Sunita Narain – India

Linked with the publication Down to Earth, with Time to tell the truth … , with the Centre for Science and Environment, with ECONOMYWATCH, and with Bt fails in China.

She’s petite, but she does pack quite a punch. Some say Sunita Narain makes too much of a noise, others call her gutsy. But everyone agrees she can grab their attention. Whether it is waking up the Delhi government to the usefulness of CNG in buses, whether it is checking out what, besides water, is packed in that bottle of mineral water you drink, or, whether it is whipping up a storm over the hard facts behind that soft drink you guzzle. She can move and shake—systems. (Read the whole long article on Financial Express).

Read her article ‘Divert, deny and dismiss’, published in DOWN TO EARTH, August 29, 2006.

She says: ”You have to be driven to bring about change—like a dog with a bone”.

Sunita Narain - India.jpg

Sunita Narain – India

Read her article ‘Non-negotiable standards’, published in DOWN TO EARTH, August 15, 2006.

She says also: “We initially started with mineral water. When we took a sample of the raw water that is used by these companies, we found huge amounts of pesticides in it. When we then took a sample of the so-called treated water, we found pretty much the same pesticide content. Around that time, someone told us to look into soft drinks too. That’s how this controversy began. Any case, now the cola episode is behind us and we are on to other things.”

Stockholm Water Prize for Sunita Narain, special correspondent, The Hindu, Aug. 27, 2006.

Read ‘CSE rejects offer of meeting with firm’, by special correspondent, in The Hindu, Sept. 7, 2006. Sunita Narain says: “Our initial response of acceptance to the meeting was in good faith, believing that the company was genuinely interested in a dialogue on how the process of regulation and standard setting would move forward. But recent events since then make it clear that public policy is being compromised and, therefore, we cannot see the purpose of a meeting between Coca-Cola and us.” In its letter to the CEO of Coca-Cola India, CSE has explained why it believes public policy has been compromised. The report of the committee of the Health and Family Welfare Ministry was “based verbatim on the comments of the scientists that [the] company had flown down from London.” (See all on The Hindu).

She works for the Centre for Science and Environment. She has been with the Centre for Science and Environment from 1982. She is currently the director of the Centre and the director of the Society for Environmental Communications and publisher of the fortnightly magazine, Down To Earth. In her years at the Centre, she has worked hard at analysing and studying the relationship between environment and development and at creating public consciousness about the need for sustainable development … // … Her research interests are wide-ranging – from global democracy, with a special focus on climate change, to the need for local democracy, within which she has worked both on forest-related resource management and water-related issues. She began her career by writing and researching for the State of India’s Environment reports and then went on to study issues related to forest management. For this project she travelled across the country to understand people’s management of natural resources … // … Since then, she has worked on a number of articles on the policy interventions needed for ecoregeneration of India’s rural environment and poverty reduction. In 1999, she co-edited the State of India’s Environment, The Citizens’ Fifth Report and in 2001, Making Water Everybody’s Business: the practice and policy of water harvesting. Narain remains an active participant, both nationally and internationally, in civil society. She serves on the boards of various organisations and on governmental committees and has spoken at many fora across the world on issues of her concern and expertise. (Read all on this page of Center for Science and Environment).

Read ‘ENVIRONMENT-INDIA, Coke, Pepsi Face Public Ire’, Analysis by Praful Bidwai on Inter Press Service IPS, Sept. 7, 2006.

Her research interests are wide-ranging – from global democracy, with a special focus on climate change, to the need for local democracy, within which she has worked both on forest-related resource management and water-related issues. She began her career by writing and researching for the State of India’s Environment reports and then went on to study issues related to forest management. For this project she travelled across the country to understand people’s management of natural resources and in 1989 co-authored the publication Towards Green Villages advocating local participatory democracy as the key to sustainable development. In the early 1990s she got involved with global environmental issues and she continues to work on these as researcher and advocate. In 1991 she co-authored the publication Global Warming in an Unequal World: A case of environmental colonialism and in 1992 Towards a Green World: Should environmental management be built on legal conventions or human rights? Since the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, she has worked on a number of articles and papers on issues related to flexibility mechanisms and the need for equity and entitlements in climate negotiations. In 2000, she co-edited the publication Green Politics: Global Environmental Negotiations, which looks at the emerging ecological globalisation framework and puts forward an agenda for the South on global negotiations. In 1997, pushing the concern for water harvesting, she co-edited the book Dying Wisdom: Rise, fall and potential of India’s water harvesting systems. Since then, she has worked on a number of articles on the policy interventions needed for ecoregeneration of India’s rural environment and poverty reduction.In 1999, she co-edited the State of India’s Environment, The Citizens’ Fifth Report and in 2001, Making Water Everybody’s Business: the practice and policy of water harvesting. Narain remains an active participant, both nationally and internationally, in civil society. She serves on the boards of various organisations and on governmental committees and has spoken at many forums across the world on issues of her concern and expertise. In 2005, she was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India. (Read all the rest on wikipedia).

Read ‘Management gurus on crisis communication’, by Meenakshi Radhakrishnan-Swami, Sept. 5, 2006 on Rediff.com.

See also siwi.org.

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