Mining, oil and gas exploitation, and logging often have a negative impact on ecosystems and communities around the world. Canadian resource extraction companies are globally powerful, and many have been implicated in human rights violations and ecological disasters. Mining and oil sands projects often contaminate water while hydrocarbon extraction for fossil fuel energy is a major source of the greenhouse gases causing climate change. Both in Canada and abroad, Indigenous communities are particularly affected by mining and oil and gas exploitation, and Aboriginal rights are often violated in the process.
The United Church of Canada works with its partners in Canada and around the globe to raise concerns about resource extraction issues. We call on the Canadian government to create new mandatory (rather than voluntary) standards that will hold Canadian companies accountable for human rights violations and ecological destruction committed abroad.
Information and Action
Related Partners and Programs
The United Church works in partnership with organizations in Canada and around the world to address the issues related to resource extraction, including the following:
- Santa Marta Economic and Social Development Organization (ADES) (El Salvador) (Spanish-language website)
ADES, a community development agency in the northern part of El Salvador, is part of a network opposed to the reopening of a gold mine in the area.
- Christian Council of Tanzania (Tanzania)
The council provides education and training for church leaders on engaging in public witness for justice regarding resource extraction concerns, including environmental impacts, human rights, and tax revenues owed from foreign gold and diamond mining activities.
- Cordillera Peoples Alliance (Philippines)
Works with Indigenous peoples and communities in the Cordillera region to protect their ancestral lands and resources by educating, mobilizing, and advocating with communities resisting large-scale commercial resource extraction.
- FEDEPAZ (Ecumenical Foundation for Development and Peace) (Peru) (Spanish-language website)
FEDEPAZ works to provide legal support to community leaders involved in struggles against mining, including the Majaz project in northern Peru.
- MiningWatch Canada
Addresses threats to public health, water and air quality, wildlife habitat, and community interests from irresponsible mineral policies and practices in Canada and around the world.
United Church communities work on resource extraction issues through a variety of initiatives at the local and regional level. Here follow a few examples from several conferences:
- All Native Circle Conference
Conference members have been involved in protests against the illegal actions of resource companies (who do not abide by the principles of free, prior, and informed consent) at Big Trout Lake First Nation (ON) and at Sharbot Lake (ON). Several protestors were jailed as a result.
- Maritime Conference
The "Mining the Connections Committee" has led the Conference, partners like Breaking the Silence, and other organizations to take action related to mining in Guatemala and Colombia.
For more information on initiatives in your local area, please contact your local Conference office.
Background, Resources, and Links
For more information, contact: