Author Archives: user

Subsidized LPG Scheme and the Shift to Cleaner Household Energy Use: Evidence from a Tribal Community of Eastern India

Rajesh Kalli, Pradyot Ranjan Jena, Shunsuke Managi. February 2022. Sustainability 14(4):2450. DOI:10.3390/su14042450

Abstract

Traditional fuels have both environmental and health impacts. The transition from traditional to clean cooking fuel requires significant public policy actions. The Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) is one of the primary policies launched in India to eradicate energy poverty among households. Past studies have focused on the drivers that motivate rural households to adopt clean energy and identified the bottlenecks for adoption of clean energy in developing countries. PMUY’s success in terms of scale and pace is critical in the national drive to provide access to clean energy fuel to each citizen. The present study focuses on two objectives. First, we investigate the intensity of adoption and refill of LPG under the PMUY scheme. Second, we use household and other demographic characteristics to examine the factors that influence households’ decision on using LPG as a cooking fuel. Empirical results show that rapid growth has been witnessed in the provision of subsidized LPG connections. However, the annual average refill status stands at two LPG cylinders per beneficiary household indicating that the majority of the beneficiaries have failed to refill their LPG cylinders. This imbalance between rapid enrollment of LPG and limited refill among beneficiary households indicate the continued usage of traditional sources of energy for cooking. From the primary survey conducted in the rural tribal communities of Odisha, we observe that household income and education played a significant role in adoption of LPG and continued usage of LPG gas. Additionally, the logit and ordered probit models identify that membership in self-help groups, accessibility and awareness of LPG are the major adoption drivers. In conclusion, policy makers need to address the challenge of refill status among PMUY consumers. Further, educating households on health benefits through SHG and creating accessibility at village level can actively increase the usage of LPG

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Natural Treatment Systems and Importance of Social Cost Benefit Analysis in Developing Countries: A Critical Review

Indranil De, Rooba Hasan, Mubashshir Iqbal. Sustainability 14(7):3913. DOI:10.3390/su14073913

Abstract

This review article attempts to analyse the social issues that impact the performance of natural treatment systems (NTSs). An NTS is a decentralised wastewater treatment system found to be appropriate in developing countries due to its affordability and lower technicity. However, if socio-economic and institutional issues of community are ignored then NTSs may turn out to be unsuitable for developing countries. The article also takes a critical view on the extant literature which ignores the social cost of NTSs. The social cost of NTSs may be high as a decentralised system requires the engagement of various governmental agencies, research institutes and the community. The cost of engagement may make NTSs a socio-economically unattractive proposition. The article discusses the variables to be considered for the social cost-benefit analysis. It also discusses the implications of social cost-benefit analysis for appreciating the incentives and net benefits for collective actions at the community level. Social cost-benefit analysis can help overcome the initial difficulty of high financial cost and usher sustainability.

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How large is the farm income loss due to climate change? Evidence from India

Rajesh Kalli, Pradyot Ranjan Jena China Agricultural Economic Revie ISSN: 1756-137X

Article publication date: 27 January 2022, Issue publication date: 22 March 2022

Abstract

Purpose

Climate change is the most concerned issue in the global economy; increase in climate variability and uncertain climate events have caused distress in agriculture sector. The study estimates economic effect of climate change on agriculture income for the Indian state of Karnataka. The study reports the difference of result from past studies, where estimates from present study indicate higher negative impact of rise in temperature.

Design/methodology/approach

Fixed effect panel regression method was used to examine change in agriculture revenue to climate response. Climate variables were classified based on the crop calendar to capture the damage caused by climate change. The authors use fine scale climate data set constructed at regional context for 20 districts and time period of 21 years (1992–2012).

Findings

The result showed that with 1-degree rise in average maximum temperature, the revenue declined by 17–21%. The prediction behavior of the different models was evaluated using out-of-sample forecast approach by training and testing historical data set.

Originality/value

The study adopts recent data sets on agriculture and the updated climate variables to estimate the climate change impact on agriculture. The study yields the better results when compared to previous traditional models applied in literature in Indian context. The study further evaluates the prediction behavior and robustness of the estimated models using out-of-sample forecast method.

