India: Supreme Court maintains ban on Vedanta bauxite mining; local tribes consulted as sacred hill & livelihoods may be affected

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Article
15 April 2016

Indian Supreme Court orders state govt. to re-submit petition requesting mining exploration in Dongria ancestral lands

Author: Survival International

"Dongria tribe's views to be heard in Indian Supreme Court", 14 Apr 2016

India’s Supreme Court has blocked the opening moves in an attempt by Odisha’s state government to begin mining in the Niyamgiri hills, home to the Dongria Kondh tribe. The Supreme Court judges directed the state to re-submit their application to allow for the Dongria’s views to be also heard in court. In 2013 the tribe unanimously rejected Vedanta’s plans to mine their hills during a historic referendum in which all twelve villages that were consulted voted against the mine. The Odisha state is now trying to re-open the issue arguing that the 2013 referendum was flawed. Given that the Odisha state government oversaw the 2013 referendum and apparently accepted the tribe’s verdict, some are questioning why they are only now contesting its decision. Vedanta recently announced that it might have to close its loss-making refinery, at the foot of the Niyamgiri hills, if more bauxite cannot be supplied...

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Article
4 April 2016

India: Orissa state govt. petitions to grant Vedanta mining access to ancestral land of Dongria Kondh

Author: Andrew Marszal, Telegraph (UK)

"Indian tribe in new court fight to save sacred mountain", 26 Mar 2016

One of India’s most ancient tribes [Dongria Kondh] is facing a renewed threat of destruction after a fresh legal bid was launched​ by the State Government ​ ​to open its ancestral lands to exploitatio​​n by a British-based mining giant...[T]he Orissa state government launched a yet another request to dig up the tribe’s sacred Niyamgiri mountain and turn it into a bauxite mine...The tribe’s fight to save their hills appeared to be nearing a permanent solution last year when Vedanta said it was drawing up plans to close the plant, along with nearby hospital and school built by the corporation...The Orissa government’s petition calls for a rerun on the grounds that new, young tribal members have come of age since the last vote, and others who voted in 2013 have passed away...Vedanta denies any connection to such activity, adding: “Vedanta is a law abiding company and we always adhere to the correct procedures.”​

 

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Article
23 April 2013

Indigenous peoples, Consultation and Mining: Lessons from the Supreme Court of India

Author: Dr Jérémie Gilbert, Rights as Usual blog

On the 19th of April, the Supreme Court of India rendered a significant decision touching upon the connection between governments, corporations and the rights of local communities in the context of mining…The decision is significant not only for India but also globally as it touches on the important issue of the rights of the local communities to be consulted whenever mining is taking place in the area where they live. Significantly, the decision of the judges to make the consultation and the consent of the local population a requirement before the government gives its consent for mining is based not only on specific Indian laws but also on international law. The judges referred to the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention on Indigenous and Tribal Populations (Convention no. 107), the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (Agenda 21)…

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Article
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Author: Véronique Smée, Novethic [France] (copyright : www.novethic.fr)

En août 2010, après des mois d'une intense mobilisation de la part des tribus indigènes, dont celles des Dongria Kondh, des ONG et de plusieurs investisseurs, le gouvernement indien avait refusé d'accorder une autorisation pour la mine de bauxite de Niyamgiri à Vedanta. Le groupe minier avait fait appel mais il a été débouté par la Cour suprême indienne. [lire la suite: http://www.novethic.fr/novethic/rse_responsabilite_sociale_des_entrepris... [fait référence à Aviva]

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Article
18 April 2013

Ban upheld: Avatar tribe ‘to decide’ future of Vedanta mine

Author: Survival International

In a landmark ruling, the Indian Supreme Court today rejected an appeal to allow Vedanta Resources to mine the Niyamgiri hills. In a complex judgement, the court decreed that those most affected by the proposed mine should have a decisive say in whether it goes ahead. The court recognized that the Dongria Kondh’s right to worship their sacred mountain must be ‘protected and preserved’, and that those with religious and cultural rights must be heard in the decision-making process. The tribe now has three months to decide whether to allow mining of their sacred hills, but there are serious concerns over the pressures that might be heaped on the community during this crucial time.

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Article
18 April 2013

India court says locals to have say on Vedanta mine

Author: BBC News

Vedanta…wants to extract bauxite from the Niyamgiri hill range which is revered by the Dongria Kondh tribe…On Thursday, the judges maintained the ban on bauxite mining in the Niyamgiri hill range and said the rights of local tribespeople must be considered. The court gave the local village councils…three months to decide whether they wanted mining in their area. A federal government report in 2010 said mining in the area would deprive two ancient…of their rights for the benefit of a private company. UK-based Vedanta has proposed a $2.7bn (£1.8bn) investment in the area and says the project will bring jobs and development...It has previously said it has complied with all rules and regulations. The Dongria Kondh say the mining project will destroy their sacred hill and their source of livelihood.

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Article
18 April 2013

India: Landmark Supreme Court ruling a great victory for indigenous rights

Author: Amnesty Intl.

Today’s ruling by India’s Supreme Court that the Indigenous (Adivasi) communities will have the final decision on plans for a bauxite mine by a subsidiary [Sterlite Industries] of UK-based Vedanta Resources in the Niyamgiri hills of Orissa is a landmark victory in recognizing indigenous rights in India, Amnesty International said today. A 670-hectare bauxite mine was due to have been developed on the Dongria Kondh Indigenous community’s traditional lands and habitats which they consider sacred...“Authorities in India must now establish a clear and transparent process to ascertain the free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) of Indigenous communities in Niyamgiri and all other contexts where their traditional lands and habitats may be affected by state or corporate projects..." [said G. Ananthapadmanabhan, Chief Executive of Amnesty International India]

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