Environmental Governance and Policy

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14th June, 2023

State’s Commitment to Environmental Governance in India: Struggle Between Developmental Pressure and Sustainability Challenges

Sarada Prasanna Das

Summary

Over the last 50 years since environmentalism first exploded onto the world political agenda, the environment has been one of the most controversial and rapidly growing areas of public policy. The green movements in North and local grass-root movements in the South countries have elevated the debate for environmental policymaking and governance. Countries in both North and South have enacted several policies and regulations for environmental protection. However, these policies have been criticized due to their superficial protective coverage, absence of concrete measures and poor execution.

Taking these contexts in the background, this chapter has tried to examine the concept and practice of environmental governance in India. It has provided a historical overview of the environmental governance and also highlighted the challenges and opportunities in the different spheres of environmental decision making by taking some examples. Methodologically, the paper would be based on a path-dependent analysis of the environmental governance in India. This chapter argues that balance in the environment-development trade-off is necessary to meet growth objectives and the enforcement measures do not necessarily obstruct the growth. Further, more public engagement as well as creative politics are required for better environmental decision making.

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