Started 2 petitions
Request a more Animal Friendly Approach in Human-Elephant Conflict by Environment Ministry
Dear Sir, The incident of inhumane death of the elephants in Kerala due to firecrackers being fed to them by certain miscreants had really put the entire human race in a state of utter shock and distress In response to the same it is really appreciative and effective on the part of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, that it has recently released the 2020 Project by the Project Elephant Division titled “Best Practices of Human Elephant Conflict Management in India”. This report which collates all possible causes and concerns as well as the ways to resolve human-elephant conflict as practised in various parts of the country is sure to serve as a guiding tool for information dissemination, especially for villagers and farmers affected by this conflict. While it is undeniably true that elephants have been a source of menace for farmers in terms of destroying farmland and crops as well as wreaking havoc in villages, it is also true that fatal retaliatory measures by angry farmers have taken away the lives of many innocent speechless animals. While the situation calls for striking a balance between elephant-menace and elephant-killing or harm, it is also true to remember that it is due to our own practices of extensive agriculture invading into forestland for creating grasslands and raising crops that we have more often left these animals with no option but to venture into the human society for food. Hence, conversely as the trustees of nature and our own concern of keeping the environment safe, the Supreme Court in numerous cases upheld the linkage between animal rights and article 21 of the constitution, in terms of rights in environmental matters. Hence, we should ensure the dignified and protected life of animals that is due to them! In line with this, we wish to point out the following three practices which have been recognised in the Report as “Best Practices” or in other words “Recommendatory Practices”, that have brought afloat concerns of animal rights and animal welfare. 1. Practice of using beehive fencing for driving away elephants (p. 17)2. Practice of bursting firecrackers depending on the habitation of the elephants (p. 24)3. Use of controlled burning techniques for new flush growth which reshapes the landscapes for elephants. In specific we would like to point out the problems caused by these steps: Use of bees- It is undoubtedly proven that the buzzing sound of bees causes irritation and fear in the minds of elephants thereby doing the job of driving them away and serving as the deterrent for elephants to approach a specific area. However, the fear is caused because these bees sting the sensitive tissue area of the trunk of the elephants thereby causing excruciating nose pain for the elephants. Now imagine the same being done by a swarm of bees which the elephants can't shoo away or protect themselves from. The question then is, is it humane to apply such a tactic? Bursting of firecrackers- This step has already created enough menace and inhumanity, without leaving anything to be said further on this point. While bursting them depending on their habitat can be a protective measure, but allowing such a harmful tool to be used by angry farmers is more of a threat to the lives of the poor animals than mere threats. Besides the environmental harm caused by fire-crackers need no special mention and as a measure the same is indeed not sustainable. Controlled burning of patches for new flush growth- One may easily associate such a technique with the shunned and harmful practices of jhooming or slash and burn which not only harms the soil in terms of loss of soil nutrients and leaving back charred carbon which damages the soil but also harms the environment in terms of air pollution. Hence, better alternatives of the same like crop rotation with non-palatable crops of elephants, subsistence farming, can go a long way in driving elephants to new vegetative growth rather than employing fire even in a controlled manner! While one may suggest that these are very minute points and there are way more points in the guidelines, it is true and we are highly appreciative of the same but due to the nature of the report and the purpose of implementation, guidance and information dissemination, which it is bound to serve, it is an earnest request to delete the aforementioned clauses. As, being humans and the ones to speak, it is our earnest duty to fight and ensure the rights of the speechless innocent beings! Thank You, Greener Things.
Withdrawal of the Draft 2020 EIA Notification (clauses exempting EIA for certain projects)
Dear Sir/Ma'am, It is with extreme displeasure and shock that we tender this petition highlighting the gross step taken in the Draft EIA Notification of 2020, whereby the notification has failed to strike the exact balance between industrial growth and environmental protection especially at such a point of time when even the balance of sustainable development has tilted towards seeking environment protection over economic growth. It shakes our conscience to know that an important step like the Environment Impact Assessment Report has been stated to be not required for the multitude of important projects listed under category B2 of the 2020 notification. Here, we lay emphasis on the following industries- Mineral Beneficiation involving physical process and physicochemical processes Pellet plants or agglomeration plants Cement Industries Standalone clinker grinding units All projects of leather production without tanning and located within the notified industrial estates Synthetic rubbers Basic organic chemicals, other synthetic organic chemicals, chemical intermediates, synthetic resins and synthetic adhesives Manufacturing of paints, varnishes, pigments, intermediates (excluding blending / mixing) Ports, harbors, breakwaters and capital dredging (inside and outside the ports or harbors and channels)- all projects on inland waterways Petroleum products and petrochemical based processing including production of carbon black and electrode grade graphite(processes other than cracking & reformation and not covered under the complexes) Offshore and Onshore Oil & Gas including CBM and Shale Gas- all exploration projects. which have been exempted from carrying out the EIA process either because they are small or medium enterprises or either because they are simply exploration projects and have the after effect of generating a strong economy. even most of these industries have been exempted from seeking a prior approval from the Appraisal Committee as mentioned in the Sch. I of the notification. They have been asked to carry out the Environment Management Plan, which is not even a deciding step as to whether the industry in a given location can have any substantial harm on the environment. While it is needless to reiterate the importance of EIA as has been highlighted in the Rio Declaration itself, to which India is a party too, it is also true that in the name of bolstering the economy, such a step can have an irreversible impact on the environment. Suggestion- We agree that the post-Covid situation and the national lockdown phase has left multitude of industries out of business and it is time to bring Indian Economy back on its feet, but the same should not be done by increasing their social cost manifold. Hence, we suggest the creation of a voluntary or government regulated body which can carry out the EIA of such industries instead of burdening the companies themselves, by giving the body optimum private representation, and representation from the companies concerned in every EIA conducted, so that such an essential step is not skipped, costing the lives of innocent millions! Hoping to see a better future ahead! Thank You.