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Willingness to pay (WTP) for arsenic-safe drinking water: A case study to understand societal embedding of ECAR technology in rural West Bengal, India

Shyamasree Dasgupta, Joyashree Roy, Monalisa Ghosh, Jayanta Talukder, Willingness to pay (WTP) for arsenic-safe drinking water: A case study to understand societal embedding of ECAR technology in rural West Bengal, India, Development Engineering, Volume 7, 2022, 100096, ISSN 2352-7285

Abstract

This paper analyzes users’ willingness to pay (WTP) for safe drinking water in a resource-poor region in West Bengal, India, with dangerously high groundwater arsenic concentrations. The study was carried out during the installation of an Electro Chemical Arsenic Remediation (ECAR) water treatment plant at the site. Using a contingent valuation method, the study elicits WTP, based on a stratified random sample of 1003 households. Arsenic is invisible and odorless, and related health risks have a prolonged latency period. As a result, awareness about arsenic and the perceived benefits of any arsenic remediation technology are low. In the study area, only 21% of respondents were aware of the danger of high arsenic concentrations in groundwater, however, a large number of the respondents reported irregularity of drinking water supply and a lack of quality assurance. About 64% of the respondents were willing to pay for ECAR-treated safe drinking water. Participants opting for home delivery were willing to pay more than those willing to collect water from the plant. The average WTP was high enough to recover the operational cost of the plant. Households with higher income and educational attainment, more awareness about arsenic contamination, and living in proximity to the plant were willing to pay more than the others. Regular interaction with the community, maintaining transparency, and interacting closely with the local administration created a sense of local ownership for the technology that was found to be crucial for the societal embedding of the technology.

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Role of institutional factors in climate‐smart technology adoption in agriculture: Evidence from an Eastern Indian state

Purna Chandra Tanti, Pradyot Ranjan Jena, Jeetendra Prakash Aryal, Dil Bahadur Rahut,
Role of institutional factors in climate‐smart technology adoption in agriculture: Evidence from an Eastern Indian state, Environmental Challenges, Volume 7, 2022, 100498, ISSN 2667-0100

Abstract

Climate change threatens rural livelihoods by adversely affecting agricultural production through reduced crop yields, harvest loss, and increased cost of production. Climate-smart agriculture (CSA) practices have emerged as a possible solution to ensure food security by adapting to climate risks on the one hand, and mitigating GHG emissions from agriculture, on the other hand. However, resource-poor farmers often face both financial and knowledge constraints to adopt CSA practices, and thus, institutional support plays a crucial role in overcoming those barriers. Therefore, this study uses primary data collected from 248 farm households in the Eastern Indian state of Odisha to examine the role of institutional factors in CSA adoption. Almost 95% of the sample farmers experienced the effects of climate change, and many have adopted CSA practices such as rescheduling planting (78%), crop rotation (56%), crop diversification (35%), micro-irrigation (17%), and drought-resistant seeds (16%). Probit models are estimated to explore the key determinants of the adoption of these five major practices. Results show that factors such as government extension service, farmer field school participation, subsidies, access to energy, and perception of climate shocks are the major determinants. Further, the coefficient of interaction between landholding and credit availability on the decision to adopt CSA is positive. Thus, agricultural policies to improve institutional support, such as subsidies on farm machinery, extension support, credit facility, and field demonstration of technologies, are crucial to upscale CSA adoption in the region.

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Call for INSEE Fellow nominations

Nominations are now invited for conferring the title of INSEE Fellow on Life Members of INSEE who have made outstanding contributions to research, teaching, training, policy and practice of Ecological Economics and related disciplines (natural and social sciences) in its broadest sense. The title of INSEE Fellow is conferred every two years to not more than three Life Members of INSEE (aged 55 years and above and who have been INSEE Life Members for at least ten years). The award consists of a citation and conferring the title of Indian Society for Ecological Economics Fellow on the selected Life Members. Nominations can be made by any Life Member of INSEE in the prescribed nomination form. Self-nominations and nomination of deceased members at the time of submitting the nomination form are not eligible. The Fellows will be selected by an INSEE Fellows Selection Committee consisting of three INSEE Life Members.

The last date for receipt of nominations is 1700 hours on Saturday April 23, 2022.

Nominations received after the last date and incomplete nomination forms will not be considered for selection. 

Nominations should only be sent by email to insee.fellows@gmail.com 

Download INSEE Fellow selection rules [PDF]

Download INSEE Fellow Nomination Form [PDF]

INSEE Elections 2022

Important Dates for the election of President and Executive Committee of INSEE, 2022-2024

Submission of Nomination Begins– March 29, 2022, 10.00 hrs (IST)

Deadline for submission of Nominations: April 05, 2022, 17.30 hrs (IST)

Deadline for Publication of List of Eligible Nominations: April 07, 2022, 17.30 hrs (IST)

Deadline for Withdrawal of Nominations: April 09, 2022, 17.30 hrs (IST)

Final List of Valid Nominations: April 11, 2022, 17.30 hrs (IST)

Electronic Voting Opens: April 14, 2022, 10.00 hrs (IST)

Electronic Voting ends: April 24, 2022 17.30 hrs (IST)

Declaration of Results: April 26, 2022, 17.30 hrs (IST)

(Electronic voting instructions, web link and login-passwords details to be sent by 13th April, 2022)

Download election rules and nomination guidelines [PDF]

Revisiting the promise of carbon labelling

Khan M. R. Taufique, Kristian S. Nielsen, Thomas Dietz, Rachael Shwom, Paul C. Stern & Michael P. Vandenbergh. Revisiting the promise of carbon labellingNat. Clim. Chang. (2022).

