Photo from mimundo.org/Oxfam America
The National Coalition of Environmental Networks in Honduras is calling for urgent solidarity TODAY in order to try to halt the final debate on a mining law that does not incorporate their proposals. Passage of a new mining law in Honduras would lead to the lifting of a moratorium on new mining projects that has been in place since 2006.
Experience to date, particularly with Canadian owned mining operations such as Goldcorp’s San Martín gold mine in the Siria Valley, have convinced communities and civil society organizations in Honduras of the need for a strong mining law that will prioritize water supplies for human and agricultural use, ensure local communities and early and decisive say about projects taking place on their lands and territories, prohibit open-pit mining, and substantially raise taxes and royalties on mining that does take place. A November 2011 survey found some 91 percent of Hondurans opposed to open-pit mining and near unanimity in support of the environmental movement for a more just mining framework.
In 2009, Honduran civil society had achieved a proposed mining law that had it passed would have incorporated their proposals. But this was shoved aside following the June 2009 military-backed coup of then President Mel Zelaya and never debated.
The current lobbying for a new mining law has not included the proposals that communities and members of the National Coalition of Environmental Networks of Honduras have continued to make. The new mining law discussed in the Honduran Congress will provoke:
- The elimination of access to water for consumption and irrigation for agricultural production for thousands of communities.
- The contamination of underground and surface water supplies that are currently used for human consumption.
- The installation of open-pit mining in highly populated areas, provoking displacement and forced expropriation.
- Handing over territories to transnational companies through concessions in perpetuity.
- The management of contracts as “a secret thing” between the government of Honduras and mining companies.
- The exclusion of local populations from the decisions that affect their lives and territory.
The debate in Congress is most likely take place TODAY, Wednesday January 23 – the National Coalition of Environmental Networks of Honduras urges you to send emails to the Honduras Congress asking for:
- The immediate suspension of the discussion over the mining law in the Congress.
- The incorporation of the demands of the Honduran population in the articles of the proposed mining bill.
- The incorporation of the criteria proposed by the National Coalition of Environmental Networks.
- La inmediata suspensión de la discusión sobre de la ley de minería en el Congreso de la República.
- La incorporación de las demandas de la población en el articulado de la nueva Ley de Minería.
- La incorporación de los criterios propuestos por la Coalición Nacional de Redes Ambientales (CNRA).
Please send your emails to:
President of the National Congress firstname.lastname@example.org
President of the Legislative Commission email@example.com
Vice President, Deputy Marcio Vega Pinto firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary, Deputy Rolando Dubón Bueso email@example.com
Deputy Lorena Enamorado firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Ramón Velásquez Nazzar email@example.com
Deputy Fredy Espinoza firstname.lastname@example.org
Deputy Valentín Suarez email@example.com