A group of 291 conservation scientists & allied professionals including 12 former members of Standing Committee of National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) on May 12 wrote to @PrakashJavdekar
expressing serious concerns over green clearances process during #COVID19
The letter said that communication strategies (like video conferences) used “in its present form, are inadequate & do not pay due diligence to forest and environmental clearances” process.
They urged Javadekar to keep implementation of decisions taken by the NBWL via video conferencing in abeyance until #COVID19
related travel restrictions are lifted to allow in-person meetings and travel to project sites for fresh appraisals following due process.
The group also urged Prakash Javadekar to postpone all meetings of the NBWL, Forest Advisory Committee & all 10 expert panels as long as #COVID19
related travel restrictions make verifcation of documents during in-person meetings, local representations & site visits difficult.
The group further asked Javadekar : “In larger public interest, we urge you to consider our requests and carry out the intended mandate of the Ministry, which is the protection of India’s forests, wildlife and natural heritage & not fast-track clearance of projects.”
The group stressed that due to reliance on only digital documents uploaded by project developers on the Parivesh single window clearance portal leads to “fait accompli situations”, and gravely compromises the appraisals by the committees during the #COVID19
The signatories stated that appraisals and assessments for clearance are being reduced to an “empty formality” lacking the credibility and rigour of its purpose.
It comes a week after 26 scientists from 14 institutions across India had come together and written to the forest panel of Environment ministry urging them to not give clearance to Etalin project in #Dibang
Here is the @MongabayIndia
piece that highlighted how expert panels are admitting in minutes of meetings done via video conference that there is a “time crunch” to appraise the projects. https://india.mongabay.com/2020/05/concern-for-birds-grounds-mumbais-marina-project-for-now/
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.