A petition has been launched to prevent the destruction of ancient site of Mes Aynak – a Buddhist city which remained undiscovered for 2,000 years and survived revolution, invasion and war.
The petition has been launched by Change.org website which is being operated by Change.org Inc., an American B Corporation that provides a tool for people to advance social causes.
According to change.org, the petition has been launched with an aim ‘ to save the ancient Buddhist city of Mes Aynak (Province Logar, Afghanistan) from needless destruction while preventing irreversible environmental harm to the Kabul watershed and the Afghan people.’
Acknowledging the urgent need for revenue generation for Afghanistan, the website says, adding that it also recognize cultural heritage is a treasure for the ages, and no amount of revenue can compensate for an environmental catastrophe.
“We insist that the Mes Aynak mining project be conducted in accordance with international standards in a transparent manner that will safeguard public health, and ensure maximum protection for cultural heritage and the environment. International standards include publication of the final mining plan, the final, approved environmental impact plan, and the consensus advisory of archaeologists to optimize restoration of the site,” the petition says.
It also adds “We strongly urge the Afghan government to set up a coordinating body composed of government and mining officials, neutral experts in the fields of environmental safety, archaeology and geology, and representatives of the local population and civil society to oversee the implementation of International standards. This body shall ensure that the mining plan is followed throughout the entire life of the mine.”
Mes Aynak is home to one of the world’s largest untapped copper deposits — worth more than $100 billion and astonishing remains of an ancient Buddhist city.
Chinese state-owned China Metallurgical Group Corporation (M.C.C.) was granted the copper mining rights at Mes Aynak by government in 2007. (Photo www.savingmesaynak.com)
Golden Buddhist statues, dozens of stupas and fragile Buddhist manuscripts buried within temples, were uncovered with the excavation works for mining in 2009 where only 10% was uncovered while 90 percent of the site remains underground and unseen.