Abstract

Carbon labelling systems can inform individual and organizational choices, which potentially reduce the carbon footprints of goods and services. We review the ways labelling is conceptualized and operationalized, and the available evidence on effectiveness. The literature focuses mainly on how labelling affects retail consumer behaviour, but much less on how labelling affects the behaviour of the organizations that produce, transport and sell products despite preliminary research suggesting that the effects on corporate behaviour may be substantial even without strong consumer responses. We consider key challenges for carbon labelling systems related to standard setting, data collection and use, and label design. We summarize the available knowledge, identify key research questions and identify steps towards achieving the promise of carbon labelling.

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Extreme rainfall deficits were not the cause of recurring colonial era famines of southern Indian semi-arid regions

Ray, R., Bhattacharya, A., Arora, G., Bajaj, K., Horton, K., Chen, S., Bazaz, A. 2021. Extreme rainfall deficits were not the cause of recurring colonial era famines of southern Indian semi-arid regionsNature Scientific Reports, 11,17568. [Popular Press: Scroll.InMongabayTimes Of IndiaDeccan Herald]

Abstract

Using information contained in the eighteenth to twentieth century British administrative documents, preserved in the National Archives of India (NAI), we present a 218-year (1729–1947 AD) record of socioeconomic disruptions and human impacts (famines) associated with ‘rain failures’ that affected the semi-arid regions (SARs) of southern India. By mapping the southern Indian famine record onto long-term spatiotemporal measures of regional rainfall variability, we demonstrate that the SARs of southern India repeatedly experienced famines when annual rainfall reduced by ~ one standard deviation (1 SD), or more, from long-term averages. In other words, ‘rain failures’ listed in the colonial documents as causes of extreme socioeconomic disruptions, food shortages and human distress (famines) in the southern Indian SARs were fluctuations in precipitation well within the normal range of regional rainfall variability and not extreme rainfall deficits (≥ 3 SD). Our study demonstrates that extreme climate events were not necessary conditions for extreme socioeconomic disruptions and human impacts rendered by the colonial era famines in peninsular India. Based on our findings, we suggest that climate change risk assessement should consider the potential impacts of more frequent low-level anomalies (e.g. 1 SD) in drought prone semi-arid regions.

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Over-perception about land use changes: Assessing empirical evidence and linkage with decisions and motivated beliefs

Feng, H., Wang, T., Hennessy, D.A., Arora, G. 2021. Over-perception about land use changes: assessing empirical evidence and linkage with decisions and biased beliefs. Land Economics.

Abstract

Perception biases documented in the literature often pertain to subject matters that are difficult to observe or measure such as one’s ability. We study perception biases with respect to a concrete indicator that can be objectively measured: land use changes in a local area. We examine four hypotheses about land use change perceptions and test them with farm survey data complemented by satellite data. We discover systematic biases in farmers’ perceptions about local land use changes that are consistent with motivated beliefs, and also evidence that links perceptions with intended future land conversions. Alternative explanations and policy implications are discussed.

Aye for the tiger: hegemony, authority, and volition in India’s regime of dispossession for conservation

Kabra Asmita & Das Budhaditya, (2022) Aye for the tiger: hegemony, authority, and volition in India’s regime of dispossession for conservation, Oxford Development Studies

ABSTRACT

Dispossession of rural populations to create inviolate Protected Areas for biodiversity conservation is a shared concern in BRICS countries. This article explores the distinctive ideology, institutions, and actors that constitute the regime of dispossession for conservation (DfC) in India’s tiger reserves. It investigates the reasons for the regime’s continued stability and resilience in the neoliberal era, when land-taking for industrial development has become highly contentious. India’s conservationist state has effectively denied resource rights to the inhabitants of Tiger Reserves and displaced them through its Voluntary Relocation Scheme, which is posited as a win-win solution for tigers and tribals. The historically unequal relationship between the state and forest dwellers necessitates closely examining hegemonic processes through which volition for relocation is assembled. This article argues that the Dispossession for Conservation regime assembles volition through a complex interplay of its hegemony and authority with the unfulfilled development aspirations of India’s forest dwellers.

Please contact Professor Asmita Kabra or Dr. Budhaditya Das on ResearchGate for a PDF copy.

