Industrial Pollution, Environmental Degradation and Disasters-Leveraging the Industry - Community Interface to Reduce Vulnerability
12 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2010 Last revised: 7 Nov 2013
Date Written: December 1, 2009
Industrial pollution is a major cause of degradation of the environment which in turn is a key factor in turning extreme weather events into natural disasters. Degradation of the environment not only intensifies disasters but also increases the potential for secondary disasters. From the point of view of response to disruptive events the society looks to stakeholders, institutions and the government. One such stakeholder interface in a semi-urban/rural setting is that between the local community and the neighbourhood industrial units. The community forms a part of the industrial unit’s work force and the industry in turn relies on this workforce during crisis for the success of its business continuity plans. The community-industry interface comprises of a human resource sensitised to the risk assessment of the industries, extent of its polluting activities and more importantly to safety techniques and actions to be taken during an emergency. This community-industry interface can be leveraged to reduce the vulnerability of the community. This paper examines how this can be achieved through the formation of positive community pressure on the polluting local industrial units created by the provision of suitable information in the public domain being interpreted for community consumption by the elements of this interface. Secondly by using the knowledge and expertise of this interface with regards to industrial safety and risk management to spur pre-disaster actions at the community level.
The paper was submitted to International Conference on Corporate Social Responsibility and Industrial Disasters organised by National Law Institute University,Bhopal,India on 5 -6 December 2009.
Keywords: Industrial pollution, disasters, environmental degradation, pre-disaster actions, civil defence
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