Mining waste: The Aznalcöllar tailings pond failure
Authors: Ginige, T.
Journal: European Environmental Law Review
It is imperative that the Spanish mining laws and regulation be reformed with adequate financial assurances and comprehensive environmental protection, in such a way that mining interests can recognise the standards to which they will be held and regulatory agencies can enforce them. Furthermore, there is a need to reform the antiquated judicial procedural system in Spain. The institutional structures need to promote transparency, fairness, and confidence in an independent substantive capacity to advise and adjudicate on environmental issues. There should be a more effective exercise of authority in co-ordinating environmental activities within the CCAAs and between the regions and the State. Adequate financial resources linked to broader incentives must be provided to the judiciary and environmental authorities of the State and the CCAAs. Transposing legislation that pays lip service to the participation of people concerned is contrary to the European environmental policy only serves to indicate the fears of the administration in respect of giving environmental rights their proper place in a democratic society. Room for the incorporation of the views of the NGO s, civil society and the private sector, must be made in the decision making process. Finally, I must stress that resource development and economic growth are incompatible with environmental protection unless they are linked to strong environmental safeguards, reclamation requirements, adequate enforcement, compliance, liability and access to speedy justice.
Preferred by: Tilak Ginige