Preserving a healthy environment is needed to guarantee the presence of ancient cultures
What is mankind's greatest treasure?
From a mass scale and non-environmentally friendly exploitation to an artisanal and sustainable one
There should be an environmental responsibility to industrial exploitation and exploration
Globalization with responsibility
The Global Justice & Human Rights Partnership organized an international conference in Colombia:
Understanding and managing conflicts between extractive industries
and local communities in the era of Global Justice
The extraction of natural resources has lead to environmental destruction and human rights violations. Oil and mining companies have been facing conflicts with indigenous peoples and local communities all over the world. The Global Justice partnership is trying to address this problem and shed light on the mechanisms put in place for resolving and preventing disputes in 7 regions in the world.
In a politically controversial moment, the extractive industry sector is still growing in Brazil. Recently, a Canadian company acquired a major project to explore a huge gold mine in the heart of the Amazonian region. Conflicts have arisen between companies, indigenous peoples and local communities, involving a dichotomy on land and water, but also on development, environment and human rights protection.
Canada is home to 70% of the world’s mining corporations with operations in Africa, the Middle East, South and Central America. Income from natural resources represent 16% of the Canadian GDP. Many Canadian companies are involved in conflicts with local communities and governments concerning human rights violations.
The exploitation of oil and minerals such as gold, coal and precious stones is affecting biodiversity, fresh water resources and human rights in Colombia. In order to protect water resources from the pollution created by extractive industries, there has been a river declared a living person. Recently, the constitutional court has recognized a right to local communities, allowing them to veto extractive projects. Colombia has now found itself the target of many investment disputes for having protected water resources and human rights.
In Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos), mining is considered an major source of revenue to the country just like many other countries, but at a great cost to the environment. The mining policy in Laos is controversial, as tensions exist between the central government and the population of the outlying regions. This is due to the process of awarding mining concessions and the distribution of socio-economic benefits to those who exploit the region.
There are more than a hundred active conflicts are related to the concessions of the Mexican territory to extractive industries. Most of these concessions are due to the lack of the free, prior and informed consulting process. Many indigenuous peoples and local communities are protesting in order to claim protection over their territories, sacred mountains, water and collective rights.
Most conflicts around land and natural resources in Peru are linked to the extractive industries sector. Many of them involve indigenuous populations, for whom the territory constitutes part of their socio-cultural identity. Certain strategies are being developed to mitigate conflicts that affect the environment, territory and natural resources. However, only a few are construed to strengthen the capacity of local communities vis-à-vis authorities to address and manage disputes.
Recently, protests have erupted in Tunisia at industrial sites where oil and gas have been explored. Communities are demanding better jobs and access to the region’s natural riches. As Tunisia’s democracy has been developed recently, the state is facing more protest from civil society organizations.
This is a predominantly mining country where large scale extractive projects are mainly related to gold, diamonds and tanzanite but also gas and oil. The construction of these infrastructures has shown that the process is not without negative impacts to host communities.