COPINH and CEHPRODEC welcome Honduran government’s announcement of territory free of open-pit mining

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Photo: PBI-Honduras has accompanied CEHPRODEC at annual marches against extractivism.

Two organizations accompanied by PBI-Honduras have welcomed the Honduran government’s announcement on mining.

On February 28, the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH) tweeted: “The Ministry of Energy, Environment, Natural Resources, Environment and Mines of Honduras @MIAMBIENTE_HN cancels the approval of extractivist exploitation permits and declares the entire Honduran territory free of open-pit mining.”

The Honduran Centre for the Promotion of Community Development (CEHPRODEC) has also tweeted: “Honduras says NO to mining with a radical action to review, suspend and cancel environmental licenses, permits and concessions due to a mining moratorium.”

BBC reports: “The new government of Honduras has announced that it will ban open-pit mining in the Central American nation. The government, which was sworn in last month, also said that it would cancel environmental permits for mining operations across the country. It is not yet clear if the cancellation will apply only to new projects or also to those already operating.”

EFE also reports: “Honduras announced on Monday [February 28] the cancellation of the approval of extractivist exploitation permits for ‘being harmful’ against the State and declared itself a country ‘free of open-pit mining’.”

In this statement, the Honduran Ministry of Energy, Natural Resources, Environment and Mines says: “The approval of extractive exploitation permits is canceled, because they are harmful against the State of Honduras, which threaten natural resources, public health and limit access to water as a human right.”

The Ministry says it has declared “the entire Honduran territory free of open-pit mining.”

Reuters further reports: “Honduras will review mining exploration and exploitation permits and declare its territory free of such open-pit activity, the Central American nation’s government said on Monday, as a move to protect its environment.”

This announcement follows the election of Xiomara Castro, who was sworn in as the President of Honduras on January 27 of this year.

Telesur notes: “The initiative of the government of Xiomara Castro materializes the popular demand that for years has caused death and situations of violence to social leaders. At the same time, it places environmental protection above the interests of transnational corporations in accordance with the international standards established in this regard.”

MiningWatch Canada has stated: “The General Mining Law was developed with technical assistance paid for with Canadian overseas development aid. Its passage in 2013 lifted a seven-year moratorium on any new mining projects.”

It has also noted: “This law was developed and passed with strong diplomatic support from the Canadian embassy, and with contributions from the Department of Foreign Affairs and the former Canadian International Development Agency.”

We continue to follow this.

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