A Just Response to Extractivism


Extractivism is a short-sighted model of development seen around the world that exploits natural resources on a massive scale, creating significant economic profits for the powerful few in the short term, but too often resulting in minimal benefits for the communities where these resources are found. Instead, extractive industries contribute to serious social and environmental consequences, including the displacement of people from their homes and lands, human rights abuses against workers and local communities, air and water contamination, and deforestation and biodiversity loss. In many cases, they also contribute to climate change through the increased production of fossil fuels. Extractive industries include:

N. Sprague, Maryknoll Magazine
N. Sprague, Maryknoll Magazine

  • hydraulic fracturing for unconventional gas (known as “fracking”), coal and oil extraction, and gold, copper and ore mineral mining; and the surrounding infrastructure including roads, pipelines and storage facilities
  • large-scale single-crop or cash-crop plantations (i.e.-palm, soy) that do not support or feed surrounding communities
  • Projects that take critical water sources from communities and ecosystems, such as hydroelectric dams and commercial water bottling operations
  • corporate- and profit-driven renewable energy and climate mitigation projects carried out at the expense of rights of indigenous peoples and local communities