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Loretto at the UN is an active member of the NGO Mining Working Group, which collectively has constituencies in more than 30 mining countries and advocates at the United Nations for human and environmental rights with regards to extractive industries.
The UN Member States are in the early stages of developing a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to guide the development agenda beyond 2015, and the MWG is taking every opportunity to join in the conversation.
In May and June, the MWG presented two interventions to the UN Open Working Group (OWG) on Sustainable Development Goals.
June 19 – 4th OWG on SDGs – Health (United Nations)
On behalf of the Loretto Community and the MWG, Loretto UN Representative Sally Dunne delivered a dynamic statement to the OWG advocating for “the millions of people whose lives and health are being destroyed by the devastating impacts of the extractives development model.” To illustrate her point, Sally quoted the Appalachian women who testified at last year’s Women’s Tribunal on the devastating effects of mountaintop coal removal on their communities.
The MWG recommends that, relative to post-2015 SDGs:
– A mandate be given to UN agencies (e.g., WHO, UNDP, UNEP, etc.) to study and monitor the health impacts of the extractives development model
– Health targets should call for an end to preventable illnesses and deaths caused by harmful extractive practices
May 24 – 2nd OWG on SDGs – Water and Sanitation (United Nations)
This MWG intervention drew attention to the “dangerously uncritical assessment” of mining’s impact on water sustainability in the Rio + 20 outcome document, The Future We Want. MWG member, human rights attorney and Franciscan International UN Representative Amanda Lyons successfully linked the need for strict mining regulation with water rights and sustainability.
The MWG recommends that the post-2015 SDGs:
– address the current extractive development model that leads to human rights violations of people living near mining sites and irreversible damage to water ecosystems
– ensure the participation of local communities in decisions that affect their rights to unpolluted water resources
– include a zero extractive activity target where irreversible damage to the watershed is possible and ensure the transparency of data analysis and collection with regards to the effect of mining on watershed