World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Greenpeace: Protection of India's Mahan Forest

Amsterdam, 18 August 2014

Greenpeace Urges Fair And Transparent Vote on Protection of India's Mahan Forest

Greenpeace International today joined Greenpeace India’s call for Indian authorities to protect democracy and ensure a fair and transparent village council vote in the Mahan forest, over a proposed coal mine development by Essar and Hindalco, where Essar is the majority beneficiary.

The local administration in Mahan has called for a Gram Sabha (village council vote) this month, in order to meet the legal requirement of seeking the forest community’s consent to the mine. This will be the second vote after Greenpeace India and the local community members exposed clear indications of corruption involving the forgery of votes at last year’s Gram Sabha. (1)

In the run-up to the vote, the forest community’s rights have been violated in a systematic clampdown including the intimidation of villagers. This has been accompanied by the seizure of Greenpeace India's communication equipment and the arrests of its activists. (2)

“The Mahan coal mine is not only placing the climate at risk, but will also destroy the livelihoods of thousands of people who depend on the Mahan forest for survival. The ongoing crackdown against forest rights activists will not deter our resolve but only makes us more determined to save the Mahan forest,” Greenpeace India’s Priya Pillai said.

“If we Indians want to showcase our country as a model of inclusive development and democracy, the intimidation of villagers and any attempts to hold this vote behind closed doors must end now. We call for the government to recognise the rights of the community and hold a fair and transparent vote, not only in one village, but in all the 54 villages that depend on the Mahan forest.”

Mahan, in Madhya Pradesh, is one of the last remaining patches of dense, unfragmented forest in central India. It is home to tribal populations as well as endangered wildlife and affected species would include sloth bears, elephants, leopards, peacocks and tigers.

Greenpeace India has supported the local communities for three years in their opposition to the mine and is now facing a Rs 500 crores (about 61.4 million euros) SLAPP suit (strategic litigation against public participation) brought by Essar. (3) This is an attempt to silence all criticism of the project. No lawsuit, however, can hide the destructive nature of Essar’s coal mine. Clearing Mahan will pave the way for the surrounding forests to also be axed for profits.

Greeenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo said:

“This coal mine is a recipe for environmental and human disaster. Greenpeace stands with the community in Mahan, to protect their rights, the forest and the climate. Governments must listen to people as stewards of their natural resources or keep organisations supporting these communities out. We demand a fair and transparent process, in which the community’s voices can be genuinely expressed and respected.”

Greenpeace India was recently singled out in two ‘leaked’ reports from the Indian Intelligence Bureau, attacking its opposition to coal and nuclear power, and its international role.

“Greenpeace India receives some amount of its overall budget through global funding to combat a global problem. Instead of criticising civil society for raising the alarm on climate change and destructive fossil fuel projects, the Indian government should instead adopt cleaner and greener energy solutions that can bring light to the 300 million Indians who still lack electricity. Saving the Mahan forest can still be remembered as India’s turning point. It’s not too late,” Naidoo added.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN Health Agency Responds To Ebola Spike

UN health agency responds to Ebola spike by deploying team on border of Guinea and Guinea-Bissau More>>

UN Casts Israel As World's Worst Violator Of Health Rights

Israel's army team of medics recently treated 1,600 victims of the Nepal earthquake. More>>

W Thousands Flee Syria’s Besieged Historic City Of Palmyra

As thousands flee Syria’s besieged historic city of Palmyra, UN refugee agency readies response plan More>>

UN Agency To Halt Housing Allowance For Palestine Refugees

Lack of funds forces UNRWA to suspend cash assistance for housing for Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon. Photo: UNRWA/Shafiq Fahed More>>


Bangkok: International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, Biphophia

BMA, UN, embassy representatives, civil society and artists stand united with LGBTI Thais on International Day against Transphobia, Homophobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT) at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre More>>

Displaced Iraqis Face Difficulties As Fighting Continues

UNHCR is concerned about the processing arrangements in place at the Bzabz bridge – a series of pontoons across the Euphrates River which marks the boundary between Anbar province and the capital, Baghdad. Photo: UNHCR/G. Ohara More>>

UNESCO Chief Condemns Killing Of Bangladeshi Blogger

Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Irina Bokova. UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz The head of the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom worldwide today voiced ... More>>

Philadelphia: Train Crash

Five people have been confirmed dead and more than 136 people injured after an Amtrak train crashed in Philadelphia today at 9.20pm local time.More>>

UN News: Alarming Surge In Bay Of Bengal Crossings

The number of irregular migrants crossing the Bay of Bengal has almost doubled over the past year amid a dangerous uptick in human smuggling and trafficking across the region, according to a new report from the United Nations refugee agency. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news