Combining agriculture, social and climate indicators to classify vulnerable regions in the Indian semi-arid region

Rajesh Kalli, Pradyot Ranjan Jena; Combining agriculture, social and climate indicators to classify vulnerable regions in the Indian semi-arid regionJournal of Water and Climate Change 2021; jwc2021197

Abstract

Climate change vulnerability is highly counter-productive for agriculture among the arid and semi-arid regions. The study constructs the agriculture vulnerability index for Karnataka, a south Indian state. The state has faced frequent climate-related shocks in the last decade. The district-wise vulnerability index is estimated using longitudinal data considering exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity as sub-indices. The results show that the districts in the north interior region of Karnataka are highly vulnerable to the climate change followed by the districts in the south interior and coastal regions. There is an urgent need to prioritize the most vulnerable districts while formulating the development policies to minimize the risk of climate change on agriculture. Specific technical knowledge and support need to be made available to the farmers for informative climate resilience action.

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Do Certification Schemes Enhance Coffee Yields and Household Income? Lessons Learned Across Continents

Jena Pradyot Ranjan, Grote Ulrike, Do Certification Schemes Enhance Coffee Yields and Household Income? Lessons Learned Across Continents, Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, Vol. 5, 2022

While the market for sustainably certified products grows, the debate on whether smallholder farmers benefit from this certification movement is far from over. We present empirical findings across three continents. Identical household surveys were conducted among 738 smallholder coffee farmers organized in primary cooperatives in Ethiopia, India and Nicaragua. The comparative analysis which is based on the propensity score matching approach shows that the impacts of Fairtrade certification on coffee yields and income vary across countries. In Ethiopia, the coffee farmers from Fairtrade certified cooperatives fare worse than their non-certified counterparts both in coffee yield and income. In the Indian case study, the Fairtrade cooperative members have yield and price advantages over the non-certified farmers. This has in turn led to higher net revenue from coffee for certified farmers. In Nicaragua, coffee farmers from Fairtrade and double (Fairtrade-Organic) certified cooperatives also benefit in terms of net revenue but there is no statistically significant effect on yield and household income. A comparison of the Fairtrade minimum floor price and the weight-equivalent Fairtrade cooperative price in the three countries shows that Nicaraguan Fairtrade certified farmers have obtained a higher average price than the Fairtrade mandated minimum price, whereas in Ethiopia the certified farmers received a much lower price. In India, the certified average price was closer to the minimum floor price. We conclude that coffee cooperatives and the motivation and capability of their staff play a central role in training their member farmers about each aspect of coffee growing and certification.

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Low-Cost Strategies to Improve Municipal Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries: Experimental Evidence from Nepal

Mani Nepal, Apsara Karki Nepal, Madan S. Khadayat, Rajesh K. Rai, Priya Shyamsundar & E. Somanathan, Low-Cost Strategies to Improve Municipal Solid Waste Management in Developing Countries: Experimental Evidence from NepalEnviron Resource Econ (2022)

Abstract

Many cities in developing countries lack adequate drainage and waste management infrastructure. Consequently, city residents face economic and health impacts from flooding and waterlogging, which are aggravated by solid waste infiltrating and blocking drains. City governments have recourse to two strategies to address these problems: a) ‘hard’ infrastructure-related interventions through investment in the expansion of drainage and waste transportation networks; and/or, b) ‘soft’, low-cost behavioural interventions that encourage city residents to change waste disposal practices. This research examines whether behavioural interventions, such as information and awareness raising alongside provision of inexpensive street waste bins, can improve waste management in the city. We undertook a cluster randomized controlled trial study in Bharatpur, Nepal, where one group of households was treated with a soft, low-cost intervention (information and street waste bins) while the control group of households did not receive the intervention. We econometrically compared baseline indicators – perceived neighbourhood cleanliness, household waste disposal methods, and at-source waste segregation – from a pre-intervention survey with data from two rounds of post-intervention surveys. Results from analysing household panel data indicate that the intervention increased neighbourhood cleanliness and motivated the treated households to dispose their waste properly through waste collectors. The intervention, however, did not increase household waste segregation at source, which is possibly because of municipal waste collectors mixing segregated and non-segregated waste during collection. At-source segregation, a pre-requisite for efficiently managing municipal solid waste, may improve if municipalities arrange to collect and manage degradable and non-degradable waste separately.

Coastal dilemma: Climate change, public assistance and population displacement

Susmita Dasgupta, David Wheeler, Sunando Bandyopadhyay, Santadas Ghosh, Utpal Roy, Coastal dilemma: Climate change, public assistance and population displacement, World Development, Volume 150, 2022, 105707, ISSN 0305-750X

Abstract

Linkages among climate change–related environmental stress, public assistance, and the spatial pattern of population change are assessed for neighboring coastal areas of India and Bangladesh. Environmental stress is measured using historical cyclone impacts, salinization, and land loss from erosion. Household migration decisions are based on current and expected future income streams in different locations. Rising environmental damage raises costs, but it may also induce increased public assistance that moderates or neutralizes those costs, diminishing migration incentives, even in areas hard-hit by climate change.

