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The Justice in Mining Network (formerly GNMR Network) is a Global Ignatian Advocacy Network that aims to ensure that issues of equity and sustainability are addressed in mining activity throughout the world.

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Justice in Mining Update

The Justice in Mining Network is the new name for the Governance of Natural and Mineral Resources (GNMR) Network. This new name clarifies the purpose of the Network - and is a lot easier to say!

Global Mining Survey Seeks Jesuit Participation

The Justice in Mining Network is conducting a survey of mining activity and related issues in communities where Jesuits have a presence either individually or through institutions.
 
Purpose of the survey
The purpose of the survey is to identify the key concerns around mining and its related impacts in areas where there is a Jesuit presence.  The results will inform the Justice in Mining Network of the most pressing issues in regions where Jesuits work, helping the Network formulate its strategies for how and where it can assist and/or influence. 
 
Who can participate?
The survey is directed at any Jesuit or Jesuit institution e.g. Jesuit social centre, Jesuit educational institution, Jesuit spirituality centre, or Jesuit residence.

Whether the respondent’s work concerns mining issues or not is not important.  The survey seeks to identify mining-related issues occurring in the respondent’s geographical region of operation.
 
What does the survey involve?
The survey comprises 27 questions and should not take more than 15 minutes to complete. 
The survey can be accessed via: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MM23PRX
Survey responses should be received no later than Friday, 31 March 2017.
 
Source of funding
The survey is being funded by Magis through the Xavier Network.
                                                                                                                     
Results
Responses will be analysed by the Justice in Mining Network and a summary of results will be distributed to respondents and the broader Jesuit community.
 
Confidentiality
Please indicate if there are aspects of your responses that you wish to keep confidential.
 
Questions about the survey
If you would like to discuss any aspect of the survey, please contact Carolyn Ryan of the Justice in Mining Network at Carolyn.ryan@jss.org.au
 

 

Human Rights Case Proceeds for World’s Largest Carbon Emitters
 

The Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines (CHR) made history in July by calling an investigation into the human rights violations of 47 of the world’s largest cement, oil, coal, and mining companies through their contribution to climate change.

As part of the investigation, the CHR requested the companies to comment on the human rights allegations made in a petition submitted by 14 organisations and 18 individuals.  Twenty companies have responded since July.  Independent experts have also presented submissions to the CHR.

In early December, the CHR announced that it will commence public hearings from April 2017.  These will be webcast due to their relevance to other communities and overall global significance.

According to the Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, Yeb Sano, “As long as companies and governments fail to act on climate change, every day is human rights day. Today, we got much closer to our aspiration of holding those most responsible for the climate crisis accountable, in order to prevent further harm”.

This is the world’s first national investigation into human right violations caused by climate change.  A previous article on this case can be accessed here.

Canadian Jesuits Join Six Other Catholic Institutions in Announcing Commitment to Fossil Fuel Divestment


Seven Catholic institutions from across the globe announced their decision to divest from fossil fuels in early October, culminating the Season of Creation celebrations with the largest faith-based divestment announcement to date.

This latest commitment to divestment from within the Catholic Church highlights the growing momentum towards the practical implementation of the spirit encapsulated in the Pope’s Laudato Si’ Encyclical Letter on Ecology and Climate.  In it, the Pope warns of the dangers of climate change and argues that “technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels – especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser degree, gas – needs to be progressively replaced without delay.”

How can fossil fuel dependent technology be replaced?  Divestment is one such means by sending signals to fossil fuel companies and the market to start focusing on green fuel and technologies, as the consumer is not willing to invest their money in actions that exacerbate climate change.  For more information on divestment and ethical investment, please visit https://justiceinmining.com/2016/08/18/fossil-fuel-divestment-where-do-jesuit-institutions-fit-in/ and https://justiceinmining.com/ethical-investment/

These seven divesting Catholic institutions comprise:
  • The Jesuits in English Canada
  • The Federation of Christian Organisations for the International Voluntary Service (FOCSIV) in Italy
  • The Presentation Society of Australia and Papua New Guinea
  • SSM Health in the United States
  • The Diocese of the Holy Spirit of Umuarama in Brazil
  • The Missionary Society of St. Columban, based in Hong Kong and active in 14 countries
  • The Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco – Daughters of Mary Help of Christians in Italy
In the words of Jesuit Father David Shulist, “It was a difficult decision for us.  If it wasn’t, we would have made this decision a lot sooner.”  While this means that any future investments in coal, oil, and gas will be immediately halted, it could take years to gradually shift Canada’s Jesuits’ current investments away from greenhouse gas-producing forms of energy.  Peter Bisson, SJ, from the Provincial of the Jesuits in English Canada added, “Climate change is already affecting poor and marginalized communities globally, through drought, rising sea levels, famine and extreme weather.  We are called to take a stand.”

