indigenous ‘water laws’ protest in Ecuador, 2010; photo by Lou Gold (visionshare on Flickr CC)

A rainbow coalition of indigenous groups and social/political activists recently hit the streets of Quito, the capital of Ecuador, in protest of large-scale mining projects approved by the country’s president Rafael Correa.

Correa praised the Chinese mining project, claiming they will bring 50,000 jobs and billions in revenue.

Though Correa is popular in Ecuador, the project is facing opposition.

Ecuador has already suffered a massive oil spill in the Amazon region, and some 50% of the country is already covered by mining and oil extraction projects. So Ecuadorans are understandably wary of more major mining operations.

See the following video report from Al Jazeera English for more:

Far away and on a much smaller scale, Yorkshire in northern England is also in the throws of what looks to be a mining revival. This time it’s potash in the region’s North York Moors National Park.

Though most press on the recent discovery of large, high quality potash deposits in Yorkshire has been positive, one video report by Deutsche Welle addresses the potential environmental impacts of mining.

And it’s not just a question of 5,000 jobs vs. spoiling the sights of a beloved national park. There are also issues of pollution to consider.

Environmentalists fear that building the huge mine and the countless tons of waste material that will be produced will destroy part of the national park. The mayors of surrounding communities, in contrast, are celebrating. They hope that, after decades of decline, the pits could provide new impetus for reviving the local economy.

– Deutsche Welle

Check out the video report for more: