The purpose of the Justice in Mining Network is to ensure that issues of equity and sustainability are addressed in the governance of natural resources. The Justice in Mining Network supports and advocates on behalf of local communities affected by mining activities, and lobbies on human rights issues where appropriate. The Network recognises that the materials extracted via mining are used in a variety of useful and positive ways, but also urges society to be prudent its use of the earth’s resources.
The Justice in Mining Network is one of four Global Ignatian Advocacy Networks set up by the Society of Jesus, a religious order within the Catholic church whose members are known as Jesuits. These global advocacy networks were established following General Congregation 35 (a gathering of Jesuits from all over the world) in 2008, when a new emphasis was placed on the reality that the Society of Jesus is ‘one body with a universal mission’.
The Jesuit community is divided geographically into six regions or Conferences. Representatives of each Jesuit Conference have been working together to consider how the Jesuit community can best contribute in advocating around extractives projects and their impact on local communities and the wider environment. Those representatives, comprising the Core Group leading the Justice in Mining Network, are:
- Europe: Alicia Aleman
- Canada: Jenny Cafiso
- Latin America and Caribbean : Pedro Landa
- US: Fernando Serrano
- Africa: Ferdinand Muhigirwa
- South Asia : Xavier Soreng
- Asia Pacific : Julie Edwards
(Julie Edwards is CEO of Jesuit Social Services, an Australian social change organization working to build a just society, and has led the Justice in Mining Network since 2013).
The Network itself comprises members from each of the six conferences (Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Africa, South Asia and the US) with an interest in addressing issues of equity and sustainability in the exploitation of natural and mineral resources. There are currently around 25 Network members – Jesuits or people working for or studying at Jesuit organisations) – others who are interested in joining should contact the Justice in Mining Network via the “Contact” page.
The initial priorities of the Network are to:
- Raise awareness among Jesuits, partners and the communities we serve, of the importance of good governance and management of natural and mineral resources and sustainable lifestyles.
- Build capacity among Jesuits, partners and the communities we serve, to enable them to understand, address and provide leadership in matters regarding the governance of natural and mineral resources.
- Support and advocate with and for people and communities affected by mining.
PROJECTS AND CAMPAIGNS
The Core Group has developed an Action Plan which sets out the goals of the Network and identifies a number of initial projects. Some past and current advocacy projects include:
- Environmental Justice for Central America – aims to raise awareness and build local capacity to undertake environmental health monitoring, community education, and effective advocacy in the Caribbean, especially Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic. Read more about this project here: Mining and Environmental Justice in Honduras
- The Conflict Minerals Project will continue focusing on advocacy and raising awareness on conflict minerals, as well as research and education regarding country-specific issues. Learn about the campaign in various languages here.
- The India Project will progress advocacy on behalf of communities in India affected by mining activities.
- The EITI Project will work to progress the adoption of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative by each country where mining occurs. We will do this by monitoring country participation, supporting and resourcing the efforts of local advocates, and exploring opportunities for participation in key political and international fora. The Justice in Mining Network is a member of Publish What You Pay (PWYP).