John McDonnell MP has sponsored an Early Day Motion (number 210) in the British Parliament. An EDM is a way of testing the opinion of MPs and gathering support for issues of concern. The text of the EDM is reproduced below and you can find it on-line, together with a list of signatories, at http://edmi.parliament.uk/EDMi/EDMDetails.aspx?EDMID=34312&SESSION=891. If you live in the UK, please contact your MP and ask him or her to sign it if they have not already done so.
EDM 210 BRITISH-BASED MINING COMPANIES 12.11.2007
That this House notes that London is the world’s biggest centre for mining investment and that the activities of mining companies listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) are causing significant concern around the world; further notes that some former residents of Tabaco, Colombia, forcibly displaced for the expansion of the Cerrejon coal mine, are still seeking a community relocation agreement from the current owners of the mine, Anglo American, BHPBilliton and Xstrata, all of which raise substantial funds on the LSE; further notes that BHPBilliton continues to control mining leases in protected areas of Kalimantan in Indonesia despite the damage to the environment and local communities that developing such a mine would cause and that communities in the Philippines feel that their legal opposition to BHPBilliton is being ignored or undermined, in an atmosphere of human rights abuses against anti-mining advocates; commends the London Mining Network and its member groups for drawing attention to these matters; and calls on British-based mining companies and the UK Government to ensure that mining projects not be allowed to proceed without recognition of land title for mining-affected communities, demonstrable public acceptance by those directly affected and, in the case of indigenous peoples, recognition of their legal right to free prior informed consent in accordance with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.