Environmental Protection And Sustainable Development In Indian Metal Ferrous Mineral Sector
Sustainable development is a buzz word in natural resources development today. In view of the increased awareness of environmental problems, the accent on sustainable development has grown in recent times, particularly in respect of activities which degrade the environment and affect communities adversely. Mining is one such activity. Mining also presents a contrast. It represents one of man’s earliest activities and with time, the use of minerals has increased both in volume and variety in order to meet a wide range of demands of society. The result is that the present day society, especially in emerging economies like India and China is crucially dependent on the minerals industry for sustained economic progress that will alleviate poverty and improve the quality of life. In these circumstances, sustainable mineral development boils down to bringing about a balance between economic, social and environmental well-being now and for the future. Achieving a dynamic balance between supply and demand for minerals, good governance and environmental management, economic and social stability and intra-generational and inter-generational equity is the challenge that India faces today for the development of its mineral sector. Consequently, the primary objective of this study is to provide an overview of various aspects of the country’s mining industry (mainly metalliferous minerals) as it impinges on the issues relating to sustainable development. It seeks to identify the operational principles of sustainable development that are relevant for mining and examines how governmental and industry practices and procedures can be aligned to these principles for a more satisfactory outcome than exists today. As such it is hoped that the report will be of value to those who are involved in the process of mineral development in the country.