Econometric estimates for the Sundarbans region shared by India and Bangladesh suggest that endogenous public assistance strongly dampens the migration response to rising environmental stress in both countries, though the assistance response and migration dampening are lower in Bangladesh. A broader analysis for the coastal region from India’s Odisha State to eastern Bangladesh finds that present and past cyclone impacts are highly significant for explaining coastal population changes, although responses are lower in India because of lower environmental stress and greater public-assistance intensity. A counterfactual simulation suggests that, as a result of cyclones since 1970, the affected regions are 8–10% less populous in Bangladesh but only 2% less populous in India.

The paper’s findings motivate a discussion of the implications for alternative policy regimes as land erosion increases, and sea-level rise and salinization continue with climate change. After comparing the efficiency and equity of regimes that provide universal damage compensation or leave coastal households to fend for themselves, the paper suggests an alternative approach that focuses public resources on compensation for households that choose to relocate as the coastal threat mounts.

There is no economic case for new coal plants in India

Shoibal Chakravarty, E. Somanathan, There is no economic case for new coal plants in India, World Development Perspectives, Volume 24, 2021, 100373, ISSN 2452-2929

Abstract

India is the world’s third-largest emitter of CO2 and coal-fired power plants contribute approximately half of India’s CO2 emissions. Indian government policies assume a significant expansion of coal-fired power in India over the next two decades. This paper compares the costs of coal and renewable power, including quantifiable domestic external costs, in 2018 as well as projections for 2025. Our estimate for the environmental cost of coal is 2.4 US ¢/KWh (1.64 ₹/KWh) in the financial year 2018–19. The average cost of electricity from nearly all coal plants in India is greater than the cost of new solar and wind generators in 2018–19 when environmental costs are taken into account. More than 50% of the coal capacity has a social operating cost that is higher than the average social cost of power from renewables. By 2025, the cost of electricity from renewables with storage will be comparable to the domestic social costs of the cheapest new coal plants. We emphasize that this analysis holds without any accounting of climate change impacts in the form of a cost of carbon. There is, therefore, no economic case for new coal plants in India.

Satellite evidence on the trade-offs of the food-water–air quality nexus over the breadbasket of India

Mrinal Singha, Jinwei Dong, Quansheng Ge, Graciela Metternicht, Sangeeta Sarmah, Geli Zhang, Russell Doughty, Sharachchandra Lele, Chandrashekhar Biradar, Sha Zhou, Xiangming Xiao, Satellite evidence on the trade-offs of the food-water–air quality nexus over the breadbasket of India, Global Environmental Change, Volume 71, 2021,102394, ISSN 0959-3780

Abstract

Access to food, water, and good air quality is indispensable for human life, as reflected in various United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); however, pursuing food security may pose threats to water security and/or air quality. An important case is northwest India including the Punjab and Haryana states, which is the ‘breadbasket’ of India with a significantly increasing paddy rice area. The rapid expansion of rice farming has stressed groundwater resources and impacted air quality. Satellite observations have the potential to provide data for better decisions on food security, water storage, and air pollution, which would be vital for regional sustainable development. Based on observations from multiple satellites from 2001 to 2018, we found that paddy rice expansion (+22%) increased groundwater depletion (−1.50 cm/yr), residue burning (+500%), and air pollution (+29%, PM2.5) in the breadbasket of India. Moreover, satellite observations showed changes in these interactions after the enactment of a groundwater protection policy in 2009, which decelerated groundwater depletion (−1.20 cm/yr) due to delayed rice planting and harvest dates (∼15d); the latter elevated air pollution in November (+29%, PM2.5). Our finding stresses the need to reconcile the trade-offs and consider the interactions among SDGs 2 (food), 3 (good health), 6 (clean water), and 11 (air quality in cities), in policy-making for sustainable development. An efficient crop residue ultilization and management system, bottom-up groundwater use regulations, and cropping system shift towards less water-consuming crops are critically required to resolve the trade-offs of the food-water–air quality nexus in the northern India. Our study also showcases remote sensing approaches and methods to support and aid the achievement of the SDGs and track their progreses to support regional sustainable development.

The Need for Co-evolution of Groundwater Law and Community Practices for Groundwater Justice and Sustainability: Insights from Maharashtra, India

Cuadrado-Quesada, G. and Joy, K.J. 2021. The need for co-evolution of groundwater law and community practices for groundwater justice and sustainability: Insights from Maharashtra, India. Water Alternatives 14(3): 717-733

