Caring for the coast: building regulatory compliance through community action

Across the globe, the “development experience” of communities varies depending on their socioeconomic and political backgrounds. As a result of advancing developmental projects, a few communities are invariably made to pay a disproportionate share of the environmental costs in the form of exposure to toxic waste, loss of livelihood, and restrictions on mobility or access to common resources. This injustice, more than often not, is an outcome of active noncompliance and violation of environmental regulations by the projects . The Centre for Policy Research–Namati Environmental Justice Program is an effort towards closing this environment regulation enforcement gap. This publication is a compendium of a few cases undertaken by the CPR–Namati Program’s ELCs working across the coastal belt in Gujarat and North Karnataka. These case stories capture the process of our work and illustrate the systematic, evidence-based legal approach followed by the ELCs along with the affected coastal community members to resolve conflicts arising from noncompliance or improper implementation of environmental regulations.