May 14, 2012

Research Into Extractive Industries (MGA)

The extractive industries, or the mining of oil, gas and minerals leave heavy environmental and social footprints, often causing irreversible damage to land, water and community infrastructure. Many civil society groups argue that these activities are disproportionately borne by the populations of developing countries while the rewards generally accrue to large corporations and consumers in developed states.

The Sisters of Mercy worldwide have had long experience living and working in close proximity to mining sites throughout the world, and have raised concerns about the environmental impacts of mining on water, air and soil. They are concerned that the mining industry continues to wreak havoc particularly for those who are poor and who do not have a voice. As worldwide demand increases for products such as copper, lead, gold and hydrocarbon oils, poor people continue to suffer the negative impacts of mining such as poisoning of land and water, and lack of health and education facilities.

Sisters of Mercy have been working with communities who are suffering from the negative impacts of extractive mining in countries across the globe for many years. However, the scale and expansion of the extractive industries over the past decade has highlighted the need for research into the industry and the devastation that it is wreaking on communities and ecosystems. Mercy Global Action decided to undertake this action research project to see how we can work on this issue more effectively. This research will be undertaken by MGA’s researcher Betty Lacey who will be contacting, experts in the field, members of the Global Action Networks and the Cosmology/Eco Justice working group to ascertain their views on the issue.

The abuses of the extractive industries are a major issue for Sisters of Mercy and this research will focus on these industries in countries where Mercy works. It will investigate government policies, human rights violations and negative impact on the environment and ecosystems. It will look at the work being undertaken by the Sisters of Mercy on this issue. It will look at possibilities for joint lobbying also seek to formalize an action plan for lobbying and advocacy of governments and other actions which MIA member Congregations might undertake together.

Details on this research project proposal can be read in the Terms of Reference.

Messages to Betty Lacey - MGA Intern


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