1.The Narmada Valley Dam Projects http://www.umich.edu/%7Esnre492/Jones/narmada.html
This case study from the University of Michigan focuses on the large hydroelectric project along the Narmada River in India. The government is pushing the project to develop its natural resources for it’s social needs such as electricity, transportation, and water supply. By constructing over 3,000 dams, the project also must relocate over 1.5 million people.1 This project has been in construction since the 1960s but has been intermittently paused when relocation efforts were doubted by those effected. The study recommends the government review social and environmental impacts as well as find energy alternatives using previously established departments. Although the government strives to improve their energy resources, they disregard large rural populations that depended on monsoon flooding for their rich soils and in turn the agricultural and forestry resources that will be devastated by implementation of dams as water management.
2. Zambia’s Gwembe Tonga Relocation http://jrs.oxfordjournals.org/content/6/2/123.short
This case study looks at a large group of development refugees that were relocated after dam construction on the Zambezi River to examine the effects government policies on relocation have over time. The findings show several negative attributes of environmental developments, such as the number of refugees of civil war and border disputes are similar to those of development projects. Citing many similarities between political and development refugees, the case reports resettlement of land needing to be regarded as a dynamic process.2 Different stages need to be developed to recognize that it is not a temporary settlement for these people and needs to regard future generations. The Gwembe Tonga People moved to separate countries (one native- Zambia, and one adjacent-Zambawe) that enabled a comparative view of the same people in different refugee settlements.
3. Pine Grove Truck Ramp Relocation Pine Grove, Pennsylvania
After a horrible accident that cost a life when a truck lost it’s break coming down Pine Grove Mountain, the local government rallied to implement a truck ramp half way down the Centre County side. The idea of a ramp was highly sought by the public as well for safety, however the actual ramp placement has proven useless (truck lost its breaks after the ramp shortly after the ramps construction) as well as increasing poor water drainage and forced relocation of the nearest residences. This local example of environmental development relates to the other two cases in the “environmental bad” of necessary relocations. Although on a smaller scale than the international cases, they all show how those of less power generally are outspoken by those with more power (in these cases: the government). Looking at these cases we can observe the need to assess a larger scale of impact on the human-environment systems at play within the site of development as to not disregard better alternatives to the common goal.
- Nisha Kapadia. “India’s Greatest Planned Environmental Disaster: The Narmada Valley Dam Projects.” University of Michigan. February 24, 2016. umich.edu
- T. Scudder. “Development-induced Relocation and Refugee Studies: 37 Years of Change and Continuity among Zambia’s Gwembe Tonga.” University of Oxford. 10 March 1993.