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Mining and sustainable development

Gerber, Leonardus and Sindico, Francesco (2014) Mining and sustainable development. In: Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development from Rio to Rio+20. Queen Mary Studies in International Law, 15 . Brill Nijhoff, pp. 334-352. ISBN 9789004282902

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This chapter critically assesses the role that mining and minerals have in the wider context of sustainable development. In particular, we assess the role of law (and of international law in particular) in balancing the economic interests of the mining activity, with the requirements of social justice and environmental protection. The starting point for discussion lies in the recognition of the fact that mining and minerals are present in only two brief paragraphs within the final outcome of the Rio+20 process document. We also assess the pre-and post-Rio+20 processes to determine the extent to which the debate around minerals and mining has been present in the negotiations prior to Rio. The chapter touches upon a selection of contemporary issues affecting the contribution of mining to sustainable developing, including effective post-mining closure regulation, means to enhance transparency and accountability and, ways to prevent illicit activities funded through mining activities; and the emergence of the social license and climate change debates.