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Serbs protest lithium mining and other environmental issues | WGN Radio 720

People will participate in a protest against pollution and exploitation of lithium mines in the western part of the country in Belgrade, Serbia, on Saturday, September 11, 2021. Hundreds of activists have gathered to protest the exploitation of the lithium mine by an international Rio Tinto company. .. (AP photo / DarkoVojinovic)

Belgrade, Serbia (AP) —Thousands protested in Serbia on Saturday, with a planned ban on lithium mining on the Balkans and many others that made the region one of Europe’s most polluted areas. Requested a solution to environmental problems.

A rally in downtown Belgrade has recently gained popularity in Serbia in the face of widespread disillusionment with mainstream politicians and the major pollution problems facing the region. Organized by.

Protesters say they are at stake due to government policies and decades of negligence in pursuit of profits, with flags calling for the protection of Serbian rivers, nature and air.

Protesters then announced several other blockades in the rest of the country within a few months, thus blocking one of the capital’s major bridges for some time.

More than 100,000 people have signed a petition to an international Rio Tinto mining company seeking to build a mineral-rich lithium mine used to produce electric vehicle batteries in the western part of the country.

“Our request is for the Serbian government to revoke all obligations to Rio Tinto,” said Alexander Jovanovich, one of the organizers. “We got together to say no to those who donate concentrated sulfuric acid instead of raspberries and honey.”

Many experts warn that nature in western Serbia will suffer if lithium is developed in fertile lands and areas rich in agriculture. Serbia is also facing a huge pollution problem caused by a coal power plant operated by a Chinese company.

In addition to the mining industry, Serbia faces growing problems such as poor waste management and high air pollution caused by the use of poor quality coal and other pollutants. Rivers are polluted by toxic industrial waste, and many cities, including Belgrade, lack good sewage and wastewater systems.

“This summer, we’re thirsty, breathing toxic air, and the land is sold out,” the protest organizer said in a statement. “Forests have been logged and mines are expanding.”

Balkan countries need to significantly improve their environmental protection policies if they want to proceed with bidding to join the EU in 27 countries. After years of war in the 1990s, many Balkan nations that fell into poverty and were hurt by corruption have pushed environmental problems to the bystanders.

Rio Tinto has invested $ 2.4 billion in a project in Serbia, making it one of the world’s largest producers of lithium amid rising demand for electric vehicles.

Serbs protest lithium mining and other environmental issues | WGN Radio 720

Source link Serbs protest lithium mining and other environmental issues | WGN Radio 720

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