Mining of Critical Minerals for Clean Technologies at the Cost of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and the Environment
April 8, 2024


As the world shifts towards clean technologies to combat climate change, industries focused on sustainable energy sources and environmental preservation have gained prominence. However, this transition, while crucial for environmental sustainability, poses challenges to the rights and livelihoods of Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands are often rich in the minerals essential for clean technology production. “Minerals for Clean Technologies at the Cost of the Environment and Indigenous Peoples’ Rights” is a publication that sheds light on the intricate dynamics between the demand for critical minerals like lithium, cobalt, and nickel, and the protection of indigenous rights and territories.

This compendium of case studies from Bolivia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and the Philippines offers a nuanced exploration of how the global push for electrification, though well-intentioned, infringes upon the rights of indigenous communities. It exposes the environmental degradation and social injustices that often accompany the extraction processes of these vital minerals. By delving into the specific contexts of each region, the publication underscores not just the environmental impact of mining activities but, more critically, the disruption of Indigenous Peoples’ ways of life, their access to land, and their right to self-determination.

Through these narratives, the publication sheds light on a recurring theme: the marginalization of indigenous voices in the decision-making processes concerning their own lands. It illustrates how the quest for minerals essential to clean technology production has led to conflicts over land rights, forced displacements, and the undermining of indigenous governance structures. The case studies vividly depict the struggles of indigenous communities as they navigate the challenges posed by national interests, corporate greed, and a global market eager for sustainable solutions but often blind to the cost at which they come.


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