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From protests to where in 2012:CSE's News Bulletin-Jan 3, 2012

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    ================================================== *CSE s Fortnightly News Bulletin (January 3, 2012)* ================================================== The
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      CSE's Fortnightly News Bulletin (January 3, 2012)

      The new year is here, and so are some new and striking additions to this bundle of information that you receive from us every fortnight: our latest Citizen's Report on the State of India's Environment, the 7th in the illustrious series, is out. Titled 'Excreta Matters', it is an exhaustive analysis of how Indian cities are managing their water and sewage (see details http://csestore.cse.org.in/excreta-matters-package.html)

      Also on offer is the latest issue of Down To Earth, an innovative science fiction special. The cover story sources opinions from various authors on the different realms sci-fi has visited.

      Read as well Sunita Narain's edit on the year gone by and the one that follows. 2011, she says, was the year of protests and dissent. Will 2012 see this public angst fuelling new, better pathways of growth?

      Happy reading, and wishing you a Very Happy New Year. We look forward to having you with us and keeping you updated as always in 2012 and beyond.


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      EDITORIAL: From protests to where in 2012?
      by Sunita Narain

      2011’s person of the year, according to Time magazine, is “the protester”. Clearly, this is the image that has captured the world—from dissent against the lack of democracy and repression in large parts of West Asia to anger against economic policies in vast and disparate parts of the world. People, all over, are saying enough is enough. But what will happen to these voices in the coming years? Will the movements of protesters be enough to change the way the world runs its business? Do these movements even know what they want?

      It is important to understand that there are similarities and yet huge differences in protest movements against economic policies in the rich and the getting-rich world. The US-born Occupy Wall Street movement’s slogan is “we are the 99 per cent who will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1 per cent”. The movement, which began in New York and then spread across many states, has been squelched in many places by aggressive city governments. But protesters say they will be back. They will overcome.

      It is difficult to gauge how this will pan out in the coming year. The movement prides itself in being leaderless and people-powered. It has no manifesto and no actionable agenda on how Wall Street must be reformed or how the global economy must be restructured so that it can meet the needs of all. In this way, it is easy to dismiss this movement as just one more protest that will go nowhere. It is not the Arab Spring, but the American Winter that will prevail.

      But there is another possibility. The fact is that this movement—as with many similar movements in the rich-but-economically-troubled world—has struck a chord. Today, the same rich world, which was secure in its consumption and comfort, is finding the going tough. Things it took for granted are no longer easily available—from homes and medical facilities to education and jobs. Ordinary people are being hit by what governments call necessary austerity measures. They are hitting back in every way they can.

      In Atlanta, the occupy-our-home movement wants to take over houses of people who will be thrown out by banks because of default in mortgage payments. It says the current assessment of property values is too high and banks have too much power to throw out people, even if they default on one payment. In Washington, the occupy-the-vote-DC movement is demanding electoral representation for the federal city. The list goes on.

      These movements represent many uncomfortable and inconvenient issues that are refusing to go away. The rumbling that began in mid-2008 with the bankruptcy of the Lehman Brothers has become a roar as more banks and national economies collapse. This is in spite of governments doing all they can to portray that they have arrested the financial collapse. The problem is that the world’s economic managers do not believe there is any real option to restructure economies so that they consume less, pollute less and still grow in wellbeing if not in wealth. The problem is that we are wedded to this one ideology of growth. It is for this reason that in spite of all the perturbations and upheavals, the same people who have put us in this place continue to be in charge of fixing the problems of growth. It is no wonder that the protest movements are also on the rise. And even if they do not have the answers to the problems, they know that the current policies are not working. Their anguish reminds us that real change must happen, tomorrow or the day after.

      The movements of protests in the emerging world are of many kinds and by many kinds of people. On the one hand, we have protests happening on the streets of urban India against corruption. This has certainly captured popular imagination and media attention. But there are many more protests—mutinies against displacement and pollution across the country—we rarely hear about and forget too soon.

      These movements of small groups of people fighting for survival are real and intensifying. In a democracy there will be some hearing. Many of these protests—against land acquisition, water takeover, mining, dams, power projects or pollution—are getting some measure of official response. This is not to say that every protest will be successful. Far from it. But it is also a fact that these movements represent voices that are asking for different ways of development. These movements stand for rights to land, water, forest and mineral resources. And, as I have written before, these movements are collectively teaching us that we will have to build different pathways for economic growth that is inclusive and sustainable.

