Large-Scale Mining

Fueled by ever-increasing demand and the boom-and-bust cycles of global commodity markets, large-scale mining destroys forests and pollutes soil, air and water. Violent conflicts, sexual exploitation, criminalization and displacement of communities living in forests destroyed for mining, are examples of social impacts that are inherently linked with the mining industry.

The discourse of the 'energy transition' is usually used to justify the expansion of the mineral extractive frontier. However, in addition to local pollution and impacts on forests and people, the extraction and processing of minerals require large quantities of water, with long-lasting and far-reaching effects on territories.

This bulletin aims to reflect on the extraction, violence and oppression related to the so-called energy ‘transition’ and its ‘green’ camouflage. A transition from what? And towards what?

Electric cars have become the symbol of the ‘low carbon’ economy. As an item of consumption first and foremost for the wealthy, the negative impacts of the required minerals and metals that are extracted are frequently downplayed.

This article highlights the voices of Justiça Ambiental! in Mozambique and the African ecofeminist alliance WoMIN.

The so-called ‘digital economy’ is usually promoted as one that has a relatively low impact on the environment, one in which material resources are largely unnecessary. But what (and who) is being hidden by such images of an almost ethereal and cleaner economy?

The mining sector seeks to gain legitimacy and expand its frontiers of accumulation and territorial control. It does so using a discourse of sustainability and by investing in so-called “nature-based solutions.

The crisis in Venezuela from 2013 to 2021 has caused the collapse of a nation that was built around oil over the last 100 years. This has created a situation characterized by the emergence of mining-dominated predatory extractivism.

The government of Indonesia endorsed the criticized Omnibus Law by saying that it is “crucial to attract investment and ultimately create jobs.” The Law is a direct attack on the territories and communities resisting the increasing destruction that has been ongoing for decades in Indonesia. (Available in Indonesian).

WRM spoke with close allies from Brazil, Gabon, India, Mexico and Mozambique, to hear from them and learn about their understandings of development.

How does REDD+ fit into the development agenda in Indonesia? What are the actors involved in promoting REDD+ and with which interests? (Available in Indonesian).

The approval of a road construction inside the first Ecosystem Restoration Concession in Indonesia puts in evidence the inherent contradictions of such concessions. (Available in Indonesian)

Communities have a long history of confronting the disasters imposed by corporations and elites. For them, the “emergency” was a reality well before the Covid-19 pandemic. Yet, profit-seekers are abusing the situation to advance land grabs and roll back legislation.