Environmental Impact Assessment - Bane Or Boon?
Eclectic Northeast|September 2020
The recently drafted EIA has many matters leading to violation of the sole motive and basic principle of the 1986 Environment Protection Act
Ranjit Barthakur

Forests have been a lifeline to mankind from the very beginning of civilization – providing land, energy, water, fuel, livelihoods and medicines for billions across the globe. Forests are also the only answer towards any climate action that needs to be taken now and in the coming years. They have been a buffer between generating clean air and absorbing human-caused pollution. Thus, forests could do a lot more significantly for a resilient society and mitigating impacts of climate change.

EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) is an important process to evaluate the environmental impact of a proposed project. It is an essential decisionmaking tool for the approval of any initiative taken up by the Government or private sector entity. The EIA is important as a legal framework for putting forth basic responsibilities of citizens and authorities, keeping a check on quality of projects and its impact by assessing risks at all costs whether it includes people, ecology or economy. However, the recent EIA that was drafted has many matters leading to a violation of the sole motive and basic principle of the 1986 Environment Protection Act. The three most debated contentions put forth are:

• Post-facto approval – loss of identity, increase in global warming transitions, increase in invasive species disbalance in atmospheric nitrogen and displacement of indigenous livelihoods

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