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BELLING THE CAT-TOWARDS A MORE ENVIRONMENTALLY BENIGN BUSINESS MODEL

CER & LAW- A FEW REFLECTIONS


Dr.M.K.Ramesh Professor , NLSIU

I. RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS WHOM? AND, HOW?


CSR:WITHIN BUSINESS: Share Holders; Employees; Customers; Suppliers IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN: Govt. (-LSG, State Govt., Central Govt.); Immediate Neighbours and the National Community

CER: Towards Environment & Its Resources- Environmental Equity and Integrity Towards People- Human Right, Basic Need, Health, Hygiene and Wellbeing- across generations- Human Equity

RESPECTING, CONFORMING TO AND INTERNALISING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPERATIVES:OBSERVANCE OF CERTAIN BASIC TENETS:


PREVENTION POLLUTER PAYS PRECAUTION PROTECTION PRESERVATION PROMOTION BEING CONSCIOUS OF AND GUIDED BY CERTAIN HOME-TRUTHS: That Environmental Resources are finite and inter-related That the State has Eminent Domain over all the resources (- public or Private)

That the Govt. is the Public Trustee of all resources and in that capacity should endeavour to ensure equity in the access, use and management of all the resources, as commanded under the Constitution and That, Environmental Resources are not free goods and the Ecosystem Services are required to be paid for. HOW? Self-Regulation- Citizens Charter; Internal Codes of Conduct; Setting up Environment Management Systems- ISO Compliance; Adoption of Equator Principle ;Environmental Stewardship, etc. Conforming and catering to Consumer expectations, preferences, interests Legal Regulations State Regulation: Consent Mechanism; Standards Setting; EIA; Information Disclosure Provisions; EIA Law; Prosecutions and Justice Dispensation

Citizen and Community:- RTA; Complaints Prosecutions; PIL Independent Regulator and Justice Dispenser: Under, National Green Tribunal and the Proposed BRAI Bill Voluntary Groups/NGOs/Civil Society Organisations/Research Institutions: - ESI&EPI; Green Rating and Green Files (-CSE & TERI)

II. PROBLEMS
Self-Regulation:- Dictated by Market Forces, etc. State Regulation: - Manufacturing Defects (- sectoral approach; lack of coordination; jurisdictional problems; problems of efficiency, competence and capacity to enforce; corruption; lack of accountability etc.); gap between international commitments and their compliance; non-inclusive nature of governance and functioning etc. Independent Regulator :- abdication of its primary function (- public trusteeship) by the Govt.; no checks and balances to its functioning; safeguards available under the formal justice delivery system, absent etc. Voluntary Groups:- Not always guided by rhyme, rationality and reason! Citizen /Community:- highly limited scope and space in law locus before higher judiciary, subject to personal predilections, preference and prejudices of judges and securing justice, with in a fixed time-frame not assured

III.WAY OUT (-HOW TO BELL THE CAT?)


Foreground Environmental Imperatives and Principles in Law and Governance INSTITUTIONAL REFORMs: Inclusiveness; Participation; Partnership; Bottom-Up Approach; Legal Reforms: - Environmental Overarch to inform, influence and guide the content and enforcement all development related laws, that have a bearing on accessing, using, managing and deriving benefits from the natural resources; Alignment & Harmony with related-laws and institutions of enforcement; Combine Command and Control and Market Mechanisms; bridge information gap; overcome democratic deficit and facilitate constant updation and strengthening of capacity to govern etc. Mainstream the time-tested and time-honoured traditions and initiatives Showcase models of better compliance and promote environmental stewardship in all, by centrestaging the notion of Commons