Abstract

With groundwater becoming the mainstay for meeting water requirements for life and livelihoods, countries around the world are experimenting with law reforms in order to establish some guiding rules for its use, distribution and protection. A fundamental question about law reforms is the degree to which they incorporate justice and sustainability. This article, in responding to this question, focuses on Maharashtra, India. We base our response on a content analysis of the 2009 Maharashtra Groundwater (Development and Management) Act; the 2018 Maharashtra Groundwater (Development and Management Draft Groundwater Rules; 1 and a village case study. Primary data was collected in Pune, Mumbai, and Hivre Bazar village; this included an empirical analysis of 47 in-depth interviews, participation in a number of village meetings and open-ended discussions, and direct observations of groundwater practices. Our analysis led to three conclusions. First, the 2009 Groundwater Act and the 2018 Draft Groundwater Rules are primarily driven by concern for sustainability of the resource, especially in areas where the water table is steadily declining, but when it comes to groundwater justice, no proactive measures are suggested in either the 2009 Groundwater Act or the 2018 Draft Groundwater Rules. Second, there are certain core factors identified at the local level that we believe to be fundamental in facilitating sustainability and – to a lesser extent – groundwater justice. These factors include a community’s ability to: (1) acknowledge that there is a crisis and display a willingness to engage with it; (2) create a rule-bound community groundwater resource; (3) demonstrate leadership and the feeling of community; and (4) utilise awareness, information and knowledge. Our third conclusion is that there is a need for the co-evolution of community practices and state-led groundwater law; such a co-evolution has the potential to put in place arrangements around groundwater that can support both groundwater justice and sustainability.

Environmental justice and the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence from New York State

Ruohao Zhang, Huan Li, Neha Khanna, Environmental justice and the COVID-19 pandemic: Evidence from New York State, Journal of Environmental Economics and Management Volume 110, October 2021, 102554

Abstract

The decline in human mobility and socioeconomic activities during the COVID-19 pandemic has been accompanied by reports of significant improvements in air quality. We evaluate whether there was a uniform improvement in air quality across neighborhoods, with a special attention on differences by race. We focus on the COVID-19 lockdown in New York State, an early epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. Using a triple difference-in-differences model, we find that, despite the seasonal decline in particulate matter pollution starting late March (concurrent with the lockdown period), the lockdown narrowed the disparity in air quality between census tracts with high and low shares of non-white population in rural New York, whereas the racial gap in air quality remained unchanged in urban New York.

Climate Change and Community Resilience: Insights from South Asia

ISBN 978-981-16-0680-9

Published October 2021 by Springer Singapore

Edited by A.K. Enamul Haque, Pranab Mukhopadhyay, Mani Nepal, M.R. Shammin

About the book

This book contains 29 chapters documenting the many ways community-based climate change adaptation and resilience programmes are being implemented in South Asian countries. The narrative style of writing makes the book accessible to diverse audiences from academics and researchers to practitioners in various governmental, non-governmental, and international agencies. At a time when climate change threatens all of humanity, the stories of innovation, creativity, grassroots engagement, and locally applicable solutions highlighted in this book provide insights into the hopeful ways of approaching climate solutions and community resilience. South Asian countries have been dealing with the impact of climate change for decades and thus offer valuable learning opportunities for developing countries within and beyond the region as well as many western countries that are confronting the wrath of climate-induced natural disasters more recently.

The volume is published by Springer Nature (Singapore) and is dedicated to the late Professor Karl-Göran Mäler, one of the founding members of SANDEE. The book is open access, and the readers will have free and unlimited access to this book after the launch.

Split Waters: The Idea of Water Conflicts

ISBN 9780367466428
Published July 6, 2021 by Routledge India
276 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
Edited By Luisa Cortesi, K. J. Joy
Copyright Year 2021

Book Description

Limited, finite, contaminated, unavailable or expensive, water divides people all around the globe. We all cannot do without water for long, but can for long enough to fight for it. 

This commonsensical narration of water conflicts, however, follows a pattern of scarcity and necessity that is remarkably unvaried despite different social and geographical contexts.

Through in-depth case studies from around the globe, this volume investigates this similarity of narration—confronting the power of a single story by taking it seriously instead of dismissing it. In so doing, it invites the reader to rethink water conflicts and how they are commonly understood and managed. 
 
This book:

  • Posits the existence of the idea of water conflict, and asks what it is and what it produces, thus how it is used to pursue particular interests and to legitimise specific historical, technological and environmental relations;
  • Examines the meaning and power of ideas as compared to other categories of knowledge, advancing theoretical frameworks related to environmental knowledge, discursive power, social constructivism;
  • Presents an alternative agenda to deepen the conversation around water conflicts among scholars and activists.

Of interest to scholars and activists alike, this volume is addressed to those involved with environmental conflicts, environmental knowledge and justice, disasters and climate change from the disciplinary angles of environmental anthropology and sociology, political ecology and economy, science and technology studies, human geography and environmental sciences, development and cooperation, public policy and peace studies.

