Mineral resources hold unique potential to lift nations and communities out of extreme poverty. Effective resource governance can stimulate sustainable economic growth, enhance equitable distribution of national wealth, broaden public engagement, ensure access to justice and protect human rights and freedoms. However, a rich endowment of mineral resources is also often a source of conflict, with the social drivers and political determinants of these conflicts poorly understood. In developing and fragile states, poor governance, corruption, illicit financial flows and weak institutions threaten the peace, security and fundamental human rights of the world’s most vulnerable populations. To address these emergent global trends, this project sought to apply, mobilize and disseminate new research on the processes, pathways and dynamics of mining-related conflicts.
CIRDI collaborated with an interdisciplinary team of academics and professionals to conduct innovative, stakeholder-reviewed research that investigated the reported increase of mining-related conflicts globally. CIRDI’s approach to conflict research included a literature review, conflict database analysis and field case studies. Achieving a broad view of conflict allowed a multi-stakeholder perspective to emerge along with an understanding of the interaction between key players in the generation of conflict. By engaging communities, civil society, government, industry and academia in this research, CIRDI facilitated a comprehensive analysis of the processes, pathways and dynamics of conflict and mining.
This project was comprised of two phases. The phase-one study was based on three main components including a literature review, a compilation and analysis of existing global conflict incident databases (2012-2013) and field investigations of four case studies in Latin American and Africa. The literature review and conflict incident database analysis provided an opportunity to analyze the topic from a broad, high-level perspective, involving a relatively large number of incidents. The on-site, field-based investigations allowed for a deeper, more penetrating analysis based on a carefully selected sampling of existing and recent conflict cases.
Building on the findings of phase one, phase two included:
The first phase of the study included a literature review, a qualitative analysis of mining conflicts and four case studies from Bolivia, Madagascar, Peru and Tanzania. It reviewed 167 mining-related conflict incidents in 44 countries in 2012 and 2013.
The data indicated that:
Read the report: The Rise in Conflict Associated with Mining Operations: What Lies Beneath?
This work was grounded in the belief that good governance and informed public policy are key to mitigating and managing conflict by decreasing violence and corruption, increasing transparency and public participation in decision-making, and strengthening regulatory frameworks to safeguard human rights. This project produced high-quality research and data with the objective to strengthen governance systems and institutions at the national level, assisting host governments to integrate conflict prevention and management tools into their national practices at all levels of government.
The final report was finalized in September 2018 and launched at the IGF Annual General Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland in a side event hosted by the UNDP.