacy & Systemic Change, Environment, Land & Natural Resources

Impending legislation changes in India are set to significantly impact coastal communities. In response, the CPR-Namati Environment Justice Program has launched the “Coastal Regulation” blog series. The series will explore the proposed changes, the potential community impacts, and provide background on the current Coastal Regulation Zone Notification, 2011 to provide insight on what steps need be…

The New York Times: “India’s Barefoot Lawyers”

Posted by Namati in Community Paralegals, Environment, Land & Natural Resources, Namati News

In the August 8th copy of the New York Times,  Pulitzer Prize-winning writer TINA ROSENBERG captured the work of paralegals working for environmental justice in India. An Excerpt follows below. The full Article CAN BE READ here. BOGRIBAIL, India — A David and Goliath story: Two years ago, a road-construction company called IRB Infrastructure Developers established…

Holding a Municipality Accountable

Posted by Hasmukh Dhumadiya in Community Paralegals, Environment, Land & Natural Resources

This blog was written by Hasmukh Dhumadiya, an Enviro-legal Coordinator with the CPR-Namati Environmental Justice Program in India. It was originally published on India Together, an electronic newsmagazine devoted to coverage of public affairs, policy, and development in India. Bakshipunch Housing Society is located in Arambhada in the district of Devbhumi Dwarka in the western Indian…

Saving Sangam from Mining

Posted by Vijay Rathod in Community Paralegals, Environment, Land & Natural Resources

The following post originally appeared on India Water Portal. There was illegal mining in the Triveni Sangam and I could not believe my eyes. Who could do something like this? The sangam, or confluence of rivers, in the Gujarat district of India, has a special place in my mind as I had grown up visiting…

Podcast: Unpacking Research on Environmental Justice

Posted by Namati in Environment, Land & Natural Resources, Resources & Research

Manju Menon is director of Namati and Centre for Policy Research‘s Environmental Justice program. In the 16th episode of CPR’s podcast ThoughtSpace, Richa Bansal talks to Menon to unpack her research, including the context; how the research is put into action on the ground through training personnel to find solutions; and the impact this action…

How a Coastal Violation is Leading to a Small Revolution in Karnataka

Posted by Vinod Patgar in Environment

The following blog by CPR-Namati Enviro-Legal Coordinator, Vinod Patgar, originally appeared on myLaw.net. Baad, a village near my village of Kagal in coastal Karnataka, hosts a fair every year at the Shri Kanchika Parameshwari temple. As children, the joy of going to this fair was unparalleled. During the fair, the yakshagana, a folk dance, used…

Barefoot Lawyers, Communities, and the Earth

Posted by Vivek Maru in Community Paralegals, Environment

The following blog first appeared as part of Article 3 Advisor’s special blog series on climate justice. Check out their site for other blog series on topics ranging from prison to refugees to modern day slavery. The global human rights movement has made extraordinary progress, at least by the letter of the law. Many countries now…

Get your facts right, get them to act right

Posted by Chicu Lokgariwar, India Water Portal in Environment

The following article was written by Chicu Lokgariwar from India Water Portal (IWP) following a training program on community-led research methods for environmental justice in India that took at the Sambhavnaa Institute, Palampur in September 2016. The workshop was designed and facilitated by Kanchi Kohli and Manju Menon of Centre for Policy Research (CPR)- Namati,…

New Handbook for Environment Justice Practitioners in India

Posted by Namati in Community Paralegals, Environment, Land & Natural Resources, Resources & Research

Handbook on Legal and Administrative Remedies for Community Level Environment Justice Practitioners in India   The Centre for Policy Research-Namati Environmental Justice Program has produced an indispensable new handbook that helps environment justice practitioners in India to identify and use appropriate legal clauses and institutional routes in their work. Environment justice practitioners, or grassroots environment paralegals,…

Groundtruthing Environmental Violations in Chhattisgarh, India

Posted by Krithika Dinesh in Community Paralegals, Environment, Namati News

Namati and the Centre for Policy Research are pleased to release the second report in their series on community-led groundtruthing exercises in India. The report, Closing the Enforcement Gap: Groundtruthing of Environmental Violations in Sarguja, Chhattisgarh, outlines how representatives from three villages in the state of Chhattisgrah in central India used the process of groundtruthing to establish that the…

Groundtruthing – A Journey from Law to Environmental Justice

Posted by Vivek Trivedi in General

“The community actually said that the ‘air is so bad and the water is so bad that we can neither cook nor make tea.’” This line, sobering in its daily reality, was delivered at a recent webinar entitled Building Evidence for Justice – Groundtruthing Environmental Compliance, by Kanchi Kohli, Legal Research Director at the CPR-Namati…

India’s National Green Tribunal Sets an Important Precedent

Posted by Krithika Dinesh, Manju Menon, and Kanchi Kohli in Environment

A Casual Approach  By taking on board the concerns of a fishing community in Hazira, India, regarding the construction of a port, the National Green Tribunal has set an important precedent. I n 2013, a fishermen’s group in Hazira—the Hazira Machimar Samiti—and three affected fishermen had filed a petition against the Adanis, the project proponent…

How to Build Evidence for Justice – Groundtruthing Environmental Compliance

Posted by Kanchi Kohli in Community Paralegals, Environment, Opportunities

People around the world live in areas that are being altered for industrial, infrastructure or mining projects. Their lives and occupations are being negatively impacted by problems of access, encroachment or pollution. Though governments in many countries have regulatory procedures for implementing environmental and social safeguards to minimize or mitigate such problems, compliance of these…

Leveraging the Law Is the New Way to Help the World’s Poor

Posted by Take Part Media in Community Paralegals, Environment, Land & Natural Resources

The role that community paralegals play in supporting and protecting coastal communities in southern India is explored in this feature by TakePart media. Read the full story here.  

