While India benefits substantially from its natural resources, tribal populations in the country’s major mining states are among its poorest people, with mining-affected communities often enduring displacement from their lands and livelihoods. In response, the Goa Foundation joined PWYP in 2017. Founded in 1986, by a group of Goan conservationists each fighting individual environmental battles, the organisation today commands respect from the judiciary, the government and the general public for persisting with its environment agenda for more than two decades.
In 2018, the Goa Foundation was joined by new PWYP member Environics Trust, which has been nominated to coordinate a coalition in India, following a two-year collaboration to develop an India Extractives Transparency Charter. Following a year’s consultation process with CSOs and affected communities throughout the country, the charter was adopted by more than 30 CSOs in Bangalore in 2018, and will form the basis of the Indian coalition’s activities. These will include exploring opportunities for transparency of payments to governments by large and listed extractive companies operating in India, building on the country’s Right to Information Act. The coalition also wants to assess the impact of mine closures, use social audits to assess and mitigate the effects of mining on communities, and research the impact of mining on land use, including forestry.