Sundarbans Justice Project
The Sundarbans Climate Justice Partnership is working to raise awareness of the effects of, and pursue accountability for, the impacts of climate change on those living in the Indian Sundarbans. Central to the project is the commitment to empowering communities to access climate justice by exploring transnational legal remedies. Pursuit of these transnational remedies is intended to ensure that those most responsible for climate damage are held accountable for the human costs of their actions.
See more on the beginning of the project here.
The Sundarbans is a biodiverse region which straddles India and Bangladesh and is a UNESCO Heritage Site. It is home to one of the largest mangrove forests in the world which itself is home to the Bengal Tiger. Unfortunately, it is also vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. Currently the Sundarbans are subject to rising sea levels, continuous cyclones, and catastrophic flooding (Hazra et al 2002). The impacts of climate change on the Sundarbans have been documented over the course of two decades through the work of oceanographer Professor Tuhin Ghosh. Inspired by Professor Ghosh, Krishnendu Mukherjee, a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers, penned an article on the need for adequate legal remedies for those living in the Sundarbans.
The focus of the project is on the pursuit of transnational soft law remedies for climate change in the Sundarbans. These remedies are designed to hold to account the companies responsible for generating the emissions which have led to global warming. In the long-term, it envisions a sustained research partnership between India and the UK to identify remedies and draw attention to the increasing vulnerability of coastal communities such as the Sundarbans to climate change.
Working together, the team has conducted surveys in the Sundarbans delta and urban Kolkata to discuss with residents the impacts of climate change on them and the area.
The results of the work are available in their report here.