Portuguese and Galicians walking together against lithium mining

in Green · 21-08-2020 01:00:00 · 0 Comments
Portuguese and Galicians walking together against lithium mining

The civic movement SOS Serra d’Arga, in Viana do Castelo, and several cultural and environmental associations in Galicia are due to participate on 22 August in a walk to challenge the possible exploitation of lithium in the area.

Speaking to the Lusa agency, Ludovina Sousa, representing the SOS Serra d ‘Arga Movement, said that this was the “first joint initiative with Galician associations and collectives aimed at making the territory and natural and built heritage known that could be affected by a mining operation”.

The official added that the action also aims to “make a photographic survey of the region to later disseminate this material in information sessions with the populations of the parishes and municipalities that make up the Serra d’Arga”.

The Serra d’Arga covers an area of 10,000 hectares, in the municipalities of Caminha, Vila Nova de Cerveira, Paredes de Coura, Viana do Castelo and Ponte de Lima, of which 4,280 hectares are classified as a Site of Community Importance.

Those five municipalities have an ongoing project “From Serra d’Arga to Foz do Âncora”, led by the Alto Minho Intermunicipal Community (CIM), which aims to classify Serra d’Arga as a Protected Landscape Area of Municipal Interest.

According to Ludovina Sousa, the walk scheduled for Saturday, 22 August will include the participation of cultural and environmental associations from La Guardia, Rosal, Baiona and Gondomar, near Tui, in Galicia.

The Galician presence in the action in Alto Minho follows the participation of the SOS Serra d’Arga movement in a debate, last week, in Galicia, with the title “Minas de Lítio on the edge of the Miño - The Serra d ‘Arga in danger” .

“The elements of the SOS Serra d’Arga movement made a presentation of the mining project in national territory, with special emphasis on the crime that the Government intends to carry out in Serra d ‘Arga and that will also affect the estuary of the Minho, which is a common heritage of both peoples. Under the aegis of a river that unites us, all those presented accepted to embrace this cause”.

Last week, the civic movement requested an audience from the Minister of Environment and Climate Action, João Pedro Matos Fernandes.

At issue is the draft decree-law that regulates the so-called mine law (Law 54/2015, of 22 June), which was in public discussion between 16 and 31 July.

The movement sent, through the legally available means for the purpose and within the time given by the Government, its opinion regarding the public consultation process to the Project of Decree-Law no. 341 / XII / 2020 (which proceeds to the regulation of the law of bases of the legal regime for the disclosure and use of geological resources for mineral deposits). This opinion was endorsed by the Parish Councils of Moledo and Âncora, who added their voice to that of the people of Serra d’Arga, dismayed and mobilised in order to protect their territory”, the movement says.

To Lusa, at the beginning of the month, the movement’s spokesman, Carlos Seixas, classified the draft decree-law as “very bad” for “leaving the possibility for mining companies to do almost everything”.

“Not even an environmental impact study can prevent mining. With this proposal for a decree-law, nothing can be prevented, everything is open,” he said.

According to the official, the government proposal “always speaks vaguely and never says, definitively, what are the impediments”.

“It does not give any possibility for the population, or even the city councils, to take a position, for example, when it comes to a public tender”, he maintained.


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