To create and ensure “a country with fair and effective governance over natural resources, including minerals, that are a shared inheritance with the State as trustee for the people and, especially future generations.”
“We, as citizens, and representatives of civil society organisations, citizen campaigns, networks, affected communities, mine workers and unions are coming together to demand utmost transparency in all process related to the extraction of India’s natural resources. We believe that all the natural resources are an asset and inheritance of the commons, and the State plays the role of a trustee on our behalf. To ensure that decisions are taken in the best interests of citizens and citizens can have a systematic role in the oversight and monitoring of the extractive process, we sign this Charter and resolve to build a vibrant peoples’ campaign to implement the Charter in letter and spirit through advocacy and engagement.”
OUR KEY PRIORITIES
To advocate for a fair mineral resource governance mechanism in place based on the principle of intergenerational, intragenerational, and interspecies equity.
To guarantee radical transparency on the part of both the government and the extractive industries, including the disclosure of payments and policy affairs, as well as the effective implementation of Free Prior Informed Consent (FPIC).
To call for rationalization and regularisation of mining activities with strict limits to the quantum of production of mines and minerals in India.
To promote a gender-responsive approach in all extractive stages and welfare activities, with women as the key stakeholders in the mining process.
Do you think you own a share of India’s mineral wealth?
You do, believe it or not! The Public Trust Doctrine, an integral part of common law and derived from Article 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution clearly states that “natural resources including forests, water bodies, rivers, sea shores, etc. are held by the State as a trustee on behalf of the people and especially the future generations.” So, minerals as a part of the commons are owned equally by all, including future generations. The government simply owns the title to the minerals with the State holding ownership over onshore minerals and Centre on offshore minerals. Unfortunately, the general public considers these valuable minerals to be the property of the government, which has the right to extract them in order to generate revenue. Our country’s non-renewable resources have been depleted as a result of the popular windfall revenue rhetoric applied to minerals. Minerals are being sold for less than their worth, and the mineral sale proceeds like royalties and auction premia are treated as windfall revenue and consumed, cheating our children of their rightful inheritance.
While the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act of 1957 (MMDR Act) has provisions to pay for environmental and social harm caused before, during, and after the extractive process, it does not address future generations’ rights. The Mineral Inheritors Rights Association, or MIRA, was established to bring this tremendous injustice to the public’s notice, to push for a shared inheritance, and to demand transparency and accountability in the extractive sector of India.