Minería

A diamond-mining ship off Namibia’s coast last year suctioning sediment from the seabed.CreditSimon Dawson/Bloomberg

The rush to exploit the riches of the deep ocean and seafloor is beginning. As pollution, overfishing and climate change sap the productivity of surface waters, many countries and companies are scouting new territory deeper down. This presents a threat the deep ocean has never faced.

Vast, dark and largely unexplored, these overlooked parts of the oceans are rich in marine life, gems, metals, minerals and oil. Stretching from 650 to 3,200 feet below the surface, the mesopelagic — known as the twilight zone because there is so little sunlight — is the first stop for deep ocean exploitation.

With an estimated 10 billion metric tons of marine life, including fish, shrimp and squid, these depths offer a seemingly endless bounty.…  Seguir leyendo »

Salvadorans protested against mining outside the Legislative Assembly in San Salvador in 2017. El Salvador’s Congress recently approved a law that prohibits mining for metals, on the grounds that it is an industry that creates negative impacts on the environment and on people’s health.CreditMarvin Recinos/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

After the 2010 earthquake killed more than 200,000 people and displaced more than a million, the government of Haiti identified mining for gold and other metals as necessary to strengthen the economy.

To that end, the government and the World Bank worked to revise the country’s mining law to attract foreign investment. Their draft law, which was presented to Parliament last July and is awaiting consideration, did not include input from Haitian environmental and human rights organizations.

The lack of transparency surrounding the proposed new mining law raises significant concerns about whose interests would be represented under the revamped legal framework.…  Seguir leyendo »

La presidencia de Donald Trump en Estados Unidos ha convertido la minería (y la industria del carbón en particular) en una cause célèbre política a lo largo del año pasado. En junio, durante su primera reunión de gabinete de la Casa Blanca, Trump sugirió que sus políticas energéticas estaban logrando que los mineros recuperaran su trabajo y transformando a un sector atribulado de la economía.

Pero Trump se equivoca al pensar que abanderar la causa de los mineros y presentar sus respetos a una profesión difícil bastará para hacer sostenible a la minería. Para lograrlo, hay que examinar un conjunto de interdependencias mucho más complejo.…  Seguir leyendo »

El 19 de febrero, Lenín Moreno, el candidato oficialista del actual presidente Rafael Correa, que ha gobernado el país por una década, no solo no ganó la presidencia en la primera vuelta sino que obtuvo sus peores resultados en la Amazonía Sur y en la Sierra Central, las regiones más pobres y con mayor población indígena de Ecuador. Para un partido que se define de izquierda y cuyas prioridades son luchar contra la pobreza y promover el desarrollo con base en la cosmovisión indígena, esta es una paradoja. En la segunda vuelta del domingo 2 de abril, el partido indígena Pachakutik apoyará al candidato de oposición Guillermo Lasso, un banquero de derecha.…  Seguir leyendo »

Los 17 objetivos de desarrollo sostenible fijados para el 2030 por la ONU persiguen grandes beneficios para la humanidad, entre los que destacan asegurar un nivel de desarrollo económico que ponga fin a la pobreza de miles de millones de personas y el tránsito hacia un modelo energético que garantice el acceso universal a un suministro fiable y limpio. Sin embargo, lograr estos objetivos pasa inexorablemente por el uso creciente de una amplia gama de recursos minerales. En buena medida, porque las previsiones apuntan a que la población del planeta seguirá aumentado en las próximas décadas, hasta superar los 9.000 millones hacia mitad de siglo.…  Seguir leyendo »

The rainforests of Didy in eastern Madagascar usually ring with the calls of the indri, the island’s largest lemur. There is a different noise now: the chopping of trees, digging of gravel, and cheers of encouragement from the thousands of illegal miners who have flooded to these forests since sapphires were discovered in late September.

Bemainty, an area in the west of Didy, is experiencing a sapphire rush. Rosey Perkins, a gemologist, visited soon after the rush began in October. She estimated 45,000 people were already involved and that the mine was growing by 1,500 to 2,000 people a day. By now it may be significantly bigger.…  Seguir leyendo »

“Canada is back,” says Justin Trudeau, the charismatic and bilingual prime minister of Canada, at international gatherings, seeking to showcase the imprint he wants to put on Canadian foreign policy in contrast to that of his predecessor, Stephen Harper. The prime minister has used very precise terms in his speeches: justice, environmental care, democracy and human rights. He even dared to invoke some of them during his official visit to China in September, although the Chinese did not applaud him for it.

Mr. Trudeau, who was elected last year, has already taken some steps toward his ambitious agenda. He welcomed thousands of Syrian refugees, he included Canada in the fight against climate change, and he offered troops for United Nations peacekeeping forces.…  Seguir leyendo »

“Canadá está de regreso”, ha dicho Justin Trudeau —carismático y bilingüe— en reuniones internacionales, como para mostrar la impronta que quiere darle a la política exterior canadiense respecto de la de su predecesor, Stephen Harper. El primer ministro de Canadá ha empleado en sus discursos términos muy precisos: justicia, cuidado medioambiental, democracia, derechos humanos. Incluso se atrevió a evocar alguno de ellos en su visita oficial a China hace algunas semanas, pero los chinos no lo aplaudieron por eso, sino por sus sonrisas y propuestas de negocios.

Trudeau ya ha dado algunos pasos. Acogió a miles de refugiados sirios, incluyó a Canadá en la lucha contra el cambio climático y ofreció tropas para los cascos azules.…  Seguir leyendo »

From fall through spring, the fleet of commercial fishing boats here in the panhandle of Alaska stalk winter king salmon. In the mornings prisms of ice sparkle beneath the sodium lights of the docks, where I live on a World War II tugboat with my wife and 8-month-old daughter. This winter I’ve been out a few times fishing on the I Gotta, catching pristine wild salmon, torpedoes of muscle. But the work is slow, five fish a day, and my skipper recently traveled down to Reno, Nev., for knee surgery.

Carpeted in rain forest and braided with waterways, southeast Alaska is among the largest wild salmon producers in the world, its tourism and salmon fishing industries grossing about $2 billion a year.…  Seguir leyendo »