Study & Documentation Outputs

Blame it on Rio

Blame it On Rio


The Green Economy approach, with its focus on growth, techno fixes and marketisation of nature has the
full support of a large section of the business sector and governments. The EU environment
Commissioner Potocnik summed up the thinking, “We need to move from protecting the environment
from business to using business to protect the environment”. The Rio+20 campaign website speaks of this
approach as the solution to problems/issues such as jobs, energy, cities, food, water, oceans and
disasters and then calls for an Institutional Framework.






GM technology, in which a gene is transferred from a different species to imbibe a desirable trait, is touted as a long-term solution to the problems of pests, hunger, drought and even climate change. Though the
technology warrants serious consideration, the uproar over Bt brinjal has served to highlight a very important issue of public interest.




Copenhagen and Beyond


The `Accord' that emerged out of the Copenhagen Conference is a slim document - it in only two and half pages long. What is more significant is that it did not come out of the two weeks of multilateral negotiation process of the Conference of Parties to the UNFCC (COP 15 as the Copenhagen Conference is known) but from a backroom parley between the US and the BASIC bloc of countries.
Though the chairman of the COP tried to push it through the conference, the majority of the delegates refused to be cowed down. Decisions at the COP are made by consensus, and objections from several developing countries first to the undemocratic process and second to the content of the Accord, meant that the COP only "took note" of the document, and did not "adopt" it. In UN terms, taking note of a document gives it a low status. It means that the meeting did not approve or pass it, and did not view it either positively or negatively.

This is a sad reflection of the Copenhagen conference and the 17 years of negotiations since the Rio Summit in 1992 that this fraudulent document is being held up as its main achievement - an agreement that was not acceptable to the majority of the UNFCCC's membership.



Critical Concerns - Intro


Critical Concerns Logo Critical Concerns(CC) are review of clippings on Critical Issues & Concerns for NGOs, Activists and others concerned with Justice & Social Change.


Deciphering Gujarat's Development

Deciphering Gujarat’s Development


Gujarat is projected as the darling of industry and a pioneer of efficient governance and infrastructure. The hype around Gujarat's economy has suggested that it is the favourite destination of foreign investors.

Development is the bell that makes corporate groups salivate and the middle class feel that progress is around the corner. Modi knows he is Mr Development, inviting investment, turning Gujarat into the new Detroit. But this raises a new set of ethical questions. The short run has been captured by the language of growth and the corporation.



Durban: Negotiating To Nowhere

Durban: Negotiating To Nowhere


The 17th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 17) met in Durban in December 2011 to negotiate ways to drastically reduce emissions to keep the world safe from a catastrophic collapse. What they achieved at the end of several days of protracted negotiations was to push the world to yet another round of torturous and messy negotiations for a new treaty, protocol or legal instrument.



To GM or not to GM: That is the Big Question?

To GM or not to Gm: That is the Big Question?


On 1 May 2009 a Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal made a startling observation [C.eldoc1/g74a/01may09toi1.html]. The apex court in the matter of PILs seeking stringent regulatory mechanism and advanced testing for the toxicity of the genetically modified organisms (GMOs) said that' " GM seeds could possibly be a means to eradicate hunger and poverty. Poverty is probably more dangerous than the side effects of GM seeds".



Wheeling and Dealing:From Rio to Copenhagen

Wheeling and Dealing:From Rio to Copenhagen


In June, 1992 world leaders gathered at Rio de Janeiro in Brazil for the Earth Summit (The United
Nations Conference on Environment and Development – UNCED), to give themselves - as they
proclaimed - “the last chance to save the world” from an impending environmental crisis. Seventeen
years down the line, and after several more world summits, they are still at it. In December 2009
they will meet again at Copenhagen to negotiate a treaty that aims to save the world from the most
cataclysmic threat to its existence - the threat of climate change.



Single Largest Internal Security Threat or The Biggest Land Grab since Columbus

Single Largest Internal Security Threat
The Biggest Land Grab since Columbus.

"Once upon a time "the temples of modern India reduced millions of tribal people to ecological refugees"; now "the minerals seen as the building blocks of modern India" are putting them "at risk of losing their land through acquisition and further disruption of their societies and economies"

No, that's no dire warning from some rights activist but, significantly, a part of a government report, 'State Agrarian Relations and Unfinished Task of Land Reforms', by a 15-member committee of the Union Ministry for Rural Development ministry in January 2008.



Uttarakhand: Disaster as a Tragedy?

Uttarakhand: Disaster as a Tragedy?   


When Rivers speak, listen!
For who Knows what the voice will be?

There are two ways of looking a the disaster in Uttarakhand in June this year. One is to view it as “growth versus green”. The Uttarakhand tragedy offers a valuable opportunity to reframe the contours of the debate. It is not really about environment versus development; it is about environment versus reckless growth built on non-adherence to rules, regulations, guidelines and experts’ recommendations.

The fundamental question is what should be the development strategy for this region?


Food Security as a Right

Food Security as a Rright

“Food security is a human right which must take precedence over macroeconomic and trade concerns, militarism and the dictates of the marketplace.” And that achieving food security for all demands the “full engagement of all stakeholders”—civil society, governments, international organizations and multilateral institutions.



Remembering Manesar

Remembering Manesar

Notes on Work, Workers and Workers Organisations

The nation is halfway through the elections to the parliament and most parties have ignored the legitimate concerns of labour, except to chorus the need for `labour reforms' or `flexible labour markets'. It is time to remember the on going struggle of the workers at Maruti's `fastest car producing facility in the world at Manesar for their right to organise and strive for human working conditions and just wages'.