Natural resources are potentially a great source of wealth for many of the poorest countries on earth, and in some cases do drive local & national socioeconomic development. But too often investment by oil, gas, coal, mining and agricultural companies comes at the expense of nearby residents – polluting air, water & land, displacing entire communities, and sometimes fuelling violent conflict. These companies often operate in ways that produce few or no benefits for local communities, that yield too little revenue for national governments to fulfill social needs, and that shield companies from transparency and accountability.
In this “Big Issue” area:
- Follow latest developments
- Find out about key initiatives like Oxfam’s work on “land grabs”, Institute for Human Rights and Business’s Natural Resources programme, human rights projects by Intl. Council on Mining & Metals and oil industry group IPIECA, Earthworks’ “No Dirty Gold” campaign
- Learn how mining, oil, gas & coal, agriculture, biofuels and food & beverage companies are responding – or failing to respond – to allegations of abuse
- Learn about key issues such as revenue transparency, tax avoidance and natural resources & conflict
- Explore responsible transitions towards renewable energy, including investor briefings, company responses, and company briefings
Since 2005, we have invited companies in all sectors to provide public responses to civil society concerns about their human rights conduct. While oil, gas and mining companies have long faced accusations of involvement in abuse – and some have developed leading practices to address their human rights impacts – we have seen a dramatic spike in concerns about “land grabs” and displacement by agricultural firms and the food & beverage companies that source from them.
We also bring together guidance for companies, to help them better manage their human rights impacts. This guidance includes examples of good policies & practice, including by Rio Tinto, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé and Total.
Our regional & country briefing papers on Eastern Africa, Eastern Europe & Central Asia, Francophone Africa, Latin America & Caribbean, Myanmar, South Asia, Western Europe and Anglophone Africa include dedicated sections on issues of natural resources & human rights. See also our briefing note published for Africa Oil Week 2013, and our in-depth areas on oil pollution & human rights in Ecuador and Nigeria, and on the US Gulf Coast.
In October 2018, we completed a briefing note analysing sugar contracts of supplier/producer companies in Cambodia, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mali, Sierra Leone and Timor Leste.
Related stories and components
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Author: Sotheary Pech, Khmer Times
"Laos urged to conduct impact studies", 18 January 2019...
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Kenya: Iron mining firm Samruddha Resources' workers protest unsafe working conditions; company comments
Author: Lucy Mkanyinka, Business Daily (Kenya)
"Taita Taveta iron mining firm workers go on strike"...
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Liberia: NGOs develop new advocacy strategies to hold oil palm producers accountable for environmental & human rights concerns
Author: Cewhy Kwanue, Daily Observer
"Green Advocates, IDI Develop New Tools to Hold Oil Palm Farmers Accountable for Environmental and Human Rights Violations", 7 January 2019....
Cambodia: Prey Lang Community Network's report shows a concerning rate of illegal logging at Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary
Author: Soth Koemsoeun, The Phnom Penh Post
"Forest activists issue damning report of logging at Prey Lang", 14 January 2019...
Tanzania: Govt. agency fines Acacia Mining for allegedly violating waste disposal standards; company comments
Author: Mining Technology (UK)
"Tanzania fines Acacia Mining for breaching environmental regulations"...
Author: Concepcion Alvarez, Novethic (France) (copyright: www.novethic.fr)
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Cambodia: A wildlife NGO plans to conduct a field investigation into alleged illegal logging in Pursat province despite threats and intimidation
Author: Khouth Sophak Chakrya, The Phnom Penh Post
"NGO to probe illegal logging", 9 January 2019...
Author: Kaamil Ahmed, Mongabay- India
"Journalists reporting on the environment faced increased dangers in 2018", 4 January 2019...
Author: New York Times
'You Know Your Diamond's Cut and Carat. But Does It Have Ethical Origins?' 8 January 2019...
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