Is the Hubli-Ankola Railway line approved?

Posted by Kanchi Kohli in Environment

India’s media reports that the country’s National Green Tribunal (NGT) has given clearance to Indian Railways to approach the state government regarding the Hubli-Ankola rail link, which will pass through the dense Western Ghats in Karnataka. Kanchi Kohli writes on how the orders of NGT do not necessarily imply a complete go-ahead for the railway…

Burying the Law to Make Way for a Coal Mine

Posted by Kanchi Kohli and Alok Shukla in Environment

The cancellation of the community rights of Ghatbarra village over the Hasdeo Arand forest – to make way for a coal mine – raises many questions. When the Forest Survey of India’s 2011 report celebrated Hasdeo Arand as the largest unfragmented forest in central India outside the official protected area system, there was another process…

New book on protecting community lands and resources in Africa from Namati and Natural Justice

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Advocacy & Systemic Change, Land & Natural Resources, Resources & Research

In 2013, a group of 20 expert advocates from across Africa gathered for a three-day symposium to share experiences and practical strategies for effectively supporting communities to protect their lands and natural resources. The symposium illuminated many similarities between the types of threats to communities’ land and natural resource claims, as well as underlying factors that drive and exacerbate…

Namati’s Paralegal Approach to Environmental Justice Hailed by UN Expert

Posted by Paul McCann in Environment

The United Nation’s Human Rights Council last year requested the Independent Expert on Human Rights and the Environment, Mr. John Knox, to identify the best global practices using human rights obligations to inform, support and strengthen environmental policy making, especially in the area of environmental protection. It also requested he prepare a compendium of best practices. The Independent Expert…

Online Database of Land-based Investment Contracts Invites Innovative Proposals

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Environment, Land & Natural Resources, Opportunities

OpenLandContracts.org aims to promote greater transparency of land-based investments, facilitate a better understanding of the contracts that govern them, and provide useful tools for governments, communities, companies, and other stakeholders. Initially launched in October 2015, the repository provides the full text of contracts, as well as plain language summaries of each contract’s key social, environmental, human…

Using the Law to Defend Indigenous Lands: New Video from ‘Territories of Life’

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Environment, Land & Natural Resources, Resources & Research

Territories of Life is a series of videos produced by LifeMosaic to shares stories of resistance, resilience and hope with communities on the frontline of the global rush for land. The latest video, ‘Using The Law‘, examines strategies for using national, regional and international law to fight against the takeover of indigenous lands. The 12-minute video looks at three legal cases in…

Stretching the meaning of ‘reforestation’ beyond breaking point

Posted by Manju Menon in Environment

This OpEd first appeared in The Caravan Magazine. Ever since he took charge as the minister for the environment and forests in May last year, Prakash Javadekar has appeared to be in quite a hurry. His task, he has stated over and over again to the media whenever the opportunity has presented itself, is to…

Riverbed sand mining in India

Posted by Kanchi Kohli in Environment

Namati’s Kanchi Kohli, legal research director of the environmental justice program in India, reports on how riverbed sand mining continues unabated in India, despite the directions of the Supreme Court in 2012 and repeated assurances from State governments.   Read the full story in Frontline, the magazine of The Hindu newspaper.

Ignoring the institutions that can save India’s coastal regions

Posted by Manju Menon, Kanchi Kohli and Meenakshi Kapoor in Environment

Since November 2014 there have been at least four amendments to India’s Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2011. In all but one instance, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) has emphasised on the “public interest” clause, allowing the dispensation of the requirement of a public notice and seeking citizen’s inputs before the…

TerraNullius profiles the Community Land Rights CaseBase

Posted by Rachael Knight, Naomi Roht-Arriaza and Melissa Riess-James in Global Legal Empowerment Network, Land & Natural Resources

TerraNullius – a leading blog on topics of land rights, human rights, and rule of law – has published a profile of CaseBase, Namati’s new online database of community land rights case law. Read the blog on TerraNullius to learn about the goals and development of the Community Land Rights CaseBase. Explore CaseBase CaseBase – Namati’s  free, online,…

New legal database on community land and natural resource rights

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Global Legal Empowerment Network, Land & Natural Resources, Namati News, Resources & Research

Namati has launched a groundbreaking new tool for lawyers and advocates working to protect community rights to land and natural resources: the Community Land Rights CaseBase. More and more lawyers and front line legal advocates are stepping forward to defend communities’ rights, yet they often struggle to find supportive legal precedent – within their own country or…

Call for New Partners: Community Land Protection

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Community Land Protection, Environment, Namati News

Namati is looking for new partners to adapt our approach to support communities in their regions. Drawing on five years of research and field-testing, Namati and our partners have designed a powerful four-step process for protecting community lands and natural resources. Our approach supports communities to map their resources, harmonize boundaries, and formally register their…

Oxfam on India’s proposed new land acquisition ordinance

Posted by Namati in Environment, Land & Natural Resources

There has been uproar in India’s parliament and among civil society groups following the government’s proposal to replace the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act (RFCLARR). RFCLARR was enacted in 2013 replacing the land acquisition policies prevalent in the country since 1894. A year later, the Government of…

Land Rights in the Post-2015 Agenda

Posted by Namati in Community Land Protection, Land & Natural Resources, Post-2015 Agenda

Namati has joined with a coalition of organizations to produce a briefing paper on the place of land rights in the new Sustainable Development Goals. The briefing has been endorsed by organisations such as ActioAid, Oxfam, Landesa, Global Witness and Habitat for Humanity. It contains five headline recommendations: 1. The Post-2015 Agenda should advance and monitor…