PM gifts mere 0.1 percent of coal scam figure to protect biodiversity in India

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Press release - October 16, 2012
Commenting on the speech by the Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, as he inaugurated the high-level segment of the U.N summit on biodiversity, in Hyderabad, Vinuta Gopal, Head of Climate and Energy Campaign, Greenpeace India said, "Today's speech from the Prime Minister can best be described in two words; hypocrisy and failure. The Prime Minister's failure was his inability to express how he will show leadership on the world stage that will deliver the vital global objectives set out in the Aichi targets. Domestically he displayed breath taking hypocrisy. While he was lavish in his praise of forest dwellers and the role they play in managing and defending the forests and biodiversity, describing these communities as the best friends of the forests he made no mention of the fact that his mass coal expansion policies will leave tens of thousands of forest dwellers without homes and livelihoods, a fact emphasized with 54 coal blocks being lined up for auction that will lead to state sponsored corporate plunder of the forests.

The PM was all at sea when it came to progress on international agreements to protect the oceans. All along the Indian coastline fishermen report a steep fall in fish catches, while at the same time destructive development continue to threaten the marine biodiversity.

As we near the end of this conference one can only conclude that India’s performance as hosts and their influence to protect the biodiversity of the planet for the generations to come has been very disappointing – but then, from a Prime Minister and a government on a one track path to the destruction of its own rich biodiverse environment , we should not be surprised."