Essays by Gina Bloodworth, Ben Bowles, Patrick BresnihanLuisa CortesiMattia Grandi, K. J. Joy, Midori KawabeAdrianne Kroepsch, Vera LazzarettiLeslie MabonRenata Moreno Quintero, Madhu Ramnath, Jayaprakash Rao Polsani, Dik Roth, Theresa Selfa,Veronica Strang, Mieke van Hemert, Jeroen WarnerMadelinde Winnubst

A breath of fresh air: Raising awareness for clean fuel adoption

Afridi, F., Debnath, S. and Somanathan, E., 2021. A breath of fresh air: Raising awareness for clean fuel adoptionJournal of Development Economics, p.102674.

Abstract

Air pollution is amongst the gravest public health concerns worldwide, and indoor sources are the largest contributors in many developing countries. In our study in central India, we randomly assigned villages to a campaign by rural public health workers to either raise awareness about the adverse health effects of smoke from cooking with solid fuels and measures to mitigate them, or combined health awareness with information on the universal cash-back LPG (liquid petroleum gas) subsidy program or a control group in which neither information is provided. Using LPG sales records, we find an insignificant effect of the campaign on the purchase of LPG refills when measured at annual frequency. However, there was an almost 13% rise in refill consumption per month in the combined treatment, accounting for seasonality, monthly price variation and unobserved sub-district heterogeneity. Self-reported electric stove use rose by almost 50%, over the baseline mean of 6%, and the probability that the household had an outlet for smoke or separate kitchen increased by about 5 percentage points due to the treatment. There was no decline in use of solid fuels at the extensive margin, but the intensity of usage fell on some measures. The findings highlight the salience of financial constraints and the importance of the design of public subsidy schemes in inducing regular usage of clean fuels.

Impact of COVID-19 on the Indian seaport transportation and maritime supply chain

Prathvi Thumbe Narasimha, Pradyot Ranjan Jena, Ritanjali Majhi, Impact of COVID-19 on the Indian seaport transportation and maritime supply chain, Transport Policy, Volume 110, 2021, Pages 191-203, ISSN 0967-070X

Abstract: Impacts of COVID-19 in maritime transportation and its related policy measures have been investigated by more and more organizations and researchers across the world. This paper aims to examine the impacts of COVID-19 on seaport transportation and the maritime supply chain field and its related issues in India. Secondary data are used to analyze the performance indicators of major seaports in India before and during the COVID-19 crisis. We further explore and discuss the expert’s views about the impact, preparedness, response, and recovery aspects for the maritime-related sector in India. The results on the quantitative performance of Indian major seaports during the COVID-19 indicate a negative growth in the cargo traffic and a decrease in the number of vessel traffic compared to pre-COVID-19. The expert survey results suggest a lack of preparedness for COVID-19 and the need for developing future strategies by maritime organizations. The overall findings of the study shall assist in formulating maritime strategies by enhancing supply chain resilience and sustainable business recovery process while preparing for a post-COVID-19 crisis. The study also notes that the Covid-19 crisis is still an ongoing concern, as the government, maritime organizations, and stakeholders face towards providing vaccine and remedial treatment to infected people. Further, this study can be expanded to the global maritime supply chain business context and to conduct interdisciplinary research in marine technical fields and maritime environment to measure the impact of COVID-19.
Keywords: COVID-19; India; Seaports; Maritime; Supply chain; Stakeholders; Sustainability

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The impact of temperature on productivity and labor supply: Evidence from Indian manufacturing

Somanathan, E., Somanathan, R., Sudarshan, A. and Tewari, M., 2021. The impact of temperature on productivity and labor supply: Evidence from Indian manufacturing.  Journal of Political Economy, 129(6), pp.1797-1827.

Hotter years are associated with lower economic output in developing countries. We show that the effect of temperature on labor is an important part of the explanation. Using microdata from selected firms in India, we estimate reduced worker productivity and increased absenteeism on hot days. Climate control significantly mitigates productivity losses. In a national panel of Indian factories, annual plant output falls by about 2% per degree Celsius. This response appears to be driven by a reduction in the output elasticity of labor. Our estimates are large enough to explain previously observed output losses in cross-country panels.

Pre-print available here.

The distributional impact of climate change: Why food prices matter

Gupta, Eshita, Bharat Ramaswami, and E. Somanathan. “The distributional impact of climate change: Why food prices matter.” Economics of Disasters and Climate Change (2021): 1-27.

We analyze the impact of agricultural productivity losses stemming from climate change in an economy without frictions. The first-order GDP impacts are expected to be small. But the poor have higher food budget shares and food prices will rise. How do distributional impacts diverge from the GDP impact? This is the question that is addressed. The paper considers two major sets of comparative statics: the effect of trade and the effect of economic growth. The model is calibrated to Indian data of 2009 and projections for 2030. The percentage loss of income for the landless is six times the GDP impact in a closed economy. Trade halves this effect and economic growth moderates it substantially. Despite the food price rise, nearly all farmers lose from climate change. The model is simple enough for impact channels to be transparent.