In the same week, students from Jesuit schools and universities organised actions under the umbrella group – Jesuit Divestment Group – to urge their academic institutions to divest from fossil fuels and play their role in ensuring that the earth’s temperature does not increase by 2⁰C.

Earlier this year in June, four Australian Catholic orders announced the first joint Catholic divestment from coal, oil, and gas.  Subsequently, youth attending World Youth Day in July sent an open letter to the Pope urging him to ensure that the Vatican cuts ties with the fossil fuel industry.

The fossil fuel divestment campaign is the fastest growing divestment campaign in history with almost 600 institutions worth over $3.4 trillion globally having pledged divestment from fossil fuels. 

A divest-reinvest toolkit for Catholic communities seeking to divest from fossil fuels is available from http://gofossilfree.org/divest-reinvest-toolkit/
 

International Criminal Court Expands Priority to Include Cases of Environmental Destruction


The International Criminal Court (ICC) is a United Nations-backed court that has historically ruled on cases of genocide and war crimes since it was set up in 2002. 
 
However, in what is a positive outcome for environmental defenders, the ICC declared its decision in September to expand its priority cases to include those crimes “that are committed by means of, or that result in, inter alia, the destruction of the environment, the illegal exploitation of natural resources or the illegal dispossession of land”.  It also includes an explicit reference to land grabbing. 
 
This declaration at the highest level of criminal justice relays two key messages:
 
1.Land grabbing and environmental destruction are no less harmful than war with regards to the negative impacts faced by civilians

2.Human rights violations committed in a time of peace and in the name of profit can be as serious as traditional war crimes
 
This will have implications on how business is done in certain countries, making private companies at risk of being complicit in crimes against humanity.  The Guardian notes that land grabbing has become increasingly common around the world with governments having allocated tens of millions of hectares of land to private companies in the past ten years. 
 
The result of land grabbing has been closely associated with deforestation and the contribution of that to climate change, to the forced eviction of people from their homeland, to malnutrition, and to the cultural genocide of indigenous peoples. 
 
This new focus on the part of the ICC could be the much-anticipated step needed towards prosecutions over climate change.  
 
In Case You Missed It:

The Justice in Mining Facebook page features a variety of news about research, campaigns and events relevant to the Network's focus.
These are some of the recent stories:
  • A recent report has been prepared conjointly by Publish What You Pay and Civicus to highlight the increasing threats faced by those fighting for natural resource justice.
  • The European Union has taken steps towards removing conflict minerals from its supply chain.
  • See the video by New Media Advocacy Project highlighting the negative impacts of mining and providing food for thought in case a mining project were to start near you.
  • A recent report by the United Nations International Resource Panel confirms what ecologists have known all along: resources are limited, human consumption trends are unsustainable, and resource depletion diminishes quality of life and future development. A summary of the report is available from Greenpeace.
To stay up to date with the latest news and developments, visit and "like" our Facebook page.

Communicating the Justice in Mining Story
Justice in Mining Update is designed to bring you up to date with the work of the Justice in Mining Network, and with relevant events and news concerning the governance of resources. The Justice in Mining Update will be issued 3-4 times a year. Contributions are welcome - please contact Carolyn Ryan at carolyn.ryan@jss.org.au.

JUSTICE IN MINING MAILBOX:

Feedback, Suggestions and Contributions


We would love to hear from you if you have any feedback, suggestions or contributions for the Justice in Mining Update.
Please contact Carolyn.ryan@jss.org.au or one of the J.i.M. Core Group members.
Please also share this newsletter with your colleagues and contacts with an interest in this subject.

Copyright © 2016 Governance of Natural and Mineral Resources (GNMR) Network, All rights reserved.


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