Understanding Environmental Mediation

Environmental mediation is clearly only one tool among many that will be required to resolve disputes about environmental issues or instabilities; however, it does provide an umbrella for a broad range of activities aimed at resolving such problems.India can also be considered to have an enormously rich natural resource base, the highest population density in the world, many social problems that are apparent on its doorstep, and abundant human talent.

The challenges for this country are indeed large. However, the movement towards sustainable development is gaining momentum in India as well as globally and will provide a vehicle for many of these changes if they do occur. Environmental mediation is clearly only one tool among many that will be required to resolve disputes about environmental issues or instabilities; however, it does provide an umbrella for a broad range of activities aimed at resolving such problems.

In the last few years the concept of environmental mediation as a part of sustainable development has been gaining more and more importance.In the research, the author identify a tangible way to assist environmentally endangered bodies of water by giving them legal rights. This may be a new concept for other countries, but India has been highly active in environmental protection and informal mediation. I was skeptical at first as to whether or not this should work, but it seems as though this could really prove to be a valuable tool in the fight against industry pollution. This implies that responsibility for dealing with environmental conflicts should often be shared by the court, public authorities and private parties.

Environmental mediation has become a complementary form of dispute resolution, especially in cases where different public authorities, private parties or even international components are involved. Xiji environmental dispute resolution mechanism is open to applying the ADR approach to the natural resources disputes. This approach is, in fact, one of the most effective ways to resolve disputes between different government agencies and local community at the grass-roots level with the support of central government.Constraints in time, human factors, and implementation are also shortcomings in the implementation of mediation/ADR in EIA process.

The effectiveness of mediation/ADR is dependent upon the parties’ willingness to compromise, move away from ‘in house solutions’, at least in spirit. Although implementation has been slow, it is worth noting that the intention to use the mediation/ADR procedures in the implementation of Rule 11 has just begun. It may take several more years before drafters agree on how to deal with this provision, which will likely remain in the environmental review Rule for quite some time.The paper summarised the inadequacies and deficiencies of the dispute settlement system and suggested suitable methods which can enhance the effectiveness, efficiency and legitimacy of the system. The suggestions include the following: 

  • Assessment and control mechanism for arbitrators and conciliators who practice environmental law.
  • Association of professional bodies to develop a code of conduct for specialists in this field. 
  • Promote and highlight the concepts of such mechanisms from grass root levels
  • Empowering legal professionals by adopting education programme for them. 
  • Increase trial and tribunal system for faster hearing of environmental disputes and promote ADR alongside
  • arrangement of supervisory boards to improve performance of international tribunals. 

For both sides, there can be pitfalls to environmental mediation, but for the most part it has been proven to have the potential to have a positive impact on natural resource issues. Implementation of environmental mediation programs still needs to be sparked, however, as it has not caught on as quickly as other forms of alternative dispute resolution. Environmental attorneys should be encouraged to bring up the option of environmental mediation in their cases that are appropriate for it.

The courts should also consider this option in cases that are likely appropriate for it. The key to success is for agency personnel to admit that they are in a bargaining or negotiating role every time they attempt to license or regulate and to learn to bargain effectively. With more local successes will come increased attention from state legislatures trying to find.

Reference:

http://Lawrence Susskind, Environmental Mediation and the Accountability Problem, 6 VT. L. REV. 1 (1981)

http://Douglas J. Amy, The Politics of Environmental Mediation, 11 ECOLOGY L.Q. 1 (1983)

Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

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In the year 2021, we wrote about 1000 Inspirational Women In India, in the year 2022, we would be featuring 5000 Start Up Stories.


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