One of the major challenges facing human society and the natural world is the progressive trashing of the living world by transnational mining companies and, indeed, the extractive industries in general. In the light of the destruction which mining can cause to both the environment and indigenous people, Columbans feel local communities should have the right to veto mining operations.
Support has been given to local communities in the Philippines and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference who oppose large-scale destructive mining in their country. Columban Justice and Peace is a founder member of the British-based Working Group on Mining in the Philippines.
Experience in many countries proves that mining companies – and the extractive industries generally – often attempt to use a ‘divide and conquer’ approach when it comes to dealing with local communities about prospecting and mining. Governments, non-governmental organisations and Church groups have been helping indigenous and other vulnerable people to organise themselves when they vote to either approve or reject a particular mining scheme. Communities need to be made aware of the problems and benefits associated with mining, and Church groups have a role to play here.
Columbans have been involved in the production of two reports on Mining in the Philippines which can be downloaded from the links section on the right.
Fr Frank Nally, based in London, works on mining issues and is a key organiser for the Working Group on Mining in the Philippines. He can be contacted via:
Missions Blogs and articles
Links / Files
- Philippines: Mining or Food Report (2009)
- Mining in the Philippines: Concerns and Conflicts (2006)
- Photos & Reports - Mining or food
- Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility (ECCR)
- London Mining Network
- Mines and Communities
- Philippine Indigenous People’s Links
- BIC and EIR with CELAM Conference Lima 2011
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