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Social and ecological aspects

Mine water in an abandoned open pit

Human rights

Working conditions in Serra Pelada, Brasil

The approach of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to human rights is to systematically apply the principles of human rights to all German development cooperation activities, including and in particular those in the extractive sector. The Extractives and Development sector programme supports the implementation of the human rights-based approach across the entire portfolio of German development cooperation activities in the extractive sector and helps projects outside Germany to plan their activities accordingly. more


Artisanal and small-scale mining

Small-scale mining in Mozambique

In many emerging and developing countries, mineral resources are extracted not only using industrial mining methods but also in much smaller-scale operations. The World Bank estimates that the livelihoods of between 80 and 100 million people around the globe are dependent on artisanal and small-scale mining. As much as 20 per cent of the world’s gold production takes place in this way. Small-scale mining is thus both a significant economic factor and an important source of income. At the same time, though, small-scale mining presents one of the greatest challenges in the extractive sector, because resources are often extracted illegally and under shockingly bad working conditions. more


Conflict and Mining

Columbit-Tantalit Ore

In some countries, the extraction of and trade in certain minerals has helped to fund violent conflict. Curbing the illegal production of and trade in natural resources in places where they help to finance conflict is an important sphere of activity for the international community. The Extractives and Development sector programme promotes the development and dissemination of certificates of origin and certification mechanisms in the extractive sector. more


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