500 signatures reached
To: Sri Prakash Javdekar, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change
Do not allow mining in 43,000 ha. of the biggest sal forest in Asia!
MoEFCC should not open up the no-go area in the Saranda and Chaibasa regions of Jharkhand for mining.
Why is this important?
The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) be looking at opening up 43,000 ha of pristine forests in Jharkhand for mining! The areas being considered for iron ore mining are the no-go areas in Saranda and Chaibasa in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand.
This happened after the Jharkhand Government reached out to the MoEF&CC asking them to revisit the no-go status conferred to these pristine parts of Jharkhand’s forests. Things have moved very quickly following that request. In fact, the MoEF&CC has already written to the State Secretary suggesting that the study for this reconsideration be carried out by the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education with representation from Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, and Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad.
While the Chief Minister Raghubdar Das claims this has financial implications on Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL), the fact is there are proposals from SAIL, JSW Group, Vedanta Ltd and others waiting to exploit the region that spreads of 43,000 ha of pristine biodiverse-rich forests.
The no-go area was the result of the Management Plan for Sustainable Mining (MPSM), which was finalised in 2018. The MSPM divided the Saranda forest into three zones — mining zone I (approximately 10,670 hectares), mining zone II (approx 2,161 ha) and conservation zone/no-mining zone (approx 43,000 ha).
Saranda forest is the biggest sal forest in Asia. Forests are critical to sequester Greenhouse Gases (GHGs). Whether it is the Amazon in Brazil or the Congo in Africa or the forests of Indonesia, we need to safeguard all the standing forests on planet Earth if we are really committed to fighting climate change, which the Indian Government seems to have reiterated at multiple occasions since it has come to power. Based on where it is placed geographically, and the socio-economic distribution of its population, India is more vulnerable to climate crisis than a number of other parts of the world, and should do everything in its capacity to keep global temperatures from rising above 1.5℃. And we as citizens of this country need to drive this message loud and clear.