Mining Impact Assessments for Haiti's Environment and People

Exploratory drilling in the mountainous regions of northern Haiti, near the Dominican Republic, has been occurring the last few years. Trace deposits of gold, silver, and copper have been mined, an estimated $200 billion's worth. It sounds like a boon for Haiti's fractured economy, but sobering realities are coming into play, concerning the adverse impact of mining on the environment and people's health. Oxfam America, a development organization, has alerted the government of Haiti (GOH) dangers of mining may outweigh economic benefits derived from its practice.

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The Center for Science in Public Participation (CSPP) released a report detailing Haiti's potential to authorize and monitor mining activities, as well as comprehensiveness of its best practices, regarding its laws and regulatory framework. Because mining in Haiti is in its nascence, CSPP's report is asking the GOH to create a considered mineral development plan to balance the needs of mining projects with the equally important needs of the environment. CSPP has suggested a five-step process for a strategic development plan:

1. create a mineral building strategy.
2. decide what mines complement the building strategy.
3. decide what places to mine.
4. decide if some land use projects should take precedence over mining.
5. decide terms and conditions mining should adhere to, guaranteeing Haitians, not foreign interests, benefit most from its mineral wealth.

CSPP strongly suggests GOH do an Environmental Impact, and Population Health and Social Impact Assessments, to avoid unanticipated economic distress to the GOH and its population.

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Read more: silver, gold, mines, Environment, Energy Environment

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