Meet on Natural Resources Protection & IP rights in Manipur

24th February 2018

Civil Society meeting on Protection of Land and Natural Resources in Manipur on 24th February 2018
Civil Society meeting on Protection of Land and Natural Resources in Manipur on 24th February 2018

24 FEBRUARY 2018,


The participants of theC ivil Society meeting on Protection of Land and Natural Resources in Manipur, organized by the Committee on the Protection of Natural Resources at Manipur Press Club, Imphal, Manipur on 24th February 2018 hereby resolved:

To affirm that indigenous peoples have the exclusive and intrinsic rights over their land and natural resources, including to sustainable manage and use their land and resources as per their wishes, aspirations and self-determined rights.

Concerned with the aggressive targeting of Manipur in Indiaís Act East Policy with subsequent push for extractive industries, hydropower projects, and infrastructure projects with increased involvement of neo-liberal forces, multinational corporate bodies and international financial institutions.

Civil Society meeting on Protection of Land and Natural Resources in Manipur on 24th February 2018
Civil Society meeting on Protection of Land and Natural Resources in Manipur on 24th February 2018

Resolved that all plans to drill and explore oil and gas without the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous peoples of Manipur should be withdrawn. All production sharing contract and Production Exploration License signed by the Government of India and Government of Manipur with Oil Companies like the Jubilant Energy, Oil India Limited, Asian Oilfields etc should be revoked.

Express our concern and condemnation with oil companies, primarily the Asian Oilfields, the Oil India Limited for its forcible attempts to explore and drill oil in various parts of Manipur disrespecting the longstanding peoples resolve and call to refrain from any exploration and drilling related activities. The Government of Manipur should not permit any oil exploration activities without recognizing peoplesí rights over land and resources and without considering the multifaceted and long term impacts.

The MoUís signed with the Seven mining companies for Chromium and Limestone mining in Ukhrul and Chandel Districts in November 2017 should be revoked, as the Government of Manipur and the mining companies failed to recognize communities rights over their resources and to take their free, prior and informed consent. No detailed impacts of mining have ever been conducted so far.

Concerned that Manipur is afflicted with commissioning of controversial, incomplete and failed projects like Khuga dam, Mapithel Dam, Dolaithabi Barrage etc. The plan to commission the much controversial Mapithel Dam and Dolaithabi Project in March 2018 without addressing the multifaceted impacts of the Mapithel dam including in both upstream and downstream areas of the dam and without completing the major infrastructures for water supply, irrigation and power supply etc is premature and irrational.

Civil Society meeting on Protection of Land and Natural Resources in Manipur on 24th February 2018
Civil Society meeting on Protection of Land and Natural Resources in Manipur on 24th February 2018

The Government of Manipur should desist from commissioning Mapithel Dam and the Dolaithabi Barrage and consider how Khuga Dam and Khoupum dam etc lay failed after commissioning.

Express concern with the irresponsibility and lack of accountability with dam building multinational companies like the National Hydroelectric Power Corporation (NHPC) for failing to consider the longstanding demands of communities in and around Loktak wetlands to decommission the Ithai Barrage of the 105 MW Loktak Multipurpose Hydroelectric Project. The Ithai Barrage of Loktak project should be decommissioned considering the multifaceted and irreparable impacts of the project.

Further express our concern that the NHPC insisted with the construction of the 66 MW Loktak Downstream Hydroelectric Project to utilize the water discharged from the controversial Loktak Project. The NHPCís decision to build Loktak downstream project is a disrespect of peoplesí rights and call.

Controversial policies, like the Manipur Hydro Power Policy, 2012, Manipur Loktak Lake Protection Act, 2006 etc should be repealed for its targeting of peoples land, forest, rivers and other resources as mere source of power and profit for corporate bodies and also for restricting communities rights and access to their traditional land and resources.

The MoUís signed by the Government of Manipur with North Eastern Electric Power Corporation and the NHPC for construction of mega dams like the 1500 MW Tipaimukh Multipurpose Hydroelectric Project, the 60 MW Irang Dam, 190 MW Pabram Dam, the 67 MW Khongnem Chakha Dam, Tuivai Dam, the Nungleiband Dam, Chakpi Dam etc over the Barak River, the Irang River, Chakpi River etc without consent of indigenous communities should be scrapped altogether.

Civil Society meeting on Protection of Land and Natural Resources in Manipur on 24th February 2018
Civil Society meeting on Protection of Land and Natural Resources in Manipur on 24th February 2018

The Northern Frontier Railways, Corporate bodies and the Government should stop destruction of peoples land, forest and contamination of water sources in Tamenglong and other areas. Railway companies and Government should stop harassing villagers for seeking their rights and justice.

Concerned with the increased financing of multilateral and bilateral financing institutions like the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency etc, for financing infrastructure projects like road projects, water supply, high voltage transmission and distribution lines etc to facilitate the expropriation and plunder of Manipurís land and natural resources.

Express concern that the pursuance of extractive industries, hydropower project and other related infrastructure projects led to increased militarization and targeting of indigenous community leaders and organizations in Manipur under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, 1958 (AFSPA) and other criminal laws. We called for repeal of AFSPA, 1958 and to demilitarize Manipur.

The participants urged upon the Government of India, Government of Manipur, Corporate bodies and all international financial institutions to fully recognize indigenous peoplesí rights over their land and resources and to fully respect their right to self-determined development, especially to take their free, prior and informed consent before pursuing any unsustainable and destructive development projects in their land and territories.

All provisions of UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007 should be fully implemented in Manipur for decisions affecting indigenous peoples land and territories, lives, rights and their future.

* This Press Release was sent to by Committee on the Protection of Natural Resources in Manipur who can be contacted at cpnrm2018(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This Press Release was posted on February 25 2018

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