Stop Another Hungary Environmental Catastrophe in the Central Highlands of Vietnam
- Vietnam’s National Assembly (Congress), Mekong River Commission, ASEAN, EU Commission, US Congress
Today, in the light of the Hungary’s toxic red sludge spill, the Viet Ecology Foundation is, once again, calling you and other concerned world citizens – together with several thousands of Vietnamese scholars, scientists, environmentalists, we urge the Government of Vietnam to consider the safety of the ongoing bauxite mining projects in the Central Highlands of Vietnam: If it were a toxic red sludge breakout, this environmental catastrophe would not limit its havoc within and around the Central Highlands and the Dong Nai River Basin.
It could also potentially carry on its path of destruction downstream to the Lower Mekong River Basin.
To: World Citizens
Shortly after the BP oil spill of as much as 180 million gallons gushed into the Gulf of Mexico, our Earth has recently experienced another environmental catastrophe in Hungary. On October 4th, 2010 after the breach of the red sludge reservoir, which is managed by a Hungarian alumina factory (MAL Magyar Aluminium, http://english.mal.hu/Engine.aspx), nearly 200 million gallons of toxic mining red sludge broke out in a matter of hours. This sludge has been devastating the lives of hundreds of Hungarians in Kolontar and its neighboring towns and wreaking environmental destruction to nearby rivers and creeks. In addition, the toxic spill has the potential of contaminating the mighty Danube river as it flows downstream toward Croatia, Serbia and Romania (http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101011/full/news.2010.531.html).
This Hungary environmental catastrophe has further reinforced our grave concerns on the safety of China’s much bigger mining project in the Central Highlands of Vietnam (http://www.miningtopnews.com/vietnam-china-in-16-bln-bauxitealumina-deal.html) and its potentially far more serious and costly havoc, not only to the Central Highlands of Vietnam but also to the Dong Nai River Basin, where the estimated 14 million people are depending on it for their livelihood.
Vietnamese people in Vietnam and abroad have, once again, joined together and submitted their petition, calling on the Vietnamese government to put a halt to the ongoing bauxite mining projects in the Central Highlands of Vietnam, http://boxitvn.blogspot.com/2010/10/kien-nghi-ve-du-khai-thac-bauxite-o-tay.html.
In the past we had circulated the Stop Bauxite Mining Projects In Central Highlands of Vietnam petition, http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/stop-bauxite-mining-projects-in-central-highlands-of-vietnam.html. Today we are once again urging you to join the peoples in Vietnam and around the world to call for an immediate stop to the bauxite mining projects in the Central Highlands. In light of the Hungary’s toxic red sludge spill, a proper re-assessment of the Vietnam bauxite projects is warranted.
The undersigned, therefore, urgently request:
1. That the Vietnamese government halt the bauxite mining concession in the Central Highlands immediately; conduct a transparent environmental impact assessment as required by Vietnam’s environmental laws and regulations; and allow the bauxite mining projects to go to the Vietnam’s National Assembly (Congress) for open deliberation and voting as required by Vietnamese laws;
2. That the Vietnamese government fulfill its obligations to the UNESCO's World Heritage Convention which it has adhered to since 1987 by studying thoroughly long-term impacts of the bauxite mining projects on the Gong Culture of the Central Highlands of Vietnam, which has been recognized by UNESCO as the World Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2005; and
3. That the Vietnamese government uphold the rule of law, democratic due process, and transparency in planning for the sustainable development of the Central Highlands with respect to its indigenous cultures, peoples, and the natural environment.