Why Environmental Impact Assessments Are Controversial, India’s Coastline Policy Problem, and More With Kanchi Kohli and Manju Menon

May 22, 2023


In this episode, environment researchers Kanchi Kohli and Manju Menon discuss environmental impact assessments in India, and the impact of environmental degradation on local communities.

‘In Perspective’ is The Swaddle’s podcast series where academics reveal little-known facts about Indian history, society and culture. 


00:01:01:03- As we navigate through an economic crisis, how important is it to focus on environmental regulations for industries, and ensure that they remain strong?

00:04:37:21- How do companies around the world view environmental concerns? What is this mindset that drives how those in business look at environmental justice and environmental concerns around them?

00:08:49:19- What is an environmental safety net? Does an industry need to ensure a perimeter around where they operate so their environmental impact doesn’t flow beyond that? Is it an issue in regulation, enforcement or compliance? 

00:11:36:07- What is the history of the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA) in the global South? What was the context within which the EIA emerged in India in 1994? Why has it been so hotly debated? 

00:19:14:01- Within this framework of the EIA, what is the role of the public hearing process? Is there any compulsion on the government to weave the outcome of this public hearing process into the assessment report of the EIA, or is it just for show?

00:25:07:20- Why have you written that India’s coastline is a space that epitomizes policy contradictions?

00:33:46:12- Does environmental policy being a state matter (as opposed to being centralized at the national level) help, because it is more targeted to the ecology of the area, or is it detrimental, since it can become scattered and arbitrary? 

00:38:03:23- How did natural elements transform into these mobile, tradable commodities over time? How do we change this idea that nature is a limitless resource? How does the policy discourse around nature need to change? 

00:48:00:11- How has land transformation been at the center of economic growth of post-colonial, Asian nation states? Has this land use transformation impacted resource dependent communities? Has the Indian state been able to address this effectively? 

00:56:22:10- Is there any potentially successful legal protection for local communities impacted by land degradation? If they were to mount a challenge within the legal system, what is their chance of success? 


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