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Regional Roundtable Consultation- Strengthening Environmental Governance, Lucknow

20th September, 2014, Lucknow

Centre for Science and Environment had published a report titled ‘Turnaround: Reform Agenda for the Environment Regulators of India’, highlighting the capacity gaps prevailing at State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) in 2009. We identified lack of trained humanpower, financial constraints, lengthy legal processes, weak penal provisions and non-transparent functioning as some of the core reasons for poor performance of the SPCBs. In a nutshell, we recommended that SPCBs be “professionalised”.

Five years hence, CSE in collaboration with GIZ revisited the study; but this time to look at the functional capacity gaps. The SPCBs are vested with huge powers in the different acts, laws and legislations of the country. We analysed the laws and grouped the responsibilities of SPCBs in four major areas -- regulatory, advisory, data management and capacity building of stakeholders, and research and development. The functional areas were further analysed with respect to the capacity gaps existing at the individual, organisational and system/policy level to comprehend why it is difficult for SPCBs to fulfill their mandate. We’ve investigated whether the performance of SPCBs will improve if these dots were joined.

CSE-GIZ organized a regional roundtable consultation in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on 20th September 2014 to discuss the findings of our study. The Consultation was held to elicit the responses of SPCBs and other stakeholders on this report. The meeting was presided by Shri J S Yadav, Member Secretary, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board and was also attended by members of civil society and industry professionals who gave their perspectives in the reforms required for strengthening environmental governance. The participants came out with very good suggestions and recommendations which CSE-GIZ intend to take forward for better environmental governance in this country.