INSAPROMA: Protecting the Loma Miranda is a matter of life or death

Original article: Nacional, Friday, September 21, 2012

The Lawyers Institute for Environmental Protection (INSAPROMA) through its Executive Director, Euren Cuevas Medina, have expressed their opposition to the exploitation of Loma Miranda and say they are preparing a brief to submit to the appropriate courts, those responsible in any attempt to jeopardize access to water that is a fundamental right as provided in the Constitution of the Nation. This institution has a history of cases brought to court, as the case rockash, Dunas de Bani, its opposition to the installation of a cement plant near the Los Haitises National Park, the granceras of San Cristobal among others, joins the demands of the generality of institutions and sensible people in the country who claim the “declaration” as a protected area of Loma Miranda for its importance for the conservation of water.

Lic. Cuevas Medina, said that there are important precedents in cases similar to this, as is the judgment of the Administrative Court of Costa Rica that by claim of its community, were canceled all permits that had been granted to the mining company of Canadian capital,  Infinito Gold SA to extract 800 thousand ounces of gold in the town of Cutris of San Carlos, based on the danger of such exploitation to the access to water for the community and because of irregularities in the process of permits, in the famous “Crucitas” case.

The legal basis of the writing that are developed by INSAPROMA is declared in the Constitution of the Republic in its articles 14 to 17, 66 and 67, international conventions such as Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification and Drought, General Law of the Environment and Natural Resources No. 64-00, specifically Article 178 which states “Any person or association of citizens has an active legal right to denounce and sue for any fact, action, factor, process,or omission or obstruction, which has caused, is causing or may cause damage, degradation, damage, contamination and / or deterioration of the environment and natural resources.”

Paragraph.- Also may require before the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and any other authority established by this law and legislation, or to the Office of Environment and Natural Resources, compliance with the obligations established by the this Act and other environmental laws, environmental quality standards, regulations, demanding cessation, correction, or repair of the anomalous situation that drives or cause, and stipulated penalties for offenders.

Obviously, this article gives active legal right to every person not only for a “fait accompli” that has damaged the environment, if not for any action, factor or process or omission or impeding them that in the future may harm or endanger the natural resources and in this case that danger where Falconbridge Xstrata Nickel mining threatens to pollute and do away with a green lung that is Loma Miranda where 22 rivers are generated that feed water to the provinces of Monsignor Nouel, La Vega, Maria Trinidad Sanchez, Duarte and Sanchez Ramirez, as stated by the ecologist and member of the Academy of Sciences and the Environmental Commission of the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, Luis Carvajal Núñez. This would affect more than one million people and agricultural properties.

INSAPROMA warns the mining company Falconbridge Xstrata Nickel that continuing with the permitting process for the exploitation of Loma Miranda will be met in the courts and authorities of Environment and Natural Resources calling them not to grant an environmental license whereby a serious Environmental Impact Study would certainly prove this mining project as non feasible.

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