      Therefore, even if these protest movements do not have a ready blueprint for future economic model, they have enough practice of prompting us to think of different ways. Most importantly, these movements are a response to real survival threats. They are here to stay until we find big answers to the big questions they raise.

      This is then the challenge of 2012 and beyond. The world is on the boil and the steam of anger will not dissipate. The question is whether these protests can be channeled to etch new, better pathways of growth.

      Post your comments on this editorial online at http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/protests-where-2012


      - Cover Story: Science meets fiction
      Sci-fi buffs and writers take our readers on a guided tour of the their world of reality and make-believe. Read at them at http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/science-meets-fiction

      - Special Report: Happily uprooted
      In Melghat tiger reserve, a compensation plan eases relocation pains of forest dwellers

      - Special Report: Safal shows the way
      Mother Dairy's retail model helps farmers, but is under pressure from chains

      - Special Report: Cry of a river
      The Ami river in Uttar Pradesh is struggling for survival

      - Science and Technology: Tap to know how well you are
      Use of health monitoring apps on smartphones catches up in India

      - Frontpage: Reserved for exploitation
      Karnataka refuses to declare its forests in Western Ghats inviolate

      - News: Nirma loses wetland
      Environment ministry revokes clearance to its cement plant

      - News: AIDS agency orders cheap drug
      Stavudine disfigures, affects nervous system

      - Column: Patently absurd by Latha Jishnu
      What Durban did not discuss

      - Rewind 2011
      Taking a look at the less talked about news stories that defined 2011

      Down To Earth is now on Facebook and Twitter. Do follow us, share, comment, and discuss and stay in constant touch with our reporters on www.facebook.com/down2earthindia and twitter@downtoearthindia.

      On India Environment Portal

      - Renewable energy portal
      CSE has launched its new renewable energy (RE) portal aimed at promoting socially just, environmentally sustainable and independent views on RE policies and practices. Do utilise the E-forum for posting questions and exchanging your views at http://cseindia.org/forum/20323

      You are invited to be our partner and contribute to the RE portal. If you come across interesting renewable energy projects, case studies or stories, the RE portal can be a platform to spread the message (through articles, photos, videos, blogs etc.). Do chip in.

      - Sub-portal on South Asia and Sustainable Development
      Provides in-depth information through news, reports, analysis, opinions and events, linked to other key institutions and websites etc. Please do contribute studies, reports, court orders etc, especially from our neighbouring countries in the South Asian region.  http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/indepth/south-asia

      - CSE Environment Photo Library is online. Just follow the link to view our collection at http://www.flickr.com/photos/csepictures

      - India Environment Portal is now on Facebook and Twitter. Do follow us, share, comment, and discuss and stay in constant touch with us on http://www.facebook.com/pages/indiaenvironmentportal/228015872817 and http://www.twitter.com/indiaenvportal

      For more details or any assistance, contact Kiran Pandey at kiran@..., kirandwi@....


      Courses offered by Anil Agarwal Green College
      One Month Training Programme on Environment and Social Impact Assessment
      To provide practical exposure to participants with specific reference to mining, hydro power, highways and industrial and power projects.

      Date: 16th January – 16th February, 2012
      Last Date of Application: 3rd January, 2012

      Course Modules:
      - Environmental and social impacts of development projects
      - Environmental and social laws and regulations
      - All aspects of EIA/SIA, from theory to practices
      - Use of GIS and remote sensing in environment planning and management
      - Reviewing EIA reports, identifying strengths and weaknesses
      - Post-EIA monitoring

      Course contact: Swati Singh Sambyal

      Ph: 91-11-2995 5124 / 6110 (Ext. 281); Fax: 91-11-2995 5879
      Mobile: 9910496283 Email: swati@...

      Training Programme on Domestic Wastewater Treatment and Reuse
      A certificate course to review existing wastewater treatment practices and promote decentralised wastewater treatment systems particularly in un-sewered areas to facilitate recycling and reuse of wastewater.