Pre-print available here

Lifetime Achievement Award

Professor C H Hanumantha Rao
Past President of INSEE, Former Chairman and Honorary Professor
Centre for Economic and Social Studies, Hyderabad

The Indian Society for Ecological Economics (INSEE) has conferred the Lifetime achievements Award to Professor C H Hanumantha Rao for his outstanding contributions to the agricultural and ecological economics, development studies and to the nation and society. The award has been presented at the tenth Biennial Conference of the Indian Society for Ecological Economics (INSEE) held at the Centre for Economic and social Studies, Hyderabad during November 6-8, 2019. 

INSEE Fellows

Professor M.N. Murty
Professor of Economics Rtd.
Institute of Economic Growth, University Enclave
Delhi-110007, India. 

Professor M.N. Murty is currently Fellow, South Asian Network for Development Economics and Environment (SANDEE). He was a Ford Foundation Fellow at University of Birmingham, and Research Fellow at London School of Economics, UK, Visiting Faculty, at Institute of Developing Economies, Tokyo, Japan, and Visiting Professor at National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, and TERI University, Delhi. He was a consultant for World Bank, Asian Development Bank, International Crop Research Institute (ICRISAT) and ESCAP. He specializes in Public Economics and Environmental and Resource Economics.

He taught at Delhi University, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham, U.K, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi,TERI University, Delhi, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, Institute for Economic and Social Change, Bangalore, Madras School of Economics, Chennai, and Jadavpur University, Kolkata. He has published 10 books including 6 books in Environment and Resource Economics, four by Oxford University Press, one each by Cambridge University Press and SAGE.  He has contributed a large number of research papers to national and international journals of Economics and chapters in a good number of edited books. He has undertaken a number of research projects funded by international organizations like World Bank, IDRC, Canada, ESCAP, European Commission and ICRISAT and Planning Commission, NITI Ayog, CSO, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Communications and ICSSR of Government of India.


Prof. Ramprasad Sengupta
Professor Emeritus in Economics
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi

Prof. Ramprasad Sengupta is a Professor Emeritus in Economics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi where he was  a Professor of Economics for almost four decades and  has been a former Dean of its  School of Social Sciences. He  was Mahatma Gandhi National Fellow of the ICSSR at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta during 2016 – 2018.  He was also a Professor at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (1999 -2001) and a Visiting Professor / Scholar in a number of foreign Universities in Eurpe, North America and Japan.  Besides his teaching stints, he was Advisor, Planning Commission, Government of India and a part time Independent Director on the Board of Steel Authority of India for several years. 

Prof. Sengupta’s area of interest and specialization are Energy, resource and   ecological / environmental economics; Quantitative policy modelling  of infrastructural sectors. He has written a number of books and large number of scholarly published papers; the latest book  authored by him has been Ecological limits and Economic Development : Creating Space,  OUP. (2013).  His forthcoming book is “Entropy Law, Sustainability and Third Industrial Revolution” to be published by the OUP.  


Dr. (Mrs.) Madhu Verma
Professor, Area of Environment & Developmental Economics
Coordinator, Centre for Ecological Services Management at the Indian Institute of Forest Management.

Dr. (Mrs.) Madhu Vermais a biological Science graduate and MA, M.Phil & Ph.D. in Economics from Bhopal University, Bhopal. She is a Fulbright Fellow (2012), LEAD Fellow (2007) and World Bank EMCaB program’s  EEOFC Grant awardee (2001) for post doc research at the UCAL(Berkeley) as Visiting Scholar and at UMASS (Amherst) &  as Visiting Professor (2001). She works on Economic Valuation & Green Accounting of Ecosystems & Biodiversity, Ecosystem-Economy Modelling, Tiger & Snow Leopard Habitat Valuation, Forest- Fiscal Federalism and Payment for Ecosystem Services.

She has 35 years of enriched work experience with many national and international institutes, Ministries like MoEFCC, MoFinance, Forestry Commission & various Finance Commissions of India and United Nations bodies, World Bank and various international funding agencies and academic institute. She has travelled across the globe to more than 30 countries for work and has more than 40 publications in international and national journals, several books & Project Reports to her credit. Many of her research outcomes have greatly influenced the policies and decision making process of the government and have led to introduction of economic instruments in the system. She has contributed to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Report, TEEB and to the  Global Biodiversity Assessment Report of IPBES.

She has been recognized by United Nations- REDD platform for ‘Women Working in Forests”, featured in special issue of India Today in March 2018 on Madhya Pradesh under the category of Trendsetters- Anchors of New Policies for her work on valuation of forest resources to inform policy makers & nominated as a “Human Star” for the “Day out with a Star” forum at based at Washington, DC on environmental careers.