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Kanchi Kohli




Member Since:
May 08, 2012

Last Seen:
Jun 20, 2019

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Contributed Resources:

Midcourse Manoeuvres: Community Strategies and Remedies for Natural Resource Conflicts in India

Centre for Policy Research (CPR) - Namati Environmental Justice Program

This study is an attempt to understand the lived experience of people affected by land use change and related conflicts. Equally, if not more importantly, this research seeks to analyse what affected people do when such conflicts arise. What are the strategies they adopt and what kinds of remedies do they seek? Further, what drives...

Outsourcing Environment Decisions

Manju Menon, Kanchi Kohli

Namati’s Manju Menon and Kanchi Kohli argue that the current system of ‘independent’ environmental regulation in India is failing because governing laws do not articulate clear intended environmental outcomes. They argue for “a practice of outcome-based governmental decision making located within the public sphere of influence” toward a goal of “substantive justice rather than procedural efficiency.”

‘Kandla’s lost beauty’

Kanchi Kohli

A 2011 government notification declared India's entire Gulf of Kutch a ‘Critical Vulnerable Coastal Area’ because of its ecological fragility. But the coast is not being protected. Researcher Kanchi Kohli writes about the grave destruction of livelihoods and environment that continues along the coast, with ongoing displacement and legal violations that may mean the damage can never be undone.

From Prior to Post: Legalising Environmental Regulations?

Krithika Dinesh, Kanchi Kohli

On March 14, 2017, India’s environment ministry, issued a notification, which gives an opportunity for projects that have violated conditions of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Notification 2006 to be brought into compliance. Under this notification, a process is laid down for all those projects that have started construction, operation, expansion, modernization or change of...

CZMAs and Coastal Environments: Two Decades of Regulating Land Use Change on India’s Coastline

Manju Menon, Meenakshi Kapoor, Preeti Venkatram, Kanchi Kohli, Satnam Kaur

The Centre for Policy Research – Namati Environmental Justice Program has recently completed a study titled CZMAs and Coastal Environments: Two Decades of Regulating Land Use Change on India’s Coastline. The study analyses the structure, functioning and performance of CZMAs. After three years of detailed and in-depth research, this report is now available as the...

Groundtruthing: A Note on Methodology

Namati, Centre for Policy Research

An overview of Groundtruthing – a methodology for comparing facts stated in official documents and maps with the ground realities at a site or in a place. Groundtruthing can act as an effective tool to create evidence by collecting easily observable facts about operations that might be illegal, prohibited or causing harm. The evidence can...

What Lies Beneath

Kanchi Kohli

When I began writing this article, I was not sure which story to begin with. In front of me were clear visions of a shaved off hill visible from the terrace of the Sarpanch of Kalne village in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra. With the forests of the Western Ghats on both sides, the barren hill...

Re-engineering the Legal and Policy Regimes on Environment

Manju Menon, Kanchi Kohli

Environment impact assessment was supposed to be a critical tool in environmental decisionmaking. But it has been re-engineered to severely reduce its usefulness as an instrument for public participation in decision-making. This article, written against the backdrop of proposals for a new coastal regulation zone notification, analyses the different characteristics of environmental regulations and the new environment policy, and shows how a new perspective facilitates speedy clearance of projects that affect people’s livelihoods and the environment.

Legalizing Compensation

Kanchi Kohli

This piece originally appeared on mylaw.net on January 19, 2012. Previously, I had written about the mechanism under India’s Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 (“the FCA”) through which forest land can be diverted for non-forest use. Permissions under the FCA are also required to fell trees on forest land or if a forest, which is otherwise in the “reserved”...

Keep the coasts clear for artisinal fishermen

Manju Menon, Kanchi Kohli

India’s vibrant coastline is home to the intricate profession of artisanal fishing, and some of the world’s worst land grabs and environmental violations in recent years. On World Fisheries Day, Manju Menon and Kanchi Kohli suggest a practical road forward to protect fishing communities and the land they have depended on, leaving hardly a footprint,...

Environmental Decision-making: Whose Agenda?

Manju Menon, Kanchi Kohli

Despite revisions in the environment impact assessment notification in 2006, the deficiencies have not been overcome. As a result, environment impact assessments, which assess a project by technical means as well as public opinion, are hardly thought of as important decision-making tools. Manju Menon and Kanchi Kohli investigate.

Biodiversity and culture: exploring community protocols, rights and consent

Krystyna Swiderska, Kanchi Kohli, Harry Jonas, Holly Shrumm, Wim Hiemstra, Maria Julia Oliva

Many rural communities in the global South – including some 370 million indigenous peoples – are directly dependent on biodiversity and related traditional knowledge for their livelihoods, food security, healthcare and well-being. But with the loss of biodiversity, valuable resources such as climate-resilient crops, medicinal plants and wild foods are being lost. Cultural diversity is...

Contributed Posts:

Get your facts right, get them to act right

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,…

Posted October 31, 2016
Mining is in the Way of Adivasi Forest Rights, Not the Other Way Round

In February 2016, reports emerged of the startling and potentially illegal decision by the Sarguja district authorities in Chhattisgarh state, India to revoke the community forest rights titles of Ghatbarra village. The reason stated in an official letter, dated January 8, 2016, was that the exercise of these rights was coming in the way of…

Posted June 7, 2016
How to Build Evidence for Justice – Groundtruthing Environmental Compliance

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…

Posted April 20, 2016
Is the Hubli-Ankola Railway line approved?

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…

Posted February 24, 2016
Burying the Law to Make Way for a Coal Mine

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…

Posted February 19, 2016
India’s New Environmental Regulations: Waiting Until the Damage is Done

In this article Namati-CPR’s Kanchi Kohli looks at the changes proposed by India’s Government in the Draft Environment Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015 which was recently opened to public scrutiny. A major thrust of the changes is a dangerous reliance upon ‘on-the-spot’ fines for supposedly ‘minor’ environmental infringements and the removal of many pre-development processes to protect…

Posted December 14, 2015
What Lies Behind Environmental Law Making

Even before the new government came to power in India in mid 2014, the narrative of environment regulations being antithetical to economic growth had become a matter of national debate. Not surprisingly then, since June 2014 there has been a roll out of amendments to procedures that determine environmental approvals to industrial and infrastructure projects….

Posted November 19, 2015
Riverbed sand mining in India

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.

Posted July 9, 2015
Targeting Illegal Mining in India’s Forests

Namati’s Kanchi Kohli explains how public interest litigation finally forced the authorities to act against illegal iron ore mines in the forests of Odisha. 27 October 2014 – The discourse around iron and steel in India has taken a huge political turn since 2007. In 2007, the Karnataka state government, while recognising the problem of rampant illegal…

Posted November 6, 2014
India’s Quest for Power

Namati’s Kanchi Kohli on how India’s ‘balance’ of industrialisation and ecological protection actually looks at the ground level. “The lives of people living in coastal or forest ecosystems are likely to change drastically if one is to go by the number of power plants going up in India today. Each company seeking permission to operate a coal mine…

Posted July 31, 2014