Experts evaluate environmental impact study for planned mine
Santo Domingo.- The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) reiterated Thursday that its sole role is to advise Dominican Republic’s Government by evaluating the environmental impact study submitted by Xstrata Nickel for its planned mine at Loma Miranda, in the country’s rugged Central Mountains.
UNDP representative Valerie Julliand said a team of experts this week assessed the environmental impact study submitted by the mining company aimed at obtaining the Environmental Ministry’s authorization to exploit Loma Miranda.
“The experts were selected for their experience in the field, broad knowledge of international conventions, experience working with UN and integrity and transparency, among other things,” said the statement handed out to reporters in a news conference held at UNDP offices in Santo Domingo.
The result of the evaluation will be participatory and multidisciplinary as the group of experts is specialized in the areas of environmental impact assessment, biodiversity, hydrogeology, environmental economics, sustainable mining and sociology, it said.
Julliand introduced the team comprised of the coordinator Eduardo Vadillo, of Mexico, a biologist specialized in environment and development; Olivia Eugenia Sparza, also of Mexico, a social anthropologist, and Rafael Negret, of Colombia, expert on Latin America political issues.
Also Oscar Arnoldo Escolero, of El Salvador an earth scientist and expert on groundwater; David Laurence, of Australia, a mining engineer, and Jared Hardner, of the United States, an economist, and expert on the nvironmental and natural resources.
The UNDP representative said the team has been in consultations and on site meetings throughout the week to obtain the needed input to evaluate the controversial project from various perspectives. “Experts continue to work from their respective countries in the analysis of the documents submitted by the company Falcondo (Xstrata) also the summaries of consultations, meetings and field visits made during this week,” the statement said, adding that a second visit by the group is slated for March.
When DT asked Laurence on similar conflicts arising from Australia’s vast experience in mining, the engineer affirmed that they occur in all countries, noting his nation’s more than 200 years in the activity