Sipcot Area - Community Environmental Monitors

Activists Urge for More Openness in Green Policy Drafting

PRESS NOTE

 

8 June 2012. CHENNAI Thirty-eight environmental and social organisations from across Tamil Nadu have expressed their disappointment with the Department of Environment’s lack of seriousness and consultation in drafting the State Environmental Policy. The fact that a draft outline of the policy note was on the Department of Environment’s website for public comments came to light only on 5 June through a newspaper article, they said. The deadline for submission of comments is 9 June. Even this draft is in English, thereby denying the Tamil-speaking majority, including many of our elected representatives, an opportunity to influence the policy.

 

The activists said they welcome the Government’s initiative to draft an environmental policy. However, an environmental policy for a rapidly industrialising state needs to actively seek out the concerns of affected people, they said. Passive and elite consultation through the internet reflects poorly on the transparency ideals professed by the State Government.

 

The first meeting to develop the outline was held on 5 April in GRT Grand Hotel. The “Record of Discussions” uploaded to the website contains a list of core group members to “finalise the Tamilnadu State Environment Policy.” Activists have faulted the Department of Environment for including only industry representatives in the “core group” calling it a conflict of interest. No NGOs or social activists were involved in the drafting of the outline.

 

The activists have urged the Department of Environment to translate the policy outline in Tamil, extend the deadline for comments by at least two months, and conduct widespread consultations, at least at district level, among farmers, fisherfolk, workers and other public interest citizen groups. They have called for removal of industry representatives from the core committee, and inclusion of eminent leaders and people’s representatives with a proven track record of protecting the environment in their place.

 

For more information, contact: Nityanand Jayaraman — 9444082401

 

Statement by:

Chennai

 

South Indian Fishworkers Welfare Association (Then India Meenavar Nala Sangam)

 

Tamil Nadu Fisher People’s Association (Tamilnadu Meenava Makkal Sangam)

 

Tamil Nadu Fisherfolk Development Association (Tamilnadu Meenava Munnetra Sangam)

 

All India Fisherfolk Traditional Association (Akhila India Meenava Parampara Sangam)

 

Indian Fisherfolk Association (India Meenava Sangam)

 

Nochikuppam Fisherfolk Livelihood Organisation (Nocchikuppam Meenava Vazhvurimai Iyakkam)

 

Human Rights Advocacy and Research Foundation

 

People Union for Civil Liberties – Tamil Nadu & Pondicherry

 

Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives

 

SUSTAIN

 

Poovulgain Nanbargal

 

The Other Media

 

Save Chennai Beaches

 

Reclaim Our Beaches

 

Save Tamils Movement

 

Exnora

 

Coimbatore

 

Save Coimbatore Wetlands

 

Discover Wild Foundation

 

Nature Conservation Society

 

Arulagam

 

Environmental Conservation Group

 

Mattram

 

Oli

 

Cuddalore

 

CONFET

 

FEDCOT

 

SIPCOT Area Community Environmental Monitors

 

Dindigul

 

Tamizhaga Nadigal Padhukappu Koottamaippu

 

Tamil Nadu Environment Council

 

CEDA Trust

 

Kanchipuram

 

Tamil Nadu Fisherpeople’s Federation

 

Nagapattinam

 

Coastal Action Network

 

Nilgiris

 

Nilgiris Wildlife and Environmental Association

 

Salem

 

Speak Out Salem

 

Salem Citizens Forum

 

Tamil Nadu Green Movement

 

Tamil Nadu People’s Right Movement, Salem

 

Kanjamalai Padhukappu Iyakkam

 

Mettur Padhukappu Iyakkam

 

Thoothukudi

 

All India Fisherfolk Federation, Thoothukudi

 

Veeranganai Penngal Iyakkam

Activists Urge for More Openness in Green Policy Drafting
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