Webinar: Building Evidence for Justice - Groundtruthing Environmental Compliance (May 2016)

We were joined on Thursday, May 12th to learn about groundtruthing from Kanchi Kohli, Legal Research Director at CPR-Namati Environmental Justice Program in New Delhi.

Video recording:


People around the world live in areas that are being altered for industrial, infrastructure or mining projects. Their lives and occupations are being negatively impacted by problems of access, encroachment or pollution.

Though governments in many countries have regulatory procedures for implementing environmental and social safeguards to minimize or mitigate such problems, compliance of these safeguards is often absent or low. Further, what is stated in law, regulatory approvals or license agreements often does not correlate with the actual adversities that affected people are forced to deal with. As such, compliance with these laws and processes is little more than a bureaucratic exercise. This phenomenon is not peculiar only to developing countries, it also presents challenges for already industrialized economies in Europe and the United States.

Groundtruthing is a method of gathering information that can connect official regulatory requirements with the actual impacts development has on people in a particular location. The outputs from a ground-truthing exercise can be used as effective evidence to demonstrate levels of compliance by projects to the relevant authorities. In the long run, citizen’s engagement with compliance issues will help to make the overall regulatory system more proactive and responsive to their concerns about development.

This free webinar will give an overview of how the groundtruthing method can be used by public-spirited individuals, community representatives or legal empowerment/paralegal programs. The webinar will present Namati’s experience of using this method within its legal-empowerment-based Environmental Justice program in India.

Date: Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Time: 8:30am – 9:30am Eastern Time

Forum: Online webinar

Unedited recording: sign up for free here


Looking forward to this!


Me too! This is going to be a great webinar that will have useful information for “public-spirited individuals, community representatives, and legal practitioners” working everywhere in the world. When @staceycram was in the Namati office in DC last month she recalled learning about groundtruthing from @kanchikohli firsthand and I’m convinced! :thumbsup:

This webinar will let us all hear directly from Kanchi about the groundtruthing methodology and her direct, hands-on experience with it. I’m excited!

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A quick update on registrations for the Groundtruthing Environmental Compliance webinar coming up on May 12. So far we have 32 registrants including many @namati_staff. Countries represented include Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique, Myanmar, Colombia, Sierra Leone, United kingdom, Canada, United States and of course India. This is promising to be a fabulous, significant webinar packed with valuable information about the groundtruthing method!

Here’s what you can do now:

:arrow_right: If you have not yet registered please do so ASAP to reserve your spot. Here’s the link to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5438543325805470466

:arrow_right: Help get more practitioners in the room! Spread the word - you can use the :link: link button to share this topic by email and social media. Thanks!

:arrow_right: Start asking questions! If you have questions already, feel free to post them here and we can start a discussion.


one groundtruthing report can be accessed here: https://namati.org/resources/closing-the-enforcement-gap-findings-of-a-community-led-ground-truthing-of-environmental-violations-in-mundra-kutch/.

Along with the overall methodology which EJ team members have worked on, we hope to be able to share specific implementation experiences through the EJ paralegal program as well as partnerships with local organisations. All as part of our ongoing work to ensure better monitoring and compliance of environmental safeguards/conditions.

We look forward to your participation, feedback and responses.


We have 121 registrants as of this moment for the groundtruthing webinar next Thursday, which is really impressive. Thank you everyone who registered, and who helped spread the word. We can still accommodate some more so do feel free to continue to invite friends and colleagues who you think should be part of this exciting learning opportunity. (Just use the link :link: button below to share this topic!)

While many registrants are from India, this is a global event! Many countries around the world are represented including 7 African countries, 4 countries in the Americas and 3 European countries. Only 3 Asian countries are represented so far. 24 @namati_staff are coming.

For those who want to inform themselves a bit about groundtruthing before the webinar, I do heartily recommend the CLOSING THE ENFORCEMENT GAP findings @kanchikohli shared. It is not long and is well laid out for quick reading.

Without getting into the details, let me share three testimonials that I found especially moving:

There is not enough grazing land for cattle. They used to drink water at the dam, but now the water is dirty… Rich are getting richer, poor are getting poorer and the rich are buying most of the available water… All the water in Kutch is going to companies, not villages. ~ Javjiba Jadeja, Core group member, Founding member of Ujjas, Baraya village

Companies don’t talk to people. They are not ready to listen to us… Many locals think they will get jobs in these companies, but they don’t. Companies make false promises. ~ Husain Kara, Core group member, Fisherman, Bhadreshwar village

Mangroves should be planted again. On paper, the number of mangroves that have been cut are about two crore. But in reality the number is much higher. ~ Deval Gandhi, Core group member, Ujjas member, Shekhadia village