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Environmental and Human Rights Law, Extractive Industries


The importance of environmental laws and standards for sustainable development of extractive industries has been well recognized by the international community for decades. More recently, the relationship between human rights and environmental protection has received greater attention in light of increased global and local recognition of both substantive and procedural environmental rights. Extractive industries search for, discover and develop natural resources in countries in which the governmental and civil society institutions necessary to protect human rights may not exist or where governments lack the capacity or will to effectively ensure the protection of human rights. Allegations of human rights violations against extractive industries sometimes involve the use of force in conflict or post conflict societies. Yet the root cause of many local community concerns over resource extraction that have subsequently led to violent confrontation often originate in different understandings of local environmental rights.