Nixed nickel mine is Dominican environmentalists’ 3rd major victory
Santo Domingo.- In the heels of the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) report that Xstrata Nickel Falcondo’s plan to mine Loma Miranda isn’t feasible, civil society groups were quick to demand its designation as a National Park.
The report against the planned mine marks the third major victory for the country’s environmental movement, after the ban on development of the Bahia de las Aguilas beach, and the construction of a cement plant near the Los Haitises National Park.
The UNDP said of evaluation of the environmental impact assessment by the firm, said the Falcondo’s project neither meets environmental, social nor sustainable development requirements.
In a press conference Thursday, UNDP officials headed by country representative Valerie Julliand listed the deficiencies found in the Falcondo study, noting that the miner didn’t take into account the growth in water consumption nor an analysis on the project’s impact on rivers. “Given the deficiencies in the environmental impact study, it’s concluded that the Loma Miranda project doesn’t meet the environmental and social requirements and therefore, the country’s sustainable development.”
The UNDP official said relevant issues were omitted, such as ecosystem services and risk, and were considered only those relating to mining activity and not those of social biophysics.
The report notes that aside from those considerations, Falcondo did submit a novel project with new mining technologies in areas of sediment and runoff management and the reforestation process in the affected areas.
Academy of Sciences
Dominican Republic Academy of Sciences president Miltiades Mejia said once again its technicians showed they possess the knowledge to express objections on topics such as Loma Miranda, when they called the project as unsustainable and counterproductive while taking into account the population’s views.
“Our proposal today is to designate Loma Miranda a National Park and ask Environment minister Bautista Rojas to enforce Law 64-00 in the case of Xstrata Nickel’s operation, to start restoring the mined areas, as the Law stipulates,” Mejia said.
The Bonao City Council yesterday issued a resolution to support the city of La Vega’s demand that Congress declare Loma Miranda a protected area, according to a proposal submitted by Senator Euclides Sanchez.
Falconbridge willing to dialogue and to improve
Meanwhile Xstrata Nickel Falcondo said it would carefully analyze the UNDP’s report on mining viability of its project near La Vega.
Source: Dominican Today
Category: DR News |