Following years of controversy and activism, the Government of India on Tuesday rejected the proposed bauxite mining project in the eastern state of Orissa determining that the mine violates environmental and forestry laws and would lead to further abuses against the indigenous communities in the area.
The decision is being a hailed as a major step in protecting indigenous communities’ rights and stopping human rights abuses caused by so-called development projects. The Mint’s Padmaparna Ghosh reports by video.
Although, the state government of Orissa granted approval for the project three years ago, strong local and international resistance delayed approval from the Ministry of Environment in Delhi.
Last week a ministry-appointed committee reported that the mining project by a subsidiary of the UK-based Vedanta Resources and the state-owned Orissa Mining Corporation would violate environmental and forestry laws and exacerbate human rights abuses of the Dongria and Kutia Kondh tribes living in the area. Protesters demanded a halt to the project both inside and outside the July AGM of Vendata Resources in London.
An alumnus of WITNESS’ Video Advocacy Workshop, Mamata Dash has been actively working on this campaign and others in Orissa. Having worked in several countries on forced evictions in the name of development, WITNESS recently broadened its work in this area into a global campaign. The WITNESS Blog will be the place to profile campaigns using video to challenge these “development” projects.
For more information on this particular campaign in India, read Amnesty International’s report from February, Don’t mine us out of existence and check out the video below.