Paudibhuyan Community Meeting on Extractives – Odisha

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In a meeting of the Paudibhuyan Community held in Kuanar Village, Keonjhar District, Odisha, India on 11 January 2012, community members raised serious concerns about mining and its impact on the environment and Indigenous communities in neighbouring areas. The government has begun to allot land in the area for prospecting and participants especially expressed concern that the sacred Khandadhar Mountain would be threatened. A company has begun erecting pillars in the area without any community consultation and without sharing information on the potential impact of mining on the local environment, community livelihoods and culture. Keonjhar Integrated Rural Development and Training Institute (KIRDTI), a local NGO, and Sankar Pani of Natural Justice participated in the meeting and suggested steps for how the community can utilise various legal instruments to protect community resources, including:
  • Determining which companies have been allotted permits and clearances for mining in the region;
  • Seeking the declaration of Khandadhar Mountain as a Heritage Site under the Biodiversity Act;
  • Seeking the declaration of the region as Eco-Sensitive Area under the Environment Protection Act;
  • Pursuing the recognition of community rights and habitat rights for the community as Indigenous Communities under the Forest Rights Act.

22 January 2013

Programme

Extractives and Infrastructure
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