Need global moratorium on new large-scale mining, extraction and prospecting
The average U.S. citizen uses an astonishing 22,000 times their weight in minerals, metals and fuels in their lifetime
By Stephen Leahy
UXBRIDGE, Canada – March 1 2012, IPS
A global scramble for land and mineral resources fuelled by billions of investment dollars is threatening the last remaining wilderness and critical ecosystems, destroying communities and contaminating huge volumes of fresh water, warned environmental groups in London Wednesday.
No national park, delicate ecosystem or community is off limits in the voracious hunt for valuable metals, minerals and fossil fuels, said the Gaia Foundation’s report, “Opening Pandora’s Box”. The intensity of the hunt and exploitation is building to a fever pitch despite the fact the Earth is already overheated and humanity is using more than can be sustained, the 56-page report warns.
“We’re calling for a global moratorium on new, large-scale mining, extraction and prospecting,” said Teresa Anderson of The Gaia Foundation, an international NGO headquartered in London, UK that works with local communities.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has recently warned of the threats to World Heritage Sites from planned mining and oil and gas projects. One in four iconic natural areas in Africa is negatively affected, the report notes.
“No matter where you live, land acquisitions for mining, oil or gas are coming,” Anderson told IPS following the report’s launch in London.
The easy-to-get resources are gone. Now the extractive industries, funded by pension funds and commodities speculators, are using new technologies like fracking for natural gas to get at previously unprofitable resources. Continue reading