On the occasion of World Environment Day, a lot of organizations protested virtually. People from all across the country used Instagram to show solidarity.
In the current situation, when people can’t get together, hold hands to protest against a new policy draft by MoEFCC (Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change) on March 12, 2020, Instagram was flooded by photographs with #HumanChainforEIA (Environment Impact Assessment). The trend was driven by many organizations and committees online such as, Climate Save India, Let India Breathe, Aarey Forest, etc.
These environment lovers made sure that the lockdown didn’t affect their motive as they got together online to protest! Many users expressed their disapproval with this new bill which dilutes the purpose of it.
The Ministry, with this bill, proffered a green signal that all the corporates were waiting for. It’s a go-ahead for all those age-old commercial projects—some have even started working in the course of the lockdown without environment clearances. The laws governing green clearances also have no provision to allow video conferencing.
“I thought this pandemic will teach us a lesson that playing with nature can result in catastrophic consequences to humankind but sadly the MoEF&CC has used this lockdown opportunity to bulldoze major forest and environmental clearances,” said Dr Asad Rahmani, former director of the Bombay Natural History Society.
Many activists and others concerned have also expressed their concerns saying that this is not just anti-environment but also anti-human. It affects the local villagers, farmers, and migrant laborers who have just got back their homes directly. They would be jobless and homeless — especially the due to the current economical condition of the country. Somewhere, it also questions the existence of democracy—as there was no public consultation.
In these bad times, with the biodiversity being targeted, this initiative and some petitions have gives us all a little hope!