JIS News

Minister of Agriculture and Lands, Roger Clarke, has said that the government is actively promoting sustainable development in the mining sector, while taking steps to protect environmentally sensitive areas.
“If the potential of this sector is going to be realized, we have to agree on issues relating to sustainability and environmental management,” the Minister said, while making his contribution to the 2007/2008 Budget Debate in the House of Representatives yesterday (April 18).
Addressing the matter of prospecting in the Cockpit Country, the Agriculture Minister said that following discussions with environmental groups, the Ministry has launched a study of the area to properly define the boundaries. “This is so that we can once and for all delineate those areas in which there can be no mining as well as to generally define the kind of activities that can be sustainable in the entire area,” he explained.
Meanwhile, he informed that the government has “substantially increased restoration bonds for quarry operators as well as penalties”, as part of the initiative to ensure environmental sustainability.
A Minerals Development Council, which comprises representatives from both public, private and non-government organizations, has also been established to “drive and guide the development of the sector,” Mr. Clarke said.

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