Role of Social Media in Environmental Democracy

Role of Social Media in Environmental Democracy

Manju Lata (Chaudhary Bansi Lal University, India) and Anu Gupta (Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Technology, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1791-8.ch011


Environmental democracy sets a standard for how decisions should be made. At its core, environmental democracy involves three mutually reinforcing rights that, while independently important, operate best in combination: the ability for people to freely access information on environmental quality and problems, to participate meaningfully in decision-making, and to seek enforcement of environmental laws or compensation for damages. There are three fundamental rights: Access to Information, Citizen Participation, and Access to Justice. Social media can certainly play a vital role in all three fundamental rights. This chapter identifies the role of social media in these three fundamental rights with respect to environmental democracy. The chapter introduces environmental democracy and associated challenges. It then builds a model based on social media to lead to successful environmental democracy campaigns.
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The world is facing several fundamental challenges and reduction of natural resources & climate change are most important of them. The changing climate patterns are also leading to the food and water security issues across the Globe. Studies have forecasted an average global temperature increase by 1.4–5.80C by end of 21st century and this will lead to a reduction of agricultural harvest and freshwater resources (Misra, 2014). The Himalayan glaciers are on depletion and may disappear in the coming years. Furthermore, the rainfall could drop by 10% in Africa by 2050, which would cause the reduction of drain age by 17%. There has been a depletion of mainstream of freshwater resources and this has a reducing effect on the agricultural production universally, whereas the food demand via the population in increasing continuously (Turral et al., 2011). Some of the prominent climate change impacts on natural disasters are the growing deserts, floods and droughts. The prevention of Low-frequency, high-impact events such as earthquakes and tsunamis have become very difficult and there have been high osses of human life in the recent years. Table 1 has outlined the deadliest disasters of 21st century (

Table 1.
Deadliest natural disasters (2000-2019)
YearDeath tollEventLocation
20008002000 Mozambique floodMozambique
200120,0852001 Gujarat earthquakeIndia
20021,0302002 Indian heat waveIndia
200370,0002003 European heat waveFrance, Portugal, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Italy, Luxemburg, Ireland
2004227,8982004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunamiIndonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Somalia
200587,3512005 Kashmir earthquakePakistan
20065,7822006 Yogyakarta earthquakeIndonesia
200715,000Cyclone SidrBangladesh, India
2008138,373Cyclone NargisMyanmar
20091,1152009 Sumatra earthquakeIndonesia
2010160,0002010 Haiti earthquakeHaiti
201115,8972011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunamiJapan
20121,901Typhoon Bopha cyclonePhilippines
20136,340Typhoon Haiyan cyclonePhilippines, Vietnam, China
20147292014 Ludian earthquakeChina
20158,9642015 Nepal earthquakeNepal
20166762016 Ecuador earthquakeEcuador
20173,059Hurricane Maria cyclonePuerto Rico, Dominica
20184,3402018 Sulawesi earthquake and tsunamiIndonesia
20191,303Cyclone IdaiMozambique, Zimbabwe, Malawi

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