Civic movements pressure Portuguese government for transparency over lithium strategy

Eight citizens’ movements opposing lithium exploration have written to environment minister João Pedro Matos Fernandes demanding transparency in the process and the involvement of populations. 

Associação Guardiões da Serra da Estrela (Guardians of Serra da Estrela), Associação Montalegre com Vida (Montalegre with Life), Associação Povo e Natureza do Barroso (People and Nature of Barroso), Associação Unidos em Defesa de Covas do Barroso (United in the Defence of Covas do Barroso), Movimento em Defesa da Serra da Peneda e do Soajo (Defence of Serra da Peneda and do Soajo) , Movimento Não às Minas – Montalegre (No to Mines – Montalegre) , Movimento SOS Terras do Cávado, and Movimento SOS Serra d’Arga are concerned about the Strategic Environmental Study announced three months ago for which they have seen no announcement in government newspaper Diário da República. 

The study is due to be completed in March and will determine which areas are to be opened up to mining tenders.

Says the groups’ open letter: “It is worth remembering that the European Commission itself warned the Portuguese government in October 2020 that it should ensure full transparency and involvement of local populations in what Brussels calls ‘exploration of strategic raw materials’.

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