El Salvador has made history after becoming the first country in the world to ban toxic metal mining.
El Salvador may be the smallest country in Central America, but it just passed a gargantuan initiative which sets itself apart from other nations around the world. On Wednesday, the country’s Congress approved a law which effectively bans all metals mining in an effort to protect the environment.
Whereas some countries have banned strip mining in addition to open-pit techniques, the bill passed in El Salvador restricts all underground, aboveground and artisans mining to obtain metals. Ivan Morales, country director for the charity Oxfam, commented:
“Mining is not an appropriate way to reduce poverty and inequality in this country. It would only exacerbate the social conflict and level of water contamination we already have.”
It was also stated by authorities that heavy metal mining poses “a threat to the development and well-being of families.”
According to El Salvador’s Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources, 90% of surface water was polluted from agricultural runoff in 2013. Because humans have a responsibility to preserve the environment and wildlife for future generations, the measure passed with 69 votes out of 84 possible.
DW reports that mining for salt, stones, and sand will still be allowed. However, toxic cyanide and mercury will remain in the ground. What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!