NIMBY, NOT IN MY BACKYARD – AN UNFOUNDED FEAR
For many years, a movement on an international level has existed under the acronym NIMBY, which stands for the English phrase, Not In My Back Yard. In the language of Cervantes, no en mi patio trasero. What does it mean? It is a platform against construction projects such as airports, prisons, dumps, nuclear centers, re-housing buildings, train tracks, wind farms, etc., the type of things that you wouldn´t want to have constructed near your house, or your back yard so to speak, so it doesn´t affect your surrounding environment.
What happens when demagogy and lack of agreement and understanding come into play without reason?
It affects projects that traditionally have a stigma of destroying the environment, when few or none actually do so. Instead, they promote sustainable development, which is the case in mining engineering.
There is a high level of misinformation and hypocrisy, as pointed out by Antonio García Muñoz, managing partner of Specialized Area in the Mining Sector of Lener, in his article Mining, demagogy y sustainability. “We see how none of these platforms advocate abandoning the use of minerals, yet they do not mention eliminating mobile phones, vehicles, electricity… The pseudo-ecological demagogy prevails over established values of the EU.
We all want to benefit from the extraction of minerals yet say that mines are destroying the environment.
Aside from the demagogic weight that it may carry, this idea is like rowing upstream. Mining of the 21st century is one of the pioneers shifting toward the fight against climate change, adopting plans of exploiting the land that not only optimize benefits for companies and the environment, but also fulfill a program that respects the environment, which include land rehabilitation and improvement once the activity is completed, the reduction of gas emissions, and significant advances in safety concerns for both workers and nearby urbanizations. These measures have helped in the reopening of mines that had been closed for years, reactivating and improving the landscape.
The European Union does not hesitate to refer to mining as the main path to sustainable development in the upcoming years.
The mission of engineering consultants of the 21st century –like AYMA– is the extraction of minerals in accordance with strict environmental standards, fortunately put in place by the EU, those where there is no room for dogmatic stances that create no benefit for sustainable development, such as the negligent practices of the NIMBY movement.