India: Mining policy destroying biodiversity
October 11th 2012
The Indian government’s mining policy is destroying the country’s biodiversity and tiger habitats, an NGO on Sunday [7 October] claimed and sought a re-look into the ‘massive’ expansion plan of coal fields in forest areas. Hours before the start of the UN biodiversity conference in Hyderabad, Greenpeace asked the government to ‘demonstrate leadership’ by protecting the rich biodiversity that lies within its own borders. ’The government’s present policy of increasing coal mining is destroying the environment including the habitat of the endangered Indian tiger. It is also forcing tens of thousands of its own citizens to leave their homes,’ a Greenpeace statement said. ‘The Indian government must stop the destruction of vital biodiversity,’ it said ahead of the UN’s 11th Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) to be inaugurated by environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan tomorrow, seeking a halt in the ‘massive expansion plan’ of coal fields.
[Greenpeace] said its mapping study shows that 13 coalfields in the central Indian landscape alone will destroy more than 1.1 million hectares of pristine woodland. ‘As a consequence of this environmental vandalism, over 14,000 tribal people in one region alone will lose their homes and livelihoods, with many indigenous communities being forcibly removed and placed into so called ‘rehabilitation centres’ with no way to earn a living,’ it said.
Source: Times of India
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