Last weekend, Live Mint & Wall Street Journal celebrated the work of three ELAW partners — Norma and Claude Alvares at the Goa Foundation and Ritwick Dutta at the Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE). This dynamic trio and other inspired advocates in India co-hosted our 2012 ELAW Annual Meeting.
Here are some excerpts:
Norma Alvares & Claude Alvares: The power of two
This duo is one of the foremost reasons Goa retains its charm and a good measure of its environmental heritage.
“The serenity in this partnership — quite evident to anyone who visits the couple’s relaxed, hospitable home in the north Goa village of Parra — is the cornerstone of an extraordinary record of ferocious battles and activism that is one of the foremost reasons India’s smallest state still retains considerable charm and a good measure of its environmental heritage.”
Ritwick Dutta: The case for our forests
The 40-year-old lawyer has taken the battle for the environment to the courtroom with more than 350 cases.
“Dutta dismisses the argument that green laws and environmental activism are hurdles to growth. ‘That’s a myth that is being perpetuated. Virtually all projects –over 95% — are cleared; every day over 330 acres of forest land is diverted in India,’ he says. The cases that come for legal challenge are less than 1% of those approved… What drives Dutta is his determination to protect the last remaining natural wild habitats, and what he calls ‘environmental democracy, a process to arm communities with knowledge, and to give them a voice in projects which impact their lives and livelihood.'”
We are inspired by the work of Norma, Claude, and Ritwick, and hope you are too!
All the best,