By Amélie Foko’o Magoua, Anna Chevalier, Cassandra Ajufoh and Tomaso Ferrando
On June 5th, a group of inhabitants of the agrarian reform settlement Ressaca in the Brazilian state of Para organized a collective action to take back public land previously turned over to Belo Sun Ltd, a Canadian mining company. The action, conducted with the support of indigenous communities and actors from across the Amazon region, aimed at vindicating the right of people to the integrity of their territories and opposing the way in which regulators, politicians and private companies were sacrificing them in the name of gold extraction and global trade in natural resources. Moreover, the action was a clear signal against the limits of national legal processes and a consequence of a frustrating visit to public and private actors in the European Union.
Continue reading “The ecological consequences of ‘economic development’: the expansion of gold mining in the Volta Grande do Xingu”
By Arpita Bisht
Of all natural resources, mineral aggregates (sand and gravel) have been the fastest growing and most extracted material group over the 21st century. This growth has not only been associated with large-scale ecological degradation, but also with violent extractive operations on local levels.
Given that sand and gravel are heavily used in the construction industry, particularly in concrete production, it comes as no surprise that the growth of infrastructure is the main driver for the overall rise in their consumption. What’s more, since 1970, increasing aggregate consumption has largely been observed in the global South—in regions which have witnessed massive economic and infrastructure growth. Continue reading “Sand and gravel: Rethinking aggregate consumption and distribution”
By Karin Küblböck
On 1 January 2021 the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation entered into force. From now on, companies importing certain minerals into the EU must ensure that their sourcing practices do not contribute to conflict and human rights abuses. The regulation therefore introduces for the first time mandatory human rights due diligence for companies in the EU. In its current version, the scope of the regulation is extremely limited. Nevertheless, its implementation can provide important lessons for the upcoming comprehensive EU due diligence legislation. Continue reading “The EU Conflict Minerals Regulation – a trial run for responsible sourcing of raw materials?”