Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Home | Contact us | Search
Our mission | MOGC publications | Staff members | Our partners | Contact us
Africa | Asia | Middle East | Latin America | United Nations |
War is not the answer | Arms control/proliferation | U.S. military programs/policies | Security | Alternatives to violence
Maryknoll Land Ethic Process | Climate change | GMOs | Water | U.S. energy policy | Earth Charter |
Trade/Investment | Foreign debt | Millennium Devel. Goals | Corporate accountability | Int'l financial institutions | Work | Economic alternatives
Indigenous peoples | Migrants | Children | Women | People with HIV/AIDS
Educational resources | Contact policymakers | Links | MOGC publications |
Subscribe | Get a free copy | NewsNotes archive

Mining in Africa: Extract minerals, not blood

August 17, 2010

Synod for Africa Proposition 29:  Natural resources

"The Synod Fathers condemn the culture of consumerism which is wasteful, and advocate the culture of moderation. The Synod appeals to the international community to encourage the formulation of national and international legislation for the just distribution of revenue generated by natural resources for the benefit of local populations and to ensure their legal management to the advantage of countries possessing these resources, while barring, at the same time, illegal exploitation. The Synod also proposes to address the global economic system, which continues to marginalize Africa. We highly recommend to the Church Family of God in Africa to press our governments to adopt a suitable juridic framework which takes into account the interests of our countries and their populations.

"We ask Church institutions which are active in these societies to press for allowing populations to enjoy the management of their natural resources.

"For her part, the Church will seek to establish a desk in various countries of the continent to monitor the management of natural resources."

The following is an excerpt from this article, written by Shefa Siegel.

The mining industry has a long, brutal history of abuse, murder, massacre, and slavery. Finally, real attempts are being made to clean things up. Even in today’s gridlocked politics, five centuries is a long time to wait for legislation. Yet this is how much time lapsed between early European efforts to ensure humanitarian practices in mining, and the enactment of two new human rights reforms for the extractive industries which were quietly attached to the recent U.S. financial reform law.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, signed into law July 21, included two related transparency reforms for the mining, oil, and gas industries. One requires U.S. multinationals to disclose their payments to foreign governments. The other is an obligation to report trafficking in conflict minerals. Although details remain to be clarified in the bureaucratic - and heavily lobbied - rulemaking process, expectations are high for these transparency reforms. The hope is they will:

  1. provide investors a holistic view of risk, including political and reputational risk;
  2. help citizens of developing countries hold their governments accountable so that resource profits support sustainable growth rather than disappear into the pockets of elites; and
  3. curb transactions in conflict minerals.

If successful, these reforms will provide a legal structure for what until now has been a voluntary, largely ineffective system for eliminating the corruption, conflict, and human rights abuses that have plagued the extractive industries for centuries, if not millennia.

The full article is available here.

Shefa Siegel is the Resource Policy Consultant with the Canadian International Development Agency, a research fellow in mineral policy, University of British Columbia; and associate faculty, School of Environment & Sustainability, Royal Roads University.

About us | Privacy Policy | Legal  |  Contact Us
© 2011 Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns