Santo Domingo.- While UN Development Program (UNDP) technicians on Monday began behind-closed-doors consultations to evaluate the environmental impact study submitted by Xstrata Nickel’s Falcondo Loma Miranda mining project, a prominent environmentalist said the operation shouldn’t depend on their decision.
In the first meeting with Environment minister Bautista Rojas and other officials and which continued with Xstrata technicians afterwards, the UNDP called on anyone interested to take part in the several open consultations slated for February 6, 7 and 8, to voice opinions for their respective sectors.
However prominent environmentalist Luis Carvajal said the decision shouldn’t depend on the UNDP decision because in his view isn’t institutional and “constitutes a threat to Dominican sovereignty."
He said the UNDP’s occasional visit won’t lead to fair evaluation on the project’s merits, because it’s a lengthy process. "That's a myth, regardless of how good the technicians are, it’s not true that they’ll be able to do such a study in a few days. They’ll only consider Xstrata Nickel’s evaluation."
Speaking in La Nota FM, Carvajal affirmed that the Environment Ministry changed the miner’s terms of reference, because it couldn’t issue a permit for the operation with the ones Xstrata previously submitted.
The biologist also discarded the possibility of the project’s approval, on technical grounds.