started this petition to
President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan,
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim,
Chinese ambassador to the Netherlands H. E. Ambassador CHEN Xu,
U.S. secretary of state John F.Kerry
The mining project at Mes aynak will cause the destruction of the Buddhist city Mes Aynak and the underlying archeology which dates back to the early bronze age. It also poses the serious risk of causing irreversible damage to the environment, and because the region sits atop the water resources that serve both the agricultural and population centers of Kabul and Jalalabad with an estimated population of 3 million, and even reaches into Pakistan, it is therefore very important that the risks be properly assessed and minimized!
1) We, the signers of this petition understand that after almost 30 years of warfare and internal strife there is an urgent need for revenue generation. But we also recognize the importance of Mes Aynak to the history of the ancient Silk Road, the history of Buddhism, and of course the history of Afghanistan! We insist that the mining project at Mes Aynak be conducted in accordance with international standards, in a way that not only ensures public safety, but also ensures the survival of the cultural and archaeological heritage in the vicinity of the copper mine.
2) The mining project, environmental protection and heritage conservation can and must be part of an integrated plan! In this plan openness is the way forward, yet no plans on part of MCC have been made publicly available, though Afghan law requires this!
3) A new coordinating body needs to be set up, comprised of professionals in the field of archaeology, geology, experts in the field environmental safety and representatives of the local community in order to oversee the project and to make sure that the International standards which apply are properly implemented. This body needs to make sure that the international standards and rules be applied troughout the length of the project.
4) On june 4 and 5 of 2012, experts met in Washington to discuss the situation at Mes Aynak and to develop realistic strategies, that encompasses economic growth, and meanwhile safeguarding public health and the priceless heritage. The recomandations that were made are reasonable and should be followed by all supporting partners.
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