'Govt mining policy destroying biodiversity'

'Govt mining policy destroying biodiversity' - Sakshi Post


The government's mining policy is destroying the country's biodiversity and tiger habitats, an NGO has claimed and sought a relook into the massive expansion plan of coal fields in forest areas.

Hours before the start of the UN biodiversity conference in Hyderabad, Greenpeace asked the government to demonstrate leadership by protecting the rich biodiversity that lies within its own borders. 

The government's present policy of increasing coal mining is destroying the environment including the habitat of the endangered Indian tiger. It is also forcing tens of thousands of its own citizens to leave their homes, a Greenpeace statement said. 

The Indian government must stop the destruction of vital biodiversity, it said ahead of the UN's 11th Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) to be inaugurated by Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan tomorrow, seeking a halt in the massive expansion plan of coal fields. 

A total of 193 parties or delegates are attending the world's most important conference on protecting the planet's diminishing biodiversity. It will end on October 19. A Greenpeace spokesperson told PTI that it will organise protests at Hyderabad to expose the government's wrong policies which are harming the environment. 

The NGO said its mapping study shows that 13 coalfields in the central Indian landscape alone will destroy more than 1.1 million hectares of pristine woodland. As a consequence of this environmental vandalism, over 14,000 tribal people in one region alone will lose their homes and livelihoods, with many indigenous communities being forcibly removed and placed into so called 'rehabilitation centres' with no way to earn a living, it said. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will inaugurate the high- level segment of the CoP-11 on October 16. 

The goal of CBD is bring biodiversity issues into the mainstream at different levels. Throughout the UN Decade on Biodiversity, governments are encouraged to develop, implement and communicate the results of national strategies for implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity. 

PTI 

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