Guest Publication

Undermining the Forests. The need to control transnational mining companies: a Canadian case study

This study by Forest Peoples Programme, Philippine Indigenous Peoples Links and the World Rainforest Movement, published in January 2000, is the second report in a series which focuses on the social, environmental, economic and political impacts of transnational corporations (TNCs) on forests and forest peoples. The first one, titled High Stakes; The Need to Control Transnational Logging Companies: a Malaysian case study was published by the World Rainforest Movement and Forests Monitor in August 1998.

The aim of these reports is to raise awareness within industry of its impact on forests and forest peoples, to inform policy and decision makers of the dangers of unsustainable activities in Southern countries, be a resource guide for local environmental and social NGOs working on this kind of issues, as well as bringing the question of TNC operations and their impacts on forests to the agenda of international processes dealing with forests.

Even if often ignored in forestry debates, industrial mining is the second biggest threat (after commercial logging) to the world’s remaining primary forests. Canadian companies have greatly expanded overseas in the past decades, driven by the potential of the unexploited subsoil and the liberalization policy in the exploitation of natural resources applied in many southern countries, where foreign investments are generally perceived as positive, regardless of their social and environmental impacts.

The contents of the book are: 

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • Executive summary
  • Mining the planet: the Canadian mining industry and its influence world-wide
  • Global trends in mining and the role of international agencies
  • Mining and the rights of indigenous peoples in international law
  • Mining impacts:
    • Guyana
    • Suriname
    • French Guiana
    • The Philippines
    • Indonesia
  • Reflections and Recommendations
  • Appendix
  • References

The report is distributed free for Southern NGOs and at a cost of US $15 plus mailing charges for other interested people and organizations. For obtaining a copy, please contact:

Forest Peoples Programme
1c Fosseway Business Centre
Stratford Road
Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 9NQ
United Kingdom
e- mail: info(at)

Source: WRM's bulletin Nº 30, January 2000