Securing Indigenous rights in the transition to a green economy

The demand problem for transition minerals


In the last decade, the transition to a low-carbon economy has been a central topic of interest for both governments and companies. As efforts to counter climate change are incentivizing a shift from fossil fuels to “clean” energy, the demand for transition minerals, such as lithium, cobalt, copper, zinc, and nickel, has increased exponentially. While the ultimate goal represents a positive change in energy consumption, the impact of growing mining activity to obtain these resources without the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent of the Indigenous Peoples is a threat to their rights, ways of life and territories, and at the same time constitutes a great risk of material losses for the companies.

Organized by Cultural Survival and a global coalition of Indigenous leaders working to “ Secure Indigenous Rights in the Transition to a Green Economy ”, this publication is the result of the panel discussion of the same name, whose objectives are to discuss the global trends in the mining sector and share case studies of Indigenous leadership and resistance to engagement with the mining sector; explore how governments, businesses, and investors can support a Just Transition based on Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination; make climate action more successful integration of solutions and Indigenous associations throughout the value chain.


How to achieve Just Transition for Indigenous Peoples?


  • Cultural survival calls on governments, corporations, and financial decision-makers to avoid the mistakes of the past and eliminate polluting mining, as well as to protect the rights and self-determination of Indigenous Peoples around the world, many of whom They live in areas rich in transition minerals.


  • To achieve a Just Transition for Indigenous Peoples, governments and businesses must employ an approach based on human rights and the protection of biodiversity, in advancing Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination, in all efforts related to building green economies.


  • Achieving a meaningful, intentional and truly just transition will require a set of solutions, such as improving existing standards, reforming old mining laws, requiring circular economy practices, setting standards and meeting targets for mineral reuse and recycling, reducing demand and accepting degrowth as a concept and a path, and even more importantly, put human rights and the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent at the center of all decision-making.

Author: Cultural Survival

Publisher: Global Landscapes Forum

Language: English

Year: 2022

Ecosystem(s): Agricultural Land

Location(s): Latin America, North & Cental America

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