By Adeena Jamal Ahmad:
Development induced displacement, where people have been uprooted from their own country and displaced, has led to the displacement of nearly two-third of the population(source). The basic argument of “someone has to suffer” is a rampant violation of human right. Clear cut policy of resettlement and rehabilitation of displaced needs to be addressed urgently with the implementation of the United Nation guidelines for internal displacement.
Development-induced displacement can be defined as the forcing of communities and individuals out of their homes for the purpose of economic development. The effects of displacement spill over generations in many ways, such as loss of traditional means of employment, change of environment, disrupted community life and a profound psychological trauma and more.
Industrialisation, globalisation and “cybernation” are giving rise to multi pronged pollution that is dragging human existence to a morbid stage. The legal rights of the forest dwellers like the right to minor forest produce, grazing, community forest are going unrecognised with companies and governments seizing community forests and resources from them and selling it for REDD credits.
Environmental justice delivery system in South Asia is not consistent and do not follow a logical path of serious deliberation. The politicised and bureaucratised system is plagued with budgetary, infrastructural and organisational problems leading to poor planning, maintenance and vigilance. Moreover, the environmental issues that the industrial disasters give rise to, are not addressed adequately leaving the affected regions vulnerable. Further environment—poverty nexus makes the condition for the poor worse and leave them in a deplorable state without the active intervention of justice delivery system.
Judicial education in Asia will require institutionalised forms of environmental law training, together with training on the techniques of environmental litigation and dispute resolution. Also, public interest environment litigation is in the growth phase in the South Asian countries. Even though in its infancy, the legal activism has created a positive sensitivity about the need and role of judicial activism in protecting both the environment and our inherent right to it.