Global appetite for fossil fuel energy and other minerals is increasing exponentially. However, mining and energy extraction are intensely intrusive, can be heavily polluting and adversely affect surrounding communities and the environment. These activities are attractive to poor country governments desperate for foreign exchange and hoping to increase services to their people. This is a process that is fraught with opportunities for abuse, corruption and a waste of the natural resources that should serve as the patrimony of all citizens.
New and expanded exploration by the extractive sector – especially in Latin America, Africa and Asia – have led to protests and requests for help from adversely affected local communities, many of whom are indigenous. Many of these projects are negotiated between central governments and private corporations. At times, global and regional development banks and agencies are involved.
The price of gold and other minerals – and the global appetite for energy – has increased exponentially in recent years. The rapid industrialization of countries like China and India means that demand will only continue to increase.
Our work with corporations is in collaboration with other investors and non governmental organizations. This work is grounded in solidarity with the struggles of local communities and employs tools like “Free Prior and Informed Consent” and the “Extractives Industry Transparency Initiative”. These tools move corporations to actively engage and address the concerns of indigenous communities before launching exploration and extraction activities. An important objective is transparency in relationships between corporations, governments and other partners.
We engage in corporate dialogue on these and related issues with Newmont Mining Corporation, Freeport Mc Moran, Barrick Gold, Alcoa, Apache, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Halliburton.
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