Re-Imagining Mining: The Earth Charter as a Guide for Ecological Mining Reform
Carla Sbert, "Re-Imagining Mining: The Earth Charter as a Guide for Ecological Mining Reform," (2015) 6 IUCNAEL EJournal 66.
30 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2015 Last revised: 19 Jun 2015
Date Written: June 1, 2015
With its far-reaching effects on society and the environment, mining has a crucial role to play in building a sustainable world, and must be profoundly transformed. The Earth Charter offers an ethical grounding for the transition to a world of sustainability, equity, and peace. This transition becomes ever more urgent as the global ecological, economic, and social crises deepen.
This paper argues that the Earth Charter provides guidance for ecological mining reform, and draws from it three overarching rules: cause no serious environmental harm, minimize depletion, and protect the rights of people. To mine in a way that is consistent with these principles of ecological justice and ecological integrity would entail a profound transformation of mining. While very challenging, this surely would be easier than experiencing collapse, and the reward might be nothing less than an ecologically just society.
Keywords: sustainability, ecological law, environmental law, sustainable development, Earth Charter, mining, degrowth
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