The Stream, September 28: Philippines May Suspend More Mines On Environmental Concerns

The Global Rundown

A government audit of environmental violations could force the suspension of more than a dozen mines in the Philippines. Indigenous protestors in Peru’s Amazon are blockading a river until the country’s new president and other government officials meet with them to discuss problems associated with oil development. Pakistan signaled that it would consider as an act of war any attempts by India to abolish the Indus Waters Treaty. Mines are displacing communities in Malawi and contaminating their crops and water supplies, according to human rights advocates. A study of groundwater pumping in Dhaka found that it may increase arsenic pollution in surrounding areas. Taipei’s water utility warned residents it may cut supplies due to quality concerns in the wake of Typhoon Megi.

“It’s highly irresponsible on part of India to even consider revocation of the Indus Water Treaty.” –Sartaj Aziz, a foreign policy adviser to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, responding to reports that India might scrap the Indus Waters Treaty, an agreement governing water rights in the shared Indus River Basin, amid growing tension between the countries. Sources in India said the government does not plan to eliminate the treaty, but may pursue more development of the water resources allocated to it by the treaty. (Reuters)

Read Circle of Blue’s coverage of India-Pakistan water relations here.

By The Numbers

20 mines Number the Philippines government may suspend over environmental violations in the wake of an audit meant to clean up the industry. The Philippines is the world’s biggest producer of nickel ore. Reuters

3.94 million people Number in Taiwan supplied by the Taipei Water Department, which warned residents on Tuesday that water service may be cut off due to high turbidity levels caused by Typhoon Megi. CNA

Science, Studies, And Reports

Government oversight of coal and uranium mines in Malawi is not adequate to keep communities and natural resources safe, according to a report by international NGO Human Rights Watch. The report interviewed communities near the mines, who voiced concerns about water contamination and the destruction of subsistence crops. Guardian

Excessive groundwater pumping to supply water to Dhaka, Bangladesh could increase the risk of arsenic contamination in well water outside of the city, according to a study by researchers at the University of Delaware. As water is pumped from aquifers beneath the city, it can speed up the flow of more shallow, polluted groundwater into the deep aquifers nearby communities rely upon. UDaily

On The Radar

Indigenous communities in Peru have been engaged in a partial blockade of the River Maranon, a major tributary of the Amazon, for 27 days to protest oil development in the Amazon. The protestors are calling on the country’s new president to meet with them to discuss environmental and social problems created by oil activities. Guardian