The campaign was started three years ago by a coalition of groups which included Greenpeace. In Slovakia, any petition gaining 100,000 signatures must be discussed by the country’s parliament. The coalition’s petition gained 113,000 and it was delivered to the parliament in September last year.
This week the campaign was victorious when, in a momentous decision, the Slovak parliament agreed on legal changes to geological and mining laws to give more power and control to local communities, municipal and regional authorities. This will allow them stop or limit geological research of uranium deposits and to stop proposed uranium mining.
This is a huge achievement for the Slovak environmental movement and should be an inspiration for groups around the world. For the first time in Slovak history non-governmental organisations were able to collect over 100,000 signatures, have an environmental issue submitted to the Slovak parliament by a petition, and to achieve a change in the law by a petition.
This does not mean a complete ban on uranium mining in Slovakia but gives significant powers to local and regional authorities in the mining permission process. All 41 municipal authorities facing proposed uranium mining projects in their territories have already declared their opposition. There’s an excellent chance that Slovakia’s uranium will never see the light of day.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
I'm really excited to report that Greenpeace won its campaign in Slovakia to change Slovakian law, allowing local communities to weigh in on the establishment of uranium mines near them. This is particularly great news for me, as I worked on this campaign a couple years ago in Slovakia with the Greenpeace Organizing Term. Check out the full scoop from Greenpeace: