The Emergence of the Global Environmental Justice Movement and its Impact on India’s Green Jurisprudence

  • Ayesha Rehman
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  • Ayesha Rehman

    Research Scholar at Jamia Millia Islamia, India

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Environmental issues have been rising globally at an alarming rate. Environmental justice involves the idea that all individuals and groups have the right to equal environmental protection without any discrimination under the law and the right to live in communities which are healthy and free of toxic conditions which could be life-threatening. The environmental justice movement emerged around the concerns of fairness, social equity, and environmental protection. Robert Bullard, Paul Mohai, Robin Saha, and Beverly Wright coined the term ‘Environmental justice’, which is described as the equitable and unbiased distribution of environmental benefits and harms through the restructuring of systems of oppression. In their revolutionary work, “Toxic Waste and Race”, they debated that across the US South, landfills were disproportionately sited in low-income communities of color, leading to dissimilar human health impacts, lower economic value of property, and less green space accessible to these communities. The crystallising of environmental justice movement happened with the First People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit held in 1991 in Washington, D.C. The global environmental justice movement paved way to the development of India’s Green Jurisprudence as well. The Chipko movement, the Appiko movement, the Narmada Bachao Andolan were few of the many movements which attempted to bring environment to the core of India’s conscientiousness. Recent movements include those against Companies such as Vedanta in Tamil Nadu and Odisha, the Save Aarey Forest campaign in Mumbai, the Save Dehing-Patkai Movement, etc. These movements are against Ecological Distribution Conflicts (EDCs). The EDCs are fights around environmental costs and benefits owing to inequalities in power and income, and are rooted in the broader context of class, caste, race and gender asymmetries. These conflicts have evolved over time and are now not limited to just rural areas; rather they are apparent in different contexts and settings.




International Journal of Law Management and Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 3, Page 253 - 259


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