Towards a better understanding of environmental conflicts in Turkey: Political ecology meets societal metabolism
Authors: Begum Ozkaynak, Cem Iskender AYDIN, Pınar Ertor-Akyazı, Irmak Ertor, Willi Haas, Andreas Mayer
Abstract: This paper explores the remarkable spectrum of environmental conflicts in Turkey and aims to link them to the country’s societal metabolism based on a fieldwork undertaken as part of the EJOLT map of environmental injustices. This is done by analysing 51 well-known cases in Turkey and then contrasting them to Turkey’s biophysical and socio-economic data for the period between 1960-2010. The cases were selected to illustrate critical issues in environmental conflicts in Turkey, and do not aim for statistical representation. While many of the reported cases focus on water conflicts, several are about mining activities and infrastructure projects, and others address energy production. Although limited, the compilation and analysis of these cases provides a basic, yet crucial step toward informing public debate in Turkey on the structure of growth, the transformation of material and energy use, and the distribution of risks, benefits and costs within the development and environment nexus.
Global providers and consumers of metals – an analysis of trade patterns
Authors: Anke Schaffartzik, Andreas Mayer, Nina Eisenmenger, Fridolin Krausmann
Abstract: Metals are strategically important resources within industrialized and industrializing societies and their extraction and processing is linked to environmental burdens and social conflicts. No other minerals are distributed as unevenly not only in terms of extraction but also consumption. We present material flow accounting data on the extraction, imports, and exports of metals between 1950 and 2010, tracing the changing global patterns and the role of individual countries therein. We identify a shift in metal extraction from the early industrialized to the emerging economies. Using waste rock, i.e., the non-metal portion of the extracted gross ore, as a proxy for environmental pressure associated with mining, we find that the shift in mining activities corresponds to a shift in environmental pressure. Based on the physical trade data, we discuss material expressions of (neo-)extractivism. We provide a biophysical perspective on metal extraction and trade and their contribution to the socio-environmental mining conflicts.
Socio-environmental liabilities of coal mining in Cesar, Colombia
Authors: Andrea Cardoso
Abstract: Open-pit coal mining in Cesar, Colombia increased by 74% between 2000 and 2012, generating environmental and social damages unacknowledged by multinational mining companies and the state. This study aims to identify and value socio-environmental liabilities from coal mining at different stages of the coal life cycle. To identify socio-environmental liabilities, interviews were conducted and environmental mining conflicts were analyzed. To estimate monetary values, data were linked to existing literature on costs associated with damages. Results show that the economic values of socio-environmental liabilities per ton of extracted and exported coal are higher than the market price of coal. The socio-environmental liabilities arise from pollution, public health deterioration, water table depletion, land and ecosystem services losses, damages from transportation and shipping, and coal reserve loss. A comparison with studies in China and the United States indicates that values increase when public health impacts and climate change on global scale are included.
Towards successful resistance: An assessment of contemporary mining conflicts
Authors: Begum Ozkaynak, Beatriz Rodriguez-Labajos, Cem Iskender Aydin
Abstract: To provide evidence-based support for successful EJ-activism, this paper sets out to assess the constituents and outcomes of contemporary socio-environmental mining conflicts by using a collaborative statistical approach to the political ecology of mining resistance. We analyse the experience of EJOs that pursue environmental justice in mining conflicts by combining qualitative and quantitative methods – including statistical analysis and social network analysis – to understand both the determinants of such conflicts, and the factors that configure environmental justice ‘success’ and ‘failure’. The empirical evidence covers more than 350 mining cases around the world from the EJOLT (www.ejolt.org) dataset, enriched by an interactive discussion of results with activists and experts. Using network analysis, the study also looks at the nature of relations among EJOs and corporations in mining conflicts and discusses ways to develop a more resilient activist network towards EJ success.