Round Table Meet-

 On

Strengthening Climate Justice Initiatives:

Livelihood Challenges at Local Level with a Focus on Farmers

 

On 8th to 9th November, 2014

At NIRMA University, Institute of LAW, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.

 

 

 

 

Climate Justice:

Climate change is the most difficult challenge in new millennium, one to its un-predictability, increasing frequency and intensity of its impact on habitat particularly on livelihood. This gets magnified for rural areas where majority depend on agriculture as direct or indirect source of income:

  • Impacts due to climate change are becoming increasingly evident especially through unpredictable weather, monsoon and productivity constraints. These in turn have a significant impact on farming with changes in the physical chemical and biological profiles of soils, waters and biological parameters affects productivity fails crops or yields from livestock.
  • The most tangible impacts are on the quality of life because of reduction in income and loss of productive assets.
  • Devastating cyclone – Tsunami Torrendo and floods affect entire habitat with destruction houses infrastructure level apart farmers and livestock.
  • Industry and urban township are mostly implicated in the creating the externality through the release of pollutants and other emissions. They have to be made responsible for the challenges caused and sustain support to overcome challenges in the longer term too.
  • But it is important to deliver justice to the affected communities in a timely manner. These should include technical, technological and financial inputs & safety net so that the farmers can tackle climate related challenges immediately and sustain such transitions in the future too or for that matter advisory on Climate Smart Practices.
  • The larger questions pertaining to the aspects stated above have to be addressed through the climate justice perspective. The larger questions accordingly are:
    • What are the legal and administrative framework / provisions that the farmers can invoke so that their quality of life becomes the basis for redressal?
    • What can be the mechanism for ensuring responsibility from the industry and Urban Townships infrastructure projects like Ports Mining  that generates these externalities?
    • What are the challenges to the existing rules and regulations and administrative practices which do not meet quick redressal and how they can be modified e.g.
    • What existing safety net provisions and how they can reach out to individual affected families.
    • What are existing Government Support Schemes which endvour to meet these challenge as now they are most often gets delayed in delivery at grassroots level
    • What are existing Laws/Acts related to quality control etc.
    • What inequities are faced by farmers viza a viz his urban counter part
    • What are measures to ensure that farmers receive in timely manner (a) warning focused on weather forecast for taking precautions   measures  (b) agro-advisory before and after event has taken place to sustain crops – livestock can this be made accountable?

For example

  1. I.     Crop Insurance
Average settlement period (1 to 2 years)

While requirement is immidate for resowing

Car Insurance and Medical Insurance Normally Insurance company makes direct payment-

Cashless provisions

 

  1. II.   Inputs Seeds
No action if no germination takes place i.e. Seeds fails germinate any crop or less germination in relation to quantity of seeds Consuble and non-consuble goods Immidiate exchange /  replacement within stipulated period in case product fails to meet standards depicted 

 

III. Sale of Agriculture produces Gets banned for exports if there is internal (within country) shortage & price rise and farmers looses higher value from its sale if exports

 

Industrial products There is no such ban
IV.Tenancy Law

If farmers retains- hires a workers

 

Under certain conditions the workers can become owner – under Tenancy Act Farmers is under constant threat of local Talati who maintain land records. Urban developer rents out house But his Tenant can not become owner
  1. V.  Sale of Agriculture produce
Compulsory in local Agriculture Produce Market Yard where traders run action system and make cartel. This under APMC Act. Sale of Industrial Produce Industries can sell products wherever they want
VI.International assistance. Carbon Credit Small farmer cannot fill up a form. Leave apart understand its complexities This is devised only to help polluters with difficult format which can be filled only by Consultants  
  1. VII.             Organisation
There are organisations at national and international level which act as ngos and voice farmer’s interest. Some of them are promoted by private group/industries/trade organisation. Some of them mis-represent farmers interest and even take up litigations to prevent adaptation of new technologies  Further some of such organisations do not understand situation at ground level and represent farmers representive in national and international meet. Farmers have actually no voice in what is being represented on their behalf.