Throughout Asia, poorly planned projects for dams, highways, railways and monoculture plantations have sliced and diced prime breeding habitats as well as linking corridors for tigers and migratory routes for elephants, increasing conflict between wildlife and marginalised rural communities.
Illegal and unsustainable mining is the worst offender, with vast swathes of forest felled. Mining leaves huge craters and causes massive disturbance, draining ground water and polluting water and soil in order to extract valuable minerals, oil and gas.
The loss of forest and the consequent impact on water security, soil erosion, and the knock-on effect on river siltation and flooding, also exacerbate the hardships on communities in the immediate vicinity and further downstream.
EIA has successfully campaigned for the closure of illegal soapstone and sandstone mines inside Jamwa Ramgarh Wildlife Sanctuary in India, where soapstone was being extracted to make talcum powder for leading international cosmetic companies.
With partners in India, we have lobbied for the clean-up of diamond mining operations on the edge of Panna Tiger Reserve, and supported our colleagues at Kudremukh National Park to stop iron ore mining.
Mining and major engineering projects are not the only threats to habitats – back in 2003, EIA investigated the growth of fences in Botswana that were having a detrimental affect on the migratory routes of many species.