Plea to protect Manipur’s resources

Source: Telegraph India


The Committee on the Protection of Natural Resources in Manipur has appealed to the state government to revoke plans to explore oil, gas, mining and construction projects that were decided upon without public consent.

The committee on Saturday organised a discussion on the protection of natural resources in the state at Manipur Press Club here.

The participants discussed the “aggressive” targeting of Manipur in India’s Act East Policy with subsequent push for extractive industries, hydropower projects and infrastructure projects with increased involvement of neo-liberal forces, multinational corporations and international financial institutions.

They resolved to affirm that indigenous people have exclusive and intrinsic rights over their land and natural resources. It resolved that all plans to explore oil and gas without prior consent of indigenous people should be withdrawn.

The participants appealed to the government not to permit any oil exploration activities without recognising peoples’ rights over land and resources and without considering the multifaceted long-term impacts.

The meeting also discussed increased financing by institutions like the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency for infrastructure projects, saying it is being done to facilitate the expropriation and plunder of Manipur’s land and natural resources.

The discussion called for all provisions of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007, to be fully implemented in Manipur for decisions affecting indigenous peoples’ land, lives, rights and their future.

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