The Loma Miranda case is closed for Environment
SANTO DOMINGO. The Minister of the Environment and Natural Resources, Bautista Rojas Gomez, reaffirmed once more that the case of the mining exploitation of Loma Miranda is closed, and made it clear that this is the official position of the government headed by President Danilo Medina.
Rojas Gomez recalled that tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the announcement of this decision, which was taken after evaluating the environmental impact study that the Falcondo Xstrata Nickel mining company presented to them, and after receiving the technical report from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
“In this sense, we denied the permits. Just like that. We, that is the Ministry of the Environment, in representation of the government, said that what they had promised us environmentally was not possible,” the official said during the Dialogo Libre, an interview program presented by the Diario Libre, to which he attended accompanied by the Deputy Ministers for Environmental Management, Zoila Gonzalez and Protected Areas, Daneris Santana.
He pointed out that from that time until now, the Environment Ministry has not received any other environmental impact study from the company, “as a result”-he added-”the position continues to be the same, apart from the opinion of any other institution (of the government).”
“We, from the environmental point of view, are the only ones, that by constitutional mandate and the law, are authorized to issue an opinion in the name of the state and the Dominican government in relation to this issue, and any other that might be similar. So, we can say that the Dominican government has established its position.”
He noted that with regard to the study on the environmental impact presented by the company that wants to carry out the exploitation, it just was not good enough.
Loma Miranda, located between the provinces of La Vega and Monsignor Nouel, has nickel deposits for which Falcondo has the concession issued by Mining. “For us, up until now, until there is not a different situation which satisfies us, that satisfies the wishes for the practice of responsible mining in the country, the case is closed,” concluded Rojas Gomez.
Mining does not take any attributes
The head of Environment assured the editors that the creation of the new Ministry of Mining does not take any of the attributes of the entity that he leads, as some have suggested, and he said that he will not permit “mining operations that are poorly carried out.”
“For us, everything that impacts and damages the environment is bad, this is our attribution, to conserve the environment and do what has to be done, whether it is mining, it must be done correctly, and I have regretted that they want to use the argument that mining is what produces the least environment damage, we have cases of exploitation of poorly developed mines and this we are not going to permit,” said Bautista Rojas Gomez.
He favors the construction of the Cibao-South Highway
The Environmental Ministry favors that the Cibao be connected with the South through a highway. The Head of the Ministry told Diario Libre that they have studied the different routes for this road, and the shortest is the one that was indicated by the Minister of Public Works, Gonzalo Castillo, which goes from Sabaneta in San Juan province to Santiago Rodriguez, crossing the Jose del Carmen Ramirez. On this route, he commented, there is already a trail.
Bautista Rojas Gomez said that vehicular access to the area would permit attacking forest fires more effectively, because at the present time the fire fighters take up to five days on mules to reach the area, and when they do, they are exhausted. “So we favor any possibility that will allow us to access a place where there is a forest fire instead of five days, in just 24 hours, and with this we will achieve this.”
The union of the two regions is a desire of President Danilo Medina. Nonetheless, environmentalists fear that it will destroy the Central Mountains. But Rojas Gomez assured his interviewers that in order to avoid this they would clearly establish in the environmental license that nothing else would be built there. It was his understanding that with this highway “we can recover more, that what we lose territorially.”
An agenda full of commemorative activities
The World Environmental Day is 5 June and 8 June is Ocean Day
Between the months of May and June there are very important dates tied to the environmental issue. The 1 June, Environment and other entities commemorated the National Day of the Family and the Environment with the aim of creating a consciousness regarding carbon dioxide emissions that affect the planet. And last 22 May they carried out several activities in the park of Nigua, San Cristobal, on the World Bio-Diversity Day.
And, next 5 June they will celebrate in the Ozama Wetlands, the World Environmental Day, with the presence of Danilo Medina.
“Although this year the United Nations as the leading actor has dedicated the year to climate change because of its incidence in the small island nations, we want to take advantage of the day to promote Eco-tourism,” the Minister of the Environment, Bautista Rojas Gomez stressed.
On 8 June the World Ocean Day will be celebrated, but in the country the celebration will be held on the tenth.
Category: DR News |