      Date: January 18-21,2012

      Last date for applying: January 10, 2012

      Course Modules:
      - Water management and status of sewage generation and treatment in India
      - Fundamentals of wastewater treatment
      - Review of the existing treatment practices
      - Decentralized approaches in treating sewage
      - New and emerging on site technologies in domestic wastewater treatment
      - Water efficient sanitation practices
      - Economics of decentralized wastewater treatment systems
      - Planning, designing, implementation and monitoring of localized treatment systems

      NOTE: Some fellowships for participants from South Asia available.

      For more information visit : http://cseindia.org/node/2772

      Course contact: Deblina Dwivedi
      Ph: +91 (011) 29955124/125 , Fax: +91 (011) 29955879
      Mobile: 9899596661 Email: deblina@...
      EIA Training Programme on Mining Projects
      A five-day certificate programme for regulators, NGOs, industries, forest officials, students, academicians and environmental consultants

      Date: February 13-17, 2012

      Last date for applying: February 6, 2012

      The course will cover:
      - Environmental clearance process and mining legislations
      - Review of effectiveness of an EIA report
      - Mining technologies and best practices
      - Data interpretation
      - Mine closure plans and best practices in reclamation
      - Resettlement and rehabilitation plans
      - Post-EIA monitoring
      And many more...

      Course contact: Swati Singh Sambyal

      Ph: 91-11-2995 5124 / 6110 (Ext. 281); Fax: 91-11-2995 5879
      Mobile: 9910496283 Email: swati@...


      13th Media Fellowships: Backs to the wall: tigers, tiger habitats and conservation in India

      Date: February - April, 2011
      Application deadline: January 31, 2012

      For details, visit http://cseindia.org/content/cse%E2%80%99s-thirteenth-media-fellowship-backs-wall-tigers-tiger-habitats-and-conservation-india
      CSE's Green Sense Survey

      Test your Green Sense here. It takes hardly 2 minutes, only 10 objective questions, and you get your Green Report card immediately.
      Churning Still Water - National conference on lake conservation

      CSE is organising a one-day national conference on lake conservation in the last week of January.The objective of the workshop is to set up a network of researchers, NGOs, legal advocates and regulators from India involved in the conservation of urban lakes.

      For further details, please visit http://www.cseindia.org/content/churning-still-water or get in touch with Sushmita at sushmita@...

      National Seminar on ‘Decentralised Wastewater Management Practices: Options and Challenges’
      The aim of the seminar is to act as a forum to discuss and share experiences regarding the existing and upcoming decentralised sewage treatment concepts and technologies. Abstracts are invited from water experts at national level to present case studies on sustainable wastewater management practices – onsite & offsite.

      Date: February 2012

      For more details, kindly visit http://www.cseindia.org/node/3276 or contact Deblina at deblina@...

      Jaipur Citizen's Survey: Transport and air quality challenges

      CSE's Clean Air Campaign team is organising a citizens’ survey in Jaipur to understand the challenges of air pollution and transportation that the city faces, and identify the way forward.

      Would you like to volunteer your participation in the survey? Just fill out a form at http://cseindia.org/node/1190 and send it to us.

      For details, please get in touch with Vivek at vivek@...

      RainWater Harvesting Technical Support

      Every Friday between 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm, CSE provides detailed technical guidance to interested individuals, RWAs and institutions to implement rainwater harvesting. The technical assistance will be provided at CSE’s office at 41, Tughlakabad Institutional Area.

      For details, see http://www.cseindia.org/content/catch-rainwater-solve-your-water-problems

      Technical advice: Decentralised wastewater treatment systems

      Every second and fourth Friday, meet our experts at CSE, 41, Tughlaqabad Institutional Area for guidance on planning and designing these systems.

      For details, contact Deblina at deblina@... or call her on 9899596661.

      New in CSE store

      Excreta Matters, CSE's 7th State of the India's Environment report on water and wastewater, based on a comprehensive survey of 71 Indian cities. This SoE is in two volumes, and comes with exhaustive data on and analysis of how urban India is managing its water resources and its sewage disposal.

      To order, please visit http://csestore.cse.org.in/excreta-matters-package.html

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      CSE is an independent, public interest organization that was established in 1982 by Anil Agarwal, a pioneer of India's environmental movement. CSE's mandate is to research, communicate and promote sustainable development with equity, participation and democracy.

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