Archive for November 16, 2014


As “Queensland premier tells Obama he is ‘solid’ on protecting Great Barrier Reef” (the Guardian), here’s a reality check…

The Abbot Point dredging project, recently approved by Australian environment minister, Greg Hunt, will allow India’s Adani Enterprises to build Australia’s biggest coal mine in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland, and dredge, to allow massive coal ships to access their proposed new shipping terminal at Abbot Point…to send coal overseas.

@ the interpretOr, we’re looking at the Indian Government’s recent report on Adani’s existing Mundra port operations that found incontrovertible evidence of:

destruction of mangroves,

blocking of creeks and…

…non-compliance of other clearance conditions.

The reporting committee, headed by Sunita Narain of Centre for Science and Environment, was set up by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (Government of india), to inspect ship-breaking facility of M/s Adani Port and SEZ Limited near Mundra West Port in Gujarat’s Kutch district. The committee submitted its report on April 18, 2013 and it can be downloaded in pdf by clicking here :::

Subsequently, on July 29, 2013 a public hearing for the project was held where people from four project-affected villages and nearby locations attended the public hearing at Tunda village in Mundra taluka and posed questions about the project and its impact on the environment. But the public hearing ended without the company being able to give comprehensive answers to the queries raised by the project-affected people, report Down To Earth (DTE)the Indian science and environment fortnightly:

Using remote sensing technology, the committee has found that that over the last decade, 75 hectares of mangroves have been destroyed in Bocha Island, a conservation zone. Satellite imagery indicates deterioration and loss of creeks near the proposed North Port due to construction activities. The company has also neglected to inventory its utilisation and disposal of fly ash, and has not ensured that storage tanks, seawater inlets, and discharge outlets are lined to prevent increase in salinity and contamination of water. The report also states that the Adani group has been less than serious about reporting on compliance with the conditions set at the time of clearance. In many cases, non-compliance with reporting conditions has been observed.

The committee also noted that there have been instances to circumvent statutory procedures by using different agencies, at the Centre and state, for obtaining clearances for the same project. The public hearing procedure, which is a critical part of project clearance and helps to understand and mitigate the concerns of local people, has also been bypassed on one pretext or another. The fisher community, which depends on the coasts for their livelihood, is the worst hit by the changes brought on by land acquisition and construction for the project. 

munda

(Adani project in Mundra has violated environmental norms: MoEF committee report)

murdabb

The Australian government took its strategy of fighting the future to a whole new level this week, with ministers lining up to attack the ANU’s decision to abandon many of its fossil fuel investments, and Prime Minister Tony Abbott taking the coal industry’s PR line to claim that coal is “good for humanity” and has a “bright future” despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

We know that we cannot burn the majority of our fossil fuel reserves, the international community is preparing for a low carbon future, and it costs more to mine and ship Australian coal than it can be sold for. Couple this with China imposing a new 6 per cent coal import tariff, its steel industry being close to peak production, and forecasters saying the decline in prices will continue as China moves away from imported coal; it’s clear to see why the Abbott government’s vocal protection and support for coal has been dubbed a “suicide strategy”.

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