About ELDF

The Environment Law and Development Foundation was set up under the aegis of the Enviro Legal Defence Firm. From our experience over the last two decades, we feel that the current needs and opportunities require us to make a step change in the structure and role of the organization. In particular, we feel much of today’s research does not clearly identify the environmental issue it wishes to address or provide clear steps to its solution. Many of the cases or legal conflicts, which come to us, are last minute, badly prepared or unfocused. We would wish therefore to be more proactive in our research, policy work, and training, whilst being more strategic in our litigation.
The Foundation has therefore become the research and training arm of the enviro legal sector, whilst the law firm would pursue issues through litigation, either through victim-lead cases or public interest litigation( PIL). It is believed that the existence of both organizations would be highly beneficial in addressing environmental challenges in India for the reasons mentioned above. The research could feed the litigation, whilst the litigation could feed the research-a system of praxis. Correspondingly, we have a number of conceptual ideas of activities that could be taken up on a proactive basis by the Foundation for which there may not be ready “clients” through the law firm approach.

ELDF Updates

On 17th - 18th November 2012 during International conference on Equitable Access to Justice: Legal Aid & Legal Empowerment organised by Department of Justice, GoI & United Nations Development Programme Hon'ble Chief Justice of India Shri Altamas Kabir released three manuals on Forest Rights Act & PESA by ELDF - " Towards creating a model forest & scheduled Area Governance in Chhattisgarh", Towards creating a model forest & scheduled Area Governance in Madhya Pradesh" & " Towards creating a model forest & scheduled Area Governance in Jharkhand"

Mr. Sanjay Upadhyay participated as a speaker at practitioners' conclave for" Save the Western Ghats" held at Mahabaleshwar on 2nd December 2012.

Mr.Sanjay Upadhyay was Guest of Honour at discussion (samvad) on Panchyat (Extension to scheduled Areas Act)-PESA, Udaipur organised by PRAYATN & ASTHA on 12-12-12. He spoke on the fact that PESA provides legality to those resources on which the tribal community has had traditional right.

Conducted II Advance Course Training under Young Lawyers for Justice Fellowship Programme, from 22nd to 24th Dec. 2012 at Indian Social Institute, New Delhi. Advocate Abha Singhal Joshi, Advocate Bharti Ali, & Advocate Vikram Srivastava, Child Welfare Committee Member contributed as resource persons.

Board of Trustees

Professor Bhaskar Vira

Founder Trustee

Bhaskar Vira’s research interests span the fields of political economy, development studies and environmental studies, with a regional focus on South Asia. He is particularly interested in natural resource use and management (especially forests) at a variety of scales, and state-society interactions over institutions and institutional change, and has published extensively in these areas. Over his time at Cambridge, he has co-ordinated research grants in excess of £350,000 from a number of external funding sources, including the Wellcome Trust, Nuffield Foundation and the Department for International Development (DFID). He was a co-ordinating lead author for the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, and is one of two international advisors to a major DFID-funded research initiative undertaken by the International Institute for Environment and Development exploring markets for watershed protection services.

Present appointment: University Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge. Fellow, Director of Studies and Graduate Tutor, Fitzwilliam College.

Dr. C. M Tiwary

Founder Trustee

A well known pathologist known for his numerous medico-socio contribution in eastern Uttar Pradesh. He also brings in the laypersons perspective and guides us to the real field based needs in the enviro-legal sector.

Shri. Sanjay Upadhyay

Honorary Managing Trustee

Sanjay Upadhyay (Member since 2004), Advocate, Supreme Court of India, is the founder and managing partner of the India’s first environmental law firm, Enviro Legal Defence Firm. He also established the charitable arm of the Law firm through the Environment Law and Development Foundation. Sanjay has been practicing environment and development law since 1993. An India Visiting Fellow at the Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley (Fall 1996) and a legal intern to the Earth Justice Legal Defense Fund, San Francisco, he started his professional career at the World Wide Fund for Nature– India at the Centre for Environmental Law. Sanjay has served as an environmental and development law expert to most well known International, Multilateral, national and state Institutions including World Bank, IUCN, FAO of United Nations, UNDP, AFD, DFID, ILO, SDC, IC, IIED, ODI, WWF, Green Peace, HBF, TERI, WINROCK, MOEF, MOPR, MOTA, MNRE, IIFM, ICFRE, IEG, WII, IIPA, NIRD, University of Cambridge, Duke University to name a few. He has been part of Drafting Committees of several forest, wildlife and biodiversity related legislations both at the national and state level.

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