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The Peel River Watershed: The Endangered Wilderness of Canada’s Yukon

This article is brought to you by the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP). Read our other articles on the National Geographic Voices blog featuring the work of our iLCP Fellow Photographers all around the world. Text and photos by Peter Mather, Fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers. From the front seat of our Cessna 172, the…

Thank Goodness for Guano

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A law originally intended to promote mining on remote islands has become the key to protecting the waters around them, and it all comes down to the stuff you try to keep of your newly washed car.

View from Kinshasa: Minerals and Development in the Democratic Republic of Congo

From 2000 to 2005, I was asked to teach an annual module in environmental conflict resolution at a program for mid-career professionals from developing countries held at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (funded by the Henry R. Luce Foundation). In one of the earlier…

White House Announces New Climate Change Initiatives

The White House on Wednesday announced executive actions to help states and communities build their resilience to more intense storms, high heat, sea level rise, and other effects of climate change. The actions, which involve several federal agencies, were among the recommendations by the president’s State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. “…Climate…

A Bottom-Line Focus For Solving Mining Conflicts

The lure of precious metals and other natural resources has long been a source of conflict in Latin America, from the Andes to the Amazon and most everywhere else.  But new research has begun to put a price tag on this conflict, and investors have started to respond. When the lives and livelihoods of Indigenous…

Mining in El Salvador: Can Corporate Behaviour be Changed?

Guest article by Vladimir Pacheco Central America remains a land of tremendous potential but persistent poverty. In vulnerable states recovering from civil strife and growing inequality, foreign corporate investment has additional obligations to ensure community consent through patient engagement. In this guest article, Vladimir Pacheco, a social scientist who has worked on mining and human…

February 23, 2014: Cycling to the South Pole, Saving India’s Killer Tigers and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson every week for adventure, conservation and green science. This week they endure a 750-mile bike ride from Antarctica’s coast to the South Pole, explore the sonic wonders of the world, explain the Yukon’s modern-day gold rush, fly south for the winter with snowy owls, empower Bolivia’s rural citizens to protect their corner of the world, kayak the length of the Colorado and Green Rivers, recover from unpleasant tropical parasites, advocate for tigers and humans when species clash in India, track Turkey’s bears by cellphone.

Afghanistan: Reaching In and Reaching Out

In this guest article, my former student from the University of Vermont, Ian Lynch, narrates his perspectives on Afghanistan’s future based on the past months he has spent in Kabul as a teacher for the School of Leadership (SOLA). Ian exemplifies the best of American youth who are trying to genuinely help rebuild Afghanistan despite…

Massive Copper Mine in the Heart of Lower Zambezi National Park Approved

The battle continues as the Kangaluwi mining project in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park is approved by the Patriotic Front. But at what cost?

Will 2014 Be the Year of the Ocean?

The United Nations says 1998 was the Year of the Ocean, but I beg to differ. I’m fairly convinced that next year will be the year we see world leaders begin to take responsibility for the future of our ocean, and start to turn words into action. We’re also going to see an innovation explosion…

New Interest in Seafloor Mining Revives Calls for Conservation

By Michael W. Lodge New interest in the exploitation of seabed minerals has led to the revival of old concerns for the preservation of our oceans, argues Michael W. Lodge, Deputy to the Secretary-General and Legal Counsel of the  International Seabed Authority, and speaker at the upcoming World Ocean Summit hosted by The Economist in…

Tsodilo: Mining Between 2 World Heritage Sites?

On three occasions between 12th and 15th September 2013, the 2013 Okavango Wetland Bird Survey expedition team witnessed a SPECTREM2000 fixed wing aircraft flying very low over one of the remotest wilderness areas in southern Africa with magnetometers and sensors deployed. This aircraft was over 100 kilometres from the iron ore formation being explored by Tsodilo Resources Limited between Shakawe…

Chile and Pakistan: A Missed Opportunity for Mineral Relations at Reko Diq

Looking at a planetary map, one would find very little in common between South America’s most developed country, Chile, and South Asia’s beleaguered nuclear power, Pakistan. Apart from the physical distance, there is little commonality in linguistic, religious or ethno-cultural background. Yet minerals and economic expedience have brought these two countries closer to possible cooperation.…

Employment and Indigenous Empowerment in Mining: Australia and South Africa

I recently supervised the Master’s degree thesis project of Richard W Roeder, a German lawyer and Rotary Peace Studies Scholar at the University of Queensland who sought to ask the following research question:  “How do Public Governance and Private Governance regarding the employment of Indigenous Australians / Historically Disadvantaged South Africans in the mining sector…

Race for Rare Earths in Central Asia

Guest article by Sebastien Peyrouse In this guest article, Dr. Sebastien Peyrouse of George Washington University provides an overview of key developments in rare earth minerals development projects in Central Asia. Dr. Peyrouse participated in the inaugural event of the Rare Earths Research Consortium, at the University of Queensland. Whereas China has decided to reduce…