WHAT IS THE GNMR NETWORK?
The Governance of Natural and Mineral Resources (GNMR) Network is one of five Global Ignatian Advocacy Networks established following General Congregation 35 in 2008, when a new emphasis was placed on the reality that the Society of Jesus is ‘one body with a universal mission’. (The other Networks are Peace and Human Rights, Education for all, Migration, and Ecology). All Conferences and Provinces were asked to commit to the five priorities.
The purpose of the GNMR Network is to ensure that issues of equity and sustainability are addressed in the governance of natural resources. The GNMR Network supports and advocates on behalf of local communities affected by mining activities, and lobbies on human rights issues where appropriate.
Recognising the overlap and common interests of the Ecology and GNMR Networks, a decision was made to house GNMR material on the Ecojesuit site. This section of the Ecojesuit site explains a little about the work of the GNMR Network and its plans for the future, as well as providing a platform for the sharing of information and experiences in the GNMR field. In recent months, representatives of each Jesuit Conference have been working together to consider how the Jesuit community can best contribute in this field. Together, these representatives make up the Core Group leading the GNMR Network. Those people are:
- Europe: Alicia Alemán
- Canada: Kirsti Tasala
- Latin America and Caribbean : Sergio Coronado
- US: Fernando Serrano
- Africa: Ferdinand Muhirgirwa
- South Asia : there is currently no Conference representative, but Xavier Jeyeraj’s involvement provides a perspective from this region until a Conference representative is appointed
- Asia Pacific : Julie Edwards (CEO of Jesuit Social Services, an Australian social change organization working to build a just society. Julie was appointed the leader of the Core Group in 2013).
The Core Group has developed an Action Plan which sets out the goals of the Network and identifies a number of initial projects.
The Network itself comprises members from each of the six conferences (Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Africa, South Asia and the US) with an interest in addressing issues of equity and sustainability in the exploitation of natural and mineral resources. There are currently around 25 Network members – others who are interested in joining should contact the GNMR Network here.
It is anticipated that some Network members may be more active than others, depending on time capacity and expertise. However, all network members are welcome, regardless of the amount of time they are able to commit. What is important is that the Network has the broadest geographic coverage possible to best enable it to achieve its goals.
The Core Group met in Spain in December 2013 and developed an Action Plan setting out the goals and initial projects of the Network. It was decided the initial priorities of the Network were to:
- Raise awareness among Jesuits, partners and the communities we serve, of the importance of good governance and management of natural and mineral resources and sustainable lifestyles.
- Build capacity among Jesuits, partners and the communities we serve, to enable them to understand, address and provide leadership in matters regarding the governance of natural and mineral resources.
- Support and advocate with and for people and communities affected by mining.
Some specific advocacy projects to be looked at include:
- Environmental Justice for Central America – aims to raise awareness and build local capacity to undertake environmental health monitoring, community education, and effective advocacy in the Caribbean, especially Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.
- The India Project will progress advocacy on behalf of communities in India affected by mining activities.
- The Conflict Minerals Project will continue focusing on advocacy and raising awareness on conflict minerals, as well as research and education regarding country-specific issues.
- The EITI Project will work to progress the adoption of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative by each country where mining occurs. We will do this by monitoring country participation, supporting and resourcing the efforts of local advocates, and exploring opportunities for participation in key political and international fora.
- Other projects that are identified by the GNMR Network.
The full GNMR Action Plan 2014-2016 can be downloaded here. GNMR Action Plan.
This section houses documents relating both to the make-up and mechanics of the Network itself, and also useful advocacy materials, case studies and research that may be of assistance to communities dealing with GNMR issues.
Advocacy and Research Resources
GNMR Update is the regular newsletter of the GNMR Network, and includes contributions from members, news of recent activity, and discussion of relevant issues. It is issued every 2-3 months. To subscribe, please contact [email protected]
Past issues can be accessed below:
Other articles published in different sites:
– Governance of Natural and Mineral Resources Network
– Ignatian network promotes ethical consumption and investment
– Becoming Leaders in Ecological Justice
– Eco-networking at Jesuit Social Services
– Jesuits beckoned by the poor
– Advocating for equity and sustainability
– GNMR Workshop
– GNMR Network meets in Loyola
– London: GIAN workshop on Governance of Natural and Mineral Resources (GNMR)
– Networking for great governance of natural resources
– Mining Revisited: Can an Understanding of Perspectives help
We would love to hear from you if you have any feedback, suggestions or contributions for the GNMR Update. Please contact [email protected] Please also share this newsletter with your colleagues and contacts with an interest in this subject.