EARTHWORKS and eight other nongovernmental organizations sent a letter to the mining and jewelry industry trade association, the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC), outlining serious concerns with the RJC's mining standards and process. Among the criticisms from the NGOs are the absence of key environmental and social criteria, such as community consent, no-go areas for biodiversity conservation, and protection of natural water bodies from tailings disposal.
In today's New York Times, Verlyn Klinkenborg's Editorial Observer Column Walking Where the Drilling Rigs Will Go, ruminates on what is lost by drilling in the Marcellus Shale -- and the ultimate loss of landowner control that goes along with it.
"[I]t is still hard to imagine how much this effort will transform the landscape. I walked with a friend along a gravel road near Peas Eddy. In a relatively flat spot in the woods, we came upon a surveyor s stake. If the state gives the go-ahead, that subtle opening will be replaced by an industrial-sized clearing to make space for a drilling rig and all the machinery needed to fracture the shale and extract and pump the gas. All of that equipment will travel on the gravel road we had just walked, which runs along a stream bank.
My friend has refused to sign a mineral lease for his land. Yet his refusal makes no difference. Once a certain percentage of landowners in a development block have agreed to sign and the state gives the green light the drillers can go ahead. The rigs will run up and down the roads, and the woods will take on the look of a heavy construction zone, all in the immediate vicinity of people who have tried to hold out against the drilling."
"Releasing its official-sector gold activity report, GFMS estimated that net official-sector gold sales in the first half were 39 t, down by a hefty 73% year-on-year. GFMS anticipated sales of 140 t for the full year, which, if realised, would be the lowest since the 1994 trough of 130 t."
Reporting in today's Guardian:
Oxfam America and the Social Investment Forum presented a forum called "New Frontiers in NGO-Shareholder Collaborations: The No Dirty Gold Campaign" on March 27 in the Rayburn Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.
Oxfam America CEO Ray Offenheiser keynoted the evening, which also featured a panel that was moderated by Oxfam America board member Bennett Freeman and featured Keith Slack of Oxfam America, Steve D'Esposito of Earthworks, Patrick Doherty of the New York City Comptroller's Office, and Peggy Jo Donahue of Jewelers of America.