India ‘Particularly Vulnerable’ to Coal Mining, Says Report

Forest area across the globe, larger than the size of a country like Portugal, is at risk from coal mining with five countries, including India being “particularly vulnerable”, according to a new report.

The report, “Double Jeopardy: Coal’s threat to Forests”, by forests and rights NGO Fern said in “India and Colombia, coal mining threatens more than 250,000 hectares (over 617,763 acres) of forest which is equivalent of 400,000 football fields.”

Overlaying coal mining concession and forest cover data for four of the world’s five biggest coal producers, among other countries, the report shows at least 11.9 million hectares (29.4 million acres) of forest across the world is threatened, it said.

A new report released at the UN climate change conference in Paris shows that “a forest area larger than Portugal is at risk from coal mining worldwide, with forests in Australia, Canada, Indonesia, India, Colombia and the US particularly vulnerable.”

The report claims that granting land rights to forest communities can keep forests standing and coal in the ground.

The report cites the case of India, where Forest Rights Act (FRA) has been a vital safeguard against wiping out forests for coal, notably in the struggle between the UK company Essar and the Indian government on the one hand and local tribal people on the other, over the former’s plans to create an open cast coal mine in the Mahan forest, in Madhya Pradesh.

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