haven't heard so far, the Supreme Court of India cancelled 214 coal blocks
allocated to private companies since 1993, deeming them illegal. And one of
these coal blocks brings us to the story of Mahan, one of the oldest Sal
forests in Asia and livelihood to more than 50,000 people.
Local people in Mahan, central India, come together to oppose mining in their forests.
In the village it is pitch dark by 7.30 pm. At the designated spot for the meeting, there are about 15 or 20 villagers holding solar lanterns. The meeting lasts over two hours and throughout that time, people keep coming and joining the conversation. Halfway into the meeting, I turn around to steal a quick look at the crowd and I am surprised at how large the group has become! It’s about a 100 people sitting, standing, leaning against their houses and trees, listening intently and waiting for their turn to speak.
Last month, Emma Gibson wrote about her visit to the forest in Mahan, India. Villagers and Greenpeace staff have been facing threats and intimidation there because of their attempts to stop the forest being cut down in pursuit of the coal that lies underneath.
Things are really hotting up now,
with fresh arrests and intimidation occurring in the lead up to a village
meeting and vote called the Gram Sabha. At the Gram Sabha villagers will be asked to vote to on giving up their historic rights to live and work in the forest in order to make way for a coal mine.
Some of the biggest companies in the palm oil industry just launched the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto. They say its a step forward - but we say it's greenwash that won't stop them trashing Indonesia's rainforests.