Conservation policies and advocacy
Neha Sinha, S. Subramanya
Conservation science and high personal motivation inform a lot of conservation intent. However, practical conservation is faced with a range of wide-ranging challenges: such as losing sites to dizzying numbers of threats, large damaging projects, and species extirpation which require interventions in policy and advocacy. This workshop aims at familiarising students with the Indian environmental policy landscape and increasing their capacity for building cases for conservation using a range of legal, policy and advocacy strategies. There will be hands-on exercises for students towards building strategies for saving sites. At the end of the workshop, the aim is for students to develop building blocks for practical conservation; and also negotiate complexities in Courts, policy jargon and real life.
This workshop will cover:
- A brief overview of national and international policies related to the environment, particularly Indian policies which are overlooked: critical wildlife habitats, biodiversity heritage sites, national forest policy. Decoding policy jargon; and how to read a policy document. Case study: using Acts / policies for effectively saving biodiverse sites: Ranganathittu.
- Approaching the National Green Tribunal, writing petitions and using RTI. Methods, experiences and anecdotes. This session will include a brief overview of important legal precedents related to wildlife conservation in India.
- Technical advocacy: making representations to government committees and making your voice count. Case study: Rhino de-horning proposal, Assam; Pulicat lagoon sanctuary.
- Working with the press. The importance of the press in making the animals’ voice heard. When to talk (and when to stay anonymous). Case study: Nicobar Megapode.
- Exercises. Students will be given exercises to brainstorm on threats to sites/ species under different conditions. Interactive sessions will aim at helping you strategise, but will also share practical experiences in conservation, such as in protecting Important Bird Areas in India.