Extractives, Equity and Conflict: Lessons from Work at Local, National and International Levels
Rees Warne, Senior Technical Advisor for Resource Governance at Catholic Relief Services
Peter Rosenblum, Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein Clinical Professor in Human Rights at Columbia Law School
Isabel Munilla, Director of Publish What You Pay United States
Ray Gilpin, Director of the Center for Sustainable Economies at the United States Institute of Peace
Researchers have documented that dependence on exploitation of natural resources “substantially increases the risk of civil war.” This is the curse of plenty. However, this does not have to be the case. Oil, gas, and minerals exploitation can fuel equitable development and help people raise themselves from poverty. Poorly managed exploitation of these valuable natural resources and inequitable appropriation of the enormous wealth they generate can mire a country in poverty and exacerbate underlying inequalities which can fuel corruption and violent conflict. In too many developing countries, people living near the extractive industry operations see little benefit from the extraction of this national wealth. Instead they bear a disproportionate share of the costs: environmental contamination and health risks, degraded livelihood security, ruptured social fabric and conflict (Extractives and Equity: An Introductory Overview and Case Studies from Peru, Angola and Nigeria (2011) Edited by Tom Bamat, Aaron Chassy and Rees Warne, CRS page 1).
Panel members will discuss trends and lessons learned in work on equity and the impacts of extractives industries (oil, gas and mining) in developing countries and will particularly highlight the effects on conflict. Rees Warne (Catholic Relief Services) will draw on recent research sponsored by Catholic Relief Services to discuss actions being taken by civil society organizations, communities and the Catholic Church in resource-rich countries to reduce negative impacts and increase local benefits from extractive companies’ operations. Prof. Peter Rosenblum (Columbia Law School) will situate the focus on conflict minerals within the larger international movements on natural resource exploitation and address the need for integrating the conflict mineral discussion with other work on the mining sector in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Isabel Munilla (US Publish What You Pay coalition) will discuss legal frameworks with international reach that aim to improve transparency of oil, gas and mining revenues paid to governments as a step towards increasing government accountability for the spending of national natural resource wealth.
Free copies of the publication Extractives and Equity: An Introductory Overview and Case Studies from Peru, Angola and Nigeria (2011) will be available at the CPRF.
Please note that this event will not take place at the Wilson Center, but instead at:
School of Advanced International Studies
The Johns Hopkins University
1740 Massachusetts Avenue
Washington, DC 20036
For more information on how to register for this event, please click here.